pt 2 – finding voice

So – reflecting on the episode when I lost my voice – it really seemed to be a very clear message – when confronted with my childhood I became again the voiceless child.

These thoughts were written a month or two later… about October last year

What I had for a long time thought was a harmonious relationship, I realised was based on the fact that I never challenged, or if I presented ideas that were disagreed with, I withdrew, submitted.

I’ve always had an overriding need to avoid conflict, to keep the peace. It has held me back, it has damaged relationships because it has stopped me from speaking (and there it is – the link to the silence that hit me after the lifemap experience!!!), from saying what I needed, wanted, wondered – to the point where I said nothing and this had been interpreted as not contributing, not sharing, not engaging deeply enough in a relationship. When the truth was, I was so deeply invested, so deeply engaged, I had silenced myself through fear of disrupting what I had. (and I cried when I finished writing this – that sudden emotional wave that breaks when you realise you’ve touched a truth)

I realised that my physical needs had been catered for, but much less my intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs. No-one really inquired into me, wanting to know what I thought, what I’d been doing, how I felt.

Hmmm – time to change the story, to shift the narrative. But to do that I need to know what I want, what I need.

Talking with friends a few weeks after this, the subject of purpose came up and I was wondering “Maybe I could be doing…, maybe I’d be good at …” and finally – “maybe I am my own purpose, my own project – maybe its enough that learn to I understand myself.”

So – I need to find my voice. I think this is my purpose. Speaking – on whatever I want, whatever I believe is important, or fun, or beautiful or interesting. It is enough that I want to say something about it. I need to tell my own story, share my own thoughts and opinions.

And so here, on the page, maybe I have found the right place to be myself.

and reading this now – its hard to believe how far I’ve come in just a few short months – the commitment I’ve made to write and write really does make me feel true to myself.

pt 1 – becoming speechless

A few months ago I took part in a two day workshop designed to give experience and insight into a resilience and confidence programme used with teenage students. I was really enjoying the first day, as we worked through the same activities used with the students. I realised at the end of the first day that what I liked so much was the opportunity to focus on myself, my strengths, challenges, high points and low, some shared, some kept private. I felt excited, bouncy, chatty, very “up”.

My response to the second day was so different. We revisited a “life-map” begun the first day. Looking at it again I realised that I had recorded, amongst other things, all the times I had moved house and town as a child, as a teenager. Seeing this on paper in front of me somehow made it more overwhelming than any time previously. It explained so many things, especially my difficulty making friends as a child. Its hard to get close and then be moved again in a few months or a year or so. I understood how it had became easier as a child to be “stand-off-ish”, to keep to myself, to tell myself I was shy, or that I liked being a loner … and I couldn’t help but begin questioning the actions of those responsible.

So, seeing this lifemap on the second day resulted in my emotional state plummeting. It was as if I could feel a part of me fall, as if I had physically fallen to the floor. It was the weirdest thing. I got through the rest of the day. Resilience has always been a strength – just as well. But I was quiet, I felt low and sad.

When I got home I felt as if I had a slight sore throat. When I woke the next day, I couldn’t speak. I lost my voice for three days. There’s a message there somewhere…

(My reaction to this course was unusual. Certainly not the expected outcome – and I do not bear any ill-will towards the programme or its organisers. In fact, the analytical part of me found the whole process fascinating – and recognises the insights I’ve gained as a result of this and events that followed during the next few months.)

this time of year

This slow, golden time of year
as I walk in sun and time moves with me
I think of the world’s abundance
trees heavy with fruit
tadpoles massing in the pond
sheep dozing, chewing, flicking ears
birds fill the trees with song
single notes, whole choruses
and through it all
the white noise of cicadas.

And all this exists in spite of me
I am not necessary to their cycles of life
and yet this is shared.
They let me walk among them
and I feel as close to the centre of my purpose here
as anywhere else.

Today is glorious,
one of those I-am-who-I’m-supposed-to-be days.

I will go home
with the skull I found
and light incense in its eyes.
I’ll scrape the sheep shit off my shoes
and dig it in around the lemon tree.

But before then
I will go back outside
and stand barefoot on the gravel
burning in the sun.


driftwood worn
and rough against skin
what drew me to you
is the almost perfect circle
the hole in the centre
the witch’s eye

I am more interested
in the space in the hole
than the wood
I wonder what can be seen
by looking through the centre
can I see through into another world
can I see through to the past, to the future
to another sense of who I am

I’m aware of changing my mind
its happening more often recently
and not just changing mind
acting upon it

I changed my mind to choose this piece
my first choice was a feather
trapped in a tiny bottle
it felt too sad
too alone
too obvious

but this …
it’s the emptiness I noticed
the possibility
the potential
the circle of space
like an open mouth


This was written in response to the collection of natural objects presented as prompts/motivations for writing in the recent workshop.
The focus of the recent writing workshop was ecopsychology, an umbrella term for the intersection of environment and human, the integration of nature into poetry, how we respond creatively to nature.
This was a new area of learning for me – but such a perfect fit with things I’ve thought and felt.


line spacing

I’ve discovered how to post poems without excessive spacing between each line 🙂

In poems, lines are often short, hence the need to press “enter” or “return” before the full width of the page. This results in default paragraph spacing which is too widely spaced for my liking, especially over a lengthy poem.

So after a little searching, I found on:

Hitting the Enter (Return) key will end the paragraph you are writing and start a new one. If you want to start a new line without creating a new paragraph, press the Shift key while hitting Enter.

 Just thought – if its helpful to me – might be helpful to others starting out …