Friday, 23 September 2011


Sometimes, without any warning, a foul wind blows from the East and restlessness lands in my lap.

I don't know where it comes from and I don't know where to put it when it arrives, but it's a wild and churning dissatisfaction that laughs in the face of my distractions and belittles my work and my play.

Maybe it's a deep and desperate need to create, maybe it's my soul calling out for God, maybe it's my body aching to be worked, or maybe it's my brain screaming out to be stretched; maybe it's nothing more lofty than my hormones stretching in time with the moon.

All I know is that it locks fiercely around my soul and makes me ache with longing for something unknowable and unnameable and forever beyond my reach.

I know it's futile to fight it. I know I'm powerless to blow it on its way.

And so all I can do is appease it (with hot baths and hard work, writing and prayer) and quietly await the day when a fresh wind will blow from the West, the restlessness will pass on, and I'll be restored to a state in which play dough and vegetable pies are once again enough.


  1. I know that restlessness only too well. I try to drown it with music and sometimes succeed but I have never managed to see beyond it until it has passed. Thank you for this post.

  2. You write so well Helen. Maybe that nasty East wind could be channelled into a book.

  3. I have just got over a bout of similar restlessness this week. It goes as quickly as it comes but is so frustrating to be in the midst of it.

    Beautiful words.

    Thanks also for that recipe. I look forward to trying it. x

  4. I know the feeling too, and it helps me to recall St Augustine's famous words 'Our hearts are restless till they rest in thee'.

  5. I'm with you Helen! Can you channel it into something creative? Goodness knows you have the potential. Without creativity I would not be a happy lady!

    Pay attention to what the east wind is telling you. This unpleasant moment could turn into something most positive.