…asks the Tree of my human self as I walk round and round in circles on the forest floor.

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Mother Mary in the sky full of all kinds of weather, what a time.

I want eye contact, good humour, respect and trust, even in the absence of understanding, Willingness to move forward, together into the marvellous complex difficult unknown.

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Could we please stop pointing fingers at one another. Try – just try interaction across difference. Engagement, collaboration, respect. Cooperative action.

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I want good rich debate, full responsibility taken without projection of unresolved, unclaimed traumas and triggers.

I know we all have traumas and wounds. We also have work to do. So, claim the lessons and move forward. You really don’t need to spray your stuff all over everyone else. It’s yours. Use it like a battery.

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I want all night long, all week, all month – years!  with a bunch of serious hilarious artists in an intense huddle: here’s what needs attention, here’s how we will attend to it.

Egos parked quietly at the door.

I want belly laughs, by god, even and especially in these times. Painfully stupid jokes and deliciously subtle ones. Full respect for ridiculousness.

 

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I want more trees in the world.

Pick yourself up off the floor, sweetheart, and go figure out what success means to you now. Way you go now, that’s it.
The drama’s just a distraction you made up to keep you down there, so drop it.
Get up, and get going.

IMG_0004Something has happened; my starting point has shifted. No, it’s more than that – have shifted  – into someone I only partly recognize.

I think I like her. Not sure yet.

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Self-study Arts Based Research for my Masters since March 2019 took me back through 5 years of notes, journals, blogs, photos, paintings, drawings, poems, shows, courses, jobs, gigs… inspired me to write an allegorical story that features seven swans I met on the highway in February. I wrote a paper to support the story  and both are now being honed and polished by this new, still foreign me. I thought the honing would be simple – just polishing, enriching a little.

Ha. Enter the Me whose father has passed on, who returned from a first solo trip to Europe/UK in a decade.

Who IS this person?

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I do trust her. I trust Me and whatever is going on with this process, even though I feel more than a bit blind.

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My question was about transformation, transition, while examining all aspects of the idea, the principle of inclusivity.

It’s a good question. A related question occurred to me last fall as I read books in my cabin in the middle of a forest beside a big lake: why is this trouble with inclusivity so specific to humans?

Another related question emerged when I found myself in the midst of an ocean of tourists, trying to sort out who we are, together, now, as the world changes so dramatically all around us. Levels of inclusivity: I can get lost in the streets of Firenze, but unless I take a risk and connect meaningfully with someone who lives there I will not be invited to a family gathering, or learn what it feels like to be Italian, in Tuscany.

To be a tourist is to be excluded from what is actually happening around me, as I pass through a place. Money alone does not buy meaningful, healthy human connection.

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Then I applied inclusivity to the complex world of Family. As children, parts of us get excluded, while other parts are accepted as normal and appropriate to the Family ‘culture’.

I don’t think anyone escapes this kind of ‘pruning’ as a kid – it’s the nature (and perhaps purpose) of Family. But then what is revealed as the Family knot gets unraveled?

All those previously excluded bits come to the dinner table. A very interesting conversation ensues.

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Foundations of understanding crack when the tectonic plates beneath them shift, and so doubt and discomfort, a sense of deep powerlessness over the way things change; I wasn’t expecting to be be working this deeply now.

Of course also the corollary: I knew I’d be different when I started this.

Now I’m different.

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Pick yourself up, Sweetheart. Figure it out.

And go jump in the lake.

I went subterranean twelve weeks ago, maybe more.  Came up again two days ago, I think.  I know this because I found myself gardening yesterday.

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This was a tunnel of a place I’ve been in, a way into and through the deep, long list entitled Impossible-but-Necessary.  In twelve weeks strong and beautiful people died, shockingly, suddenly, and those of us who grieve them turned inward then slowly forward; old and treasured things were broken then transformed phoenix-like amid the mourning, the loss.  Boundaries were breached, injuries dealt and received, some old trusts betrayed and also new ones established without question.  Concerts were rehearsed and played; family homes sold and contents dispersed, others burned and the tenants embraced by this rich community. Long overdue letters were written and sent; 50-year careers ended; a 20-year-old vehicle sold for parts; the streets in the city opened and excavated in the great replacement of metal with plastic…

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As the boxes were packed and the old things released into landfill sites, recycling depots, re-store Judy Collins sang who knows where the time goes? to help the tears come.

As the goodbyes were said after the stories were told, as the weeping hugs were shared, Kodaly’s solo cello sonata raged and softened and spoke …

As the solos were played and the painting delivered; as the portfolio was presented and the university applications sent, Cohen sang ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering…

Through all the overnight insomnia on the studio couch Joni sang dream on, dream on...

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As we turned forward into spring, and green and growth, david sereda sings, you’re beautiful.  Be You.  Coco Love Alcorn sings We gather ’round when we can, and we let ourselves be true…  Tyler Wagler sings …out the doorway, ‘way we go.  Where you lead, I will follow … Kati Gleiser plays Rachmaninoff and then sings our beauty back to us.

As the pipes thawed, so did we.