a wandering woman writes

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Listening to whispers

Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves.
We must learn to respect them.
We must learn to listen.

-Sarah Ban Breathnach

Two thoughts grabbed hold of me as I prepared to post this quote today.

Thought one:

I made the mistake of journeying through the net to identify the author.

Sarah has a website called Simple Abundance, which at a shamefully quick glance seems to exist to passionately encourage women to express their authentic selves in the decoration of their homes. Decorating would not be one of my deepest wishes, as anyone who has visited the Chicago apartment I've called home for 6 months would tell you. Living surrounding by things I've chosen carefully, over time, and decided I want with me - things that say something to me, every time I see them - well, that is important to me. (You sense the internal conflict, don't you? Important enough to actually spend time in a city shopping center?)

But oh, after 2 weeks of steady work travel, deeper wishes called this sunny Spring weekend - deep, deep wishes - for a bike ride that led, yesterday, to an idyllic afternoon alone wandering Chicago's Graceland cemetery and today, deeper still, for an early morning bike ride to Lake Michigan where I discovered a magical oasis sure to become my Huerto de Calixto y Melibea in Chicago -the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary. Wise wishes, mine.

You'll hear and see more about Graceland and Montrose Point, later (thanks to that deep wish to take pen to paper) but oh, I can feel I listened well to Sara's advice this weekend, by avoiding the stuff of her site.

Thought two?

I envy Sara her the whispers of her wishes.

My wishes stamp feet and holler, pull my hair hard, flick an icy cold finger on the nape of my neck. My wishes demand immediate action: "Learn Spanish! Go to Spain! Throw some clay, what don't you? Where in heaven are your people, woman? Isn't that a piano in that corner, under all the dust...why yes, it is! What if we learn to...("just follow us here", the wishes tell me, sure they'll lose my attention any wandering moment)....stay? What if we learn to stay? Hmmmm?"

I'm due in a pottery studio, soon - thanks to one of those insistent if inexplicable wishes - but I wanted to first offer you Sarah's thought. And remind both of us about the hoarsest of the stage whispers I proudly call mine: "Cool thought, E. What if you wrote that down?"

I expect this blog will sputter and spit some as I restart her, I suspect that before we know it she'll be another blog entirely.

For now, I am just going to start walking - and see. Let's see, shall we?


  • Hey Erin. I have written you a couple of times and I never got to invite you to dinner here in Salamanca as promised. How are you? How is home? I am just passing year 1 and definitely stuggling with that.

    Your friend,


    By Blogger Kimberly, at 12:52 PM  

  • Sputter on m'dear. And as one who has built her life on staying...it's not the same as stagnating. You want deep it helps to have a good tap root. Glad you will be keeping my garden company before too long. Ducklings will be happy to meet you, too!
    (SOOO funny! The word verification word was "unswers". That's right where I am. Very few answers right now, but unswers, I've got plenty. Oh that was worth coming here just for that. Okay, Ralphie, very cute...)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:58 PM  

  • Erin - This is the first time I've visited your blog in awhile and I was surprised to read that you're back in Chicago! I'll miss your reports from Spain but know that you'll have a lot of interesting things to say wherever you land. I give you a lot of credit for honoring both the whispers in the ears and the itching of the feet.

    I have a request of you - will you write a blog entry about this line? - "Where in heaven are your people, woman?" Thanks.

    By Anonymous Mark K, at 11:52 PM  

  • Hey Kim, I'll write to you tomorrow. You might be using an old address. I use the email the blog links to now. I want to hear about the year! And you'll get your chance to buy me a morcilla pincho next visit, deal? Thanks for coming round here!!

    L, you paid Mark to leave that comment, didn't you? :) Ok, but I know you applauded. (And Ralph, the unswer man, I bow to you, sir.)

    Mark, I've missed your prompts. You have a deal! I'll sail over to your site later this week to see what you're cooking over there these days.

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 4:16 AM  

  • Erin, Hooray and thanks for showing up here. You do things to a string of words that no one else can do.
    I'll check back more often.

    By Anonymous Kate, at 3:42 PM  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:30 AM  

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    By Blogger JanuskieZ, at 9:30 AM  

  • Excellent post and inspirational way to lead your life! Go gurl as they say!

    I had the same thought as a 27 year old single mother of a 4 year old 13 years ago in Suburban Canada... packed up and headed to Africa. We've been living in Ghana ever since.

    Alot has changed, but not that desire to do what your heart tells you to!
    In 20 months we leave everything again and head to our boat that is sitting in charter in the Caribbean now.

    We'll float off to wherever in the world calls...

    All the best in your Spanish life chapter!!! I'll be reading :)

    Please also visit our little corner of the web at: http://hollisramblings.blogspot.com

    By Blogger The pale observer, at 9:08 PM  

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