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The Winter of Listening

Dear friends, Thank you for joining me here in the early days of winter. David Whyte's poem, The Winter of Listening, is a favorite of mine for this time of year. He starts the poem with the words;

"No one but me by the fire, my hands burning red in the palms while the night wind carries everything away outside."

This year more than ever, I need this rest, my own inner season needs time to reflect on where I have been this past year and to prepare for where I am headed. I want to be warm and quiet by the fire as the winds and rain cleanse our outer world for the next season.

With this in mind, I have gathered writing and art making ideas, in Winter Studio section of my website. These poems and ideas are some ways to inhabit the long nights of the season.

I love to deepen into winter through a beloved practice of collage and imaginative intention setting and writing. I call this practice, Creating A Balanced Life, and share details about it in the Art Making section of the Winter Studio.

Every year the the practice varies, but one of my favorite parts of it is the image selection. I spread images (cut from magazines and catalogues) across a table that I walk by often and let them be there during the first few weeks of January. When I walk by I naturally sort and arrange these images into groupings and sets. They inspire me and guide my imagination as I set gentle intentions and hopes for the coming year - inquiring of them what wisdom they may hold for me as the year turns.

Eventually many of these images become collages. This year, I am putting them into a journal and will be writing in the journal as I reflect on the images. However you go about it, make it your own, trust your process and enjoy the images and imaginings that they inspire. For details, winter poetry and more please visit the Winter Studio.

Coming March 20th, 2022, I will be offering another workshop through Portland Women's Writers! "Feathering our Inner Nests" is a part of my Art and Writing as Sacred Practice workshop seasonal series. Join us as we spend a creative, soulful, afternoon ushering in the vernal equinox and making art around what we want to nurutre within ourselves for the lighter days of spring.

I closing, I hope that you find some time to pause and allow David Whyte's wisdom from later in his poem, "The Winter of Listening" remind you that;

"Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born. Even with the summer so far off I feel it grown in me now and ready to arrive in the world."

In Love and Gratitude, Margaret

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