Anyone who knows me well, is aware that I am currently working on crafting a selection of retellings of fairy tales. Adult tales with an erotic flavour. At some point (though I am so blessedly aware of how long it takes me to do anything, my uber slow wondrous pace! ;-)), I hope to publish them as a book. I’ll keep you posted upon said progress. (Though head over here if you’d like to read one of my tales my love :-))
‘Beauty and the Beast’ has been sitting with me lately, both sides whispering in my ears, pulling my arms this way and that. Asking me to choose between them. As if i ever could.
For is not this time of the year the liminal time, not quite deep winter’s cave, and yet not entirely the fire lit action lands that we have enjoyed over the summer? The bridge between light and dark, creation and destruction, life and death. In response to my last foray into the realm of intimate romantic love are not all relationships, including the ones with our own selves, an ever flowing dance with these pairings? And is not the perennial and seasonal cycles of our creativity and sexuality a continuous merry go round of perpetual change and movement up and down, round and round, and forever in ebb and flow?
Do we dare to offer our ‘ugly’ to the world, our shame and unworthiness? Can we have the courage to drop the censorship and bow to the fullness of every part of what we say, in whatever language we desire to sculpt it in? Are we able to dig deeper, deeper than a pleasing aesthetic, in search of bones and grit, blood and guts, heartache and fear, and offer all of these as a prayer to the divine?
Can we say yes to both ‘Beauty and the Beast’? To hold both in the palms of our hands, allowing them to beat with wings of blood and magic, neither one ‘better than’ the other? Both a part of the fullness of everything we may hold dear.
Neither one nor the other. Not summer nor winter. In the land of enchantment, and the liminal.
Liminal spaces. Such a delicious word. It means threshold my darling :-)
Transition times. One foot in one place and the other in another. Not quite having stepped over. Holding the space for all to be, to be, to be. No rush. No rush. No rush.
The balance between worlds. The ‘upper worlds’, all day to day, routine and ‘Father Time’, work and schedules, the to-do list and all of the myriad moments of a full life; and the ‘lower worlds’, the pull and draw inwards and downwards, dreaming time, rest, shadowlands and Persephone’s seduction, essentially the call to the sovereignty of the soul.
How do we keep them both fed and nourished? How can we find the possibility of holding both in our hearts? How do we acknowledge and respect and honour both for their need for nourishment, attention, care and tending?
I know in myself I can have a tendency to separate aspects of my life. To compartmentalise if you like. To put into boxes. This can work, up to a point, but unless we have very little of these boxes, with very minimal content, then my guessing is at some point, everything starts to spill out and become chaotic and, well, untameable!
The untameable. The wild. The chaos.
Aaaah! Here we are, back in the realm of creativity! ;-) Of life. Of Love. Of everything.
If we ignore one aspect, one ‘box’, turning away in frustration, in judgement, in a restlessness, we take away its energy, so that it begins to dry out, atrophy, and become a muted grey slab in our vivid technicolour life! We become ‘wonky’ and unbalanced, either living in high fantasy, unreal and ungrounded, avoiding alone and its gifts, and all doing doing doing and full of sugary coated, if unconscious, denial; or we walk through our days in the thunder, deep intensity, a devilish realm with an absence of joy and other. For soul work is solitary my love. It always will be. As we are both human and divine, we need both.
Why do we have this propensity to turn towards what we perceive as the ‘Beauty’ in our life, and dismiss with disdain the ‘Beast’? For surely, life is about coming to realise that there is a darkness to this beauty that we so long to hold on to, and conversely, there is sweet exquisite heart and wonder if we dare to stay a while with the beast. In life, in love, in art, and in our own dear dear self. We are all of this, and more.
Now, we are, in our essential pure nature, vaster, larger and infinite, in our capacity. Read that again my love. You, dear one, have the ability to stretch far and wide, to bear all of what life demands and beckons off you. It’s just the way of our true nature. The key, I believe, is not in necessarily wondering, organising, nor controlling, all of these parts of ourselves. I mean, hell that bloody well doesn’t work out terribly well does it my fellow recovering control freaks?! But in shifting one’s attention instead, on to the thread that binds all of these parts of one’s life together.
The thread? Being in devotion to, in service to, in prayer to, the sacred.
You see, the sacred threads through everything. Nothing in our lives cannot be held by and in the sacred. If it’s a part of our living and our experience, then it’s a part of everything. And nothing that’s in everything, can be separate from us. You may want to read that line again.
When we resist, panic, and try to control, then we are essentially reacting from a place of fear. We all do this. It’s part of our human nature. We want to feel like we have a grip on whatever the lunatic hell is going on!! My advice? Loosen the grip, fall into the madness, surrender into the chaos. But, not blindly dear one, not without sight. But instead, by using our night goggles of seeing through the eyes of the Holy. The whole. Holiness and wholeness. And then even our fear is holy, and part of our wholeness.
Endings and beginnings. Is there ever such a thing truly? Sure, on the surface level, in the ‘upper’ world thinking. And this can cause us pain and heartbreak (I’ve been there recently). But in the ‘lower’ world thinking, we can ripen the soul, season it, weather and wizen it with whatever wisdom we can bear to taste and swallow. And then there’s the sacred thread that binds both upper and lower worlds, bigger than all, simply holding, with love, clear, solid and still.
Hold all those unanswered questions, that your year may have offered to you as gifts, and that the mind might be feeling like it’s running out of time and gotta sort and figure it out by Dec 31st!! Hold these loose and unfinished questions as prayers, as soul poetics. Offer them now to Hades, to Soul, to the shadowlands, to the soil and worms and dead things.
Hold all of life’s uncertainties, tipping points and transition times, as a way to grow towards and into the unknown, the winter, because it’s coming and ready or not it will ask its own demands of us. It takes strength. And resilience. And a steady stance to weather the storms and to let the leaves of us fall, and to sway and blow this way and that way, and yet still feel rooted in trust as our skeleton is revealed, as we dare to risk becoming exposed. Because we have no choice. Not if we are artists of our lives. Not if we are open to life. Not if we desire to live in full and fierce truth and grace. Not if we know that we know nothing and that to control is ultimately futile (though we give it a damn good go! ;-)). Not if we are willing to take life as our lover. For it will strip us down over and over again. It will rip open our hearts over and over again. It will pour medicine thick and thorough, over and thro us over and over again. And it will blast us open to beauty and truth and wonder and miracles and magic over and over again. If we are willing, life lived in this way will always take us straight back to God. But it’s a warriors’ path. And a bloody one. And we will be scared.
And I like how the word ‘scared’ is an anagram for ‘sacred’! ;-)
Are you scared yet? Good!
Rattle your bones beauties. Shake rattle and roll. Soul roll that is. As you may know I’m bowing to and daring to commit deeper and deeper to this way of living. Some days I forget. Some days I fall down. Some days I am driven by the scared and not the sacred. So this my loves, this is also a reminder for me too :-) xx
As Shirley Valentine says ‘Are we living such a little and calling it a life?’
Liminal lingerings and lushest longing love to you all xx
Thank you for reading xx
Heidi Hinda Chadwick
Creativity. Sexuality. Life. Art. Soul. Love.