Archive for the ‘grounded’ Category


July 15, 2007

We were in Arthur’s Pass for six days. It was so cold each night the pipes froze up. The air was still and crisp in the mornings and the frost took till lunchtime to melt each day. For two days the power was out as the old black bakelite mains switch in the house gave out after 40 years or so of loyal service. I really enjoyed there being no power. There’s a small enclosed fire (like a pot-bellied stove but rectanglar) which you can cook on, and use to heat water.

Taking care of all the jobs required just to stay warm and fed gave a certain rhythm to the day. Get up, light the fire, boil water, pour hot water on the frozen pipes under the house, cho wood, cook breakfast, boil more water for the dishes, stoke the fire, do the dishes, and so on. There was still plenty of time for walks and playing cards and board games, but the day was measured and paced by the basic routine of survival.

You can’t hurry this. Everything takes as long as it takes. You can’t make the fire start faster, or rush the water to boil. It forces you to slow down, to move methodically through the day, and to go to bed early, when the light fades and the candles sputter out. There’s a sense of the eternal here. I can imagine my grandchildren and great grandchildren coming to this bach. It’ll be just the same in another 40 years. Just like these mountains, quietly measuring the seasons, sitting together in the stillness of the sky.


Learning to land

November 26, 2006

flyingI was given this cartoon recently. I so often dream I can fly. I really want to be able to, it seems so ridiculous that I can’t. Like Peggy’s daughter I almost expect to just take off sometimes. Maybe it’s because I fly in planes at least every couple of weeks, it’s getting into my blood. Maybe it’s a metaphor for my stage of life, the way my career is really taking off and my work is so exciting and liberating.

Once I tried to fly too high too fast. The sun melted the wax holding the feathers on and I crashed to the ground. Hard. It really really hurt, and took me about two years to fully recover.

I’ve learned that Jungians think that we have a soul, which sits in between our spiritual self (which is our connection to the divine), and our instinctual self (which is our connection to the physical world). The soul is uniquely us, and has to walk the middle path between those two worlds, never getting too far from either. If we loose our connection to the spirit we have no life force, and we die. If we loose our connection to our bodies and the earthly world we float away (well, I have no idea what happens but that sounds about right).

During Meeting last week a six year old girl came and put this picture on my knee. The creatures are horses that can fly. The baby one can’t fly yet because its wings aren’t big enough. I love the lightness of their dragon fly wings along with the sturdy, muscular earthy sureness that horses invoke.

So I want to learn to land. To be firmly grounded in the world, present with things earthy, solid, and visceral. To be ‘in’ this body, this life, this land. Of course my motivation for wanting to do this so I can safely fly even higher, but hey, it’s a start.