Friday, November 30, 2012
I am deeply moved by your beautiful words. Thank you Julie and Sherry and Pam, you constantly reassure me. It makes a difference.
I am so glad to meet you Nicole. Your new comment back on The Conversation post recalls a world of memories to me. The abandoned child. The orphanage. The why? I think you are right that the Conversation is a forever seeking of Place in the world, of our Place and Place itself.
Rebecca, you touch upon so many points so near to my heart that answering you as I wish to do tonight is beyond me. I'd like to address what to me is the essence of your story, for I believe I recognize your experience.
Leah, a few weeks ago you speculated about Innermost House that, "Although their home and life have been showcased on simple living websites and movies, I would argue that IH is so much more complex than anyone would have imagined."
That is simply true. Speaking only for myself, the Innermost Life is outwardly very simple but inwardly deeply complex. The relationship between that simplicity and that complexity is a Mystery. It is the central mystery of my life.
Rebecca, your story of the difference that just thirty feet between your big house and your little house has made in your life at home is so vivid. In everything you say I recognize my own experience. The fire. The storm. The silence.
To me, the world is the "big house" you leave behind when you walk to your studio. The world is full of luxuries and comforts and conveniences, but just ten paces into the woods it relaxes its hold on us a little, and we relax from our dependence on it. Those are steps toward the simple life of having less and wanting less and doing little. There is great peace in simplicity.
And then there is the fire. The actual experience of it. The gathering of wood and the kindling of flame. The warming of hands, the cooking of food, the feeling of making the difference yourself.
Inward still of all that, a living complexity of inner life truly awakens. Who has looked into the fire that burns between herself and cold and hunger, and not heard the voices of countless human generations, and felt their dreams and thoughts and lives all live at once again? Around the fire is born the Conversation.
For decades of my life I thought what I wanted was simplicity, for then all I knew of life in the world was its endlessly complicated web of seeming advantages.
But what I found at last in the Innermost Life was a simplicity that opened inward upon complexity. That inward complexity is to me the innermost thing, distant-most from the complications of the world.
It was that inward fire of Conversation that was missing. It was the complex and beautiful inward order of life that opened to me there in the woods around the fire.