All about Becky …

{9 October 2009}   I’m back!

Okay so it’s been a bit too long, but here I am again, fingers poised, variously inspired and ready to blog again!
So, last night they bombed the moon- this has left me feeling shocked, outraged and frankly ashamed to be human.  How dare they, whoever they are?  Where is the respect.? Our beautiful grandmother moon, governing our tides and all reproductive cycles on earth.  As if it isn’t bad enough that we are destroying our own planet, can we not even leave other planets in piece?  What is going on with the world?

I just watched 3 miles north of molkom (sweet film about a Swedish hippy festival- lots of processing!) followed by Julie and Julia (or Julia and Julie).  The latter film partly centres around a girl writing a blog, which becomes quite big, leads to a book, blah di blah.  Not in my wildest dreams do I expect this blog to lead to a book, but it just reminded me that blogging is a way to write, regularly, without worrying about when or if anyone’s ever going to read it.  Just a way to get the stuff in my head out, and express myself (words being my medium of choice, in general).

Perhaps over the next few weeks I can even bring a bit of focus to my writing, or try out some topics or themes.

I expect babies will feature, along with pregnancy and birth, with my doula training just having begun.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some discussion around sexuality and relationships, friendships, children and gardening.  As for anything else, we shall just have to wait and see.  Now I shall go to bed and take advantage of an uninterrupted night’s sleep, perhaps beaming out some love and healing towards the poor invaded moon, still hanging so beautifully in the night sky.

{17 April 2008}   Cycles and seasons….

Sometimes the highs and lows in life feel like a roller-coaster and can be exhausting…right now things are looking good, and if I stay with the roller-coaster analogy a moment longer, I’m definitely on the up bit, which is always nice. Knowing as I do by now that life can never be an endless up, I’m trying to make the most of this phase while it lasts, to remember that there will be ‘downs’ again, and to try and think of it more as cycles and circles, ebbs and flows than ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ which can be such loaded and unappealing terms.

In fact, all of life is so valuable, and the down times invariably bring their teachings and lessons, without which we would not grow or change. It’s tempting to long for a reality where things are always peachy, but it’s unrealistic and naive to think like that too much…

So what I’m trying to do is to make the most of the wonderful things that are happening in my life at the moment (beautiful, tender, loving, exciting things…sigh) and to try and stay present in each moment, as each moment of ‘now-ness’ is in fact all we ever have, isn’t it? (Eckhart Tolle has written at least two books about this point, so it must be true…)

So trying not to use analyses and judgements of my situation that are based on other people’s opinions, notions of time, expectation or fear I am jumping into these ‘now’ moments enthusiastically, trusting and believing that for once my intuition has got it right, that I can trust my own feelings and follow my heart, and that doing what feels right for me has got to be the best (and only) thing to do…

Open heart, open mind, innocence, trust and faith…I’m glad these things come naturally to me. I don’t ever want to be cynical, bitter, suspicious or too emotionally cautious. Life is for living, not observing, and I’d rather risk getting my fingers burnt and encountering more pain than sit on the sidelines, never deeply involving myself in things and letting life pass me by.

I came across a wishing well today, and didn’t have to think twice about my wish. It was a wonderful moment, throwing a coin in and sending out my heartfelt request to the (ultimately benevolent, I believe) universe.

{26 March 2008}   Singing for our lives…

I’ve just been to choir again, it’s what I do on Wednesday evenings. It’s the one thing in the week that’s just for me, and just for fun. I also think of it as my community of a hundred aunties (well, more like 40 or so) as I’m often the only person there under 40, and I love being amongst the lovely, slightly older folk. We’re not a highly polished, professional choir, but we sound great, I think, and we all share a love of singing just for its own sake.

It never fails to amaze and inspire me how learning some simple songs and harmonies with a bunch of people can be so uplifting, moving and beautiful. I love watching these people, most of whom I hardly know but who have come to feel like yet another precious extended family, opening their mouths and their hearts so enthusiastically to sing these songs together in this weekly ritual we share.

I’ve noticed over the months that whatever state I’m in when I arrive, the singing and the sense of community invariably cheer me up. It’s amazing how the simple pleasure of sharing music with other people who love to sing can knock me out of my self-indulgent angst or preoccupations, and reconnect me with something timeless and essentially healing.

I’ve been singing in groups like this for so many years now and it’s such a precious part of my life. The concerts are fun and I’m happy if my friends or family come to them, but it’s the weekly sessions with just the choir and Roz our wonderful leader that are really what it’s all about for me.

With music in our lives and hearts and our voices raised together in song it’s impossible not to remember and celebrate the wonder of being alive.

“We are the young and old together…the gay and straight together…a gentle angry people…an anti-nuclear people…and we are singing, singing for our lives” (Holly Near)

But you know what, it’s not just a shop. It’s a place where people come and share stuff, share their stories, ask for help, form relationships and hopefully nearly always walk out feeling better than when they came in. It’s a shop that’s known for its warm, friendly atmosphere and that has a reputation for staff members having time for customers. I am humbled on a daily basis by people who tell me about their health problems and those of their loved ones…who are hoping to find something natural that might help them rather than the medicines offered to them by their doctor. (Sometimes, this being Totnes, they have even been sent to our shop by their doctor, for a more absorbable form of iron than they can prescribe, or for glucosamine for joints rather than yet another NSAID). Sometimes I get the feeling that the little interaction I have with an old lady at the till is the closest thing she’s going to get to a bit of company or social contact all day, and I can feel her gratitude that I’ve taken the time to discuss the weather/biscuits/shampoo/whatever with her, even if there is a queue behind.

I’ve learnt more than ever before in my life, in this job, the value of those relationships that fall into the category of “acquaintance”…these are people who may not ever become friends and who I probably will rarely if ever see in any other context than in the shop.   Some of these are my colleagues, and others are customers, and they are people with whom I often have an engaging, pleasant exchange and who I am always happy to see, despite the knowledge that I will probably never know them really well.  As someone who has always really valued more intense, deeper connections with people, I have been surprised to discover how satisfying and fulfilling some of these “acquaintance” relationships can be, despite their relatively superficial nature.   Customers who make the effort to learn my name, or who are so grateful for a little bit of help or advice in the shop, colleagues who I never see outside of work but who I’m genuinely happy to see when we overlap in the shop, these people have become very special to me….

Such a range of rich and worthwhile exchanges…more than I would have thought possible in the role of mere shop assistant.

Life is amazing, I think, and the riches are always there if we keep our eyes open, even though they may not always be glamorous, exciting or dramatic. A hundred or more small, sincere, heartfelt exchanges with the people I meet in an average day feels like a day well lived, to me.

{14 March 2008}   Hidden spring

The world is grey today

and wet

but beneath the damp earth

and inside the tiny buds

new life waits, poised

We complain about the rain, the cold, the wind

but who are we to argue with the elements

and the timeless cycle of the seasons

This water is the water of life

The flowers are showing their colourful faces already

splashes of colour against the sodden verges and hedgerows

Soon the sun will come back

equinox time is near, the growing light

returns to bathe and warm us

after the winter’s inward time

So blessed are we to live in this green and precious land

The earth beneath my feet is strong and solid

and my heart can feel the spring

as yet unsprung

{14 March 2008}   Spring is in the air

Having been very good and given up the active pursuit of romance for nearly a whole month, the universe seems to have rewarded me by throwing a few new and very interesting possibilities my way….not gonna give anything away just yet but suffice it to say that I have remembered and once again truly believe that there are plenty more fish in the sea.

Hooray for spring being round the corner and for new fun and friendships being on the horizon too 🙂

All is well in Beckyland.

In the words of ‘big black gay cop’ Keith: “If you find someone who sees you as you really are and wants to be with you, that’s powerful.”
Yeah, sounds good, and I guess it will be worth waiting for….we shouldn’t have to edit ourselves to please other people, should we?  We should be able to love other people for who they are, and to be loved as we are in return.
Not that we shouldn’t strive to improve ourselves, work on our weak points, learn from our mistakes and try to become more loving, kind and whole people….but we should be doing those things in ways that feel right for us, and not be dancing to someone else’s tune.  That’s what I think, anyway.

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{9 March 2008}   Forever single?

So, here I am again listening to Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs, alone. Wondering if it is my destiny to become a spinster and if I should perhaps accept this fate gracefully, start acquiring cats and tea cosies and get busy with embroidery and marmalade making instead of continuing on the quest for romance and true love.

I can’t even blame my upbringing for my spectacular lack of luck in the love life department, after all my sister had the same one as me and she’s been happily married for years. Am I just a square peg trying to fit into a round hole, I wonder? Am I as commitment phobic as the next (single) person? Am I just asking too much expecting (or hoping for) someone to take me on when I’ve got two very young children? I don’t know. It’s true that I love my freedom and the idea of all doors and possibilities being open to me…that I have a deep ambivalence towards marriage, wedding rings and the thought of promising that I’ll love someone forever. In the words of Holly Near, “how can anyone know if love is forever or only for a moment?”

It’s also possible that it might seem easy to make a commitment like that to someone with whom I shared a deep and enduring love, and that if I was in a relationship like that it would be the obvious choice. I read about couples, and observe in my life some of the couples I know and see that they have something very special. I’m realising now that I’ve never really known a love like that and I do yearn for it. To find someone who loves and wants to be with me as much as I love and want to be with them. Someone with whom the depth of feeling and level of attraction is mutual rather than one sided for a change.
I’ve been on both sides of an unequal attachment during the last year and both ways round are painful and difficult. The lesson I am carrying from these recent experiences is that I must be more cautious in future….get to know a potential lover first…not dive in straight away with someone I hardly know, exciting and tempting though it may be.

A year of more thoughtfulness, more integrity and honesty and more consideration of the possible consequences of the decisions I make. And hopefully not spinsterhood ahead, maybe just a quiet time for Becky in 2008.

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{7 March 2008}   The first post

So here I sit with my lovely friend Samaria, wondering if we can set her up a blog page all on our own, or if we would need to enlist the (almost infinite) skills and knowledge of the venerable Mr Redfern…the world of flock, flickr, twitter (and no doubt twoddle) awaits…how exciting…and who cares??? very possibly no one at all….never mind eh.

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{7 March 2008}   Story time

Once upon a time there was a young lady, living in Devon (which she rather smugly thought was probably the most beautiful part of the world in which to live), trying to create a wonderful life for herself and her two small sons.  She felt happier and more settled than she had for years and had made some fantastic friends. All was well….

But in her dreams things were even better….she lived much closer to the land, maybe in some sort of community, everyone with their own space but with shared communal facilities (gardens, workshops, studios, meditation, yoga and dance spaces).  There were lots of other families and always other kids for her boys to play with.  The parents helped each other out with things.  People grew food together, shared visions, stories, transport, resources…

Becky and her tribe were creating the reality they’d always dreamed of.  There were frequent trips to the river, sea and moor and everyone was close to and aware of the elements and the cylcle of the sun, moon and seasons.  Sometimes it didn’t feel like they were living in the 21st century as they had found something primal, timeless and profoundly beautiful.

et cetera