Sunday, July 8, 2012


In the postcard, the old man is stands along the edge of a rough and stony shore
It's on an inlet or a bay perhaps
A wooden fishing skiff sits at the water's edge
Weathered and worn as the man

The scene around him is vivid and raw
Stones reach to the sky, jutting from the water
Their outlines worn and shaped by the ever present forces of time

The obvious natural beauty of the scene is not the essence of the image though
To me, the draw to it is something more
The man in the postcard belongs
This land is clearly as much a part of him
And he is of it

There is so much talk in our country of seeking in a spiritual context
And it occurs to me now that perhaps what is missing is not the lack of community or of a faith
Not the lack of belonging to an organization or a lineage
But the lack of belonging to a place
To a landscape

But instead, here, people flock in droves to the same urban bone yards
And what their spirit seeks is never going to be found there
We've leveled and scorched that landscape
We've built above and through it's heart
We've left ghosts and shadows on this bloated vista
 Inhabited by empty souls
Dead weight

Our place can't be found among the hordes and the groups born of so called common interest
That is not what we are bound to connect with in this life
We have created that purpose in our mind
To stave off the constant hunger
Just as we have created so many other distractions
So many other false starts

But maybe you have felt it stirring inside of you
Along a weekend country drive
Or at the water's edge
Across a plain or a plateau
In the forest or the sea 
Just a moment perhaps, when everything you deem your life was left behind
When it all disappeared into a dream
And the place filled you
Consumed you
Recognized you
As you seemed to recognize the place
What lie did you tell your heart then?

Often, in the end, we let all our superficial needs pull to the bone yards again
How would we live without our pleasured distraction?
How would we live without our tribe and causes?
How would we live without ambitions and status?
How would we survive?

The answers is
If you truly listened
Heard the landscape
Opened to that spirit
You might actually find yourself
You might actually find that you ARE alive there
You might just. . .

One day I hope to be the old man in a postcard
In the right place
A part of the landscape somebody captures
Whatever the background
Wheteher a storm is coming
Whether it is dusk or dawn
Whether it is sea or sage
I want to look, not like an awkward visitor
Not like a stranger
I want to look
As if I too

nicolas hall 2012

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