If there was one blog entry I would want you to read, It would be this one.
Someone recently asked me, Why do you write? Do you get paid? How do you find the time?
Someone else recently asked me, My darling, I’m worried, why don’t you write anymore?
Well. I write, because I have no choice. It’s like breathing. My mind does it without instruction. I would wither without it.
And. I haven’t written recently … because, well … I have not wanted to be read.
As you can imagine… that’s a bit of a conundrum.
So here goes. Here I am.
Don’t you think it’s funny that as we get older, the pink-plastic, 2-dollars-a-pop, written-in-cursive, printed-on-pillows, cliches-of-the-cliches begin to sing to us? They grow daisies, switch flashing lights on around their vowels, they flicker and dance. They are the Nancy-Drew-Clues that have been staring us right in the face since the beginning of time. On 14-year old journals.
Our minds go “Ohhh! I know why you are famous now.”
FOLLOW YOUR HEART: What a waste of words on the young! When we are young, our heart is really our only master. Our minds, fears, hopes, dreams, obligations are nothing but budding flowers. Our hearts are in full bloom. There is no competition.
BE YOURSELF: Well duh. When we are young, ‘yourself’ is as mysterious as the clouds. We don’t know what will be a phase, a learning curve, a defining characteristic. We are still designing, deciding, planting our trees. When we are young, we don’t have the unruly task of having to accept and admire every ember of our rusty being. We can believe that we are leaving some behind. Picking up new seeds.
But now. Here we are. Standing in our garden. Beautiful and busy. Grown and every-growing. Manicured in parts, or perhaps left to ruin in the corners. Our hearts are amongst the many many many bright plants. They are the reddest of the roses. And the only ones with thorns.
A few months ago I was meditating with a friend of mine. She is a beautiful woman. Like the breeze. Light on her feet and with everyone’s soul. She can help you breathe a little easier.
One afternoon on my verandah, she talked to me through a hypnosis-like sleep-state and sent me to the heavens. I had never really done that kind of thing.
My meditation has always been, a glass of a wine and Tracy Chapman.
But this friend of mine, she is a professional. She knows I have been juggling. Running across rivers, with a child strapped to my hip, trying to still exist in the many facets of my worlds. Not knowing which is really mine. Or real. Or worthy.
I think she accidentally saw into the backroom of my eye-sockets. Past the ocean’s reflection, to the stinging orange flame that sometimes burns back there.
She suggested I come and lay down with her.
When the meditation was all over, and I was laying on earth again, she said, “Matisse. You need to find a mantra.”
She told me that when I am feeling like I am coming undone, I could repeat my mantra, and find my way to safety.
“What are you? What do you need reminding that you are? What words make you feel comfortable in yourself?”
She gave me some examples:
“I am a self-actualised artwork.”
“I am all-powerful mother.”
“I am a lioness.”
So on so forth.
I thought: “Well this will be easy! Words are my thing.”
I thought I would have it nailed in a couple of hours.
This all occurred in the first week of February.
It is now May.
Much to my surprise and disappointment, although words may come easy, finding and defining the home within my heart, doesn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I know things about myself. By now, most of us do. We all live in our gardens.
I know my flaws. I know what makes me cry. I know what makes me scared. I know the landscape of emotion I dare not tread. I know the sadnesses I carry. I know what movies I love. I know what makes me proud. I know what I want to be, for those I love. I know what kind of wife I want to make. What kind of life. I know what makes me laugh. I know what music makes me feel free. I know the descriptions I like to hear about myself. I know my strengths. I know my weaknesses. I can go to a job interview.
What I don’t know, or have ever questioned, is who or what that makes me, as a sum of all parts?
Or more importantly, if I am particularly comfortable with all of it. Together. In one room. As one evolving masterpiece? Does it need to be separated, lanes and rows, planted in patterns, to make any semblance of sense to me?
When I tried to write my mantra, I thought about solidifying my solace in the fact, that I have learnt to be a support for others.
But this mantra made me feel sad.
This ‘Matisse’ really only applies in Fiji. And what about the girl who needs support herself, to be small and curled and sung to? And what about the tired poet, alone atop the mountain with a guitar, a glass of whiskey and a love for the stars, the creaking wood, the night moves? And what about the MTV cutout; beneath the sea at a sun-bleached surf contest, big smiled, blonde, island-girl in a bikini?
Do they get forgotten? Do I need them to exist?
When I tried to write my mantra, I thought about solidifying my solace in the fact, that I believe I can change the world.
This made me feel sad.
This ‘Matisse’ really only applies between 8-6. And what about the woman who is worn out in the evenings and wants to rest with her child and man, without thought of travel, or burden, just bonfires and safety and long-misty sleep-ins? And what about the business that bears my parents sweat, the tiny coconut-grove of commitment and generations, and generators, that need to be tended to? And what about my feet? They don’t like those city-shoes. They get bruised and miss the sand. And what about the books I have in my stomach? And the author who will one day write them?
Do they get forgotten? Do I need them to exist?
When I tried to write my mantra, I thought about solidifying my solace in the fact, that I am first and foremost a mother.
This made me feel sad.
I am only just meeting the mother in me. We are relative strangers, tip-toeing around each other at the start, not wanting to get in each others way. We are finally conjuring the courage to invite each other to coffee and laugh together about the hilarity that is our miss Montaine.
(N.B. Yes. For those of you paying attention. We named our daughter after the old poet in my lungs. The Mountains. The quiet. The awe of the world. The Jack Kerouac, The Child of the Wild Blue Yonder, the Fontaine & Montana of my younger dreaming days, The Ray LaMontagne. She is my little rocking chair beneath the stars.)
So for months now I have been mantra-less. And not for lack of choice.
I realised how many different things I expect myself to be. To a lot of different people. In many different spaces.
How many different lights I stand in. How different perspectives I am viewed from. How many shadows are cast upon me, to create shapes, outlines, angles.
It is always me standing there. Just me. But I am still a million different things.
Even when a subject remains still, discovery is based on the discoverer.
The moon is many different shapes. Depending who you ask.
And this does not make me special. It is all part of the ever-so-confusing, human condition.
What really made me wonder though, which shape do I see? And which shape do I want others to see?
And WHY (!) all of a sudden, are they not the same?
Confession: Since having a child, I have found human connection to be the most frightening of daily tasks.
Some called it Post Natal Anxiety. Some call it Life. I call it 2016 & 2017.
I have been uneasy about being looked upon. Deciphered. Analysed. Understood. I have relished in the shadows and familiar. I started by surrounding myself with those who expected the least. Those who would never ask for explanation. I stayed in the safety of the bay, my love club.
But I am slowly paddling back out to the waves. I’m becoming less afraid to get a little rocked by the ocean, stung by the salt.
I am more willing to be discovered. Read. Known. Both at home and in the world.
I can feel the light is starting to shift. My eyes are closed and I am starting to see gold again.
The sun is moving toward me. Earth is turning and spinning and getting out of the way.
I am standing still. Whole. Okay.
I am a full moon.
My place is to stand directly in the beam of light. For my creases, my crevices, my cracks, my complete and utter fuck-ups, to be illuminated.
This is the only way to be my most powerful. To pull water and people, and mark paths through the jungles. There is nothing at all to be gained in my hiding.
I am a full moon. And so are you.
And we are at our best and most alluring, when we don’t let the world, literally, silhouette itself across our surface.
Stand proud in the sky. Radiate your wholeness from your chest.
I am only just learning how.
Be yourself. Fully. The whole garden. Honour all those wild flowers and trees.
Follow your heart. Plant those damn roses, squarely in the centre. And let them draw a little blood. Turn pink every once in awhile, for crepe (and sugar) sake – every good moon does.
And ……. when you are feeling like you are coming undone, repeat your mantra, and find your way to safety.
I am a full moon.
There is nothing to be frightened of here.