Our Whispering Teachers


They peel off from the passing West Wind, now fragments of the gust, now zephyrs easing through the cracks in my doors and windows. Wafting in single-file down my hallway, they lay their warm fingers on my slumbered mind, words small and perfectly formed with sentence laid upon sentence in exquisite order.


I covert my deeply sleep but the first layer of story, the first sentence, gently asks for its brothers to join. It asks that I creep from my slumber time, from my warm bed, from my breathing woman, and quietly set each layer, each sentence, to the virgin page.

I lie in repose, denying their softly tap tap in my mind, these whispering teachers who know I’ll soon rise and give them whispering voices.


The West Wind may howl through the angry trees but these zephyrs are a tougher force. They come with the power of love, the power of whispered kindness and I am, eventually, pleased to appease.


They come in the sleepiest time; between midnight and dawn and I light the kitchen, sip on water and glimpse the opening day as the words drip onto the paper layer by layer, sentence by sentence.


No clamouring from the madding crowd, only one makes itself known at a time. I place it to the page and the next is ready. My mind is never full of their serried ranks, overfilling and confusing it. No, it easily carries just one at a time and I never know how many there’ll be or where they’ll lead me. I might be two minutes or two hours, a hundred or a thousand words.

I must be patient with them but patience is easy – their gentle insistence allows me time to move my pen before the next lines up to conduct the pen’s following move.


These Whispering Teachers know my commitment to them. There are times I resist for a man must pretend to being in control, pretend to have free will, though he knows that’s a fantasy. Having exercised my petulant right, I may delay delivering their words to paper for days. And, for days, that solitary first sentence will lay there between my brows, beneath my scull.


This withering world will go by in its anxious way and so do I when I do not listen to the whispered peace within. Then I recall that I am more than a cloak of skin, a rattle of bones, a cauldron of juices. I remember with a sneaky smile I am the Whispering Teachers, as are we all, laying wisdom on ourselves that we may rise to ease the anxious, loose the guilt and bring hope to the hopeless.