Heavy sadness holds me captive in its net; yet, through the woven gaps, I can see great beauty and flickers of enchanting happiness and humour. Lozenges of light, fired by a crystal in the Living Room, fall from adjoining walls, colourful descent that never actually lands. Last night, as a friend and I sat amidst the magical night lights of the garden, bats – two or three of them – flittered overhead, a lovely sight and a welcome.
Birds, absent for so long, begin to nestle in bushes, and a throng of thrumming bees buzz busily in my Japanese Anemone.
The sad emotions are essential, both chemically and cyclically – perhaps definitively so. I am in the process of weaning myself off Amitriptyline (an old-fashioned anti-depressant) and of opening the gates to floods kept at bay too long. I cannot be chirpy and cheery, supportive and elderly aunt-like forever.
No, reshape that thought: I can be all of those things, for they are part of my nature, but not exclusively or to order.
My silence – for I am a writer and speaking has always felt like a foreign language in many ways – has long been an Open Sesame to the ruthless, the thick-skinned, the vampiric. I have allowed this to happen. My sense of entitlement is almost non-existent and I have always been gulled and guilt-tripped by those possessed of a more robust one!
But things shift in the sands of my soul. Partly thanks to Shadow of the Tor, my ability to speak up, to disagree, to insist upon parity with passion, to assert my status as a creative and strong woman, is slowly flowing back into the arid basin, covering rocks and dried mud with life-giving water.
It has become abundantly clear to me that a non-reciprocal bond has the consistency of a dead twig: it snaps under the tiniest pressure. It has become clear to me which people in my life seek only, or predominantly, to suck what they can from my vitality.
But, by the same token, I am gifted with true friends, reciprocal vessels in the sea of relationship. These people see the light shining through the shattered glass. These people see me as equal and not vassal. My beloved Witches of Widdershins Hill have been an ongoing source of strength and comfort, as have B, D, J, S, J and K from the world below the hill! The true friends outside Avalon – and dear ones from Silent Eye – who saw me through last year’s horror with kindness and utter loyalty, remain deeply loved and appreciated.
But, as the Mists of Amitriptyline slowly clear, levering the tight lid off powerful emotions bottled for too long, I shall emerge, wraithlike initially, a writer-priestess in my own right, with increasing clarity and assertiveness. I do not doubt the warmth of my heart, but it needs to be tempered by a greater dash of steel in the forge of mind and soul.
Avalon allows people to do, and be, what they will. This is very much a double-edged sword. It means that true talent can be subsumed by mediocrity, and genuine spiritual journeys jostled by a full motorway of aggressive charlatans tail-gating their way to prosperity and recognition!
I think it would help everyone on this planet to remember that we are not here simply to showcase, and gain adulation for, our own gifts; but, like the spirit that informs Shadow of the Tor at its best, to open the space for, and encourage/nurture, the needs, talents and personalities of those around us. Reciprocal talent, freely given and generously acknowledged, is a fine thing indeed, and, however you define ‘talent’, a better way forward than the meanness, the hoarding, the selfish need to be top dog at all costs which so tarnishes our world, so fractures our egregore, at present.
I speak my mind. Increasingly. This long-hidden talent is coming back in ever-stronger waves. My ability to say, ‘No!’ returns, as does my infamous (in certain quarters) Bullshit Detector!
I like most people I meet, and have inherent prejudice for no one; but I reserve the right to distrust those who motivation seems suspect or whose ability to deal in a reciprocal manner with others is stunted.
Saying a relieved ‘Farewell!’ to Amitriptyline will open all the drawers in my soul – inevitably! – and garments for defence of the body and spirit will be put on alongside those made of a gentler and softer material!
So be it!