May 24, 2017

love in the dark hour

It's love I see today. It's courage and compassion, which are after all the promises we are given when we enter the trials of this life. I know there is evil, but it does not own today.

In all the anguish and fear that burns through communities in this war, for it is a war, we must never lose sight of just how much goodness we live amongst. How many doors open to take us in, or bring us food and tea, how many hands are there to hold us when we bleed or weep. Even those people our society has turned against, leaving them to sleep in doorways and eat rubbish when really there are enough resources for all - these discarded people, they run into the fire to save our children. Next time you see an article headed, "what you need to know about the terrorist," look instead for the one headed, "what you need to know about the heroes" - for they are who we truly do need to know about.

Perhaps if we started to see our community as it actually is, never mind political rhetoric or media bias - if we appreciated the decency, compassion, kindness, strength, that is the main of this beautiful multicultural society, we would vote more bravely, and be more neighbourly, and love our world more dearly, confident that humankind really is good at heart, after all.

May 20, 2017

a wild feminine baptism

We are born of the dark and the mud. The waters are grimy - full of nutrients, full of mica like broken stars, full of the memories of our grandmothers and all the roots, bird hearts, sorrows, they ate.The waters slid through forests where women journeyed and men dug. We are one-third muck, one-third myth, and one-third wonderment.

And through skin light shines, opening our eyes. And when we are born air flows into us, changing everything.

I remember when I was younger, and walking alone through a city far from home, far from my mother, I thought perhaps now I can call myself a woman. But I wasn't certain. Even after I too became a mother, I wasn't certain. I supposed it was a culture scar across my heart. But now I wonder if infact it was instinctive acknowledgement that I had not fulfilled the maiden spirit in me. Perhaps a woman can not feel herself a woman until she has been enough of a girl. A poet or a dancer, a nonsense-speaker, a leap of flame, a flower-scented gust, a rollick of light on the surface of the river.

Perhaps she doesn't get the chance for it until her children are grown, or her bones are old: until the men have finished talking and the parents don't care what you do any more. Perhaps she was a crone long before she got to be a maiden.

It doesn't matter of course. There's never really been anything linear about any woman. (Or any man, either.)

What I think is that sometimes, to grow, a woman must go back to her Mother. She must kneel down in old water, with the moon reflecting like horns in her wet hair, and she must delve into her amniotic mud for what belongs to her but she hasn't yet played on - tendrils of weed, sinew, love, choices, that grew around her, over and over, until they made her bones and heartbeat, and that can be plucked like harpstrings to make a self-song. I think sometimes a woman must get herself thoroughly dirty with the muck and myth of life. That's the wild feminine way to baptise yourself.

And when the woman arises again, the windswept light will dry her until she shines. 

Photographs by the amazing Michelle Gardella, who is possibly my favourite photographer ever. She has previously given me permission to share her work. 

May 19, 2017

the small things in life

Inspired by Jacqueline Honeybee, I have been keeping a diary of everyday beauty. It isn't an exercise in gratitude, but simply encouraging myself to become more aware of how lovely this world can be. As we slip into the solemnity of winter, I appreciate the reminder that loveliness can still easily be found if you look for it, even amongst the bare trees and sleeping meadows.

Here are some entries drawn from my diary ...

roses in the church garden
a swan flying overhead in the gentle frosted dawn
reading by candlelight
peaceful rain
a gauzy half-moon in the late afternoon sky
a plump bumble bee in my garden
shadows like lace on the footpath
a luminous grey evening sky
sea breezes
lavender and honey cake eaten in the rose garden
visiting the library's collection of vintage books
the sky looking like a Van Gogh painting
waking to the sound of rain
sewing lace onto a new dress
chimney smoke scenting the evening
walking in the wind
new kitchen curtains
cosmos, lavender, lemon and roses in the neighbours' gardens

I wish you a wealth of beauty in your days.