The body writes

Language like the body is a place to store the soul. Attributed to Ocean Vuong.

I wanted to feel it, beyond and out of the eye of the storm. I wanted to feel the afterwards. Beyond the hour, the time, the decade, unsnapped from the actual moment, beyond the creation of the story. We are often drawn back and re-live that moment, thinking that the loop resolves, where we pace up and down in our minds, often praying to end the unwanted. In the storm you are unheard, even from yourself. It is in the time after we can learn that healing has opportunities, coming to terms with the ways things are. It is after that our bodies have the possibility of dwelling in awareness, with clear-seeing, even befriending and turning towards the present where we can feel our beauty and hear our bodies breathing. To go into the wasteland and create art out of the chaos. To discover who we have been all our lives.


© 2021 Copyright Rick Frame

Visitors


October is playing itself out. November is in view. British summer time ends tonight and two hours behind Joburg. Lying awake with the weak, thin sunrise outlining the curtains, the coming winter seemed to stretch far into the distance, beyond even March. Social distance on steroids. These visitors with no warmth and no heart as the earth tailspins into more contagion. Then I remembered. The refuge of the kind word, the wisdom to understand that a range of responses is open to us. The inner life that can breathe us with wildness, and opening up a belief we can go on and not allow the drenching fear to keep us stuck. To let go and trust our experience, even in the suffering and that fear is only a visitor. Welcome it in but don’t let it have the run of the house.

Inspired by a conversation between Sharon Salzberg and Krista Tippet (On Being)

© Rick Frame


Reunion


When we arrive at the airport, will you be waiting for us dressed in the colours of the union and waving flags purchased in London town. You know the ones you trophied during the good old days before they were sullied. We will emerge wrapped in sunglasses – not quite Police ones – wide-eyed at any rate in the African sun – ready with our talking irons and the mother of all catch ups sizzling on the charcoals. We can get worked up into a lather about White House nationalists and blond blusterers, knowing we will change nothing. We will feel a whole lot better though, putting the world to rights over a very cold glass of Backsberg chenin blanc – although I think you prefer a good red – and rump steaks on the braai. We can sit and idle away the time, re-living childhoods that only we remember. No matter what, we will head for Hoekwil and over a Victoria sponge (go big or we go home) and Cakey will be satisfied.

© Rick Frame


Interiority


An inner quiet, living within. Such is the alignment with mystery. A miracle of a dream comes true, a choice, an intention in the making. Here communing in the silence and stillness, a deepening, a potential. I don’t believe that bliss is entirely possible but we can reach for a peace that passes all understanding, eventually. Like the guys in the boat in the storm were reassured. What goes on within is more important than that which is without. Life often spell-binds, baubles and the fairy lights have their place. Eye-catching often loses its gloss. Like the earth turns, settle into the interior, the journey is worth it, at one with the shades, the breath and the path. Awareness is the morning light.


Inspired by Chris Mann and others, July 2020

© Rick Frame


Grace

I am sitting here, having just landed in this place – on the other side. Unstitching very slowly. I have been drawn in, cartwheeled, expectant to this moment. Contemplating the last decades. Not that they were bad at all. Often they were brilliant. Just waiting to see how the debrief of being institutionalised pans out. Should there be another de– there somewhere? The coming days are the place. Perhaps I may never look back. I know you have not. I know that I will do plenty of dreaming. I find that does just the trick, the unstitching, the clearing of the clutter. The promise lies ahead and all that went before, finding a landing place, a discovery. Soon the feeling of the last fourteen weeks, discombobulated, strangely weird, now relieved and let go of. The grace of just being here with you.

Letting go

We sit with stuff for so long, feeding it with what I call a raw red bone of memory. It’s that open wound where you can see the bone and the torn flesh. The pain lies bare before you.

The healing comes with the letting go.

Easy to say ‘let go’, huh? Falls off the lips. Let go. Move from the lips to the act of letting go. It’s not a cover up. It’s not a shutting down and being forgetful of it. There is no escape from the stuff and the pain. Sit with it. Face it. Feel it.

But as you feel it – that raw red bone of memory – be gentle with yourself, be kind to yourself. Stop blaming. Start loving yourself. Easy to say, ‘start loving yourself’. Hardest thing to do, taking care of yourself.

When this happens you can let go.

Breathe and meditate, being awake to what you want to let go. Get in touch with your body. Move from your head and into your body.

Breathing helps ventilate, gets oxygen into the raw red bone. Get under it and into it. It will be uncomfortable and almost unbearable times – but be gentle and be open and the feeling with be expansiveness and always do it without judgement.

Drop the story around the raw red bone of memory. Drop it like a stone into a vast pond. Watch it sink through the blueness-clearness of the water. As it drops you are letting go without blame or judgement.

Be kind to yourself.

© Rick Frame