To feel such joy and such sadness at the same time seems to be part of the inbuilt dichotomy of these times…and is how I feel every morning when I walk in “our” little woods to where the crescendo of birdsong just seems to get louder and more complex the closer I get to this very spot (the video I’ve attached is all about the cathedral of sound and gets better the longer it runs). The thrush song is quite tremendous this year and the exquisite thrush-wren duet is almost a daily performance, along with blackbirds, robins, chaffinches, black caps, dunnocks, blue tits, great tits, goldfinch and many, many more star performances. Yet the row of big orange diggers is poised in the field just 30 feet from this spot, prepared to start work on yet another housing estate so, very soon, there will be the deafening grumble, the shouty voices and the red London clay-dust coating everything, in ears and in mouth and settled on the surface of every water pool, as per the previous several developments (we have had them, non-stop, for the past several years so we know the ropes).
The birds in this hallowed spot will no doubt retreat in the same way as all the deer I used to hang out with on a near daily basis (which withdrew when the first phase of this same large housing development was started and never returned; this artwork “Looking Back” was my homage to that tragedy and I have seen maybe two young deer on the hillside it depicts in the last three years whereas there used to be a dozens at a time most days at dusk). Since nobody seems to be paying attention to the relentless, unconscious harm done to places where only the most perfunctory and self-invested surveys are conducted, I guess doing the inner work to try to come to terms with these things in the best way we know how, for our sanity and spiritual sanctity, is how we do the real self-development work of our lives…but I never said it was easy or that there aren’t days when I could buckle down to my knees and weep in this spot instead of fully appreciating these precious moments in the here-and-now.
If anything (and I think there are others who would agree) I feel capable of experiencing more joy than ever these days, because I think some of us are allowing more joy into our bodies as we make room for it the-more, having done so much work to clear old programs and traumas out of ourselves to make space for more light. So here is the paradox: to be able to experience more of the exquisite, through all of our refined senses, and yet to inevitably notice wherever there is still such unconsciousness, such harm and short-sigtedness going on, as though to be torn in two. Yet (and here is why I so-often hesiate to share my thoughts these days) I’m not here to be the perveyor of gloom; I don’t want people to read this and add add their own “yes, its all terrible, isn’t it?” comments below. What I really want is to incite people to feel even more of the appreciation for what we still have, to take the time to stop and absorb all this instead of rushing on by, to go even deeper into the moments of beauty and light, to truly feel them throughout their entire nervous system and take them deep into their bodies (not to go into more trauma and sense of loss but to fuel ourselves with more light) so that, in our way, we amplify it all; not joining in with the misery and woe but counter-balancing it. Refusing to be defeated by it. Holding the experience of light inside ourselves, in our awareness and as our frequency when we engage with others. Staying present with beauty and joy, holding space for it to be here in this reality, now and tomorrow. Affirming that a world of nature and beauty and radiance is what we want; not coiling up inside as though it is already “lost” to us, a done deal, giving hopelessness all our power and adding the weight of our negativity to its relentlessness.
Allow also that there is a gift in it; the sore-spots of external world, with all its frustrations and abrasions, are merely the inflammed nerve endings that lead us straight back to the central nervous system of our own consciousness where “the problem” began. What harsh, relentless, pressing things are gobbling up all the soft, creative spaces inside of me and why and how do I let them? How do I get myself into more balance? What do those things that bully my time and attention tell me about myself and all that I can do to make things more comfortable, starting with my own domain, my choices, the boundaries I set around those parts of me that are less to do with order, achievement or aquisition; those that are more about stillness, beauty and being fully present in love and appreciation. Here is work that I can do on a daily basis.
So then we become more resilient to “the other stuff” and we start to notice how our focus draws more and more such unexpectedly “higher” moments to us because of how we magnetise and multiply them (… as the unmistakably etheal strains of Chopin’s piano followed by O mio babbino caro and Agnes Dei from Fauré’s Requiem waft over my fence from the radio of a workman doing woodwork for my neighbour; I can’t remember a day when the ceaseless drone of boom box and traffic noise where I live on a main road was contributed to by a more unexpected or welcome “noise” so that, for once, I find myself straining to hear instead of jamming in earplugs and feel a profound lilt of joy course through my energy field). We notice how things that felt hopeless become near-misses as turnarounds happen; if not in the exact circumstance we wish we could transform but in others further along the path…because we held to the light.
More and more (I guess I’ve been contempating “my purpose” a great deal lately), I realise this is why I am here.