So. Yes. We went to the beach. To Bude. It’s about half an hour from lovely Waterloo Farm, the Cornish base for The Pause (check it out if you fancy a farm holiday – they have several renting cottages).
It wasn’t the best day, weather-wise but never mind. We spread out the blankets and looked at the sea and decided that, no, it really wasn’t warm enough after all for a dip, however bracing. Danielle suggested we might want to go and look for a stone that spoke to us, a heart stone, that we might want to meditate with it, or paint it, or maybe not; that we might want to do something entirely different.
I wasn’t quite sure how I was feeling. There was that sense of disappointment I always get at the seaside – that’s it never quite how I imagine it will be. That old sense of waiting for the perfect beach day that never comes. Old childhood stuff, maybe. Who knows?
Anyhow, after a while I wandered off and sat down away from the group. Needing some space. Feeling a bit off-kilter. I wondered if I might find my ‘special stone’, not by wandering along the beach and seeing what caught my eye but by picking out a spot and digging around, under the surface. To find hidden strengths maybe? So I picked out stones and found myself placing them in a circle around me. A protective circle? A magic circle? That would be nice, but it was actually a small circle, a constraining circle, a hardly-able-to-breath circle. And what did I find? Small stuff. Boring stones. Nothing special. Nothing juicy.
I took a deep breath and kicked the circle. It wanted to open into a tunnel…no, not a tunnel…a funnel. A retort, an alchemical vessel. Had I been fermenting again, like smelly old sauerkraut? And then it became a passageway, a birth channel. Leading to? The sea? The wider world?
So I got up and walked out, looked around and…hellfire, out there was an exciting world, full of big pebbles, different pebbles, really exciting pebbles! WILD PEBBLES! And not just pebbles, but rocks, and sea and sky and how have I got myself trapped in such a tiny tiny place? With so few resources? Without passion. Without my tribe. How have I settled for something so godamn small and mean and mundane?
What do I want, I asked myself. And the sea and sky winked. I want to dance on the whirlwind. I want to breathe deep. I want to be true and wild and free and…
And I found my pebble…the perfect pebble. One that fitted softly into the palm of my hand. And on it? A wild dervish-dancer spinning in the storm.
Except that…when I showed it to my mini-tribe, they laughed.
‘Hey, look! It’s your crow shit!’
And, sod me, they were right. It did look like a giant splodge of bird crap. And then I looked up and over at my circle-cum-alchemical vessel and, would you believe it…
‘No!’ I wailed.
‘What?’ they said.
‘That dog, that big retriever…it just shat in my circle!’ I said.
‘No way!’ they said.
‘Way!’ I said, and we all burst out laughing.
So I thought again. Hmm. Life has been a bit shit lately and I am more than a bit of a shitty person (and that’s fine; it is what it is, no point denying it).
Maybe it’s about time I started owning my own crap. Maybe it’s time to break out and start dancing in the shitstorm once again. J