Hi – just about made it for January. Wrote this on Saturday so it’s a few days out of date!! love and light Dearbhaile
First I want to thank all of you who asked me to keep blogging. I am so blessed to have such a circle around me and I am deeply grateful that throughout this challenging time, I’ve had your support and encouragement. The wheel is turning now. From the task of reflecting, now we turn towards the future, as the plans that emerge from the reviewing of the lessons of the past are becoming clearer. Everything is fresh, refreshed. That’s why spring cleaning feels so great this time of year. And checking out what’s happening in the garden!
Living in the Great Turning Times, there is something both comforting and restorative about embracing the turning of the year’s wheel and knowing that as we engage in the sacred practices that our grandparents and their grandparents and their grandparents found sustaining, we can find our way forward into a way of life that is more in tune with the calling that is always in our hearts. This way we find the treasures we know in our bones.
So this Samhain’s journey was everything that the descent to the Underworld promises to be. I have found succour in the story of Inanna. The PhD I was intending to do in San Francisco was on the power of the story of Inanna’s descent to the Underworld as a counselling tool, as a story that provides powerful psychic containment, a positive path through pain, grief, anger, despair. Through engaging in the process in a way this culture, this unhappy chapter in the human story, does not support or value, we find treasures beyond price, wisdom that this foolish world of ours needs.
It’s seven years since the community of Glastonbury put on my play “The Descent of Inanna”. What I realise now is that I couldn’t tell the story of her ascent properly then because I hadn’t walked the path back to the Overworld myself. She gathers the sacred Me as she goes back through the seven gates to the Overworld. She has lost her innocence; she has stepped into her power.
It’s not news that resting in the depth of my heart is the love I have for my son, both the man he is now and the baby I handed into the care of others believing that it was the best I could do for him. I wish I could have done it without breaking my heart in the process but that’s how it is. Counselling, the counselling that the 2005 Adoption Act provides to birth mothers, feels a bit like rearranging the furniture – it’s hard work and I’m not sure what difference it can make. But here I am, writing for the first time since I fell apart after my encounter with another birthmother. I am a lot better than I was at Solstice. I am on the return journey and with Imbolc, the whole flavour of the time changes.
What a relief it is, this shift from the reflective energy of Samhain to the excitement of this time of Brigid. It’s time to hunt out reeds and have a go at making a Bridget’s cross. They are easy to make in that it just involves holding two reeds in a cross and then folding a reed over one arm, turning the cross a quarter and doing the same thing again until you’ve folded three reeds in each direction so each arm is seven reeds thick. Any child can do it, I loved making them when I was little. Making one that looks good and keeps its shape as it’s drying is another kettle of fish – every year I do better but rubber bands were the best innovation yet (you’re meant to use a reed to tie them).
I have the house to myself these days. It’s not Oakfield. How crazy is it to be sitting in a home you own feeling homesick? I ache for the feel the land under my feet, the scent of squesh, the slanting of pale sunlight across the table in the afternoon, the glowering clouds, the singing wind and stinging rain. Ah it was hard to return, to leave something I love so deeply but find hard to put a name to. I was blessed to be there. Tonight sitting here with the lovely yang-yang scented candle burning in my “Maya” candlestick, with Django Reinhardt playing in the background, is also a blessing.
I’ve had a great day today. I watched one of my favourite films of all time this afternoon. I’ve seen “Galaxy Quest” so many times that I am now noticing all the little jokes in the background because I know the main ones so well! But that film IS my sense of humour. I just love the innocence of it and it is the most perfect, perfect send-up of Star Trek. I don’t know. Maybe you have to have spent years watching Star Trek with my brothers to enjoy it as much as I do! Having felt so bleak for so long, it is delightful to find that it’s not as difficult to “get happier” as I thought it was! It’s been the foggiest of times and that’s why I abandoned this blog. Last year I’d a focus – bardism. Now I’m not that sure I want to keep playing that game. I read the poetry of Mary Oliver and honestly I’d rather read good poetry than write bad. And there are such magical words out there.
The one thing I’ve got in the pipelines is “Soul Sharings”. I love the Radio 4 programme “With Great Pleasure” and what I want is for a circle to gather to share words that give us pleasure – that includes jokes, stories, poetry, song – but it is not performance, it is sharing in a circle the pleasure we find in the magic of words to make us laugh, cry, sigh, nod. I haven’t asked Transition Glastonbury yet but I’m hoping to offer it as a TG heart and soul group activity.
As a child I remember hiding from “the session” when everyone in the circle contributed something to the evening’s entertainment. Then my Mum taught me “You are old Father William/ the young man said” and that was my “piece” until I decided to do a bit out of “Winnie the Pooh”. Years later when I was in Galway and doing a residential course in biodynamic massage, I discovered that everyone still had their piece and we had wonderful evenings together laughing, singing, telling jokes, stories and reciting familiar poems. That’s what I have in mind and I really think it could be a lot of fun.
So I’m going to send this link to all the people I imagine might be interested. If you’d like to keep getting notifications of what I’m up to, let me know and I’ll sign you up. You can always check the website if you ever want to catch up to but I’ve to sign you up if you’d like to know I’ve posted a blog. I’ll keep blogging so long as you want me to and as I said to begin with, thank you for wanting to read the random thoughts of Dearbhaile Bradley.
It’s an exciting time Imbolc, first stirrings. I wrote a lot more about Bridget last Imbolc so if you want more, you can always read that. Enjoy the fresh breezes of spring and the shoots breaking through. Love and light to you all,