Poetic Time and the Seasons of the Soul

by Geoff Hall on May 29, 2015

rp_The-Group-logo.jpgMy contemplative practice is leading me to a different understanding of time. We generally consider this in a linear fashion, the tick-tocking of past moments, the measurement of time past, because by the time we’ve heard the tick and the tock, it has gone.


In terms of our art, be it written, filmed, painted, drawn, acted; the most boring stories are linear ones; this leads to that, that leads to another this and then yes you’ve guessed it, a that! We know what to expect, for the element of surprise has been eradicated.


Our lives are different from this; the seasons of the soul, being wooed and wafted by the ruach; we encounter sloughs of despond, mountaintop highs, the lows of the valleys, a lead grey sky, an azure firmament, winds which attempt to pull the flesh off our bones and frosts which crack it open.


Whatever the experience, whatever the journey, we must pay attention to the connections we make through these landscapes, for the only time we appear to walk alone, is in The Wilderness. Whilst that may be true, you will not be the first to experience it. There are guides who have walked this path. Listen to them. Whatever the terrain, our aim should be to press on together.


Ancient Corinth, with the Acrocorinth site on the precipice beyond. This is where Aphrodite was worshipped.

Ancient Corinth, with the Acrocorinth site on the precipice beyond. This is where Aphrodite was worshipped and cult prostitution flourished.

Paul wrote to a bunch of disparate believers in the ancient city of Corinth.

“Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw…”

The city was renowned for its commerce, its great temples and public spaces, but also as a centre of cult prostitution. Religion can lead to the exploitation of others.


This brings me back to time, even a poetic notion of it. One particular thread in our letters through the years, has been one of perseverance, of not giving up. Whereas Paul’s words may appear to be about the stuff of what is built, the most important element to this is process is…


Gold, silver and precious stones take much longer to produce than wood, hay or straw. If we leave before the journey is completed, then all we have built is something of the seasonal variety. Straining towards relevance, we become outdated before the building project is complete. However, if we endure, then we have to think in geological time. And whilst the common misconception is that diamonds takes a million years to form, it’s probably more accurate to say that it takes us a million years to find them!


If all we want is instant success, immediate gratification, then go for the wood, hay or straw variety of building on the foundation. But… if you want to craft the gems and fulfil your calling, it will take time and perseverance. There’ll be heat and pressure, stress and discomfort. It’s all part of the process of being an artist and our aim should be to produce the best that our gifts can create.

Please note, the best work doesn’t come flat packed.

Be well,


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