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Forward Ever, Backwards Never

 

My dear, in the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.

In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.

In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.

I realised, through it all, that… In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger—something better, pushing right back. 

Albert Camus, Return to Tipasa

 

Forward Ever, Backwards Never

There’s a funny thing about moving away from your home of 20 years, renting out your house, and getting stuck in the middle of a statewide COVID shitstorm…. You can’t go back. 

Can’t go back to safety.

Can’t go back to comfort.

Can’t go back to where you were.

Not that I wanted to, but it was kind’ve nice to have the choice ...

Transplanting myself from Tasmania to Dorrigo with a van full of animals and a new life in mind was inexorably more complex, life changing, and utterly deconstructing; more than I ever could have imagined.

 

Wild Open Freedom

Almost one year in, and I have yet to realise my dream of living alone in nature, close to the river, and forming an intimate relationship with this land that is free of ‘other’. Free of cars and trucks, people and noise, neighbours, landlords, and lodgers (and lodger's dogs … Don’t ask).  

I’ve craved wild open freedom, only to be delivered small, enclosed spaces. The studio that I live in; the office that I rented to escape the studio that I live in ... I could not find what I was looking for; and the endless search, the failing and the falling, sent me into a suffocating and dark liminal space. A space I could not accept. A space in which I knew I could not go back; but also one in which I could not, for the life of me, seem to forge a way forward.

It left me with no option but to face, in every difficult second, the present. I was forced, hand twisted behind my back, into a defiant, reluctant, and eventual acceptance … Dealing with everything that spewed forth from this torturous stalling. There were walls all around me, both literally and figuratively, and sometimes I felt like they would close in and vanish me altogether.

Some days, I hoped that they would.

 

Tick Tock ...

The collective journey does not feel all that far away from my own reckoning. I can’t help but feel the collective walls closing in around us now. The place that we find ourselves in—knowing that the clock cannot be wound back; and yet facing a desperate fear of what lies ahead; knowing that it will not look anything like that which we have known before.

Humanity, never tutored in the art of death and grief, is clawing to retrieve a past that has already died. Searching for the familiar, the comfortable and the easier; there is a collective nostalgia for a normal that was not serving many of the people who now so keenly want it back. Uncertainty is worse, it seems, than anything else we can face…  And we have a keen desire to be anywhere, other than the place where we find ourselves right now. 

 

Fear of the Abyss ...

When the past has gone, but we don’t yet know what the future is, we clamour for any sense of control that we can muster. We attack those who threaten that control. We fear collapse into an irretrievable chasm of chaos, from which we may never return. The fear of the abyss that resides within us all.  We need certainty, we need to know what will become of us. But that is not how life works, and never how it has. It has been an illusion of control, brought about by the relative stability of our ever-more-comfortable lives.

COVID pulled the rug from under us all. And I, took my van and drove across the country—pulling the rug out from under myself … Finding myself out on a limb, which was already out on a limb.

It does not feel like a safe place to be; and yet, I was compelled to be here.  

 

Trust ...

And here we all are. Those of us that know we cannot re-create, have the responsibility to create. We have the power to imagine a future, and to bring it into being. Now, the feminine is being asked to rise, in the midst of the most violent throes of the wounded masculine. Being asked to hold true …

Being asked to trust.

Even though our eyes tell us to do anything but.

So it is up to us; the women of vision, the masters of grief, and students of acceptance—it is up to us to vision our way forward from this place in which we are, to the place where we long to be. To carry the fears of the collective, and to transmute them; even when we are weighed down so often by our own. To face our internal abyss, so that others may know how to face theirs. And to wake up from our mourning of all that was … To forge a path through the darkness, and to light a way for the others.

 

My Soul Song 

It is with this understanding, that I finally put forth my purposeful work into the world …  Having found a light and spacious home for that; if not yet for my self. And even on the days when I can only manage a flicker, I trust that it is enough to light the way for someone struggling in the darkness. And on this journey to becoming, I have learned to seek the company of women who continue to reignite me, and keep my inner flame reaching for the sky … So that I can remember to dream, and vision, and create the future that I wish to be; and the future that I wish to see.

As I was writing the conclusion to this blog, this song (that I have never heard of, and do not know the artist) suddenly began playing.  I had not left this document, and had another album up on the Spotify screen. This song began playing from no playlist or album that I could see (scaring the crap out of me!) Here are the (very apt) lyrics…

 

I Believe—by Sam Garrett

I’m a lover, I was born this way
I’m a warrior, and I will make a change
I hope you’re ready, for what I’m about to say
You are love, yeah, you are brave
So, come with me
Take a jump into this ocean
And now, set your heart free,
Throw the change into motion, yeah,
We can live in peace
We can say the war is over
And you will come to see
We will make a difference, I believe
We will make a difference, yeah
I’m a Baba, I sing to mahadev

Come to bring the truth
To those who cannot see
Well, don’t let us stray into unrighteous ways
We’ll go back in (he said???), inside your holy cave
And come with me, take a jump into this ocean
And now, set your heart free
Throw the change into motion, yeah
We can live in peace, oh,
We can say the war is over
And you will come to see
We will make a difference, I believe
We will make a difference, I believe, yeah,
We gonna make a change
Oh, mama
We going down down down down, oh
We going down down down down, oh
We going down down down down, oh
We going down down down down down
Into the depths of love.

So, come with me,
Take a jump into this ocean
And now, set your heart free
Throw the change into motion
We can live in peace, oh
We can say the war is over
And you will come to see
We will make a difference, I believe
We will make a difference, I believe,
We will make a difference, I believe, oooh, yes,
I know I know I know we will
Yes I know I know we gonna make a change, yeah
Yes I know I know, make a change
We will make a difference, I know.

 

Christina Urso-Cale

Animal Communicator & Reader of Cards

 

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