Waterfall

Sometimes I am like a waterfall trying to be human
Vision after vision pouring through me
The edge over which inspiration slips into being
It is overwhelming this feeling
The big dream is dreaming me
And I am dreaming it
I sit on that edge dangling one foot in the human world and one into Faery
It’s hard to remember I am human sometimes
That I don’t have gossamer wings with which to fly
I need you to catch my foot and pull me down to earth
And say don’t you remember what it is to be here

Power to choose

My parent’s myths, this country’s myth

I remove the mask of this

You shall no-longer hold me

Nor own my heart and mind

Instead I find the rising voice

Of freedom and of choice

To choose who I love

To choose what I do

To know that these things are true

I am worthy and you are too

The earth is sacred

And it matters what we choose

I can choose to be free

In what I believe

I break the final curse

The story of the death of the world

We do not have to be tragic heroes

We do not need an apocalypse to start from zero

I want to believe in us again

That we can choose what is right and sane

So cast off those shackles those stories and myths

I promise there is more than this

Choose your adventure, write your own tale

Prepare your ship and sail

A little mystery

Little flower how do I make you unfold
When your petals are so tightly closed
I have tried angry words, I have tried showers of tears
Now I think I’ll just sit here and be like the light of a gentle sun
And maybe if I am patient
You will want to disclose
And I hope it will be so
For I imagine you are very beautiful
Although you are not very bold

The bee dance

Capture1

Image by Mark Skipper

The bee dance

This is the poison, a festering seed
Born of fresh hurts and ancient deeds
This is the healer the power to speak
To break the bands of illusion and set ourselves free
Silence leaves the wound unhealed
Speaking means it is revealed
This is the nectar, the art of love
The compassion that releases the flood
Round and round the bees dance
Nectar and poison in a constant romance
And what comes from it? you might ask
Why glorious flowers of various shades
Each uniquely made their own way

 

Contradictions

Because life is complicated
And people are complicated.
They have so many facets
They are jewels
They have flaws and cracks
But are still beautiful.
It’s not my job to save you
It’s not your job to save me
I can be compassionate
Without making myself a martyr!
Because it’s my decision
When to stay and when to go,
Sometimes that painful cut
Is actually the kindest
Because we don’t have to be hostages to pain,
Because the joy remains
All this life, all this freedom!
And if I feel the past returning
If I feel the anger burning
I can let that flow past
Because nothing has to last
And I remember how complex it was

Demeter the Corn Goddess : guide in times of grief

As Lughnasadh is the season of harvest and of letting go I thought I would offer some reflections on the way in which Demeter’s story helps us understand grief. In her story for those who don’t know it Demeter’s beautiful young daughter Persephone is snatched into the underworld by the Hades. At first no one can tell Demeter where she has gone but then through Helios and Hecate she learns what has happened. Demeter then goes to Zeus who unbeknownst to her agreed to let Hades take Persephone. Zeus refuses Demeter’s petitions for the release of her daughter and goes into such a state of mourning that the land is covered in Winter. Demeter then has some side journeys where she becomes a grandmother/patroness to a mortal child named Demophon and is cheered by the ribald joking of the goddess Baubo. The Gods become so worried that the land will never be restored to a fertile summer that Zeus does ask for Persephone’s return. She re-emerges from the underworld but not before having eaten six pomegranate seeds and thus sealed a pattern of returning for six months of the year to Hades. She has transformed from an innocent girl into Queen of the dead.

There are many threads to be drawn from this story and some see it to be more Persephone’s story after all she is the one who comes of age and transforms through the story. Demeter is often depicted as unreasonable , controlling and a little crazy to let an unremitting winter fall over the land. This is the thing though Demeter is grieving the unexpected loss of a child and like all grief there is a wild edge to it that should be respected. How else can we express the inexpressible? During her cycle of grieving several processes happen, just as Persephone has gone into the dark underworld Demeter goes into a dark temple to contemplate what has happened perhaps a metaphor for depression and sorrow. Gradually the grief lifts and she lets herself laugh at the rudeness of Baubo and she even begins to find her feet again by being involved with life through the nurturing of Demophon. Demeter transforms as much as Persephone does from mother to grandmother. Persephone does not return to the same parent she left.

When I think about grief in my own life I have noticed that it is tidal, it has its darker moments and its lighter ones. I believe that while grief is not enjoyable it is necessary and it is a time where a little bit of craziness is sanctioned in fact it might be the thing that keeps you sane. Grief and sadness need expression, through tears, through art, through the sharing of memories and in ceremony. I spent my childhood living with a parent who was quietly grieving without words and I think this prolonged it. At some point there comes a moment where we can surrender and begin to integrate the new reality. It’s letting go, sometimes ceremony or ritual helps us do that and sometimes it doesn’t and we meet the grief again later. What does it mean and why do we have to suffer? We grieve most often because we have loved, without love we would not have grief, in a way it is our way of honouring something that was important to us. The contrast of Winter and Spring if you like.

The last hidden meaning of the Demeter/Persephone  myth cycle is the possibility of change and rebirth. Persephone’s other name is Kore (the seed) like a seed she goes into the underworld and she returns with spring when all the other seeds are emerging from the ground. To the Greeks this myth was the cycle of life and death.

My strange harvest

I know that part of the intent of my teacher on this course was to encourage a closer link to the land and the earth through gardening. I feel a bit of a failure in that regard because I let go of my garden plot at the end of last year having realized that I was no longer taking the time and effort to properly care for it. I could make a stack of excuses about that but I won’t. It wasn’t working with me and I let it go

So now I have to think a bit more laterally about where my connection to the earth is coming from and how I will get my harvest so to speak.  I do take a lot of joy in nature in seeing all the diversity of plant life around me, in drawing and recreating that beauty where I can. If I complete the cycle properly then what I would do is sell these creations to provide for myself. I’ve struggled with this for quite a number of years, how to price my work, where to sell it, how I value it and myself really. When I see it as part of a cycle however I can see that there is nothing wrong with making money from your artwork. It would be beautiful and perhaps less fraught to plant a seed, nurture it and then harvest the food with no need of economic middlemen in the way. My seeds are my ideas, my nurturing is the time I take in creating to bring them to fruition and my harvest is either in their beautiful presence in my home often reminding me of what I love and honour or if I can manage it a cash return.  So that is my strange harvest, I hope you enjoy sharing it as much as I enjoy making it.

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