I’ve never heard of India Arie before but, again, a friend posted a link on Facebook, so I am passing it on to all of you because each of us has light to shine in and on the world.
Yesterday a friend in America responded to comments made by a friend in Australia. In the early hours of yesterday morning I read words by a friend in Canada which helped me get back to sleep again. Daily I read wonderful quotes and look at beautiful art posted by a friend in Africa.
And in the early hours of this morning I woke with the words “World Tree of Dancing Light” in my head, knowing that I needed to create a post to celebrate my family – the good and true friends I’ve made around the world who provide love, nurturance and support to me as I return the same to them.
What made me think about this was a post I’ve seen published quite frequently on Facebook extolling the virtues of letting go of family quarrels and making the peace to restore family ties, but with the underlying theme that family disputes are about bruised egos and imaginary conflicts. To me this is a slap in the face for those of us who have family conflict because of very real, unpleasant, possibly violent actions which have led to the breakdown of family relations.
To me, my family is everything – and my family is all the wonderful friends I have around the world (the US, Australia, Britain, Spain, Africa, Pakistan and other places) who I treasure and value for the very real friendship and support they offer me.
Beyond my immediate family of friends, daily I see support groups where strangers show love, respect and honour for those who stretch their hands out for advice and kindness.
You have no choice about the family you’re born into and if it’s dysfunctional, look after yourself and don’t put up with inappropriate actions which drag you down and don’t support you.
But you can choose your family of friends which is what I am celebrating today – the world tree of roots of friendship reaching deep into Planet Earth which lets us dance joyfully together in the glow of loving kindness, true ties of love and support, and the Grace of true friends who light our lives.
“It is in the shelter of each other that people live.” (Anonymous)
“It matters not that someone is born, but what they grow to be.” (Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter. Author: J.K. Rowling)
I’ve been absent for a while as I’ve been on what I described to a friend as an existential walkabout on the road less travelled. I felt dog-tired and unmotivated, asking myself every day “What’s it all about?”. For some reason I felt quite short-circuited, then I had a dream which was just a message – to create art which was healing for the Earth and for its inhabitants.
So here I am back again, feeling far more motivated (thank goodness, I hate it when my MoJo up sticks and vamooses), with the above image which I’ve called “Solidarity”.
In my time away in the wilderness, I’ve wrestled with this whole question of love, violence in society and so much intolerance and hatred. I finally came to the conclusion that I am simply not interested in pathetic excuses for supporting hate and violence. Life’s too short for then negative. That’s the choice and responsibility of those who live in fear, on their knees, happy to see people who are in any way different subjected to violence, abuse and belittlement.
And I call it out as cowardly and craven because those who are happy to embrace intolerance, racial division and hatred never have to face the consequences themselves. They aren’t the 8-year-old kid who was subjected to an attempted lynching by teenagers at his school. They don’t have to worry about being shot out of hand by the police, acting with impunity, for the “crime” of being black or in the wrong place. They don’t get beaten up for being gay or trans-gender. They aren’t black kids in Australia subjected to abuse on the streets and repression by the police, governments and social services.
I am far more interested in those who show love, kindness and respect for people because they have open hearts and are willing to embrace fellow human beings of whatever colour, religious belief, sexual choice or disability because it is this which is our future. I support all those in environmental organisations fighting for the future of Mother Earth.
Living on your feet rather than cowering on your knees takes courage and hope and moral choice for good not evil. Thank god there are so many good people out their in the community of so many countries who inspire hope, optimism and respect!
I took a long time getting here,
much of it wasted on wrong turns,
back roads riddled by ruts.
I had adventures
I never would have known
if I proceeded as the crow flies.
Super highways are so sure
of where they are going:
they arrive too soon.
A straight line isn’t always
the shortest distance
between two people.
Sometimes I act as though
I’m heading somewhere else
I narrow the gap between you and me.
I’m not sure I’ll ever
know the right way, but I don’t mind
getting lost now and then.
Maps don’t know everything.
~ Ruth Feldman ~
I was feeling tired yesterday afternoon so sloped off to bed for a kip.
I had a dream where I was in a room looking at others in a bigger room for a festive occasion. For some reason, I felt that I would be alone in my life and was quite resigned to it. I entered the bigger room and a younger man there started dancing with me, but then queried me about my health history. I talked at length to him and he told me I was lucky as he was a master healer and usually charged £400 per session. As he said this, he put his arms around me, held me in a wonderful embrace, I fell into a deep sleep feeling safe and protected, and woke feeling as if a whole heap of crap from my past had melted away.
This is pretty self-explanatory and one of the reasons that I’ve posted it is because it had such an emotional effect on me. I have lots of dreams, often don’t remember them, but when I do and they leave an emotional residue, then I know I need to note that dream down and work with it.
It’s also been my experience that if you don’t write a meaningful dream down you’ll likely forget it. And when you do return to dreams over time, it’s surprising how you forget them and the impact they had.
With this dream I can remember clearly the loving, healing, supportive energies I received and I keep hugging myself at the memory!
This artwork is to acknowledge the mighty power of community which swung into action after the Grenfell Towers disaster. It’s a reminder of the goodness and kindness in people when times get difficult and challenging.
As the Labor MP, Jo Cox, so sadly murdered last year, said: ““We have far more in common than that which divides us”.