this section of the stream

5 Sep


Charlotte by Aufzehengehen

I have balanced between my daughters’ needs and my own every day for the past 19 years; always, they needed to be a constant front and center consideration.  This slowing section of the stream has been a while in coming, it seems helpful for me to acknowledge.  Years I fantasized about a little more mental space, a bit more quiet, more individual freedom.  But now, as what I imagined for years is being given back to me in small increments, I am at a choice point.  I am resisting a knee-jerk impulse to fill space up with anything not worthy of my time or focus.

Stillness is a gift that wants to be opened.

There are voices that say, get moving, make something happen, change things up, you are a nobody choosing to do  so so much alone.   These voices make me want to jump out of the raft and start kicking – maybe I even want to  buy an outboard motor to blast through this part of the river.

I do not silence these voices, I do not call them silly;  I am giving them space to fluster about. When they quiet down, I point out the beauty in the trees on the bank, the water birds standing watch, I am encouraging a long look at the clouds, I am saying to them gently, there is nothing you can miss out on.  You have worked hard to clear yourself up for this space, now lie in it, bask in it.  Do not get up do not rush on do not paddle down to some rapids of your own making.  Life as you want it cannot leave you behind.

The stillness has me loving my own company.  I like how little I make myself make small talk.  I know my story, so I do not have to repeat it.   I love the lack of explanation needed to enjoy a walk in nature with just me.  I listen to girls as they come and go.  I nod.  They want to know I am here, the jumping off point to which they return, again and again.  While I enjoy their presence, I do not demand their company.  I give them my full attention, when they stop by.

Last weekend, I almost stepped on a snake as I was walking a sunny path at an old rice field.  The silence and stillness indwelling in me allowed me to  hover mid step and turn on a dime to give him space.  I retreated without worry of threat, and he did too; he was a good 5 feet long.  He slowly made his way across the path into the shady woods, without worry or hurry.  We watched each other.   I’ve been trying to identify him with no luck online, though I know he had no rattlers to shake.

I love this part of my little life path.  I am in no hurry, though a million concerns lie and wait about my future.  I am holding still, trying or rather flowing into a new way of existing in trust in beauty in silence in stillness, allowing  the clarity to come before I make a move.

I chose to re-listen to one of Neil Kramer’s great Roamcasts  with my spaciousness today – randomly selected – and I got a familiar overlapping (around the 18:29 mark) with the place in the stream in which I find myself trying to describe here:  :  then NK posts a beautiful piece of  Hermit art…wink wink nudge nudge – hi ho, off to my cave I go…

hermit cave


Moritz von Schwind (1804–1871) painting, A Player With A Hermit

In contrast, however, my bedside dream journal is full of my ex-spouse.  Perhaps I am working through in the night what seems a non-issue in the day.  I feel at peace with those 20 plus years, accountable for my part in the learning, yet in my dream last night I stole his new RV to much condemnation of everyone in the dream world; the more I tried to justify, the more alone and misunderstood I felt.  I set off on my own, on foot, after I was unable to turn the headlights on and got tracked down.  The lone journey on foot seems apropos for where I am.

Ah, the journey.  We all have them.  7 billion plus pairs of eyes. Every night, 7 billion plus dream  bubbles floating up from planet earth – infinity all the way up and all the way down; how many lives have I lived?  Ultimate freedom feels mine – any choice – any potential playing out – and I am just one potentiality at a time, slowed down light so I can enjoy it as it happens.


30 Responses to “this section of the stream”

  1. ptero9 September 5, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Hi Marga,

    I love slow. So happy that you are enjoying some slowness. For me, it’s a treasure and a gift of immersion into timelessness.

    Snakes in my path have featured prominently in my walks since childhood. I do have a healthy fear of them, but love to stop and marvel at their beauty and movement.

    Much love,

    • marga t. September 5, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

      I started thinking about the symbolism of snakes on the path and came across the ideas of healing and transitions on many different sites. Those seem very good things to have featured on one’s path, it seems to me 🙂 I so enjoy how much more I seem to see and experiencewhen I am alone and present – so lovely to have you share with me in these moments! xo! m

  2. amandaseesdreams September 5, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    Oh Marga I can feel the warmth and the slowness in this post, what a pleasure to behold!
    The image you painted of walking just slow enough to avoid stepping on the snake seems like such a beautiful metaphor for consciously embracing the stillness as you are; in your present-awareness you and snake meet and exchange gifts, both walking away unharmed. One of my favorite activities in summer is to walk barefoot outside, in silence, the heightened sense of my feet pressing against Pacha Mama helps me tread a little lighter, with reverence for the mother. So many gifts she gives us.

    I have noticed that when my own life is slower and more intentional, I remember far more dreams. When you fill up that dream journal of yours, I would love to make you one of my handmade ones as a gift.

    Always enjoy taking a meander down the river that is Marga…


    • marga t. September 6, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

      Not to be goofy…but when I imagine you barefoot on the land, I sense that we all are connecting through the medium of earthly flesh, if we so choose, and as I imagine myself to be alone, along comes the knowing of how I deeply connected I am to you and all the others so silent and graciously accompanying me along these treasured walks – the snake is in there too, only more so as he/she so graciously has full belly contact 🙂

      How funny you mention making dream journals; that has been something I have been playing with making for others lately. I practice kindergarten arts which help me to make things without worry of end product aesthetic appeal, so the journals I’ve been making have the added bonus of made with love and bit of sloppiness, ha! I imagine your art beautifully wrapped in love and appeal, too! Here is a day dream of mine – a physical gathering in which we enjoy making things together, wouldn’t that so fun? Bermuda might be a good mid-point with Hariod’s locale! I would treasure a dream journal when mine are filled – how wonderful!
      waving westward to you this morning! xo! m

      • amandaseesdreams September 8, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

        Passport Page Open and Little Bag Packed….Ready when you are!!

  3. Hariod Brawn September 5, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    Thank you for granting me this wonderfully evocative stroll beside the stream with you Marga. You have a particular gift for giving the detail a delicately plangent quality that is entirely befitting of the human experience, though one which we rarely see acknowledged amidst the hyperbole, pretence and lies that, for the most part, are passed off as healthy expressions of so-called ‘individuality’.

    Hariod. ❤

    • marga t. September 6, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

      And you Hariod, gift me a particular feeling with your words of being seen, in a mirror, comfortable in trying to disrobe publically 🙂 The clarity of your lens helps me to recognize my (and everyone’s) longing toward the genuine and helps me further lean toward the sunny nutrients found in human contact that we can offer when we clear away the hyperbole, pretense, and lies. You are treasured within me. xo! m
      (and I got to look up the word – plangent. I think that is a word I was longing to know – so right on!)

      • Hariod Brawn September 6, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

        ‘Art can never exist without naked beauty displayed’

        William Blake

  4. Michael September 6, 2014 at 1:25 am #

    Marga my friend, here’s a voice for you: savor the chrysalis of stillness and the unpacking of the gift of your Self! You will be wanting to take the contents of this care package with you wherever you fly to next. I cannot help but be excited for you.

    I think these experiences are ageless, meaning they can happen at any time in our lives, when a reliable pattern around which we organized experience begins to fade, and the new one has yet to fully emerge or be chosen. I think it is rare for people to bask in these in betweens with such a reverence, to let them stretch out and breath. It may seem an odd time to be in such a space, but your post reminded me of a period of time when I was in college, and my roommates of several years had graduated ahead of me, and I was living alone. My day was not complete without making the short drive to this big park that was basically a walking trail through an old farm field, and I would go at night and walk a lap alone under the stars, and just be with myself and the night. It was a place the voices really couldn’t follow, a time for building the resonance that would carry me through the coming day, for stopping beneath familiar trees, noting the moon’s position, letting questions I couldn’t answer soak into the land. Every other night during the week was an 8-hr shift on a Briggs & Stratton assembly line, an altogether different type of stillness, but I found I could stitch them together.

    I found there can be a real momentum to patient contemplation, a catching hold of the river that flows through all those lives and dreams. Wishing you graceful revelations…

    I think the lights to the RV are actually a push button on the left side of the console. 🙂


    • marga t. September 6, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

      I will try not to bring you into my life in crime, Michael, but you may face Aiding and Abetting with such knowledge of stolen vehicles.

      What a gift, to glimpse the younger you, who must have been pretty special to have the wisdom early on to recognize the gift of the space between. I have many memories of times I rushed through, feeling uncomfortable in the unknowing. This journey in my clearing lens offers so many gifts when I can rest into the open arms of it! By touching with me here, in these micro spaces overlooked by the rhythm that passes for normal in our world, you help further strengthen the dendrite and synapse connections for such important rewiring. It is exciting – this life – the way it is one thing and then another, with space in between – all of our making! xo! m

  5. cheyennepaints September 6, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    The stillness, and appreciation of, truly a time of cherishing, Marga. And then the spasms of nightmares to process what we have put behind (still having those, just last night, about most recent past job!). You journey well and with insightful clarity, what a gift you are able to share with us!! 🙂 Funny how Snakes tune into our lives and reveal themselves during times of transition. Non-threatening bull snakes who look like rattlers without the rattles, appearing beneath ones raised foot, bringing our attention to the very nowness of our life at this moment… The wonder…

    • marga t. September 6, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

      So so nice to journey in wonder with you, Cheyenne! You have me looking up images of snakes again – he gave me such a good long time to look at him, perhaps he was one of a kind! bull snake images are similar, but not exactly. No matter – he was a gift of nowness and newness, for sure! I remember reading your other blog with the healing energy work – have you transitioned from that? Blessings to you this Saturday morning! xo! m

      • cheyennepaints September 7, 2014 at 1:01 am #

        I’m not too good at juggling intensities, and now my focus is on painting. Although, I do continue to volunteer as a Reiki therapist at a children’s clinic once a month (now in 11th year there). The experience is rich with wonder and my client base expands through referrals from the medical staff and parents, but I’m not inclined to write about it… You’ll appreciate the synchronicity of my having a Snake encounter this morning after reading and commenting on your post. My hiking companions didn’t notice the crystalline snake in the rock, and being last in line I could commune privately coming and going on the trail…

  6. seeingm September 7, 2014 at 12:23 am #

    Stillness with the lightness of light and the headlamps glow from within. I love it.

    You are so wise to gift the undone and unfilled to yourself. Nothingness births so muchness. -x.M

    • marga t. September 7, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

      Oh, how womblike – a perfect circle, I helped birth these other beings – while learning to birth the self! So few words full of so much muchness, from you! Big big watery squeeze! xo!

  7. Andrea September 7, 2014 at 12:26 am #

    I love this, so honest and deep. I feel the roots of it. I can lose myself in the stillness sometimes, even sometimes when I must pay for it with a longer and more urgent to-do list. I find it so beautifully coincidental that you often write of things I am experiencing at the same time. The joy and comfort of seeing another portray a similar path is so very valuable to me. I look forward to hermiting with you very soon!

    • marga t. September 7, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

      You mirror much for me, too, Andrea! How great to have a sister who can articulate a daily behavior for me, the losing self in stillness despite the long to does waiting. It does seem more and more that the energy to “accomplish” will arise naturally after the stillness and then I am an efficient to do list doer:)

      I was a voyeur to your comment to SeeingM the other day – and I felt such affinity and connection to your moment of 3rd eye to 3rd eye with Nicholas – so many years I have spent caring for others full of these tender moments of nothing, unknown by anyone, in which I became aware of the largeness in being present in the smallest of things. Parenting animals and children gives so many soul gifts along the way, without parades or fireworks – but full body shivers in the immersiveness of the experience!

      I will leave a candle trail to the entrance of the cave! xo! m

  8. bert0001 September 7, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

    with the kids back to school, ‘working’ from home, I have enjoyed an entire week of daytime silence. Yes, feet have that kind of consciousness, if you follow them. They step aside when mind was going forward, and nothing happens.

    • marga t. September 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

      Ah, so happy to bask in the gifted stillness with you of the energetic bodies and voices of kids back to school. I love the image you give me of the consciousness of feet – I couldn’t describe it, but there is a body knowing outside of mind that allows such amazing pivots and reflective movement, quicker than the”thinking” brain can manage! So nice to see you, Bert!

      • bert0001 September 9, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

        … always nice to read you … 🙂 , Marga

  9. Kelly Kuhn September 9, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    Hmmmmming and sighing and closing my eyes and breathing deeply….feeling connected to you. Nineteen years of motherhood (check), feeling that I should be doing something (check), allowing my feelings (check), allowing myself to be in the stillness (check), dreaming scenarios that reflect turmoil or processing within (check), and appreciating the journey (check).

    Thank you for this. For a brief but lovely respite from online searching, reading, and writing to create an annotated bibliography…for a return to the me that doesn’t have to produce a thing.

    • marga t. September 11, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

      Here we are again in overlap 🙂 Check mate! This spaciousness that seemed so pervasive on labor day seems as lifetime ago as teaching and demands seem to have risen up yet again! Maybe I was given a brief preview that weekend. Thinking of you in your classroom experiences – such a nugget of wisdom in your respite – we can always return to the spot that never leaves us! xo! m

  10. ~meredith September 11, 2014 at 3:50 am #

    (and the fans whispered, “yes, yes, yes” x.)

    • marga t. September 11, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

      you can hear the ceiling fans whispering to you, too? I’m not crazy after all. yes yes yes, they all say! 🙂 the palm fronds and pond frogs are saying it too, and me and you, yes, yes yes! x!

  11. kellie@writingmoment September 29, 2014 at 4:24 am #

    I am so glad WordPress put your blog in my ‘you may like’ section!

    What a lovely post that resonates with me, trying to get as much stillness as I can. The part about motherhood too, although none of my three have reached 19 yet I know times will change as they change. I am even getting to know myself better the more stillness I have 🙂 Thanks for the great post.

    • marga t. October 6, 2014 at 11:35 am #

      the years of parenting “in house” felt/feel like intense practice to me – the “in your face” quality of constant availability, with only small respites, is a forceful fire for bringing shadows to the surface for burning off. I remember the Thich nhan Hanh book about prisoners finding enlightenment in prison, and I at times imagined that the 19 year trajectory of this role can also offer a similar walk to freedom. (risky connection to make, huh, making motherhood like a prison…of course I don’t mean that 🙂 except that prison is also a paradise:) Thank you so much for reading and relating from your own experiences. Many blessings on your head as you are with your 3 “teachers” today . xo! marga

  12. margaretmikkelborg October 5, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    Marga, beautifully written. I can totally relate to the knee-jerk pull to get busy and to fill up time….having had both the opportunities for the silence and the busyness, like you – with 3 grown children. The struggle now is to find and create the balance between the being present in the moment and allowing the stillness and the beauty, and finding meaningful work that satisfies the soul. Thanks for posting!

    • marga t. October 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

      I love to share the overlap here with you. Years of imagining this time did not prepare me for the strength of the outward pull. I am so glad to have practiced holding still until movement becomes clear. Grateful for your connecting with your words and experiences! xo! marga

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