Apparently there is a lot still possible, not sure that the species at the end of their tether would agree, or the last person I spoke to who lost their Dad, or the ache in a heart for a job yet to materialise … it is hard to believe what is still possible, when you find yourself in an impossible or unbelievable situation. The house has burned down, the trees crashing and falling as the flames take flight and find their way to the ground with more prowess than a gold medal Olympic hurdler. To be both still and hold possible in the one sentence, in those circumstances, seems a real stretch. And yet as the poet (David Whyte) says the words still possible and in his mouth the sound of a lilt and an echo to a greater poet (Mary Oliver), I am captivated and musing on what might be still possible in my own life, and indeed for my own species.
Is it still possible to draw down on the carbon? Is it still possible to end patriarchy? Is it sill possible to have a just settlement? Is it still possible to have another slice of chocolate cake (as Crowded House asked of Tammy Baker) ?
What makes something possible in the first place, something that is capable of coming true? When I apply that definition I find I am more hopeful about the carbon scenario than I am about patriarchy and colonialism, even though I see them all inextricably entwined. The root of the word comes from the Latin, be able. When you enable, the door to power opens, and so perhaps there is a clue here about the relationship between possibility and power?
I am noticing shifts all around me lately. Shifts of power, some beautifully and generously gift wrapped and passed on, others reluctantly barely camouflaging ignominy and leaving a taste of bitterness in the transaction. The happy ones come with ease, are in flow, going in the direction of joy and bending the bow with hope and imagination. These are the transformational shifts.
Some things just aren’t possible without a shift in power, and the shift might be inside of you, as I have discovered. Letting an old part of myself wake up again and take her place in the pantheon of Self. This, has required relinquishing power of one part and letting the power of another take up residence again.
I shifted, moving my weight from one side to another, picked up the guitar and played it in public –a small public – in a place originally known as Warri-Pari, and now known as Warriparinga. It means Windy Place by the River and for thousands of years been a place of ceremony for Kaurna. It was a fitting place for me to sing and play guitar in public for the first time in probably 30 years. I was grateful for the laughter and spunk of the occasion in a place where an ancient 500 year old Eucalyptus camaldulensis, River Red Gum lives majestically. This place is where the Tjilbruke dreaming begins, central to Kaurna lore and law. So here I was strumming my guitar and belting out a Patti Smith number, Power to the People and calling on my own spirits to remind me what is still possible. I was definitely able to awaken a yearning to get to the ballot box from the gathered who had been scattered an unable to be together for two years of pandemic separation.
It was windy, the sun was setting, there was water in the creek and the magpies arrived to join in on cue. I loved how all the elements and creation treated me as an ally and the happy crew around me joined in the chorus. Definitely felt a blessing on the purta (seasonal spring winds) and cobwebs being blown away by the time I got to the end of the first verse. Meeting the moment, not a rehearsal for something sometime in the future, but an unfolding in real time of what is possible and still possible.