A few moons ago, I tried to bring into practice writing ten things about my day. Ten observations without using metaphor or simile. I detailed the task at length in this blogpost.
I kept up the practice for just a few weeks. Life as usual got in the way. Tonight, I find myself wanting to return to this practice. Maybe it’s been thinking on my decision to go deeper into my practices and life instead of adding width through acquiring new things, that has me reflecting on this ten things practice.
I see this daily practice as a means of generating more gratitude for the life I have created at the same time as grounding me in the present moment.
We’ll see how it goes. I’ll be sharing these creations on a special project page on my website – ten things. I hope you enjoy these sharings and look forward to reading them.
1. A grey morning.
2. That heavy feeling when you should get up but don’t want to.
3. The canned background noise of joy.
4. Big meaty raindrops on the bedroom window.
5. Icy air creaking in under doors and between boards.
6. The bitter taste of resentment.
7. The overwhelming feeling that this too will pass.
8. There’s no need to be afraid of death, he said.
9. I pull the duvet up and over.
10. My shower can wait.
1. Re-entry into my everyday after being away is harsh.
2. The sun glows low.
3. We walk the shore alone and smell the waves.
4. My everyday life is full of kinks.
5. The terns dance within the foam.
6. Strong black coffee steams.
7. Luther Vandross ‘Searching’ on the radio.
8. Emails plying up as is the washing.
9. Box set bingeing late into the night.
10. Not ready to start it all again tomorrow.
1. Up at 5.30am.
2. The whole centre to myself. Silence.
3. The mist rising off the reservoir into grey.
4. The warm glow of women gathering.
5. Smearing colour across white spaces claiming voice.
6. Hummus, falafel, kebabs and naan.
7. Hot boiling black tea with a hint of cardamom.
8. Walking out back amongst the pines.
9. Larch cones clinging to dark branches.
1. He goes into the bathroom and slams the door.
2. The candle flickers in the draft.
3. My shirt with black blobs of paint is creased.
4. The coffee beside me smells hot.
5. I curl my legs up under my bum and feel my muscles stretch.
6. A car drives past outside.
7. There is cloud. There is weak light.
8. A fine drizzle speckles the window.
9. The central heating rumbles into life.
10.The house groans in its spaces.
I’m planning to share my new practice with you, just on a Tuesday, even though I’m completing this task everyday. This practice came to me first via Alisha Sommer and her beautiful writing and photography. And this practice came to Alisha via Marie Howe being interviewed on On Being.
Within this podcast, Marie Howe talks about the power of poetry and the sacredness of the every day. Sacred space is there always just waiting for us to stop and pay attention. To stop and hold space for the now.
I love the thought of this. I love the idea of gifting ourselves the beauty and grace of our present moments. All we have to do is slow down and listen. Slow down and observe.
Marie recommends to her students to write down 10 observations of the actual world each day. No metaphors, no comparisons, just detail the world as it actually is. Simple. Engage the senses and be up close with the world around us. Be present.
After embarking on this practice for a few weeks now, I have to say it hurts, sometimes, to be so present as the tendency is to look away. To want to distract myself and move on. Get moving, get producing. But at the same time as the pain and is the simple joy of being present. There’s pain but also happiness to be found in being present. And this is amazing. Try is yourself and see.
Marie Howe calls this ‘a gift of holding sacred space.’ And you’re doing this for yourself, no one else, just yourself. I claim this as self-care to the max.
Each Tuesday, I’ll share my 10 observations. Feel free to share yours too, here with me.