Rich Stillness

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Last night was the sixth night in six and a half weeks that David and I were alone in the house. We have had an amazing richness of visits, which has meant a month and a half of being in the moment for the most part, because the immediacy of having loved ones so close by has kept me securely rooted in what has been happening right here, right now.

Yes, that right here, right now has meant lots of getting beds ready and almost constant food shopping and marathon cooking of many meals for many people.  But then those beds were filled with our children and other loved ones and the table was circled by friends and family eating and talking and laughing, and none of it felt like work.  The meals ranged from 19 for Thanksgiving dinner, to 11 of us eating vegetarian chili before going to a bonfire party on a frigid night, to 14 for New Year’s Eve, to Sam and a friend eating leftover soup yesterday morning after a late night out, getting ready to head off for a skiing and snowshoeing adventure.  Thanksgiving night 15 people slept in the house, in beds, on couches and floor mats and rugs and a blow up mattress in the studio.

And now this evening it’s only David and me.  The house is quiet, and we’re not expecting any overnight guests until the middle of next month.  I’ve loved the richness and bustle and closeness of the last six weeks, but I’m feeling fine about the coming stillness.  Last night at a party I talked with a friend about her intentions for the New Year.  She wants to contain some of the pushing she usually uses to direct her life, to get her where she feels she needs to be.  “I want to let more creative unfolding happen,” she said, and I knew exactly what she meant.  Being still, listening to what is emerging, letting time unfold, can lead to unexpected places.

Just as a house full of friends and family can lead to unexpected conversations and connections and the pleasure of sharing a warm home and bountiful table, stillness can lead to a rich connection with self, and an awareness of what the next turn might mean, or be, or where it might lead.  I’m feeling full and ready.

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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2 Responses to Rich Stillness

  1. A lot like floating down a river, rather than marching across a field.
    Fond memories of many holiday meals shared at that same table, with many of those same people, great food and conversations, good times.

    • Grace Mattern says:

      Three of the visitors (though not overnight) last week were Casey, Vanessa and Sophie. What a wonderful little family they are and such a treat to have them all here. Emilio was very interested in Sophie, and Sophie was very interested in Emilio’s toys and cruising around the kitchen table. I love having a house full. We need to get you back here around our table, and we need to get to yours!

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