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Reflective Journaling and the Creative Imagination

November 9, 2020

Reflective Journaling and the Creative Imagination

By Amba Gale

My poetry corner is a sacred space for me, into which I enter every morning, before anything. There, I allow the poetic imagination to speak to me and to speak for me, and I listen, deeply, to whatever comes, and then take pen to paper. The touchstones and keepsakes, mementos, from my travels all over the world, remind me that wherever I go, I belong. Whether it is the colorful cup that looks like a Gaudi wall in a house in Barcelona, or coasters with fine precious stones cut by the men whose ancestors built the Taj Mahal, they bring me to being at home in the world.

Surrounded by photographs of spiritual teachers, a book of poetry by Mary Oliver, statues of Ganesh, the energy of the Hindu God who teaches through the bringing of obstacles our way, so that we may move through the pain of being human, and learn; or my tile of the whale leaping exuberantly out of the frothy waters, knowing he will go back down into the deep; or my red and white plant, always growing, beautifully, into new leaves, I come to rest here, to be at home here, to belong here, to be guided by the Voice that speaks, where I can be in conversation with something or someone that cannot be seen, but is yet very real.

I listen, and then I write whatever comes. And what I write is food for my soul.

I call this “Reflective Journaling.” I invite you to tap into your creative imagination as well, each day, in whatever way you do, in whatever way pleases you.

I would love for you to join me in a special conversation in January and February of next year, called Crossing Thresholds, a New Opening. It is a time in which we re-marry our own creative imaginations, enter into inner space, space in which we do not see, but hear quite well, our own poetic imaginations, leading us through these dark and troubled times, bringing us inner light. Each morning, I let go of my story from yesterday, and enter into a new story. Each morning I enter my world from this space of sacredness.

This is My Poetry Corner

In honor of Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, whose poem, “This is my Prayer Room,” from his book, “Early Music,” inspired this poem.

This is my Poetry Corner.

This is where each morning

I light the candles

and watch the incense smoke

gently rise, and circle, to the ceiling of my room.

One straight thin strand of smoke, and then the circles. Who knows what invisible breath

shapes its climb

shapes mine

shapes yours.

For one who knows nothing,

it is enough

to be still, to let

the spirit-breath grow

shapes around me

that stir my senses

into wakefulness.

This is the corner in my home

where each morning

the silky smooth goodness

of the warm tea

settles into my body and sends

its healing goodness

to start my day.

This is my poetry corner

where my pen and pages of poetry

and blank white pages of poetry not yet born,

await me,

curious, wondering,

ready to discover what new surprise

will find them and fill them

with the soft, loving, wise, artistic voice

of my Muse.

Additional Posts

February 23, 2021

Coming into the Peace of Wild Things

“Every human being comes to earth with sealed orders.” Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard said that. A good question is, “What are your sealed orders?” I feel that one of my “sealed orders” is to go into the wilderness, and, through being fully Present, noticing, and not buying into, the chatter in my mind, I can hear the speaking of the world. And that speaking informs me, delights me, enlivens me, brings me to a new level of wisdom and care for all things. Poet Wendell Barry shares with us in one of his poems that when “despair for the world…

February 16, 2021

Threshold Crossing Birthday

February 9, was my 76th birthday. My husband and I took a journey to the Olympic Rainforest, to Lake Quinault, staying at the lodge for a couple of nights. One morning, Don and I hiked up to the Falls’ Creek waterfall. Not having hiked like that in over a year, I was having a struggle, walking up hill, breathing hard. We almost stopped, before making it to the Falls. As the cascades we were seeing were so beautiful, we thought we had reached the top. Just as we were perhaps 10 steps away from the top of the hiking path,…

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