The more relaxing thing

Growth is not measured in the present moment

It is always by looking back, seeing the difference

Between there and here, that we are able to take a bearing

Growth is not linear, it is not lateral

It is perhaps more accurately, a series of curves that only a certain spatial awareness gained from standing within the midst, allows the formation of a picture of the things that came before which no longer serve us in this moment

Crumple the map

Abandon the stars

Incinerate the books

It is a haze of words with no finite meaning

And that is perhaps more meaningful in itself, then any of these posthumous things

Our relationship to people, places, substances is, with time and circumstance, simply changed irreversibly

Our consciousness no longer fits happily into the places we have outlasted

Instead our spirit has moved on to inhabit new spaces, even whilst retaining the muscle memory of those things which hurt us

And some shrink from all of that and cling to seemingly safer tree trunks instead

Swinging like monkeys

Focusing on the next branch and the next

But the forest is so dense and so large and it is easy lose our purpose

Yet we doggedly keep swinging along and thinking it’s worth it

Life is a continuum of shrinking and expanding and changing

Growth is a popularised term but it doesn’t describe the process clearly

The spirit is restless, it moves and we move with it

But it is not all growth

Much of our time is spent flinching away from the things that hurt us

Which means

Without suffering, there is no actual growth

And I lean into this idea more as I age and become increasingly more forgiving of my younger self. Yes, she was certainly often throwing herself at things that burn

But she bought me to this more peaceful place with her scorched finger tips and skin torched palms

She cradled me gently after all, and I can do no more than return the favour

To turn to look ahead is peering into smoke

My path has never been clear

It used to bother me so much

I wished for permanent ideals and goals on which to hang myself

Oscar Wilde once wrote on the terrible result of getting exactly what we want

For how do we really know what we truly want when “I” is a constantly evolving beast?

The I whom I was ten or twenty years ago is so very different to who I am now

Because of the I whom I was through the middle of that time, and continue to turn into

I

I

I

Who?

And too much preoccupation with the subject matter is as harmful as too little

To know neither and nothing for sure and instead to just breathe all of it in

And out

To stop the endless pointless swinging

Is surely a better and more relaxing thing

But it won’t help you grow

And growth does not walk hand in hand with age either

Ageing is not necessarily growth and some of the most immature people I have crossed paths with, also have many wrinkles

Growth is suffering, growth is exposure, growth is moving towards the things which make us flinch, perhaps even terrify our hearts

And when that particular experience is over

We have changed and can start looking again for that thing, which helps us grow

*Some are seekers of self knowledge, some aren’t. Some people are as reflective as a dark pool of spilled black paint on a moonless night – and yet they still change, and dare I say it (because I am damn sick of the word) grow. Almost despite their lack of attention to it, and more than likely because of it. And then there are the insufferably arrogant, who have never suffered a moment of self enquire in their lives.

But, if you get me you get me, enough said.

😉

Header photo mine, standing on the boardwalk watching board riders on a winters afternoon. The waves were perfectly well behaved, rolling as gently and on cue,as a well loved family pet.

14 thoughts on “The more relaxing thing

  1. Loved reading this!! I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Who was I and who am I now? I really love your flow of words and how you made it all meld together. Some food for thought for sure!

    • Thankyou Leona, it was a flow, a flow of consciousness that I tuned into. My poetry is often a result of that, more like listening then writing, and when I have nothing to listen to within, I fall silent for awhile until my creative innards return.

  2. Kate, what a beautiful poetic reflection on personal growth! So true when you say: “Life is a continuum of shrinking and expanding and changing / […] Growth is suffering, growth is exposure, growth is moving towards the things which make us flinch, perhaps even terrify our hearts.” Thank you.

    • I just read it there – thank you for sharing the words Rosaliene, it’s why we write and share our poetry or thoughts – the best reaction anyone can receive is that of our words resonating and touching another person. We are all connected, have a lovely day X

  3. “Ageing is not necessarily growth and some of the most immature people I have crossed paths with, also have many wrinkles
    Growth is suffering, growth is exposure, growth is moving towards the things which make us flinch, perhaps even terrify our hearts”…..outstanding! I get you. Your words flow beautifully, Kate. I feel the gentle intensity and purpose in this message. It’s a self-revelation. 💛What an amazing journey of growth. 💕❤️ xoxoxo

Leave a Reply to Athousandbitsofpaper Cancel reply