Notes from The Studio – No. 2



London today is like a ghost town. After the shock a new norm is settling. Coronavirus, Brexit, Bank Interest Rates and the Climate Emergency have combined to create a perfect storm.


As W. B Yates wrote in “The Second Coming”¹:


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


Out Nordic Walking yesterday in the pouring rain I realised I needed to find my own still point to navigate the confusion, anxiety and uncertainty of the coming weeks, I was reminded of David Wagoner’s poem “Lost” ²:


Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,

The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

And as I sit in the gentle Spring sunshine by the River Thames waiting to see my next client, I also wonder where are the new possibilities here as our perfect storm invites us to pause and reset ourselves.

This is a time when we need to be our best and our most creative selves as we lean into making sense to make meaning of all that is happening around us. Hoping that you too find your still point – and that together we can find our still points so that we can care for each other with love and not fear and from the shared place of our shared humanity. 

As T.S Elliot wrote in “The Four Quartets” ³


At the still point of the turning world.
Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards;
At the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.
And do not call it fixity, 
Where past and future are gathered.
Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline.
Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.



Elaine is the author of ‘Reflect to Create! The Dance of Reflection for Creative Leadership, Professional Practice and Supervision” and “Our Humanity@Work: Working with the 7Cs – the 7 Human Capacities – for Insight, Learning and Change – A New Lens for Coaching, Coaching Supervision and Executive Reflection”



[1] Yates, W. B. (1987) The Second Coming in The Collected Poems of W. B. Yates. Ware, Wordsworth Poetry Library

[2] Wagoner, D. (1999) Traveling Light: Collected and New Poems. Illinois, University of Illinois Press

[3] Elliot, T., S. (2001 Edition) The Four Quartets. London, Faber and Faber


  1. Linda Miller on March 19, 2020 at 8:53 am

    Lovely Elaine ,thanks for sharing such pertinent poems

    • Elaine Patterson on March 19, 2020 at 11:48 am

      Thank You Linda!!

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