(“We never see things as they are, we see them as we are.”)
Spring arrives hesitantly here in New England. Pips emerge from thawed soil, only to endure nights still below freezing. They are tough and patient, they know when to conserve their energy to survive those cold nights and when to leap forward during the warm days. It is that balance between conserving and accomplishing humans are constantly (sometimes desperately) trying to achieve and maintain. We create art in a myriad of forms celebrating the rhythms and patterns of a life we do not seem to be able to emulate ourselves with any consistency. Such is the price of being human in a human world.
After decades of struggling in this way, I am closer to being able to maintain a life that follows these rhythms and patterns than I have ever been – and I guard the privilege fiercely. All the trials and errors had valuable lessons in them that I used to map my sky and ultimately find the right port. But there was a heavy price exacted each time. Still, I choose to be thankful that I am in a good space now and not think too much about time lost or mistakes made.
Mythology is full of references to the price that must be paid for “wisdom”, “enlightenment”, or “self-knowledge”. When I look back over my life, I am reminded of the ancient Sumerian text “The Descent of Inanna” in which the Goddess Inanna, seeking knowledge, had to pass through 7 gateways, each gateway taking something from her, she is then killed by Ereshkigal (Goddess of the Underworld) and left to rot before being resurrected with the knowledge of life and death she had desired. The symbolism is clear- everything that makes you who you think you are must be given away for you to be worthy and unattached- then to understand death you must experience it.
But (*spoiler alert* ) there is always a resurrection…
This spring saw this page change into Cù Ruadh, a major shift that has been buoyed and validated by a powerful sense of “flow”. Feeling the flow of a thing is essential. Whenever I have felt something begin to bottle up, stagnate or slow to a painful trickle I knew it was time to move on. It mystified me at times, how I could have been so sure I wanted something only to find that it was simply that I needed to learn vital existential lessons. Likewise, like Inanna, there has been loss and sacrifice to get here – a fact I am aware of daily. Often, I felt that I just didn’t have enough “drive” to keep pushing, do the work, make it happen – when the truth was it was never meant to be my “thing”. Just another cosmic teaching moment really. Jumping from one rock to the next in order to get to some other side.
Going with the flow without even realizing it…
The things I am supposed to be doing now are the things that have always been holding on around the edges of my life while I went out into the world. The artistic life I’ve always wanted but just couldn’t get to take root was waiting for the right moment. If I hadn’t experienced catastrophic loss then Cù Ruadh may still not be happening, it needs a foundation built out of purpose to exist. (“Ours is not to question why…”) That’s just the way it is. I can have my creative life now that it is entwined with the purpose of supporting those who fight for a gentler world day in and day out. I honor Casey’s memory daily with my work and my work helps other beings who deserve to exist do so in her memory and that is a flow that will never weaken or disappear….
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”― Anais Nin