Wish I Were Here..
postcards from the present
By artist Al Reffel
Mindfulness practice teaches that we can learn to live with equanimity in the present moment instead of getting lost in the past or worrying about the future. This equanimity, and the compassion and respect it cultivates, has transformative potential for our relationships with ourselves, others and how we live in our wider human and non-human environment.
With this premise I intend to spend my time at Hut136 mindfully watching, listening, feeling and responding to the environment around me. Observing the passing of internal and external weather, high and low tides….. to try to simply be with whatever shows up.
I have camera for stills and video/audio recording – a medium I am familiar with, but also some drawing and painting equipment and postcards. This is less familiar territory, or once was but less so now – if I am to face challenges with whatever ‘arises’ in being present then why not extend the challenge into a journey back into drawn/painted response to this? A double dare..
I chose postcards as a reference to my beach retreat – a postcard home becomes a postcard even closer to home. Being on retreat becomes being present. Wish you were here becomes an invitation to myself – wish I were here..
I have a ‘mindfulness bell’ app on my phone (the irony is not lost on me..). When it rings – I respond creatively in one way or another..
In this way, and in walking, reading, meditating or simply being I will pass my time at hut 136
I also have the essential kettle, stove and tea – so insert tea drinking at any given moment.
and there are many given moments
Weather unfolds inside and out and the fascination of watching the external extends to how I’m viewing the internal – it all moves through and past me – vivid and colour drenched one moment, dark and monochrome the next..
all in a days weather..
learning to be with whatever arises – and passes
Mindfulness practice is an act of compassion towards oneself and towards others. The point of mindful self-compassion is not to achieve a perfectly calm, relaxed state, but rather to receive the inevitable difficulties we find in ourselves and our world with humour, tenderness, and good will or kindness. Implicit in this quality of being is empathy. With empathy we become open to connection with others, with our environment –with this openness there is compassion.
‘This concept of kindness encompasses notions of compassion, social justice, neighbourliness and respect for others’ People United, Arts and Kindness
and speaking of neighbours, here is one of mine – hut repairing and thoughtfully reflecting..
It’s very beneficial (here),very soothing..one is at one with the earth, the sky and the sea – all the elements. Adrian (Hut 134)
Perhaps it is when we are at our most lost and confused, we are at our most receptive, open. We begin to see that in seeking security we can’t grasp onto anything
sky-filled mind generous
white-tipped and wide
Drama on Sky – better than any TV
unfolding across the wide horizon
a drama in several acts with stunning performances…
The natural state. Our moods change. Our lives change. Our feelings for each other change. Our bearings change. The song changes. The air changes. The temperature of the shower changes.
Accept this. We must accept this.
The Lover’s Dictionary: A Novel – David Levithan
Who are you?
are you? Whose
silence are you?
Who (be quiet)
are you (as these stones
are quiet). Do not
think of what you are
still less of
what you may one day be
be what you are (but who?)
be the unthinkable one
you do not know.
In Silence (extract)
and staying with not knowing…
this from one of my visitors – inspired by this poem (To That Which Is Most Important – Anna Swir) whilst spending time here
and so to my visitors and their reflections..
“the clouds are a mystery”
“the blue sky is the kindness and the stress and the narrowing down that people have in their lives – it’s like more and more cloud getting through and I think that’s why sometimes people are not kind – because they have lost connection with that natural state”
“one of the things I like about ensō (zen buddhist circle painting) is that connection between the mind and the body and the action, because it’s done in one breathe so how it comes out is how it is – you don’t go back and correct it. it’s a single action that represents a snapshot of how you are in connection with the environment in that moment..
in a way it’s a kind of ancient selfie..”
and So to enSō…
the mindful aspect of enso practice makes it a calming, meditative, stabilizing practice
focus on the centre
become a circle yourself
forget everything and paint
going round in circles with this..
43 words for Kindness
So…an opportunity to settle in, down, immerse myself in the ever changing, spaciousness of sea, sky, tea, reflection alone, with others, walkers, dogs, paddlers, swimmers, rowers, stillness, movement, wind, rain, darkness, light and always sea and sky. For now am present – it’s easy here – thoughts, ideas and emotions ebb and flow with tides each noted with lens or pen or something less tangible but noted all the same. Something does settles inside and there is more space in here to actually not think – to be, to consider, to be considerate – and in this way I arrive at kindness – conversations with myself and others are reflecting this like light. And now I am reminded of a Tibetan proverb that made it onto a postcard earlier in the week:
‘birds that live on a golden mountain reflect the colour of the gold’
KIndness as social alchemy.
and so Monday comes round to Monday once more – the circle is drawn and what can I say? Weathercrafted windswepthearted weatherwoman I am skyfilled cloud addicted emptied and full-filled
not least with gratitude
watch this space…
Wish I Were (still) Here………….
The beach is available for individuals and community groups to use. Please visit our Beach Hut page for more information.