Katrina, yes! It is exactly as if the veil of the world is held back within the house, and we plainly behold all day and night the ceremony of innocence.
Tammy, I apologize for appearing to write from behind a veil. Inside the house the veil is held back, but between the house and our conversation about it, a veil perhaps lies in the nature of things.
I read all of your comments aloud. I find that speaking your words is a truer revelation to me of what we are all sharing here together. If the meaning of a post seems veiled, you might try slowly reading it aloud, and listen to your voice as if I were speaking to you. Which I am! I live in a world where words have a body—where every thought is given speech. Our Conversation is a spoken communion. When we read, we read aloud. I am not skillful at putting my very inner experience of life into written words. And if a sentence or paragraph doesn't make sense, just let it go. What is left may become clearer. I often do that when reading.
Life in Innermost House is almost incommunicably simple. It is as simple as the dawn. It is as simple as the seasons. I am sorry that my words should complicate it.
So often it seems that one of you—at times it has been all of you together—see in what I am trying to say something true, which I had no deliberate idea of saying! I only try to say what is in my soul as simply as I can, but as subtly as I perceive it. I simply let my thoughts seek a resting place in words. The path is almost never straight, but it moves in one direction. Julie, what branch of navigation would you call that? Or is it just steering downstream?
Leah, your idea of baking is a very companionable one. Maybe we are here together to compare recipes. But if so then I must confess that I never could follow a recipe in all my life. There is no one to whom the mystery of baking is more of a mystery than me! So I couldn't help smiling when you concluded your explanation by explaining how your feelings don't always translate well into words. That's just how I feel. And Katrina, now you apologize for the same thing. But neither of you could have spoken more generously or clearly.
If I have lived most of my life seldom being under-stood, I suppose it is because I lay so low as to make it hard to find a place to stand underneath me. Alice, Julie and Pam—thank you for showing me you understand. Thank you for teaching me what I mean. And Sherry, thank you for staying. For me too, this is a good place to be.
Julie and Pam, you have added so much of such depth that I can hardly find a satisfactory reply. Not at least tonight. But I am grateful for every word. You offer us all your invaluable perspective. You are like the morning songbirds who inhabit the woods, announcing with your vitality the promise of the Innermost Life.
You said something Ember that my husband has often observed to me, that "Innermost House is also the modern world." I think that is true. Innermost House is almost unimaginable as a response to any other world than exactly our own. I never expect to occupy a more inward place than Innermost House. It is as inward as the world today is outward.
And I am moving outward now. I am gone from my house in the woods and reaching out to friendships across the expanse of the modern world, the same world from which I once retreated. I believe in the rightness of where I am and what we are doing together, though I cannot entirely explain it. I am more than consolable. By your patient kindness, I am consoled. And you are right. I am not within the house now, but I am protecting its precious seed within me.
My life in the woods was very simple, but it is not simple to explain. I cannot do it alone, as you all see. We together are describing what life in Innermost House is and means. You are helping me to see as much as I am helping you.
And Bri, I too love that ladybug right in front of me. I remember her from my earliest days, "when all things were tall, and our friends were small, and the world was new."