Tuesday, June 15, 2010


                                                                 Stillness Within Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm

Have you ever tried to find stillness? When I say 'stillness' I mean that place of peace and silence where the world stops spinning. I have tried many types of meditation, but I find it very difficult to make up my mind about where my favourite quiet place is. So, when a meditation facilitator suggests that one goes, in one's mind, to a favourite place I get quite agitated because I cannot choose. Then if I have actually chosen my spot before the meditation time is up, I then try to work out what the weather might be like, where exactly am I positioned and so on. Normally I start in a certain place ,but end up somewhere else, with many intervening 'happenings' occurring along the way. I suppose one could put it down to having an imagination!

But, recently I discovered a way to experience the stillness. I wrote about this briefly in a recent previous post 'Artifice of Fantasy' http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com/2010/06/artiface-of-fantasy.html I imagine I am inside a vortex! Well, yes...the vortex is a metaphor for the hurly burly of life. But, I find it very easy to imagine myself inside a vortex and when I do, I immediately feel stillness. The inside is the core, where I imagine no movement and silence, but an immense energy. This energy is not a frantic, electricified type of energy, but rather an energy of source, of a beginning and an end... and thus without time.

I was thinking about silence recently for a few reasons.
1.  I enjoy silence and I wonder why people want noise and sound all the time. When I think there is silence I realise that  it is never really silent, because through the quiet of seeming silence, sounds of nature can be heard eg: rustle of a lizard in the grass, a small bird's song and so on.
2.  A friend of mine mentioned the French philospoher Luce Iragary's interest in silence. I have previously read some of Iragary's work, but it was some time ago. I remember being drawn to it at the time. So, I have done some googling and read a little more and will endevour to buy one, two or more of her publications. Her interest in silence as a place of listening is intriguing and actually deceptively quite mutlifaceted in terms of knowing oneself... and the other ...and others.
3. I have another friend, Anna Schaumkel who runs listening circles through the business she runs with her partner http://www.beattitude.com.au/index.php I have attended a listening circle and it is quite a powerful experience. People sit in a circle and as each person talks the others listen without making commment. There is a profound experience of being heard.
4. As I have imagined being inside the vortex, in this place of stillness, I have 'heard' my own life force, I have 'heard' myself in the silence.

I know that many people, both men and women, feel unheard and have the attendant core belief of being unlovable. However, the silencing of women across history and cultures is profoundly sad, for men and women. This silencing can be directly by men, or by women to and of themselves based on fears revolving around expectations of societies and families which are largely based on patriachal dynamics. As the mother of daughters I see them voicing their opinions in ways that, at the same ages, I would never have been game to. As a single mother for the last ten years I have watched my daughters not be silenced by me and the residues of my learned experiences of expectation. My exhaustion has meant I could not keep up the facade of really caring about expectations, which deep down I resented anyway! My daughters' expectations are to be heard and not just be me, but by their father, friends, teachers and so on! In fact, I have learnt a lot from my daughters!

STILLNESS WITHIN  Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
This painting depicts the tree of life twirling around the vascular red vortex which is linked at both the top and bottom to 'veins' which extend beyond the painting. An upright and an inverted tree-of -life, both rooted to the 'veins', suggest that time and space have ceased being measurable, as the woman inside the vortex experiences a stillness and quiet, where she hears her own life force through her breath and pulse, and knows who she really is.

My small exhibition 'Presence' has been extended by one week until 22 June. So, 'Presence' can still be seen at Maleny's Upfront Club 31 Maple St, Maleny http://www.upfrontclub.org/


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