Silence

“Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”

― Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching

You will find so much information on the net nowadays about how to push yourself out into the world; how to share, promote, increase your audience, etc. it seems to me as if you cannot ‘make it’ until the world reads your blog, sees your Instagram page or reads your Facebook posts. It can often be hard to see the way forward with all these people trying to grab your attention as soon as you go online.

It takes a lot of courage to move back into the world of silence and believe that one can still be heard. Now we are moving into the dark quarter of the year, with the Solstice approaching, I find the pull of night overwhelming.

leafless trees in misty autumn forest

I gather from many different sources, melding and mixing my inspiration and letting it simmer in a cauldron of musings, dreams and inner reflections. It is then allowed to resurface in any way it desires; this is primarily through my work – communing with the non-human world but it shows up in daily life too; cooking, walking, talking with my daughters, discussing politics with my husband, sleeping. This only comes about in what I call ‘silence’. What I mean by this is a ‘holding of space’ and going deep. We can bask for a long time in the sun but no real work will get done until we turn our back on this outward movement and step back into the shadows.

It means listening to the earth, the wind in the trees, the rush of the river and the emptiness of the sky; paying attention to the spaces between words, to secret things, to the spell-craft of the world. This cannot happen online, through being showy, through constant chatter and brain-action. It only happens when we invite the small animals inside us, who have been waiting for a long time, to appear.

Staying silent and listening is something that I have a great desire for even though I have an online presence here on this blog. On one level my ego tells me to push myself out there, on another level, I understand that is the last thing I want or need to do.

When I lie on Mother Earth, when I am still and silent, I understand how all this works. When I listen to Mother Earth everything makes sense. When I let Her speak, I understand there is nothing more urgent than work like this; nothing more vital than sitting and listening to all those things who cannot talk.

As I build my business and become more visible, I face a great dilemma; my work is all about depth, about exploring hidden lands beneath my feet and this work doesn’t take easily to being exposed on Facebook or Instagram. I can tell people I am here but my work is something only silence will reveal.

It has been a delicate process designing, writing and publishing a website, showing my face on Facebook, stepping forward slowly and carefully so as to not let the animal get stunned in the headlights. So far, it has taken me five months just to put a few pages together here. A lot has gone in and then the majority of it has been taken out again, remaining close but not visible to anyone else but me.

I feel like the woman who lives at the edge of the village, just past the last house, with her quiet herbs and spells, whom folk may visit when they need a cure for a wart or a love potion ~ a little bit harder to do on the world wide web but here I wait anyway.

The website is near to completion, and yet it will always be growing. Nothing that has this much life will ever stay static for long. My friends are already telling me that they are finding themselves stuck down rabbit holes and falling into places they have no idea how to get out of. Others are telling me they cannot find pages they visited a while ago. It seems a little more magical than I had expected, more shifting. I like that. So much so, that I am creating more burrows to fall into and little puzzlements hidden deep inside these pages only intrepid explorers will find.

Silence helps in this precious work. Those who know do not speak, those who speak do not know. We are moving towards the dark point of the year and I shall say no more.