Category Archives: 2019

Sparks will fly #16 #resurrection

Deaths – there have been a few and resurrections seem to take more than three days – the cycle though of dying and rising is universal.  Coming to a détente with death has all the agreements of any truce, ceasing of hostilities and the strains in the relationship, to accept the politics on offer and that some tensions can never be eased, just tolerated. But when you find out there is the possibility of coming to an acceptance the inevitability of death, it is a deep reminder that it is life chosen to be lived that can be the best diplomat for accepting all the gifts on offer from a new beginning or for the next resurrection.  Dying to ourselves, our ego, burying the past, digging in and holding on – there is plenty to choose from when contemplating what you might lie down and let go of and perhaps too, what will be taken away from you without your consent.  This seems to be part of the no-mans land that coexists with détente before any new day dawns.

On this Easter weekend, I am spending some time in the fields of Tyagarah Ti Tree farm where cathedrals are tents worthy of sultans and sultanas arriving with their caravans of musical equipment. Many of the high priests and priestesses ask us to make a vow for more humanity, kindness and to recognise in this place we are all one family, and it is only outside that the whole world is going crazy. There is something about live music and music festivals in particular that enable community to form on not much more than ‘three chords and the truth’.  The sensory experience finds its way to cells throughout the body and deeply ingrained in the mind too, new pathways for new sounds and old ones refreshed and rewarded by memory. Familiar riffs and bass lines woven around lyrics are delivered via a set of lungs bellowed through speakers who have travelled further than anyone on the stage. My ears just one of the thousands of sets willing in receipt of the gift of this music. Whether it be the moaning of the elder activist, Mavis Staples, a witness to Martin Luther King, Rob Hirst’s t-shirt with a pertinent and relevant message in this election season,  the energy from Steven Van Zandt and his Disciples of Soul belting out Sun City – I know for me music is always at the heart of my spiritual expression of justice through death and resurrection.

Music is so central to what It means to be heard, to be seen and to instruct what action you might take – whether it be a simple chant in a march or a complex set of harmonies and big band sound forecasting how the new world will come – it is always music that delivers for me.  The music can come in the form of rain on a tin roof or raging waves as well, and the syncopation in nature with the blend of birdsong and breeze is always found where I live.  The dying and rising of sound is constant, especially the falling into silence as sound fades away.

There is no détente with music and maybe this is a clue to what dying and resurrection is all about, allowing the sounds to come and go, prescribed and improvised.  With the fingers moving at speed on stringed and keyed instruments on every stage. When everything  is so tightly scripted there is no room for joy and surprises it shows – I think this is what détente looks like – a musician just tolerating and enduring, rather than playing with what has shown up.  Iggy Pop screamed at a sound engineer to get the mix right and the expletives may have humiliated the guy working the booth, but somehow it was raising the stakes about what it means to rise, and not die, for Iggy.  I like the direct and unforgiving way Iggy chooses life over death – there is no Good Friday for him – Easter Sunday everyday – grabbing life by the throat and throttling every ounce he can out of the day he has been given and taking it to the people from whatever stage he is on.

Waiting in the tomb for a day or so is perhaps the practice (music practice for some), the chance to get ready to come out fighting for life, renewed, recast and resurrected.  In the original Good Friday narrative, first there is the rock and then there is the roll.  And when that combination arrives together, death ends up backstage, and it is inevitable, sparks will fly.

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Little Steven – Bluesfest’s 30th Birthday – 2019 

Sparks will fly #14 #redcarpet

Waiting on the edge of a red carpet at Government House to take steps towards the Governor to receive a honour determined not by politics, or winning a popularity contest, or a vote, I seriously wondered what I was doing there. Then the Secretary read out the citation and an explainer and how the narrative was put together on a lifetime’s work in a few minutes. I thought he was the person to get next time a pitch needed to be prepared!

We really do need storylines to get to where we want to go and sometimes to reinterpret where we have been. These past few years have been horrible in many more ways than most readers will know or I am willing to share in this space. And equally I have had some of the most amazing moments and opportunities. That is the paradox of life, I met, this week, on the red carpet.

I had a revelation in that moment on the carpet. The depth of the pain and betrayal, being met by high honours and acclamation. The private world out bid by the public world. There are new buses to get on, a friend of mine says. I can’t get on those buses without new narratives and songs to sing that will transform, heal and hold onto in moments when under threat or taking a hit. Getting out of my own way to hear the tune and to step onto that carpet is an invitation. A genuine moment of grace. The badge an external reminder of who you are, where you have been and a hint at what awaits you.

The carpet made red, the most valuable of all dyes, from the scale of an insect, that lives on cacti. I love the provenance of the red carpet. Just as an aside however there is an alternative narrative to this tale as well (see below the photo for this tale as told by Wikipedia).

A classic revelation of one idea being used to fix another, and then another. Yet the idea of the red carpet prevails, a place worthy of royalty walking. We are all worthy of walking down red carpets to allow our past to meet our future. I am thinking there should be more red carpet moments to pass through the threshold, to bridge between private and public worlds, to be ready to stride into the space that is made in your shape, ready to receive you. The Governor takes pride to say a few private words to you and enjoys letting you know he knows something personal about you. For me, he mentioned my children and my recent trip to New York – thereby bringing into the room at that very moment some of the people central to this story who were missing on the day. It was angelic to hear his softly spoken Vietnamese voice, his suitcase full of dreams as he describes, lilting to my ear, connections of my story … on the red carpet … all worthy of being there.

I am deeply honoured to receive this Australian award and for the women who toiled away in secret and didn’t tell me what they had done by nominating me, it was a wonderful surprise of love and friendship and recognition. I now honour them in how I go forward. To go forward with the colour of red in my mind. A colour that is truly of flesh and toil, of sacredness and the sun. A colour that calls out courage and invokes power. It is not a colour I wear very often, and I don’t have a red carpet to roll out for special occasions … but maybe I will get one.

In my darkest moments I forget what contributions I have made, I can’t hear the tune and I have no idea of the steps I have taken that might have even helped get me here. But there I was at the end of a red carpet so even if I can’t see it, others can and I bring myself to attention, literally attention, so I can be present to the moment, and all that it recognises and in doing so recognise myself being played back to me by the Master of Ceremonies. I take a sip of air and drink in the moment when Australia says thank you to me and I take a bow in gratitude … on the red carpet.
Red is the colour of sparks. Sparks.Will.Fly.

ps if you are a hardcore fan and want to see the ceremony it is here. I am introduced at 13.00 mark.

red

Photo by: J. C. Carton/Bruce Coleman Inc.

Did you know? Opuntia species, known commonly as prickly pears, were first brought to Australia in an attempt to start a cochineal dye industry in 1788. Captain Arthur Phillip collected a number of cochineal-infested plants from Brazil on his way to establish the first European settlement at Botany Bay, part of which is now Sydney, New South Wales. At that time, Spain and Portugal had a worldwide cochineal dye monopoly via their New World colonial sources, and the British desired a source under their own control, as the dye was important to their clothing and garment industries; it was used to colour the British soldiers’ red coats, for example.The attempt was a failure in two ways: the Brazilian cochineal insects soon died off, but the cactus thrived, eventually overrunning about 100,000 sq mi (259,000 km2) of eastern Australia. The cacti were eventually brought under control in the 1920s by the deliberate introduction of a South American moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, the larvae of which feed on the cactus. Extract from Wikipedia

Sparks will Fly #12 #highestgood

There is a river in this heart of mine

With a knowingness of my highest good

These lyrics don’t appear until verse three, and it is only in verse three, that all the voices are heard. It is a favourite of the choir I sing in and the lines are followed by a Hallejuah as that is the name of the song, the Hebrew hallĕlūyāh ‘praise ye the Lord.  Praise is both noun and verb and when I experience the sound we make together, the sound itself is noun and verb, a declaration and an invitation. I can’t get the song out of my head this week, amidst the fallout from Christchurch, each day I am drawn into the leadership of a woman that is an expression of her country’s culture yearning to wholeness, and my own that created the product who executed the terrorism. I am taken back by the time Prime Minister Ardern is taking, to be in the grief, and not be in a hurry to move on, and encouraged by the world media who astonished by her behaviour continue to reflect on her. She is leaving no stone unturned, methodically she is going from place to place, school, hospital, family, mosque, park and playground. She is open, vulnerable, sad. She is a mother and a leader, a tigress protecting her nation with hope and humility, courage and strength. This is a new expression of leadership. She is redefining what it means to tap into the highest good of a nation. I am reminded of the best speech Kim Beazley ever gave – when he lost what I call the Tampa election in 2001. He recalled this in a conversation with Geraldine Doogue some years later

Like any nation there are bleak angels in our nature, but there are also good angels as well. And the task and challenge for those of us in politics is to bring out the generosity that resides in the soul of the ordinary Australia, that generosity of heart, so that we as a nation turn to each other and not against each other in the circumstances which we face.

Ardern has been able to actually do this – show us all how a politician can lead a nation in turning to one another and not against each other.

I am deeply disturbed by the results in the NSW election last night – a community of voters elected Mark Latham to One Nation and another community electing Jenny Leong as Greens member. There could be no bigger gap in a parliament between these two elected representatives.  Together they demonstrate the polarities defining our nation – white and non-white, male and female, inner city and regional. We are dangerously closer to the US in our political landscape than our friends across the Tasman.

In the NZ PM we are being invited to a transfiguration, an invitation to a complete change of form into a more beautiful or spiritual state, where politics is a reflection of our best selves and not a reduction to the lowest common denominator. We are being invited into leadership to transcend polarities by rising to our higher selves, by tapping into the river in our hearts, that yearns and knows what is good and great, graceful and gritty. We are arrive at this invitation on the threshold of our own Alleluia and with the question on our lips, are we the ones who knowingly and intentionally rise to the occasion and embrace those grieving by setting aside our own analysis, perspective, fear of the other.

This is a time to call on the good angels, the ones who will feed our spirits and souls and fill us up with courage and light, carry us through sad times and bring us deeper humanity.  Leaving people behind will breed bleak terrorist angels. It will have dogs being whistled by their masters, starving, in a dry river bed. We need to fill each other up.

In no time at all we will be heading to the national ballot box, where we can express how we feel with the rather blunt instrument of a vote. We are being called to turn to each other in our common heartache and broken-ness and this feels like an easter story in the making. It feels both like the last embers of a fire glowing in the dark and the promise of a new fire to light up a new way for generosity to show up in Australia. All kinds of sparks might fly.

AUGURIES OF INNOCENCE
by William Blake

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thro all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State …

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Sparks will fly #10 #cooler

Summer is starting to unfold into autumn and while we are still having warm days, the hint of what is ahead is on the evening breeze. Instead of heating up we are being cooled down. How interesting that the temperature rising in the thermometer is reflected in our language of heating and cooling. Paradoxically, energy levels seem to rise with the cooler weather for me I have felt slow, sluggish and at times almost paralysed by the heat and a heavy heart. Then there are moments of lightness on the breeze, promising a season of more joy and peace. Some of these moments this week: 2,500 women and men gathered to celebrate International Women’s Day, the kindness of a friend to say “I can take that”, the music in the park at Womadelaide, the shelter in a place not my own and the hilarity of exhaustion mixed with a few mils of alcohol to aid brainstorming with peers. There are all encouraging signs of cooling down, a soft wind forecasting a future and change in season.

In the breezes are wafts of hope to replace the aches and weight of what holds sadness in place. The burden of holding onto something that weighs you down is easily lifted if you let something go – it sounds so simple. There is nothing elegant in the putting down though, it is a bluddering, tottering, slipping and sliding movement that eventually finds its way to steadiness and then finally after all the stopping and starting, all the discernment, in a complete movement it is put down.  Not all decisions are invested with this ditheriness, some can be made with swift and certain clarity, deeply secure in the values that hold you in place. But then there are these grey areas, where self-care comes into view and where timing is still not right or perhaps when the burden takes on a weight that is so heavy you can no longer lift it. In that scenario you don’t put the burden down, the burden puts you down and writes you out of the equation.

Brene Brown writes: You can move on, shame. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness. Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging have the courage to be imperfect. When you know you are loved and belong, you do have the capacity, to invoke David Whyte, to be half a shade braver.  I have a suscipion this bravery walks with truth, and the freedom walking hand-in-hand with truth. I am not sure there is ever a place for truth causing more harm than good. I was listening this week to Prof. Megan Davis talking about a makarrata (a Yolngu word meaing restoration of peace after a dispute) for Australia. First step in this process is coming to an agreement about the dispute and the costs of that dispute and finding a way for peace to arrive between the disputants. This kind of truth takes up responsiblity, accountability, rights, reform; and spears have been known to be involved. Respect is central, reparation inevitable.  In this season where the breeze is blowing in truth and settling into cooler times, something is brewing in our land where we can move on shame.

What truths are ours to tell and what are the ones we have to graciously sit out and listen to has been in the airwaves this week. In the wake of the Pell prosecution, those continuing to be traumatised both from their own experience and vicariously are the ones to speak and to be heard. The eloquence of Clare Linane against the likes of commentors like Andrew Bolt to bring her ongoing truth as a supporter to survivors of abuse. Clare is a relentless mental health advocate for her community of Ballarat which has a suicide rate for men 65% higher than the national average. She speaks on behalf of the families including her own who live everyday on the front line witnessing and aiding those who are surviving trauma of sexual abuse. Victims must always be believed, the shame of coming forward to state your truth, takes courage and we must be strong alongside of them, to bring our love and solidarity, to walk with them, knowing our imperfections signal our own bravery.

There are so many stains, and in the tradition of Lent which finds itself in autumn in the southern hemisphere, we have an invitation to turn back, to repent. At the macro level, there is a national election in the breeze, with the potential to promise a makarrata; we have more discourse to be had around the mental health of those impacted by abuse. And in our individual experience, as each day gets cooler, we have the reckoning and turning around invitations to come closer to the centre of truths we don’t want to face.

I doubt I am alone in being disturbed by the Angel of Justice and am trusting the Angel of Encouragement is flapping her wings around us all.

May the Angel of Encouragement confirm you
In worth and self-respect,
That you may live with the dignity
That presides in your soul. – John O’Donohue excerpt from A Blessing of Angels

Sparks will fly, and while flames grow wider and eat up all that is combustible, what is not consumed, is left charred and still with the scars of having writhed in pain. Once cooled, relisient and death defying remains … remain.

Dignity and hope at least then have a chance then to arrive in the aftermath as the work of healing begins.

 

Sparks will fly #9 #pell

What is a pell? According to Your Dictionary here are some of the meanings?

Noun

(plural pells)

  1. A fur or hide.
  2. A lined cloak or its lining.
  3. A roll of parchment; a record kept on parchment.
  4. (Sussex) A body of water somewhere between a pondand a lake in size.

Verb

(third-person singular simple present pells, present participle pelling, simple past and past participle pelled)

  1. To pelt; to knock

Origin

From Latin pellis (“animal skin, pelt”), from Ancient Greek πέλμα (pélma, “sole of the foot”).

 

For sometime now the word pell holds another meaning in Australia and in the Vatican. It has been synonymous with power, persuasion and influence. It is now taking on deeper and darker overtones, but the solid foundations of privilege continue to drive the narrative between an institution, an office and a man. For those of us who have been up close and personal to those foundations, this week has brought its own pain and grief, more layers to heal and peel away, definitely knocked about and feeling trodden on. I am a long way removed from the horrors of a victim, but as a first responder and listener to historic events, as part of the church family, and as it has been revealed more recently, as someone who didn’t see what was going on in plain sight – this has been a very tough week.

What holds our beliefs in place to only see or hear what we want to see or hear, and not even realise there is other data coming in? This brain teaser question has been held by me for some time now and takes on a bigger frame in this current context. We trust and trust again, each experience building on what we know, making those neuronal pathways stronger and when something doesn’t quite add up, we dismiss it, ignoring our own intuition and placing our faith in the quality of the relationship. Studies show the relationship between trust, well-being and social connectivity are intertwined and feed off each other. The power of the tribe and trust held collectively is a very powerful phenomena and hard to shift.  For those outliers who don’t trust, or call out the anomalies they see around them, often get ostracized, excluded or leave the places and spaces that hold that trust in place – often gravitating to others – finding other ‘misfits’ who in fact maybe just the ones who have been able to see what others, more trusting were unable to see.

Trust is sacred and when it is betrayed literally all those well worn neuronal pathways are shaken up. What was familiar is now questioned, actions that appeared to be in good faith are revisited and a conspiratorial lens is put over them, things that seemed out of place, or just a feeling of not being quite right are tested again in the new knowledge.  The cloak of invisibility is lifted and the threads of the stories don’t quite hang together like they used to. Perhaps the person who has betrayed still holds on to their story, backing themselves above all others and the systems designed to uncover breaches of trust, measures of truth.  It is in those moments the tapestry of trust that has been the bedrock on which relationships and systems have been held in place is literally an experience of having the rug pulled out. People topple, neuronal pathways get scrambled, falls happen, accidents and friendly fire arrive uninvited. Martin Luther reminded us that ” each act of betrayal begins in trust”.

The ripples from the pell of pain reverberating around our country with their origins in country Victorian town of Ballarat, go all the way to Rome. Along the way some of us are captured in the ripples and like the boom of the sound barrier being broken – a shock wave in the very real sense.

The real and vicarious trauma of the continuous media about what is going on is exhausting. How we reach out to one another and care for our selves in this time is vital. It is a time when rebuilding of trust may not even be possible, so the little acts of kindness towards yourself and seeing the greater humanity around us and the beauty in nature will always serve to inoculate and heal. I took myself off to see the Green Book yesterday, that was a good decision. I read some of the transcripts and interviews, of accused and those giving evidence, that was not a good decision. There is something though in coming to terms with truth and how trusting yourself again is connected into that re-wiring process. I am beginning to understand why facing facts is linked to the concept of the truth setting you free.

I am pondering on what might you be free from, if you know the truth? Sparks. Will. Fly.

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Photo by Genessa Panainte on Unsplash

 

 

Sparks will fly #8 #drawing in

In Interplay there is a practice which holds the space for you to rest into the moment after the exercise is complete and “take it for yourself”. It is an owning and holding close into your heart and body what you have experienced, a way to integrate and internalise. This practice affirms, enriches and deepens the experience. Just taking a moment to have for yourself, is like cream on the cake, a bonus luxury to be soaking in your own goodness. I have noticed that when things are tough I will hold on to those feelings a little longer, but I don’t do the same for the good, I let them fleet away quickly. This has to stop, it’s time to do some revelling in the good and grand moments too!

Last night was one such moment, where I could hold and take into myself the external bestowing of goodness and affirmation and harvest the external into an interiority to hold for myself. Something just for me. It seems so obvious but really a difficult practice to gather up and envelope an intimacy with the offerings around me.

You can see people glow when they are love, walk a bit taller when they have been praised, relaxed muscles when feeling at home with themselves and their surroundings.  The body tells the world, even if we can’t always tell ourselves what is going on inside. The inner brilliance will shine through where our brain is bursting with new ideas joyfully dancing their way into conversations.

I was reminded last night, by an opera singer and student of philosophy and human behaviour, of the Great Attractor, that gravitational pull at the centre of our galaxy which is driving our little planet forward at 2.2 million kilometres an hour. This mysterious force is drawing us in. The macro version of this movement we find first in ourselves, the gathering up of all the good energy being pulled inside and forward – what a tour de force. Taking some of this for myself, is fuel, to keep propelling. It occurs to me this is a renewable resource, available for the taking to fill me up when I feel like my tank is empty and is driving me forward anyway, even if I don’t realize. Just like us on our little planet don’t notice the intergalactic travelling we are doing in every single moment. We are being sucked in, not to a black hole according to the scientists, and we won’t come in contact with it any time soon, but we are being effected by it and will continue to be effected by it’s pull. I want to harness this pull and ride on those (radio) waves.

The recent public reward and recognition I have received is like a big hug back from the community and I am taking it in and wondering how this gravitational pull at the micro level is going to keep turning up in my life. I had the chance to test it once this week where a rather obnoxious man bullied his way through a community consultation shutting down conversation and asserting his views to the exclusion of all others. He has a few letters after his name, and my name tag was bereft of my new status. Quietly and without ceremony I corrected my name tag and replaced it, pulling rank, holding the moment to myself, relishing the power play and getting the affirmation of the others at my table. A simple act of nonviolence while I was struggling with my emotions to shut him down verbally (although I may have done a little bit of that too). I am going to learn how to use these post nominals for good, in the same way they were gained, and along the way take a little for myself too as I am pulled forward at speed. Sparks. Will. Fly.

hubble gA

Learn more at NASA

 

Sparks will fly #4 #wings

It has been hot, hot, hot this week, plenty of sparks flying when the temperature reaches 46C.  The afterglow of the heat in the sunsets has been spectacular and a reminder of the eternal dance between heaven and earth. We are in a season where bushfires are a sniff on the north wind long before they arrive and so far they have not taken their February Dragon form, as Colin Thiele once wrote.

This has been one of those ordinary weeks full of extraordinary moments. Leigh Sales latest book An Ordinary Day takes a practical examination with her usual curiosity of how your life can change in an instant. You get up in the morning, stretch, do your ablutions, get dressed, have some breakfast … it is an ordinary day … and by the next time you head to sleep you are not the same as you were woke up.  We have all had those days – grief, joy, new job, lost a job, become a wife, become a parent, become a widow. Maybe you have become a hostage, been in a car accident, won the lottery … ordinary people changed forever. This is the human condition as the Buddhists remind us – suffering, death, impermanence. Everything will pass. All the more reason to savour those moments full of spark and energy and build as fuel for the times when there might be little in the tank, and for resilience when a withdrawal is needed.

So far this year I have woken up more times in other people’s houses than I have in my own, the equation will balance out in no time at all. Waking up in new places is a metaphor all of its own, and when those moments come to shake us all about and rip us from moorings or rise us to new heights, we do get woken up again and again.  I am noticing there is a theme emerging about paying attention. Thanks Mary Oliver once again, and to miksang practice and Thich Nhat Hanh and Br David Stendl-Rast and Pema Chodron … and all the others over the years who have reminded me to pay attention.  I can see times when I have not been awake, have turned away, not wanted to look, not wanted to pay attention, moved too quickly to the next moment.  Being in the moment is one of those universal truths to co-operate with the foundations of impermanence and embrace the invitation to pay attention. Each little spark has the potential to be something bigger like a bushfire – and with it to be destructive, cleansing impurities, turning sand to glass, healing the earth, bringing ancient seeds to life.

I went to sleep last night after one of those days. A day of joy and filling up. A day of harvest and recognition. A day putting fuel into the reserve resilience tank to draw on into the future. A day where simplicity and complexity and mixed emotions combined. A day where the evidence of collaboration, secret squirrels and bureaucracy, contrived a gift. I received an Australian Honour. It is an AM – Australia Medal and for those who don’t know about these things – it is prestigious.  I discovered the nomination had been put in nearly two years ago and with the efforts of a band of friends, colleagues, peers and family providing all the details and evidence required by the process hosted by the Governor-General’s office.  Many of the contributions have been invisible and to have them out in the open with this shorthand of two letters to tell that story is very touching and I do feel honoured.

I could give a litany of actions public, private and some in-between – just as we all could – that are in the service of others. That is really the point – we spark off each other. Someone else’s need is another’s gift and more often than not, the gift of time, talent and/ or energy transmitted is helping the giver as much, if not more, than the receiver.  That has been true for me anyhow. I have learnt new things, discovered new opportunities, found ways to work around problems, created and amplified, had fun and generally been well and truly rewarded by seeing something come to fruition or a person blossom and bloom.

This relationship between service and paying attention is so brilliantly reflected in the arts. How often do we get to see with new eyes through a creative paying attention? So it was very fitting that I ended up at the close of play yesterday with the sun setting behind me while I sat on a butterfly chair, created by a local woman (Anna Small) who could see wings.  One of the conversations I had during the week, one of those moments to carry me through a lifetime, was an invitation to see this time as encased in a cocoon, liquified and not yet fully formed into a new creature. At this moment encased in a silk, protein, hard purse hosting the changes hidden inside, first spun by the old being before the new one forms. This spark of insight to see the old form having first spun the protective coating to enable the new to form is so obvious once I pay attention. I am exploring what branch my chrysalis is hanging from and how delicate the wings will be when they unfurl wet and perhaps still a little bit gooey. What was hidden on the inside, is woven around and then voila – something new that was already there!

After the winter, there is spring, after the chrysalis, there are wings. Now in this moment, and coming soon, are dangerous and noble things, calling for lightness, improbability, boldness and bravery.  Sparks. Will. Fly.

 

…..Extract from Starlings in Winter by Mary Oliver

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

Mary Oliver, from Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays, 2003

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