Friday, 20 January 2012

On Safe Places and Mindfulness...

It is, perhaps, fitting that the arena I have chosen for the story I hand to my son is also doubling up as a mental safe-place.  I had a chance to flesh it all out and it gave me opportunity to start creating the mythology that I'm planning to hammer out.  Now we have the 'Wild Wood', beyond Dunstanane to the north and west, in which there are many creatures and sources of food.  It is majesterial and a place where one can meet with God on a formal setting.  There are rivers and wolves and deer and groves.  Berries and thorns and brambles and clearings.  Wild pigs and chickens and foxes.  It is a good place, I think, for reflection.  A place to go at night when there's a clear sky and a full moon.

Would you like to know more?

To the south there is the patchy forest, beyond the large earthen bank, and a steep sided valley.  The trees are less thick, there is a wider river, paths and places to walk where you can clearly see the sky even in summer.  Follow the river to the east and we join the open rolling fields beyond the confines of the forest, turn ever-so-slightly northwards and it meets the other forest.  This is the playful place, where meeting God is more personable, a place where He claps you on the shoulder and points things out as a companion.  It is very like the woods near where I live, in fact, but larger before it meets open fields and towns.  It is the place where Owain's people hunted in times of old and where they met with traders from other kingdoms and tribes.  There's more fruit here.  And more mythos.  The large rocky depression, bouded on all sides by trees, is the old lair of a dragon, trees dare not grow there and the grasses remain respectfully low.  Few animals broach the boundaries but birds will fly across it.  The dragon has not returned for some time, it is believed not to have existed at all.  And there are fairies, not all that intelligent, like the chickens, but inquisitive and well-formed.

I fancy that other fairy-tale creatures lurk in this forest, amongst the clearings and the sudden denseness of a holly grove or a collection of ancient oak, but I have never seen them if they do.  There are wild cows here, though, and boar.  In some places there are groves of apple and pear trees in amongst the birch and the brambles.  There is a permanent mat of leaf litter over the floor, grasses are rare under the canopy but burst forth in the small clearings and the larger ones further north.  In some areas there are large areas of conifer trees but they are mostly deciduous.

It is a nice place to visit.  I think I may do so more often.

Secondly, mindfulness, being fully engaged with a task.  I can do this when working, but find it hard to do it when it is something positive ro relaxing.  I tried in my shower this morning and instead got completely distracted planning things to do at work that I really ought to be doing now, but that I have not done, because I'm doing this.  I can't do it when I wash the pots, that is the time I use to plan the day ahead and make sure I haven't forgotten anything.  The time inbetween is spent getting dressed and, lately, seeing to the daughter.

The fact that I post so irregularly here is another aspect of this.  There is the opportunity for this place to become a place of mindfulness that is also relaxing, a place to create the poem, but I rather suspect my wordiness mitigates against that.

Still, this may be a start.  Unless reports and everything else crowds it out again this weekend...

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