Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year's Day 2014

Almost immediately after I woke up this morning the still small voice said "I" (or perhaps it said "You"), "will never hear from her again."

I hear it quite often. It is quiet, authoritative, without an emotional edge. It is not judgemental or despairing. Sometimes it tells me not to have another drink, to stop doing something, and I ignore it. There are no comebacks. Sometimes it makes quite banal, mundane suggestions, such as "Stop this now" or "Go for a walk". It seems completely real and trustworthy to me. If I ignore it, it doesn't mind - I may beat  myself up about ignoring it, but it never does.

When I heard it this morning, I was sad. Not despairing, or grief stricken (I've done enough of that in the last eight months). I just accepted that it was telling me the truth. Not practically or literally. There will inevitably be some sort of contact, about divorce, or property, or the stuff I've left behind, but that could just as easily be through a lawyer or accountant, or one of my step daughters, on her behalf. But there will be no loving, caring, engaged, email, or letter or phone call.

I was told recently about distinguishing between "coping" and "transforming". Coping is just accepting, putting up with, suffering patiently and willingly, or otherwise. To transform requires us to truly relax and then to enter in to our painful response and engage with it. I realise I have spent a lot of my life, and of the last ten years, coping, imagining that I was surrendering to the flow, being detached. In reality I was just putting my pain or frustration or anger or despair to one side, but not moving through it, engaging with it, and then leaving it behind. Hence perhaps my drinking - numbing myself to the great crowd of supplicants in the waiting room next door.

So I spent the day feeling needy and lonely, unloved. Little new year messages on Skype or Facebook or email seemingly ignored. I worked hard at researching for stories for the next issue of the Transition Free Press, all too aware of how ignorant I am of what has been happening in "the world of media" for the last eight months.

So, at some point, I did sit down to relax and enter this feeling, turn it round, see what else was there, what other perspectives I can take. I understand that in a way I've been living in a sort of daydream for years. Clinging to times of happiness and content, of joy, of deep love, of real companionship, but ignoring or glossing over times of misery and despair and deep loneliness. And then I look ahead. Freedom. A new start. A sort of rebirth. I found my self commenting on someone's blog on Inner Transition (what does resilience, sustainability, permaculture, living lightly, mean for the inner life we lead?). She talked of a cone - the individual at the top, then immediate family, then extended family, then community, then nature, land, the earth at the bottom. How each of these sustains us and when one layer fails, the other steps up. And that sometimes we only have the bottom - nature itself - to hold us. And I realised how much of the last eight months has been about rebuilding and repairing each of those parts of my cone. Finding a new community after 25 years in Wormingford and Coggeshall. Going back to my extended family. Staying close to my children. And experiencing nature, this island, deeply, slowly, and being fed and sustained by it. Just the sheer physical pleasure of bright sunlight and sea, plants and animals, this extraordinary landscape. And until I wrote that comment, and read the blog, I had not even realised this was happening.

I jumped into the abyss (a la Castaneda) on April 29, and entered another world. I’m still falling, or floating, or flying . . .