Imagine a gathering of holistic counselors, arts therapists and spiritual ecologists; artists, musicians, writers and dancers; shamans, healers, mystics and seekers (recognising that all these categories overlap) under the banner of embodiment, empowerment and environment. All arriving with the intention of giving fully of themselves. All commited to uncovering the truth of their sacred gifts and those of the people around them. Within moments of arriving I was struck by the way people looked me in the eye when they spoke to me. Complete strangers offering their wholehearted attention, with presence and generousity.
Imagine being held by a community. Striking up a casual conversation about your deepest wounding with the person next to you and being heard, being held and hearing your own story reflected in theirs. Burnout is not possible in conversations such as these, they are inherently mutual. The wounding in me recognises the wounding in you, I honour our healing. The universe in me recognises the universe in you, I honour our beauty. This is what humans are here for.
And the children! Oh my goodness, what a gift to have them wandering and weaving through the weekend. I witnessed one two year old marching proudly across the yard singing ‘I am the queen of the butterflies, I can do whatever I want’ at the top of her lungs. What a gift to the world. What a gift to know that this little bodhisattva is being held and recognised by a community like this. Our children will not suffer the way that we have suffered, although, no doubt they’ll find new ways *grins*
One of the extraordinary things was the difference between what I expected to offer and what I actually did offer. I floated the idea of a grief ritual on the event page and it had some modest support. When the time came, the ritual was beautiful and profound but only four people participated. During the ritual, safely within my larger self I gathered the grief of the land and my fellow travellers, performing the rite on their behalf.
The offerings that people seemed to respond to the most were the poetry I read at the open mike night and the song of gratitude I performed with Joe. The open mike was a delicious evening of sharing, I still have the words of Joe’s tall poppies anthem firmly in mind. Maya Ward’s offering looms large also, hope that piece of writing finds its way out into the world. It surprises me that my creative gifts shone so brightly over the weekend when this is the part of me that I usually keep private. Then again perhaps that is exactly the magic of being immersed in such a supportive, intentional, community, the shy musings of the heart have space to bloom.