TABITHA van der LEE
THIS BEAUTY HAS NO LANGUAGE
"Creativity is a naked encounter and delivers us to the source of our being. To make art is to make love with the sacred, to take a voyage into the heart of the Mystery." ~ Mirabai Starr
'This beauty has no language' is my first work of poetry. Writing these poems meant taking a voyage into the heart of the Mystery and engaging in the naked encounter with Being.
Illustrated by Maartje van den Noort 'This beauty has no language' has won the 2020 Tiny Seed Poetry Contest.
BEND AND BEND
I watched the flowers
with their heavy heads
and give in
to the wind until
all of me
was soft enough again
to bow my own heavy head.
I went outside to find you.
I chased the wind, and laughed and laughed
as it pulled my hair and brought
tears to my dry eyes.
But you said: closer.
I watched the light as it caressed my hands, my
toes, my breasts, wrapping itself around
my every curve and crevice.
But you said: closer.
I ran through the long wet grass until
my lungs ached and the cool morning air rolled
all the way down the inside of my chest.
But you said: closer still.
So I went inside.
And found you.
Some quotes from the judges:
"Tabitha van der Lee’s poetry is as if she found one of the hidden pencils tucked away in the tree limbs of Mary Oliver’s heart."
"Her poems are deeply intimate; she shares her private journeys with us, always keeping us engaged by moving between scales and spaces (private inner world/outer natural world, eternity/today, tiny raindrop/the universe)."
"van der Lee's poetry is a celebration of life and nature and the small but significant role that humans play in it. Every poem was sheer joy to read."
"van der Lee's poems are highly-polished, showing restraint and exuberance at once; each word holding a world of meaning and purposefully placed."
"When we see or experience something so beautiful in nature that we are at a loss for words, van der Lee is able to find those words."
Friends have depicted my work as 'deeply intimate', 'an invitation to immerse oneself and be profoundly touched', 'a deep resounding call home often inspired by nature's beauty', 'splashes of joy come to me through her poems, dancing as she does', and 'affirmative and genuinely truthful, pointing me to the ground of my being.'
I’m a mom of two children, living in the Netherlands with my beloved of the past two decades. I’ve always been fascinated by the ways we are touched by life and grow from experience. We are – as life is – forever becoming. Starting out with a degree in International Development (MSc), I later became an Integrative Coach, Trainer and Learning & Development Specialist: finding places, organizations and people with whom to celebrate this becoming.
Writing to me is a way of looking – always looking – at this becoming. To ponder it, be amazed by it, and take part in it. It’s my way of delving into the inner world of the soul and find there what is most personal, hidden and precious, but which is also the most universal: our inner light which is neither exceptional nor exclusive, but sacred and common, and rooted in our experience of this marvellous world.
As Rumi reminds us: there is a beauty that has no language. To me writing means looking for this beauty. It means entering the place where life leaps into my awareness in all its richness and subtlety; the place where I can find hidden patterns, and meaning in all of our being human; the place where I can touch the everness of life.
Writing poetry also means finding words for this beauty that has no language. Creating glimpses, possibilities, and - perhaps - experiences that may be entered. In order to find ourselves inside what is beautiful and true, and to join what can never be lost.
‘Art is an attempt to transport into matter an image of the infinite beauty of the entire universe.’ ~ Simone Weil
I look forward to connecting with you!
I'll get back to you as soon as possible!