“Attention is the beginning of devotion.” –Mary Oliver
I’ve been in Slovenia a little over a month now. It feels strange. Time has passed by so quickly, and yet also very slowly. So much has happened.
This place also has mountains, lakes, forests. But it seems a bit gentler somehow, than Norway. The sun is warmer, even up here in the Alps, and the rocks are white, not dark, the rivers are pale and see through, not wild and almost black.
Sometimes I miss the wild, stormy nature of home, but this place is gentling me, and it’s so so beautiful. Like a place out of a fairytale, a hidden gem that you don’t know existed until suddenly you’re here.
There is a dusting of snow on the mountains now. Winter is coming.
At the beginning of October, I felt a deep need to write, like the nature around me was asking me to. Like I could wait no longer. There was so much beauty to breathe in. And it seems most of my creative energy is going to the novel I’m working on. My first novel.
And I’ve been drawn to Mary Oliver for some time now, and yesterday I finally bought a book of hers and fell in love. She makes me want to go outside and touch trees, speak to them, see them, just notice life around me. God is out there, somehow. And also right here, with me, around me.
Some things I wrote yesterday evening, this morning.
I went into the forest today, again when it was already getting dark. And I remember it now, lying in bed. How my heart wanted to break open. How I wanted to cry, though I never did. The trees were all dark around me, though there was a light above them, in the sky. The last bit of light before nightfall.
White mist is hugging my windows, so I can see nothing but odd faint shapes in the distance, shapes of trees perhaps, of mountains. But mostly the world is white and silent, leaving me space to dream, to be soft and silent within myself also. The outside world is forgotten. It’s only me and my words now, and a steaming cup of hot tea. Let me dream please, let me have the whole sky to write in, endless horizons, great wide fields of time for dreaming.
A few Instagram pictures.
And something I wrote for a scene in my novel, maybe, inspired by a moment in the forest after a long, morning walk with a friend. Speaking about and sharing my writing makes me feel afraid, and strong and frail all at the same time. Do you feel the same?
She saw light fall to her feet, like white strands of water, swimming along the forest ground. She drew a breath, feeling the cold October air run through her, raising her hands towards the sky, to the sun between the leaves, letting it play over her fingers. The wind whispered gentle music and the moss covered rock felt warm beneath her, supporting her. She sighed. I’m tired whispered her bones, her heart. Let me rest. Please.
God is here, right here. Now.
Her eyes went to the deep blue sky, the gold and ruby leaves lacing its edges, and she remembered the first frost on the ground that very morning. The world was going to sleep in the most beautiful way possible, fire and ice blossoming together side by side, and she wished to be in it, to follow it, melt into it, disappear.
Sometimes the beauty around her hurt, made her want to cry, made he want to worship the trees, the earth, the moss, all the light around her.
One time she had seen a small birch tree without its leaves, all covered in silver, while around it maples and oak burned with fire and gold, and she could not walk further until she had heard what it had to tell her.
If only she could walk in peace, forever, along the silver grass with trees burning all around her, the air sharp and cold, and new. If only she could keep away that flicker of worry, the fear that made her remember her dreams, the man, the frosty ground, the blackened sky. He would be coming soon, with the beginning of winter. If he was coming at all. She couldn’t decide if she wanted him to.
Also wanted to say that I’ve read this book for the third time now. Would recommend it to anyone, everyone 🙂 Deep in the far away. And all of her writing.