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.


{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.

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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{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.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

{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