Musings ... Meandering thoughts
Sometimes I feel like I've lived a thousand lives. I am struck by fleeting memories, feelings, or recollections, of distant lands, ancient times, and people I don't know. These feelings, if I can call them that, barely exist. Their presence is more like the minute traces of a smell of a memory. Yet, their effect is powerful. Perhaps it's just the result of an active mind. |
Perhaps, I have been a samurai warrior and felt the weight of a sword in my hand. Or a Celtic princess, adorned with luxurious amber jewels, long golden braids, and mysterious ways. Perhaps even the lowly, heathen bar wench, complete with heaving breasts and cinched in waist. Or better still the shaman priestess, deep in the forest, face aglow as I tend to make healing remedies by an open fire. Surrounded by my soul tribe.
It could explain why I have an affinity with Japanese culture, food, and art, why I love Celtic history and have a passion for the healing energies of nature. It could account for so many things. I mean, do any of us genuinely know what exists beyond our human experience. It is a rhetorical question and one to encourage more profound thought.
I feel as though I have walked upon ancient lands, seeking refuge from snow-covered mountains, knelt by fresh bubbling brooks to quench my thirst. I have danced in ancient fields, immersed in Autumn sunshine and golden daffodils. I have lived, crouching down, with stealth readiness in my veins.
Sometimes, I feel like I am more than just a mere speck of passing dust. I feel connected in oneness, with the past, the present and the future. Are we not the universe expressed in human form? All made of the same stardust matter. Each with a journey, a path of our own. Paradoxically connected, yet separate. Sometimes I feel like diving deep into esoteric thought. Sometimes dipping, ducking, wadding in its shallows.
Sometimes I feel like my imagination gets carried away … taking me to fields afar. Who's to say? what is real and what is not. Not me, how about you? Is knowing what I feel, the same as feeling what I know? Perhaps, I've watched too many movies and gorged my imagination on too many Netflix series.
Either way, it's fun to think there's so much more, so many possibilities for us all to explore.
Perhaps it’s because my Dad’s birthday is today, and this will be his 3rd birthday since his passing. I miss him to the moon and back. Perhaps it’s the cumulative stresses of covid-19 lockdowns, work commitments, and attempting to help steer my family through some pretty tumultuous times. All I know is that the last 2-3 days have been somewhat challenging, enough to bring me to tears. Not that I’m drowning or anything … much more like I have been standing at the edge of a wild, untamed ocean. I have felt the constant, yet somewhat melodic ebbs and flows of life. Metaphoric waves that were gently lapping at my soles have now turned to an intermittent tempo of engulfing me, albeit for a split second, but enough for me to lose my footing, and grapple with finding ‘me’. I find myself trying to ground and balance … trying to catch my breath, and sadly realising that sometimes my ‘good enough isn’t always going to be enough.
I cannot be everything to everyone, especially if I fail to fully realise my own potential, and take care of my own health and wellbeing. The waves and the ocean are not my enemies; in fact, they are just the Universes’ energy, prompting me, coaxing me, encouraging and inspiring me to ‘practice what I preach’. To embody self-love and self-compassion.
And to be honest, my parenting responsibilities are somewhat greater than a few, given I have a daughter with additional support needs, due to a rare genetic disorder and disabilities. And, if I am to be brutally honest, my two sons are also dancing on the outskirts of the kingdom of Quirkiness. Both with incredibly gifted minds, but each struggling with the challenges of being a young person in what can be a somewhat royally f***ed up world. Just look around at the hate, the ignorance and the ostriches with their collective heads in the sand. Times are definitely in ‘flux’; are we amidst a paradigm shift or two? I imagine so.
I’m going to reel this in somewhat as I didn’t intend to make this a post about parenting or other ‘stuff’. I wanted to really write about breaking through the barriers, the thoughts, the self-sabotage and limitation, the perspectives that can keep us stagnant, fearful and indifferent. I realised that I needed to get out for the day, take my Camera and just allow mother nature and the abundant bush (forest or woods to non-Aussies) to help me gain a new perspective, ground and reevaluate ‘life’. I needed to challenge myself, quite literally kick myself up the bum, to try and recharge, reignite and recalibrate.
I have been doing intermittent fasting for the last 4-months (My window for eating is from 1 pm-9 pm). I decided to pack some cashews and juicy sultanas, a small picnic lunch and a large bottle of cool spring water and head out for a walk. I even threw in some panadol and ‘tiger balm’ because my back has been sore, but I wasn’t going to let an aching back stop me from relishing in some much needed ‘me time’ in nature. I packed my camera bag, grabbed my car keys, called out ‘seeya’ to the hubby (who has been working from home for 2-years . that’s a whole other post … believe me) and my 16-yo son, who is studying through distance education. As I drove away, I felt a surge of positive energy. I felt like I was getting some of my old spark back … I definitely felt a shift in perspective. My plan was starting to work. I just needed to trust ‘me’ more, honour me with much-needed health and wellbeing time. I’m no martyr, and it was time to stop living like one.
I parked the car, laced up my hiking shoes, grabbed the phone and Camera Bad (filled with my sumptuous goodies). It wasn’t a huge walk, just less than 10km, but given that it included some steep rocky and undulating areas, I felt I did quite well. And I will be honest, and I haven’t been bushwalking half as much as I usually do. I think that I have essentially been stuck in a rut or busy trying to ‘selectively juggle; the essential ‘life items’ like taking care of my kid’s needs, working and getting through Covid lockdown.
I didn’t encounter another soul, and it was just me, the birds, the trees, the wild spring flowers and the invigorating warm spring sunshine. I found myself slipping into ‘flow’ into the complete and utter present moment. All thoughts of ‘this and ‘that’ flitted away, replaced with feelings of calmness, joy and gratitude. My hands felt the promise of my Camera, and my mind’s eye saw the revelations that nature chose to show me. I love the sensation of time stopping, revealing moments of pure magic, just my breath and the camera lens. My Camera literally challenges me to live in the moment, thoughtfully and thoroughly ground myself in the present. The world and its issues fall away, and I am left with the incredible message and metaphor that nature is blessing me with. I stand in awe, silently mesmerised and absorbing the ancient energies of the bush. I’m grateful that the area I live in has an abundance of Aboriginal energy and sites. Although not indigenous myself, I imagine their ancient ancestors looking over the land, watching me as I pass by. I give thanks to them, their journey and their struggle.
I am grateful that I stopped feeling miserable and stuck and forced myself to head out into nature. Mother nature didn’t disappoint, and she put on an incredible display of beauty. I watched in awe as sunlight and shade danced upon the face of wildflowers. I watched as bees and butterflies filled the air. I stood still and watched large ants as they tirelessly worked their way towards the nests, reinforcing it. I stood still and listened to the sounds of birds, as their calls reverberated throughout the bush. My skin tinged with joy. I saw patterns everywhere, where rocks had buckled under the pressure of holding up large boulders, of leaves twisted and gnarled, exquisite red gum tree trunks adorned with peeling bark. I saw that nature was littered with ‘change’, with plants and rocks embracing ‘change’, learning and growing from adversity, from the struggle. I stood in the pristine Bushland and listened with my whole being, there was no distraction, no technology (other than my Camera) It was me ‘raw’ ‘exposed’ ‘vulnerable’ and ‘perfectly imperfect’. I realised that I was feeling exactly how I was meant to feel. I was where I was meant to be. I was who I was exactly meant to be.
I stood and watched a wilting leaf spin in the spring breeze. It was attached by the thinnest of sun-drenched golden spider silken threads. It spun, it twirled, it rotated and yet it did so with gusto, grace and purpose. It made me shift my perspective, and I was able to see both what was there, as well as what wasn’t there. Yes, the leaf was wilting and hanging by a thread, but it did so with such confidence and presence. It was captivating. I realised that some of those invisible threads that hold us together, even when we may feel threadbare, are incredibly tough, tenacious and capable of bearing much pressure and responsibility. I saw that I was both the leaf and the thread.
Resilience is an amazing thing, yet so is the understanding or realisation that our vulnerability is a gift. And to be honest, it’s those moments where we feel that the world around us had gotten a little dark or a lot more than a little, we can truly see just how amazingly resilient, vulnerable and beautiful we are. Pardon the pun, but I’m going to take a leaf out of nature’s book and realise that I’m never quite hanging on my own, and even if I am, I’m connected to nature, to my higher self, to other’s past and present.
|Sometimes words fail me. Sad, but true. While other times, it’s as though words dance before my very eyes, mysteriously revealing themselves and the incredible images they convey. They beg me to choose them, giving them life, weaving them into meaningful streams of consciousness. They magically, mystically appear, as though I am simply a conduit, a scribe for the Universe, as it whispers their secrets. They allow me to glimpse into the possibilities, allowing me to peer into the tremendous creative void—the kaleidoscopic umbra of creative thought. Ribbons of inspiration dancing before my mind’s eye, teasing me with the glimmer of esoteric genius. Appearing in a frenzied maelstrom of words, my fingers too slow to type, trying in vain to hold the thought, the inspiration long enough to get in down onto paper or keystrokes. Inspiration and creativity merge in a symbiotic and rhythmic dance, producing clarity, meaning, and understanding. I am in flow. The scene materialises before my eyes; the building blocks are not formed in clay but in words, symbols, images that have taken the form of words and punctuation. They are like the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. Their beauty and magic flow fluidly; there is no rhyme nor reason; there simply is. I do not waste time questioning their source; I simply embrace their beauty. I welcome their power, their creative energy- moulding them, reshaping them into my own artistic form. Or is it I that is melded into form?
Do the words choose me? Does the Universe use me as a conduit? Where do the words come from, where does the inspiration come from? Is my imagination that incredible? Is my vision capable of producing concepts of new worlds, people, places, things that I have never seen, never heard of? Where does creative thought come from? Who inspires? What is the creative mind? Why are some gifted with more profound esoteric thinking, questioning and understanding?
I have always thought that people who have incredible gifts in life, such as notable artists, painters, scientists, mathematicians, philosophers, sculptors, athletes, empaths, healers, musicians, dancers, should have the responsibility to create. I have always believed that they should contribute to a better world, a complex and diverse world, where difference and creativity are respected, honoured and valued. However, I realised it was not just about the end product and that my belief was quite elitist. Does it matter who creates, or why? Why should someone have more right to being creative simply because their skill and product is deemed more valuable than others? Who assigns value? Is the value of art simply in the creation? Or is it in the end product? Surely, we all feel art and creative energy differently, surely it is a personal journey. A journey based on a collective language, yet one that is punctuated with a unique personal accent and meaning.
I know for me the act of holding a camera in my hands, losing myself as I peer deep into the lens, lost in the unfolding beauty before me, is like music to my soul. It fills me with a deep sense of belonging, connection and joy. The very act of holding the camera in my hands is enough for me, simply feeling the outside world fall away, I completely lose myself in the magical moment of creative beauty. The very act of standing deep in nature, witnessing the Universe as it reveals more of its secrets, its beauty, its beautiful metaphors to me, is in itself a creative moment. I feel blessed, honoured to be able to simply disappear into the moment, as if time and space support me, allowing me to take respite from the ordinary. Instead, offering me solace in the sacred and the opportunity to be able to simply slip into the sublime, the beautiful, the magical fibre of creative energy and thought. I am free to feel life coursing through my veins. I feel my spirit, my sense of being wholly recharged. As if being in nature, being creative replenishes me. It fills me with the energy needed to delve into the ordinary, the demands of being a parent, a professional, an adult. I feel intuitive, and I exist as part of the whole.
I am not merely my mind, my body, or my brain. In those moments, I am simply my breath, and it is as though my breath is in sync with the Universe, mother earth and nature. The space is gentle; the manifestation of creative love and being. I stand supported by mother nature, and I feel the calming, soothing breeze against my skin, the sunlight and warmth on my skin, my head. My senses are switched on, and I hear the bird song. I see the subtle dappled sunlight as it dances in the leaves, settling on the transcendent wings of a bee. I witness the bee hurrying, as it dances with the flowers, the music, the pollen, the creative beauty. The air is filled with the sweet smells of the Australian bush; honeysuckle fills the air. I feel as though time stands still. Joy and a sense of precious connectedness caress my very fibre. For a person such as myself who thinks and sees the world in images, the unfolding beauty is more than just a moment, they represent metaphors, they represent growth life, and learning. There is always a powerful lesson for me, as I watch nature unfold. Am I unique? Do others feel this sense of belonging? This sense of connection? This love, and completeness? I can be having a very challenging time at work or with family, yet there is always space for me to ‘heal’ and simply be when I am out in nature, and even more so when I witness it through the magic of my camera lens.
In those moments, I am pure bliss, and I am in flow. I am whole. I simply exist as a creative being, and I do not need to rush home and produce the images. The magic for me is being honoured to slow down enough to see the Universe and mother earth reveal her amazing creative secrets. The joy is in the being, the doing, as I watch nature excel as what it does, being a creative source of beautiful energy. I am not talking about sugar and spice kind of beauty; no, I am talking about the imperfect flow of power, the rhythm of life. There is great beauty in the early embryonic stages of nature, and the bright spring and summer, the unfurling. As I get to witness the awakening, there is also untold beauty in the old, decaying parts of life. The fine lines belie an incredible journey. I am not naive or shallow enough to only see the beauty in the bright, and perfect images of nature. I am not afraid to look at the old, the decaying, the damaged, the broken, as I can see their journey, I can witness their beauty. They hold their own unique story. They can offer solace, inspiration and reflection.
This blog has been rather insightful, perhaps not for you the reader. However, for me the creator, author, writer, inspired it has proven to be cathartic, just the thing I needed. Tomorrow, I will take my camera and head into the bush, lose myself in the unfolding beauty of nature … the wildflowers, the insects, the moments as they present themselves. I will quieten my mind, and simply allow the creative spirit and energy to flow through and around me. I am thankful for the creative process, the magic of the moment, the gift of being able to see the magic in the ordinary, turning it into the extraordinary.
|Starting a blog was going to be a type of catharsis for me. I envisioned feeling a great sense of release … have I? Yes, on some levels yes. There is a great sense of personal achievement and an appreciation that I've been able to 'get my act together' enough to have the time and energy to Blog. Yes, my Blog is pretty low key and basic compared to many others, but, hey that is okay. Just like me, my blog is a work in progress.
On another level, I have been somewhat disappointed with how difficult it is to attract readers, to resonate with others. Is this an ego-based response? or is it deeper? This disappointment isn't about a sense of pride and ego. It is deeper than that, it's more an issue of unrealistic expectations of myself and blogging. Whilst also being about my deep desire to connect, inspire and resonate with others. I believe this is my deepest disappointment, as I know my life experiences, my perceptions, experience as a special needs parent, a narcissist's victim, counsellor and a highly intuitive person give me an unusual take on life. My words aren't just empty noise, they are considered, and thoughtful, inspired and intentional. They're an extension of myself. They matter, and I don't give them away freely.
Blogging has proven to be a whole new learning journey for me. I am being forced to curb my 'bull out of the gate' attitude and replace it with a much gentler, patient attitude, to simply slow down, enjoy the ride, and be in the MOMENT. It's about learning to appreciate each step along my Blogging journey. The excitement of my first follower, the excitement of each Blogging milestone I make. I was so thrilled to receive my first likes for my writing. I hope that sense of appreciation never changes. I don't want to take people for granted. In a world where most people are time-poor, I am mindfully aware of the gift of time.
In retrospect, it's purely about mindful blogging and writing, and by extension Mindfulness in all areas of my life. It's a lot like a relationship, where it's important to understand what we need to get from the relationship, what we are capable of giving and what our expectations are. Managing expectations, whilst at the same time challenging and extending ourselves. The only way I will truly know if I can write, and blog is by doing it. It is about me being brave, courageous and resilient. It is also about having faith in myself, my purpose and my life. I am the co-creator of my life... Oh and we all know that relationships take work. Therefore, by association, blogging takes energy, commitment, time and passion.
I love the process of writing, of sitting down and simply allowing the words to tumble ... falling out onto the page. Is it intuitive writing? inspired? Is most writing somehow inspired, as if writers are conduits? Isn't most art inspired? I know that when I am writing, or have a Camera in my hand I fall into a deep sense of flow. My awareness of time and space can somehow be suspended, all I feel is complete joy and flow. This is even more pronounced when I am completely engrossed in photography. It is as though I fall into myself, I am completely mindful when looking down the lens. All the noise, all the superfluous unimportant crap pales into insignificance. All my focus, awe and passionate energy are fixated on the incredible scene, nature and beauty of the moment.
The pieces all seem to come together somehow ... it is the process and not just the final product ... the Balancing. I seem to have answered my own questions about my purpose, and my expectations of blogging. My reality is that it's not the end product, the 'blog post' or 'final photo' that keeps me going. It is the whole process, the joy of writing, of holding a camera in my hand. It is the joy of stopping, and simply allowing the words to fall, the image to manifest itself. Don't get me wrong I love the final product, but I get more joy out of creating, of writing, of editing. Does it matter if hardly anyone reads my blogs? I guess in the scheme of things, no it doesn't. Obviously, I would love to have an audience that engaged with me, challenged me, inspired me. Perhaps that will evolve, I hope so. All I can do is keep creating, I cannot control how other's respond to me, my words and my life philosophies. I can, however, control how I respond to my blogging highs and lows.
If not, it doesn't change the fact that being creative is cathartic. It is healing, it is a reflective process where I am at my esoteric best. It is where the thinker, becomes a creator as well. It is both being and doing. This is the magical power of blogging, especially when I am happy to be vulnerable, raw and authentic. I want to platform to be about expressing real human emotion. It is about sharing love, sharing respect and understanding that in a world where so many are hurting, I can put something out into the universe that is positive and inspired.
|I always thought that I needed to write my story. You know the memoir that would set the literary world ablaze, catapulting me into the stratosphere of published authors. Ok, settle down. You can't blame a girl for dreaming, even if the dreams are grandiose and bordering on the ridiculous. So, this girls' got to dance with whimsical ambition, and I'm skilled when it comes to having lofty desires. And to be completely honest, there is a thin line between creative whimsy and delusional fantasy. And somehow, I've mastered the skill of tight rope walking, finding equal inspiration and support from the lofty pragmatist and the free-flowing enigmatic aspects of myself. Enough esoterical thought, this isn't about me.
I am simply the conduit, and this is my parent's story, my sister's story; I'm just along for the ride. I'm just the narrator. Writers somehow inhabit a universe where it is possible to dip and dive into both worlds, creative whim and illusion--trying to make sense of it all, somehow wrestling with nuances of meaning to create the written word. A writers skill is to give birth to a story, imbuing it with integral depth and meaning-light and shade. Words take on a mystical, magical brilliance. My dream is to do justice to my parent's story, armed only with my trusty toolbox of colourful imagery, memory and love. As if sitting in front of a mighty loom, weaving scenes and sharing intimate moments to engage, challenge and heal, not only the reader but also the writer. It is a process, a relationship with self and reader.
I am committed to making peace with my inner writer warrior, ensuring I remain disciplined, focused and fearless. There are many moments in my life where I've had harsh words, emotional and physical violence shoved down my throat. Still, after all these years in a quiet corner of my mind, I hear, "you can't do it, you'll just give up like usual" "you think you're special, well guess what, you're not". Well, today, this moment, this now I say, "No more playing the victim, no more excuses or blaming the past". I have a voice, and I have an incredible capacity to recount my parent's story with dignity, compassion, humour and grace. Even if I stumble and fall, I will pick myself up and keep moving forward, one word at a time.
So, no more falling into the deep desolate ravine of my unfinished works and stories. Like a half-formed forest, my stories litter my mind and computers. I welcome a prolific surge of creativity, bubbling forth, spewing ideas and words. I say adios to the times my creativity has been like a barren desert with sun-scorched earth. Ideas seemingly trapped beneath the parched nothingness, idle thoughts shrivelled up, never taking seed.
I did attempt to write my memoir. However, it soon became crystal clear that although they may have been my words, they were not always my memories and emotions. I discovered that when it came to writing about my parents or my sisters' stories, the images became more explicit, the feelings stronger, and the words sharper. I felt a deep need to voice my parent's journey, from the most profound darkest moments to the lightest joyous experiences of love and celebration. It is even more important now that my father passed away. His life was incredible, and it would be an injustice if I didn't find the words to share his story. I owe it to him as his daughter. He was a father by birth, but soul family by choice.
During the initial process of writing my story, I found that I was channelling my youngest sister's grief, pain and sorrow, her fears and experiences. You see, she lives with Dissociative Trauma due to a series of traumatic events that unfolded in her first seven years of childhood. She has minimal recollection, almost next to no long-term memories. That's the brilliance of the human mind; when someone so young is exposed to violence, abuse or significant trauma, their mind can protect them through dissociation. My memories became the lines for which she has been able to retrace and write her story. They are only guiding lines where she feels free to reclaim her narrative. So, with that in mind, I will write her story, tell her story. It is my promise to my darling dad, RIP, and my mother and sister. It is also a promise to myself, finally stepping into my light and becoming the best version of myself. These are my intentions. And so, my story begins.
|If I just allow myself to write, just allow my words to fall, spill forth unfiltered, unfettered, and raw. Can I handle my truths? Am I strong enough to allow myself to be vulnerable, exposing myself to experiences of my past? Would it be a cathartic journey through the recesses of my mind? Or will it be a tumultuous tiptoe along brittle, broken and half-rotten eggshells, memories that have grown tainted with time? Or not?
This is a new site for me, a new step in my journey. I realised that I needed to have faith in my own ability, in my own worth. I needed to step out from behind my own shadows of fear of failure, and believe it or not fear of success.
How can someone be fearful of success? it sounds so bizarre, right? It's not actually, especially if you've grown up hearing mixed messages about your ability, or lack thereof. The words we hear as children can cast long-lasting emotional shadows over our journey through childhood and beyond. I count myself as being very blessed, lucky, rich … however you wish to describe it. Yet, I'm not naive enough to know that I went through some things other families never do.
Yes, I grew up in an impoverished childhood, but in other ways, it was incredibly rich. As the 8th child of 10 children, I learned to live vicariously, choosing to avoid some of the large mistakes my older siblings made. I learned the value of flying under the radar, especially when it was pivotal in helping save me from various childhood traumas.
There was real skill in learning to trust your intuition as a child. And I am forever grateful that I had the gift of intuition, of being perceptive, observant, aware and woke.
I could see people for who they were, and not who they pretended to be. You could say I have always had a heightened awareness and a very astute bulls*** meter. This obviously had the 'negative' effect of separating me from the masses. However, I'd much rather have integrity, than popularity. I also seemed to walk just outside the pack, fit just outside the 'box'.
In a way I had to forge my own pathway through life, avoiding the pitfalls, and sadly my life was punctuated with many gaping pitfalls that tore at the very fabric of my beautiful family. Things that are too complex to go into any true depth here. Yet, issues that would benefit from being processed, and carefully penned, with the honest intention of not to offend.
What am I grateful for? My emotional intelligence, my strong moral compass that has enabled me to navigate some pretty hairy situations, two amazing parents that did their absolute best, under some very challenging circumstances. And some siblings that truly are remarkable. In particular, one sister who is not JUST my biological sister, but my 'soul sister' ... one who I would walk through fire for.
I love to write poetry … Throughout the challenging moments in my life, I have relied on the healing energy of writing, writing poetry and my deep deep love of photography. When I am looking through the lens of a camera, I fall into deep myself. I am completely inflow, transfixed, alive and connected to nature.
The camera lens is a perfect metaphor for life, the lens helps me to focus, improve my clarity and really see the magic of the moment before me. Whereas writing is a purely cerebral exercise, photography completely grounds me. I find the two help balance me as if I am some type of tethered balloon that is free to float, yet is able to remain grounded when needed.
Indelible, intangible, mere words fail to express what is beyond definition--
The divine expression of love and being--
The human body an extension of a soul: the conduit, the connection to the core, where oneness with universe, self, and others converge.
It is a beacon that leads us forward--an experience, not fully known--effervescent, transcendent.
It is our home.