The crows and magpies shriek out across the open grass. It is bright but cool, a pale, thin, golden light. A year turning once more, so swiftly into darker times.
I feel the strangeness, of something happening, things changing. Something calls, something won’t let me be. I try to listen, to hear what calls, behind the ever growing noise of the world.
I stand back from myself; everything seems so contrived and stupid, like a game that no one else can see. But then I get caught up in it too sometimes, then snap out of it, wondering what in the hell I’m doing. A glitch in the psyche, realization growing. What is this game?
Time disappears and yet feels also false, like a repeating circle just playing itself over and over again, this spinning self stuck on a level it can’t escape. Is it a game? More and more things seem unimportant, all the crap pushed in our faces, all the manipulation of how life is and what we’re told it should be, making us act out a certain, contrived behaviour that is not what we would really choose if we truly understood, if we saw beyond the surface, the busy, harsh brightness that keeps people dazzled and distracted.
I pare my life down. I strip away the nonsense, the crap, the wasteful, the uninspiring. Even as I feel time sitting heavily in me, I also feel something else, a detachment, a certain sense of letting go, of not being concerned about personal fears and worries, because this life feels small compared to what lies behind it, whatever that is, and what is unfolding, allowing me to be there more for what counts. If that sounds confusing, maybe contradictory, such is the difficulty navigating a way through the illusions and lies spun around the real. I have always felt there was something else going on.
I was always drawn to something other, even when I didn’t know what it was or understand what I was looking for. I always had this unease, this discomfort, that something else was there beneath the life we were shown, something hidden. I never settled into what I was supposed to do, what was expected, what was the ‘norm’. I was always chasing this something else despite knowing I didn’t know what I was looking for. (And unaware of what a Pandora’s Box it would open up.) But certain things increase this feeling, expand and feed it, are attracted to it like filings to a magnet.
The natural world, animals, where life is free, all the wild places and spaces, where life can breathe and so can we; creatures connect with this something else, live in it, are a part of it. Just being in nature, with animals, taking the time to be with them, nothing more, to share moments, to let them exist in the shared space between you, to be open to their own selves, to allow them to communicate in their own way, in their own time. To find the quiet voice in the rain, the wind, the waves, the trees, the clouds.
That is part of it, connection, not division, separation. This false idea that we are wholly separate and superior, I recognized as false from the moment I arrived in this strange, chaotic world. Animals were just as much a part of this world as we were, part of me and I always felt that without any doubt. So too the landscape, in its own way is alive and part of us, the elements, all of it, all vibrating with life and something to share, to be part of, not dominate and abuse.
Creativity, in all its forms, the imagination and its immense power. I recognized the value and nourishment in that; the fascination and obsession with the expressions of other minds, other people’s ability to enter into your mind, to connect and speak so deeply to you, through whatever medium, be it words, art, music, whatever the tool, there was something that connected, grew, deep inside, when you experienced the work of another that resonated with you and the realization of how powerful that is. To discover the way others felt, that you were not alone and the magic of being able to experience these whole, endless inner worlds and to do it yourself, to explore the unwinding expression of your own imagination, the limitless unravelling of your internal worlds landscape with all its beauty and horrors. And again connection, that other people could express something you felt, you responded to, spoke again of something deeper behind the surface.
Dreams. The dream landscape has always been very vivid and real for me, endlessly fascinating, terrifying and intriguing. This small death we all go through every night, leaving our bodies, so vulnerable, so strange, just a husk, lying there, while all the time these events unspool; somewhere else, in some other reality, we face all our imagination and consciousness throws up; it is timeless and fascinating. Dreamtime has always held a strong draw for me and the intensity of the impressions, journeys, insights and experiences can be profound.
I have come to understand the things that I need, that nourish and sustain and the things that do the opposite. That doesn’t mean I glide through life easily and carefree, that everything is good, but it’s not only about the ‘good’ or what I want, or being able to avoid the bad stuff, no one can do that and nothing can save you from it; it is all part of something beyond me as both a player in this game and challenger of it. And I fall and fail over and over again. You have to be aware of the ‘game’ to try to move beyond it.
But it is an ongoing process, shifting all the time, as I understand more, learn more, fall, break away, reach out again. But these things remain, they are more than surface, they are more than transitory ‘interests’, they are real for me, real beyond the surface real, if that makes any sense, they have a truth beyond here and now lights and darks, because they are undying. They endure and are part of something further than the game can reach if you let them; the hologram will weaken. Even at the darkest times I can return to them and they are there, because they are connections to this ‘something’, whatever it is, the better part of us??….which struggles to scramble its way through the rough terrain of life and all its challenges, but I have to find them, make space for them, give them time, and invite them in.
It is a very calm, still day. A chill falls and seeps through the open window. The pale autumn sun stretches a strange dreamlike light, a drifting sense of time and place; a changing, loosening, slipping of things. Even more the ability to search the real beyond the false, the illusion shimmers more all the time.
Most don’t notice it, most will never even be aware it exists but remain clinging to the surface of life. But there are depths beyond, whatever they are or mean, the way winds and plunges and there are tracks to follow if you choose to see and hear them.
These things help me hold on, stay connected to that source if you like. For times when the world is too much with me, I have to return and reconnect or nothing feels right; to come back to words, writing, books, drawing, animals, wild spaces, and touch them, even if only momentarily, it calms and centres me, grounds me, re-orients me back to the right place, to the heart of things.
While the powers that be try to force more division and fear and consume more and more of the wild places and wild creatures and fill those spaces with crap, and try to consume more and more of our minds, we need this ever more urgently. The need to find a way of straddling these spaces, keeping connection to the deeper, the vital, primal truths whilst having to exist in the here and now, otherwise this life will suck you in and destroy you.