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QUINTESSENCE

Winter Stillness


WINTER TREES
by William Carlos Williams

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.


Tis is the season of quiet. Slipping deep into the heart of who and why and wherever we happen to be. This lovely little poem, like so much of WCW's work, frames an oblique glance at life in mideas res...nature in the midst of narrative, without preamble. In "Winter Trees," Williams sketches an orchard emptied of fruit. The turning point in the cycle of things to do, and being done. Activity and rest. The deep cold months of waiting-in-stillness. The season of the "liquid moon."

I invite you into winter. Into the space between the years. Into the break among days marked by the distance between stars. I invite you not only into the quiet and the stillness, but to stand comfortably within this empty space. In my last post I talked about grief and the geography that is love, both present and gone. The "space" others hold in our lives, and the space our feelings occupy, is important to me. I believe we need space to find ourselves, space for what is truth to rise into consciousness. Space to rest and regroup, space to gather and rethink - and most of all, space to breathe in the beauty of all that is present. Bone-white moments of clarity, fragile barrenness, lush extravagant joy, tenuous fulfillment.... Whatever our circumstances, we take the essence of our experiences up as plants do oxygen, slowly. We absorb life on the broad leaves of our soul. We need space. Stillness. An expanse of stillness.

Do you know where you stand in this year as it "disattires" of its days? I am not sure that I do, not yet anyway. The time is here to stop and abide the hours. Our work is done. And in the quiet will come the story of what has been and what we hope will be. As the long branches fill with winter moon, celebrate or lay to rest, what came before. Allow tomorrow to seep into your awareness. Now is the time to dream.

To all my readers - dear friends one and all - thank you for a rich and meaningful year. I am grateful we travel the stars together. This adventure is less lonely and more grand because we do. See you in the new year.
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