Tag Archives: tides

Not always with the flow

Sometimes everything is easy and falls neatly into place. When that happens, it can be tempting to see it as proof that we are blessed, and moving in the direction some higher, hopefully benevolent force approves of. Perhaps we feel in tune with the universe, or that reality is bending over backwards to accommodate us. Either way, it can be intoxicating.

Nature is populated by things that create tides, and things that go along with them. The moon makes the sea tides, opening up coastal feeding opportunities, and then the predators come to feed on that which feeds and they are all part of the same tide. It makes good sense to use something heading your way, to go with a flow that suits your purpose.

Swans migrating thousands of miles ride the winds to ease and speed the journey. They could ride any wind, letting the air currents take them anywhere. To do so, would be to get lost, and probably to starve and die. Instead, they wait for the right winds, for the easterlies that will take them to winter feeding sites and safe havens. They are selective about the tide that will bear them.

The very ease of going with the flow can distract us from asking where the flow is going. We can be swept along, noting how easy it is to go this way, how comfortable and how much it is reinforced by all that is around us. We do not ask whose flow it is, whose intention pulls the tide and where it will eventually come to. It is by persuading people to take the easy way and go with the flow that mad tyrants build their tsunamis of war and cruelty. Everyone becomes so caught up in the tide that all else is swamped.

We need to be like swans, choosing the winds that will best carry us to the places we want to go. There are always many tides and currents, many opportunities to soar on thermals or glide downstream, but we have to pick the ones going the way we intended to go, or we are simply lost in the flow of some other intention, and this is not always the best idea. Not all roads lead downhill. Not all seas are smooth, and the small wave that seemed to be moving you on nicely can, on reaching land, become a vast and destructive wall. It helps to think about where our wave is going, and whether we will still be proud to ride it when it manifests its latent potential.

There is no go with the flow option that leads to the top of the mountain. There are some necessary and powerful choices that can never lead to an easy paddle in a friendly stream. It depends on where you want to go, because streams are only ever heading towards large bodies of water, and mountains are only ever up (unless you want underwater mountains, but that’s another landscape of fish). If you want to conquer mountains, there’s little point looking for streams of water to ride in.

The tides of history

Back when I was working on Druidry and the Ancestors, I kept running into a sense of history as something with tides and currents. Some of the books I read suggested that event had a momentum, and that people at the forefront were just riding the tide. There can be a tendency in history writing to ascribe what happens to the influence of a few movers and shakers. However, that sense of current and momentum distributes the ownership a bit. Great (and lousy) leaders do not exist in a vacuum. Ideas of the day, popular opinion, arts, sciences, religion and so forth all shape the mood of the moment, all help to create the current. It may be that we just avoided world war 3, not because leaders around the world did anything spectacular, but because it was so clear that people were not going to support it.

Every moment of history is made out of more actions, ideas, influences and efforts than we can hope to see. The tide of history isn’t a simple current, either. There are whirlpools, eddies and undertows. There are the lingering influences of things we nearly did, just escaped and wish had happened. It is a complex mix, and out this mess we create the future, one thought, one word at a time.

One of the things that generally underpins any status quo (with the possible exception of the band) is that the status quo is normal, natural and inevitable. That makes it hard to imagine any real change, despite the fact that we live with almost constant change, often beyond our control. We also tend to believe that the status quo (still not the band) is so big that we, as individuals, cannot make much impact on it. So what if I cut my carbon footprint? Unless world leaders step up, we’re all doomed anyway…

Except that we are the status quo (ok, I give up…. Rocking all over the world…). If we change, everything changes. If each of us, as an individual, decided to go vegetarian tomorrow, the impact would be massive. We can have other debates about whether that would be a good idea. If we all chose to use fewer animal products, drive a bit less, reuse a bit more – the consequences would be vast. Small changes made by lots of people are tantamount to a revolution. We make the tide, we are the current, and all the politicians can do is try to ride it while telling us they are in charge. Control is an illusion, and it does not hurt the politicians and corporations to remind them of that, once in a while. It only works while we all choose to co-operate. So, what’s the plan for tomorrow?

Managing the energy

It’s all gone mad. My whole life. Not in a bad way, I hasten to add, but this is the kind of crazy rush that ought, in theory to happen at midsummer, and didn’t. This is not normally a ‘rush’ time of year for me. Some years when I’ve been pickling and preserving, it’s been busy, but not like this. Part of it is a direct consequence of my shout out earlier in the week. The response has been amazing – as a consequence I’m writing two or three articles a day plus this blog, trying to meet demand. It’s stunning, humbling, inspiring to find so many people are willing to put something of mine into the world. (And, do keep them coming, I’m holding pace, I will get articles to everyone who asks, and each article will be unique).

I’ve just been asked if I’ll read a book with a view to putting an endorsement on it. This is a first. A gobsmacking, overjoying first. There is no greater validation as a writer, than some other writer liking you and your stuff so much that they want an endorsement. Sales are lovely, fans are lovely, and startling, but this is a whole other level and my head is reeling.

I’m talking to a review site, that I want to work for and that may be interested in me. Things are moving for Tom as well, with all kinds of glorious chaos potential there too.

This morning I wrote a gothic short story, destined for an audio project with some great people. I have a series to write, and the creativity is flowing.

At the moment it feels like hurtling down a slope on a tin tray. It’s all going very fast. I have some semblance of control, but probably not as much as I need. Stopping could be messy…

Many of the creatures I love most are absolutely adept at harnessing the natural environment. Buzzards ride the wind, and I watch them most days, soaring effortlessly, using what is there. It’s so easy to get buffeted about, blown off course, thumped into trees though, for creatures like myself who are not adept at flying. My Druidry of the last few years has been so much about a quest for balance, peace and stability. I’m caught in a tidal wave of awen, a tsunami of potential, and am quite aware that it could crush me. I need to become the sort of creature that can ride the currents, harness the wind.

I know from past experience that the crazier the rush, the harder the crash, but I want this life, and I want the many things that are opening up before me.