retreat to move forward

When Mary went into the Wild Unknown of death 13 weeks ago, I went into the Unknowing.

The Unknowing requires patience, a deep quiet internal listening and a weird kind of external antennae open to opportunity, serendipity and curious synchronicity.

I adore complex patterns of information and ideas – teasing out and knitting connections and disconnections.

I’m a heady/mind kind of gal.

The last 27 of my 57 years have been a work in progress as I found ways to connect my heart, mind, body and intuition/unconscious as they communicate in different ways.

It’s not just Mary’s death that left me feeling untethered, groundless and lost.

It’s been all the disconnections – leaving Ireland, it’s land, friends and my companion Coco dog and then feeling a lack of connection here in Oz.

The hours and weeks after Mary’s death were a flurry of planning, decisions, people, activity and a kind of numb startled loss.

It’s tempting to stay on that path.

My instinct when in pain is to be quiet and still for as long as it takes to feel better or find an answer of even allow myself to know bugger all.

That’s what I’ve been for the 3.5 months since Mary died.

I’ve had a housesit that’s lovely and quiet where I could literally stay in bed for weeks on end reading, writing, doing online work and getting out of bed every few days to get groceries and meet the Vespa crew and cycle Mae West the bike.

It’s been deeply painful and peaceful.

I’ve helped my mind calm down and resisted the urge to seek immediate solutions or make a decision because they always feel better than unknowing.

I’ve given my heart, body and intuition deep permission to come forth and asked my mind to relax, explore and not have to be responsible for any major decisions.

I designed this site with it’s first post 6 weeks before Mary died.

Creating the idea of LIPS and a year of creative foraging to rebuild my life literally saved me from a major depressive fall that could have led to deep despair and suicidal thoughts.

Allowing myself the time and space just to forage and not make major decisions about my life ignited my curiosity.

Mary loved how I played with words and said she was proud of the creative ways I was dealing with the feelings of being disconnected and untethered.

One of Mary’s many delightful abilities was in letting people know what she loved about them.

She was always curious and supportive and one of the last sentences she ever spoke to me was ‘ Tell me what you’re doing and how you’re going’ and we talked about LIPS living and I saw how tired she was and I held her hand in quiet love

Writing helps me muse, sift, explore and sort.

Reading inspires me and triggers ideas, connections and delights.

There’s a patience and kindness you need to give yourself when you’re caught in the unknown space

A retreat and stillness from action is needed when you’re in pain and/or rebuilding and recreating a life

I’m also hyper aware of other peoples concern for me.

I know that their concerns are as much a reflection of their own fears and expectations as they are of me.

I have to resist the urge to make things alright, to be a fixer and make people happy or make decisions so they’ll feel better.

I’ve given, and will continue to give, myself time to:

  • listen to myself
  • forage and explore ideas, opportunities and twitchings of new ways to live what I value
  • ask others for ideas and support  – and there’s a whole raft of writing I want to do about the way some friends have literally kept me alive
  • write, draw and get excited about creating a studio in my next 6 month housesit – it feels like a new vista opening that I can only peek at right now
  • serendipity wander on and offline and see what captures my attention
  • make explicit what’s important and what I want to learn
  • just do feck all – stay in bed, sleep and cry for the loss of my Mary

While being untethered and disconnected can feel lonely, scary and downright shitty, it can also provide real inspiration, creation and illumination.

Weirdly – dark places do shine some light – or as I’d often say

‘ I’m going to find the pony [or bloody herd of ponies] in this shit pile ‘

I feel like the last few months and into the next 6 will eventually lead to a deeper and different kind of life for me.

Thanks Lizzy for not rushing, pushing and filling every moment with activity.

Thank you for being patient even though you’re a creature of impulse and action.

Thank you for letting heart, body and intuition take the stage even though you’re a creature who adores thoughts, ideas, solutions and plans.

I feel the beginning of ideas and aspirations.

We’re moving towards Spring here in Freo and I feel glimmers of hope.

Teeny tiny steps forward

Small seeds being sown

The process of further foraging and exploration will also provide me with more connections to people I can work and play with.

I miss and mourn my Mary playmate.


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