Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The Art Of Disappearing


















When they say ‘Don’t I know you?’ say no.

When they invite you to the party remember what parties are like before answering. Someone telling you in a loud voice they once wrote a poem. Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate. Then reply.

If they say ‘We should get together.’ say why? It’s not that you don’t love them anymore. You’re trying to remember something too important to forget. Trees. The monastery bell at twilight. Tell them you have a new project. It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store nod briefly and become a cabbage. When someone you haven’t seen in ten years appears at the door, don’t start singing him all your new songs. You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf. Know you could tumble any second. Then decide what to do with your time.

~~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~~

*artwork by Renee Nault

77 comments:

Jackie said...

What a prescence you have! To imagine you blending in with the cabbage is something I doubt possible.
You always leave me at a loss for words.Imagine that? It always takes me time to absorb your words because they are always so powerful.
I read them , sit with them, spend time thinking about them.
As long as there are words you are not Disappearing .I see you ,Renee:)

Barbara said...

Disappearing is a fine art all right. Most of us can't do it without hurting a lot of feelings.

But to some extent we all do it.
I actually found myself turning down one particular party over Christmas; but then there was another I couldn't get out of and I was miserable all night. Another lesson learned.

There's also a fine line between being true to yourself and selfishness.

Cat said...

:) I disappear most regularly.

Dave King said...

I usually say I don't really know me!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

This is perfect. I'm going to look this writer up. Thank you!

Sonia ;) said...

That is so true...Beautiful quote...Tell Jacquie thank you for me...she can email me anytime..just as you...Ive been working on a project and when its all ready I will show you first...shhh lol....

xoxoxoxoxox

pRiyA said...

Thank you for this. It was much needed.


xoxo

Rick said...

Rainy- how interesting. Most would advise the reverese. But it's true; had it been all it could have been the first go around, there would be no need for gasping recognition. Love ya~rick

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Renee, I love this!! I am very jealous of my time. So many people want to sit and fritter it away talking of the superficial. To some, I suppose, I appear rude but ultimately time and love are all I have and I intend to guard them fiercely.

Ces said...

HAHAHAHHA! What's going on and what's up with you? Why practicing this disappearing act? That's one great thing about the blogs, one never has to do any of these. One can post when one wants and stop when one wants. The best disappearing act of all, post everyday as if everything is going fine and then BAM! BAM! BAM! say goodbye! Don't explain, just say goodbye or better yet just do not update your blog, remove your email link, and do not answer emails. The best of the best - JUST DELETE THE BLOG.

There! Easy as pie. I tell you. It's the best way to break someone's heart...

DON"T YOU DARE DO ANY OF THESE!!!

Don't you dare break my heart!

jacquir said...

time equals life energy
think and choose wisely...

clairedulalune said...

Hello Renee. Those words. I can not get them out of my head. I read the verse twice and it slapped me on the face a few times. I loved it, thank you. Oh, the picture at the top? I went on a walk yesterday with th big fella and saw a tree that had fallen down and the roots were exposed. Big fella and I talked about how the roots of the tree down below are some what a mirror image of the branches above. I loved the idea that so much it going on under the ground. I wanted a picture to give me inspiration to draw my own version and you have given it to me. I also admired that although the tree had fallen down it continued to grow and soar. Strong like oak, just like you. (((((hugs))))))

deb said...

oh , I love this.
love this.
and you for posting it this morning.

and for your words to me yesterday.
I know I wrote it in a jarring way. a straight telling way.

and don't disappear

Vicki Holdwick said...

Hello Renee,

This is a pretty deep post that has filled me with a mix of sadness and gladness which I can't explain even to myself.

I got pretty good news about my Mom - basal cell carcinoma - which according to the doctor is the "best" cancer you can get (as though cancer could be a good thing).

Sure wish you lived closer. I'd love to be able to give you a real hug instead of these virtual ones.

xoxo

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I feel like this a lot. We piss away so much of our lives on superficial social interactions. But our souls yearn for depth.

Dede said...

A great post, very honest, so very true. How are you feeling today? Love you....

(((HUGS)))

studio lolo said...

This is one of the most profoundly powerful little bits I've read in a long while.

I'm going to print it out.
I'm going to share it with my friends.

Wow. Every bloody minute counts.

I love you.
xoxoxo
Lolo

Wine and Words said...

Damn fine advice indeed. However a leaf is tossed around by the will of the wind, and I....have control issues :)

Great-Granny Grandma said...

Thanks for your sweet comment, Renee, and oh how I wish you could do the same. I don't have the answers for why things are happening to you and your dear family the way they are, and I can imagine how hard that must make it for you to believe in a loving God,but I do know that whether you believe it or not, he DOES love you, and He weeps with you, and your tears are saved in his vial.
(((((xo)))))

Silke said...

I just loved the image of turning into a cabbage next time I see someone I know at the grocery store. I'm going to give that a try... Thinking of you all!! Love, Silke

Angela Recada said...

Good morning, darling Renee. This post is perfect advice for us all. I know I do need to become a cabbage. What a comfort that would be, to only meet the most necessary social obligations so I finally have the time to get on with my own life.

"Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think."
~ Chinese proverb

"As you grow older, you'll find the only things you regret are the things you didn't do."
~ Zachary Scott

"Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you."
~ Annie Dillard

Carpe diem - seize the day

I hope you are able to spend some time today doing something you love in the company of people you love, dear friend.

Love and hugs,
xoxoxo
Angela

Jeanne-ming said...

I love this post! Wonderful

zoe said...

wow! what a post! i love the art and the quote...fantastic. thank you so much, renee!

Sarah said...

Oh oh oh Renee..I so deeply needed to read this..sometimes I think we forget that it is ok to say NO! To follw your own path and remember that not everyone can follow you there...if you wander off on too many other paths..you eventually loose your way and have to work twice as hard to find your own again! I will be a leaf...and go my own way! Love you hon..I do, Sarah

LDWatkins said...

Such profound advice. Time is so precious..not a drop to waste. So much to think about in that passage. Thank you. So, I look like Rose..good. When you see her you can see me! Love to you. I'm doubling up on prayers for you.

staceyjwarner said...

I love this! Truly.

Such beautiful writing, profound and quirky...

much love

N-Search of Peace! said...

I just found you so please please don't disappear!

This has made me most HAPPY and you are so much fun and you have made me laugh out loud and I am still smiling!

Thanks...you are such joy to me!

N-Peace

Marion said...

I just read this poem a few days ago, Renee. Synchronicity. I started to post it on my blog, then life got in the way and I forgot about it. I love this poem. It's so wise and true and pure. All we ever have is now with no promise of tomorrow. I wish you many tomorrows. I love you, dearest friend. Blessings!

Deborah said...

First, I LOVE this drawing! Fantastical. I want to crawl in there, under the tree. Second, I cannot relate to the words at all. I am one of THOSE...I sing my song to EVERYONE! ♥♥♥ Deb

Annie said...

I disappear all the time. People get upset at me for this, but it is the only way I have the time to create :-). Love this writer by the way.
Love you xoxo

karen gerstenberger said...

Brilliance. I practiced something like this for the past 2 years, but I am starting to forget it now.
You always remind me of what's important. Thank you. I love you!

Marie S said...

I am going to disappear and spend my time hugging Madi, doing art, and reading your blog. I can be near them all that way, all my loves.
Love and long distance hugs from Madi and I.
Cabbage queen and brussel sprout.

kj said...

the art and the quote fit together so incredibly well.

but i have mixed feelings about this. not in all circumstances: there are people from all parts of my life who come and go and i don't want to and don't struggle with that. i can be kind and present in the moment and move on knowing i can only do, connect so much, not with everyone. time is my gift to others.

but there are other people who i cannot and should not dismiss, at least not so easily. there are people who live in my heart and have earned that space, no matter what circumstance dictates.

here in the blogs,it's easy enough to stop blogging, to say goodbye for all the right reasons, to slough off some relationships that have taken root. but don't ask my heart to understand that.

i guess the bottom line for me is that some relationships i've let in to my life and whatever happens the love is there. i hope to be treated kindly and riciprocally in those circumstances, and when i'm not, it enters a construct i can't really understand.

hmmm. another great post, renee.

xoxo
kj

Together We Save said...

Love it!! Thanks for sharing.

Pattee said...

Wow that is powerful Renee...

"I think your thinking of that actress from the 50's"

You can't disappear from me, no you can't ....

but that Jehovah Witness yes make him disappear!!!!

About your mom yesterday... I feel for you and your family losing such a dear woman, someone I wish I could have met in my lifetime.

My mom died from cancer due to smoking... sad. She also lost her legs to cardiovascular disease which is also related to smoking. sad... I'm so glad I quit 26 years ago!

I love you and see you ~Pattee

yoborobo said...

Renee - I love this:

"You’re trying to remember something too important to forget. Trees. The monastery bell at twilight. Tell them you have a new project. It will never be finished"

I disappear quite regularly. I am suprised I have any friends at all. This has made me want to go for a walk and listen for bells. :) love you, Pam

Manon Doyle said...

I second Ces's comment!! She said it all!
Have a good day my friend!!
manon
xo

Angie Muresan said...

Oh don't you disappear now, Renee. I will be devastated! It's a great quote and all, yet it makes me sad too. Because I am selfish, and I want your presence every day.

Ces said...

YES! There is a heart in there and precisely because of that!

You know, I disagree with this. I find myself being asked by many people whether we have met before or we knew each other before. While I don't act like we were best friends before, I certainly try to remember and most of them were once my patient in the ER or they were mothers of Girl Scouts in my troop or they are relatives of friends, etc. I would not go around treating my life like a leaf that can be blown away at any time, I would never be able to go out of my comfort zone and help a stranger in need. After all, they are strangers and I have no relationship with them, right? but I do stop when someone is in need of help and twice boldly and recklessly performed mouth to mouth resuscitation on strangers in the middle of traffic, one of then ended up being the father of one of our physicians.

People talk to me on elevators and within a minute or two have divulged their family life and secrets. I politely listen and then say goodbye when I need to leave.

I of course would not give a rat's ass about returning a comment on my blog just because someone visited especially if I do not think someone is that interesting.

I also do not answer all personal emails from people I have no close relationship with. I do not feel it is my personal obligation to respond.

Dawn said...

Amazing... what deep words, I love it x

cinner said...

I understand this so clearly, although I have never wanted to blend in with the cabbage, I am learning that I don't have to do everything, as for that matter anything. yes some days I want to hide just a little. We all learn so much from you, thanks for making me think more on this. Hugs to you.

Silke said...

I LOVE brussels sprouts - excellent idea!! :) Love, Silke

Sue said...

As I get older I am much more jealous of my time. I've also become much more adept at saying "NO".....haven't tried the cabbage thing yet though LOL

Wishing you a bat-free day my friend!

Hugs!

YayaOrchid said...

I have no problem with disappearing. In fact, I've become quite the expert. Interesting post. I think too many of us can identify. Not saying that's a good thing.....

Karin Bartimole said...

God I love this Renee!! I'd add, don't join facebook :)

Yoli said...

What a beautiful image and poem. I am with Jackie, you are not disappearing.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

...feel like a leaf, why that sounds quite pleasant. A dry autumn leaf~~light and crisp and fragile, just going where the wind blows you. A spring leaf~~green, succulent, plump even...full of life.

May you feel like a leaf today, too

Ces said...

The first man was an elderly man in his sixties. The second one was a woman and she is my neighbor. All I was hoping was that they did not have any communicable disease!

I am with Deborah. I like being alone and value my time but what is the point of our existence as a social being when one cannot find time for another fellow human being. Isn't that why we are here? Be honest and I don't mean just you, do we really think that blogging is VERY IMPORTANT? We are here because we connect and we share and we derive happiness from one another and some of us feell the need to be able to help others by being there to listen or give comfort.

Oh I want to be the recipient - HELP ME, I NEED SOME LOVIN'!

Allegra Smith said...

Let me tell you a little story that goes completely against the gist of this. Some years ago I was on my way to some important meeting and after being frustrated because finding a parking spot was hellish, I locked the car and turned around and I was face to face with a business acquaintance known for being very wealthy, very boisterous and very long winded, certainly not a person I would want to spend any time with. Yet he stopped me and said hello and out of pure good upbringing thanks to my parents and my nanny, I responded with a "how are you?" and before I could add that I was on my way to a meeting he looked down and said "not too well." I could have said I am sorry and explaining that I was on my way but instead something told me to stop and I encouraged him to tell me what was wrong. I know it wasn't curiosity, I just felt like here there was this human being, who needed to tell a near stranger that he wasn't too well.

He had just found out that his older son was dying and no one could do anything about it. He had exhausted every avenue here and abroad trying to find a way to save him but his disease was rare and at the time, terminal. His sixteen year old, his pride and joy was dying.

I just listened to him and there was little I could say. I asked about his wife, his family and if there was anything I could do to help. He said "I am keeping you" and I said it wasn't important. To please tell me if there was anything at all that I could do. And he said "You had. You were the only kind thing that happened to me today" with that he left and I went to my meeting. I was late and I apologized but didn't give any reason.

What did I get out of it? A lesson I won't soon forget. Yes, time is valuable and precious and some times the only way to really understand its value is to give it to those who unbeknownst to us may need it more than we could ever suspect. I could never turn into a cabbage after that, nor would I want to. We all see life from different angles, but human kindness in whichever form it takes always paints everything with the same color.

Love to you as always, LALF.

Bella Sinclair said...

I have a knack for disappearing. And for becoming invisible. I am so good, in fact, that I am often invisible even when I want to be visible. Reaching out can be painful, but sometimes, I find myself pleasantly surprised by what I feel on the other end.

I like cabbage. But I think it gives me gas.

Sarah said...

I like this piece of writing for the way it made me think. Life is so precious and this is yet another way of saying that-but said so cleverly and beautifully. I love the line about a leaf.
I love Bonnie and Ces's(as usual!) comments and agree with both.
Don't disappear Renee though will you? xx

EMILY said...

that piece of artwork is just beautiful :)

E

Mim said...

I will disappear and become a rabbit (Emily maybe?) and sit beside you in the garden in the cabbage patch, and we will quietly sun together, not talking just listening

the GyPsY said...

Great post, photo and words. I think I like to know the art of disappearing to use when I want to - but maybe not too often :-)

Hope you're OK.
Hugs

Julie-ann Bowden said...

Renee, I just told my mum you love her. She said to send her love to you. So nice.
She was tellng me of a dream John had last night.
He dreamt of a large frog, this frog opened its mouth and spat out a baby frog which hit him on his face.
David my son saw his face in a little vision and went up to see him today as he was worried.
Thinking there maybe change coming?

Sorry I havn't bought The little gift, will do on Friday.
Thank you so much Renee!

Lots of love and hugs!

Julie

secret agent woman said...

"Someone telling you in a loud voice they once wrote a poem. Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate. Then reply."

This is a wonderful life lesson.

Kate said...

I love Naomi's poetry, she really can get to the core of things and beautifully too.

lakeviewer said...

OMG! Recite slowly; breathe; recite again. This stopped me cold.

You are counting your every thought.
You are teaching us to be mindful.

Ces said...

BINGO! You hit the nail on the head! As soon as someone becomes attached to the point of being needy I am outa da door! I cannot stand needy people. I think I already spend enough time with those I love if someone still complains and insists on me standing there when he/she turns around I'll encourage that person to join a knitting club or a yoga class. Precisely as you said. Blogging makes you connected while remaining disconnected. However, I look forward to meeting three brilliant people I find so irresistibly enchanting, interesting and very funny and I truly love my sisterfriends.

BT said...

I read all the comments and thought, I don't quite feel like that, then kj replied and said just what I feel. She is a wonderful writer and espressed it far better than I could have. No disappearing for you Renee - sorry my friend.
xxx

Ces said...

Oooh the playing is not level! Hardy Har Har! And too late, I already love you! Your five minutes is up! HEHEHEHEHE!

Dan Gliubizzi said...

Hm-mmm. I have no problem disappearing

secret agent woman said...

Let's get one thing straight - one of is is fighting cancer and one of us is baking cookies. I have the far easier road and I am keenly aware of it.

kj said...

thank you, bt.

&

renee, i love you. don't you be disappearing on me girl, you hear?

well, on second thought, you can disappear as long as you reappear.

i'll do the same. you can count on it.

secret agent woman said...

Then when we marry I will cook for you, including all the cookies you want. :)

In the Light of the Moon said...

So I came by for a visit this morning,had to run out an get some chores done..but your words haunted me and I knew when the day slowed I would be back and I would soak up the words again and again.
"Something too important to forget like the trees" or perhaps "walk around feeling like a leaf"..Glorious words to treasure, like a breeze that flies by you.My mind is clear,thanks to you Sweet Renee,"Know you could tumble any second" We are like the breeze.Making the trees dance,flying underneath the wings of the birds,playing in the hair of those we love,kinda breeze. Love you friend,Cat

Allegra Smith said...

Oh you are not any better for it than you were before, you only thought of the cabbage because you are sick and sore, been there, done that, in fact I am still there. And it is easier to grow frumpy when the body is taking over and the darn thing is not doing what we want to do and instead responds faster to a damn chemical than to our wishes.

I know how I can feel and I know how you can fill at times like this. We love to be with those who love us and yet, we need to be alone. One of my dearest has written to me about how much she misses me. I told her I miss me too. But I need to be selfish, and retire into my little cave until I can see clearly and forget about cabbages. See how little it took you? I love you, take good care and tell Jacquie and your Mother than I am thinking about them as well and sending love and Healing thoughts. LALF.

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

This is a wonderful post Renee! Of course, babysitting grandkids now for 3 days required that I read it twice to totally comprehend the deepness of it all :)
I hope you never 'leaf'....I (we) need you♥
Love, Darla

one little acorn said...

I totally understand the wish to disappear...
I love the line, "nod briefly and become a cabbage". This sounds like a valuable skill that I might need to develop!
You and I both know, life is way too short to hang out with people that mean nothing to you.
Lucky you have got such amazing family and friends by your side.
xxx

Kathleen said...

Ah, wondrous. Thank you for this, lovely Renee!

Lori ann said...

it took me so long to read all your comments i forgot what we were talking about.

please forgive me, my new puppy is to blame.

so tired now, nightynite renee, see you tomorrow love.

x times 100thousand,
lori

Björnik said...

I could use some of this tips right now.:)

Alina Chau said...

This is so delicated!! beautiful!

turquoise cro said...

LOL I've heard this before, become a cabbage!! LOL I'd become a juicy tomato or strawberry!!! Thinking of YOU and YOUR family today sweet woman!

Margaret Ann said...

A well chosen art piece... I am a great fan of Renee Nault's work...This post really spoke to me also...Thanks for the "gift" of posting it for me to read...it was meant to be.

Isabel said...

Ah the art of knowing when it is time to be with yourself or to be of the world...

Wonderful text!!!

Woman in a Window said...

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store nod briefly and become a cabbage.

Oh my god. That is both gorgeous and genius. Sweet sweet genius.

xo
erin