Cassie’s Dream

In a dream Cassie felt herself to be standing on a rocky platform.   She could feel the dense hardness of it beneath her feet but when she looked down it seemed to her that the rock  was made of light.  Two nearby rocks appeared to be part of the same platform but a deep, dark fissure separated each section of rock from the other.  The rock, Cassie’s dream self knew, was a sacred site – maybe some ancient Aboriginal place out in the Western Desert or maybe some place closer to home that had lost its story with the white settlement of Australia.

The sound of the place resonated through her but although she felt the name intensely she could not form the words for it.   As she puzzled over that she became aware that figures stood on the other two rocks.   Turning to one she saw it was Keo, the man she had loved with a passion when she was younger.    With irrefutable dream logic she knew that if Keo was there Mic had to be there too.   Sure enough, when she turned her head she saw him looking at her reproachfully.

The look spun her back into the time when she had been married to Mic.  They’d met when they were barely out their teens and had drifted into a comfortable marriage that didn’t ask much of either them.   Or rather, what it asked of them was that they behave like everyone around them and live the life everyone around them lived.   The agenda was get married, buy a house on a massive mortgage and have a couple of kids further down the track.  They’d never made it that far though.   The mortgage and the jobs that paid it were mind numbing.

By her early 30s Cassandra felt like her life was slipping away before she’d really lived it.  Meeting Keo changed everything.  Suddenly she felt alive.  Her feelings for him were so intense she couldn’t imagine life without him.   Leaving Mic felt like the obvious thing to do.  His feelings had barely registered with her.   She knew he still loved her but assumed then it was in the lukewarm way she professed to love him.   He’ll get over it, she reasoned.

The thing with Keo hadn’t lasted.   For a few crazy years they had loved each other and fought with each other with fiery passion. Looking back she would never say they were they were together for it seemed  that whole time had been spent ripping each other apart.    One morning, after a particularly vitriolic fight the night before, Mic announced he was leaving.   They were destroying each other he said.   She had to agree.

Shortly afterwards he went back to America, his home country.  She’d never seen him again.   Mic had drifted away long before that.   Sometimes she heard news of him through mutual acquaintances.    Years later she heard he’d died unexpectedly of a massive heart attack.  The sad news carried a dreadful irony for Mic had always been a fitness buff.   Sometimes when she’d had too many wines she blamed herself – maybe her callous treatment of him had weakened his heart.   Even scientists were saying now that painful emotions affected the physical muscle of the heart.

In her dream she saw the cords that bound the three of them together – even now, after all this time.   The dark rift between the rocks connected them as much as it separated them.

Looking at Mic she felt something inside her soften.   Of course she had loved him.  It was a different kind of love to the passion she had felt with Keo but it was love.   As she acknowledged her feelings the rocky platform beneath the three of them seemed to dissolve and they were lifted into a spinning vortex of deep blue, aqua and pink light.   The colours swirled around them and it seemed to Cassie they also flowed within her body illuminating every cell.

As the lights grew brighter she had the strangest sense that she, Mic and Keo were bound together by cords that were centuries old.   It seemed to her then that, on some higher level, the way they had treated each other was a repeating of patterns that had bound them together lifetime after lifetime.  They had all played out their part in the script like puppets on a stage.

As the vortex spun even faster the colours swirled together and became bright white and crystalline.   A deep, all encompassing love swept through Cassie.   It wasn’t a feeling she could claim as her own.   It was too vast and too impersonal for that.   She looked at Mic and felt a great surge of love for him.   She turned to Keo and felt the same energy flow out of her heart towards him.    In that moment she realised Keo was never really hers to own just as she had never really been Mic’s to own.   The love she felt then in her dream was greater than earthly vows and promises.

The swirling energy began to steady and the vortex dropped away.   The rocky platform beneath their feet came back into view and Cassie saw that the rift that had been so dark and deep was now a flowing current of bright energy.   The love that had bound them together had been transmuted somehow into something pure and beautiful.   Unconditional, she thought with that surety that comes in some dreams, this love is unconditional.

The light grew brighter still.   The rocky platform dissolved.   Mic and Keo disappeared and Cassie drifted up into wakefulness.   Her body felt odd – both light and heavy all at once for she was not yet fully back in it.   The dream reality still hovered in her consciousness.   As she slowly became more corporeal the intensity of it faded and some of the details slipped out her mind.    Stretching her arms above her head she felt some old muscular tightness that she been carrying for years fly out of her fingers and dissolve.

The early morning sounds of life outside her room then bought her more fully into her waking self.  There was the rumbling of trucks on the main road and closer to her room a blackbird sang.    The dream slipped even further away until all she was left with was a vague memory of what had happened and a feeling that she was free now to continue on her soul’s journey here on Earth without the baggage that had been holding her back.

 photo by Sue Vincent

prompt:      https://scvincent.com/2019/03/21/thursday-photo-prompt-rift-writephoto/

 

Rivers of energy

Helene Vaillant asks “What do you see?”   https://helenevaillant.com/2019/03/19/what-do-you-see-march-19-2019/
wall  Pixabay

I see
The universe spinning
energy flowing like a river

– standing off to the side
watching
observing
detached –
thinking that somehow
watching makes you part of it

The currents are moving fast now
flowing in all directions.

Some are clear
uplifting
noble and brave

Some are depraved
Some are fearful
Some are hate filled
Some are ugly

Others are just plain mediocre.

Standing off to one side
watching,
observing,
detached –
thinking that somehow
watching makes you part of it.

It’s time to jump in the river
it’s time to stand for something

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Native American Prophecy

There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.

And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word ’struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

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The World Peace Bell

This post is inspired by a poem by my online friend Na’ama Yehuda – A Bell to Tell

In a dusty country town out in central west NSW, Australia a large peace bell hangs in a pavillion in the town square.   Just how it came to be there is a strange tale of war and peace.

Related image
image from https://visitcowra.com.au/astralias-world-peace-bell

During WW2 Japanese men living in Australia suddenly found themselves arrested and sent to an internment camp at Cowra, NSW.  Although the men were treated fairly under the international law they were naturally very unhappy about their internment.   Around breakfast time on the morning of August 5, 1944 they staged a breakout.   Armed with baseball bats and sharpened kitchen knives they rushed out across the barbed wire surrounding the camp and into the firing line of the Vickers machine guns set up around the perimeter.   Tragically  231 Japanese men lost their lives along with 4 Australian soldiers.   A later enquiry decided many of the Japanese had suicided rather than face the ignominy of re-capture.

The  event and its tragic outcome left a deep mark on Cowra.   Soldiers returning home after the war took it upon themselves to clean up the graves of the Japanese who died at the camp.   The graveyard was later expanded to include the graves of other Japanese who had died in Australia during the war.    It is still the only Japanese War Cemetery in the world.

Since then cultural exchanges and a student exchange program have consolidated peaceful relationships between Cowra and Japan. A Japanese garden has been established and a Cherry Blossom Festival is held every year.  Researching this post I discovered that Festival of International Understanding was held in the town over the weekend just passed.   It included a haiku competition.

In 1992 the Australian World Peace Bell was awarded to Cowra for it’s contribution to world peace.    The World Peace Bell is usually placed in capital cities but Cowra was given the honour because of its long standing commitment to peaceful international relations.

The inscription on the front of the bell reads:-

The Bell Is A Replica Of The Original World Peace Bell Which Is Located In The Inner Court Of The United Nations Headquarters In New York.

Like The Original, This Bell Is Cast From Melted Down Coins And Medals Of Member Countries Of The United Nations In The Hope That World Peace Will Be Realised.

Cowra Was Chosen By The Australian Government As The Site For The Australian World Peace Bell In Recognition Of Its Unique Contribution
To International Understanding, Promotion Of Peace And As A Centre Of World Friendship.

I visited Cowra on a sleepy summer afternoon some years ago.   Not much moved in the heat.   A few visitors milled around the Visitor Centre reading the plagues that told tragic story that had led to the town’s deep and abiding desire to promote peace.   That peace seemed to have settled over the town like a mantle.   I didn’t take any photos.   It didn’t seem appropriate somehow.

While Na’ama Yehuda’s poem led to me recall my visit to Cowra writing this post and checking the facts re-affirmed my belief that peace can be built between nations and between people even when the foundations of that peace are mired in tragedy.

World peace bells
ringing out their message
– love is the answer

Deep listening in the Australian Bush

DEEP LISTENING IN THE AUSTRALIAN BUSH

These are troubled times.

Yesterday my head was full of troubles – and ideas – and opinions – mine/other people’s – all  bubbled like a stew in my mind – achieving nothing – getting kind of toxic or at the least – getting in the way – stopping me being.

I went bush.

Just over 5 minutes drive from my house there is a scrap of remnant bushland – the real stuff – never logged – never farmed.  It’s the kind of bush that is hard to relate to.  No great stands of majestic trees, no tumbling waterfalls or great vistas – instead dry, tangled scrub and spiky native grasses.

I have been told there are grass trees quite some way from the carpark so I set off down the dusty track to find them.

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It was a hot day and even though I was in the bush, 21st century noise still intruded.   I could hear the distant rumble of cars on the highway, a farmer was using heavy machinery in a nearby paddock and jets roared overhead from time to time.

The track wound on and on.  The heat was only just tolerable and I thought of turning back more than once.   Still those grass trees were calling me.   Eventually they began to appear.  Most were some distance off the track and being mindful of both snakes and of disturbing the delicate native plants I didn’t venture closer.

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Grass trees only grow a few centimetres a year.   The largest of the ones I saw yesterday had to be hundreds of years old.   In other parts of Australia grass trees lose the foliage around their trunk.   Tufts of grass grow atop twisting black trunks.   The variety down here doesn’t.   Instead thick clumps of foliage hang down in dark, dense curtains.   The plants look more like presences than vegetation.   Some are almost monstrous,  others are delicate and whimsical.

This bush reserve is managed by a dedicated team of nature lovers. Wooden benches are placed at intervals through the bush.   Just past the grass trees I sat on one to get my energy up before turning back.

Sitting there in the afternoon heat I finally stopped – moving, thinking, feeling scattered – I just was.   From time to time a jet passed by – high and detached.   I could still hear the farmer banging about in the distance.   The traffic was a subliminal murmur occasionally punctuated by the roar of a motorbike or a heavy trunk.   The 21st century is never far away from me these days.    Slowly though, the sounds of the bush asserted themselves.   Birds chirped, leaves whispered together, little critters rustled through the undergrowth.   I watched a bird hopping from branch to branch.  I photographed the abstract patternings of the tangled undergrowth.  Mostly I just sat gathering up the energy to walk back to my car.20190316_144618

My mind slowed down.   No great insights about current events, political ideologies, the massacre in Christchurch, climate change or family dramas came forth.   Instead I simply quietened down.   I grew more peaceful and more attuned to the moment now.   I came back into myself.

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The Australian Aboriginals have a concept called Dadirri – Deep Listening.   They say the answers we all seek are there if we listen deep enough.   If we stop and listen deeply to what another is saying we can begin to understand them.   If we listen to the bush we can learn how to live in harmony with the Earth.   If we listen to our own hearts we can learn how to live peacefully with ourselves.

It was a long walk back to my car.   The grass trees looked different as I approached them from another angle.   I found one close to path that I had overlooked before.    I took some photos and resolved to come again with a better camera.   It will take me a while to learn to photograph this place.   It will take me a while to fully learn the art of deep listening – the rest of my life probably.

The path goes on –IMG_20190316_203330

prompt:  Six word Saturday

 

 

The Green Man

I made another spirit doll this week.   It felt incomplete until I saw Sue Vincent’s  prompt  – https://scvincent.com/2019/03/14/thursday-photo-prompt-sign-writephoto/

Of course!   What my doll needed was a hat.  I made him one from green leather then put him in the fork of a tree to take his photo.

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While I was making this doll I was thinking about the mythical figure of the Green Man.  It is perhaps a sign of our times that the Green Man is coming back into our awareness.  The archetype has particular relevance to men as an alternative to toxic masculinity.

I found a really good explanation of what the Green Man represents for men on https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/meet-green-man-archetype-wild-soul-dg/
“he models a different kind of manhood and strength, one that is based on relationship, caring, and true husbandry or stewardship. He gives us a powerful metaphor and depiction of the Sacred Masculine.”

Writing of the relevance of this model of masculine for our times the author describes the Green Man archetype as “a strong and compassionate masculine who respects the hidden laws of nature and interconnected relationship. In a modern incarnation, he stands for environmental awareness and action; he symbolizes cooperation with nature rather than dominion over it for resources, wealth, and power. In a sense, he is the original eco-warrior.”

I really like these ideas but feel the Green Man has a relevance for us all regardless of gender.   We all embody both masculine and feminine qualities to some degree.  On the website https://www.tlc-uu.org/awakening-the-sacred-masculine-introducing-the-green-man/ I read:
“As the Goddess makes her return, we must also resurrect the Green Man so that both feminine and masculine are united in a healthy balance of head and heart, intellect and imagination, intuition and reason, force and flow. Cultivating a healthy sense both of our masculine and feminine sides of ourselves is the only way we will ever be able to usher in an era of new balance so desperately needed in our world today. When a healthy masculinity is established both men and women will rejoice. And so too will animals, plants and future generations. The stakes for establishing a Sacred Marriage of the Divine Feminine and Sacred Masculine have never been higher. Our survival hangs in the balance.”