a long time…

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Life seems to have run away from me again. I have been painting again – I needed to take a break from my coursework because I was getting overwhelmed. I have worked a bit more on my Etsy shop and have added digital prints of most of my original paintings. November is fast approaching and I am still working on planning out the tale I will write for National Novel Writing Month. I am so sorry for neglecting this blog recently. It has not been easy, and I promise to try harder to spend more time here.

unravelling and rewilding…

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Every morning, upon awakening, she made herself a cup of tea – with a healthy splash of creamer – and sat out on the porch to listen to the birds. As they sang, she unravelled the ball of yarn she carried within her soul. She pulled the dark and tangled thread, easing out the kinks and untying the little knots that would make creating with it rather difficult. Most days, she wasn’t able to unravel the yarn completely before being pulled away from the birds and their songs for other duties – more often than not, she would hastily wind her work up and stuff it down inside of her, causing more knots and more tangles to form.

Once the children were awake, she had little silence to sit and do her work which often meant that those kinks in her ball of yarn would have to wait for the next moment when there was enough silence to hear the crickets and the birdsong.

She had learned, long ago, that those around her preferred a tame and well-mannered and respectful young woman – there was no place for unravelling, for the wild soul that lived within her. She was taught to be silent unless spoken to, to lock all of the feelings within her spirit in a box and hide them away from the world.

No one wanted to experience the crashing waves of her daily grief, no one wanted to feel the raging flames of wild-fire that burned under her skin. She held a gale of pain and thoughts in her mind, and the earthquakes that trembled within her bones longed to topple mountains – but she hid them, and she hid them well until it all burned through her mask and buried those around her, drowned them and stole the very breath from their lungs.

They would never understand, those people that sought to tame her and to silence her – they would never understand the tremendous amount of effort it took for her to breathe deeply and move on through the battering elements that raged in her spirit as if they did not exist. They would never understand the grief and the guilt and the pain she felt after letting loose, after erupting in the face of their hurtful words and actions. They could never understand the work she did, daily, to keep herself from lashing out, from calling forth all of the power of her rage to inflict on them what they had done to her for so many years. They felt attacked, they felt belittled, they felt like victims under her screams of pain and fear – yet, what they did to her was perfectly within their rights as elders, as authorities, as people who demanded respect, but did nothing to earn it aside from age.

She longed for the trails of the wildwood, for the uninhabited forests where she could unravel all of the dark yarn within, and dance with the moon and in the rain and beneath the stars. She longed for the freedom to express herself, whether through screams or through song. She longed for the peace of the meadows and the hills and the rushing river waters where she could be as wild as her soul compelled her to be, unashamed and unfearing of the society that had chained her.

Moreover, she longed for the gentleness that hid, deep within her. The gentleness that, should she finally be able to unravel completely, she knew would finally drift to the surface. She missed it, the gentleness that whispered to her from within that tangled ball of yarn, hidden behind all of the things she pushed deep down into the pits of her soul.

She knew that one day, the time would come when she could finally finish the work she had set out to do. However, she also knew that that particular day was not for some time, and so she would continue to unravel what she could before being called away to some other place, for some other reason. She would continue to push it all down, to apologise to those around her when she could no longer hold them tightly away from the surface.

The wildness called to her, just as much as the gentleness did, but she hushed their pleas as she finished her tea and left her work to another day.

 

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the wise woman

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Speak softly. Tread lightly. Be understanding and kind and forgiving. Most of all, be gentle.

She whispers to me from somewhere deep within. She touches my hand, guides it with care to the petals of the roses in her garden. She speaks in hushed tones over steaming cups of tea.

She sees my pain, my fear, my stubbornness and she is saddened.

How has the world been so dark for you for so long?

She doesn’t need an answer, for she already knows it all. She has witnessed everything within and without, and she knows that this is the only way that it could have gone. She knows that, regardless of whether I was allowed to choose again, I would find myself in the same sea-side garden, sitting beside her and her roses, feeling the same feelings that I am now.

Be gentle, my child – this world is so harsh, so sharp, that there is a need for long, drawn-out curves and gently winding roads. There is a void where softness should be. Be the softness that this world, your world, needs. 

She leaves me for the comfort of her flowers to contemplate her words. She is grace and wisdom and foresight as she walks down the slightly uneven path to the back garden, all the while reaching her hands out to feel the leaves and flowers and yes, even the thorns.

There is a place for those sharp points in life. They protect us, they teach us, but most of all they lead us to the beauty of the rose at the top of the stem.

 

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unfolding…

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Path work is a very personal thing – no person’s inner, or outer, work is the same as another’s. Some are outgoing in their work, others are silent; there are times when you can see the work, feel it, read it and other times when there is nothing to show for the work that you have done aside from a change in perspective. There are times when the person themselves does not realise that they are doing Path work, when in reality they are.

Recently, the question “where are you on your spiritual path” came up, and I began to wonder if the sort of healing I am doing with my mentor, the sort of work I am doing deep within my soul, is considered Path work. I believe that it is useful to include conventional healing as a sort of Path work, because you are working to live your best life. When speaking of mental health, the work that is done in therapy can be performed in conjunction with Shadow work and other things of a similar nature – from a shamanic point of view, soul retrievals should always accompany work with a mental health professional because of the memories and feelings that it can bring back to the surface. Learning different coping skills can also be beneficial to a spiritual path, because we are taught different ways to understand and communicate with our communities.

Path work is a winding trail through a dense forest – there are markers where you can gauge your progress, but just because you are here and someone else is there does not mean that you are less or more than they are. In a spiritual community where much of our progress is marked by degrees and certificates that, in the end and in my opinion, do not mean much, many of us may feel inadequate.

As it is with schooling, just because you received a low mark in Maths does not mean you are a failure or that you are less – what of the high mark you received in English or in Art or in Theatre? What of your accomplishments in Sports or in Music? Even if all of your marks are lower than your peers, you showed up and sometimes that takes just as much, if not more, effort than being the top of your class.

I have so much information stored in my head, and yet I have not used even half of it. I have read articles and textbooks on advanced scientific theories and methodologies. I have learned numerous different art styles and I have an extensive understanding of musical theory and genre studies. I have delved deep into the cultures of various time periods. And yet, I do very little (if anything) with this knowledge – partially because I did not obtain it through an accredited source, therefore do not have a degree or certificate, and partially because I just love to learn and have no desire to put the knowledge into action.

However, my love of learning has given me more than enough fodder for the tales that I weave, for the artwork that I create. It has also opened up a unique universe of intellectual people that I can converse with without feeling lower than they are. The amount of knowledge you possess is useless if you do not put that knowledge to good use. If you never become a rocket scientist, but you can converse about quantum physics with a rocket scientist, I believe that you are putting your knowledge to good use.

A person’s progress on their path, whether mundane or spiritual, should not be measured by degrees or diplomas or titles – granted, there are professions that require degrees and titles and whatnot. That is not what I am talking about here.

Life is not a piece of paper. It is not a certificate on your wall. It is not the ritual of moving up a grade or graduating. Life is breath, it is getting your hands dirty, it is experiential. If you spend your whole life learning and never practising, is that really living? Is the high school dropout who travels the world any less knowledgeable than the Ph. D student? We all have our strengths, we all have our own sets of skills, and we all have something to offer our communities, both local and global.

My spiritual path has brought me to a place of healing. I have stepped off of the trail and into a clearing where I am required to do difficult soul searching and growing. We all have these places along our paths, where we must stop for a moment and take in the lessons we have learned along the way, and put the knowledge to good use. Some may view these places as bumps in the road, as things that deter us from our quests, but that is not their purpose. Their purpose is to force us to take a step back and breathe, perhaps to heal ourselves or perhaps to find a new piece of information, a new skill.

Each person’s Path work is different but no less necessary for their continued growth and progress along their path. Reaching the end of our Paths is the only common denominator.

Kim Krans, the creator of The Wild Unknown, says it perfectly:

May you always be on the inner quest.

Until next time <3

 

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artwork update

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My creative workspace. I use the same area when I write, but without the painting board.

“This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”

–John Muir

I have recently been painting a bit more, which is always nice. Many of the pieces are inspired by yet another free course offered by Molly Remer at Mystery School of the Goddess, as well as just general Path work. It is wonderful to feel Awen flow through me, as well as to have the motivation to bring my art into the world.

 

I have hope that I will have the energy and motivation to photograph them properly tomorrow, as well as to scan them in for future use seeing as I am selling the originals. I am so proud of myself for continuing to paint, even though I have created quite a few flop pieces – looking through videos and tutorials has helped me to understand certain techniques and I seem to be improving with each new painting.

A bit of an update on the tale I am weaving:

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Aequoris has taken a strange, but completely wonderful, turn. Every day, I am taken to a new space within the Universe created around these characters. Ritual, Magic, Love, and Mythical Creatures – they all play a part in the tale and I am so honoured to be inspired enough to write it. Here is a small snippet from a recent chapter:

The sun dipped low on the horizon, casting pinks and purples and greys into the clouds that hovered over the vast sea. Vivian had left a message stating that she would not be returning that night, that her family had plans in Bayside and she was invited. Cora bit her lip as she and her mother sat on the deck, her eyes threatening to let go of the tears she had been holding back.

There was a space between herself and her companion, and it was widening with each day they were on the island – between Vivian’s family and their wishes for her future, and Cora’s own family history, she knew that there was little hope for their special brand of intimacy to continue. She could not offer the things that Vivian, and her family, wanted for her – nor could Vivian stand up to the battering waves of intense emotions for much longer. She had seen her closest friend falter more than once under the weight, and though she wanted more than anything to spend the rest of her life beside Vivian, Cora knew how impossible it would be.

Until next time <3

 

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