There can be a need to make meaning out of these strange times.
But in clutching for footholds, to normalise and tidy up the experience, we may ultimately distract ourselves from the discomfort, the messiness and the vacuum of unknowing. I find myself reaching for stimulation, escape, solace in others’ words, too often technology.
Beingness is parried about as a lifestyle choice; as a way of seeing, viewing and living. I wholeheartedly prescribe to it although I acknowledge it is not easy, even with a few tools and the fact Nature is at my back door.
I want to ‘do’ something with a space or unknown, subvert it quickly before I actually feel and submerge into it. And this is possibly what may happen before any lasting knowing or decisive change comes from this pandemic. As Toko-pa Turner writes:
Please, let us not turn this heartbreak into something useful just yet. If we do, we will be tempted to walk in old ways. We will rely on tired words. We will make memes of ourselves. Easy, digestible phrases that fill a short term longing for solutions.
The stark difference between weeding and allowing the humus to settle and decay into richness and the sprayed quick fix method.
Yesterday I had an almighty scare with my horse. During an eye check, he stepped backwards and his back locked up, as I squirted saline, he threw his head back and blacked out. 500kg of horse swaying suspended on the slope, then toppled over somersaulting sidewards down the incline. Luckily I was placed up hill, still holding his lead, it happened so fast. He couldn’t get up and fell back still dazed. When he did get up, he shook himself off with blood dripping from his bitten tongue. My body took over, shaking to release the trapped fear of the surprise event.
This is a horse with a trauma story from neglect until animal welfare intervened. He has scars (chronic back pain from overwork) and emotional trauma (he dissociates literally leaving his body).
Trauma can be a ghost we live with, precarious and silent, dormant until it is triggered. And this pandemic has all the conditions to be followed by a wave of PTSD, especially for our northern hemisphere cousins on the frontline. It is frightening thought.
Later I notice my heart and back, energy is moving up and down. An emotional hangover from seeing the reality of death sudden and alive in the fall, my body shakes in processing. I lay down quietly feeling the rivers and streams.
I realise that this is all I have to do in this action, achievement focused world.
Memories of beacons who’ve buoyed me along the way, how to tune into the body and its messages. I’m reminded of how far we travel across seas to avoid our own dark depths out of fears we may never resurface to only later embrace what we once vehemently rejected. I am grateful to them and loving towards myself, holding gently. Maybe this is the way out of our collective trauma, each of us slowing down to feel our dissatisfaction and lingering long enough to grieve our loss. Once the debris has decomposed, nutrients are revealed and a path cleared for us to travel.
If I can tune into my body and its messages, I will be guided to my own meaning making.