Friday, August 23, 2013


Today's word is "Quietude."  It is a noun, defined as the state of being quiet, tranquility, calmness, stillness, quiet.
"Around the Bend"

I searched high and low for a single word used to describe "simple pleasures" or the concept of serenity through simplicity.  I didn't find anything that actually meant what I needed to convey.  So, when I was reintroduced to the word, Quietude... it resonated with me.

There was a time, when I ascribed to the fallacy that happiness has a price tag and is found with the possession of a big house, a fast car, hot fashions, expensive jewelry...not that I had these things, but I thought they carried a lot more importance than they actually deserve.  That said, I (by no means) eschew all physical and material pleasures now...  I enjoy my small, wooded home. I delight in driving my vintage (and somewhat unreliable) convertible.  I both create and own lovely, one-of-a-kind jewelry and clothing.  I actively fight the Demon of Compulsive Therapy Shopping.  I am human (and a Taurus), and I sometimes find solace in creature comforts.

"In Flight"
A slow evolution is occurring  though... I am (quickly) approaching the end of my role as an Active Parent (meaning, my child is a minor, and I am responsible for his care and behavior), and easing into what is referred to by some as the "Queen" Stage of Womanhood (more on that another day).  My priorities and needs are changing; frequently, a full turn-around from previous days.

Synonyms for Quietude include:  patience, peace, placid – in addition to serenity, stillness, and tranquility.  That is exactly my most prized (and sought) state of being.  It is what I search for during my daylight hours, and dream of during nocturnal adventures.  It's the place I feel happiest, am most aware, and am content in "My Self."

When I walk through the reclaimed estuary (illustrated in these images), I am similarly flooded with feelings of wellbeing, interconnectedness with all of Creation, and a direct link to our Living Earth.  My heart beats to the calls of migrating geese, my breath keeps time with the swells and dips of the paths, my sight drinks in the color and texture... I am nearly overwhelmed with the explosion of sensory, artistic, and spiritual sustenance.  The estuary is nearly the perfect pabulum for my Muse.  It is a brackish waterscape - cold salt water meeting fresh mountain run-offs.  Neither whole of one, or another, yet absolutely vital for the health of many.
"Flooded Pastures"

The oceans and those bodies who sustain them - the briny cradle of all life - is my "reset button" when I feel beaten down by life's slings & arrows, and lacking inspiration.  No medicine or treatment is remotely as effective as salt water is to my overall health and happiness.  A short visit fills me with purpose and vision and drive.

My Muse drives me to capture the beauty I experience... be it in photography, painting, drawing with pencils, writing, or other means. The act of Creation, fueled by imagination and inspiration, fills me with deep satisfaction and peace within myself... as though the process and product of my efforts have fulfilled a involuntary need, not unlike blinking or breathing or the rhythmic pulse of my heart.  With this act of expression, I feel peace.  A stillness that allows to me absorb even more beauty.  An inner tranquility.  Quietude.

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