I like to wander through the canyons of my mind, where all the wild things are, just waiting. They’ll welcome me back, I just know it, and we will re-friend, share memories, laugh, dance and sing enough together for me to garner the wildflowers in me and to plant them again. This time I won’t let them die for lack of nourishment. This time I shall call on all the gifts of Mother Nature, that life-giving water, that sunshine, those busy little insects, that space. Sure, the weeds will grow, but they flower too and I’m not scared of weeds.
At the gate stands Genius Locus, the protective spirit of the place. I must show her my credentials in order to gain access, for, too long, have I cluttered my mind with worldly tripe and noise and other unimportant things. I had forgotten me and me doesn’t find that one bit amusing – in fact me is in a right strop about all this wasted time, and I don’t blame her. Wearing stout boots for this earthly walk is, indeed, sensible, but it is quite another thing to get stuck in the mud over and over again with a mouth full of wailing and a head full of depressing thoughts. This protector works extremely hard to keep me centred,not just on my worldly walk but in complete balance with my otherness. I’ve written much about otherness before, the unworldly, otherworldly connection to all that I cannot see, control or manipulate with my limited powers and sticky fingers; that omnipotent energy, available and free to all, so vast, so silent, so timeless and so essential to a life. It isn’t taught to children at school, nor in the workplace. I cannot buy it or contain it or gift it to another. All I can do is tap its vital energy, invite it into my mind, body and soul, and then learn how to care for it as if it was a matter of life or death. I don’t mean death death, as in, oops I’m off, but death whilst living. I must tend it, talk to it, ask questions, make it my friend, living in humility, without apology and in complete reverence.
I know there is a band of sniggerers who reckon that what we see is all there is. I cannot imagine being that scared for a lifetime. If their belief is true, then everything would be down to me and my limitations. Well, blow that for a bag of monkeys. The yearning inside us is not for more success or a new house/relationship/sofa even if we long to believe that’s the truth. It might mean we could fix life just like that. We can’t. This black hole is in every single one of us and it has a fine purpose could we but accept that. It feels uncomfortable and randomly sad at times. It powers up huge anger, desolation and an intense pining for a wider understanding of why we are here at all.
Many of us deny the black hole, or, at the very least, put the restless discomfort of it down to last night’s Chinese take-away. We deny it even to ourselves, even when, inside the dark folds of a dark and lonely night, we struggle to breathe as it looms ahead of us like a blood moon, only pitch black and with a huge magnetic pull. We welcome the dawn like a saviour and then busy ourselves in filling the darkness inside with all the wrong things such as pretty wallpaper or lots of noise and colour. For a short while this can work, but not for long. It will have none of us. Our attempts to avoid our black hole are always futile. This darkness in all of us will be seen, whether we choose to look, or not. And, not only seen, but heard, recognized and accepted. It is, bottom line, essential for our balance, and we all like balance. What we don’t like is anything dark. However, those who have traversed Space will tell you that a black hole pulses with a compelling light show. It is the same inside us.
The Genius Locus lets me in as I knew she would, and I begin to wander, to marvel at the vast expanse of wasteland, the canyons of my past rising into the sky. I see what I have achieved, what has made me proud, what has made me ashamed, all the lessons I have learned. This land is rich in minerals and cool clear water flows freely. What it has lacked are human hands, my hands, to bring it all back to life. When I was a child, I was a dreamer and I am a dreamer still. I can see, now, how to make this place inside me become a living balancer. I found my way here through reading books, many books on the meaning of life and other animals. In absorbing wise words from those who came before, who acknowledged their own black hole and who walked right into it, I have found the right trust to walk into my own. In there lie all the answers, all the mistakes made, the regrets, the crimes. All the things I wish I’d never said or done and all the wonderful things I had a part in, or initiated that changed another’s life for the better.
As I move deeper in, the wild things begin to appear. One, then another, then another until they play around me like happy children, their sing-song voices lifting into the soft air. They know I need to go back, as do I, in order to get on with whatever comes next, and whatever always does come. But this re-connection with my wildness will both balance and strengthen me in ways the world can never do. I need the world but not just the world. I need my otherness too.
We all do.