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Interior and Exterior Castles

How to make or preserve space for inner growth, for contemplation, for insight into the nature of things, is a perennial issue in a busy life. I reproduce here a letter written to a friend, from a contemplative break in Wales, years ago….

Stresses and strains accumulate because I, Lucy, get very involved. I have to ask myself: Who is behind that Lucy?--the silent One who looks and is immensely spacious?

I went for a walk with the Silent One just before --this place has helped me reconnect, to breathe. So many years have passed since I used to sit as I am now, in extended solitude, with the silence wrapping round me, and thoughts rising like mists, full of promise, but easy to disperse. Not since before I married. Ah, solitary joys!

So I went for my last walk in the darkness, down the long drive, and the silence was absolute around. No wind, and even the sea seemed to have gone away somewhere, as not the merest trace of wave plashing against the dark land could be heard. I listened into the silence and asked who was listening. The answer of course was silence, but living, and I knew this living silence had been there always, from the moment I first drew breath, looking out and waiting for me to recognise that it was none other than I.

I knew also that it was the only place I would ever find God. How naive to expect that someday God would be revealed somewhere means of some book, or person, or piece of theory, and presented to that Lucy with all her busy pre-occupations and desire for answers. She wouldn't know God if He arrived like Liberace in a sequinned suit with flashing lights. Glyn really did his best not to give us any of those dodgy gods, bless his socks, and kept pointing somewhere else where nothing could be said.

The Northern Lights are supposed to be potentially visible tonight. I keep going to the window to check, but so far just stars and faint grey clouds. Before bed I might go down my 77 stairs, past the fire still burning, salute the suit of armour guarding the door, and gaze up at the heavens just in case.

A soul break from domesticity is a great tonic. If you feel the need after three years, imagine how I feel after thirty! Let's save our souls whenever we can!

With love from the interior castle……

Re: You might be back in London now with fresh silence in the soul, and strong legs after walking all those stairs in the castle.

What a fitting venue for the kind of break you were having! It sounds like the fire in the interior castle has had some new logs put on it.

Yes, I do understand that you needed this break! If I feel like this after 3 years, I can only imagine what 30 years might do!!

I will remember your trip to the castle and make sure that I find soul space now and then!

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These musings are responses to a context, a time, a place, a query. Another time, another context. An angle slightly different, a different response, perhaps seemingly in contradiction.

But Truth is present if it resonates truthfully, and in the process should generate more questions...

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