Saturday, 18 June 2016

We Fall and Rise on Waves of Fear

(The beauty of wild grasses in our garden)

It seems that we have always been afraid, my love and I. Perhaps that is partly how, and why, we found each other ~ the threads of our fear vibrating through the Web of All Things calling out for a kindred soul who could help us uncover our deepest woundedness and begin to heal what has cut us so deep. I have written nothing on this blog for some months, although I have thought of it often. Big changes are unfolding in my life, all of which are ultimately beautiful and healthful, but it has been hard to settle to the written word. And yet, today, out of the rising and falling of fear, words have once again begun to flow. I am grateful to Grandmother Fear for that.

Several months ago my love made a brave and courageous decision to no longer do what was demanded of him under our increasingly cruel 'Welfare' system. His Asperger's Syndrome is lifelong and unchanging and so there has been no need for those who oversee our benefits system to constantly try to break him, and so many others, in the way that they do with their threatening letters and wilful refusal to treat anyone as an individual with individual needs and gifts. With the prospect of being forced to attend a Work Capability Assessment, which almost broke him the last time and led to several years of deep depression, he said, “no more”. The State attempts to turn us all into needy children or into dead-eyed fodder for Capitalism. There is no appreciation of the role that each one of us plays in the lives of those around us, whether in paid employment or not. There is no credence given to goodness or creativity or kindness or community. My love would rather starve than make himself into the person that they want him to be, even if he could, and I support him completely whatever might happen to us. I am lifting a prayer for the day when no one feels that they must compromise themselves just to survive in this society that we have all created. He and I hope to find another way, and we shall. We are not born to be broken. Time to be children not of the State but of Life.

Truly I am proud of him for claiming his power in this way but one of the ramifications of making this brave choice has been a huge increase in his fear of falling through the gaps, just as many are afraid. And so we live in a land that is seeped in fear and that fear calls out our own. Often we feel brave. On some days, like today, we fall and rise on waves of fear; of losing our home, of starving ~ too afraid, too frozen to make decisions about our lives or act in any way at all. We live by the sea and sometimes the tide takes us. Like wild creatures we huddle together. Sometimes we come apart and can barely look at one another. Even then we make each other many cups of tea and, always, there is love.

As ever, I am in awe of the ability of Life to draw together those whose wounds call out the brokenness in the other. Himself has a fear of not being enough, and yet of being too much for many. I have a fear of being too much, of making others feel small if I allow myself to be bright, and yet of failing to ever truly shine. And so, the fears of one pull on the fears of the other and on we dance. It is a healing dance but often it hurts. Always there is love and, if it feels that love might fly away, we only deepen into even more. I am in awe of that too, and of a man who has spent his whole life being told that he can be nothing, is nothing, trusting so completely in Life, in She-Who-Is, or Mother as he calls her, that he would risk everything.

Those who wish to subdue us want us to be afraid, and we are, but that should not, and must not, prevent us from dreaming wildly, acting bravely, reaching out, trusting, creating supportive and hopeful compassionate community with all beings, nor from risking it all in the name of Life. And so he and I have decided to work together, to create something of beauty in the edge places that we both know so well in our different ways, and that something will be called 'Hedgetemple'. We hope that, in our own small way, we can support others in saying, “no more”. This is something that more and more of us will be led to do in these times I think. We will all need those who go before us to leave maps and signs to guide us on our way and to reach out a hand to hold. We will all need to know that we are not alone. And we will all need to know that it is alright to be afraid.

We are not quite sure what our new way of being will look like yet, nor what we can offer, although we have many wild plans. I hope to write more here as that unfolds. In the meantime, we are learning to be brave and to trust. We are learning what it means to live on the h(edge). We are trying to eat well, to care for our bodies and each others. We are tending our garden; there are deep red velvet roses and a community of nettles just outside our door and, further into the garden, a precious patch of wild grasses that my love has been nurturing, and where our local colony of cats like to make their nests. Only today, in the midst of our rising into fear, we were admiring the colours and movement of the grasses. A few weeks ago he noted that he hadn't seen any of those sticky little dart-like grasses that we used to throw at our friends when we were children. Today, we saw that some had moved in to our wild grass community. They feel like an affirmation and a prayer. I have taken to cooking from fresh ingredients every day and also to foraging in a little valley just down the road from here; we have been eating meals of nettle seed, sorrel, garlic mustard, and soon we hope to be drinking elderflower tea. I hope to write about much of that here. Almost every day we receive something from someone that supports us deeply in all that we hope to do, even if they don't know that they are doing it. We are grateful every day. Life is full of small beauties and magic. And yes, we are afraid, just as we have always been, my love and I. We fall and rise on waves of fear. The magic is no less bright for that.

(Common sorrel, who shares her deliciously lemony leaves)

(Beloved wild rose)

(My first ever home-made nettle pesto)
(The beauty of the wild grasses in our garden)

15 comments:

  1. Beautiful and yes, a little frightening. The state should be us, but turns out not to be. Our voices have turned into outside voices, trying to talk inside (the establishment). Let's hope things progress and diverse voices are allowed to speak inside again!

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    1. Beautifully said, Anita. And yes, I agree. How did it all become so divided when we are all the same people, or should be...

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  2. Flea darts! (Hordeum murinum) I had forgotten it existed. I wonder if it's been 'tidied' too much cos it likes to grow near paths and walls? ;-) xxxxx

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    1. Oooh, I love a proper name. Thank you! I had forgotten that they existed until Himself it too. There is a lot of tidying these days but I am heartened to see that flea darts are still holding their own. We have lots of them in our wild patch now. I am sure that the other grasses let them know that it was safe to come out xxx

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  3. Jo Girdlestone19 June 2016 at 00:34

    Jacqueline......in this climate of so much fear it has to be the way forward to forage through the layers of ourselves to find the fear below, name the fear, share the fear and release the fear.... that's what I feel your writing does. Thanks for being a connector and a healer..... we need you Lovely, you and Simon are doing a great job in the way you live and are striving to live xx with much love and appreciation, Jo xx

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    1. I so agree, Jo. We have to let fear move or we become frozen and unable to act or speak out. It matters, and also I hope speaking out helps others to feel less alone. There are so many people feeling the same. And thank you so much. We will keep on keeping on. Simon is in the garden now getting his hands in the soil and tending his beloved grasses. It helps. Love to you xxx

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  4. <3 blessings of courage and love to you.

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  5. I can't help but identify with this post, living with chronic illness as I do, and therefore having to navigate the stress- and fear-inducing welfare system. Thankfully I am being left to my own devices at present, so the fear has subsided somewhat (though there is always guilt that I am not doing my bit, not doing enough). And yet, I am moving through my fear and doubt to focus on being creative, venturing into the world of blogging, and trying to trust my voice. I do have important things to say, I know I do. I hope I can find my place in the world and be strong and courageous enough to do what I need to do, to heal my soul, to do my bit to provide some humble healing for the world too.

    Good luck with your brave steps into the unknown, Jacqueline. And remember, you cannot be courageous if you do not feel fear. Perhaps those of us who feel fear the most can be the most brave, the most courageous, the most authentic.

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    1. Thank you so much, Therese. I am sad when anyone can identify with the stress and fear heaped upon us by the cruel systems that we live in but it is good to acknowledge that many of us feel the same and to join together in solidarity. I am very glad to hear that you have some respite from their attentions. Simon also spends a lot of time wondering whether he isn't doing what he should be doing in some way, even though he does all that he can, and I feel the same so I do understand. And it does sound as though you are doing many brave things and creativity matters so much in times like these. It is the creativity, the spark, the fire, that 'they' would like to douse in us so it is vital that we keep on singing our songs, in whatever form they call to be born. I have just been reading your blog and it is wonderful, inspiring, and beautiful. I am so looking forward to exploring it more and to reading more as you add it. What you say about writing in your recent piece resonates deeply with me so thank you for that affirmation that we all struggle with actually getting the writing done. I, for example, am wonderful at making notes!

      And thank you. I agree completely about bravery and fear. They are so much part of the same journey; ying and yang, and both to be respected and honoured. I once took part in a ceremony where I had an opportunity to let go of my fear but I chose not to, realising the energy to push on and through that fear gives me. It does help to think of her as a 'grandmother' I find. Hopefully we all find our ways to be in right relationship with her as we learn more and more how to be brave.

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    2. P.S: I have just noticed that you are in the Blue Mountains. I have been there and they are stunningly beautiful. How wonderful it must be to live there!

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    3. I am very lucky to live here, despite my difficulties in finding a sense of belonging (but I am working on that) … and thank you so much for reading my blog. It's a new step for me, bringing myself out into the light, speaking publicly. I hope it helps me to grow creatively. I've been thinking much about the turn of the seasons, as well as my own inner, creative seasons—there are always fallow, dormant times—but we do need to push on as well and get down to work sometimes. ;-)

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    4. Well said and yes, there is something about listening to the seasons, and what our bodies and spirits ask of us at those times, and finding ways to keep moving forward creatively too. I haven't cracked it yet! Yours is a wonderful blog though. Your writing is enchanting, in the true sense of the word.

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    5. Thank you so much, Jacqueline. For me the enchantment starts in the writing, and then, I hope, will grow to encompass more of myself and my life. Imagination is key to this process.

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    6. Beautifully put, Therese and yes, I heartily agree!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I genuinely do appreciate and value what people have to say.