I pushed the curtains back as I closed the bedroom window.
There was snail on the ceiling!
We live in a two storey building, this was on the top floor
I tugged the snail off the plaster, intending to return it to the garden.
The shell was dry and empty.
Just a beautiful shell, still ‘stuck’ to the ceiling.
I wonder what possessed this little creature.
To climb higher and higher.
Further away from the lush, dewy, green below.
Wonder at it’s epic, futile, journey to ‘the top’.
At how it crept, into the dry, heated, air of the house, through the open window, and just stopped there.
Hanging, improbably, upside-down.
At those last days. Spent in absolute stillness.
Just, slowly, drying out.
I wonder at how there is no part of it’s soft body left.
Nothing at all.
Just a clean, hard, spiralling, empty shell for me to find.
An object, if made by an artist, I would marvel at in a gallery.
This little snail’s legacy.
Kat Robertson. October 2020
Most know that I prefer natives,
but what child can resist giant sunflowers.
Gifted some seed, up they shot.
Charging for the sun.
One was the tallest I have ever grown.
But this pride came before a fall.
As late summer gales began to blow.
I watched, through the window, as it swung wildly.
So I staked it.
I thought I was helping.
But the gusts beheaded it.
Right at the tie.
If I had left it alone, given it the freedom to move with the wind,
I think it would have survived.
So often this is the case.
We think we are helping, but all we are really doing is curbing her responsive wildness,
Weeding out her repairs, re-routing her rivers, deciding what we think is best for her.
When will we ever learn?
I put the tight, architectural, bud in a vase.
Blow me! It still fought to flower, to thrive.
I cheered it on.
Turning the bloom to face the sun when it came out.
But to no avail.
Eventually it gave up.
And drew back in.
Disconnected from the Mother, it shrivelled and died.
No future. No seed. Without soil.
Meanwhile, out in the garden, the others survived more storms.
With no support from me.
Such autumnal JOY!
Most interesting to note was how the same seed, the same pot grown seedlings, when planted else where, grew in proportion to the pot/conditions available.
Would that we would learn to do the same!
Daydreaming of Giant country folk and Lillipution city dwellers.
Remembering those wee, hardy, land carved, Picts with the, famously, tiny doors…..
Our western children, statisically, are all growing bigger and taller.
More of them too.
Growing like those other plants, artifically reared, under perfect lights with perfect food.
At what cost??
Cannot help but see the whole of humanity in this tall sunflower’s teaching.
Disconnected from Mother we will not thrive indefinitely.
Artficially nourished, all growing too big for the space we are afforded, taking from elsewhere, we grow out of balance with all that sustains us.
When will we ever learn?
The Starling Tree
What is this noisy kind of alchemy?
Turned my head to see
Against the sky.
Watching as bird became tree.
As tree became bird.
Becoming One, all held by the Light.
Kat Robertson September 2020
UPDATE 29th October: Spent many days ‘mandalizing’ recently and made this mandala of the starling tree. It belongs here!
(An alternative version of my experience, of the Gaia Hut’s first outing.)
‘Sycamore’, ‘knapweed’, ‘meadow sweet’, ‘larch’,
Noticing so many affected. Ash die-back. The Tree of Life. Dying back…..
‘hazel’, ‘common reed’, ‘rowan’, ’hello Heron!’
I recited their names, on my daily commute, bowing in apology for my polluting motion, as I passed.
‘alder’, ‘birch’, ‘hawthorn’,
(‘what is that purple one shining so now?’)
‘beech’, ‘elder’, ‘horse chestnut’,
‘hawkbit’, ‘ragwort’ and so on,
I’d nod to them as I drove past, stopping, sometimes,
to breathe, to pick glorious seed heads for my little venue’s vase.
A single, gale-surviving, garden, sunflower nodded back at me when I entered the village, and was always turned to face me when I left.
I loved its sunny welcome and farewell.
(I’d lost my tallest sunflower in the wild winds of the week.
I’d tried to help it by tying it to a stake.
It’s head had snapped at that tie. When will I ever learn?
A lesson in there somewhere.)
More alders. Seeing alders everywhere here.
A local wise-woman taught me that Ardfern, translated, is Aird Fheàrna in Gaelic, land of the alder trees.
I thought of how they ‘bleed’ when I harvest the bark for my pigment.
And laughed at myself when I thought of my, grown-from-seed, seedlings at home, when they were everywhere here, to transplant, so close to our hill.
Whoo Hoo! Whoo Hoo!
The wood pigeons were always calling as I arrived to open up.
‘Whoo-Hoo!’ I felt inside, as I sipped my fresh, meadowsweet, tea.
We do not have many of those on the hill. Wood pigeons.
The neighbours, clean-lined, zen-garden, trickled water all day.
I did not always use the toilet in the house, twice I squatted behind the trailer, in a weedy corner, among the docks and red campion.
Unseen, under the ash trees.
Marking my spot, for the village dogs and cats.
My host, and dear freind’s, old setter was fading.
He lost the use of his back legs during our exhibition.
My freind coped amazingly.
I knew he was near the end, but could not share it,
with the family keeping such Hope alive.
So moving to spend Time with him
and bear witness to the family’s Love for their dear companion.
I caught myself dancing when the wind whirled.
The weather made me ‘dance’ around the Hut often.
Fixing shelter. Taking it down. Opening up and Closing up. Lighting the fire and letting it go out.
The gravel felt hard underfoot, but I’d think of the reflexology I was getting and smile.
I was often fascinated by a tree, I called the ‘starling tree’, against the sky and how, silhouetted, the birds became leaves, until they flew away.
Noisy leaves. So full of chatter.
We don’t see starlings on our hill either.
There was a stone.
My guardian stone.
In the edge of the flower border, who kept me company during this event.
It had two faces. One that smiled when the sun came out, another that looked grumpy in the rain.
It spoke to me of the tragedy and comedy of it all.
Of the hypocrisy.
I painted its two faces, as a hanging slate, slate with a hole in it, I had found in their garden, as gift for the family.
The children were delighted to meet him.
And to know that he lived in their garden.
Such beauty in this garden. Such Love.
Huge sunflowers, a stunning, single, artichoke, dahlias, Californian poppies, geraniums, buddleia, brassica flowers, sweet peas, tomatoes, leeks, wild greens, kale and more.
All thriving in this small, sheltered patch.
Chickens clucked under the Lime.
Cabbage white butterflies danced in the air, when the sun came out.
I really noticed though, the lack of other butterflies this year. At home and here too. More on the brassicas than the verbena or buddleia.
More gifts for their garden arrived during our event, transplanted ferns and more trees.
Huge paper birch, red cherry and mountain ash.
An over-buy from a neighbour of hers.
They did not want them to die when they went away again for a while.
They had no Time to plant them.
I collected some flowers from the bountiful garden, always asking permission, for my flower press.
Something to remember this Time by, this colour, when I use them, later, in winter, to make something new.
I joked that I was their garden gnome for the duration.
A friend joined me, barefoot, for a while.
I taught her how to twist the rushes, she showed me new ‘hearts’ in the gravel.
They reminded us both of a mutual, dear friend, who had passed.
She told us tales of Africa and gifted me a twisted, willow, heart, now part of the Gaia Hut.
I popped in to visit another friend, while I was in the village, and came home with laden with bags of ‘surplus’ collected seaweed, that I laid out in the rain, to wash the salt off, touching ocean, before laying it on my autumn-prepared patch to rot down over winter and feed the soil. The best kind of gift!
On the last day I was given a potted rose by one friend and a bottle of Cava by another.
I felt like a queen, or a graduate, as I bore these home.
Overwhelmed with Gratitude.
The purple one was ‘loosestrife’.
Amazing how in looking all these years I had never met this one before!
Always so much to learn.
No, it told me, you are not losing it.
You are loosening it.
Kat Robertson. August 2020.
(NOTE: this blog post is subject to tweaks as I ‘ride these rapids’ of information!)
So here we are.
I had predicted, even hoped for, some kind of natural wake-up call for the planet, but I had never really thought I would live to experience a viral pandemic.
A pandemic of sci-fi proportions by measure of the media frenzy and the government measures imposed!
I was not prepared for this.
Although it seems so obvious now.
I lie awake each morning, with every new day inspiring, and the media triggering, so many responses.
So many philosophical perspectives. Changing with the days.
Sometimes The Fear.
But often optimism and intense revelations.
I should like to call it the virus.
To take away it’s crown.
It is after all, just another virus. That is all.
It’s massive effects on our present human colonies cannot be downplayed, but I am not sure it deserves a crown!
(I do see though, in it’s form, the reasons why they named it so.)
Like so many other humans on this planet I am having such an intense journey with this unfolding pandemic and it is this that screams to be expressed.
The only way I can see how to do this is to just sit down and let the words pour out.
To be later edited and wrangled into some sort of form.
I am realizing now that it all began for me with a vision in at the end of January.
I became unusually haunted by a pattern of sorts.
As a large part of my work involves talking with other spiritually-minded people, light-workers and energy-workers, around the world, all focusing intent and weaving a ‘net of light and love’ around the planet and praying for Earth balance and wholeness. This pattern seemed, initially, obviously connected, to be interwoven with, arising from, this work.
Connected. Connection. Weaving. Spinning. Protection.
I developed many images to illustrate this pattern I was ‘seeing’. All shared previously on this blog.
I worked with a wasps nest to inspire these.
Post publishing, a friend, on seeing it, shared this image of a pollen seed with me.
It bore an uncanny resemblance to what I seemed to be channeling here.
This made me happy.
Positive pollinating. Spreading the healing. The idea of Earth-healing networks.
Then a darker shadow began to emerge as I was divinely guided to research, to try and understand, the physical infrastructure of 5G.
How it worked.
The towers and satellites proposed.
The Earth surrounded, this time, by artificial, man-made, networks.
Signals bouncing between the surface towers and the surrounding satellites in a 3D, 360°, sphere.
A different kind of, Earth to Sky connected, invisible, spiky, ball.
It filled me with a deep terror.
I began to wonder if this was connected to the pattern somehow.
If this was what I had been sensing happening.
If the pattern that presented was actually a warning.
A stroll through my Facebook profile shares and my daily connecting with the zeitgeist seems to show this journey well.
The original images.
The expressed fears about this new technology.
‘When old growth ends’ video.
Images of the delta patterns in trees, Laniakia, blood vessels, eyes, returned to my consciousness.
Then came that spell of wild weather.
Intense rainfall and repeated storms.
I made videos of the quick changing light across the land.
I referenced the need for resilience, the ability to bend.
New evidence, from NASA, of the sun’s cellular structure echoed this pattern again!
These surface spots that reach out from centre and form, visible, cellular structures on the surface of a sphere!
Then I also noticed how Ai companies were utilizing the honeycomb/bee image, in their logos, branding and presentations.
Some kind of hive mind.
This began to feed more of my own conspiratorial, free, thinking.
I struggle with deep waves of nostalgia and ‘end of days’ feelings.
Feelings of powerlessness.
Ideas of extremes and extremities haunt my mind in meditation.
The gap, that I am so fond of ‘putting myself in’, now had edges/boundaries that were stretching, wider and wider, apart.
So far apart that I feel sometimes I am loosing sight of them.
I pondered the roles of the presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons in the brain.
How the synapses, (the gaps between transmitters and receivers), become larger, when natural hallucinogens are introduced to the body.
This, I have always assimilated, allows more SPACE for dreaming.
When our schedules are less tight and restrictive/prescriptive there is more space for dreaming.
Hence my long time fascination in all aspects of altered states and the stillness of meditation.
This has been the entire concept that lies behind this Rolling Om experiment.
It began by turning my own negative feelings of felt, geographical, isolation into something positive.
A healing of sorts, a way to strengthen the feeling that, despite my lack of social contact, I still belonged.
Embracing my isolated situation, the ‘gap’ I found myself in, by putting myself even deeper into it.
BEING HERE FULLY.
Facing my fears of social isolation.
At the same time tuning into, assimilating, the zeitgeist that came pouring into my own ‘sphere of influence’ through these screaming screens.
Then exploring inner landscapes, my honest, personal, response, and sitting with it.
Trusting what divinely presented, responding intuitively, using my varied creative abilities, then sharing this with the world online.
Trying always not to over-think or to please.
Just to present it as it arose, in it’s raw state.
(Allowing only for basic editing. Sometimes the ideas do also evolve during this process, but the aim is to stay true to initial, intuitive impulse.)
For all who witnessed either to take or leave.
The basic brief to self being:
What happens when a, creative individual, connects with all this human noise, steps back from it, assimilates, then turns their attention to their inner response and emotions? Then, while holding the whole of it, without allowing that ‘monkey mind’ to control/manipulate the impulse, bringing this into some kind of form, using what ever medium calls?
It did not take very long, due to my location, before the natural world, immediately around me, leapt, sharply, into focus.
I found I was not ‘alone’.
It became obvious that I was totally supported.
And it is this that has evolved to be the main ‘message’ of my work now.
I have certainly found that the more I release myself from the conditioned routines and expectations, I experience less anxiety, become more focused on the NOW and I am enabled to see the whole more clearly!
And these experiments have resulted in a lot of art, essays and poetry which help me to see myself as a ‘real’ person, with a purpose (outside of mother and householder which still take priority), something I really needed to see, as a large part of my depression was the feeling I was not using my gifts, in any way, to benefit (?) the world.
Transmitters and Receivers.
I begin to see more patterns.
Perhaps I am looking out for them? Reading too much into them?
Or are they simply asking for my attention?
The random hail storms played Tetris on my window pane.
Each ‘block’ landing and toppling the next.
‘Every action has an equal and opposite reaction’
I made a video.
I struggle with feelings of anger toward the companies who now threaten the Earth by ‘playing God’ with frequency.
I am often reminded of the huge lesson I had learned living with the with the Kalash tribe in North Pakistan over a few years in the early 1990’s.
A learning I have never forgotten.
Their elders, their shaman, (badyash), having no culture of lying, complained re-the the loss of something that they used to hear, but that is now drowned out by some kind of ‘interference’.
What they used to hear had been crucial to their entire spiritual existence, it informed them of right action, guided them.
Lack of being able to hear this was why their elders were dwindling in number and the reason they were so resigned to their fate.
(I can feel a separate blog post coming up on this.)
The indigenous struggles, globally, take a high place in my awareness.
The ‘innocents’ whose knowledge we now need so urgently, but whose environments are, so severely, threatened.
I find myself playing with the word ‘culture’.
Instead of celebrating it as a word to describe diversity, the beauty of human imagination and intelligence, I use it instead as ‘culture’ meaning something that grows on something else, taking from it, often something that is sick or dying.
Our civilization as a petri dish.
I search for positive, Utopian, dreaming and find so much.
I mourn the loss of habitats, this time of mass extinction, and find so much to mourn.
I cheer all Restoration.
I was, quite suddenly, gifted, and driven to draw, in pen and ink, a balancing, yin-yang, design, that spoke of the wonder of transpiration in trees.
I shared it with Treesisters. It sold almost immediately.
Always a hub of singing, sistering and evolution. I value my connection with these sisters so deeply now.
A golden thread.
Connecting like-minded women, and providing a supportive network, form the basis of much of their work.
That and reforestation projects.
A beloved online group keeping me connected with the Earth, the Mother, the cycles of the Moon and with the TREES.
Those other stunning, unfathomable, Earth to Sky connections.
Those living aerials.
That also grow outwards, from this revolving sphere, while also knitting it together with their network of deep roots.
That pattern again.
Except with the downward anchor of roots. As above so below.
I have been twisting soft rope, from rushes, for another online project.
A fellow artist, Adrian Baker, was calling out for ‘strands’ made from any fibre for an installation in Canada.
‘The installation is inspired by ‘the underground ‘network’ of mycorrhizal fungi which enables trees to communicate with one another through their roots. It also represents our connection to each other, in person or through the online ‘network’’
A technique I intend to continue, as it is very calming, productive and satisfying.
Connected. Connection. Weaving. Spinning. Protection.
Positive pollinating. Spreading the healing. The idea of Earth healing networks.
Transmitters and Receivers.
I picked up loads of usnea lichen, blown off the trees by the storms.
I made a mask of lichen.
And found myself, not for the first time, connecting intensely, with this extraordinary, totally independent and symbiotic, clean-air reliant, dual organism.
I became even more fascinated with its intricate, branching, structure.
Then, as if by magic, a local lichen-walk popped up on my Facebook thread.
I went to that, just a week before this ‘lock down’, and wrote this blog post about it.
I worked with ideas of natural masks, to camouflage us in the forest, as if to hide our humanity.
Also with ideas of ‘the invisible masks’ we all hide behind.
Now so many are wearing masks. Masks of protection.
I am hearing, more and more, new, great discussion and drama, on BBC radio and television, somehow connecting into all discussed above. Primarily new si-fi works dealing with ideas of new technology, Ai and potential evolutions, but also much connecting to Nature and our relationship with it.
So many talented artists searching for new narratives.
News of the virus in China was beginning to really hit the headlines.
Then I looked at published pictures of viruses under the electron microscope and was struck by their beauty and, again, by the similarity they held to my original drawing!
Just what was going on!?
Something significant was shifting.
Around this time I also began to work on breaking this, now 3 year long, self-isolating, practice and to become more involved in the community.
New projects, that I have long encouraged/supported and wanted to see locally, were beginning to appear.
I experienced a need to be more involved, physically, in these seeding initiatives.
Creative Hubs. Re-wilding groups. Gatherings of pro-active persons. Working together in areas that have long fascinated me, that I have accumulated a lot experience in.
I have never had the status, strength or confidence to lead these initiatives, but have long dreamed these into being, in conversation and, occasional participation.
I learned of a giant puppet, called Storm, that is coming to our local town in September.
I understood it’s message, felt it, on a deep level immediately.
A storm was indeed coming.
It resonated in my bones.
I already knew Vision Mechanics, the organization that created and built this mighty, travelling, Goddess, quite well. I had attended some of their workshops and had travelled long distances, often with my children, over the years, to support their work and expand my knowledge of puppetry. I had even networked with them with regard to, one day, building my own, travelling, puppet show.
Due to taking one of my breaks from consuming information through the internet, I had missed her debut in Glasgow. I could not believe it!
I called them asking what I could do.
I began to dream of offerings, that I could gather, with others, to make real, for her visit.
I thought some singing sirens would be great, or perhaps, some pavement art.
I called the one person I thought it would be great to work with and it turned out that she was one of the artists who had written the soundtrack for this performance!
What was the likely hood of that!?
She agreed that it would be good for me to get some local ‘happenings’ together.
I began to put out feelers, reach out to others, began to network, to attend a few events.
This, as usual for me now, brought up much anxiety, challenged my fears of collaborating with others, but I have been working hard on creating the boundaries, necessary for an extreme Empath/sensitive to have in social situations, and I felt I was ready.
I became involved in other ‘thread/fibre’ projects.
Sending out still more strands around the world, as part of ‘Weaving women back into matter’ within Treesisters.
I wove my dreaming into a heart of braided rushes and hung that on a white barked, Himalayan, birch tree, leaving the wind to carry my prayers.
Then I had the Buddha’s head incident!
(text below copied and pasted from original Facebook post)
‘This morning, in trying to open my window fully, so I could sit IN the sunshine, while still INSIDE (the sun came did come out for 1/2 hour!!), I accidentally knocked the head of a beloved, small, clay Buddha! (It had been a gift from the Sri Lankan Buddhist centre in Glasgow, where I studied teaching mindfulness, so was precious to me.)
I then struggled to close the window and found that it was the tiny head that was jamming it!
At first I was very upset, finding negative significance in this ‘event, but as I sat with this ‘loss’, held the two pieces, I began to find this more and more interesting….the metaphors in this small ‘happening’…the meaning of it….the whole concept of a headless Buddha….I realised that my initial ‘upset’ was clearly materialist and linked to attachment.
A buddhist approach to the mind, meditation and mindfulness, IS what ‘keeps the window open’ in my experience…
In ‘opening the window wider’, for more Light (vitamin D! ), I knocked the limiting, physical, head off Buddha! And, curiously, the resulting ‘headless’ body definitely speaks louder to me of the experience of meditation than his whole form ever did!
Online I found many images/stories of decapitated Buddhas….mostly ransacked/defiled by invaders , also a story from Cambodia where the Buddhas were beheaded by the villagers themselves for the real ‘gold inside’ ( in itself another intriguing metaphor!). I also found an interesting Asian artist that makes this the subject of the majority of his work. He reunites heads and bodies in a conceptual way…..in a kind of healing I suppose.
There is definitely a koan/poem in this tiny happening for me….so all in all….a gift.
Love this picture of one of the (aggressively) decapitated heads at Angkor, lovingly, carefully, placed in the tree roots….Think I might do this in my garden somewhere with ‘my’ tiny clay head!’
The day I posted this friend contacted me to say that exactly the same thing had happened to her Buddha statue….that day! A few days later another friend commented how strange it felt to read my post as she had been talking with an acquaintance about the decapitated, Cambodian, Buddha’s that day also!
I picked a book at random, today, and it fell open on these words;
‘Carrying a Buddha nothing can happen, because how can you carry a Buddha? You can only carry a statue. Buddha has to be lived, not carried. Buddha has to be loved, not possessed. You have to dissolve yourself in the Buddha, not carry him as your possession.’
(Osho: ‘No Water. No Moon: Talks on Zen Stories)
There is a message in all this somehow.
What can it be?
What am I not seeing?
Are we all ‘losing ‘our heads’?!
Or is it, as above, simply Time to examine/explore events from other perspectives, to find the positive in, what may appear to be, negative events?
I was carrying the hoover downstairs and I stood on the electric plug and found these words…
Yesterday I stood on a plug.
The electric kind.
Man it hurt.
It left its three pronged mark in my sole.
It reminded me of this piece I drew in 2017.
Not to get too involved in all this Fear.
Not to get lost in this artificial narrative.
To leave this screen.
Turn off the computer.
And return to the unpopulated Wonder
And Beauty that IS all around.
Seek that out.
Listen instead to the bird song,
Walk barefoot on deep mosses,
from all this infernal human
Breathe deep and Open my Eyes.
Kat Robertson March 17 2020
I was out walking and saw some natural, local, clay. I was guided to dig some up for processing to make some, ceremonial, prayer, ‘earth pots’.
I contacted a local potter to make a date to learn how to ‘pit-fire’ them later in the year.
On the ‘otherside’ of this pandemic.
I am looking forward to that.
I played with this raw clay and the Buddha’s head.
I ‘planted’ his head in the Earth, as if he was growing from it, or sinking into it.
I then ‘fixed’ the broken Buddha with this earth clay.
I changed the angle of his head.
He took on a much more lively and playful attitude.
He came ALIVE.
Mended with earth.
All around the throat chakra.
Talking for the earth.
My meditations begin to undergo simple evolutions.
Still simply asking ‘show me’ and opening myself up to all around, but they also became more deeply about sensation in the body.
Often I would find myself responding in more movement.
Sometimes standing, often squatting on the earth, head bowed.
Being more open too to the visuals that arose behind my closed eyelids.
And there it was again.
The same pattern keeps coming up.
The ‘net’ around the sphere lit up, but with a dark spot, a rip in the web of light, similar to the hole in the ozone layer.
Each time this presents I work to visualize closing/mending the hole in the net.
The virus was really began to hit home.
Like all families, so far affected, we have had to assimilate all the ever-changing information, disruption of routines and learn to lean into the discomfort.
Many events, I had signed up to participate in, were cancelled.
Gaia seemed determined to get me to focus.
To stay in this solo conversation with this infinite micro-macro, living, world I now inhabit.
To sit ever more firmly in the gap.
While I feel for all affected, I cannot help but see so many potential solutions.
The possibility that this, this horror, this terrible virus, could also hold so many answers to the problem of climate change.
In consequence I also can be a bit obsessed by the question as to whether it was natural or designed.
Unsure now of just which side I am ‘working’ for!
If indeed there are any sides in this at all, or very many?
I do know, however, that I feel trapped between two distinct ‘landscapes’.
The human/humanitarian and the Gaian/holistic, view.
While I have despaired, often, at our collective, human, seeming lack of ability to change our behaviour when faced with the threat of climate change, I have always managed to remain a humanitarian.
Now I almost feel we deserve this virus.
I have never felt quite like this before.
I became involved in a debate about a supposedly ‘fake news’ list of tips to survive corona virus that was being damned by the mainstream media.
A friend had sent it to me and I liked it so much I shared it.
I was immediately inundated with others, blunt posting, of ready-made, ‘warning: this is fake news’ articles.
Links that, in my reality, appeared even more fake!
The original message stressed natural healing and there was nothing in the advice shared that clashed with my knowledge of how to keep healthy in the face of a flu virus.
It was, perhaps rightly, being decried as it did not also stress the need for hand cleaning and social distancing and some of the science was unproven….
But fresh air, sunshine, salt gargles, deep breathing did not seem like advice that warranted the reaction it received.
I began to mistrust this whole virus.
Not that it was not real, but exploring ideas that it was not natural.
It just seemed too much of a coincidence that Wuhan happens to be the location of one of the world’s biggest centres for virology…..I have since read many articles ‘explaining’ why this not the case, but they still ‘ring hollow when tapped’.
Somewhere, online, I learned that Bill Gates, apparently, owns the patents for two other, previous, types of corona virus……
For a few days I became lost in ideas of this being man-made, but soon realised that that way of thinking, even if true, does nothing to protect my family or change what is happening NOW.
Besides, who knows what to believe in all this hysteria?
And this virus is most definitely here.
I began to find others believing, like me, that it could, indeed, be the best thing that ever happened to this planet.
There is a long list of pros. Here are some off the top of my head!:
Cleaner air as industry grinds to a halt.
Cleaner air would mean far fewer deaths in the long run.
Encourage people to see air travel to other countries, exotic locations, as a real adventure, a special privilege, not something to be taken for granted. Never a commute.
Who wants to find themselves trapped on the other side of the world?
Travel is a risky business!
New approaches to economy.
Ideas of free internet being muted by educationalists.
Re-nationalization of our transport infrastructure being discussed.
Deeper respect for our treasured health services and other vital key workers. The waste services I notice are little mentioned or celebrated.
The understanding of how interconnected we all are.
The leveling of humans around the globe.
The spreading of kindness. More thoughtfulness for others.
Enforced isolation bringing many to face themselves, given an opportunity to re-evaluate their lives.
The re-emergence of LOVE.
LOVE as a counter-virus, spreading fast.
Experiments with new forms of education.
Need for increased awareness re-resources.
Weeding out of dependency on state.
Encouragement of more free thinking independence.
What a wake up call!
In every way the kind of shift that so many of us had been praying for! For so long!
The planet can breathe better again!
All in Nature sings with joy.
Thank you! Thank YOU! Thank you!
Can you hear it too?
Now we can ALL begin to breathe again.
For this is GLOBAL air.
Enough to, healthily, stimulate our boundless brains
To invent, re-invent, circumvent, vent,
Encourage effective ventilation! Transpiration!
An opportunity to learn to see, at last, new ways to live in better harmony with this
Our Earth. Mother. Ship.
As this threat rises and ebbs away
Let’s not return to our old ways blindly.
Like most addictions, we must learn to resist temptation.
Lean into this discomfort.
Less is more.
Cleaner air brings fewer deaths in the bigger picture.
In Time may we be able to drop the masks of conditioned culture.
All is in the balance.
Bow to this virus, whatever it’s source, and assume responsibility,
Like any Mother, there is only so much she can give,
Before it becomes Time to look after Her.
Kat Robertson March 19 2020.
Again a surge in purpose. An affirmation.
The timing has been violent in many ways.
Just as I begin to reach out from my own self-imposed retreat I find myself confined again.
But also, as a consequence, I have been more able to help others in our community.
Signing up as a volunteer to keep an eye on folk, to help with getting shopping. Making myself available.
Offering learned alternative wisdoms to those who ask. Herbal tonics. Plant medicines. Foraging tips.
How to live without toilet paper.
Nothing much has changed for us here on our hill.
I enjoy isolation. I have skills to share that many others now need to form. The contented ability to withdraw.
How to enjoy spending time alone, in one place, without becoming lonely or trapped.
My public, online, celebration of Gaia and the space around me here, did come into question though, when 1000’s of wealthy ‘corona refugees’ swarmed out of the cities, to their second homes, or in motorhomes, to our more remote communities.
For a short while our rural, health and food infrastructure was threatening to buckle under the pressure.
I wondered if, through social media, I should be ‘advertising’ the beauty and space available to us?
I do experience huge empathy with this need to find places away from urban development, to breathe, to escape contagion, but they bring with them such problems for our existing infrastructure.
I saw posts saying ‘Go Home Idiots’ and found myself agreeing.
I was unable to buy pasta (or toilet roll for other members of my family, I am content with washing!), as they cleaned out our stores in search of supplies. It seemed all so selfish of them!
Then the government began threaten fines for this behaviour, driving the message to ‘stay at home’ and this wave, has now, receded.
(I noticed too that that same government never acknowledged that it was their, fearful, message that instigated that panicked response)
These are the same, urban, people who generally refer to people who choose this rural lifestyle, as remote ‘country-bumpkins’, when in fact we are far from it.
We are connected. Earthed.
We choose to live away from others, their confusing, urban,social games and complexity.
There are other sacrifices made to in order enjoy this space.
Not all easy.
The sheer distances involved make for a pretty hardy, self reliant bunch of folks. Support networks all further away. Everything requires planning.
Take ways, cinema, cultural events, for example, are seen as luxuries/treats never taken for granted.
Our small communities now also largely rely on them. On their ‘tourist dollar’….often partially ‘enslaved’ to their visiting….
Yet this emergency means they become ‘not welcome’….
So many gaps closing, walls being built, as the extremes become wider.
Then another extraordinary turn of events meant I was also brought face to face with our own dependency on the system, having been feeling quite smug about our ability to sit out this pandemic on our remote hill.
We are the kind of family that rarely has need of the NHS.
But, shortly after this virus began to impact on us all, my son began vomiting violently. We telephoned our surgery on the 3rd day. He could keep nothing down and was visibly fading. The doctor said he needed to see him.
We drove the 30 miles to the surgery and blood and urine samples were taken. Judging by the queues outside the pharmacy and the new protocol at the surgery, it was becoming clear that this pandemic was making it’s mark. The doctor prescribed some pain killers for the acute stomach pain my son was experiencing and anti-nausea pills, suggesting that we return home and keep a close eye on him, but not to hesitate if the situation worsened, as he believed it could be appendicitis.
One hour after arriving back home, the phone rang.
His bloods showed that he was at risk of appendicitis!
We were requested to return immediately and attend the hospital, to pack a bag, as surgery may be necessary.
We jumped back into the car.
The hospital really was the last place we wanted to go in these times!
Some workers were installing a huge ‘Corona Virus protocol’ sign outside the A&E department.
As it turned out it, it was decided that it was a false alarm, that it was just a tummy bug.
With a huge sigh of relief we completed the 120 mile round trip and returned home.
He is well now.
Then that same week we had to call an ambulance.
A man, working on site taking my husband’s, fire damaged, steel shed down, fell 15ft, off a ladder, onto concrete.
Seems he has smashed his shoulder blade and broken his ankle.
I experience deep gratitude for all key workers.
All in the balance.
How lovely my life is now with all my boys home, safe.
(Despite their teenage tendencies to consume and spend all available time on screen, ignoring our advice and calls to come outside. Draconian measures soon to be instigated within our four walls!)
Lovely too that the garage is quiet.
No industrial work continuously grinding on around.
Although goddess only knows how we are going to survive, financially, without that income.
It has been one year since that catastrophic fire and we are have still not received all the monies owed to us through the insurance.
We had, at long last, received the permission from them to ‘tear-down’ the damaged shed and things were feeling more positive, less ‘stuck’ in limbo. But now all plans for the new structure and rebuild are on hold again, due to the ‘lock down’…..
Small comfort that we certainly are not alone in this dilemma…..
A part of me is hoping that things never go ‘back to normal’.
I have always detested ‘normal’.
A Terror or a Cure?
Potential sci-fi plots grow in my mind.
What other reasons might there be for ‘them’ to want us all indoors, stuck on our screens?
An email from this appeal dropped into my mail box.
‘On Wednesday, March 18, SpaceX launched 60 more satellites into space from Cape Canaveral, Florida, bringing the total of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites orbiting the earth to 350.
Also on March 18, OneWeb launched 34 more satellites into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, bringing the total of OneWeb’s satellites orbiting the earth to 74.
None of these satellites have yet gone into operation, but on March 13, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission granted SpaceX permission to sell one million user devices to American customers.
This has turned a long-standing concern into an emergency. For last fall, SpaceX announced its intention to begin providing 5G service to the northern United States and southern Canada after it had at least 400 satellites orbiting the earth.
The threat to terrestrial life — at least in portions of North America — may now be only weeks away.’
Seems that, for some, business continues very much as usual.
Why too does the media down play that Wuhan connection?
Blaming Chinese eating habits without ever even stating that Wuhan is the location of that international centre of virology?
I cannot be alone in finding that stark omission suspicious, especially when then are so many precedents for genetic ‘mucking about’ resulting in similar epidemics….
(Here I am speculating about things I cannot change again….it seems I cannot help it…)
It has been clear to many of us that ‘too many humans’ has been the problem for some considerable amount of time.
Is this their solution?
Or the Earth’s solution?
Whose side am I now on?!
If it is a ‘them’, do they even know what they are doing?
It has also been clear to so many of us that the worlds resources could be shared far more efficiently for a very long time.
Is this their aim?
Or is there someone, somewhere, who stands to gain more out of this than the rest of us?
(I quiet my mind and stare out into our spring garden. All appears exactly the same as before. Feeling , not for the first time, to be in the eye of a storm. A blue tit comes and hangs off the window frame.)
Of course I am full of sadness/grief for all those that will lose their lives and/ or family.
Affected also by the Fear I feel in the air when I make my weekly shopping trips (for two families now) and in the voices of friends and families when we talk on the phone.
Let’s face it, it could be me or those I love.
But the bigger picture continues to haunt me.
I had a very powerful dream last night.
One of those ones that verges on a vision.
A castellated fortress sticking out into the water.
Whole communities living within its walls.
I lived among them.
Our peace was being threatened by an unseen enemy.
We were preparing for war.
A vanguard of the best looking men you have ever seen, true warriors of all races, arrived in a dramatic convoy, to help with the fight.
They paid little attention to me.
That is until I flew!!
I really flew!!
I can remember the feeling now.
It is years since I lucidly flew in dreaming.
I was in complete control of it.
I demonstrated my ‘power’ to them and earned respect.
I guided them through this sprawling, labyrinthine, structure, and found ways to get higher, to the top, the ramparts.
They needed to get a grip on the lie of the land.
From there we could see far across the water to the hills beyond….the enemy was lining the horizon….an army of identical robotic, holographic, soldiers….
It was then we stopped Time itself.
I woke up knowing that I had to get this all out how ever it came.
And now here it is.
This massed, knotted, thread of words.
An alternative documentation of exceptional times, my unique response to the experience, so far……
It seems to suggest that I need to trust my intuition more.
Perhaps it was, in fact, the virus I ‘saw’ coming in those first patterns?
Perhaps this virus is, in fact, little more than the common flu?
The hype making it far more dangerous than it would have been if allowed to take it’s course?
If it was or was not it is of little relevance now.
What I choose to take away from ALL this is how connected and intertwined all of our, collective, dreaming and inspiration is and that, in this, lies such huge potential, a potential that we can neither measure or even predict, a vast, unknown, potential that calls for us all to be the change we want to see. To learn to be stiller. Less is more. To learn to trust in all beyond our understanding. To practice Gratitude for small things and cleaner air.
And LOVE more.
(Just today another artist friend contacted me, from the local village, asking me if I would like to continue her ‘red thread’ of connection, a joyful art response, over on this side of the peninsula. It is based also on the idea that we are all connected and designed to be a visual reminder of this.
A red thread weaving through the landscape.
I will collect the red string from the box outside her house sometime next week.)
It is spring now.
With all this drama I have not celebrated this vernal equinox the way I usually mark it.
The weather is going to be fine these next few days.
It is in the garden that I will be found.
Weeding and seeding.
And loosing myself in wonder, gazing deep into the centre of spring flowers, singing with the birds, with mud under my finger nails and prayers on my lips.
So much love I send to this Earth and all sentients that dwell upon her.
All we can do now is look out for those around us, (not only the humans), and take each day at a time.
“Upon entering that rapid, what you must not do, is focus on all the different obstacles that could tip, shred or otherwise demolish your boat – because focusing on what frightens you, magnetizes you to them like magic. You manifest your fears. Instead, he said, you look for the ‘through line’ – the apparent pathway through the rapid that brings you to the other side, and all of you focus on that as a team.”
Now is indeed a time ‘to practice being fictional for a while’.
(a quote from Richard Bach’s Illusions: The adventures of a Reluctant Messiah)
And, as he also wrote in that wonderful book…..
‘Everything above may be wrong!’
Deep Bow to ALL Life.
I love you.
I am Sorry.
Please Forgive Us.
“Close your eyes, breath deep and remember. Bring to mind a tree, any tree. A tree that you have felt a special connection with sometime in your life. Listen carefully, you will know when it comes….”
And there it was.
The huge Scot’s Pine, of my childhood, the one on the drive.
It’s Latin name always used to make me giggle.
These trees have always sounded ‘male’ to me.
Other beloved, more exotic , exciting, tree-candidates danced just out of reach….trees that were more beautiful, more extraordinary….but this tree literally fought to be seen.
I realised that I did not remember it too well.
I remember always noticing it on the way to and from school.
I was generally unhappy, both ways, back then.
And so alone.
I’d lose all grievous thinking, momentarily,
when I looked UP, my eyes catching its russet glow
and the twisting drama of it high branches
in the light.
I retain remembered feelings of encouragement.
As if, in those moments, this seed-grown giant,
had given me some strength to go on.
To keep on fighting through all circumstance,
To be strong and resilient,
And not ‘bend to the weather’.
I decided to make the journey.
A kind of pilgrimage.
To thank it for that.
Feeling slightly guilty at the number of times I had simply driven past on our family visits and not thought to ‘check in’.
I wondered if this tree had a message for me.
And I worried for it, after all these years of gales.
What would I find?
Stepping out of the car, I gasped.
So often childhood memories seem smaller when revisited.
Not this tree.
It simply towered over me.
Perhaps it was not only that it had grown?
Perhaps I have become, somehow, smaller?
Was it just that my tree-love is greater
and my bow deeper with age?
I approached it reverently and laid my forehead on its scaly bark.
Listening for the sap rising.
It felt so still.
And smelt of fresh water.
The small stream gurgling at its feet.
I became aware that I could be seen from my father’s house.
And then, ridiculously, self conscious.
In my red raincoat.
I felt exposed.
I slid around the trunk, behind,
Hiding away from the uncomfortable, critical, glare
of those farmhouse windows.
What message could that sky soaring, majesty have for me?
So straight and strong.
It’s graceful, twisting heights, too high for all but birds.
Out of reach.
I remembered how I had always taken it for granted.
How it had always simply been ‘that tree’.
One tree among many others.
All so reliably always there for me.
Still growing there, under my father’s gaze,
But there so long before he ever was.
An ancient, native, indigenous, giant.
The backdrop for this, more recent, more exotic, garden.
So big, so reliably there, it was weirdly easy not to notice it, in passing,
Eyes tuned ahead and sometimes around,
Natural to just look past its scaly, trunk, towards all the flowers,
That is unless you stopped, stood back and craned your neck to see….
(Click on first image to view as gallery)
Standing there, another old guardian tree called to me.
I heard her shout!
From high up on the hill, behind the farmhouse.
As if one told me of the other.
I had completely forgotten her!
I had the time and needed a walk.
A hill oak tree. Sessile Oak (Quercus patraea).
Carved by the elements and wild exposure.
My old wishing tree.
A place I had often sought for comfort and to cry.
She had always had Time to listen to me.
There she was. Still hanging on.
Familiar mossy roots and rocks hugged my body as I sat down
On the livestock-worn earth between her toes.
And I sighed and leaned back into her memory.
Protected from the cold wind by this embrace.
I rested there a while.
Where rot had set in, in her ‘less alive’, branches,
Her own wood-body was now composting, in hollows, and giving birth to new life.
Tree ferns, lichens, mosses, (one tiny pine!), grow now, in these nurturing crevices.
This tree’s strength lies in growing so slow and craggy,
Keeping low and in the lee.
Branches twisting, as if around unseen obstacles in the wind.
Who had divinely taken root, and had survived,
with few other companions,
on this rocky outpost.
I wondered if, in her rings, she carried resonance of greater, ancient, forests, been once a part of something bigger, that had, long since, been eroded.
Grazing sheep and wild deer now keep all the area, around this exposed outcrop, a rough pasture of rushes, long grasses, cotton flowers, bracken, spagnum and deep, black, bog.
Perhaps that ancient forest still lies all around, preserved in the peat,
and she sings to them, her sad song,
as the wind rattles her branches.
A lonely survivor.
She just belongs to this place.
And I, like the sheep, was able to rest, once again,
in her shelter, and winter, melancholic, presence, still.
In this wild place, so far away from the garden.
Far away from any windows.
I felt welcomed and that she remembered me.
I spoke my soul, sang her a song,
and made a wish,
promising to return again before too long.
(Click on first image to view as gallery)
I painted a portrait of this tree when I first returned home, to Argyll, with the intention of settling here.
Titled ‘The Wishing Tree’, the painting was bought by my step mother, and still hangs in their home.
A home that lies, tiny, in the landscape far below, where this tree still grows.
A childhood home to which I no longer belong.
In a place where it is the land, and the weather, that owns us all.
(working inspired by the ‘7 Days of Rest and Radiant Diversity 2020‘ global, online, earth healing, experiment)
Today? Many, many words!
A rant of automatic, now very edited, words.
After listening to Shelley Ostroff’s guided meditation on today’s theme of Envision, I found I was still resonating from a powerful experience I had had yesterday.
(working from notes)
‘In yesterday’s post I used no words.
There was a reason for this.
Something very powerful moved through me yesterday.
Ancient, and justified, RAGE.
I was not expecting it, but it happened.
It was initially triggered by acts of extreme ignorance, and lack of empathy, from within my own family.
I was made a fool of for my belief in meditation and my actions on behalf of our planet.
I was ridiculed and belittled, and not for the first time.
I am normally reduced to feminine, watery, mainly private, tears when this happens, but this time I rose like a volcano.
This resulted in my, all male, family scurrying away to far corners of our house while I put on the hardest, most powerful , psychedelic, trance music, from my past that I could find, on full volume, opened all the windows and commenced stamping and whirling, like a praying dervish possessed, speaking in tongues, praying for this Earth, to this Earth, and muttering, while their tea bubbled and cooked on the stove.
I have not done anything like that for years!!
(“The Nature of Time, which to my mind, is infinitely expandable; but at the same time, it is discreet. The seconds tick at a strange pace. Perceptually, Time can stretch and you can dream a whole adventure in a split second of an eye.”
random quote from otherwise instrumental (stonking) techno track: An old recording, perhaps J W Dunne talking?)
Afterward I felt exhausted, not just a little surprised, but so cleansed by this FIRE that ripped through my being.
A new kind of peace descended.
All my family were changed too by witnessing this mighty Kali-side to their normally, mildly eccentric, 50 year old, perhaps too amenable at times, mother!
I can be quite alarmed by my own power sometimes and was unable to find the words to express this experience yesterday.
I used quiet time, working with my previous images, as a way to transmute this fire and ‘come down’.
I am pleased to say that it worked.
As I sat in silent meditation, after this explosion, assimilating the experience, OWL came to me.
(Fun seeing Owl represented in today’s Envision meme too! Divine Timing)
We gazed at each other and I asked Owl to ‘Show me.’
It turned its head nearly all the way round one way. I did the same.
Then it turned its head the other way. I copied it.
Then it twisted its whole head sideways while facing forward. That way they do. I copied it.
Then to the other side. I did the same.
I was receiving the most delicious neck stretches!! Exactly what I needed!!
Then it did something I was not expecting.
It opened it beak, sticking out its tongue simultaneously, as they do, and hissed at me!
I did the same, recalling my Rage, and hissed back.
I noticed how like the Lion’s Pose yoga facial stretch this was. It felt great!
Then it threw its head back and opened its beak again, as a chick stretching to be fed, or as in gobbling a mouse… I did this too and felt such a great stretch around my throat!
I bowed to OWL and thanked it.
I will use what remains of this ‘fire within’ to express honestly here.
As one of life’s consummate rebels (I never could abide labels and called myself a Pippy, half-punk, half-hippy; Hunks being the male equivalent, this led later to earning the nickname Buddunk…half buddist/half punk!) I find most of the like-minded, spiritual, communities, which focus, in right relationship, on Love, lacking in FIRE at times.
As if we are all afraid of it.
The suggestion that we simply ‘hold all in love’ is a philosophy I am in agreement with, but yesterday taught me something huge.
My, intuitively expressed, Rage shifted the dynamic, with positive effect.
(I had woken up feeling like I had caught his flu and that had gone!)
I am not suggesting here that we all succumb to our inner Rage and take it out into the world!
Awareness is key.
But I do believe that simply writing off anger as an affliction of people who need therapy is not healthy, or honest.
Perhaps this conscious Earth also needs to know that we will fight for her?
I know I felt like a warrioress again, after that simple experience!
I stood taller. I felt more courageous.
This is the power of prayer, these emotions need to be expressed. Made tangible.
I am talking here about RAGE, not ‘Greif’, not ‘Shame’, not feelings of inadequacy and impotence, all born of Love, but the REAL RAGE at the being made to feel that way, RAGE also born of Love of Life.
The kind of RAGE that arises in cases of real, personal, injustice.
When one takes it all to heart.
I wonder sometimes if we dress our anger up as these other more acceptable emotions, in order to appear more compassionate, more peaceful, perhaps more enlightened, but that, in fact, just bogs us down, diminishes our power? Our passion.
As I re-discovered yesterday, quite intuitively, DANCE is a great way to transmute this.
I was stamping and whirling like a tribal shaman, at the same time articulating this love for the Earth and my rage at all those who continue to seem hell-bent on destroying her.
I know that embracing all Radiant Diversity is the idea behind this experiment, but there remain those humans I have real trouble embracing!
I am sometimes furious with them!
Another connected theme arose when I looked out of the window this morning.
In an otherwise unblemished landscape was this, plastic, box.
A tub that had been used to feed the cattle, blown off course.
It really stuck out. White, plastic and ugly.
This is how I view our own house in the landscape.
I call it our ‘box house’.
Sometimes, when I am out walking, I giggle as I think of the bodies inside it, that tiny box, shuffling around inside, glued to their screens, when there is all this magnificence and space outside.
That is also how I feel when I re-enter it. The box house.
This is now how I ‘see’ all our roads, villages, towns and cities too.
Nothing really looks like it fits in the landscape.
‘Alien’ almost, definitely ‘artificial’.
I look forward to new eras ahead of more sensitive, earth, (and eye), friendly architecture and, perhaps, fewer straight lines, newer, sustainable materials, perhaps a few older ones?
I also found myself smiling when I thought of the small, field mouse, family that perhaps were thinking of moving in under that box, in awe of the opaque shelter it provided….
I will be moving it though, before they move in!
There was a time when I also believed that we were, perhaps, alien; from the stars.
Back when I tripped to repetitive beats, in trance, under Indian skies, dreaming of our evolution into light forms.
believing that all the lights, electricity and exciting new technology were all just steps on our universal evolution, on our return? journey to the stars.
I trusted so much in that ‘all was in divine and perfect order’ and my love of si-fi and dystopian stories, fueled these Utopian possibilities.
That is until I realised how slowly we were moving in that enlightened direction and contemplated the realities of living in a space station, under pressure, with Bill Gates and the likes of Donald Trump; simultaneously realizing that I was very unlikely to be the kind of person even enabled to escape the planet, that they had trashed, and that I would, most likely, not enjoy that company anyway!
Rather stay on Earth and become a ‘WallE’, recycling all the trash and excrement they rained down on us and building a New World!
Now, at 50, I find myself joining the ranks, and ranks, of ‘grandmother’s’ of yore, who distrusted the Telephone in the hall, or the Automobile, tutting with disapproval and saying ‘no good will come of this’.
Turns out they were right.
If only we had had, collectively, more respect for all those grandmothers, we might have evolved in a very different way.
Something that does resonate though all this though, is the truth that even this ‘artifice’ IS STILL ALL GAIA.
We are nature and so is all we produce.
Even our phones, washing machines and screens.
All made up of the same minerals and processes, all learned from Nature.
The artificial way in which we alchemise these properties may not help sustain us, but all this definitely makes our lives more comfortable!
‘Constraint’ is a word that wandered through my mind this morning.
I feel we need to hold our ‘artificial’ selves in.
Instead of attempting to control Nature, we now need to spend more Time controlling ourselves?
Be more aware of the cost of all we ‘create’. And spend/use it more wisely.
Clare Dubois, of Treesisters, recently penned a magnificent piece where she comments that she almost found herself bowing to the washing machine recently, when she was thinking along similar lines!
Perhaps a bit more real gratitude for these appliances would even go a long way in this healing!
I love the way that in India, and other more Eastern civilizations, they take the Time to bless their appliances and vehicles.
It is our uncaring, disposable, culture that is most to blame in this grim trajectory.
Less is, most definitely, more.
Beauty in simplicity has long been my motto, (that and ‘Mind the Gap’) and I am sticking to it!
So, I envision a world where more people get in touch with their RAGE and use that powerful energy to positive effect.
It can be channeled into direct, non-violent, action, (something I am a great supporter of), or, as I describe above, simply used to burn through all stagnant, frustrated, negative, emotion.
I envision a world where people are more aware of the real power in expressing gratitude and asking forgiveness of Source, Mother Earth.
Aware of how powerful they really are, both as individuals and together.
And something else that appears to have been missing these last few eons.
That ‘feminine’ connection, which appears to have been written out of our collective history.
Father Sky and the Burning, marvelous, Sun have been so well represented and communed with by our fiery, oil burning, power-orientated race, but this is not in balance. We need also to honour and respect our watery, life giving, loving, nurturing Mother Earth.
As above , so below.
These archetypes of Heaven being in the sky, and all Hell residing below, are wearing a bit thin for me.
All Life appears to me, today, to be the delicious filling in a sandwich, between Father Sky and Mother Earth. Either way up works.
(You could go for an open sandwich, but then it would NOT be the bottom slice you discarded!)
And you cannot have a ‘sandwich’, if it is only filling.
‘Cause then you’d need cutlery, when just bread would do.
And always leave a tiny bit for the birds,
by way of Gratitude.’
Lots and lots of words. Nothing fantastically new in it.
Just articulating the experience.
For some reason I want to add this image with all you 7 Dayers.
While on the subject of Radiant Diversity.
Almost the first image I created after returning to art practice, tee-total, in 2016 after 9 years of fighting acute depression and borderline alcoholism.
It took me days and days.
Titled ‘Beltane:Sexual Revolution’
Sometimes I do not even know what to make of it!
(link to original post, and more details of the process of making this, in caption)
(working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)
Japanese season called ‘Ritto’ / beginning of winter, 7th November – 21st November
Micro climate ‘daffodils bloom’ 17th November – 21st November
Nearly lost this entire blog just now!
Seems I may have been the victim of some kind of hacker….think WordPress and I have sorted it now….I was distraught!
All this years work for nothing!
It is even possible that I will be better seen now….as it appears that someone, somewhere was trying to control my activity!
Perhaps even ‘steal’ my identity or stop my simple message from getting out?!
Not really sure that it is that dangerous though….probably paranoid…
At least I always keep images and poems etc. on my hard drive….but this just goes to show how fragile our online existence really is…..
Daffodils are blooming in Japan right now?
Seems strange to me….they are so associated with spring here, but my Dad has always had some ‘rebel’ ones flower in autumn these last few years. Perhaps they are from Japanese bulb stock!?
We have been experiencing a very cold spell. The news still calls this ‘autumn’, but this feels very much like winter.
I love these ice puddle pictures.
Each one would look amazing painted as a large canvas.
Tempted to make an ice mandala….feeling very alive in his crisp, crunch….
(click on first image to see all as gallery slideshow)
The writing course seems to be dying down in urgency.
I spent a few hours working up this piece…live on screen.
I am very pleased with it.
Sandy suggested that this was a ‘ritual’. A rite of passage.
So I tried to do that as I wrote.
Returning to rhyming was both a challenge and a Joy.
Thank you, thank you, thank you….
Thank you, too, blank page of light,
That dark words, in this time, invite.
Drawing down with all my might,
For words to come
And then take flight.
A journey shared with all around,
Deep below, I sense a sound,
I could say I see it,
The aim is to be it,
The channel has only to be found…..
There is a wound, so deep and wide,
I cannot see the other side.
I only see our job to mend,
To heal, to feel, and Love to send,
To, somehow, this flowing blood, congeal,
At least that’s how I think I feel…..
The wound is, now, too deep to hide,
Still many ignore it, though millions have cried.
Our denial exposed now, for us all to see,
We need rainbow bridges, heartfelt stitches,
To fix the tears, torn, in our memory.
‘Big girl’ breeches.
Brave ‘out reaches’.
Each word like a stepping stone.
Much has changed, since way back when,
I first held this howling pen,
Now I know I’m not alone.
Throwing our whole selves in life’s rushing river,
Being never a taker, always a giver,
Creating a crossing by sharing our hearts,
This Rainbow Bridge growing, a spectrum of parts.
We stand on each other to leap ever further,
Holding steady, we put our whole faith in a future,
The golden thread tightens,
Our connection enlightens,
In fits and starts.
It fits and it starts.
Sometimes we just get washed away….
The distance to ‘bridge’ seeming longer,
But the more that we open,
to what we know how to say..
This invisible bridge gets stronger…
Go for the jugular….form platelets to clot…
Find the Grace to point out
What we really are not,
This balances vision,
This heals the division,
Simply follow this thread, dot to dot.
A stone in a river, a bridge to close,
A stitch in forever, a clot, hidden in prose,
Eons of endings meet again, their birth,
Wholeness becomes visible now
In this one, sacred, Earth.
A bringing together, to heal the divide,
Duality smashed as the mirrors collide,
The dams, an illusion,
For they held back the flow,
There is only one way for this water to go.
Stones in the river,
These words sink in silt,
The way over, directed.
No trolls under this bridge.
No knots in this twine,
The timing is crucial.
And this timing’s DIVINE.
A clot with a keyboard,
(That is what they say!)
‘Let it be so’
Closing this space.
Releasing these words,
Throwing them to the sky,
I love you, I am sorry, Please forgive us,
Three to the power of one.
This journey to wholeness has only just begun…
Be a bridge o’er this river,
Between death and birth.
Or a tree, stand connecting the heavens and Earth,
Masculine and feminine,
All in this together,
May this dance between both, play forever and ever…
In Gratitude I loose this song,
There is no right, there is no wrong
The River? It always goes back to the sea,
I hold my position, as it flows around
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Kat Robertson 19th November 2019
(working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)
Japanese season called ‘Ritto’ / beginning of winter, 7th November – 21st November
Micro climate ‘land starts to freeze’ 12th November – 16th November
The prompts for the writing course keep rolling in….finding it so difficult to juggle my creative/spiritual practice and the ‘push’ of this course, but determined to ‘hang on in there’.
My whole brief to myself is always to weave all together…to take what presents, condense it and share the experience. The process.
Basically to always speak from my Now.
‘Nows’ can be very complex and multi-layered.
Thank goodness I rarely feel compelled to weave in the more ‘real’ trials and tribulations of my family relationships, financial worries, and practical hardships, as, in many ways, those have now become very boring to me….and I am sure would be to any readers here!
It is the ‘gaps’ in living, the times spent sitting in my true Nature, as part of Gaia’s whole, I intend, with open mind, to illustrate and celebrate here.
The whole point of this experiment is to articulate the ‘gap’.
All that I feel is really missing from our modern lives, the sheer neglect of which, I feel, results in all the darkness and dis-ease that I observe almost everywhere I look.
As I turn my attention to this Now, make Time to sit firmly in that place of just being, strip away the ‘noise’, I am curious to experience that my life is fantastically enriched.
I notice more and more and, arguably, feel more and more.
I am a bigger, better, person for doing less and letting go of more!
I know that really does not make much sense in our modern world…but is exactly what I believe I am touching on, unraveling here, in this blog, in my voiced existence, as just one example of a single human being.
Life really is not as complicated as we all insist on making it.
An example of this might be the way I decided not to submit to paper all my thinking re-the last three prompts (Fear, Reverence and Shame), instead I chose to spend time holding these ‘topics’ in my psyche, turning them over and over….then I had the encounter with the swan.
It was clear to me that this was significant.
I sat down to write simply of this encounter and there it all was.
In that single experience.
No-one was more surprised than me!
I have read and re-read that submission….each time I read it I see more and more how deeply it fulfills all I wanted to say on those 3 topics.
I have actually succeeded in amazing myself!
Always a great feeling for any creative.
Apologies to any who feel that my own delight in all that I share here is inappropriate or in some way showing off or rested in ego. It is not….it is only an attempt to honestly articulate my experience.
Weirdly, if these 3 years of riding the ‘constant wave’ of inspiration (and resulting snail’s trail of physical images and words), had actually ever achieved any sort of respected recognition, I know any ‘audience’ would not be sitting back and patting me on the head, but might even be buying my paintings and poems.
I am also super-aware it is my own, very real, inability to push and fight for this recognition that means all this effort, seems destined to remain ‘useless’.
“For the perfect accomplishment of any art, you must get this feeling of the eternal present into your bones — for it is the secret of proper timing. No rush. No dawdle. Just the sense of flowing with the course of events in the same way that you dance to music, neither trying to outpace it nor lagging behind. Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present.”
Of course, it might all be ‘just not good enough’, but I believe it is enough.
My experience of Now is simply becoming too precious to lose to competition, selfish advancement or accumulation.
So the ‘topics’ keep rolling into my inbox….
Jealousy. (mercifully all that was requested was a limerick!)
I wrote three versions. My favorite was:
There once was a lassie named Kat
Who always knew where she was at,
Then along came another,
A sister or brother,
And jealousy made her a prat!
Kat Robertson 14th November
So now in front of me are the next prompts:
Imagine you stick your hand into an emotional grab bag. Write from the perspective of the first one that grabs you.
The Emotional web: write the story of your/our passage from the oldworld into the new.
Followed by the promise that there will be no more prompts! Phew!
Just a week to work up a bigger piece, suitable for potential publishing.
Our efforts here described as a type of ‘collective ritual’. A rite of passage.
And the news that our wonderful ‘leader’ Sandy Ibrahim, (who has continuously offered her own inspiring words to this journey alongside us), is meeting with Micheal Mead soon.
Wow….a man whose work I have now been introduced to through this course….
Dipping into it, it powerfully affirmed for me that all this was not a waste of Time….in fact I am simply demonstrating here exactly what so many might pay him to learn!
(So let’s take a short ‘ad’ break here to appreciate the season and the freezing that comes as surely as the world turns, upon us here in Scotland, bringing us all back to truth)
(…..wasn’t that wonderful! I know, I know….my pictures…but absolutely not my work….thank you, thank you, thank you Mother for the interludes of Beauty that punctuate my days….and give me breath, yet render me speechless! Would that all ‘ad breaks’ were like this!)
An aspect of my way of working, that I have never before articulated, is that somehow writing live on this screen (mainly through Facebook) seems to help me make a contact with expressing the now, in a way that writing and writing, on real paper, with a pen, does not.
I am forever copying and pasting to word document, catching those fleeting, truth-ringing, phrases and reactive expressions and filing them away.
Often returning to them.
This blank space of pure, white, light seems to call, more powerfully than any tree-derived page, to my inner essence, often by-passing the monkey mind….with the obvious advantage of spell check and ‘cut and paste’ for the, lexically challenged, individual that I AM.
I have practiced automatic writing, almost religiously, since my art college days, as a way of processing emotions and my feelings about the world.
I am in possession of books and books worth of such adventures with words.
I even went to enormous lengths to transcribe years worth of physical pages, written before the birth of the internet, and collected them together in the form of an anonymous blog.
At times I feel almost ashamed that, in many ways, this is just as bad as the material accumulation I profess to be working against!
My degree show, (now 30 years ago! where does the Time go?) featured two characters,
The Catcher and Debris.
‘The Catcher’ was an almost rabid hunter and collector of memories.
His aim to become immortal through this collection. He was a dis-likable metaphor, who at that time I ridiculed, believing him to represent all that was wrong with present ‘civilization’. But I cannot help seeing myself in him now, with all this diligent filing and documentation of my life’s words.
Debris was altogether sadder.
A woman who sat at the edge of life’s sea and let the waves of flotsam and jetsam build up around her until she could no longer see the ocean.
I like to think I have avoided that way of being…but as the files grow and are never published, perfected and released into the wider world, I am not so sure!
The degree show was titled ‘Spook’.
In many ways Spook was the main character. Never seen, but always passing through.
‘Spook’ is the character that represents being IN THE NOW…the illusive momentary rush of just living.
I was going to try and write now….something new, that arose in this moment…but having been poked by that original work I think I will just share a link to it here….
The visual side of my, multi-disciplined, creative practice, sits, parked for now, goading me ever from the side-lines, while I catch up with this curious journey, feeling into the power of Word.
This parallel aspect continues to grow and develop though and is constantly fed and influenced by this journey.
Looking forward to returning to it after this deep dive.
Something about self-expression in image, music and dance (I seem to do a lot less of this last option with age though!), the theater of it, that captures better the essence of ‘life’s mystery’.
I find I feel less guilty of inflicting my thoughts on a matter on another….what is it they say?….the pen is mightier than the sword?
Well all I can say is this clay-more is often too heavy for me to lift!!
Hence my love of poetry when it comes to words…..takes more time to pack, but lighter and easier to carry.
Off now to walk the path from old world to new and see what emotions arise on that slippery cliff face!
(working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)
Japanese season called ‘Ritto’ / beginning of winter, 7th November – 21st November
Micro climate ‘camellias bloom’ 7th November – 11th November
Here the Japanese calendar and ours seem to really part company! Not expecting blooming camellias until next spring….
The writing course continues to occupy my creative mind….
Felt most when it is missing.
I fell through a hole in the net of human love and landed in a bigger Love.
There is no escaping it, although it is easy not to see when not wrapped in the arms and legs and skin and eyes of another.
Sometimes I play a game with the songs on the radio.
So many about ‘Love’.
I join in, sing along and lend them new intention…
Re-address them to all around me, to the world, to the trees, to the ground I walk on, to the sky….the words seem always to fit…(with a few, important, pronoun tweaks)….even the sadder , angrier ones…..and I wonder if it could really be that easy?
Instead of singing to ourselves, talking among ourselves, we can just sing and converse to and with the whole.
Loving the whole. ourselves as part of the whole.
(Phonetically this points to something else!)
Yes, even loving the hole.
The hole I dug to plant something new?
That hole I fell through that brought me back to earth?
The terrifying holes at the edge of the universe pulling and pushing us, those tiny black holes in each cell in creation?
The hole in my heart that makes me feel something is missing?
Loving the gap? Loving the void?
Wherever a vacuum is felt, fill it with Love.
Love connects all.
Love is power.
Love is everywhere and glues it all together.
This sun loves it’s solar system. This Light is Love.
The earth loves the sun. The moon loves the earth. The oceans love the earth and the moon. The sky loves the earth as the earth loves it’s sky.
All the elements exist in a dance of Love.
All that enjoy life upon the earth’s surface love the earth…except, apparently, humans who continue to attempt to defy gravity….
Is Love gravity?
There is a kind of gravity to Love.
I feel it and it always shows me the holes, the gaps that I can fill with it. I, naturally, rush in wherever I see it missing.
For I am also Love.
Although, sometimes, it feels like I am not enough….
My love is never rejected, it cannot be, but it is often consumed….and only ever by humans.
By those who think it is smaller than it really is….those who believe they exist outside this love…who live by wrong definition….those that seek more selfish, physical, reward….who deny its power and its gravity….themselves becoming ‘black holes’…their need for Love both denied and undeniable….insatiable even.
I rest in the knowing that Love is ever present.
This big Love is the present.
The present I am ever enabled to give,
that presents in all I behold.
BE IN LOVE.
Kat Robertson 10th November 2019
And then today I shared this description of a powerful encounter I had in this season. I did not know when I began it, but it grew to fulfill the next 3 prompts…..Fear, Reverence, and Shame….still reeling from the way the the words flowed….
Basking in the sunshine.
At the mouth of the town river.
A kind of illusion.
Standing on a rock in the water.
A single mute swan.
All else dropped away.
How was it that I had never really seen a swan before?
I had woven with Swan, danced with Swan, drawn Swan
Even called for Swan…
“Power to these wings so these words will fly, cutting like a white wing, through a humming sky….”
Standing on the riverbank I was awe struck.
Amazed that other dog walkers and passers-by did not also join me, to stop and gape at this creature, beyond our imagining, so complete, so perfect, so, unutterably, fine.
I moved closer. Gentle words passed over my lips. The frost crunched underfoot. I raised my camera, asking permission…the whole world around seemed to fade away.
Just me and Swan and Water and Sky and Light.
Each feather seemed to hold a spectrum of crystalline, blueish, beauty.
It moved with such precision and grace.
Sometimes its powerful, serpentine, neck would fold on itself and it would rest, nestled in its own perfection.
Thinking swan thoughts. Making no sound.
It saw me there.
I moved closer toward the bank, passed the undergrowth, and saw another path appear, right along the edge of the water…..
Then I felt it….Fear.
If I took that path I would become trapped.
The undergrowth above me, preventing escape.
The swan watched me intently.
Perhaps it also felt it….that wariness….what kind of human was I?
One that threw stones or bread?
Was it the swan’s fear I was feeling?
Or only my own?
It was a strong bird. A huge powerful bird. A muscular, mighty, feathered, wonder. A conqueror of kilometres.
A emperor among birds.
Dark tales of swan attacks crept into my psyche.
I whispered words of Peace and Love.
Viscerally awake now. Doubly alive.
So aware of its potential speed and power. The might of its huge wings. The sharpness of its vivid beak. I could almost hear a hiss….
I was alone here. Just me and the swan.
I was in no doubt that only my legs could save me, if it decided I had no place there…I would have to run….
The swan regarded me with its infinite, black, eyes, then turned away. Deciding I was no threat. Defending its chosen place in the sun.
I found myself wishing I had some bread, some crumbs, something, to give the swan.
But I had nothing, only these whispered words of Love and Awe.
I took a few more steps along the edge.
Some rubbish was caught in the grasses. I thought of picking it up. But did not. I had nowhere to put it.
This was a different angle….my camera focused on the swan.
But all was heightened now. My breath came faster.
“It is just a swan” I told myself….but somewhere deep inside I knew that this was so much more than ‘just a swan’.
This was inspiration.
This was the stuff of fairytales and myths.
Look at it. Really look at it.
The swan reared up and stretched its wings, arching its huge body in the light. It shook it head….I gasped in reverence.
“You are taller than me!” I whispered.
It posed for me, reflected in the water.
“Thank you swan” I said…..but for a second I saw a scorpion in its reflected image….sensed a double edged sword of light and truth….and felt the Fear again.
It curled up and stared at me through its feathers.
Then, with precise and graceful deliberation, it stepped off its rock and dipped into the water. Easy in this element.
So quick, the way it cut through the water. Perfectly designed.
It glided, soundlessly, toward me.
“I have no bread. I have nothing for you” I said, out loud this time…..I began to walk fast, determined not to run. I turned the camera off and put it in my pocket…pretended to turn my attention to other things around….”Its ok swan….I am leaving now”…..all the time aware of making distance between me and the swan behind me.
When I felt there was enough distance, I stopped and turned around.
The swan had returned to the rock.
Taking its place, once again, in the landscape.
Enjoying the sun, basking in its rays.
This human had not been worth it.
I felt ashamed.
Ashamed of my fear.
Ashamed of not having more than words to give.
Ashamed that I had not picked up the rubbish.
Ashamed that I felt I had never really seen Swan before….not quite like this….
But enriched by this encounter.
I had some great photos and something to write about, something real.
Something to do with Reverence, Fear and Shame.
A gift. A blessing. An eye-opener. A truth.
A brilliant reflection, in a, dirty, river of life.
An opportunity to glimpse the power that lies beneath….reflected in its surface.
How easily, how quickly, our arrogance and sense of security can be toppled by Nature.
How fast it can all change…
It probably meant me no harm.
Just as curious as I.
Although I doubt it felt the awe and reverence that rippled through my being, in our brief encounter.
I had felt, for a moment, the nightmares of the entire world at the very idea that one day, if so inclined, our earth could turn against us.
We would not stand a chance.
So I learned.
Always have something to give back.
Always pick up the rubbish where you see it lying.
Always have your eyes open to the sheer magnificence that is all around….
And always show reverence.
It will not save you, but it is deserved.
Kat Robertson 14th November 2019