gather tenderly our days around us

Thank you so much for the birthday wishes over the past couple of days; they truly warmed my heart. I am really grateful for your kindness and community.

This post today isn't easy to write. Probably because I'm writing it for me, rather than for pleasing an audience. The internet is good at audience pleasing, don't you agree? It offers things that are full of meaning but easy to read. It makes quotes rather than confused explorations. And to be honest, so much of it glosses right over me, like a passing wash of summer light. Oh, I feel inspired. But I don't often feel accompanied, if you know what I mean.

For when I turn off my computer, step outside, I find the world to be more beautifully bewildering than any single word. And I find that true and poignant phrases don't help, not even in the smallest bit, when my heart must struggle with a tangled issue.

I love best the humble scratched words, the hearts shared, because then I know other women are with me - I feel your hand in mine and your understanding smile, across the miles, and it is truly good community.

I actually wrote another post today, and published it. I wrote about the complexities of feminism, in response to Emma Watson's UN speech - a speech which I found very articulate, beautiful, glossy, but ultimately deaf to the concerns of many people. My response took me hours, and much cluttering of thought, and only at mid-afternoon did I realise it could be reduced to one sentence. Care about everyone. Or, to say a little more : care about women, and men, and transgender people, and children, and animals. Let's take responsibility for ourselves, and have respect for others. That's all.

The reason I mention this now-unpublished post is because I spent hours typing away furiously at an essay, trying to make it as shiny as possible, without stopping to consider the simple heart of what I was feeling. Which is ironic considering that this current post is the one I drafted first, and after writing it, I turned straight around and did myself exactly the thing I had just argued against.

And so now I must read again more closely what I wrote this morning ...

I have promised myself lately (not a resolution, more a realisation) that I will not seek the shine, the cleverness, the loveliness. I will not make my days bloggable, or my words quotable. I will try instead to gently hold the heart of each moment, be it sweet or like spikes in my skin ... to gather the days as if they are children who need magic and comfort, warmth and wide possibilities ... to trust that the growth of wisdom is more valuable than knowledge ... and to smile upon myself with kindness.

It's going to be hard work.


  1. This is interesting. I too feel the pull of having to make "good" blog posts in order to be heard, or, when posting less than that, feeling a tiny voice of inferiority taking over my mood. But really, it's not in line with my resolution to be honest about my vulnerabilities.

    I'm not a real feminist. I don't care who does the dishes as long as they agree on it. People are people, love is love. Some of us have our nuts in one place, others a bit higher, and it's not really what's interesting about any of us.

  2. Pia my dear, you win the award for Best Comment of the Week! That last paragraph was sheer fabulousness! :-)

  3. yes, Sarah, I closed my blog down after a couple of years of writing because I was overwhelmed at the strain of trying to please the audience I had built up over that time. I returned to blogging however, with a new set of ethics (for myself) and although sometimes posts are incredibly hard to write and the feeling of vulnerability is palpable in my body, I think that staying true to you own soul is the key - and staying generous, which of course, you always are. Blogging is too essential a medium of communication and connection to overlook its healing benefits. We are all with you, Sarah -

    Louisa x

  4. oh my, your words speak for me as well:
    I will try instead to gently hold the heart of each moment, be it sweet or like spikes in my skin ... to gather the days as if they are children who need magic and comfort, warmth and wide possibilities ... to trust that the growth of wisdom is more valuable than knowledge ... and to smile upon myself with kindness.

    thank you

  5. I hear what you say here, and you say it beautifully as ever. My feminism is love for all, not a battle. Not ever a competition. I am a feminist, but the word is so fraught, so divisive, and so laden with negative associations for so many now. It saddens me to see some of the soulful values of feminism being thrown out with the dirty bathwater. Yet in essence, feminism for me is care and respect for all, freedom for all. Inclusiveness, rather than Us and Them.

    I've long been a "messy" blogger, letting it all hang out. It wasn't ever a conscious decision for me, it's just the way I communicate. I always feel an excruciating vulnerability, but I'm not good at being very controlled about these things. It's kind of my therapy - to just write what I feel. It does get me into trouble from time to tim, but oh well! xx

  6. I've only just found your blog - and by grace, or magic, your recent posts have been exactly what I've been looking for. Poetic, well stated and natural.
    I've thought a lot of writing a blog. I want to write - but I'm not very good at it. I journal constantly and prattle on about the daily nonsense of my very common, day to day life thinking that I should be looking for some kind of magic or inspiration or enlightenment. But in the end - life just wanders along and that's what I hear you saying.
    The last few years have been about simplifying for me and I've finally come to the point of simplifying my soul and spirit. How can you do that if you are constantly searching for something "bigger" to write about?
    At any rate, thank you for your honestly and your effort. That, in itself, is inspiring to me!

  7. Thank you for that liberating declaration of intent. It gets weird when one gets that feeling of curating one's own life for presentation. At least, it's inauthentic from the outside in instead of the inside out. As Terri Windling wrote today, "each of us gets to chose the measure by which our work and our lives are served best."