Bip

A special memory I would like to share with you…

He was truly delightful and made me giggle a lot, but mostly I was awestruck by his performance, watching from the wings. His old mate Rudolf was there too and I met him, but I did not understand the significance of that until this whole event was a distant memory.

I sometimes tell people I grew up on the stage, but they can’t picture what I mean until I share with them the odd memory such as this. It is possible to be both very open with people and deeply secretive. I am.

marcel-bipObviously he inspired my blog photo. More importantly this memory represents something about me that I have never let anyone mess with. It is elusive, it is not “on-call” nor greatly on display, but it points to my very essence, to what has proved consistent throughout the years. It lives at the wellspring of my joy.

As a small child, I discovered one of the best ways to guard something intangible is to never let it descend into the realm of language, whether it be spoken, written or thoughts/mental dialogue. I can mention this now because, like a tree that has already grown, I have already taken form.

Everything about me that deviates from this natural course is merely a performance in some way related to survival. Do not judge your inconsistencies. After a couple of years of investigating “the shadow” and allowing it to come into the light, as it were, I can honestly say that it was/is chock full of really good stuff. After the initial shock and displeasure, I find it is the place where so many wonderful, unique and heartfelt aspects of me are born, live and die, only to be reborn again.

If, even for one minute, you’ve ever thought you have spare parts to who you are, things that could be improved about your basic nature, I beg to differ. You only have things that could be discovered and embraced about your basic nature. Everything else is just a performance.

Obviously I am not composing a Dummies Guide to Being A Conformist in this life.

marcel-autograph

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Metaphorical Mountain Climbing

It was only when I finally accepted the reality of my situation within the dominant paradigm that things started to really shift and rearrange themselves in my internal landscape. It occurred once I gave voice to the understanding that I would never be fully acceptable regardless of whether I followed every rule laid out before me or I ignored them, whether I shut up or spoke up, whether I was naughty or nice, whether I loved or hated. Sure, the language and particular brand of oppression and punishment varied, but the established and reinforced image of “unacceptability of everything associated with Robyn because she must make amends for the terrible misfortune of not being born white” was overwhelmingly persistent.

This is not an idea I picked up via fanciful and naive notions combined with a misunderstanding about society, rather it’s a perspective that was deliberately drummed (or beaten) into me by various people and circumstances throughout my life, such as the White Australia policy intended. The actuality of my being in this society, in this time, in this body, with this mind and animated by this spirit is considered to be some kind of offense to creation, or likened as such, by many a supreme white god during a brief moment of you’ve-got-a-chip-on-your-shoulder righteous indignation and hold-the-liniment-while-I-deliver a tongue-lashing clarity. And I’m talking about the non-racist supreme white gods, don’t get them confused with those other types(!).

but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive
—Audrey Lorde, A litany for survival

I’m not going to gloss this…it hurt. To fully accept the level of oppression you have been living under when you are not literally running for your life every day, will likely plunge a person into some kind of temporary depression or anger, grief, whatever. It hurt like I didn’t think I would survive it, and to be honest I am not so sure I did. Eventually, it did stop hurting so acutely, as anyone who’s been through anything can tell you. Once the shock and devastation subsided, after the tears and rage exhausted themselves, beyond all that pain and self-pity and many miles past the “why can’t it be different?” phase – I began to understand simple things.

If everything I do is already tainted because it is done by me, it follows that I am free to be and do as I please. Let that taint be my insignia.

It surprises me that there is no more worrying about avoiding potential consequences and no more wasting my energy on frivolous attempts to be understood, welcomed or appreciated. There are no more external masters to please as they have already proven that they cannot be pleased by the likes of me. My days are no longer populated with “Yessirs” unless I totally accept that behaviour in the moment as my choice and my honour. More importantly, I am now in a position to set my own standards and to judge, to draw boundaries and define borders, to erase and replace them at will, but never to be judged. No, I absolutely do not confer upon my oppressors the right to judge me.

It is inevitable in a divide and conquer approach to discrimination, that I would have no peers, so who would be left to judge me in any meaningful way? Of course, I am not oblivious, all manner of people will have a crack at passing judgement on their fellow humans, but these judgements are well below the standard and level of humanity to which I aspire, thus rendering them entirely irrelevant within the context of my life. Similarly, my judgements are irrelevant to rural families, sporting heroes and every single one of the political candidates in the recent election, to point out a few. We are each operating in entirely different reality frameworks.

The mental image I hold for this set of experiences is akin to climbing a mountain through all kinds of weather, until the moment you break through the cloud barrier into pure sunlight and clear air. At this point, we become invisible to those who remain at the base of the mountain.

I posit that there is no greater gift for freedom than to be considered utterly inconsequential and therefore to be consistently overlooked.

I ask you in all sincerity, is there a greater advantage to the cause for freedom than spectacularly failing to inspire people to want to use me or enslave me to serve their own agendas?

My measures and markers for success are no longer dependent on the persistence of white supremacy as a social norm, and in this manner the race war within has ended and the human journey has begun.

*

Cue: the wind

The wild weather
And the wild woman
Have boarded the same train

I am spirit
I am here, deal with it
I’ve kept things gentle for too long now

Everything rests
Everything is supported
Everything continues, each to it’s own nature

The whispering sounds
The roar and rhythm
The drawing of breath, embodiment of truth

I know, it can be a bit too much
A bit too powerful
A bit too chunky, bless their hearts

The forgivers
The aligners
The deniers. Let them flounder.

The sun shines
Water is wet
I am here, be with it.

 

What’s with all the questions?

Answering questions is not my forte.

red question mark

The big red question button, similar in function to the all-purpose doomsday button

Question me and you will get a response that is almost never what is expected, particularly if you’re wanting me to ease your doubts.

I’ve observed and pondered this quirk in my behaviour for a long time now and these days I can’t quite recall whether I’ve always been this way or it just kind of crept up on me one day – while I was dreaming.

I love to learn – new things, old things, patterns and disruptions, flows and cycles. Life is so endlessly intriguing and engaging through my eyes that it seems impossible for me to imagine any other way of being. So I answer questions with an almost unconscious intent of setting up the conditions for a learning experience, preferably involving laughter, smiles or little nods of recognition that we humans are all, essentially, in the same boat.

It is my heartfelt wish, from the centre of all that I am, to share the joy of learning and living with you. I want us to take a step or two down the road together, however brief.

I want you to offer me some way to relate, to walk away with some idea of how your shoes feel and your most recent speculations on the imprecise nature of our current destination, whatever it is that you’ve got going on.

I want you to take your choice from the menu of delights, insights, delusions and intuitions that may come tumbling from my being in any one moment and use them. Use them to bring yourself home if you’ve lost your centre, use them to inspire you into your next learning or maybe add a little light to your next great or tiny goal.

I most assuredly see myself in the business of elevation and reciprocity.

Sooner or later it also seems to turn out that when you use what I have on offer to constrain or reduce the reality of me, invariably you will find that you’re presenting me with an even greater gift – the irrefutable proof that there are times when people have completely given up on themselves and others. The broken times, when someone has entered the world of self-justifying or self-gratifying illusions.

“Excuse me, I can’t be human right now, I’m right in the thick of my own self-destructive implosion mission. Check back with me later.”

“No worries. I’m glad I’m not you right now.”

We are not separate, I know your pretend vacuum-sealed self is imaginary and hurts you one thousand times more than it hurts me. This is not news. I know because I’ve spent lots of time trying it out. I most certainly cannot conscionably recommend hanging out on that particular limb for too long, it’s bloody exhausting [or bloody and exhausting, your pick].

You don’t have to like me to enjoy the journey. I don’t have to like you for us to exchange genuine service with each other. Vile, virtuous, vexatious or the epitome of verity – I regard your presence as my reward. So go ahead and present yourself as a poo-flavoured dog-biscuit and watch me laugh at all the time and energy that was just wasted.

Seriously, come, lay your doubts on me brothers and sisters, then strap yourselves in and grab hold of your socially-engineered default-configuration hats, I think we’re in for a one hell of a wild ride!

On love, part 2

ScrollEndless it seems
Laughing at the notion
Of an empty vessel
It’s never barren!

Spilling love left and right
I pause to discuss the
Silliest front-page article.
It’s no secret around here
That my agenda is to maximise
The ratio of smiles-per-minute
While the coffee gets poured.

Next stop, corner shop
and that rude new guy…
I wonder if I should just leave him
To his one-man resistance campaign?
But I am overflowing again.
The subtle double-tap of a sincere
“Thank you so much” and “Have a good day”
Brings the siege to an end while
The surprise brightens his eyes.

Some days I’m not even sure
My feet are making contact
With the concrete.
Aimlessly drifting within a stream
of sorts, I am aware of
No predestination yet
It goes where it will
Liquefying rock-hard hearts
and iron fists.

My fellow humans!
Show me where it ends
Show me the place
Where love cannot enter.

*

Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water.
Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better;
It has no equal.
Tao Te Ching. 78

On love, part 1

Original

I can’t tell you about my origins
Only that I was conceived
Not consciously of course
Far less unique than original

Forty-eight years ago today
For my next mother’s birthday
A smiling black doll with no demands
The most original gift in town

There was a point; still at the hospital
When I gave up on crying out
For a mother, for food, for comfort
Ever so quietly, I took up waiting

For the longest time I believed
That my time in space would come
That patience could guard and sanctify
The original state of my being

I have never understood why
My birth was such a catastrophe
Centred in the secret/hidden place where
Light lives; I feel like a miracle

Ideals lapsed, hard truth took flight
So that I may live this one life
Intent on her original purpose
Nature offers no apology

She offers a prayer instead
Before sin there was joy
Before devastation there was love
You are one of my originals. Be you.