SLOW DOWN TO SPEED UP: THE ART OF CONTEMPLATIVE CONTENT
Day 22, 31-day #singmyself challenge. Inspired by my courageous, gifted, soulful clients, by the glorious green of Austin, + by fireflies!
Also by this line from poet Walt Whitman: “I celebrate myself, and sing myself.” “You’re a dirty girl,” says my father with a squinched, disgusted face, “there’s a ring around the bathtub — your crazy mother can’t even keep you clean,” while I, six years old, wrapped in a purple towel, trace the figure 8, over and over, into the glass tabletop, over and over, looping my fingers, looping, looping. Holding my breath. A fishgirl, gasping for air in the warm bath water. Hot shame closes my throat. Pricking, stinging words pelt scrubbed skin, bore into the soft child mind. Etch shame onto brain tissue.
Ancient poisons. Painful misapprehensions. I didn’t know about prayer then. Nor peace. Instead of slowing time, expanding into the eternal on the wings of breath — I suspended the clock. Traced figure eights. Held my breath. Shut down my story, my voice. Swallowed the truth. Never said, “Dad, it was dead skin, dry skin, not dirt.” Died inside.
Slow down. Make space + time to contemplate. Inside you is a Cathedral waiting to be born! See the stained glass windows? The spire? In this swoop, inside the intelligence of the pause — you can unwind the tapestries of trauma from your walls. Wipe them gleaming clean. Be ever tender.
Here by the creek, one of the beautiful, brave people who attended the Completion Lab retreat last week, bows her head. Breathes. Enters the corridor of the past. Her own private pains + loops. This time, though, with a mature wisdom + grace, a new paintbrush. “Restauro” they call it in Italian. Restoration. When we dare to revisit our memories, when we reimagine what was so we can rewrite, repaint, restore — then when we gain fresh insights. New life. The loops unravel. We step into joy. The cooling creek waters wind tenderly around sun-warmed ankles, + we sing.
Instagram is intimate. Each post a kind of image + word shrine. Bound by brevity. The distillation + urgency of prayer. A quiet space in which to breathe. Where you are Seen.