Sunday, 28 May 2017

Mapping; finding. Our Mother Map.

“This we need to know: how to participate creatively in the wildness of the world about us. For it is in the wild depths of the universe and our own being that the greater visions must come.”
Thomas Berry

Today the rains came. I mean really came ~ buckets and buckets of it, the air almost white with it  at times. Just when we thought summer had arrived, the blue sky and balmy breeze of the last few days has been swept away as a covering of torrential rain clouds is drawn up over our heads from the southern seas, (though it's still balmy enough to have the windows wide open which gives the whole thing quite a tropical, monsoon~y feeling, which I love).
But you know I love the rain, any time of year. Its like a pause button. There's something reflective about it, turning our thoughts inward, giving space to dwell and mull and ruminate, and all those other analogous words.

Clare Island
April 2017
Ten years ago, when I started writing at Milkmoon, I was deeply immersed in mother-land, swimming in the milky waves of life with small ones aboard, and completely in my element. To this day I am slightly baffled and bemused when I hear Jay talk about how life~changingly terrifying and bewildering it was for him becoming a father. For me it was like slipping into a warm sea and discovering I was, in fact, a Selkie. Those years were a dream, not without their difficulties, of course, but the parenting part I was comfortable figuring out as we went along.

I have maintained my mother~sense. It leads. Always. But I know we don't always trust ourselves, do we? We are bombarded on a daily basis with other people's opinion and advice, on absolutely everything, unsolicited or not, and sometimes it's actually bloody hard to know when it is actually our own voice speaking and not some (occasionally) well meaning 'latest research'. Sometimes I long for the quiet space between words, thoughts, experiences, that our ancestors had. The time to listen to our gut, to know and trust what we know.

Clare Island
April 2017
In a podcast by Charles Eisenstein that I recently listened to, he spoke about how we have lost our animal instinct around food, we no longer know what our bodies are telling us and so we eat things our brain tells us we want but that our bodies would not if we were to ask them. Isn't this really just a good example that can be applied to any aspect of modern living? How many articles have you read about how we have become detached from the natural world we live in? How many people have written about this topic, lamenting it's loss, or simply stating it as a fact? We no longer know the world we actually, physically live in. The one that is beneath the enchantment that is our consumer focused idea of what the world is. (The truth is, take away one or two key man made elements (electricity, the internet) and the illusion disappears, and what then?)

And we are suffering for it. Our children are suffering for it. Our planet is suffering for it.

Clare Island
April 2017
Carol Black has written about one aspect of this, an aspect that is close to my heart, explained in simple yet powerfully clear words just what it is we are doing.

"When we first take children from the world and put them in an institution, they cry. It used to be on the first day of kindergarten, but now it’s at an ever earlier age, sometimes when they are only a few weeks old. "Don’t worry," the nice teacher says sweetly, "As soon as you’re gone she’ll be fine. It won’t take more than a few days. She’ll adjust." And she does. She adjusts to an indoor world of cinderblock and plastic, of fluorescent light and half-closed blinds (never mind that studies show that children don’t grow as well in fluorescent light as they do in sunlight; did we really need to be told that?) Some children grieve longer than others, gazing through the slats of the blinds at the bright world outside; some resist longer than others, tuning out the nice teacher, thwarting her when they can, refusing to sit still when she tells them to (this resistance, we are told, is a “disorder.”) But gradually, over the many years of confinement, they adjust. The cinderblock world becomes their world. They don’t know the names of the trees outside the classroom window. They don’t know the names of the birds in the trees. They don’t know if the moon is waxing or waning, if that berry is edible or poisonous, if that song is for mating or warning." 
~ Carol Black
 Read her wonderful full article here.

Clare Island
April 2017
Most parents I know have pretty good instincts when it comes to their children. After all, it is already mapped out for us, in our bones and gut, there for us like a safety net when we need it. It's there even when we can't see it. It's a map that was drawn by our mother's mothers and their mothers before them. Each line carefully added as experience drew their hand, in beautiful curves that echo a sleeping child's cheek, and sharp, painful angles that hurt but are overcome, and without knowing it we are adding to it day by day for our children. Some lines reinforcing what is already there, some finding new inlets, islands, mountains, valleys, and places that cannot be seen or found other than by closing your eyes and looking into your heart. But all of it tracing the outline of something that is deeply inherent in us, that is deeply rooted in our ancestral culture, in our place on this planet, wherever that may be. And if we know how to listen, those whispers tell us the truth we already know.

Clare Island
April 2017
From the time I was a child, I was always a little outside things, always in the edges, never the centre. I was defiantly different, even though this was often a difficult and lonely place to be, but I had no choice, for I had a very loud internal voice that had no problem overriding those other questioning voices when it really mattered.
But when I became a parent, for the first time in my life I was aware of that inner voice, aware my instinct was louder than those other voices. It was like suddenly being released and being able to turn my head to see who it was that had been there beside me all those years, that voice in my ear; and it was me. But my voice was not just one voice, but generations of my mothers, the voices that many of them most likely never had in life.

Sandycove
May 2017
But lets be honest. Sometimes those other voices, call them cultural, societal, whatever you want, they drown out that other inner instinct that knows what is best for our children, and without questioning it we step in (to the straight) line and put our heads down.
We consume, we buy, we don't think about the cost to the planet, to humanity of every single thing we use because we would go mad with guilt and grief. We just carry on.

We send our children to school even when they cry because we don't know what else to do. For if we don't know that a question needs to be asked, how will we know to ask it? 
And do we know where to find answers we can trust?
But ask the why, and the why and the further why, and the neverending why, until you get to the heart of it and find either the true-for-you answer, or you find there is nothing there after all.
You'd be surprised just how often there is simply nothing there - no substance to a cultural belief you've always held as true.


Sandycove
May 2017
Outside my window, seagulls are crying in the rain like emergency sirens, echoing around the hillside, the alarm in their voices has my ancestral antenna twitching. I cannot ignore it.

It's time to listen to ourselves again, my friends. Listen to your children, to the wildness in them that still knows themselves and what they and the world needs, that still speaks the language of Anima mundi.

Every day we tell ourselves a story and we believe it. Every word.
So what is it you want to believe? That you can be true to yourself and live a life that is authentically yours? It's not easy taking that first step, but that's the hardest one. After that it gets easier. Tell your story to whoever will listen, and miracles will happen. You will find others who feel the same, and that's when magic happens.

We create the world we want to live in. Every day.

And here's something to ponder : you are already doing it, so what is that world going to be?

Sandycove
May 2017

The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
– Alfred, Lord Tennyson

1 comment:

Martin said...

Great post and stunning pictures, Ciara. I must make time to check out the links, too.