A Nested Story: Transformative Healing

The following article was recently published in Psychologica Magazine’s special edition on Trauma.  I’ve included a link to the full magazine, lots of great articles on trauma treatments, both from a clinical perspective as well as personal.  Hope you might find something that resonates.

http://www.oaccpp.ca/assets/Psychologica%20Vol.%2041%20Final%20(DIGITAL)%20compressed.pdf
Trauma and Art Therapy Article copy (dragged)Trauma and Art Therapy Article copy (dragged) 1

time wasted

IMG_5111.jpg

“One only understands the things one tames,” the fox teaches.  In order to tame, one must be “very patient.”

First you will sit down at a little distance from me-like that- in the grass.  I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing.  Words are the source of misunderstandings.  But you will sit a little closer to me every day.

The fox asks the Little Prince to “tame” him, explaining that this means to establish ties. But even more than that, taming, will transform their relationship into something special, making the other unique in all the world. Then different things will remind them of each other, seeing  each other in other things, reflections reflected, a kaleidoscope of connections.

The fox then advises the Little Prince to observe “rites” that come at the same time everyday, these are the rituals that the Little Prince performs as markers of time; the days, the hours and the minutes that make each day distinct yet familiar.

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

from Mary Watkins,

Waking Dreams, Spring Publications Inc. 1984

and of course:

de Saint-Exupéry, A., Cummins, R., & Scoular, J. (1999). The little prince. Dramatic Publishing.

 

when there are no words

when there are no words

silent spaces…pause between words…shaping time…making art.

There is the sudden silence of the crowd
above a player not moving on the field,
and the silence of the orchid.

The silence of the falling vase
before it strikes the floor,
the silence of the belt when it is not striking the child.

The stillness of the cup and the water in it,
the silence of the moon
and the quiet of the day far from the roar of the sun.

The silence when I hold you to my chest,
the silence of the window above us,
and the silence when you rise and turn away.

And there is the silence of this morning
which I have broken with my pen,
a silence that had piled up all night

like snow falling in the darkness of the house—
the silence before I wrote a word
and the poorer silence now.

Billy Collins (2007).
The trouble with poetry: And other poems. Random House Trade Paperbacks.

how wings work

the firsWhen I returned from so many journeys,

I stayed suspended and green

between sun and geography –

I saw how wings worked,

how perfumes are transmitted

by feathery telegraph,

and from above I saw the path,

the springs and the roof tiles,

the fishermen at their trades,

the trousers of the foam;

I saw it all from my green sky.

I had no more alphabet

than the swallows in their courses,

the tiny, shining water

of the small bird on fire

which dances out of the pollen.

by Pablo Neruda, from Fully Empowered, 1962

translated from the Spanish by Alastair Reid

tree of life

collage illustrationOur modern and hectic daily life

is usually far removed

from the cycles and forces

of the natural world

and it can often seem empty

of any real purpose.

The ash is a key to healing the loneliness

of the human spirit

out of touch

with its origins

it can provide a sense of being grounded

and of belonging.

The ash reminded the Celts of the interlinking

of the Three Cycles of Being.

Likewise we are encouraged to consider

the role of the past in creating the present,

so that we can better appreciate

the many ways

in which positive thought and action today

can help to create a brighter tomorrow.

Through a constant process

of balancing and marrying opposites,

we, like the ash,

can achieve harmony

within ourselves.

from The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford

 

to be like a tree

collage

“When you go out into the woods

and you look at trees

you see all these different trees.

And some of them are bent,

and some of them are straight,

and some of them are evergreens,

and some of them are whatever.

And you look at the tree

and you allow it.

You see why it is the way it is.

You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light,

and so it turned that way.

And you don’t get all emotional about it.

You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.

The minute you get near humans,

you lose all that.

And you are constantly saying,

‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’

That judging mind comes in.

And so I practice turning people into trees.

Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”

Ram Dass a.k.a. Richard Alpert (b. 1931)

American spiritual teacher and author

Time to go

time to gosilence

.is
a
looking

bird:the

turn
ing;edge, of
life

(inquiry before snow

E.E. Cummings

first step

first step

This is love:

to fly toward a secret sky,

to cause a hundred veils to fall

each moment.

First

let go

of life.

Finally,

to take a step

without feet.

Rumi

blue jays and things

Things

 

 

 

There is something I don’t know
That I am supposed to know.
I don’t know what it is I don’t know,
And yet am supposed to know,
And I feel I look stupid
If I seem both not to know
And not to know what it is I don’t know.

Therefore, I pretend I know it.
This is nerve-wracking
Since I don’t know what I must pretend
To know.

Therefore, I pretend to know everything.

I feel you know what I am supposed to know
But you can’t tell me what it is
Because you don’t know what I don’t know
What it is.

You may know what I don’t know, but not
That I don’t know it.
And I can’t tell you. So you will have
To tell me everything.

– R. D. Lang in Knots

Wondering about Wonder

naturalwonders

What is the greatest gift?

What is the greatest gift?
Could it be the world itself — the oceans, the meadowlark,
the patience of the trees in the wind?
Could it be love, with its sweet clamor of passion?

Something else — something else entirely
holds me in thrall.
That you have a life that I wonder about
more than I wonder about my own.
That you have a life — courteous, intelligent —
that I wonder about more than I wonder about my own.
That you have a soul — your own, no one else’s —
that I wonder about more than I wonder about my own.
So that I find my soul clapping its hands for yours
more than my own.

An Excerpt from Red Bird by Mary Oliver

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