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Within you is a stillness and a sanctuary, to which you can retreat at any time.   Hermann Hesse


Ernest Hemingway, the author of the classic The Old Man and the Sea, went from moments of harsh physical activity to periods of total inactivity. Before sitting to write pages of a new novel, he’d spend hours peeling oranges and gazing into the fire.

One morning, a reporter noticed this strange habit.

“Don’t you think you’re wasting your time?” asked the journalist. “You’re so famous, shouldn’t you be doing more important things?”

“I’m preparing my soul to write, like a fisherman preparing his tackle before going out to sea,” replied Hemingway.

“If I don’t do this, and think only the fish matter, I’ll never achieve anything. “

Paul Coelho

As I contemplate writing another book over the next few years, I understand how important stillness and focus is, if I am to achieve my goals.  No matter what we have planned for the year ahead, make room for stillness and time for your soul to speak. It will always connect us to the vast wisdom and knowledge of the universe.


39 thoughts on “Retreat

  1. If at first this seems irrelevant to your post, I’d look again. This explains what it takes for me to write, at least. And perhaps Papa H. Aloha, Robin 😉

    Whatever is newly born needs a name and when we are more and more welcomed by the silence, naming becomes our job . We have to notice, to bless with attention the beasts before us, both the rough and the smooth. To name is to bring an attitude of wonder to the work of sorting, and even to the work of dealing with difficult states of mind. When we can name what is happening to us, we are no longer fully identified with it and have begun to separate from the grasping dark. If what we feel is known and named to be a tiger, then the whole world is not tiger. We can divide the compulsion and the image, the action and the emotion. There is a landscape through which we move, trees casting their own stripes on the forest floor, places where tiger is not. ~ John Tarrant

    1. Oh yes very relevant Bela! The silence brings bright light, revealing and exposing the conflict within us all and then understanding we are not that. Thankyou for sharing 💚🙏🏻💚

    1. Thankyou Jennifer, it will be fiction and I have lots and lots of thoughts right now, but I am sitting with my oranges ha and allowing the story to unfold as it wants! I am very excited but have a lot to learn and research before it even begins. Are you thinking about a new book this year? 💚

      1. Fiction is my preference, so I’m always interested in another writer’s muse. As soon as I get a few things wrapped up, I will be diving back into the manuscript I started in November. 💜

      2. Great! I have a beautiful Editor who is a great mentor to me. She is running a course on fiction in March which I will do. Good luck with your manuscript Jennifer, it is a wonderful way to share our creativity and our story. 💚

  2. The gestation of a thing, your book, is exciting and is just as important as the other processes. While many other people may view the time as wasted, or misspent, other artists recognise its value. I must confess, I am intrigued. And I wonder… mystery, crime, romance, sci-fi, … hmmm. What, is flickering along the edges of your imagination. I’m engaged, perfect!! Great post ❤️

    1. Thankyou Debi! As a beautiful artist yourself, you would understand this process and each one of us do it differently. I am intrigued too ha! I definitely know there is a story in me, how it gets on the pages of my book and is completed is a mystery indeed! Have a great day 💕💚

  3. I wasn’t familiar with either quote. Thank you for sharing them; they were just the reminder I needed. Wishing you the best with your new book.

  4. These are great quotes and so important. I love what Val said too – “with our without oranges.” Haha.
    New book??!!

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