The following may be more than a little ambiguous. It's also delaying me writing about a canine related photographic quest - a simply worded challenge that becomes much more than the challenge.
And then there's today's challenge. That became very much more than the challenge too. Today I was challenged to photograph a white horse. And as I stood at the top of a cliff I had a moment of total clarity. That's two moments in a week. Wow. Was it really only five days ago that I hunted for flamingos in central Sunderland?
The moment today received what to me is confirmation when I was beautifully sprayed with sea water coming over the top of the south pier of the River Tyne. It was a moment of pure bliss. There was so much of beauty today. To stand on that pier and look down on the power in the waves and see the uncontrollable. To look down on the waves and see the light from the sun illuminating each tiny piece of the crest of each wave and to receive the total blessing inherent in the wonder of nature. But when that water covered me it wasn't just great fun, which it was, but it was bliss. It was just a wave crashing against a wall. It was just water being forced upwards in the collision, with nowhere else it could go. Just a wave. But it was as if the whole of nature was almost baptising me in the confirmation of what I had realised with such clear, total conviction.
I hope that's not overstating the matter!
|Image found on lots of sites. Original source unknown.|
Here is the result of that moment of clarity today:
Clare has come to a decision. She has looked carefully into doing something and is now completely certain that it is not for her, at least not at this time and perhaps never.
She hopes that people understand and don't feel let down.
But if the question is "What brings Clare joy? then this thing wouldn't be the answer.
If the question is "What is the fire and creative passion that rises from Clare's heart and mind and spirit?" then this thing wouldn't be the answer
And if the question is "What is Clare skilled at?" then this thing wouldn't be the answer.
And if the question is "What is Clare passionate about?" then this thing wouldn't really be the answer. Yes, she cares about the issues related to this thing. But not all things which concern a person concern a person - as a wise friend of Clare pointed out to her.
And if the question is "What can Clare apply herself to without falling apart and without sacrificing the things she is good at and which bring her joy?" then this thing would not be the answer at all. Clare knows that this thing would harm her.
She wondered about doing it. Then decided she couldn't. Then wondered whether she possibly could. With a lot of work she possibly could, yes. But not without causing herself damage. And not without letting go of the things that are bringing her a life she is excited about.
It is time to say no to something that is still, on the face of it, a damn good idea.
And time to more fully embrace the things that ought to have been yeses many years ago if only Clare had possessed the wisdom and craziness and self-knowledge back then.
When Clare gave up on this idea the first time she did it with shame. With guilt. With a sense of personal failure. She cried many tears over it.
Now she is giving up the idea with a sense of freedom. A sense of truth. Of honesty. A sense of embracing her own nature.
Now she knows that giving up the idea is not giving up. Letting go is not letting down. Walking away is walking towards.
These last days have taught Clare a great deal. And today, standing at the top of a quarry cliff, the wind blowing through her, laughter filling every particle of her being, she knew. Certainty struck her. A thunderstruck realisation that of where she can learn to walk and learn to run and to learn to fly.
To walk on her own feet on the ground that spirit calls her to walk upon.
To run in her own strength, developing stamina and speed.
To fly in her own feathers.
So many times Clare has attempted to fly in feathers that were not her own. Through self rejection. Through embracing the ideas and desires of others. The things she thought she should think and be do.
But she fell. Every time. And her own feathers were never allowed to grow.
Now it is time for Clare to learn to walk and to run and to learn to fly.
Now is the time to lay down some possibilities, strengthen others, and embrace still more that lay dormant or rejected.
Clare doesn't quite know what this mean. She doesn't know where these ideas will lead. She has hope and she has excitement and she has a vast gulf of uncertainty for the future.
But tonight Clare knows at least two things with certainty.
She knows that there is something, a particular thing, is not for her no matter how good it is.
And she knows that definitively saying no to it will be a release and a happiness, rather than a shaming disappointment.
It took the wind, the cliffs, the over arching sky, and the whole of nature to cry out to her and scream "This is what you are."
It took a lot for Clare to listen and receive the song of the air.
But now she knows.
She knows. And she is glad.