Senses of Stillness - a Meditation

Senses of Stillness - a Meditation

I’ve noticed lately in my life that I am thirsty for thoughts. I listen to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts and music. I’m curious to know about what other people are thinking and learning. Since moving to New York, I find myself on the subway or walking places more often than my past life and it feels like a good moment to learn something interesting. In some ways I have found new spaces in my life to “read” as I chew on a book while I walk home after work. In other ways though I have felt my life been unnecessarily saturated. My mind often feels like a glass too full of water - like when you try to carry it from the faucet to the table a little too fast, trying to sip and walk at the same time as the water splashes out.

The other day I got home and was by myself and made a sandwich and some soup for an early dinner. I started to listen to an episode of The Daily and was about ten minutes in when I could feel my body clenched. I took note of it and realized I had been sitting there and hadn’t truly seen what I was seeing out the window, I more kind of just glazed over. All my senses actually felt glazed over. Granted, this was also because my blood sugar was low and I needed food, but it was also I realized because my body was hungry for stillness. I turned off the podcast and ate my meal in silence, drinking in the broth and the cloudy visuals out my third story window, attempting to let my senses be revived by a quiet moment.

So as a side dish to that meal, here’s a poem:

Senses of Stillness

The sounds of :::
the spoon on the edge of the bowl, musical like a chime
my own clothing rustles against itself and the back of the chair
the tap of the ivy vine loose against our window in the wind

The sight of :::
the growing pile of fir trees on the sidewalk - the remnants of Christmas
the afternoon light - gone from all but the uppermost tips of the buildings, like shadowed candles
the silhouettes of branches against a clouded sky - the bones of last season

The taste of :::
bread crumbs with salted butter
steaming soup with celery and onion
clean water from that too full glass

The smell of :::
eucalyptus in a glass jar on our kitchen table
balsam fir creeping through the cracked window on a breeze
fresh lemon, fragrant on my hand

The touch of :::
fabric against my chest as I take deep breaths
my feet against our wool rug, thick and coarse
the beeswax candle held in my palm, the heat rising to my face

May you turn off the music for a second and allow quiet to enter your mind, slow down with that cup of water spilling over you’ve been carrying, sit down, and take a long sip. May stillness be known to you today

Here are a few selected photos of stillness I experienced this week:


First snow I’ve seen fall in New York, so I wrote this on my way to write the meditation

Ode to Mary Oliver

Ode to Mary Oliver

The Dreams of Trees - A Meditation (Part 2)

The Dreams of Trees - A Meditation (Part 2)