After such a blissful weekend, I spent last week feeling teary, angry, uncomfortable and emotional. Over nothing and everything. I was cranky over the cold. I wanted to be a working artist NOW goddamit. I wanted to spill my energy into something worthwhile, not endless spreadsheets and documents. I bruised my funny bone (both literally and metaphorically). I felt angry over the past, then critical of myself for not having healed it. I imagined arguments in my head before they even happened. I lost balance and found myself once again going to sleep with bleary eyes and a head full of computering. No hours clocked at the art table. An impending return home to the heartland of smalltown Proserpine, and all that it brings. I cried and cried last night over “The Notebook” movie. I have felt huge fears about ~ not dying ~ but LIVING. The same pain that comes after reading “The Red Tent.” The fear of not living with my full heart. And the fear of living with that full heart, and being in deep pain.
All these things still raging in my fringe~torn mind this morning.
So we go for a walk. We drive to Tidbinbilla National Park, and we walk the fields of Birrigai Time Trail. The plains are filled with running gullies of water, emus and large tribes of peaceful kangaroos. They watch us as we walk.
The gravel is wet and deeply, satisfyingly crunchy under our feet. I step over kangaroo footprints, and for a moment I feel connected to the earth, and all that roams it. Yet still the mind canters dutifully over all the things I fear in life:
losing, great tragedies, broken hearts, unfulfilled hearts, death, illness, childbirth, love. how the years escape us. all these things. my solar plexus ACHES with all of this. how do i deal? how do i become? how can i face all of these events… these ones that pull our heart from its very sockets?
we stop by a billabong of water nestled between the trees. a rabbit trundles off. the frogs croak unseen from the water’s edge. we sit there for a while, chris tells me of the latest shaman book he is reading, with the part about fallen trees. most people just say: it is a fallen tree. a shaman looks and sees a tree that was born, has lived, and fallen to the earth again.
a metaphor indeed.
he takes my hand, and we begin our climb up the mountain.
It’s not just any mountain. At the top are huge granite stones leaning together, forming Birrigai Rock Shelter. It is like an Australian, earthmade Macchu Picchu. Evidence of Aboriginal use of this area dates back to the last Ice Age, 21 000 years ago. They came to this mountain during the summer months to marry and have initiation ceremonies. It is serene and beautiful, looking over the valley to where mountain lays on the next mountain range. I hear singing voices echoing from the granite. Around every corner, there is mystery and stories untold.
I lay inside the rockshelter. Imagine the fire smoking curling to the ceiling. Still I am sore and afraid of the aching adventure of living.
I go back into the daylight.
Stand on a rock facing out to the valley. And I say my vows again to myself. I love you, Leonie. I will honour your intentions, intuition and self. You are surrounded in love. I recommit to myself, and it feels like returning home.
I lie on top of one of the flat palms of granite. Look up to my friend, the sky. Reassurances and loveliness in blue. Like a lizard gone cold from the darkness, I feel the sun radiating warmth into my centre. My hands on my belly, where I am born, and where I will give birth, and my neck where the sadness wells, I allow myself to feel the pain, and begin to be healed. I lay there in the sun for a long time.
We walk back down the hill, mostly in gentle silence.
A kangaroo bounds around us, and we stand and watch its large bounds. We marvel at how effortlessly distance is travelled. Kangaroos are me and Chris’ totem: They are an animal that cannot move backwards. Only forwards.
So with animals, the earth, and history unveiling gentle truths,
I venture forward. Sometimes stumbling, sometimes skipping.
But feeling a little less achy than before.