(Dedicated to the survivors of war)
As we, in the southern hemisphere, travel around the sun, towards Samhain, we march, with bruised and blistered feet to the drums of Anzac Day, that glorifies the most tragic of untaught histories. A seemingly endless progression of forgotten tragedies, with only the slouch hat, propaganda’d as belonging to my sons and yours, so heroic, being blathered about in platitudes, when it was people, and forests and species of every cousin imaginable that never understood why they must die so violently, so thoughtlessly.
ANONYMOUS AND LOST
And each person fights a little or a lot, to stay alive, and have a life worth living, despite everything. So, when we are anonymous and lost we all tend to invent ourselves. When we do not have a mirror, or an ancient story, within which to recognize ourselves and therefore know ourselves to be real. When we make trouble, when we don’t do what society demands, when we don’t behave in an appropriate way we’re going to be subject to criticism. Be warned. You and I might be thought of as ornery, or pig-headed or even somewhat arrogant. A fool. A freak or a piece of work. But what about when that’s an insult, a gag across your mouth at the insistence of a terrorist social standard, and an obliteration of how others choose to see the world? Through other eyes?
One way of living with being anonymous and lost happens because there is no one to offer us true stories. One way is to become sullen. Resentful. Or work like crazy to fit in. I understand that. Loneliness is the way of the edge-dweller. But I must say that even though this is a track through the forest that myth suggests drove Merlin mad, it is not the path only trodden deep by deer, but wolves in hunt of deer. Because there comes a time when the pretense is like an old seal skin hanging on the back of the kitchen door that used to belong to a selkie (who abandoned it long ago). It smells of rot. And that’s what’ll happen to the person in this one thing.
“Stories instantaneously bypass the ego. The ego cannot absorb the entire pith of story. The story as a form of entertainment. While the ego is kept happy, thinking it is being entertained, the soul and the spirit are listening deeply. The flow of images in stories is medicine—similar medicine to listening to the ocean or gazing at sunrises. No direct interaction has occurred—the ocean did not jump into your body and fill you. But there is something about seeing, hearing, and smelling the ocean that has bypassed the ego, and straightened out many things that were in disarray within the psyche.” Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes
While I question her use of the word “ego” in this way, I agree with the sentiment so…The other thing is to learn.
Now, that can be a labyrinthine, maze-like endeavor, because not all information that passes itself off as knowledge, is knowledge. Much of it has been copied from the notes of another student. Right when the exam was on. And there’s me thinking that person must have the right answers because I didn’t understand that the study was open to questioning.
Despite the deceptions and the acceptances along the way, I became a gatherer. And I know many, many gatherers. Some are scholars and teachers, certainly, but the best amongst them are the storytellers, questioners and hunters. Modern interpreters of myth and spirituality. The challenger of what spirituality even means.
The center of the maze is what happens if we get there. It’s the realization that hidden within everything we have learned just might be a something. But the center of this maze is an unborn child. A puppy still unlicked within a caul. An egg nestled deep within lore.
THERE IT IS
There it is then. There is no way to deal with this world as a person. People have been too often, and untruthfully, too much at the center. Not the myth and who we are with that. Myth is a story without an author. It’s been passed through the generations like some legendary vine. And myth is also the soil in which the vine gains strength. From which all of us, who walk that edge and beg that cloud to rain on this desert of shallow verbiage, unfurls from seed to stem to root to bud to leaf to fruit.
I was no one. I was lost. I was a cinderblock tenement. An orphanage of abandonment. You know it, or you wouldn’t still be reading. There are ropes around our wildness. Some are rough and cruel, yes, but some are silky and seemingly languid, and they are as intentional as chain.
Mother Death walks with us from the day we are precariously born. Don’t fear her, because she is the mycillium and the humus, and the future destiny of everything. Everything and everyone, no matter the species or edifice. You’ll doubtless still be here when Uluru is as small as a grain of sand.