On longing : reflections on and by John Lee

There are some forms of longing that live in my body like bees in a hive.  It’s as though the hive’s entrance has been blocked and word is spreading that the Queen is dead.  Everywhere honey is dripping from the walls and yet my longings keep my insides frenetically buzzing, too distracted to taste any sweetness.

To get the bees out of their hive, use fire and smoke.  Touch the Shadow, delve into what you’d rather not say, allow your breath to rise up within you and do not reject what it creates.  From this apparent chaos, a hidden nectar flows.

Sometimes the smoke comes from the fire of our anger at having been told we can’t write, or that our mind is unprepared, or that we should choose a vocation that pays the bills.  Sometimes we’re mad at our children for needing so much of our time, or a partner who doesn’t understand our passion for the written word. This anger often drives our feelings swarming out of us into the open.  The flight of our fury lets us know that we don’t have a ‘depressed’ body or soul after all, but that we’ve only been stopping our longing.  Every writer, at some point in life, must admit that this yearning is a part of everyday life, indeed is the lifeblood itself, and that depression comes when we try to stop the flood, when we do not act, do not create.

I long to write words that will fly, out toward you like bees that cover our arms as together we scoop out the rich sweetness of what is said in the space between our words.  I accept that I will never say all that must be said.  I accept that I will be stung baldy one or twice, because nothing go great value is ever gained for free.

John Lee

I am just a lot in love with John Lee’s book on writing from the body at the moment.  So I felt the need to share this passage.  And it raises some questions for me.  What do I do about my own longings and desires?  Do I allow them?  Do I let them move me? Or do I listen to the voice of my Mum inside telling me all the time not to long, not to want, not to suffer, not to hunger?  And more importantly have I allowed earlier thwartings and experiences of seeing others longings bring them unstuck or leave them drowning in a pool of tears to lead me to certain belief about longing, wanting, needing?  Did I learn to abort my own true, deep longings long ago?

It seems to me that for a lot of the past years I have been living in denial or repression of most essential parts of myself and my being.  I got to believe I was too, too much a long time ago.  I was too passionate, my opinions were too strong, and I had strange ideas and the implication was that if I continued in this way I would be exiled and so I learned to exile myself from myself in many ways and to deny the life I really wanted to live. I got dumbed down too, in fear.  Fear that others would respond to me in similar ways. But what I am learning is that not all people will hate or be threatened by this passionate side of me.  Some people might even like it or admire it.  And in any case to not follow my heart and desire and my longing and my passion is really not right.  For I do believe it does lead to depression.

Anyway I love this book by John Lee and will share some more of it with you.  He has some amazing poems in it.  I only consider myself a mediocre poet however nothing compares to the joy I feel in reading a poem that speaks and resonates to my soul deeply.   And I hope always to live a life of poetry in motion, lived in and through a body that is fully aweke, embodied and engaged.  That I believe is what John Lee speaks to in his own books and writing.

Published by: emergingfromthedarknight

"The religious naturalist is provisioned with tales of natural emergence that are, to my mind, far more magical than traditional miracles. Emergence is inherent in everything that is alive, allowing our yearning for supernatural miracles to be subsumed by our joy in the countless miracles that surround us." Ursula Goodenough How to describe oneself? People are a mystery and there is so much more to us than just our particular experiences or occupations. I could write down a list of attributes and they still might not paint a complete picture pf Deborah Louise and in any case it would not be the full truth of me. I would say that my purpose here on Wordpress is to express some of my random experiences, thoughts and feelings, to share about my particular journey and explore some subjects dear to my heart, such as emotional recovery, healing and astrology while posting up some of the prose/poems which are an outgrowth of my labours with life, love and relationships. If anything I write touches you I would be so pleased to hear for the purpose of reaching out and expressung ourselves is hopefully to connect with each other and find where our souls meet.

Categories Inner Voices, Writing10 Comments

10 thoughts on “On longing : reflections on and by John Lee”

  1. I can relate so much to this! It has been very hard for me to find support for my writing from others, other than my husband. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t even have this blog. It is way too easy for others to stomp on our passion and silence our voice, especially if we have experienced trauma. I am trying really hard to not let anyone take away my passion for writing. It isn’t easy and it is actually quite painful at times, especially when those who say they care about you don’t even really support you. I used to always think that there was something wrong with me. People often make the mistake in thinking that just because you can write, your confidence is high. These are all painful lessons to learn when we have been victimized and silenced in our past. Somehow we have to find a way to believe in ourselves enough to at least show up in our own lives, let our passion and voice flow out of us. What becomes of it is not in our hands, nor our concern. What others think of it is not either. How others respond though is telling of where their heart is toward us. No matter what though, this is our life to live, our voice to speak, our path to find healing! For many of us writing is often all that we have at times! Sometimes I want to shout to the world, “Don’t try to silence our souls!” Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I relate to every word. I have been told so many times I am too this or that… too dramatic, sensitive, expressive should just shut up not be so confronting. Its so important to find our voice. Listening to that talk by Diane Langsberg you shared made me realise how speaking is putting the finger up to the abuser who wants to keep the lies hidden. I feel such a strong bond with you and I am so glad you are finding your voice. Don’t let anyone dull your fire. Let it rage and burn or flow in your powerful writing. It needs to. xoxoxox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My critic tries to censor me all the time I have several poems banked up I haven’t posted yet. But I am slowly finding this passion for writing I had from such a young age and following it.. I will share more from Johns book as he has done a lot of emotional recovery work to overcome addiction and repression and has powerful things to say. xo

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