Tag Archives: nature

Searching in the age of the internet 

Last night I sat opposite my therapist lamenting the days where I used ‘in-between time’, creatively. Where I used space in a way that saw me

…making jewellery my mum still affectionately wears

…painting images from thin air

…composing symphonies I’d try to articulate on the family piano

…reading in a way I’d miss outside sounds, too deeply immersed in the world I was creating between words.

Lately I’ve been desperately searching for ‘next’ meaning. I say next because I have had purpose before; but at 37 I am ready for something new. I am hungry.

Where I have turned to craft for searching in the past I now turn, like so many, to the internet. Sometimes two devices at a time. The internet is, after all, for searching isn’t it?

But for the first time in my life I’m not finding any solutions.

In the age where we have an overwhelming amount of sources to seek ‘answers’, this seems an almost impossibility. But never have I felt more incapable, more unsure and more anxious.

Hearing writer Mark Manson talk a couple of months ago at the Melbourne Town Hall I was reminded about the stress choice puts on our brain. Manson talked about experiments done …with cereal boxes.

Two cereal boxes. No stress. Ten cereal boxes. Anxiety.

Where it is considered ‘lucky’ if you are in the privileged position of having choice, our brains, in contrast, feel great pressure; and so when I turn to google for an answer say to a ‘next job’ question, I suddenly find myself with twenty tabs open that might stretch from ‘next job’ to …next travel opportunity, next retail therapy adrenaline rush, next social exorcism, and finally, next movie on Netflix.

Today I’m wondering…

What did I find without a phone? Without a laptop? Without the internet?

Sometimes, more questions.

Sometimes, deeper ones.

Sometimes

great knowing.

This ‘knowing’ wasn’t necessarily an answer in the way that we regard ‘answers’ in 2017. It wasn’t an immediate fix (in the form of a momentary high), a presumption that everything is black or white or that success would be born of it in a way that would see me known and recognised by many.

It was that ‘elemental’ feeling. The one Sir Ken Robinson talks about. Where I am in something that is intrinsically me. In and being and doing. Creating.

And there was simultaneous peace in that experience and great energy.

And that energy …used to carry me over into the ‘next thing’.

In my mind now I am trying to cultivate that feeling so I can investigate it more. I can sense that it’s about being present, about listening and about commitment. To one thing. Not twenty tabs.

In Krista Tippet’s ‘On Being’ podcast , where she interviews philosopher and poet John O’Donahue, she asks

‘…are we less capable of love and commitment and relationship in a mature sense, in our time than previous generations were? Or is this just a human dilemma that has different details in our time?

MR. O’DONOHUE: That’s a very interesting question. I don’t think we’re less capable at all. I think we’re more unpracticed at it and therefore more desperate for it. And I think it’s a matter of attention really, just attention.

In doing one thing I am attending to it. I am committed to it but not in a way that word seems to strike fear into the souls of many these days (those swiping left and right on Tinder, buying the next phone when there’s nothing wrong with the old one)… but intimately devoting myself to it, so I know it, so I am faithful to it.

I laugh here because I wonder if I too need to explain what I mean by faithful here. I certainly don’t mean to conjure up any notion of religion. I mean to imply –  ‘true’ – in an affectionate way, and in a way that doesn’t require any effort or sense of obligation.

In looking into the etymology of the word attention I find that it stems from the late 14th century meaning ‘ a giving heed, active direction of the mind upon some object or topic’. It is the ‘giving’ and ‘active’ part I am so deeply excited by. Bubbling thinking to the words I used earlier – ‘energy’ and ‘peace’. For giving, hands over something. An exhalation. A kneeling. Peace.

And ‘active’ implies action. Doing something. Creating. Which of course we need and use energy to do.

So answers can be found in the space between letting go and creativity. Between emptiness and fullness. The space I think here is the important part as our brains can have some time to file here. To see if an answer can be created from all the information we already have at our disposal. Information that is personal to us – information gathered by our own personal histories, our own experience.

Online answers should perhaps only be looked for after one has spent time and space with oneself. When one has found personal knowing in intimacy.

This moment, in intimacy, I found that I need a long walk in nature.

without my phone.

 

By Kate Ellis.

 

Kate Ellis is a Writer, Poet, Drama Coach for television and film actors and a poetry, drama and literacy teacher to primary and secondary school students at a progressive independent Primary and Secondary school in Victoria’s Eastern Suburbs. Residing in Melbourne but working across Australia, Kate has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Media and Sociology (UNSW), a Performance degree (Nepean) and a Masters in Education (University of Melbourne).

www.kateelliscoaching.com

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pearl 

I wish I did not write about love. 

I wish I had not let them brand me. 

If I am on the market 

How will people know if this subject 

is the only way I’m in print?
I wish I did not write about nature

Specifically how it makes my ovaries blossom. 

If I am only fertile these few more years

All ready engraved in pollen 

How will anything other than sticky stamen penetrate? 
I wish I did not write about Venus. 

She gives away my distance, timing and rotation. 

If I am not pulled by internet routers 

Rather

Turned out from churning oceans

Pearl soaked

How will I find connection? 
I wish I did not write about you. 

You 

who have folded language over in the mouth so it

Curses in hisses of spit and sputum. 

If I am to share saliva again

How can I turn my tongue over? 
I wish I had not written.

Pen and paper has given me away. 

Perhaps though in ink 

You could endorse this woman’s indentations. 

I am simply blotched 

Stamped 

Bleeding about the page like the rest of you. 
Press me to your adjoining pages 

I will etch in so you read me well. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Refuge 

Come in.

Lay your body down.

This place

it is

a refuge.

You.

Warrior

…with your armor up

…and your iron eyes

…and your stiffened lips

Unfurl your hair

let it avalanche down your steel shoulders

and flush cheek bone

and breast.

 

Come in.

Lay your body down.

This place

it is

a refuge.

Tell me your stories

Let your tongue tease out the learning

Your muscles ease out the burning

and your heart

so swollen

…let it leech out for awhile.

 

Give. me. your. lungs. warrior.

A baby would know what to do under such circumstances.

I am giving you permission to do the same.

Make your mournful sounds.

You have not forgotten how

only pretended.

 

Give. me. your. salt. warrior.

Your lacrimation will be a final desalination

Through pores

excrete what your body can no longer contain.

I will gather the delicate crystalline in my palms

and with index finger and thumb

we will use it to season

what. comes. next.

 

Come in.

Lay your body down.

Dear warrior

This place

it is

your refuge.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Once upon a time in New Zeal-and…

 

 

Toki


My lips have been pinched by crisp New Zealand mists

And I long to be a seal bathing in voluminous vats of leathery seaweed

In an ocean that matches my heart in bitterness and storm.

The eagle whose eye is on me as I wind along the coast line

drifts with the same wind that curls my hair.

‘I’ve gone wild’ I say.

‘My travelling woman…’ he says.

‘Yes you have.

Toki.

Yes you can’.



My Army of Me.


Calling moon.

Calling gargantua boulder.

Calling brittle pine

smooth pebble and feather find.

Calling padded barefoot wildling

Calling winter and spring

Calling surface of the sea from the abyss

mountain crevices and caves

sticky stamen and hungry bee.

Calling earths name- Mother, Sister –

Stand around me

Walk with me

Breathe with me

Dance with me.

(Army of me)

Unite with me.

I know no other that understands the sharpening of teeth and the flexing of claws

The whirling circular effervescence

The erratic yet.con.stant.beat.

The watershed, the eruption and the soft kneeling

The yesteryear

The now

And the hope for a better tomorrow.

I am sore and I am weary.

But I am also hungry

Feed me. My gut is desiring.

My legs,

open.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Out. wondering for treasures

‘When you go out into your world tomorrow, choose a piece of it to really look at. …There will be nowhere out there in the universe that is the same’. Brian Cox. Wonders of life.

This one is ode to kids and like minded adults who pick up sticks.

Yesterday I watched as a grandfather came into a cafe with his two grandchildren, one who carried a stick. Not just any stick mind you, but the longest stick you’ve ever seen.

The boy was perched atop his grandfathers shoulders, a mighty king armed with sword that was, rather hilariously  (erhm, I mean ferociously) thwacking people as they passed. No one seemed to mind though, many in fact giggled (erhm, I mean cowered in the shadow of this great king!).

As they passed me I wondered what the child, as much as every adult in that room, would think if I told them about my stick collection? My house is full of bottles wielding twigs, branches from trees, feathers, dried flowers and pods; and bowls of pebbles can be found on benches, beside the televisions and books. Even the dashboard of my brand new car that boasts talking technology I can’t ever fathom I’ll use, has been described as a terrarium.

I can honestly add to this that one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given was a ‘found object’, a white rock from a mountain in New Zealand that my best friend gave me on her return. It was free, it was found in the dirt, but also from ‘another world’ that my friend had adventured through. This small piece of ‘other’ now sits on one of said benches in my home and it is a gift I still marvel at, as wide-eyed as a child in the throws of wonderment. Did I mention I was 33 years old?

Found treasures are indeed the greatest of simple pleasures because they are simply that – found, unexpected, on the path of your journey. Whether an overseas adventure or simply your daily walk to work, the surprise you feel when you come upon a treasure (or perhaps when it comes upon you…) can catapult you into a state of what David Byrne describes as ‘time delay fireworks’. Further to this, connecting with the object, seeing and choosing it beyond and amongst anything else on your path, the object becomes imbued with life. The stick does indeed become a sword.

My pebbles for instance, the particular ones I come across that fill me with delight, are always smooth, round and heavy. The simultaneous weight and softness of my little treasures ground me, sink me into a body, my body, that is sometimes caught in the throws of a busy day.

My feathers? A lightness of being when I feel a little ‘weighed down’ and a sense of possibility, of what’s out there if I take flight.

The pods? God damn they’re sexy. Each one of them a cavern of hidden wonders ready to birth. I connect immediately to the most womanly parts of myself here (and maybe keep my eyes open at the same time for a man wielding a stick. Erhm).

The gnarled twigs and sticks are my favorite though. There is something in the way they reach up and out, clumsily, that I love. Trying they are to grow, to stick (if you pardon the pun) their feelers out into the world, but they just look so awkward doing it, particularly in winter, bare and vulnerable, that I am reminded of how clumsy I can be tripping about my day and how we are all a little awkward in our process of growth.

The personalities or life I give these treasures aside, each one of course also becomes a memento of the adventure I’ve been on. The  treasure proves to myself and others that I went out into the world and still lived to tell the tale.

Watching Brian Cox’s ‘Wonders of Life’ last night and considering the fact that it is often things born of nature that bring me the most pleasure, the greatest sense of wonderment when I come upon them, I’m reminded how little pleasure things I’ve bought on overseas or daily adventures have brought me, how quickly their shine fades.

The intricacies and complexities of earths designs however never seem to lose there shine. Even though we now know so much now about our planet and even a little beyond, awe and wonder can still be inspired if we indeed look at the environment we traverse through on a daily basis with the knowledge that people like Brian Cox impart.

When you consider that not one part of the earth you travel through daily, not one natural treasure you might see or gather along the way, is the same, your ‘everyday’ becomes a lot more spectacular and the earth the most wonder-full of playgrounds.

I can’t not get a little excited by this thought. A sort of puppy-like energy takes over. But a word of caution here though: don’t ever try and put me on a leash if you see me in this state, don’t hold me back when I go to sniff out these treasures.  I’ll tell you why.

The intricacies and design of nature that inspire the sense of wonderment in me, that gives me that puppy like energy some people feel so ready to deflect or squash, is actually what gives me fuel. On days I’ve found hard to get out of bed, it’s always been a beautiful sunrise that’s breathed energy into my body. Outside in the world some days falling over, those poor branches lying broken on the ground have made me laugh; and those pods tickle in me a desire for new life when I may need it. These things inspire wonderment in me and that wonder inspires me to keep adventuring, to keep looking and keep marveling at the honor and privilege I have being on this planet.

Wonder. Meant …that any battle can be fought when there’s a stick lying around.

x Kate

Ps. Wasn’t lying. Welcome to my home …a land of treasures. And check out the photography of Karl Blossfeldt. He knew to wonder at natural treasures : )

558671_10151184099270379_1059993878_n553345_10151461392380379_1483267480_n401777_10150978947835379_513173735_n

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized