Island Blog – More than, less than

I am all about words, concepts and life choices that augment. In these times of so called lack, even if our gone generations are currently sniggering, we all need to believe in growth, personally. Mostly personally. Spring will come. Sun will shine. Streets will clear and flights will fly. But we, we, must look to ourselves as we have never done before; not in our lifetime #gonegenerationsnigger. There is much talk about connecting with nature, from me too but it thinks me of those who have no nature in their immediate grasp. Where do they look? Surrounded by concrete and gang troubles, where do they look? I cannot answer that but the thought of them arrests me. From the position of privilege, aka warmth, safety, food, money enough, I am a veritable baby in this world. Although I have seen poverty close up I have never lived it.

From my place of privilege, I can write, walk in safety, talk to the trees and many other things that, I imagine, would swingbat a head bash from one who sees me as a princess; as I must be, to them. So many layers of life, so many and most of us who whine about dog poo along our verges or the lack of produce in our local Co-op are only highlighting our ignorance as we whine. Our problems are so First World.

Nonetheless, all of us within our very different layers must needs find ways to grow from the pandemic. I write ‘grow from’ because we are all affected by its many-layered tails, the loss of confidence, the fear, the anger, the isolation. All of us, privileged or not. We are all pandemic babies, no matter our age. All of us. And, as babies we can augment, we can grow and we can outmanoeuvre ‘going back’. I never got that. Nobody ever goes back, not to work, not to school. We move forward, always, with what we have encountered, learned, understood and refused in the interim. We can decide to walk a different way, choose a different direction, make good the old gaps in our relationships. We can augment, be more than.

This day the rain slew sideways. It skimmed across the tidal loch, the sky, obliterating the far shore. It smoked away the trees, big pines, altercating their place in the skyline and yet not causing a riot. I noticed that. Such an altercation in a pub might have led to a punch up, but not in nature. There is allowance. An augmentation, a rise, a raise. I watched the rain turn into rivulets, trickling through thicks of coppered beech leaves, spinning off the track and down down to a burn, already bubbling and singing its way back to the sea. I stopped beside a stand of hazels, noticed their reaching out boughs, the gnarls, the reaches and I wondered. What stopped you there? What gave you the shine to reach out there? I will never know the answer but I/we loved the asking moment. Beneath the pines I enjoyed a pelting of raindrops. It laughed me, and, I believe, them. I stood beside stand water, noticing the sticks fallen and longtime floating, how ebony they are, how slick black and how well they catch the light even in death. I encouraged a Silver Birch, rooted in the water. Go well, Girl. You have a lot to work through, not least a 12 inch puddle of endless rain. I saw how raindrops create ripples, how they augment the stand water, not just visibly but with sound, with a beat. I waited until I connected, stamped my sodden boots to the rhythm. Laughing my way home, I came into warmth, safety, home.

Not everyone can say that.

Island Blog – What if…..

Take a whole day in your hands and look at it. Inside there is disparity. There are lifts and shifts, downs and frowns, light and gloom, noise and silence, thought and unthought, time and no time. Colours swing from rainbow to mud and back to rainbow. Words spin like hornets or flit butterfly bright, soft edged, fragile, all around you. Views are wide or through a lens darkly, moods yoyo, news is good, news is bad. It is a day and we all have them, inhabit them, cannot avoid them, if we are the fortunate ones. What we might need to be reminded of is our part within each day. We, just for the record, are the lead. We are the main character, the one who can lift an audience to hurrahs and shouts for more, or who can send them all home at half time. The way we engage on stage is critical to what happens next, the hornets or the butterflies, the rainbows or the mud and the impact we have on our audience will affect them more than we can ever imagine.

If you inspire me I will leave all inspired, not to be a part in your play but to play the lead in my own. I will be planning rainbows and butterflies all the way home in the rain with the wrong shoes on. It won’t matter because you have inspired me, elevated me to my higher self, the one who doesn’t blame or shame, moan or grumble, lean back into the fat and greedy arms of inevitability and hopelessness. Whatever I may think of my lack of talent requires a re-think. We all have talent, we all have gifts, even if we were never encouraged to develop them as children, even then. I must look long and hard at myself to find this little seedling of talent and cosset it until even I believe it’s really there, inside little un-influential me. And I mustn’t stop there. I must work, daily, on that self-trust and belief. Nobody else is going to do this for me, only me, in the quiet of my heart, in the silence of my mind, in an ordinary day, the one I hold right now in my hands.

Many settle for less when unless would elevate, would fly them. What if I fail? Ah…..but what if you fly? Many complain and grumble about the state of the world this very day, how hopeless it all seems, how poorly managed, how clearly they can see disaster looming for us all. And do nothing about it. Who am I to change the world? Who are you not to? This day will never come again. This day, regardless of the state of the world, is a huge opportunity for change. It could be a change inside the home, a change of habit, a decision to begin something. It could be the rearrangement of furniture, a garden re think, a kindness offered, a new book ordered, it could be anything. But to moan and rant about the out there is to lose this day in pointlessness. Turn in, my friends, Look long and hard at this new morning and decide something, anything. Let a new wild begin. What if, what if, what if I could do something to effect change?

What if, indeed.

Island Blog – Lock Down Light

Well you can’t do that. Lock down light. Light will seep under a doorway as you sit in the dark, catch you in a flash of lightning, astonish you as you meet it in someone’s eyes. Light will out. And we love it. The thrill of light can turn a dark moment/person/situation/problem into a new possibility and, even if we can’t explain ourselves at that time, or after that encounter, our sub conscious minds will surely find a way. The only way to lock down light is by putting it into a dark and sealed box. Then it is no longer light, but darkness, and so it seems to me that we are the ones who decide on the existence of light.

We use the word ‘light’ in so many ways. Things are illuminated by something, or someone, else. We throw light on something…..in the light of this new understanding, this reflection, this memory…. We choose to stand in the light; we find light in a dark time; we share our light with another who keeps crashing into things; we accept light as a gift when we ourselves are fumbling about looking for a metaphorical candle. Light is us and we are light.

In this lockdown time, light is being shone on all aspects of our individual lives, those of others, and on the whole world. Although the problems #the dark of our lives were always there, we could ignore them, to a degree. We could move over them, overcome ourselves as we acknowledged they were here to stay. In short, we fabric-ed them into our normality, accepting them with varying levels of grace and grit. But not now. Now, it’s if someone with a Big Pen is highlighting those things and we are being forced to look at them, all yellow and luminous in a sea of black text.

This is a good thing. This chance to change is on offer, free of charge. Only in a crisis do we humans stop to pay attention. All those years of accepting this, or doing that the way I did is up for questioning, and we cannot avoid it. Nor must we. There are small businesses going down, people losing homes, work, lives, family. This is a light throw on our whole existence and however uncomfortable it is, however painful, it will show us a new way and will keep us safe in the end. Those who, right now, think the world is ending will discover it has no intention of abdicating the throne. New opportunities will arise for all those goodly folk who feel they are permanently broken. As long as they remember the light, and, when they forget, someone will bring it to them.

I am not one of those unfortunate people and my heart aches for them all. It must be terrifying. But, having lived as long as I have, I know the feeling well and it passes. It passes because we humans are strong, resilient, resourceful creatures with marvellous brains. We are Light. We can think. We can reason. We can flip our whole life if we decide to. Many have. Many have changed everything and, in doing so, become light for the rest of us.

The light of the lockdown will not be contained inside a box and turned into darkness. It is showing, instead, how much we want to give, how enterprising we are, how strongly linked we are to the muscle of survival, and not just with plans to survive, but to thrive once more, shining out new light into a new order.