Home is where the heart is. I’ve always heard this thrown around especially when people retuned from long trips. I find it difficult to comprehend because I haven’t REALLY had a home, a place of relaxed safety and warmth. I sat with this during the drive back from a weekend of writing and meditation and slowly, slowly started to ‘sense’ the riddle.
I have been listening a lot to Ram Dass and as I was driving a baboon jumped in front of my car. I was mildly surprised but more elated to witness his curiosity. A little while later some mongooses were playing together and frolicking in the morning sun… THEN it hit me. Home is where the HEART is. If you have read Eckhart Tolle or even many spiritual or religious text you would know about the power of acute presence in the NOW. HOME is where the HEART is and if we practice sitting in the now then surely our hearts are in the NOW and the NOW becomes our home???? Perhaps this is a coping mechanism as I moved out of what I thought was a home, I’m not sure but at that MOMENT, it felt WHOLE.
I have been going from deadline to deadline, event to event, planning to plan in a twister of energy and could feel a need for a pause. Surely the good doctor should take his own medicine he prescribes to his patients, in this case coaching clients, and STOP. That STOP I found is not a signal of failure but a signal of an awareness to reconnect to what is important and sit, just sit. I guess I have moving and moving to escape the taste of suffering I have been attaching myself onto for years and even more so recently. This weekend was about examining this suffering and what kept/keeps me to this.
As I arrived with a beautiful pink and orange tinged sky, I was greeted by the call of a jackal and knew this would be different. So the days played out and my initial feeling was of aloneness and it was a blow to the gut. As I ruminated over this in my heart I came to feel a distinction between aloneness and separation. There is a glorification of being able to be ‘alone’ and I berated myself for not being able to do this, to do this THING that seems so necessary and expected after the end of a relationship. What DOES it mean to be alone? Should it HURT this much?
I tuned once again to Ram Dass and found a kernel of truth. It seems that we are programmed to think of aloneness as a form of self-sufficiency and a detachment from needing. I confronted this fallacy. See TRUE aloneness is being able to sit with yourself and OTHERS in a universal aloneness. In other words can you FEEL and RESPECT the commonality of others in YOUR stillness. This is profoundly different to what is SEPERATION. Now separation is when you are alone but also cut off from the connections of yourself and others. Now to put this to practice…..
I woke up through bleary eyes and a bit disoriented as I heard… NOTHING. Utter silence… that silence is a song of beauty when you are normally bathed in the sounds of thrumming life in apartments and houses. I packed my hiking bag with some supplies and decided to try something different, I stepped out into the unknown trails WITHOUT a map, attempting to trust myself and the connectedness in my aloneness. I found an increase in senses; they were amplified as I walked. Each step felt like a leap and I journeyed on….
I remembered reading about a walking labyrinth that the farm I was staying at had developed a few years ago. A sucker for anything mysterious and different, I pushed forward in my hike to FIND this labyrinth. I went up hilltops and down craggily outcrops, I walked through dry brush and muddy reeds, I passed horses, mules and chickens, I passed through it all and couldn’t find it. At this stage I thought “Damn, damn this aloneness, can someone just point me in the right direction, I have had enough of cosmic messages, keep it simple please, I cannot translate this Morse code into something significant”
Nope! Not to be. I plunked down on a make shift structure over looking a vast panorama of fields and lazily grazing cows and sheep. The sun beat down, I opened my bag and fed on some of my packed supplies: crunchy green apple, gooey energy bar and cold, cold water. I also packed my yoga mat and writing pad in case inspiration decided to strike. Without attempting to filter I started to write and write and write… I couldn’t stop the pen from sliding across the paper; it seemed almost ethereal, almost possessive in nature, this outpouring of words. I was drained. I decided to find a spot to flex out my deluge of words and metaphors and not to mention the failed “Labyrinth Mission”
The yoga settled me a bit, I packed up and decided to head back as the air became nippy with a promise of a biting cold. The waiting fireplace was enough motivation to get me going. As I walked I looked forward and still mused at where the hell the possible labyrinth could be – you see I seemed to have walked the entire perimeter – and it happened. It appeared! AND it was literally just down from where my cabin was! I was searching for something so desperately that I missed it but when I settled into the moment I stumbled into it and BOY what a stumble indeed.
The labyrinth proved to be a test of everything I have experienced. Modern scholars have distinguished a labyrinth from a maze. A maze is an elaborate multicursal puzzle with choices BUT a labyrinth is unicursal and only has ONE path. See, when I was going through my coaching training a book was recommended to me: A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield (highly recommended). This was my labyrinth to REALLY and PRACTICALLY get me on my Path. As you moved through the labyrinth, at your feet were stones with little messages (I have some pictures in this post but you can see the full range in upcoming Instagram posts)
Anybody a supplier of Kleenex? You would have had a very profitable afternoon. Tears sprung from me at each and EVERY stone. I pushed further, needing to stop at points to take in what was going on inside of me, the mixture of paints creating new hues to colour a new world. I fought it I must tell you, I held onto my old pots of paints, my old brushes frayed and splitting. It was only after the third or fourth stone that I had to let it go. It seemed that each step forward was stripping away my SEPERATEDNESS and taking me into universal ALONENESS. I reached the centre of the labyrinth and plonked myself down on the bench, exhausted, it was by no means an elaborate walk but it felt like I had walked over a hot desert. I sat there in a silence both inside and out. What came up? The concept of forgiveness.
Walking through the maze, as much as I was giving up stories I was also holding onto their emotional resonance. There was a lot of anger and deep hurt (I still carry some of it, I am no guru of enlightenment and am an ever evolving human). I sat there and the image of a fellow Coach and loving soul entered my minds eye and I remembered a conversation we had about it. She said to me that Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology you will never get and a thank you that you will never receive.
I wont go on much longer about this as I am still processing all these moments of clarity and confusion in one. Suffice to say I thought of all these moments as little postcards, a time stamp of experiences I needed to acknowledge and engage with in a different way, a way from who I am NOW and not who I was then. So, here goes, my very first post card, the most fresh and hurting.
I leave you with this postcard and some questions:
- What would your world look like with forgiveness?
- What would you need to let go of and what would you need to accept to make this happen?
- Are you in Aloneness or a Separateness
Your gaze was the anchor, making its home in different ports
Welcome or not and always, always leaving an indent to be visited time immemorial
I approached in trepidation, that first meeting
A mixture of electric excitement and fermented fear
How should I?
What if? Can I?????
It all ceased in the moment your blue eyes met me
You met my gaze and retuned yours
Those blue orbs quelled the ceaseless chirping of the black birds in my head
I was SEEN…
Your first anchoring port landed gracefully
Tenderly, almost a feather rather than the solid steel
Ah! But if we knew the coming heaviness of would he have taken to sea?
Would we have?
Will I have?
I remember it all
The blue dilation through our sacred joining’s will remain crystallised in memory
The sparkle in the wonder of new adventure
The glistening of comprehension as I let you see into the cage as the black birds fluttered and pecked at the crumbs of my hurt
The intensity of your glare at the wretched masks of prejudice as we walked hand in hand
They held me in a confusion, a safety in separation of familial chords severed by surgeons holding scalpels of blindness to love
They GLOWED in those glorious dances to prop me from my crutches of dark solitude you couldn’t reach
They softened in the pause between kisses
In all of this I remember it, Blue
Did you see my gaze staring back at you?
What did you see?
Tell me Blue
What did you find?
The ports you have visited of me and with me are a placeholder
An odd end on a mantelpiece
These have no time stamp although they happened in time
They are a grouping of love, tenderness, mischief, commas and full stops
There were ports where the soil was unprepared for your landing
It fought against the cutting points of your desperation to find safe ground
Perhaps it was the unexpectedness of your arrival
Perhaps it was the ferocity of your landing
These postcards on the mantle are pushed to the back
I feel I must hold them from scrutiny and protect my own desire to smile
instead of the measured gasps of discovered cruelty found in the face of things not understood
I’ve never been good with goodbyes
They never seemed good
They are partings to me
Not heartBREAKS but heartTEARS
Pieces don’t fall you see
The muscle will allow a scar after the hurt
It will be met on the bridges we built on the handrails of pride and ego
Your eyes, the anchor
Dear Blue, you have done so much
At a time you blinked and I blinked too
Never at the same time
Too scared to see the other
Too scared to hold the reflection to ourselves in the other
I haven’t found the energy just yet to look away
I watch you know as you anchor into different ports
I watch you disappear
Im not sure I will meet those Blue again
If I do, it wont be the same
Because we will not be the same
Perhaps what we will see are the parts,
all our odd ends in kaleidoscope pieces
No need to rearrange, prod or move them
But we rest our gaze on the beautiful patterns it makes