Saturday, 17 July 2010


It was two hours until dawn, late summer night, this girl was cajoled into bed. Apparently I looked tired.

Perhaps, yet I couldn't sleep. To blog, perchance to dream: I wrote the following just before my eyelids drifted shut and am posting it the day after. Within this post are old photographs I had taken in my teens. I'd forgotten what "real" film looks like, warm and grainy. I'd forgotten that girl who carried a camera instead of lipstick. Quite nostalgic in an "If I had told myself this or that..." way:

A true life = clear thought.

Clear thought combined with... perseverance, which is another word for "patience in the long haul".

If one is in it for the long haul, one must hold back, refrain a little. Not jump to that first desire like a magpie meeting a sparkle in the grass.

Conserve your energy for what really matters, not just the physical reserves, but your mental energy too. Step back, look clearly upon something and think.... before you speak, before you leap... focus gently.

One of the things I have learnt in this tiny span of existence is - it helps to keep your eyes wide open, along with your mind. So, although no one might know it, you are taking it in, drinking it all in. Studying the horizon.

I've always admired the grace of animals in the wilderness, they know the above naturally. Especially cats. The soft slink of ease and languid determination. So languid that as a child, visiting game reserves abroad, I would watch transfixed if any crossed our path. Part of me would be struck by their confident beauty, the other part would sometimes think "Hurry up, please".

That second part is the one I work on... every day. For impatience can sometimes be delicious, you want it now.... you want it cartoon-fast and vocalising that releases something. The truth is, it only releases energy you could use otherwise. Observe patience as something tangible, not just an ephemeral object. Think of it as a muscle one needs to work on.

Strengthening this gives you real release. Rather than falling upon a sparkle in the grass, your thoughts and feelings share equal space, equal respect. Ultimately, you grow patient with yourself too, an unexpected gift. A necessary one.

Odd how "Go with your heart" as true as it is, is nowadays given more reverence than the brain - why not emphasise both? If one consistently goes with the heart in life, relationships, faith even - at the first sign of real trouble we hear:

"This is a recording... go with your heart" and some of us lash out or ... jump ship; it is not so much that rationality is abandoned - just that it is easier to react without thinking of the consequences. Patience is a wee casualty in the "heart only" mentality. But thankfully, it can be revived. We just have to allow both sides of our nature an even playing field.

What I find amazing is that while you are reading this, wherever you are, you have unique brain cells, synapses, emotion sparkling away inside of you, bubbling to fruition. So real, thank God and so wonderful. Everything you have just read, you have absorbed or recognized. Everything and everyone are somehow linked.



Dumbwit Tellher said...

Clarity such a beautifully written and poignant post. I actually ran across some photos I must of taken when I was 12 or 13 this week while packing boxes. So fun to see what you took at a young age, mine were not as artistic or clever! You always put life for me into a good perspective. Hoping your having a relaxing weekend? Hugs to you x

Debra said...

What beautifully powerful words to go with these images. You always have me yearning for more. So wonderful to see you here.

Elisa Day said...

Thank you! such an inspiring and thougthtfull post

Nora Johnson said...





Purple Flowers said...

Sometimes you leave me at a loss for words.
Actually, I don't feel the need or desire to comment on this post because we share many of the same thoughts.

Jacqueline said...

Dear Clarity,
So sorry for my absence, but I have been away at my sisters...... and I come back to find one of your beautiful and thoughtful posts. You are such a wonderful writer and photographer ( even way back when !!) and you always make me think and reason with myslf.
I hope that you are well and happy and enjoying the Summer. Lots of love to you. XXXX

Eugene Lim said...

Thanks for leaving me a nice Friday comment ^^ Love reading your posts! Especially as I've been reading through Proverbs lately, it's quite a bit of wisdom to focus and think before you speak. I tend to just say whatever's on my mind, but while it's good to be honest, I'm often not discerning and end up paying for what I say. Have a calming week, I'll try to keep your thoughts in mind :P

Clarity said...

Dear Deb, much thanks. Sweet coincidence about your photos, which are probably better than you think.
Debra, that is a compliment, X.
Elisa, thank you, your photographs are gorgeous.
PF, glad.
Jacquie, very sweet, xxx.
Eugene, thanks again. As for foot in mouth syndrome, we have all been guilty of that.

Notjustnat said...

Clarity, you are back! I have been missing you and your words. So beautiful and the images too - thanks for bringing them out - xoxo Nat

Barbara said...

Clarity, you sweet thing, I just LOVE it when you have a new post. They are always so well thought out and straight from the heart.

Moderation in just about everything is good, I know...but it can be SO boring! Some of my most rewarding decisions have been spur of the moment; on the other hand, some of my biggest mistakes as well. (Do we ever stop embarrassing ourselves because of a hurried decision? I did it just last week.)

Difficult to take time to make informed decisions when you have so many events, family, friends, job....things pulling you in so many directions.
But I've said that before to you. And yes, we can MAKE the time if we plan carefully.
But I remember how it was when I had three kids under 3.

Wine and Words said...

You brought me back to my first camera...walking the streets taking photos, the impatience waiting for their development at the dime store. The excitement at a beautiful shot and the disappointment at one that got away.

La Bonne Vivante said...

lovely! Thanks for this...

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Jennifer said...

Hello there! It's been a long while :) I really appreciate this. I think that going with the heart is often thought of as going with our feelings, but if really listened to, the heart holds the deep truths we seek. In a way I think the heart and mind work together more intuitively than we think, but most of us tend to listen to the hearts first reaction/read on a scenario and mistake that for the conclusion on the matter. Maybe that's the heart-mind mix that you are talking about. I needed to reflect on this. Thank you!

Heavenly Housewife said...

A beautiful and thought provoking post as usual :). I love that feeling that we are all connected. It gives me a great sense of comfort. It also confuses me that anyone would ever want to do something intentionally to hurt another person, when really, we are all taking part in the "human experience" together.
*kisses* HH

Phoenix said...

Sigh. I left you a comment here yesterday but it seems like it never took. Grrrrr...

Wanted to say that you write so beautifully and I know all too well what you speak of. I am so incredibly impatient sometimes, even as I want to enjoy and savor the moment, but when I do get those moments of clarity (no pun intended) and quietness in my head... my God.

How gorgeous this world is.

Draffin Bears said...

Thank you for sharing a wonderful post Clarity.
Love the words from your heart and the wonderful photos you took.
Brought back happy memories of my first camera and the anticipation of waiting for the photos to be developed.
Great to see you again and I hope that you are having a lovely week


Laurel said...

Well Hello my Darling Girl. This is sooooo wonderful. I am the most impatient girl ever. Not sure why. I see it in my Dad as well and I want that part of me to go away. But it is part of me somehow. I don't even know why I get impatient. I am already reeling at how fast time passes each year -why do I want to speed it up?? You are so young but so much wiser than I will ever be. I want to learn to use that muscle, train it and enjoy the gifts of taking life's moments as they come, without already being at the next...whatever.
I am so grateful you are part of my life and I see your smiling little face along with my other treasured girls every day..
You are love.
Treasures coming soon :)

Micki said...

You have a way with words me girl. Lovely post!

The Bumbles said...

Patience & time, these are my mighty warriors. That is my fantasy baseball team's motto - taken from Tolstoy, who took from a general. See how adaptive patience can be?

Anonymous said...

Another wonderful post as always.

lostpastremembered said...

Clarity, so resonant... photos open little wormholes to our pasts... you are for a moment where you were, who you were when you needed to capture the moment. The only downside to digital is that there are now a thousand shots where there were once a few rolls of film... the moments are dissipated. Thanks for sharing your thoughts... provocative as always.

Clarity said...

Thank you for your memorable comments; a real window into your memories and thoughts. I ought to do this blogging thing more often...

Dustjacket Attic said...

So well written and such thoughtful words. You are so talented.

re comment made me laugh. I'll be putting in that post you liked in the fav list....takes me a while I know :)
xxx Dj

Cheryl Lynn said...

I had to learn over the years that patience is truly a virtue, one that is so often ignored. I used to be very impetuous, spontaneous to a hurt. But as I've grown older, I've realized that it's okay to wait for some things. The word "wait" does not necessarily, as so many people think, mean to do nothing. To "wait" means to serve. Like "love," "wait" is an action word. So much preparation can take place during the waiting period. Preparation for whatever life has to bring because of the maturity of both heart and mind that is a result of the waiting.

A very poignant and insightful post. I'm glad I came to visit and I thank you for visiting me.

Have a great week.

French Fancy said...

So you used to be a girl who carried a camera instead of lipstick? Interesting...As always a pleasure to read my lovely friend


Anika said...

I have truly missed the true beauty of the words you write. So unique to the blogosphere.

Welcome back, and its been a perfect one. I love this post. I love that nostalgia described...I feel it in my bones.

I want to run to a dark room and develop some photos....look at the physical proof, the grainy images.

Most of all I want to return to Africa, speak Swahili with the Kenyans and laugh with the little kids who run rag-tag in the street.

Hope you are doing well, gorgeous girl!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted you to know that I've posted the Carl Sandburg post, and I hope you're having a great summer.

VictoriaArt said...

Dear friend, you speak as the conscience, the small voice which reminds us all of the essential things, the often overshadowed thoughts, thank you again.
I feel these often too!


Phoenix said...

Miss you and hope you are well...

Mary said...

This was a really lovely post. it was very thoughtful. You asked about replacing cilantru. It would be better to use parsley than sage. I hope you are having a good day. Blessings...Mary