Tag Archives: Kaurna

Sparks will fly #27 #blindspot

“What the eye doesn’t see and the mind doesn’t know, doesn’t exist.” DH Lawrence

This was quoted to me during the week as the provenance of the adage “You can’t be it if you can’t see it” and whether or not it is the genesis of this oft quoted phrase in feminism, both are really saying there are blind spots. We miss what we don’t know or understand.

I know looking at a landscape with my colonial eyes I miss many of the stories all around me that a Kaurna person would know. I know that when I am in new situations with new tribes I miss cues and messaging because I am not literate in the place I find myself in. I am grateful to those cultural attachés who help me out in those situations. To give primacy to the local expert is just good manners. I am learning more and more about what I haven’t seen because I didn’t know. Once you get a bit of literacy you realise how little you know! Just as a child first recognises sounds and then letters and phonetics there are a few steps to go through before the sense making can start.

You need perspective, interpretation and analysis to get the sensemaking to form. This takes time. Time to decipher, talk things through, time to test possibilities, time to reflect, time to consider expert and outlier advice. None of us have a mortgage on making sense, but we all do have our own version of what we see and therefore also what we miss and that means we also have our own version of truth and what we know. Blind spots are everywhere. Keeping an open heart and open mind is an invitation that keeps being offered. Just when you think you have opened enough, another invitation to go that step deeper, shade braver, extra thread to add to the weave. With each acceptance of another invitation another layer is removed enabling a new one to emerge. Shedding skin seems to be part of  this snakes and ladders game. I take heart in the knowledge that lotus grow in mud, lights are at the end of tunnels and that the sun does rise every day.

A blind spot physiologically happens when our visual field matches the place where there is a lack of light-detecting cells. This place makes things invisible to us and we don’t know where that spot is unless we move. It is defined and detected in relation to what is visible and the boundaries of visibility. You must move your whole head usually not just your eye to move away from the blind spot. Psychologically and emotionally it is the same. You can not see things from the same position, you need to move, your heart and your mind and position yourself in such a way that you can see differently and think differently. We reinforce our blind spots if we keep looking from the same direction, and don’t move the mirror.  I think it also has something to do with increasing empathy and maybe also getting angry. Dissolving a blind spot can only happening by moving out of the place it exists.

Moving the mirror is bound to cause at least a few sparks to start flying.

 

 

 

Betrothal Panel in the Triptych

I have never lived alone, was married to my one true love at 19 and had four children under seven well before I turned thirty. I followed the pattern of my mother and her mother before that – love, marriage, baby carriage.   So when I came to turn fifty several years ago I was struck that I had not made much of  vow to my true self.

When I turned fifty I invited my women family and friends to join me in a ritual to celebrate my arrival into cronedom. Even though I was not yet through the menopause and not yet a grandmother I thought marking the beginning of my sixth decade was an appropriate moment in time.   This was a ceremony I did without the men in my life and the vow I took that day was to take up more of being married to my self. To begin to own the wisdom I had accumulated over my lifetime of womanhood, motherhood, wifedom, sisterhood and auntiness. I wanted to claim both my singularity and my collective experience of being a woman.  My own betrothal to myself to be intentionally on the journey to union with the cosmic powers of creation and the centrality of our mother earth.  I was so blessed that day by the presence of a woman from this most ancient land the Kaurna people who smoked the site for us to come together and who generously gave us permission to be there invoking the generations and the spirit of the land to support me and the community of women who had gathered.  I was further blessed by a woman who shared my faith journey and celtic spirit to lead the ceremony. The women who gathered were from all parts of my life and as I have no sisters and no aunts and therefore no cousins (male or female) I had created this sisterhood and was blessed by their presence.  During the ritual I crossed over to Cronedom and embarked on the next stage of my life, knowingly supported by my experiences  and memories gained as a maiden and a mother.  This threshold welcomes wisdom, holiness, a right to be revered and respected, a gateway to transformation and capacity to live with the ambiguity of mystery.

I am thinking about all this as in the past six months two of my children have announced their betrothal. I like the power of the word betrothal.  It declares, it states intention, the promise to act and to follow through. A sacred pledge to the world that you are for a single person and they for you. As two lives become threaded and woven together the tapestry you will make together begins.

As the families and the communities gather together to support the couple and give witness to the love and the intentionality it is also a celebration of betrothals of the past that bear witness and are bearing fruit.

Each generation works out what this commitment will look like for them. The deep seeds sown in the dark so long ago are now in bloom and the fragrance of love is heavy in the air.  I am taking a moment to remember those early days of being head over heels in love that I now know lead to the promises of being “true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, and until death do us part”.  The promises that lead to many gifts, and for me those gifts included children.

One of the betrothed has never lived alone and I am delighting in the knowledge that it will be a tribe gathered today as the commitment is publicly declared.

I am encouraged again by David Whyte from his book The Three Marriages, when he writes of the conversation between the triad of marriages – with self, a partner and work that this conversation offer us  “a sense of profound physical participation with creation, the reconfirmation that we are not alone in the world, and the reminder that there is a larger context to existence than the one we have established ourselves.”

I am seeing the croneing ritual for my fiftieth birthday as my betrothal and the conversation maturing as I head into my mid – fifties and so perhaps the marriage to myself is taking its right and proper place in my triptych. It is a Garden of Earthly (and unearthly) Delights!

800px-Jheronimus_Bosch_023