Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Turning

This rich and hungry silence is what I have instead of what I had. The peak of the mountain wants to be more to me than it has been. It doesn’t seem so much a peak as part of something’s body, the body of God perhaps. I keep thinking I want to investigate this thinness that feels thrust upon me, this pruning, this narrowing down and paring away. Of course in some ways it is a richness too. It has spaces where things happen that don’t have a name yet. I will doubtless give them names, probably compound words like webtime or portalhunger or twilightsight.  Poplarsoul. Bearsong. As October begins I feel a turning. It always seems the most liminal of months to me, though I know months are a construct, like time. Its crepuscular denouement moves me and whispers to me. But now it’s just gotten started and the edge of fall is still warm. Its shoulder is just covered with a limning of leafshawl. It smells like loamy earth just turning cold at night. A little bit like rosemary drying into winter, crisp and full of itself but ready to be quiet and still soon. Mixing it up with thyme and fading sage next to the fallen bluebird house by the road.

Saturday’s winds were high and frisky. My mother disliked wind and sometimes I don’t like walking in it but mostly it comforts me when it gets together with the trees. My old gray cat used to play with the wind when it blew across the deck. It took me a couple of times seeing it to get that that’s what he was doing. He’d twirl and dance, trying to catch it in his paws like yarn or thread. I feel a little more alive in strong fall winds. A little more aware of the edge of things, of the delicacy of them and of how they sing when they break, like glass or the creaking throat of a bent branch.

Crickets have long since replaced the cicadas of summer. They’re shyer with their song. Last month a cicada got stuck in the glass door and clacked and buzzed much of the night. I tried to find it to set it free but I never could. The color of cicada song is a brassy goldenrod and that of crickets is auburn. I hear my own thoughts in how the crickets move their legs and wings. I hope to do that still when they stop, or maybe what I hear will lead me into some other way of knowing. Some other lingua franca, not sound but something else, like signing or the raised tininess of Braille. Just as tricky to learn perhaps. It will take me awhile to get it. Maybe I never really will; maybe my gestures and how I see the tug of shapes will always need refining. That threshold place is not new to me and I am comfortable with it. Its iterations shift shape like the colors of the horse in the Wizard of Oz but its soul is somehow familiar ground, a gentle pocosin of soft wet earth and hidden birds that fly up suddenly into sky, miraculous, wild, and free. 

©Laura Sorrells 2011
all rights reserved


  1. Stunningly beautiful personal essay. You have an ability, a skill, to organize the the stuff of being an earthling into an entirely new experience. It's not the shadows of images or shape of illusion but truly a special language from the edge of things.

  2. Thank you, Geo. That made my night. I wrote this pretty impulsively and it felt good. I haven't really been writing lately.

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  4. Your writing is incredible! The first paragraph reminds me how much of a connection you can find in nature, whether you seek it or not. And the vision of a cat dancing, playing in the wind makes me laugh: it's so visually descriptive. Your observations of the daily life around you is wonderful.
    I was enjoyed reading that you tried to find the cicada to set it free, rather than just to make the noise stop, displaying a keen understanding or respect for life.

  5. Thank you very much. Whether you seek it or not--yes, that can be true, and it reminds me to write about Tornado Sunday. I'm happy you liked this.

  6. Hi, I just came across your blog and found it really interesting. What a wonderful difference it makes to read a piece of work with real substance I really enjoyed it and would like to follow you if that's ok? You seem to have put a great deal of heart and soul into your work and it really is a pleasure to read.
    Myself I am actually a Mindfulness Therapist working with Co-Dependency so working from the heart really resonates with me. In fact I have just launched a therapeutic programme aimed at helping people rid themselves of co-dependent behaviors by using mindfulness immediately and long term. Anyway again I would like to say thank you for your informative work. Julie

  7. Sure, Julie, please do. Mindfulness is salvific for me on so many levels when I can practice it. do you work with DBT?

  8. That's beautiful... I've been wrestling with words to describe a sight the other morning, as the sun rose behind the wetlands... Fall, more than the others, is a time of drastic change.

  9. Ooh, yes! Please do write about the tornado! I look forwards to reading that post!

  10. Thank you! Soon!
    Fall is my favorite season, though I love them all. There's something almost unbearably poignant about it for me. Sage, where are the wetlands where you saw the sunrise?

  11. In Barry County, Michigan, around Cloverdale (Sage posting from his other blog)


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About Me

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Georgia, United States
I live at the edge of the forest in a little town in the north Georgia mountains. I teach sixth grade Language Arts and am writing a memoir of sorts about family, spirituality, and narrative. I am also exploring a possible writing project having to do with contemporary lay contemplative experience and how it might be informed by the Desert Fathers and Mothers of early Christianity. I am a relatively recent convert to Roman Catholicism and an admirer of Pope Francis, Leonardo Boff, Joan Chittister, and Richard Rohr. I'm a Lay Associate of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia. I am interested in indigenous cultures, narratives, and spirituality, especially how these can inform my spirituality as a lay contemplative. I write, read, take pictures, play around with creating ephemera from paper and cloth and other organic things. I cook, hike, watch wildlife, and collect random bits of interesting oddness, both tangible and abstract. I am a seer of smallness and a caretaker of ridiculous minutiae. If you want, e-mail me at riverrun67@gmail.com or lksorrells@hotmail.com.