Pen Pal to My Soul: Kerry-Ann Stanton

“Hopefully, maybe, possibly, in the next article I can share where my wondering has led me.” (Taken from my piece “Inarticulate to Thank you” )

The next quarter came and went; winter morphed into spring and now summer is upon us again.  And for me, the transition continues and I am keeping my ‘wondering’ simple.  If you missed the autumn article, my wondering was and is about what is mine to articulate?

This where “articulate” means expressing yourself easily or characterized by clear expressive language.

So how have I got on with the juggle of anxiety versus being in wonder?

In my work as a funeral celebrant I find an outlet for both speaking and being of service.  In the ceremony I give voice to that which the family seeks to have expressed, by way of tribute or telling the deceased’s story.  I support them to articulate the range of emotions present at such a time and to do it in a public forum – very satisfying.  And I feel well able to articulate on other’s behalf.

And as the funeral work needed supplementing I found myself relief teaching.  This work also requires speaking and definitely being of service!  Talking – yes, almost endlessly as a primary school relief teacher.  Shouting – just occasionally!  Playing with my voice – yes with the children and with my use of language, seeking always to enrol, hold attention, and be clear enough that the children can then work for themselves.

So being articulate for and on behalf of others I can do.

What about on my own behalf?

Looking through an old women’s diary I found a lovely photo of a small girl sitting on a door step writing in a note book.  Photographed by Joyce Brady in 1997, she called it “Pen Pal to my Soul”.  She is sitting in the sun engrossed in her writing.

I felt so drawn to the image and the notion of being a pen pal to my soul.  Forget articulating outside of myself, what would it be like to chat happily to myself and be in articulate relationship with myself?  And from that place respond to and interact with the world.

It has turned out, surprise surprise, that the best engagement with myself, the one that is most articulate internally, comes from silence.  The silence that comes when in communion with nature, in meditation, in the focus of writing and those magic times in dance when the chatter has fallen out of my head and my being is free to just dance – dance pal to my soul.

I find myself less worried about the silences and times of feeling inarticulate.  They seem a necessary pause and rest phase, a bridge to my next transition.

So how do I currently answer the question “what is mine to articulate”?  It is that which I am drawn to, that, which on reflection, is drawn from me as I interact with clients, children, friends and family.

I will leave you with a section from Rumi that I am currently sitting with.

“… Quietness is the surest sign

that you’ve died.

Your old life was a frantic running

from silence.

The speechless full moon

Comes out now.”         – Rumi

Arohanui Kerry-Ann