How can that which was born with us, which lives with and inside us, our 24/7 companion can be so elusive in revealing itself?Read More
"Hope and Memory have one daughter and her name is Art, and she has built her dwelling far from the desperate field where men hang out their garments upon forked boughs to be banners of battle. O beloved daughter of Hope and Memory, be with me for a little." ~ WB Yeats
When I recently came across this statement by WB Yeats, I immediately understood what he meant. I was blown away. I can't even tell you what it affirmed in me. Only a poet could nail it.
Ever since I can remember, I have sought refuge from the world. When I was very young, I remember imagining a secret underground space in our garden. In this space, me and my friends could gather and we would have a world, all to ourselves, in which we could play. My coveted world was a safe space, a fun place, a thing of wonder.
As I got a little older, I got my wish.
I grew up in the countryside. We spent long days building camps, forts and bases. This was our turf. We would gather, sit on blocks, arranged in a circle, they were like altars. We would tell stories, jokes and tales, tease each other and play.
Hay barns, fields, farms and forestry were the canvas on which to express ourselves and that, we did. We created a world of our own, we tended to it. We belonged. It was our place of retreat, the fortress of our becoming.
Those were the best days. I feel blessed to have known them.
I think I have always yearned for that again. A world in which I could devote myself, to be free again, to be me again. Because we should never stop becoming, should we?
We think 'adulthood' is the destination.. once we grow up, there's no more becoming, there's no one else I could be. This is it. This is me. We settle.
I was just thinking about it today, it's not about growing up.. it's about growing out. Pushing out our edges. Embodying as much of ourselves as we can.
I think this has defined my journey all along. I now know, this is what my recurring dream, the one in which I discover secret rooms in endless houses, is about. I believe I have been all my adult years trying to find my way back to a time in my life I cherished. It was sacred. I believe it's what has brought out my creativity and why creative practice has become so important to me. It is my way in to the practice of devotion.
12 Years ago, I began envisioning an idea of a gathering place, somewhere that would act as a touchstone, somewhere I could gather with the likeminded and delve in again to 'becoming ourselves'. It's a world I have been itching to create.
But first, I had a lot of learning to do, a lot of mistakes to make, a dose of what it costs the soul to settle. I had to get really fired up. Now It's clear. I've identified the way in, the way back to devotion is to exercise our creative powers. The powers through which we can express and shape ourselves.
To me, this means to engage in activities and with people that help you reconnect with your true self, your essence. To keep alive in you, your hope, your joy, your spirit. To animate in you, the person you already know you are, want to be or are becoming.
I want to build a camp for that.
Somewhere to retreat from 'the desperate field of battle'. To connect you (and me) with others who will get it and want the same thing. To find a tribe, a community, a sense of belonging. Think of it as a charging station.
I've been readying myself for years. It's time.
I'm in the early stages of building my dwelling, far from the maddening crowd; in honour of hope and the nurturing of memories of who we are, though creative self and soul nourishing activities.
I have found a space, in which I will host gatherings. It's in the vibrant and inspiring Craft Village in Rathcormack, Co Sligo. Right in the shadow of the majestic Ben Bulben, less than a mile from the resting place of WB Yeats and right on the Wild Atlantic Way. In this space, there are ancient faery forts, nature trails and authentic round wicker huts. There is a creative community and a weekly market. It's welcoming, it's recharging, it's enchanting.
There is such beauty and inspiration in this place. It feels so right (and a little bit wobbly). I know I have found a place to call home and to continue the work of becoming. And I want you to accompany me.
We are all artists. We just need a space to find ourselves again <3
My new creative space, Pilgrim Soul has been born. I'll post more updates as they happen.
I'm so excited (and nervous) but mostly excited.
I'll be creating a mailing list soon (ahem, the perpetual long finger) so you can sign up & stay in touch!
Always, Amanda xoxo
This is great. I'm Writing away, regardless of (as we say on FaceBook) 'likes', just doing and seeking my thing, writing from the heart, the soul and sometimes, the head.
Approaching September, (The other new year) I wrote this post about connection, courage, hope and how everything leaves a mark. I was reflecting on an encounter I had through my counselling work and how such encounters reinforce for me, the majesty of a loving heart.
Then this guy arrives into my comments and as if to further reinforce, leaves his mark. A few exchanges later, he's sharing the story behind a tattoo, his self determined mark. He is Paul Kevin Taylor and has decided, to my delight, to gravitar-ize himself and join us here in the land of blog. That is a good thing.
I don't know Paul, except for our exchange on that post, we've never met before. We have a mutual friend in my cousin, who is the bomb, (naturally, she's a Farrell) so he can only be good people! But I think we're made up of the same stuff me and Paul...
we're love mongers, hope warriors, truth seekers and we insist on seeing beauty, regardless of how much ugly threatens to obscure it... always a good day when someone like that walks into your life.
I'm a 'real' clicker... I like real. I'm not one to go around with hidden agendas, pretending to like something I honestly don't, just so I can get rewarded in some way. This is not always something I take delight in, believe me, I could do with a dose of pretense at times. But I appreciate it in others too, these are the kind of people I'm happy when connecting with.
There's a couple of lovely ladies so far with whom I feel there has been genuine connection / contact. Currently I can claim Abbie, Joel and Eileen and of course most recently, Paul. It's less than a handful, but it's a good start and I'm here for the long haul. It's gonna take me a little longer to get out and about here in cyber world and find my kinda people, but I know them when I see them. Did I mention it's all very time consuming? I have artistic aspirations too.. I'm finding it hard to tend to them all and to stay present in real life.
[Reminder to self: balance. **something inside sniggers**]
We're each complete strangers, but we seem to share some sense of purpose and expressing ourselves is part of that process. Well, I can only speak for myself, but I'm gonna be bold enough to hope my sense of that isn't too far off the ball.
I'm discovering blogs (and the writers of them) now that resonate with me. I'm finding the writings I want to read... but it takes ages! I'm a little awkward and hesitant about hopping in off the bat and saying 'hello...love what you've got going on over here', because I think a lot of people do that and don't mean it, it's more about fishing for follows. I take my time to read and comment if I have something genuine and more than a general statement to contribute. I know by doing that, I'm doing what I do with everything, giving myself extra work...hey, that's what I do! (Lemme just overuse the verb 'to do') But I'd rather have 5 genuine followers...'Follower', sounds so obnoxious...how about readers... and a sense of connection than 100 'followers' who never actually read a word or check in to add dialogue.
I'm really waffling now, so I'll finish up and get back to my day, but what's just come to mind is Olive Hoover, the young girl from Little Miss Sunshine. I want that kind of community, mine is not a perfect pageant... I don't do perfect, there's nothing more dysfunctional than the ideas of perfection. I want connections with balls. People who show up as they really are and who say 'fuck you popularity contest...here's my thing'.
I wanna do what Oliva & Paul did ~ Make an entrance
Always, Amanda xx