Sunday 30 December 2018

Five Years On

Walking on the beach at Lossiemouth over the Christmas holidays with DC we saw this:

and I recalled taking the photos in this post. I assume the sculpture photographed back in 2013 was by the same person as the sculpture pictured above. Someone seems to enjoy collecting the washed up things on the beach and putting them together in this way.

It's five years since I left Moray but DC and I have returned quite often to see friends there. We both love the landscape and have maintained contact with the people there who became friends during the time I worked with the Findhorn Foundation. This Christmas DC had just returned from a six and a half week trip to India and my dear friend Niels was mourning the loss of one of his friends so the general feel of things was a little subdued as people tried to land in the space of how things were. All this in the general subdued inwardness of mid-winter with its short days. I find Christmas an odd time. We're generally all ready to rest and enjoy a mid-winter festival of light in some form or other and want to connect with friends and loved ones yet often these days those we might spend time with are scattered about the country or even the world. So, there can be a sense of displacement. And of course being displaced or travelling was part of the Christmas story- Mary, Joseph and the trouble finding accommodation... Fortunately our accommodation in Moray was comfortable, in the home of a friend and very familiar to us. I noticed that even though time has passed since our last visit we all just slipped into living together very easily. And yet I found myself feeling that that we were all in our own spaces and not quite able to fully come together for the celebrations and that somehow I was pushing against the grain to maintain connections. This came more into focus as other friends were not able to find time to connect with us. Of course peoples lives are multi-faceted and trying to bring all that we are to meeting in the compressed time frame of a Christmas visit is challenging. What this visit seemed to be saying was that things were changing, the shapes of each of our lives were subtly changing and thus the connections are changing. There was a sense in which the wider geopolitical situation (Brexit, Trump, the environmental crisis...) was also somehow soaking into us. Time passes and our relationships change but they can sustain, the thing is to be open to what is with warmth and affection.

The five years between the two sculptures above have been filled with life and it is good. As we approach the turning of the year I notice that I feel that I do have various creative things happening and that life is good. My intention is to keep putting energy into good connections.

Monday 21 May 2018


The past few days has seen me looking through some notes, drawings and the like from past workshops. I was looking for something which might be useful to friend. The thing that came to me was that over the years I have absorbed a great deal and softened and relaxed quite a lot. Of course I'm still all too prone to becoming tense! It's very easy for me to get into that place of feeling that I'm wasting my life, not doing enough to be the best me, to have the most rich life possible, that the years will go by and I will look back and think - 'what a waste'. Fortunately, I'm able to see the other side of things - that I have a fairly rich life and a happy one. My tendency to see things as going wrong, falling to bits, being not as 'good' as would like is very easily triggered. And I have deep patterns of feeling like I must be doing something to keep things ok. I know that this comes from events growing up but also from fear of just not being anyone. Even though I know in various ways that none of us are what we seem, not even to ourselves and that the way is just to respond with an open heart to life, I recognise that this can be an enormous ask and our egos in fear grasp at some certain, reliable known self - someone - anyone. It's a work in progress for us all.

Interestingly, I feel a need of some spiritual renewal. The thing that has come up for me time and again is the types of desire - on the one hand there's the desire of life to be, to flower, to come out of the unknowable ground of being to have experience and ultimately to know its self - the void conscious of form and emptiness... etc. etc. and on the other - our little cravings which trap us and take our freedom away. Awareness of which motivation is driving us in this respect takes time. One of the feelings I notice around this is the yearning to be with motivated, aware people. The motivation and awareness geared towards authentic compassionate living. And I also see that at times such people and action is around me and I fail to see it or respond in a harmonious way. I'm grateful for being part of various communities. None of them quite feel like they provide me with what I want. And I can't even articulate exactly what that is. But collectively they provide me with a lot. Maybe the main thing is that even though I can't articulate exactly what it is I crave, I keep working on the question 'is this life's desire to be or my little ego's?'

The death last year of DC's father and this year of his step mother, seeing my own parents become more frail, and noticing the passing of the years has brought an intensity to feeling just how precious life is. I'm sad that my parents and DC's never met. When they were all fit enough to travel between their separate towns we were all still struggling a little to make the whole gay couple thing work with our respective families. Much of this was fear of homophobia rather than homophobia. DC has been going through the belongings of his father and step mother. Things which held meaning and purpose now redundant. And some things capable of being kept to provide new or continuing meaning. Everything is provisional, ephemeral. The wonder is that we can know anything, that we can touch each other deeply even though we are always the only one that can face our life.