Island Blog – Dynamic Fire

I love to learn new things. Being naturally curious and a once highly involved member of a debate group, I am never happier than when picking apart a so called truth or absolute. I am no academic but I can sniff out someone stuck inside their own pages and the match girl in me begins to itch. However, this itch thingy doesn’t mean I want to put anyone down, far from it, but I do want that ‘whoever’ to relax and to consider another perspective. It doesn’t always work I find. Learned absolutes and truths become a part of whoever’s infrastructure and my fiddling about with questions rattles the legs that hold them up. How many times have you heard “Well, I always do it this way, thought this way.’? Or said it yourself. I certainly have but the second I hear that stuck phrase slip through my lips, I pull in for a rethink. Where the hell did you come from? I ask the words that now founder embarrassed at my reaction, bumping into each other and changing places, skidding to an ungainly halt. I brush them onto the floor. Rearrange yourselves, I say, dismissively.

In the questioning of what others say and believe to be truths I must needs attend to my own truths and what I have discovered is that truths are truths for a while and then they need to rearrange themselves. The words Always and Never are goal posts in the life game of football or rugby or netball or whatever your game might be. They are not the field. The field is wide open, a space where anything can happen and everything can change. The players on that field are wild or half asleep, strong or weak, ready or not. The players are our everyday thoughts and feelings. However, scoring goal does not mean we win the game but only achieve a short term full stop with an accolade, and a roaring crowd and bells and whistles because everyone loves a winner. Apparently.

However, I am with the players, hot, tired, stretched, hopeful and most important of all, ready to change tactic or direction in a nanosecond. If one on that field is focussed on something that doesn’t demand an open mind then the whole team is compromised. It is no different inside a mind. There isn’t just one of us. There are many and each member of us is of value and importance. I get fed up with the noise inside my head, all of me talking at once and nobody letting a.n.other space to speak. Hush you eejits! I hissed at 3.45 am as they woke me to such a hullabaloo that even the wee dog lifted from her snores with a puzzled bark. It’s ok, darling, I soothed. It’s just me and me and me and me and me and me and so flipping on. But, once the daylight decided to become daylight, eventually, I could see that in my so called sleeping moments, my friends inside the head of this match girl, are sorting out latent thinks as yet unresolved. I could ask them to work only in the light but I know they are cathemeral and so my pleas would be pointless.

Back to conversations, to debates. I remember them, around a bar table, height and heighty, fun and fractious, confrontational when someone was losing the power to defend their ‘stuck’, because this whoever thought they were only strong within the old pages, pages that burn easy. In this crazy time, in this ‘stuckness’ we might remember we are field players; we might remember we are many others of ourself; we might think dynamically out of our own troubles, remembering that they are not nothing. They are visibly and actively something. They are not bad, nor wrong. They are real. However, with a little shimmy to the right or to the left of left, we will find ourself mid field, or way out there in the whatever it’s called and with a new perspective on the game, even perhaps with an eagle eye and a match girl with an itch at the ready.

Island Blog – Flapping at Clouds

Yesterday was a day of long hours, the end game of a week during which I wasted much energy flapping at the clouds with a tea towel and expecting them to move on, metaphorically speaking. I don’t know why such times come, nor when they will, but I know everyone has days like these. I used to scrabble about for reasons why, most of which required me to beat myself into scars with a bendy switch. I don’t bother now. Now I am well aware that there are forces at large who are invisible, all knowing and with the big picture in mind, unlike me down here inside my little life. I let them play with my mood and my mind and just wait for them to go, which they always do in the end. But oh my, it’s uncomfortable. My body feels like I swallowed a hippo and my brain is a peat bog after heavy rains. I have to make myself do the ordinary tasks and cannot settle to anything creative. I stare out at nothing and wish the hours away. There is no reason for this; nothing has drastically changed; it is, as if, punishment is due for some heinous crime, one I have no recollection committing, or, worse, that I am sick. Long experience of this scoffs that nonsense away. It is just as it is.

I know these discomforts have come to learn me something; that I will, after the air settles back around me like a soft blanket, understand something that wasn’t on my radar before. It’s a shake up, a wake up, a take a look up thingy. Oft times it is easy to keep on going on without noticing the whole. Sometimes ‘noticing’ the whole, through the eyes of my own limited vision, is merely me circling through the same precepts, the same thoughts, opinions and ‘absolute truths’ until the goodly wise decide on action to stop me eating my own tail. I’m glad of it, once the discomfort has passed, because even if it takes me a while to learn the new learning, the new way to do an old thing, or, even, to relegate said old thing to the compost heap and to reach for a new thing, I am curious by nature and well aware that stuckness is death in life. Lack of motion and the refusal to allow new ways to infiltrate my old ways would kill me off inside a month. Maybe that’s just me. I know that some of my ancients were very happy to be stuck in old ways. We is all different and some more different than most. I know this too, but being stuck is not my nature, even if I can become so without any trouble at all. I always have my eyes on a better me. However, I cannot do this alone. How could I? I am the one who folds into little life without a second thought, scrabbling on through the tall grasses with the odd tea-towel flap at clouds, should they irritate me. I need those goodly spirits with vision, the high flyers, the ones who already know me better than I will ever know myself; who understand and who are kindly-meant. I need to lean into the storm in order to feel the vital force of it.

This morning I don’t need my tea-towel. This morning I know they have moved on. I can tell because my belly is not kicking up a storm and my heart is more Beethoven’s Pastorale, less Def Lepard. I also know that something will dawn on me soon enough and I will add that to my very long list of Aha’s, taking whatever I learn into myself so that I can inch a little further forward in this journey of life. I am certain all of us know these times. We are human, after all, grounded and unaware of so very much. Oh, we read the news, know the science, understand the proven truths, but we have no explanation for the Mystery. We can try. We can argue points, choose different names, fix on gods or God or no gods at all, but we cannot fully explain any of it. And there is something wonderful about that.

All I know is this. As I quest through this amazing life, grounded among the tall grasses of this beautiful and broken world, my mind is free to roam and, in being vulnerable, I know I am fully alive.