Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Grief is the Gate

When I am sad, as I am just now, my mind often turns more deeply to Will, my Deptford boy, river man, and broken love, and all that we went through together. It is a blessing to be loved in all worlds but it is also hard to give enough time to grief and the depth of the journey when there is a new someone to love. I am filled with gratitude both for that love and for anything that opens my heart a little more to the grieving, and which gives the space for tears that feed from that deep well. More and more I see the connections that Will made for me, with the heart of the land that he loved and fought so hard to live on in his own way and on his own terms, with music which is where I so often find him, and with love itself. He taught me what meadowsweet tastes like, how to gather and cook with comfrey and three-cornered garlic, how to live on, and listen to, the water, find shade beneath the leaves of butterbur, how to sit quietly with the earth, how to fight for my lifeHe named me 'Honeybee' and we met and he died at Imbolc when the wild swan was flying. I taught him to see the beauty of herons even when he was sad. That kingfishers matter. And I loved him. He was an extraordinary man and I am scarred and blessed by my relationship with him and by his passing. I am grateful for it all. I see how this life that we have built around us conspires to shut down our hearts and I know more and more that that is what I must write about; the brokenness and the mending of our disconnection with the Land, which is our deepest love and our deepest loss. Will understood and is in so many ways my guide. Grief keeps my heart open. Grief is the gate.

Let us honour all our beloved dead, who take us to the edge and invite us to step through, and the beloved living, who hold the thread of our return.

"There are those, however, that are not frightened of grief: dropping deep into the sorrow, they find therein a necessary elixir to the numbness. When they encounter one another, when they press their foreheads against the bark of a centuries-old tree...their eyes well with tears that fall easily to the ground. The soil needs this water. Grief is but a gate, and our tears a kind of key opening a place of wonder thats been locked away. Suddenly we notice a sustaining resonance between the drumming heart within our chest and the pulse rising from the ground"

-David Abram

(Image: Kelly Louise Judd https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/swanbones)