When you feel a connection to the land, it permeates every part of you.
Imagine this metaphor, of threads, entertwined to form a cord laced with hints of gold, connecting us to life, in this sense, what nourishes us.
What if it has begun to sever and you are tethering by a thread?
Imagine… that the land calls to you… that the leaves whisper in the wind and the voices of the people echo the wisdom of the earth.
You sink into it. You let go of all the knives that have been embedded in your heart, clenched in perpetual tension. Everything dissolves… Everyones light is reverberating back to you, into you and through you. You are a light amidst all the other lights reveberating to the frequency you are tuning into.
You inhale and sink into your heart, you inhale and drop out of your mind, you inhale and you see the world from this place. Suddenly you notice it’s different. You’re seeing it differently. You inhale and you exhale and the land greets you, around every corner and in the eyes of people. You feel the land and you recognise this feeling of belonging for the first time.
It feels new and it feels like coming home.
Some time later it dawns on you, how soul replenishing that journey was, how the land reached right into you and threaded you home, how… a place is made by its people… and its people by their love for the land. Warmth buzzes in your heart and goosebumbs ripple across your skin. It is a truth that resonates from the core.
Here’s a quote from Arno Rafael Minkkiren, a photographer who wrote an essay called The Helsinki Bus Station Theory:
“… be the caretaker of your vision. Make it famous. And above all, remember, that art is risk made visible.”Arno Rafael Minkkiren
Not a single moment of the journeys we take will ever be wasted.
Some of what I’ve learned and un-learned along the way:
- Other people will always give you advice based on who they are, their life experiences and what worked for them.
- Research. No experience is off limits in the name of research.
- If you feel shit, after listening to someone give you advice, then you’re in even deeper shit if you internalise it.
- Take your own advice. It’s best… because you’re accountable for your own life and you’re the one steering the ship.
- When a truth is universal… it will resonate, regardless of what age and era we live in. Here’s a quote from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome in 161 AD,
“What humans experience is part of the human experience … Nothing that can happen is unusual or unnatural, and there’s no sense in complaining. Nature does not make us endure the unendurable.”Marcus Aurelius
- Because you’ve already endured it. You’re enduring it.
- Re-read Victor Frankyl’s auto-biography of Auschwitz and watch Frida Kahlo for inspiration on the human spirit’s capacity to endure.
To feel affection for people even when they make mistakes is uniquely human. You can do it, if you simply recognise: that they’re human too, that they act out of ignorance, against their will, and that you’ll both be dead before long. And, above all, that they haven’t really hurt you. They haven’t diminished your ability to choose. Marcus Aurelius
- There’s always another way to see things. Perspective, paradox and paradigms are some ways to approach thinking.
- Negative thoughts are the most unproductive thoughts to exist. Choose another thought.
- Emotional alchemy is the process of transmuting your shadowy feelings into inspiration, strength, power. The key is always acceptance and presence.
- Everything has a cycle, a rise and a fall.
Marcus Aurelius’ asceticism sometimes comes through too strong for me, then again, I am not a Stoic, but this is one of my favourite lines from Meditations,
That way you’ll see human life for what it is. Smoke. Nothing. Especially when you recall that once things alter they cease to exist through all the endless years to come. Marcus Aurelius
I love the poetic way those words are put together… and that it’s also a reminder of death and that death is not so taboo. Rome as he knows it, is gone… but his wisdom can be quite beautiful to read.
… Earth’s offspring back to Earth but all that’s born of Heaven, to heaven returns again. Marcus Aurelius
Fall in love with the process, with the art of work itself… because, it is that which makes life meaningful and substantial. That was not what I was told or expected to do. But I think there is more truth there… on the road to self-actualisation, happiness and joy, than conventional wisdom.