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  • Writer's pictureKimmy Higginbotham

Reflections on "Calm" an ongoing study

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

Started March 6 2020. Added March 8 2020. Edited March 25, 2020. Edited March 30, 2020


Calm to me is starry nights, fireside.




The smell of burning wood,

The constant “shhhhhhh” of river over rocks.

A natural destruction, deconstruction, and air to breathe,

An ocean wearing away cliffs,

Seagulls crying out in devastation over their lost perches,

Beaches eroding under my feet.

Calm is a seventeen year old memory.


Calm has movement.

It is molecules splitting,

Synapses firing,

Fingers caressing.


How do you capture calm?

Hold it still?

Freeze it in clay and fire it?

Calm is throwing clay - the wheel spinning - at midnight.

Calm is sitting in the shower - fully clothed - letting the water soak us through.

Calm is walking to school through the park.

Playing in the woods,

in the ravine,

in the creek.

Calm is holding crying babies,

Feeding ducks in Belington,

Tossing fries to sparrows from the window of Dad's old Blazer.

Calm is leaves falling to the river at the old, abandoned bridge.

It's a chilly, damp blanket to lay on under fireworks -

The symphony clashing away in the background.

Calm is your hand in the middle of my back.


There is nothing calm about "calm".

Calm is the methodical way I dye my hair when my life has no control.

Calm is Weightless.

It is weightless, yet it's stone.

Calm is shaping a smooth, imperfect river rock in my hand - turning earth into earth, clay into rock, shaping what it is to resemble itself.

Calm is a feather on the breeze, a petal floating down stream.


Calm is how Dad always talked to me, how he brought me down from cliffs and soothed my nerves.

Calm was his embrace, his unwavering love,

And calm has gone missing without him.


But what IS calm?

Calm, like cold, is not its own entity but an absence of its opposite -

“A lack of emotion”, “an absence of wind”.

It cannot exist without its counterpart.

So it isn't such a contradiction after all,

But the peace inside the chaos,

The solace of a bed in a world on fire,

The breath, the rest, the removal of tension,

The stillness in the storm.

This is calm.

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