On Release… a letter to you all.

You can listen me reading this letter here.

 

Dear reader,

I’m not sure about you but I’m losing track of days. My usual markers have either disappeared or shifted direction. It’s as if time itself has changed shape. What is a week now, or a month?  These days, minutes of genuine connection with a friend are amplified, made all the more precious in absence; pixelated and two-dimensional perhaps, but our touch is also in the timbre of our voices and the way sentience is carried across the space between us. The currency of what actually binds us can never be touched.

In truth my day to day here in West Cork is not so much different than how I have been living over the last few years. I still walk, swim, cook, read, write, and have come into a rhythm with my kind of ‘alone’. But I am also noticing that ‘aloneness’ has taken on an added texture too. Those daily encounters in the coffee shop, that hug with a neighbour in the aisles of the supermarket, the knowing that in a few days there will be a party or a picnic punctuated with real life, in- person conversation- things perhaps I have taken for granted-  these are now rendered as gold. Sometimes the real value is shown in absence as much as presence.

And isn’t it one of the gifts of this time- to pause, to take in our losses alongside our grief, all the while, quite literally, counting our blessings. 1 Beach. 2. Space. 3. Friendship. 4. Home. 5. Family.

My list lengthens as I notice each pebble on the shore, each note of bird song, each sprig of budding green, and the silence which is settling so crisply between it all. Things, perhaps, we have all taken for granted, only now we get to see their real, immeasurable worth: infinitely essential.

One of the pleasures of this pause for me had been taking out what I call my ‘proper’ camera; my DLSR and lenses. I’ve started a project which I am calling ‘2km radius’, documenting what I am noticing in my designated zone of being right now, and what that noticing arises in me. In my walks and with that lens, time also seems to be changing shape again, and my own sense of self dissolving. This is a ‘flow’ state: the camera, my body and the subject matter come into a dynamic relationship. The images appear, my body responds in dialogue with the light, and something of the ‘essence’ in front of me arises. The image I take is co-created as such, emergent from the moment of presence. If I try to think too hard about it, or strategise, I loose it. The photography is a ‘co-arising’, where between us something beyond each of us is born.

This week, I have been thinking much about the word ‘release’, and asking myself, what do I need to release in order for the next form to be born or co-arise through me. Nature stamps this in its own cycle, of course.The form of the seed is released to make room for the tree. The form of the drop is released to make way for the ocean. The form of the fruit is released to make way for the seed again. Every cycle is embedded into the next. This means that the seeds for the next cycle are already embedded into this one. In this pause, our task and chance now may be to really think about the form we are seeking to release, so as to allow the emergent form to come into being. Maybe these forms are still in the undercurrent of our individual or collective subconscious, maybe they are already sprouting, but we get to choose what we nurture, and here, in this interim phase, we also get to listen.

At a personal level, I’ve had to release certain pre-held expectations and forms of myself, about what I can achieve right now, plans and ideas I’ve been plotting, and how I can show up in my relationships. I am sure I am not alone in saying there have been bouts of tears, and moments when the uncertainly has an ominous edge. But I also know, through practice (thank you wisdom traditions), that unless I welcome these feelings to sit by my side and teach me, I won’t be able to release their form into their next evolution either. So, as uncertainty shows up, I sit for a while and I ask uncertainly to tell me the lessons I need to hear right now. I listen, and feel reassured that I too am subject to the universal human condition, and yes, I can feel infinitely grateful for what I have, and still feel wobbly. Once this is acknowledged, the uncertainty may be released.

Other times, it is the turn of sadness. Hello sadness, my old friend, you’ve come to talk to me again. And so, sadness and I have a chat for a while, and sadness tells me about all the things that are happening in the world that I can do nothing directly about: the people who are loosing loved ones; the overcrowded hospitals, refugee camps, prisons or places where the walls people are contained in are not safe. Sadness is bringing me to empathy here. I breathe. I allow their presence and thoughts to be by my side. I shed tears for them, and by entering into the sadness, I am brought onwards to compassion. I thank sadness for the gift of feeling, I release it, and I take up my pen and begin writing again. It’s what I have now – this blank page, this pen, and the tools of digital communication. The form of sadness is released, via compassion, to the form of solidarity.

Gratitude or compassion does not, of course, seek to deny nor veil the challenge we are all facing.That ripple of worry, of fear, it is real, and has its place. Those images from the hospitals, and the way the front-line staff are facing this; I think there is a timely invitation to let those images in, to move us; they make us feel our shared humanity, and our interconnection in ways we may not have felt so viscerally before. Our vulnerability is our common inheritance too. But, we can ask, what of this time is seeking to be released, and what is seeking expression and new life. The seeds of the new, after all, are already here and we get to choose what we seek to nurture and transform. 

With love,
Clare. x

 

 

A Care Package for Messy Times- Part Two, Releasing, is now available.

Find out more about the care packages, and download over here.

Includes:

Printable PDF with practices.
10 min video journalling prompt.
‘The Breath of Release’- a meditation
A recorded poetry salon with poems on the theme of letting go.
Nature connection practice.

 

 

Announcing….. Salons and Sanctuaries.

The online poetry salons are continuing. So far there have been participants from Ireland, UK, India, Australia, Holland, Greece, Portugal, and it has been amazing to have poetry, and the spirit in which it arrives, be a bridge and a bond between us all.

Fridays, 7-8pm GMT +1 (Irish Time)

 

 

 

 

 

From Sunday 5th April I’ll be hosting a weekly Sunday Sanctuary, in which I will share some journalling prompts and you will have time to write, reflect and gather yourself. There will be time for shared conversation and dialogue around the theme.

Sundays, 5-6pm GMT +1

 

If you’d like to  join either, please email me (clare@claremulvany.ie) and I will send you the zoom link.

 

 

What to stay on touch?

Sign up to my mailing list for more letters, creative resources, care packages and meditations.