Tag Archives: navel gazing

Honouring the numbers

Years are numbered in arbitrary human ways, and this is just one of the many points when people have deemed that a solar year has ended and a new one commenced. Still, I am a sucker for culture and traditions, so let’s sweep a bow to the rolling on of those meaningless numbers anyway!

2013 was in many ways better for me than the years before it. Highlights included getting off the narrowboat, and actual warm summer, the joys of Druid camp, starting Auroch Grove, and lots of hill walking. The new luxuries in my life- plentiful hot water, a toaster, reliable internet, have resulted in me being a lot more comfortable and feeling a lot better as a consequence. The sheer joy of a permanent bed has really enhanced my life.

On the downside there have been more political nightmares than I want to have to think about. Bedroom tax, climate change, fracking, the badger cull… so much that is hideous and wrong, that at times I have felt overwhelmed with despair at the state of the world.

I’ve learned a lot about politics in the last six months or so. I’ve read vast reams of political history and current thinking, trying to understand what’s happening and how best to make a positive difference. Alongside that, I’ve made a long study of prayer practice across religions, and started putting together what I know about dreaming. I had a novel come out (Intelligent Designing for Amateurs) and a Pagan Portal book (Spirituality without Structure) and the second volume of Hopeless Maine. There was travel – Doncaster and Scarborough were excellent experiences.

I have more sense of direction than I did this time last year. Back then it was still very much about survival and getting some control over my life. Now I’m thinking a lot more in terms of what I can do. What can I add? Where can I make a difference? Where am I needed? I have a lot of projects underway, and I know that next year is going to be both busy and interesting. I spend more time looking forward than I do looking back, and a lot of time getting on with whatever now has brought me. My days are full, busy and interesting, and I’m spoiled for choice in terms of opportunities to go out and have new and interesting experiences. Sometimes the downside of this is that I end up very tired, which can make me ill, but I’m learning when to stop and how to balance things.

The last year has forged some very strong relationships for me. I have a sense of being part of a community, and a network of people with whom I feel very much engaged, who inspire me, and with whom I am able to share all manner of things. People to walk with, to share music with, to contemplate with and who share creativity with me. There have been a few mistakes on that score too, and a few hard lessons but as I get more confident about who I am and what I want, it gets easier to see where I fit and where I should therefore invest my time and energy.

I’m anticipating that next year there will be Hopeless Maine part three, Professor Elemental the novel, and a book about prayer all in print. I will be at events in Frome and Bristol, and at Druid camp. I mean to try and do the epic Five Valleys Walk, and to sit out overnight on the hills. There will be more music, and more reconnecting with people I lost during the hermit phase. There will be adventures and I am going to attempt a few crazy things (more on that as I do it). I feel more positive about this calendar shift than I have about any other in a long time. I feel like I’m winning, and I think I know what I’m doing, where I’m going and how to achieve my many and curious goals.

Leaving the dark age

Hello world. For a month I hae been on forced retreat, my computer broken and the insurance I’d bought leading to one mess after another. I finally have a new machine, and am getting my stuff working again – a day’s work of reloading, reorganising.

This last month has made me very aware of how much I depend on the internet and my comp. I live on a narrowboat, much of my life is very low tech, hand made, leg powered. The internet allows me to feel a bit connected to modernity. It lso enables me to keep in touch with friends, and that’s been really hard, not least because even people close to me do not have all my contact details. It’s a long story, and not for today. I depend on facebook and email for setting up social stuff and just keping tabs on people. Without them, I was a bit lost.

I also came to realise how much I look at my own life for blog material – for here, for www.craftingcomics.com and www.loveyoudivine.com and not doing that on a daily basis was also strange. How much to I exist for myself purely through navel gazing? Not the world’s most comfortable question. I knew already that being able to work is not just financially important to me, but is also part of my sense of self. Not having that left me further adrift. Adventures in hat making just weren’t the same. I did also have a go at making puppets – a good learnig experience there and something I hope to continue with.

Feeling connected is so important to me. Being part of a wider community, open to other influences, listening, learning. I like the radio, but you can’t have a discussion with it.

I shall be diving back into life as was, and no doubt will find it has changed a bit. In the meantime, I wave to the wider world, and a bow to all of you. It is good to be part of something, to be sharing, interacting, to have the navel gazing be that bit less abstract and irrelevant. A little shared navel contemplation can mean something more than self obsession, I hope. Somewhere beyond the fluff is an essentialness, is the point at which we connected to our mothers, to the essence of life. There may be more to the navel gazing thought form than I had first appreciated!