July 26, 2008

There and back again

The last month or so has been filled with an intensity that demands recording. I’ve gone through a number of rapid-fire, almost metamorphic changes. At the first, I felt filled with fears and sadness: intent on what I was leaving, fearful of what I’ll fail to find. My journey seemed ill-conceived and filled with irony. My search is always for deep, unshakable connection, yet my deepest connection – the only truly unshakable connection I’ve ever felt - is to Max who, in order to find how and where I belong , I’m leaving behind. It made no sense and yet it seemed somehow related to this stage of my role as his mother: I am driven to forge these ancestral connections, not only for myself, but for him: to tie him to his ancestry in such a way that he never has to feel the uncertainty I’ve felt – or to question how, where and to whom he belongs.

Interestingly, I addressed my fears and sadness somewhat by speaking of them to some of my friends and family. With this journey, I have felt driven to be absolutely transparent about the stages I pass through and have felt adamantly that I don’t want to hide behind any sense of glib bravado. That bravado is (traditionally) what has kept others at a distance from me and has, in fact, even kept me at a distance from myself. So, if I want to be understood and accepted in my totality, then that’s what I have to show. The result has been an outpouring of tenderness, protectiveness, support, encouragement and appreciation that makes my heart glad. It's all gone a long way to alleviate my fear - certainly my fears regarding how others will relate to my journey. Which is not to say I am without fear - I'm actually terrified - mostly of myself and how I'll handle keeping myself from hiding away in my hotel room - but I'm simultaneously exhilarated: as always, what's out there to be discovered is so much more compelling than the fear.

And now the last week has been remarkable: Almost constantly I’ve spent time with family and friends – lunching, talking, shopping, watching movies. Everyone seems to want to touch base with me and I have felt the full support and love of this community of wonderful people – my tribe. There seems a genuine excitement expressed – on my behalf – about what I might find and what I might bring back with me. There’s a real sense of my going off to gather and return. Max and Ebbie have taken to calling my journey “there and back again” as in The Lord of the Rings.

I can’t help but compare this experience to past adventures and to remark on a stark difference. So often in the past, my friends seemed to feel that when I headed off on one of my searches for self, it was a rejection of them and what I was leaving behind. They seemed to expect that my search was bound to lead me further and further away. I recognised that their response was to some degree self-protective, but was never able to understand what prompted it: I always knew, though, that I played some big part in the misfiring of messages – that somehow I wasn’t expressing my intentions well enough – hiding behind the bravado, perhaps – so that the folks I left behind were never quite sure how I felt, why I was going, what I was looking for and how I felt about leaving them behind.

Part of the difference between those experiences and now must be the result of the clarity I feel about why I’m going and what I hope to find. As well, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that a large part of my current intention is to share this experience as viscerally, honestly and completely as I can – to say it all, to reveal as much as I know myself to anyone who cares to listen. It really is all and the best I have to give.The process already has brought some new, though long-awaited clarity – and my physical journey hasn’t even yet begun. It’s become clearer and clearer to me, too – that THIS is home. And I honour my beloved Australian tribe. My family: Magnificent Max, tender Ebbie, gentle Nathan; my soul sisters and brothers: visionary Chris, oracular Katie, honourable Emir, joyful Kate, inspired (and inspiring) Josie, deep and thoughtful Phil, fellow seeker Sharon. I love you all and I’ll be back soon with stories to tell.