5 recordings of Bill reading poetry from Dwelling
This post comes a week late, as we landed from the first Dwelling book reading experience and gathered our thoughts and feedback, and started getting ready for the Living Future unConference in Portland, Oregon… but that will have to wait until next week! For now, we leave you with a summary of the Dwelling book reading experience from April 21 and a few recordings from the event we wanted to share with you!
Last month, the first copies of Dwelling: A Poetic Exploration of Home became available, and on Saturday April 21, Bill invited twelve people into his home for the first Dwelling experience event. This was an opportunity for a sneak peak into Dwelling the book, and a chance to learn more about upcoming Dwelling workshops and events.
The front room of Bill’s home is an expansive space, where one can sit and let their thoughts wander, or enter into a deep contemplation. There is the airiness of a cathedral, with light streaming into the south facing windows and above from a sunlight. The walls are painted a soft green, with touches of purple and yellow swirled throughout.
A few questions begin the two-hour gathering.
What is the significance of the cover image? Bill grew up body surfing, and remembers the force of the waves. Dwelling is about being in the space of the power. In the same way lighting a candle can bring vitality and life to a room — more awake and alive — and invite connection to the forces of nature, there are ways for us to make these connections in our house and through our everyday living.
Bill grew up body surfing, and remembers the force of the waves. Dwelling is about being in the space of the power.
How long did it take to write the book? 27 years, or 2 years, or 61! Dwelling began with divorce when Bill was in his mid-twenties, the day after his daughter Kate turned two. He came back from a business trip and walked into his home. When he walked upstairs, he saw his daughter’s room empty. This cracked open a period of soul seeking, mainly through writing and reading of poetry. Over time, this experience has turned into Dwelling.
In the center of a circle, a candle is lit. As Bill describes in Dwelling:
“Being with a candle is the most humble, direct way to Dwell. There is only us, and light — that’s all it takes to expand into spiritual realms. We can light a candle before going to bed, and sit with it until its presence calms us; put it next to our computer; center our dining table; bring calm to a difficult conversation. Light a single candle. Sit still. Gaze at the candle. Feel it transform the space. Listen for what it has to tell you.”
Everyone in the room is asked to share their name and answer two questions: What is home? When do you NOT feel connected to home?
These questions invite a deeper contemplation and a variety of responses:
Home: the garden, the mountains, my heart, wherever there is a sense of peace, the woods, family, nature, silence, community of people
Not home: the absence of home; loud, noisy and busy places; no green, living things; away from family and friends
These personal experiences and connections is what gives Dwelling its vibrancy. All of us have the familiar experience of moving into a new space, trying to fit our many selves into a place until it feels safe and secure. For many, this is a process of rearranging and simplifying. Through Dwelling, Bill invites us to explore our inner Home, as a way to give rise to the internal images that bring grounding and centering.
Bill, soft-spoken, self-deprecating, homemade cookie offering poet, architect and guide to those who wish to Dwell. The journey of Dwelling came about for Bill as he navigated through a tumultuous time in his twenties. From these experiences came spiritual insights, transmitted through his poetry, inspired by Rumi and Rainer Maria Rilke, animated and guided by his daughter Kate.
As an architect, Bill has a unique insight into creating space, but his nearly three decade meditation on Home — “our inner, spiritual origin; our deep, still center, united with all; where Spirit resides” — has brought ways to make the physical design and construction of a house, or the organization of our existing house, into an invitation to connect to Spirit (our ineffable and personal spiritual Source, known by many names).
Dwelling is a truly beautiful book. Bill’s poetry is wonderful – and I love how he has interlaced his poetry within a progression of nature photographs and the poetry of others as an expression of this important theme.. I look forward to sitting down in a quiet place and reading this book many times through.