Life can be difficult, fraught with challenge and pain. But we are made for that, aren't we? We were given what we needed for this journey. But we weren't given all of it within ourselves - some bits were given to our mother, our lover, our teachers, our gardens, for us to draw upon. For this isn't a hero's journey, this life. It is a dance of souls. A weaving.
I think what turns difficult into unbearable is when we are disconnected from our sources of strength, gentleness, love, wonder. When we are left with just the bits given to us for our part in the weaving. We become unsustained. And yet the cult of the individual is pulling us away from each other, from the community and intimacy we inherently need not only for our economic requirements and our physical wants but our soul's essential purpose.
Everywhere I look these days, human communities are breaking down. Lonely, isolated people are sinking into depression and even dying because of it. But I also see people becoming unwell, ungentled, lost, despairing, for no apparent reason - until you notice how many trees have been felled in their neighbourhood, how few birds now sing outside their window. How the air is so burdened with pollution that wild story can not be heard. And the water - the water that keeps us flowing inside ourselves - is spiked with chemicals like the contraceptive pill, which can not be filtered out. I know the pill has been a source of freedom for many women, and I'm not speaking against that. I'm in favour of contraception. I'm merely pointing out that we drink water tainted with our desire to prevent life. We are surrounded, inside and out, with the idea that nothing matters more than our own self.
I believe people need other people. But I also believe they need trees, badgers, spiders, rain. This life is not just about human destiny. We're here with a vast array of other species. This is a dance of all souls. I have seen lately in myself how becoming increasingly disconnected from nature - seeing some of my tree friends disappear, missing my bird friends from the old city - has impacted my mood and my way of being. I feel the call to turn more outside of myself, and find again the things I need within others. Oceans, violets, owls, raindrops.
Did you know about A Basket of Seeds and Stars? It is the archive of newsletters I used to send out. I haven't written any for a very long time. I keep meaning to, but there are too few trees now in my sky. Maybe one day I will turn those essays into a book about writing. Maybe.