This post is late, truthfully I started it yesterday and then scrapped it. The words seemed forced not hitting any deeper truths. I try to have my writing mean something, otherwise it is just a chore I set myself.
One of my favorite artists released a new album this year which I of course I had to immediately purchase. A good deal of my spiritual path has been scored by her work. For many years I only did readings, but coming into the pathways of manifestation and communion with nature spirits went hand in hand with her music. It is beautiful, poignant, and also more often than not quite sad. The road I've taken has not been an easy one, it has left me at times broken and close to life's edges. It has seen me lose the ones I love to death and more often betrayal. This album seems to call up the regret and grief in me. Yet now all of her music echoes with time and friends past. Nostalgia is not a simple emotion, it is like a forest in the mist, concealing as much as it reveals. August is one of the times where the summers of my past tend to haunt me a bit. I was often lonely growing up with long days of solitude. At the same time I dreaded summer's end because for several years I was terribly bullied at school.
The nights are lengthening noticeably once more. The light fades and the cold and dark seasons are waiting me with their difficulties, or in the words of House Stark, "Winter is coming." So the change in the light and the air brings up memories of all those former fading seasons. This has been stirred also by the sound of this album. For a while in the mid to late 90s Loreena McKennitt was releasing an album fairly regularly. Then her fiance passed away in 1998, it was almost 8 years before she released an album of new work. On this latest album there is a song called 100 wishes. As I listened to the lyrics it speaks of wishing to be in places with someone again.
It's funny the shapes that people carve out in your life and no matter how they exit those shapes are always there. Estrangement is a funny sort of loss, final yet not final. Having so many folks leave by that door often has me wondering what is wrong with me. My twenties was one long series of soulful hellos and fiery goodbyes. As I look back now I mourn for what had to be to bring me to who I am. Despite loss, despite pain, there could be no other way than the road I've walked. If it happened any other way I wouldn't know what I know, nor do what I do. Wishing it had been otherwise would be a waste of time and emotional energy. Not that I don't occasionally play the what if game because like everyone I do. I wouldn't want to be back there again, even knowing what I know now. How could I ever let myself be vulnerable if I saw where things would go? The loss and pain shaped me as surely as a lightning strike shapes a tree, and those contorted limbs and gnarled roots are what makes it unique.
So why am I telling you this? Well many of us waste our lives looking backwards, with the words, "If only I had done differently everything would be better." The truth is we don't know, and if we did we wouldn't be who we are. Like so many, we run from who we are, believing that we aren't enough in this moment. The idea that we'd love ourselves more if only we'd done better. Realizing this is hard because it takes away a distraction from the raw places that need attention in our lives currently. The work of accepting who we are and where we are is waiting for us.
How about you? Are you losing yourself in the ocean of past never had beens? Do your regrets rule your view of your life? Do you honor the gifts and experiences your road has brought to you? Does the pain of the past bring you sadness or wisdom? It can be both, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Peace and Blessings,