Thursday, June 15, 2017

Finding the "quiet centre", amidst it all...

The news cycle today brought more unsettling news - from the tragedy of senseless violence, to countless innocents trapped between warring factions, to continued arrogance in political leadership. And then the news of a major league baseball player who could receive a $600,000,000 cotract (yes, six hundred million) in a world where one in three people lack simple access to a toilet. It can be overwhelming, trying to make sense of it all.

It is good, therefore, to take time every now and again and go to that "place", where we can find our “quiet centre”.

We all have such places. They are where we know we can think, and focus, most clearly. They offer that sweet spot or “thin place” between the troubled mind and hungry spirit and a higher consciousness that offers both calm and sustenance. For some, it is somewhere that may be accessed by walking on a forest trail, or spending time nurturing a vegetable garden, or gazing out on a beautiful landscape. For me, thoughts flow most freely on the water, and in my kayak. It is a place of healthy disconnection - from the siren call of screens, from the weight of incessant news cycles, and from all land-based cares. In the narrow boat, and with just a little effort, there is a feeling of weightlessness, both literal and figurative. The only connection is to pure and raw nature...and to the present moment.

Escaping the frenzied and frenetic life, every so often, clears the mind and steels the resolve to never give up on working to make the world a better place for all people. Each of us, from our own small corner, can do this. Despite the ubiquitous and troubling news, we must not give up on one another. Not ever. We must do all that we can to act with kindness, with compassion, patience, and understanding, and with courage and faith in the inherent goodness of humankind. And we must listen...for it is in truly "listening" to one another that we affirm each other's value.

The words from Shirley Erena Murray’s song are strengthening…

“Come and find the quiet center
in the crowded life we lead,
find the room for hope to enter,
find the frame where we are freed:
clear the chaos and the clutter,
clear our eyes, that we can see
all the things that really matter,
be at peace, and simply be.”

I wonder, do you have a special "place" where you can best think and focus?


  1. Our world is so totally out of balance, unlike yourself. Quiet centres are important when our lives are so filled and busy....
    I did note that you said you find yours IN your kayak which is where I believe most people are when they paddle.😉

    1. Thank you for that, Linda, it's so true that we need such places. I think you have flound them in the mountains and on the trails. Yes, I'm usually "in" the kayak but "on" it can be quite relaxing too. 😊 Warm wishes to you.

  2. Thank you for these thoughts Duncan, you've put into words a feeling I'm fortunate to know. My own quiet centres are as varied as the world around me - but whether a mountain, a Hebridean beach at sunset, a morning in the garden filled with birdsong or wherever, I guess my own quiet centre is in the response those places for thought indeed!

    Warm wishes to you both

  3. I understand that, Ian, a very good point. A "quiet centre" can be a response as much as an inherent "place" to be accessed in the human psyche. Here's to more such experiences! Warm wishes.

  4. Great to see that you are back into doing the blogs for us "non Facebook Types". As usual you find the words to make me stop and think about life. Still sometimes trying to find those "thin places" but hope to find some in the Southern Hemishere very soon.

    1. Nice to hear from you, Mike. Yes, trying to be more disciplined about this. :) Have a wonderful trip south and we will look forward to hearing a good account when we meet up again. Take good care, both, and travel safely.