( an episode in the life of Almurta – the character I write about on my other blog https://almurtasjournal.wordpress.com/
Staring into space Almurta thought over what she had been reading. https://almurtasjournal.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/almurta-goes-exploring/
She agreed with the idea that the power structures that maintained the status quo across the globe were being rocked to the core. Everywhere she looked she saw evidence of this. In her own life too all that she had come to regard as permanent was shifting and changing. Having the shed she lived in blow down in a storm was physical evidence of this.
Nothing was certain anymore. Everything, it seemed, was in a state of flux. Old certainties no longer offered the reassurance they once did. Political, economic and social structures were going through massive changes where outcomes weren’t obvious or predictable. More than that there was the weird way chance events were also hastening the collapse of the established order. Earlier Almurta had been online and learnt that the beautiful Cathedral of Notre Dame In Paris was burning. Even things set in stone were shifting – literally.
Beyond all those cultural shifts Almurta was acutely aware of the environmental changes that threatened the entire planet. Not only were the oceans warming and rising because of unchecked climate change, they were choking to death on plastic waste. Climate change was also affecting weather patterns. Floods, droughts and hurricane force winds were wreaking havoc across the globe.
All these disastrous outer events had the effect of driving Almurta deep inside herself. Because she felt she could no longer rely on outer structures and conditions to give her life stability she felt an overwhelming need to find a stable place within herself.
Unsettlingly, what she found when she looked within was a mish-mash of ideas and beliefs she’d gathered around herself to explain her position in society. A lot of these ideas came from childhood – things her parents had told – things her peers at school had said – things her teachers had drummed into her. When she really looked at these concepts many of them didn’t really fit with her own secret, inner idea of herself.
The more she looked, the more it seemed to her that it was that secret, inner sense of herself that was demanding to be heard now. Thinking about this she decided to go for a walk in the forest. It was there she often felt the breath of the sacred – that immutable energy that was greater than any outer structure or concept she’d ever encountered in the world of people.
Rousing herself from her thoughts she looked out the window to check the weather. It was only then that she realised the noise she’d been subliminally aware of was actually pouring rain. She’d been so deep in thought she hadn’t really registered that the weather had turned bleak and miserable. Looking out she saw that the rain was so intense it had created large puddles on the path leading to the forest. At the same time the wind had picked up and was setting the trees sighing and swaying. Definitely not a day for a pleasant walk.
Not sure what to do Almurta wandered around her room. The idea of finding some kind of inner stability pre-occupied her. “I need to find the sacred within myself,” she thought. “Not some religious doctrine I was taught by others but some kind of abiding sense of a greater reality – some place where I transcend the limitations of the personal, worldly self.”