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Last night I couldn’t sleep, lay awake for an hour and then woke before dawn still crackling with energy. It’s as though I am carrying the collective healing of a whole group of people and I can barely contain it, barely open my heart to let it in, it is so joyful. Who would have thought such a reaction would come from talking about grief? Continue reading

A recipe for creativity

Surrender

In the middle of last year I was going through a creative slump. It was well after Poetrees had launched and toddled along and I was burnt out from the effort of trying to put the work out there and engage people in it. (Turns out that marketing is not my forte.) I was very fortunate to receive an invitation to do a process called ‘Renewal of Creative Path‘ with a friend, Margaret Hogg and a group of women in her community. Continue reading

Chrononaut

(inspired by Eddie Harran and first performed at Chronference: an experimental pop-up time travel symposium follow link to storify)

“I’m interested in time.” You said.
“Deep time, time literacy, wild time, modern time”
You had me at time
The nature of time
The construct of time
The experience of time
Slicing up our lives into years, days, hours, seconds
An assault on our being,
A straight jacket for our rhythms and pulses.

My time is measured differently
A deep breath, in and out
The space between heartbeats
The length of a warm embrace
The depth of a meaningful conversation
The quickening of a smile between strangers
The rhythm of my womb and the moon
The pause at the end of this line.

Someone once asked me how long it takes to write a poem
There are few things in my life more satisfying
Than gently coaxing poetry from my heart into the world
How long does it take?
5 minutes and 35 years
Everything I am, and have ever been
Culminating in a moment of stillness and careful attention
The thread of feeling must be wooed
Courted, encouraged,  delighted in
Allowed to reveal itself in words
It doesn’t take time, it takes a particular quality of being.

This is the sacrificial blood that coats the hands of our clocks
This quality of being cannot be measured or named
It only exists in surrender
Outside time’s controlling glare
A gateway to eternity
My soul is timeless.

Hello new economy

Judy Wick’s Good Morning Beautiful Business is an inspiring read. Judy speaks plainly about her journey of entrepreneurship from  the late 70s through to the present day. She describes the values of cooperation and community that shape her and later underpin a style of business that is genuinely life enhancing.

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This book has changed the way I think about business. I have always viewed entrepreneurship with a degree of skepticism, those who succeed seem to attract an almost religious following. Money for it’s own sake has never made sense to me and is certainly part of what is driving the Earth into crisis. Yet I’ve also grown disillusioned with the community and not for profit sector I have worked in for the last 15 years.

The largely thankless (by which I mean poorly paid) work of the community sector is so much at the whim of the politic of the day and rarely seems to generate the kind of radical, long term, sustainable change that I know is necessary. I’ve been looking for alternate ways to make a difference and Judy’s vision of the Local Living Economy is compelling.

In her book she describes money as just one strand in the commercial relationship. When business owners live in the communities they serve, they can see the results of their efforts, for better and worse. They become accountable to the community in a way giant corporations never can be.

I don’t have the skills to run out and start a business but, after seeing what Judy managed to create, I’m prepared to add it to my list of castles in the air.

On grief

Grief came in the night and curled up on my chest
I woke to it staring me in the face
Placid, implaccable but somehow menacing.

As I stared into those yellow, unblinking eyes, it’s tail began to lash.
I grabbed it with firm hands,
Craning my neck to avoid a counter attack
And sat up, slowly, expecting it to drop to the floor
instead I felt its claws.

Pin pricks became angry red lines raking downward hot and heavy.
It clung, ripping, tearing but never letting go
Pulling great wracking sobs out of me
Dragging at my heart through my ribcage
Sinking it’s teeth into delicate flesh.

I thought I would die.

Body tense, teeth clenched, hands fisting away tears.
I stretched beyond breaking,
torn asunder but somehow inescapably still here.
Every part of me pinned by claw or tooth
Laid out, throbbing
A dissection of human suffering.
Helpless.

I gave up.
Stopped pushing, stopped fighting, stopped trying to be free.

I laid each hand across my heart and wept.

Of their own volition, my hands found soft fur
Drew my fingers in long, languid strokes.

The pain ebbed,
The cat
purred.