Inside the nautilus

Chambered Nautilus Shell / CC / Jitze Couperus


Sometimes you leave the labyrinth and it takes you a while a realize you’re still in it.

Hello friends, it’s been a while.

Today I bring you a nautilus shell. Because I’m thinking about spirals, about cocoons, about the shelter in the middle of the labyrinth. About places we return to, about former selves and ways of being. About how to build outward from the center that supports you but becomes too small to hold you, maybe. About the different levels and layers and kinds of protection. About the self that contains the power to write new labyrinths and expand the spiral. About the still point of the turning world (And do not call it fixity,/Where past and future are gathered).

Pulling in the oars

I’m in a period of withdrawing. Not just from this blog, but from some former ways of being (and in fact, now that I can name the act of withdrawing — a monumental step in itself — I think it will actually be easier to write and share more).

I’m pulling in the oars in order to feel the current. Withdrawing helps/helped/is helping cultivate the kind of silence that lets me hear my own thoughts. This is about as much as I know right now.

Listening is proving a difficult task — partly because I had not realized how far enmeshed I had become in certain patterns, in the process erasing my own voice; and partly it’s difficult because in freeing that voice, it gets to speak its own truths. Some of which are frightening, even when spoken in a whisper. Acting on it will take a little more courage than I’ve got at the moment; but listening to it is my own act of courage, for now. It says, pull in the oars. Don’t try to thrash in the wrong direction. All directions are wrong right now. Pull in the oars, and listen.

I guess you could say this started quite a while ago. Before the labyrinth, before the tar baby’s briar patch, before I started talking to Future Me about the dance of the seven veils. Before the frenzy and the rains of May.

It started with the nagging desire for change that kept haunting me and showing up in many forms — the dissatisfaction with my job, my house, my circumstances, my body, my habits, my plans. My patterns.

It started there. And eventually I came to realize that when you’re convinced it’s everything else, it’s not. It’s you. (That is, it’s me. It’s in me.) And the unhappiness hiding there, the voice that wanted to speak about it was further down than I realized, further stifled and mewed up than I had allowed myself to guess. And maybe it’s just taken until now to really burst up and make itself known.

There have been (and continue to occur) internal shifts that I can’t articulate quite yet. And external shifts that are begin to mirror the internal shifts the more I listen in and stay in this odd quiet center of the nautilus. And I think I’ll be here for a while yet, figuring out the shifts and what stays and what goes.

I hope to write more. I hope to lose some of the obfuscation about all this, as it becomes easier to talk about. As I figure out how to talk about it in the context of this space, and in the context of my life.

If you read, thank you. It’s comforting because even talking about being in the still point feels like an intimacy I haven’t shared yet, despite all the crazy visions and things I’ve ever written. And it’s good to feel I can finally put words out into the world about this.


About jesse k.

Writer. Mama. Spy in the house of self-awareness. Occasional crafter, letterpress geek, and academic snob.
This entry was posted in Checking in, Sovreign Symbols, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Inside the nautilus

  1. jess says:

    the struggle to let that voice out is So. Hard. I am having similar struggles.

    it was so good to see you this weekend. xoxo.

    • jesse k. says:

      glad to hear i’m not alone, jess.

      was good to see you too! maybe we can hang for coffee or something this summer…nw is easy-ish to get to from work so i tend to gravitate to that quadrant for breakfasts/lunches with friends.


      • jess says:

        That would be fantastic — I am actually struggling hardcore right now with feelings of loneliness and isolation! Scott has a bustling social calendar which often doesn’t involve me (which would be fine if I had anything going on, but is hard otherwise) and my best friends are all in other states. Or countries. It puts a bad strain on me and on our relationship. FRIENDS = GOOD

        Do you have my #? I’ll send it to you on fb. I’d love to get together for coffee or what-have-you if you find yourself in the neighborhood. (And likewise I’m often near your neck of the woods!).

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  3. sarra says:

    Oh, oh oh oh oh. Oh.

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