Where I stand
Peering out from translucent panes
I see the tree, leaves turned golden at this time of year
Beyond the tree I see a house, their garden sharing our back fence
I’ve never known her name, the lady who lives there. Denting the grass with her bare feet early in the morning, hunched, not to be noticed.
And I see more houses next to hers, some with loft conversions and some with fancy glass conservatories
But further than that, I see nothing
So I wonder about life within four walls
Stains on the carpets and forgotten mugs hosting mould under the bed
Moth eaten silks and cheaply bought treasures held dear behind cupboard doors
Tidy sinks and bleach drenched bathtubs
Life thriving, shielded from judgements
Life dying, shielded from acknowledgment
Then I stop wondering and I’m called back to the tree. She is never timid
Sharing herself each day, no need to whisper secrets under the duvet
She stands naked with no apology
And I can see, never needing to apologise for noticing her beauty
Where I stand I feel mighty, like the warrior of woodpeckers, the communicator of common fulfilment. I am a cell, coasting playfully inside violet veins. Our great mother teaches us well, her lungs spread to frame the sunlight from my eyes.
Where I stand, there is no place I cannot be. Joy, strapped upon the wings of migrating birds, gliding so closely to my understandings. I am all that I see and all that I see is all I hope to know one day.
Where I stand I see unity drawn in messy portraits. Collections on mass create landscapes I’ve come to call home. Who I wonder shall inherit these?
That house upon the hill, do you see it? Look further afield, in the distance. Behind the rattling windows and red bricks live little witches who watch over the trees and paint faces on the moon. Owls live in the wall and I hear them call forward the sunset.
Do you hear them too?
Where I stand I raise my chin towards the sun, my vision is guided by angel trails decorating the turquoise blanket above me. They are careful, like moths, to not get caught within the flames of hazel sight. I blink, once, twice, thrice. Such action is my hope to catch a shadow but they are too quick, too rapid for human consumption.
Where I stand I listen, hearing playground chatter behind my stare. Boisterous fists play notes I remember. Yet I am still, travelling without trampling the grass and beheading snowdrops I fail to see beneath my thoughts.
Only God hears me now.
Only God hears the poetry I read silently from post-it notes stuck on my bedroom wall. Where did she go, that girl ironing raw and honest words? Words written by busy fingers scrambling to decipher unknown certainties. Words I have come to live by and this I regret, like the slurring of existence during alcohol stained nights.
Where I stand, in that tiny second I see the enormity of effect. In that second a whole life is resurrected to only be forgotten as I’m distracted. The present moment beckons and I salute.
The bark of a dog calls me to walk on.
And now I am gone someplace new.
When I was doing theatre studies at school, we studied feminist theatre, which essentially introduced me to feminism and I guess you could say I’ve been a feminist ever since (I then went on to study feminist performance for my degree). I remember the term ‘The Personal is Political’ and it’s only been in the last year that I’ve realised just how much these words have driven my life. The decisions I make, on a daily basis effect the WHOLE system in one way or another.
So, I’m getting personal in my political activism. I’m going to turn my phone off for a week. No text messages, no phone calls, no social media, no nothing.
How is this political?
Seriously, our attachment to phones is kinda scary. On a personal level I check mine way more than I need to. It’s become a habit. An addiction, an addiction that is ruling my life, not me ruling it. So, I am going to try and go without it, to break this unhealthy cycle. An iPhone is not an organ, it doesn’t keep my alive. Political? The powers that be rely so heavily on our fixation with social media – it keeps us occupied, distracted and maintains a level of anxiety and fear. Plus Money is EVERYTHING and where is money? Technology. And what is money? Power.
Not only that but the natural resources being drained to keep this industry alive is astronomical. I wish I could sit here and write ‘I am giving up ALL forms of technology, forever!’ but alas, I am keeping my computer on as I use it to write, I’ll also stay on email. I’m seeing this as an experiment, to notice the small (or great) changes it brings to my life. I know we live in a time when technology seems to be the backbone of existence, and don’t get me wrong, technology has empowered so many and social media can connect in wonderful ways. I guess I just need to do this, for me, to break a habit that needs breaking, for my own sanity.
We are living in a time of excess – information overload and more hunger for power. This is effecting everything and everyone. How can we expect huge changes if we are not willing to change ourselves and patterns of behaviour. Change must come from within to then be mirrored externally.
I am so grateful to be in position where I can make this choice, that my job does not revolve around the phone – I am going to take full advantage of this while I can.
We can only do our bit. For now, turning my phone off for a week feels like the needed change, for me and our planet.
The past few weeks I’ve been hard on myself and the state of the world. The more I cradle into news feeds and environmental issues and animal neglect and… the general crisis we seem to be plummeting into, I just wanna cry. Brexit (Ahhhh) Trump (AHHHHHH)… I could list ALL the shit but I’m not gonna, you know the deal.
Anyway, last night, during my wallow I got into bed early, flipped open my laptop, logged into Netflix and headed to the documentaries.
“More ‘real life’ crisis, feed me more crisis”
I’d like to add here this post is headed someplace more upbeat, I promise.
Then I remembered my friend recommending the documentary ‘Minimalism: A documentary about the important things’. I pressed play and I got even more depressed during the first 20 minutes (btw it’s not a depressing documentary, it’s hopeful, I really recommend the watch, it sure inspired me).
Modern day consumption is insane! The rate at which we are filling our oceans and landfills with crap is just beyond belief. Hey there missy! (I address myself)… I buy stuff wrapped in plastic, I buy water in plastic bottles when I’m out and get thirsty. I have a mobile phone, I have a computer, I invest lots of my time on the world wide web, filling up on information I don’t need (mostly enjoy, sometimes not so much). I check my instagram everyday, and I’m blessed to have a huge choice of foods on my doorstep. When more is available, it’s hard to not want to take it.
A comment was made by… someone (a psychologist or scientist, one or the other) in this documentary about how things cannot go on the way they are, we’re in full destruction mode – of our health and our environment. Flash thought in that moment: 20 years. 20 years could be it. At this rate, we’ll be lucky to have an earth that can sustain us in 20 years time… once the CO2 levels rise and oxygen becomes more precious than diamonds, that will be it. 20 years! I know, it’s an extreme thought but we are living in extreme times. I freaked out.
20 fucking years!
I woke up thinking about it, I ate my breakfast thinking about it (even though I’m trying to be mindful when I eat, 20 years of life on earth is not something you can so easily put to one side as you crunch on puffed rice). What the hell is the point, of anything? I even said the words out loud.
“What’s the point, nothing matters!”
Light bulb – it ALL matters! We just don’t value matter anymore. If we don’t like it, if it doesn’t fit, we bin it and buy a new one. Disposable lifestyles R Us.
20 years? If I only had 20 years left on this earth, what would I do?
The calmest I’ve felt in very, very long time was when I thought about imminent death at the very moment I’d convinced myself we have 20 years left.
Shit, I got a lot of living to do.
And by living I mean loving and by loving I mean enjoying what I have and by enjoying what I have I mean enjoying this very moment, the now. I have sunrises to enjoy and wet grass to feel on my bare feet in the morning and animals to adore and people to connect with. So much living to do!
And what if it does turn around? We don’t know what the future has in store for us. All we can do is love what we’ve been given and boy, does the earth know how to share. We got mountains to explore (should that be something you wish to do) we got landscapes to paint, forests to walk through, oceans to sail, we got laughter to share and taste sensations to explode upon our tongues (from naturally grown natural foods). We got so much love to feel.
I gotta get loving!
I am going to get minimal too. I would love to be able to fit everything I own into a large bag, wouldn’t that be swell. It’s good to have goals. I am going to try with every fibre in my being to laugh more, to enjoy those moments that were once filled with ‘don’t enjoy this, panic instead as you know that feeling so well and it’s not safe to step outside comfort spots!’. I want to dance more, to smile more, to use my phone less (this is a big need I think) and to reduce my plastic consumption (a HUGE need)
Yea sure, some days are gonna be hard, some are going to be crap and grey and I might not want to even get out of bed on those days but as I may only have 20 years left, I don’t want to be miserable and hard on myself for too long. Besides, if everyone got minimal, well we might just have a good chance of beating my guess (based on unsubstantial evidence) of 20 years.
Cheers to loving the freebies of mother earth, she got us sorted, we just gotta show her some lovin’ and respect in return.
When the mind goes a little…
THINK BRIGHT HEALING LIGHT
THINK OF A STRAIGHT LINE
NOPE, I REALLY CAN’T
I DID IT ONCE I CAN DO IT AGAIN
You catch my drift.
Such chatter rides my waves, mainly storming up when I’m outside, when my anxiety roars ‘you’re agoraphobic, you can’t go outside without a fight!’
Screw it, there’s no fight to be had anymore. I don’t want to fight myself!
I don’t want labels anymore either. I don’t want to call myself something that doesn’t sit comfortably with me… and today I decided to think of myself as calm, at peace, able to go outside without feeling ‘weak’ (I think I may eliminate ‘weak’ from my vocabulary. No one is weak, we all have boundaries in different areas of life and these boundaries can always be expanded, should we choose).
So today, as I woke feeling particularly empowered, I thought ‘I’ll take advantage of this calm’ and went out for a run, then for a walk, then for another walk with the dog. High flying these days, ey? 🙂
As I was out with the pooch, I felt the worry rise – of course it was going to, I’ve become so accustomed to ‘the fight’, worry wanted to play the rebelling game. What helps, what always helps is noticing nature. The birds, the grass, the muddy patches on the grass and the trees. The trees are medicine. I know I’ve said this before, over and over. Today, as my anxiety wanted to perform centre stage, I was distracted by falling head over heels in love with one particular tree – anxiety didn’t stand a chance.
… And the close ups, oh boy. The colours, the textures, the light reflections, the rough and the smooth. Calm had come in the shape of a tree. Ask and you shall receive.
Thank you for up close and personal. For beauty that is often overlooked as we worry or rush or think of our ‘to-do’ lists. NOW was (is always) full of natures miracles and what better way to spend our time, loving all that we are a part of, art by Gaia.