Friday, October 07, 2005

More on the Sounding part 1

This observation by Kiyan is quite startling in its truth and clarity:

Yet you do not trust your abilities in this 'magickal/prayer' level, and have lost your trust in PRACTICAL methods that used to work. You used to enjoy gentle competition and even 'battling wits' with friends and enemies. Now you are not sure it is worth the effort. Generally, you 'like' yourself, but do not like what you may have to become to deal with 'reality'.

The comment on `battling wits’ with friends and enemies and feeling that now it is `not worth the effort’ really resonated with me. Quite often, I feel that way now, and yes, at base, the reason for most of my unease is that I have reshaped myself to `fit in’ to be able to deal with the world the way it is – what I perceive, or have come to perceive, as `reality’.

How will I deal with this insight? What can I draw from it?

When my children were very young I made the decision to send them to regular school rather than home school. I had been home schooled and felt that, while I had learned to read and write better than any regular school student, I moved into the adult world with no real experience of what it would be like – lacking social skills, I believe is the phrase. Not lacking social skills in my own traveller world, you understand, but in the settled world, where I was to spend the rest of my life. I brought a traveller’s consciousness to the settled world, and it was very much like trying to fit a piece from a different jig saw puzzle. I remember once visiting the house of one of my daughter’s school friends. It was completely devoid of furniture. The family had a huge loan for the house and had no money left to furnish it. So they were waiting for the bank to agree to lend them more money so they could buy furniture.

More than anything, this was descriptive of the difference between my world and theirs. My father built our homes – our first home was an ex army ambulance that he converted into a motor home. Travellers didn’t deal with banks. They made things themselves. My husband was no carpenter, but he managed to craft up a pretty decent set of shelves and a coffee table when we needed them.

We taught this self sufficiency to the children, but we also needed they needed to understand the world they were growing up in. Our world was gone – they needed to learn to live in the world the way it is.

Another snapshot flash – my son at school sports day, talking to his teacher. Mothers in sneakers were running alongside their children, screaming encouragement or abuse, depending on whether the kid was in the lead or not.
``Where’s your mother?”
My son: ``Oh, she can’t run, she’s the one in high heels.”
My son loves this story, he laughs with affection at his crazy mother who turned up to sports day in high heels. This is the same son who likened me to a wild horse – with the same pride and love. A wild horse in high heels – how well he knows me!

Thinking back on all this now, I realize how worried I was that I `fit in’, that we all `fit in’ – just turning up to sports day at all was indicative of that. And I realize that it never worked. Today my kids say they are thankful for the self sufficiency lessons, not the algebra – for our encouragement – nay, our insistence – that they be accepting of all cultures and people who are `different’. Those are the friendships they still treasure.

For all my talk, I have never accepted the world `the way it is’ if the way it is is loaded with racism, violence and facist control of creativity. What I was actually doing was saying to my kids, `this is the world the way it is, we are here to change it’, something they clearly understood better than I did.

So thank you, Kiyan – I here and now firmly state that I have never, will never, don’t WANT to `fit in’, it’s not me and I don’t like the person I have to be to do it. All my problems about life are `fitting in’ with it, not understanding that I have to like who I am and what I do and have faith in my ability to make the right choices. I set that moment aside until I am pushed up against the edge and have to jump – and why is that? Not because I am an unfortunate soul who gets pushed around, but because I LIKE it – I like the reckless leap into the unknown, I continually put myself in situations where I have to do it. I have to know that about myself, embrace it and work with it.

Kiyan goes on to discuss the way I am perceived by others – as more powerful than I see myself. As I said before, that relates to the way I was brought up. We did solve our own problems, we did come up with solutions. That was how the people I come from lived their lives. It never occurred to me that people might see this as some strange `power’ and I was always disconcerted by the reactions – years ago, when I was doing astrology charts for people, I had one woman ringing me up all the time, saying things like, ``I’ve been invited out by someone, what sign’s the moon in, will it work out?” Oh for Heaven’s sake, just GO to the movies! I would tell them over and again that it was all in their own hands, that all I did was `speak’ astrology, like translating something from another language, and that it wouldn’t always make sense or be what they wanted to hear, and in the end I stopped. The woman I spoke of studied astrology herself and interpreted her findings the way she wanted them. That’s the problem – wanting a certain outcome and manipulating the information to fit. That again, is setting aside the responsibility for your own choices - `fate made me do it’.

Then, as they perceive (hope) for more that you can provide, they are sometimes disappointed and become withdrawn -- often for extended periods.

My pride may also be a factor here – when I was younger and more energetic, I tackled everything head on and refused to give in. Now I am older and often feel fed up with the fact that life is still unfair and I still have to pick up my cudgels against injustice, I also find it harder to come up with solutions. I am becoming, I fear, one of those annoying older people who think the young can’t figure it out for themselves. I must take a moment to stand back and let them take up the baton as well. Some of them have already done it and their frustration may be due to the fact that I don’t see how much they are doing on their own. Ouch, Kiyan, that one stings. But wasn’t that my mission all along – to pass it along. I laughed at my husband because he is an old lion grumbling about the younger ones not heeding his advice. It’s their world, I said. But I must stop sucking on my own paws.

FOLLOW -- the main thought to be gathered at this point from these Casters is that you will have a far greater impact on people than now and in the past.

I am a great fan of David Suzuki – I am taken with his concept of eldership and hope to attain that in my third age – there is so much to learn from animals and nature, I feel as if I am beginning again to appreciate and respect the natural world. Today I watched a white and a yellow butterfly dancing on the breeze – The elder tree outside is in full bloom and covered in white butterflies. When I was young my father would take me fishing and point out things in nature that I hadn’t noticed – a rabbit in the grass, a broken thrush’s egg. I did the same thing with my children, and now with my grandchildren – pointing out to them the small miracles around us every day.

I seem to be rambling but this is the train of thought this first sounding has set me on – that as an elder I have more to offer than advice, that it doesn’t matter if the kids know better how this thing works than I do, because I still have the ability to open their eyes to the small miracles. I sense a purpose and a mission here, maybe one I have had all along, and didn’t know it, but followed it anyway, by instinct.

Kiyan, I am going back outside to watch the butterflies. I will be thinking of you.



At 8:33 PM, Blogger Lois said...

Hi Gail,
As I sit here at my computer reading your latest post Sounding I am thinking that out there is this universe there is much one will never know.
How ,when we read thoughts of others they are so entwined with how we ourselves think of the world we now live in and the experiences we have been through in the preceding years.
The battling of the wits in differing opinions of friends and of how we fitted in with others ,loved ones as well to be as one ...BUT now as we have travelled a new road with others of like mind mostly ,but most importantly the past did give us a way of coping with adversity ,making do ,enjoying much less .solving our own problems not always an expert in the field but getting there eventually.
A sense of injustice can be gained by keeping ears and eyes open,digesting as much knowledge as possible and as you say not going in boots and all so that it drains us of all our energy.
Gail today it it much harder to fight the good fight ...our companions are fewer our enemies are those who would tell us
"If you are not with us,you are against us" .I do not believe the majority care one way or another and have been disillusioned ,angry and sad...BUT then I think "Well I will do the small bit I can withing the limits of what I have to offer and be part of that larger group who will be heard to some degree.....Isn't that what democracy is.?.
I wrote way back in 1997 a poem where I said......
" I doubted that I would ever come back
To the woman I was in the fast lane track,
The worker,the Mother ,the friend,the Wife
For,now I am the one that matters in Life.
I see before me a new beginning
Of a life rich in love
Of friends rich and precious
Never to be lost no matter the pressures
I will cherish this woman who has become whole......
Not exactly as I wrote it but this was the theme and the turning around to a new beginning....
The road I travlled was as Robert Frost said ....
"Two roads diverged in a wood and I
I took the less travelled by
and that has made all the difference."

PS .Gail perhaps it is our Irish Heritage or perhaps a little magic we have inherited.....

Lois (Muse of the Sea)8-th.Oct Oct

At 2:02 PM, Blogger le Enchanteur said...

I am spell bound Gail. I never have fitted in and I must stop struggling to do so. As Johnny Depp said in Chocolat' - the price of belonging is too high. So much of what you say here resonates for me too.


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