Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Secret Place

I’m the sort of person whose mind will drift off – any time and just about anywhere. This can also be referred to as zoning out or going to one’s happy place. It can also occur at inappropriate or inopportune moments.

Recent examples? The other day while brushing my teeth I suddenly realized I’d been doing so for an awfully long time. Where had I gone? “Inside myself.” And at yesterday’s pool class the instructions for an exercise were: “Stretch both arms forward, slowly pull them back behind you and turn palms inward.” I eventually came to and noticed I was the only one in the class with my arms still stretched forward – and that the instructor was watching me with a grin on his face.

Is this habit of mine indicative of some sort of mental aberration? Perhaps. But if so, I don’t mind at all. On occasion, I’m also capable of withdrawing inside myself with some rather negative thoughts. I much prefer the visits to my happy place.

Imagine my delight when I came across this poem last week written by Canadian poet and author Dennis Lee. I am not alone! I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest that Mr. Lee joins me in wishing everyone possessed the ability to visit such a place.

So, if you catch me with a faint smile on my face and a somewhat distant gaze in my eyes, do not disturb. And do not worry. I’m just experiencing a pleasant time out. I’ll be back.

The Secret Place - Dennis Lee

There's a place I go, inside myself,
Where nobody else can be,
And none of my friends can tell it's there -
Nobody knows but me.

It's hard to explain the way it feels
Or even where I go.
It isn't a place in time or space,
But once I'm there, I know.

It's tiny, it's shiny, it can't be seen,
But it's big as the sky at night . . .
I try to explain and it hurts my brain,
But once I'm there, it's right.

There's a place I know inside myself,
And it's neither big nor small,
And whenever I go, it feels as though
I never left at all.


VE said...

Is this place gnome free? Does it have fruity rum drinks? I'll be right over...

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

I didn't know Dennis Lee is/was Canadian. Hmmm, I guess as long as you are driving or running with sharp objects when you zone out it should be OK. I once drove from Trois Rivieres to Montreal (a two hour drive) and had no idea how I got there. But that was a one-off. The ultimate would be to zone through a whole day, don't you think? It would be nice to do that at will! Stay in the happy place, if you can.

sherry ♥ lee said...

So very "me, myself and I" -- we all need to have a "happy place"! I'll watch for those "imminent signs of departure" when next we are together!

Love the hair do!!! ♥

april in iowa said...

My husband and son frequent that place often, as well. I haven't been there in years though and miss it. dearly.

Reeny's Ramblin' said...

I think I exist mainly in my happy place, the downfall is when I am flung back into reality...I mainly fake it.

laughingwolf said...

it's called "oldtimer's disease", beth... no one is exempt :P lol

oreneta said...

It's a fabulous poem... and I love that it is n a collection of children's poems, he is advocating even when they were little!

St Jude said...

I have a terrible habit of zoning out when I'm driving home. I suddenly arrive and I have no memory of the journey. That is scary!

Beth said...

Gnome free but no rum in my happy place…and I’m not sure if my place would be crazy enough for you – or funny enough!

Bodhi Chicklet:
Failed to mention those (few) times while driving – scary, huh?
Wish I could zone out at will and/or stay in my happy place. Alas, no.

sherry lee:
Me, myself and I can be such delightful company – at times…
The hair do? That’s not a carefully created topknot - it’s the wind!

april in iowa;
I’ll bet you have been there – while creating your beautiful works of art, doing all that lovely decorating… :)

You do strike me as a happy camper!
(Fake it long enough, it can turn into the real thing….)

Well, that’s a depressing way of looking at it. I’d best start noting the frequency and duration of my “spells.” ;)

It’s a wonderful thing to do – at any age!

St. Jude:
See above re: The Bodhi Chicklet’s comment – I’m thinking this is something none of us should be admitting to!

Cid said...

Haven't read any Denis Lee in such a long time, thank you.

Seraphine said...

we'll have to call you
beth the balloon girl,
after the boy everyone thought
was trapped in
a balloon, but he wasn't.
he was found later
hiding in the attic.
we've all been there.

cipriano said...

I get like this when eating certain types of hamburgers. Just TOTALLY IN THE ZONE.
Other people have to clean me up with a napkin.

Barrie said...

I've read this poem before, but had completely forgotten about it!

Beth said...

My pleasure.

I never stay trapped (+ or —) for too long...

And now with sushi?? ;)

He used this poem in his address to the 2009 graduating class of Victoria College.

Seraphine said...

i know you don't stay trapped. thats one of the things i like about you.

Zhu said...

I wish I had the same "magic power". I'm the opposite, I find it hard to "let it go". I almost never lose track of time for example.

Well, it's not that bad I guess. I can still be creative.

Beth said...

You can't keep a good woman down/trapped - one of the things I like about you, too.

I think when one is creative, one "zones out" or goes to that happy place.

Deidra said...

I love the poem. That happy place is why I go to yoga. Once I'm "on the mat" I'm right there. Love it.

Cheryl said...

I love being able to go anywhere in my mind whenever I want. Though I sometimes forget I have a choice in which direction to go to.

Doctor's Monday, btw, just to make sure. Cross your fingers for me!

Anonymous said...

I know this place well, and I thought I was the only one. LOL. I love this place, but mostly when it is the happy spot.
I loved this poem, thanks for sharing this.

Bee said...

I do this, too . . . it drives my children batty. Of course they hate it when I don't "hear" one of their pearls (or complaints).

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