photo by Sue Vincent
The search had take so long – most of her life really. Born in tumultuous times to passionate and volatile parents, upheaval and dissonance had been Christine’s story since earliest childhood. Searching for a some place to call home – some place that offered her a sense of security and stability – had taken her across the globe and deep into the mysteries, legends and stories of other cultures.
Now, as the years added up and her hair greyed at the temples, Christine retreated behind the closed door of the little flat she rented downtown. Her forays out were of an essential nature. Going to work, buying food and supplies, getting out for a walk in nature when she could – these events marked the passage of her days. Beyond this she did not bother with going out and about as she had once done. No, she told concerned friends, she was not depressed. She just needed to be alone for a bit.
Sitting in her flat mulling over her life she came to see that what she was looking for was an inner centredness. She’d called it a quest for a home and a sense of belonging during those years when she’d looked here, there and everywhere in the outer world but really, what she was looking for was a sense of belonging inside herself – a sense of coming home to herself. What she was seeking was an inner foundation – a place where she could stand strong and secure within herself regardless of outer events.
Some of the things she’d learnt on her travels assumed a greater significance to her now. Certain meditations and visualizations carried her into inner realms that nourished and sustained. Some of the sacred objects she’d crafted in workshops with other women embodied spiritual energies she sought to integrate within herself. Although the objects – the wands, drums, medicine bundles and spirit dolls – had their origins in other cultures, the women had fashioned their own meanings and contemporary applications into these ancient tools. Looking at them now as they sat on her altar she saw they were still potent receptacles of ancestral, archetypal and spiritual energies. These days too she often turned to the spiritual books she’d acquired and, increasingly, the online blogs and websites of contemporary spiritual practitioners. These sources offered her guidance and reassurance that the inner journey she was undertaking was both profound and necessary.
Using these diverse spiritual tools drawn from many faiths and cultures she shifted through her personal memories and plunged into an investigation of her bloodline inheritances. As time went by she found too that she began to unpick the cultural stories she’d assumed to be unassailable facts but now saw to be constructs erected to promote conformity to capitalist agendas and limited social structures.
As the months went by Christine began to wrestle some kind of treasure from her inner dross and darkness. Her state of mind shifted and she began to experience extended periods where she felt illuminated by an inner lightness of being. She had occasioned upon these feelings before for brief moments during the drug highs and sexual bliss of youthful experiences then later, in deep mindfulness meditations. Sometimes at sacred sites or sitting in circle with indigenous teachers similar states of consciousness had uplifted her temporarily.
Now as her mental and emotional landscape cleared the lightness of being became stronger and more stable. Uncanny synchronicities and intuitive flashes of understanding occurred more frequently as she began to circle around an inner locus of being that was unassailable and immutable.
It was at this point that Christine realized integrating this new sense of self was, in fact, her life’s work. Everything of any value flowed from that. Even while she was still in the process of building this new inner structure she felt she needed to go back out into the world. While there was a part of her that was quietly appalled by this idea (some people were so damn scary these days) she came to understand that it was only in interactions with others that she could test her new found way of being. Any places where she still needed to do some inner work would quickly become apparent that way. On a deeper level there was too the emerging knowing that knowledge gained meant little if it was not applied to real life situations.
photo by Sue Vincent. prompt: https://scvincent.com/2019/03/28/thursday-photo-prompt-bright-writephoto/