From the Elsewhere.

foxglove

Have I ever told you that I dream in myth?

These creatures come to me at night. Of late, the centaurs especially. I couldn’t tell you why that is. But Chiron is a close friend of mine. He tangoes with my Moon.

At other times the wolves and birds of prey appear, and almost against my will, in that dreamworld I take their form; and travel the paths of earth and air they frequent.

My mind gravitates towards symbols and patterns, steeped in the myths I devoured since I was a child. They seep through me. The Greek and Celtic ones, especially. But I can’t look too closely at them. I can’t pick over and dissect them, because they are wild, furious things. Capricious. They’d laugh and devour me, along with any meaning they might offer before they disappear again. It’s best to allow them through, and not peer at them too closely. Let it all bubble up from the Elsewhere.

Be the bridge, don’t wait for one to appear. Don’t wait for someone else to build it for you.

I wake early, and as the sun rises, I walk through the forest. I feel fierce. I listen to this song, and it echoes the landscape that I feel around me. And so much else that I’m feeling.

Many mountain ash trees are dying. The trees are dying from all the rain – this long and peculiar season of monsoonal softness. The softness that we’ve craved, but not all of us do well in times of ease. Some of us are built for times of sturm und drang.

trees

Their trunks are luminous cenotaphs on the mountainside. They are singular. As though giants had a great war, and the victors in their gloating made a circle made from the picked-clean bones of their enemies. But their desecration backfired, because it resembles a sacred burial ground, graced with presence and dignity.

The presence of the tree skeletons tells a story of the land and its continuous thrum, pulse, and sigh. Sometimes, though, it’s more dramatic. There is thunder in the land, a crack and crash of great limbs falling. Birds cry in fright and the air is filled with the echo of those final moments. Sometimes you come upon a great, broken body that’s fallen into the arms of a living tree. It lies lifeless there, held tenderly by its companion. Sometimes for many years, sheltering in its arms the one that was lost.

These monuments of arboreal death also hold life, providing nesting spaces for Powerful Owls, (huge owls that resemble eagles); as well as other creatures too.

Gum trees, so beloved by Australians, are actually a weed species that long ago bullied a great diversity of other native species out of existence. Species we’ve never known. The gum trees have had breathtaking success in colonising this continent. Nearly every view in this great expanse of land, offers the silhouette of a gum tree. They are supremely adapted to drought; their roots arch and grip the deeper soil in order to draw nourishment. Their leaves drop on the forest floor, killing off the competition with an insidious poison acid. And in the mountains, they are the true colossi of Australia. They have no equal.

But then the rains came, and even in this rainforest environment it was too much. The mountain ash trees have drunk far more than they ever had the capacity to hold. Many have began to drown slowly in the depths of this softness and plenty. But that softness cannot remain for long in this climate. The gums will always prevail. Their great sweeping forests regenerated by fire. The fires that we dread, and seek to avoid with our vigilance, the terrible fires that raze, and raise anew.

camouflage-gear

I sit in my garden – my retreat. I wear my version of camouflage gear: dresses covered in roses.

Lately I’ve been feeling…implacable. I hold the polished stones of my feelings, attempting to identify each one. I try to locate the source of them in my body. Sifting through the emotions as they arise. Ah, that’s anger – it’s in my throat. But what is it really? It’s sadness, its hurt. It’s just disguised as anger. Then there’s fury – that one’s pure and hot and searing as Truth.

I’m far more radical than I usually let on. I don’t believe in blood and war, but I do believe in revolution. I believe in justice not mercy, too.

This past week I haven’t really participated much, but chosen to observe instead. Not because I don’t feel a goodly amount of that white, hot fury I mention; but because I’ve needed to process my cosmic rage. So that it can be put to better use than just me throwing rocks like a moody delinquent. Or having an INFJ meltdown.

Whilst I believe in positivity, (and I do believe so entirely that we need this right now), I’ve also really appreciated those who choose to express their natural and honest anger, often with fierce and unflinching compassion.

Because we need those voices – and our voices – and we need to speak up. We need calls to action. And we need to stand up for others – however uncomfortable that is, however much we fear confrontation. I truly believe we can’t let things slide into a new and nightmarish normal.

But what is action? Not all of us are built for activism and protest, (in a shouty way, I mean).

So, make something. Make art. Make beautiful things and say daring things, offer challenges to the status quo through them. Raise children who have a moral compass, who can think for themselves, and who give a shit. Children who aren’t warped into unnaturally polite creatures who are too afraid of authority to flip the bird.

Do your healing arts. Do things that make you happy, and infect people with your badass joy.

I used to be wildly ambitious to rumble for change. A Big Picture person that wanted to fight injustice. Despite being nervous and ridiculously sensitive, (full body shakes kind of sensitive). I was like a bloody clueless labrador, diving into a shark pool. Here I am, done with institutions after a good deal of bruising along the way, including some office bullying, a brush with someone hell-bent on mass murder, some time among victims of war and genocide, and an experience as a whistle blower, (believe me when I say, that never works out for anyone).

I still believe in all that. But, me? Not really cut out for it. So I remind myself of my continued focus, which is two-fold…

One being, I’m a supporter of others. I want the best for others, and I can just be here providing practical and moral support. When they’ve gone out into the stormy world and they return wounded and bloody, I can apply the balm. Cook the soup, tuck them up into bed. Hold them tight. Encourage, heal. And while they rest, I will stand by the door like a wolf protecting her pack. And none shall pass.

The other thing is that I wish to be more of a producer than a consumer. I want to make things that matter. Unfurl the stories that wait beyond in the Elsewhere.

I’m only one small person, (not just physically), but my true political power in a consumer society largely abides in my purse, (now there’s a medieval double entendre).

That’s why they gave out all the customer service numbers for all the banks that were invested in Standing Rock. If enough “unhappy customers” call and put the pressure on them, if enough people get on Twitter and speak about their “disappointment” in a company, then that puts pressure on them. They don’t like that.

The food I buy, the slave labour I try not to support, the products tested on and containing animals. I don’t always get it right, (it’s so hard, hey? We’re so mired in it all). But choices are still powerful – especially collectively.

I choose to not consume, (or consume little of) the things that keep us asleep, fragmented, numbed, and calcified. The booze*, and drugs,** and shopping, and the galloping off like crazy horses for the next thing that will fix your life and make it better. Because none of it does, hey? It doesn’t really help the pain either. At worst it kills off every true feeling. It just keeps us asleep and lulled into believing that we will exist exquisitely in some future moment, (that will never come). Because, now.

And we need to be awake to produce and give what’s inside of us. And awake so that we may be in service to whatever it is that we need to give to the world.

Be the finest and most beautiful channel or instrument for that specific frequency that is uniquely yours, and which wants to speak to you, and through you, directly. Let’s tune in, because it’s (part of) the real work.

Be the bridge between worlds. Don’t wait for someone else to build one.***

Much love to you. xx

 

*no, I’m not a teetotaller, I’m just careful these days.

**Yuck. I mean energetically speaking, not morally. I don’t give a damn what people do on their own time. Although there are some substances, (associated with violence), that I would obliterate from the face of the earth if I could. This is a whole other topic, and a touchy one for many.

***What the hell is she on about now?

 

8 thoughts on “From the Elsewhere.

  1. our power in our purses…i see what you did there… 🙂

    it’s true, though. in both senses. in modern society, our largest external power is what we do with our money. in the other, womanly, sense, i’ve a feeling that the female half of humanity has a power that is both recognized and hidden. co-opted and silenced and tidied and restricted and exploited and marketed, until we barely see it for what it is anymore. primal, wild, tender, creative, and necessary.

    all week i’ve been hearing words and phrases popping into my head randomly. one phrase that has been repeated over and over is ‘my sisters, my heart’. occasionally it varies to ‘my mothers, my heart’. i’ll wake from a dream of holding red blood in my cupped palm and hear it. (my dreams have had much of holding something red in my hand, lately. still parsing that.) i’ll be making tea or looking at a tree from my bath and hear it. i ‘ll look at a picture of something online and there it is again. either i’m going nuts, which is always a possibility, or there is something wanting form or voice from me. i don’t need to build bridges…i am one, willy-nilly.

    i have always been frightened of revolution. i have preferred evolution. now i’m scared because i think we have outworn our time for the latter..

    i hear you about overdoing the anesthetics…in america, especially, it seems almost everyone is on at least one prescription drug for anxiety or depression. add in the telly, the internet, the pointless shopping, the over-exercising, the over- and under-eating, the over-working, the alcoholism, the drug use; we’re a pretty pitiful bunch. and those white powder drugs are especially scary. someone should figure out what it is about pale powdered stuff that we are so vulnerable to. even sugar, when you come to think of it. hmmm. i do love my wine, though. but i don’t want to be drunk.

    i like your metaphor of feelings as polished stones. i’ve been sorting through my own belly-full of rocks lately. cold, despairing ones. hot, angry ones. jagged, hurtful ones. strange, crystal-form ones that i need to take a closer look at…

    much to think on. the foxglove picture made me smile. i’ve a great fondness for those flowers. and for foxes. oh, and i love the sound of powerful owls like eagles! send some over, won’t you? send them to the capital, perhaps?

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    1. “‘my sisters, my heart’. occasionally it varies to ‘my mothers, my heart’. i’ll wake from a dream of holding red blood in my cupped palm and hear it”.
      Oh. I love this.

      And revolution troubles me also, but not in a poetic sense – a revolution of art and stories, and music. But also possibly draining the bank accounts of the Big Evil Bastards and redistributing the wealth ; )

      And yes! “i ‘ll look at a picture of something online and there it is again. either i’m going nuts, which is always a possibility, or there is something wanting form or voice from me. i don’t need to build bridges…i am one, willy-nilly”. Yes. Yes. And I have a sense of urgency about this – that we need to allow all this to come through us and to listen closely for these things. Not bat them away, or shut down.

      The anaethetising is rampant here too. It’s hard to talk about this stuff without sounding like a joyless puritanical wowser. Pleasure is a nuanced thing, hey? I’m all for heightening pleasure, rather than dulling it down. And I would never be so decided about things unless I’d tried things for myself.
      Excess and the “drugging” of our culture is the norm. And sugar – yes. I find epigenetics a fascinating (and sobering) branch of science in relation to all of this.

      I need to send some powerful owls to our own capital! By gum, Trump is going to be having a few bromances with our lot. Grr.

      The foxgloves have been a moste surprising delight this year. Surprising and unexpected, because they’re biennials and I only planted them back in Autumn. I was told they wouldn’t flower until next Spring. But ha! That nursery hadn’t counted on Rapunzel’s magic ; )
      Love, peace, and hugs. xx

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  2. Yes, you are right – we do need to build our own bridges, take responsibility for our own lives. And
    also, hold the hands of others who have been living in fear until they feel strong enough to go
    out on their own.

    I’m so glad to have found your space – your words and images comfort me and give me strength!

    Blessings to you ~

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    1. Kathy, I couldn’t agree with you more: “hold the hands of others who have been living in fear until they feel strong enough to go out on their own”. Because yes, to remind one another that we’re not alone. Especially now.
      And thankyou so much for your lovely words regarding this space. I’m so happy to have encountered you, and it’s a delight to meet you here. Blessings to you also, and wishing you a gorgeous weekend.
      xx

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  3. Beautiful, brilliant. It’s getting late here and I still have much to do, so I can’t reply properly – be grateful, for otherwise I might rave all about revolution, and rain, and gum trees, until you were blue in the face 🙂 Blessings be upon you (and all of us), sister of my heart.

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