Metal Element: A Time of Reaping and Reflection

This afternoon I spent a few hours in the garden heeling in some potted rose bushes, mulching others with a layer of sodden leaves. The odd branch from our surrounding birch trees wave with a few lingering leaves, yellow against the lead gray sky. I stop to watch them and am hit with my own melancholic wave. I am letting go of all that was abundant throughout the year as I continue my preparations for winter.

I learn from Cheri Reidy that autumn is the season of the Metal Element in Chinese Medicine. A time associated with the emotion of grief. There is also great potential in this period of lose. It is possible to mine the nuggets, just as trees are transformed into austere beauty,  I too can let go of what I no longer need so that I can see what is precious in my life.



Metal Element
Colour: white
Season: Autumn
Environment: Dry
Emotion: Grief
Organs: Lungs & Large Intestines


I resonate with poet and philosopher, Mark Nepo in times of grief. His book, ‘Seven Thousand Ways To Listen’ was a companion when I did not know which way to go.  His words encouraged me to go inward, for it is there I can recognize what feels sacred in my life.

It’s as if what is unbreakable
the very pulse of life—waits for
everything else to be torn away,
and then in the bareness that
only silence and suffering and
great love can expose, it dares
to speak through us and to us.

It seems to say, if you want to last,
hold on to nothing. If you want
to know love, let in everything.
If you want to feel the presence
of everything, stop counting the
things that break along the way.
— Mark Nepo



About Joan Conway

My artistic passions are poetry and collage. But I am curious human, always exploring new mediums, new opportunities for creative expressions.
This entry was posted in Collage, Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Metal Element: A Time of Reaping and Reflection

  1. Leslie says:

    Beautiful collage and post, Joan. Mark Nepo’s poem reminds me of the paradox T. S. Eliot wrote about in the second of his Four Quartets (East Coker):

    To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
    You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
    In order to arrive at what you do not know
    You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
    In order to possess what you do not possess
    You must go by the way of dispossession.
    In order to arrive at what you are not
    You must go through the way in which you are not.
    And what you do not know is the only thing you know
    And what you own is what you do not own
    And where you are is where you are not.

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