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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reigniting the spirit

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Inge and I are away at the lake with our books and writing tablets, tucked in under the rickrack of oak leaves outside. Indoors, surrounded by knotty pine, we're reading, writing and talking by the fire. Each fall and spring we escape after work for a weekend at my family’s cottage where it seems that within minutes of arriving our spirits are relit.

We quietly watch logs in the fireplace, like our souls: steady, certain, whole. Strike a match, light kindling, and flames cup and curl around them, like our spirits, which must be fed by some fuel. Without time in solitude, away from pressing routines, even for a few minutes a day in my red chair at home, my spirit lags. I must locate my soul, hidden in the thick maze of this chaotic life. I must hold her face in my hands. I remember, then, what it is I want. This is not narcissistic hedonism, but a force divine and true that guides me in calibrating my steps through this hectic and crazy-making world.

I will catch up with you in a couple of days.




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62 comments:

erin said...

I must locate my soul, hidden in the thick maze of this chaotic life. I must hold her face in my hands.

i must do this daily. and no, this is not about ego or narcissism, this is about being present and whole. i hear you and understand you. it is almost like drawing up a chair beside the self and patting our own knee, sitting back and not necessarily speaking at all.

you two have an incredible time))) i do not believe you need me to say this.)

xo
erin

Louise Gallagher said...

Ah, soul space opening up to relieve chaos. I too feel this need and must release myself from obligation every so often to reconnect to what is true and caring and loving of me to that I can be true and caring and loving in the world around me.

Enjoy your time. Your freindship. Your retreat.

Namaste.

Elisabeth said...

Take your time, Ruth, during this precious time. And thank you for sharing some of its immediate impact. I hope more will follow.

ellen abbott said...

Quiet solitude, comfortable companionship, walking in beauty. Enjoy.

California Girl said...

Enjoy your time. Books and writing tablets & a fire in the FP sounds like heaven to me.

steven said...

ruth! the arc and trajectory of the lines in the top photograph are stories that underscore the telling of this, your own story - the stepping back and the welcoming of the return of your self. steven

Barb said...

Looks so inviting there - a place to refuel the spirit.

Grandmother said...

I love the image of you holding the face of your soul in your hands saying: welcome. Good for you for taking time to do that.

JeannetteLS said...

Essential time that too many never get, or do not realize they need. I am so glad you both have such a place. It brings me back to "my lake." (Other people may claim the lake, but it's actually MINE.)

Your words and photographs tell it all so beautifully. May you and your soul have a wonderful reunion.

rosaria said...

Take that time.
Your soul is awaiting.

Nelson said...

R & R:

I see refraction & reflection in the second image - did you take that pic through the LR doors from the porch side?

Do our souls refract as well as they reflect?

Do enjoy the rest of your R & R!

Miss Jane said...

I really enjoyed the picture of the ear of corn, peaking out from the maze of parchmenting stalks.
Be well~

Sandy said...

It must feel wonderful to get away there - I can almost smell the smoke from a fire and the fresh crisp air.

The Solitary Walker said...

I identify with this need. Necessity, not selfishness. Relish your soul-time. Enjoy.

VioletSky said...

ahhhhhh.....

George said...

I know that you and Inge will be having a wonderful weekend, Ruth. For a brief moment at least, the two of you have found what Eliot called "the still point of a turning world." Peace and good wishes to both of you.

Pat said...

Sounds divine!

amy@ Souldipper said...

Mmmmm...yum. How to keep priorities.

hedgewitch said...

Solitude, peace, nature--it heals, and with friendship, companionship and a roaring fire, you are as close to paradise as this earth can bring, I think. The photographs look like they are taken from there anyway. Thanks for generously sharing this time with all of us who need a little of that stuff.

Allison said...

wonder-full!

Oh said...

Stopping here was a "re-ignite" for me in and of itself.

lovely.

Jeanie said...

I love this post! Everyone needs an Inge with whom we can simply revel in mutual interests, cozy up to nature and enjoy all that is there, and simply mellow in good conversations, books, joy.

I've been blog visiting absent, too -- on the road, lots else. So, I'm doing a little catching up here!

Enjoy!

Mimmu said...

This is what I totally understand! I will be a moment with you there by looking at our foggy lake from the cottage`s veranda in the middle of forests.
And I feel peace of mind.

Kanelstrand said...

I think I can smell the solitude you are enjoying. And you have "smoke on the water" which adds a lot to the atmosphere. Lovely!

Ruth said...

erin, I came from an upbringing in which loving another was more important and preferable than loving oneself. Now I believe you don't really have much to offer another without watering your own garden.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Louise. It is in everyone's interest if we care for ourselves. We are better friends, parents, spouses when we are whole.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Elisabeth. Whatever follows will be, in part, a result of having this time away, even if I don't write about it directly, which I may, I don't know.

Ruth said...

Thanks a lot, Ellen. Inge and I counted our blessings all weekend.

Ruth said...

Thanks, California Girl. Believe me, we recognized heaven when we experienced it.

Ruth said...

steven, a time of reflection, and yes, the morning scene felt just right in that lake and sky. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Barb, Hukilau, our cottage, is a healing place; you feel it as soon as you get out of your car.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Mary. It's nice now that Inge and I don't even make the choice to do this or not, it just is on our calendar.

Ruth said...

JeanetteLS, thank you for your affirmation.

Your own lake?? Incredible!

Ruth said...

rosaria, how patient they are, our souls, aren't they?

Ruth said...

Thank you, Nelson. Yes, the shot is from the porch through the French doors into the LR. I like your question about the soul Refracting and Reflecting, and the new designations for R & R. :-)

Ruth said...

Thanks, MJ. I think you would have been as maisemerized with the corn field as we were. I couldn't stop creating new photos from different angles. The colors were subtle and rich.

Ruth said...

Hello, Sandy! This is the time of year I love driving home from work in the evening and smelling the wood smoke in the air.

Ruth said...

Thanks a lot, Robert. Our days were punctuated with "Aren't we lucky?"

Ruth said...

Violetski, care for a row around the lake?

Ruth said...

George, thank you for understanding the pivotal time Inge and I set aside and for wishing us well. We did feel deep peace, synchronicity and serendipity.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Pat, it was almost too good to be true!

Ruth said...

Amy, we are so grateful for these times, and I also feel they are essential.

Ruth said...

Hedge, thank you for understanding, for recognizing the abundance of what those hours meant to us. I hope you will get some of your own, as you are able.

Ruth said...

Allison, yes, simply so. Thank you.

Ruth said...

How lovely, Oh, I'm oh so glad.

Ruth said...

Jeanie, Everyone needs an Inge, no truer words were ever said. We are constantly dumbfounded that we continue to share our lives in tandem eight years running.

It's great to see you, and I look forward to catching up on you too.

Ruth said...

Mimmu, I have seen so many sunrises and sunsets like this at your lake from here, and I know your "office" on the deck is heaven under the trees for you.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Sonya. Most mornings in October open in this mist, and I almost missed it yesterday, but thankfully I got down there and felt the magic.

freefalling said...

If I close my eyes, I'm there.

Arti said...

"This is not narcissistic hedonism..." This is the essence of life. Stripped of schedules and busyness, what do we have left? You're so fortunate and blessed Ruth to have someone to explore and experience with you the essence of being, of communion with nature and creation. It is a true blessing indeed to have a writing and reading companion. I wish you and Inge all the best in your hiatus.

Oliag said...

Wonderful to have this precious time with a precious friend....

ds said...

Ahhh. Replenish and refresh. Good for you (all senses)!

Peter said...

How nice to have a place like that to return to, now and then!

Ruth said...

Letty, through our worm hole, yes.

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Arti. It was wonderfully perfect, and very much appreciated.

Ruth said...

Yes, thank you, Oliag. Such a luxury.

Ruth said...

ds, how did you know? We ate well too. :-) Don made Korean bulgogi for us to take, and wow, was that amazing!

Ruth said...

Oui, Peter! A nearby retreat that beckons to us, and we listen!

Brendan said...

You are so fortunate to have a rural retreat like this ... it's hard to hear the deeper, quieter voices without this sort of solitude. Everything looks beautiful. Looking forward to reading what sang forth. - Brendan

Ruth said...

Brendan, it is a heavenly haven of rest, healing to the bone and soul. I didn't do any new writing on the weekend, but I'll report soon . . .

Thanks a bunch.

Shari Sunday said...

I loved this, especially the picture of the interior of the cabin. What a beautiful place and how wise of you to give yourself that peaceful time.

Ginnie said...

This is my favorite time of the year at the cottage, Ruth. I would go there now every year if I could. You are doing it in my stead, so thank you for showing it to me...again.