For the last few weeks, MontanaWriter has been quiet. Silent except for one posting as I have been struggling to quiet my heart and mind enough to write.
Writing – all art and thought – requires a quiet mind… and a quiet heart. That is what Yeats meant when he wrote:
(Like a long-legged fly upon the stream
His mind moves upon silence.)
It is what a hundred saints have told us about prayer and the spiritual life.
I was born with a birth defect to my ears that required multiple surgeries over many years to repair. I have long suspected that my virtually quiet early childhood is the explanation for many aspects – good and bad – of my personality, of my way of relating to others and the world.
My standard line in response to those who ask why I love poetry so much and why I prefer writing poetry to prose, has always been: “poetry seems like the most natural thing for one who has struggled with language all his life.”
I am fortunate that silence so easily abides with me… at least most of the time. But for the past few weeks a quiet heart and a quiet mind have been much removed as I have been struggling to make peace with some life changes that have meant less down-time in my life, less time to read, to reflect, to sit still in the silence.
In these two weeks, the first plowable snow of the year has come to the North Country and already melted… a foretaste of the feast to come. Today it is unseasonably warm. There is much to give thanks for on an unseasonably warm day. Mostly I am thankful for the comfortable quietness I feel settling down around me again. I pick up my pen. I begin to write….