Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


the wind, ventifacts & advice to a young teacher ~

I’ve been trying to spend time outside each day, even if it’s only to sit and watch the birds jostle each other at the various feeders. And I’ve been thinking about wind — always a presence in Oklahoma.

If I’d had this word yesterday, it certainly would have been in yesterday’s post. The word is ventifact. While the precise term refers to stones shaped by the wind, so many things are artifacts of the wind. Certainly Tree, from yesterday’s post, is :).

But the smooth polyhedron of this rose-coloured rock appeals to me. What did it look like before water or the wind cut it loose from its mother boulder, and wind pushed it around? Was it rougher? Larger? How substantial a change shaped and polished it?

Obviously another metaphor, but one I like as well as Tree. The idea that even when I feel most isolated, I once belonged to something larger than myself — what I call The Web :) — and that the forces in my life I often feel beset by may well be making me more beautiful… Well, that’s another kind of elemental magic. I’m not beset. I’m a ventifact in the making :).

It’s a thought that could only occur to me in the combination of sitting outside — and a long-time familiarity w/ rocks :) — and thinking about words, seeing them as physically connected to real life. Metaphors. Which is why, when one of my favourite former students wrote me not long ago, her heart cracked open by life and love and the growing pain of the two together, here is what I told her:

GO OUTSIDE! Take your favourite journal, a coloured marker or pen. A GOLD marker or pen. A set of coloured pencils or crayons. Find water. Sit by it. Take something special to eat, and a thermos or go-cup of something hot. Even if it’s 111 [yesterday’s temperature :(]. Take your inner child for a picnic. When you get there, just sit. In your car, on a bench, on a blanket on the grass. Then draw, write, doodle, colour. And think: big sky mind. The clouds come, the clouds go. But the sky remains.  And the ventifacts beneath it…

 



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Army Combat Vet

    Frustrating when web site folks don’t verify their work and make sure it works properly… not the article that should be there. Yuk :(

  • brittongildersleeve

    I’m so sorry! Must be a URL glitch :)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Molly

    This may be an interesting article, but this does not seem to be ” 10 things even atheists can love about church.”

Previous Posts

the pain we bring to others
There are days we will hurt people. Days when our thoughtless actions will crack through the protective shells we all wear to get us through our lives. There are times when some thoughtless action -- with no ill in

posted 1:36:57pm Mar. 02, 2015 | read full post »

contrasts and contradictions (or not...)
See the snow outside? It's inches -- nothing for Boston (they should be so lucky!), but a big deal for Oklahoma. And more to come, the weather folks predict.  A cardinal is on one feeder, a vivid splash of colou

posted 11:42:43am Feb. 28, 2015 | read full post »

a long long time ago, or, updating our moral software
  This used to be the way America looked at women voting. And to be honest, some of these jokes are still around. But for the vast majority of Americans, we accept that women have the right to vote. Even though it's not in the original Constitution. That's an important 'even though,' sin

posted 10:52:31pm Feb. 26, 2015 | read full post »

the vulnerability of grace
This is a post about sharing. About a man who has inspired me for a long time, and his impending loss. It's about intelligence, wit, and vulnerability. And the irreplaceable magic of those braided qualities

posted 4:25:29pm Feb. 23, 2015 | read full post »

lists, writing, and cleaning the mind's house
  Ever since I was a little girl, I've visualised my mind as an old house. And lately it seems more like a house that needs a LOT of TLC -- re: it's  kind of a mess. So when the facilitator at the

posted 3:50:10pm Feb. 21, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.