Monday, May 14, 2012

a shared seeing

I can’t quite see the mountain from where I am. Tall trees obscure its tip. A collar of pink clouds rises up from just above it. I am reminded of last October when I wrote about the shedding of old skin and the emptiness that follows. That skin has continued to fall away, mostly, with patches of reclamation here and there. There is loneliness in it but beauty too. A paradox, as ever. I have a little outdoor altar here, with a fading illustration of an artsy greeting-card rabbit amidst a little silver crucifix and a swathe of bright green flowered fabric. Shells and feathers are settling into the damp fabric after today’s rain. A tall spike of some kind of volunteer bulb spreads out across the glass table towards the forest. I light a tall white glass pillar candle and a glass pillar candle with an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe on it, both brought in with dry wicks from my hearth. A whippoorwhill calls in the woods and I remember that I actually seem to have heard cicadas out at a friend’s horse rescue farm the other night. Seems improbable in May but it sure sounded like cicadas to me.
That night was one of connection, understanding, and conversation offered and shared with tremendous warmth and sincerity. I sat on a log beside a campfire with two people who had heretofore been strangers and talked about my spiritual journey and listened to them talk about theirs. We all believe in paying attention to synchronicity, and we talked about that. We laughed at our own misadventures and at the beautiful incongruities of being human. We talked about sacrifice and how we watch it happen and how some people seem to choose it, to take on the pain of others in a deliberate way, a profoundly unselfish and loving thing that is impossible to explain in words. It sounds trite. Unless you have seen it, it can sound maudlin and empty, platitudinous. But it is not. And I honor it in my heart every day. I know it when I feel it, more than when I see it. It is a palpable energy, a largesse of soul that I do not understand or even envy at this point but which I revere and am grateful for. It felt good to be able to say these things and have them be understood.
And we laughed and ate pizza and they drank a little beer. Finally it began to rain, and as the sweet early-summer smell of grass and hay began to saturate my senses I gathered up my camera and my old serape and the peacock feather one of my new friends had given me and headed home. 

--©Laura Sorrells 2012
all rights reserved


  1. Love visions you draw with words... The Southern Appalachians in summer are so lush, only occasionally do you get a glimpse of the mountains around you.

  2. They are lush, for sure. Thank you for the compliment.


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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 or