I was listening to a TED talk by Hendrik Poiner about bringing back the woolly mammoth and he mentioned our love affair with these creatures from the Ice Age. He made a number of hypothesis of way this might be so, but the one that struck me was the concept of deep time – the concept of geologic time.
In doing a little wikipedia research, and one click led to another, I was drawn to Avicenna who wrote a book of healing in the sixth century that was still being used in your time Hildegard and I wondered if you ever saw it?
Deep time connecting us beyond rock and clay.
I occasionally connect with someone that I feel I have known for generations, there being something familiar and comfortable in the space created between us and within a very short time intimacy occurs. An expression, a few words, a touch, an idea that magnetically fuses us into one single moment. Maybe it is deep time that has connected us – we may have both come from the same part of the earth or rock formation or our mitochondria recognises each other!
I have an expectation that I will be having some more of these moments in my life as my travels start. Being on the road as a pilgrim, and even when I approach my everyday life as a journey, I discover many more people in my path that I have a deep connection too. When I get to the land of my ancestors, I will not be surprised if, I find, deep time waiting for me as it has for aeons. There will be single moments of connection to the rock and clay, the seascape and the landscape, the people for whom that place has been their own for generations, and for pilgrims like me who pass through once in a lifetime, like a comet. Time could well stand still creating that most exquisite moment of intimacy where there is no space at all between the past, the present and the future.
Even when you don’t know you have a wound to heal, these moments seem to find a cut or a bruise or a festering sore that needs healing and the moment is a soothing balm and you come to a realisation that there was a closed wound within you that was benefitting from the dressing or liniment being offered by the moment. The body and soul more whole than it was before.
The Aboriginal people of the Flinders Ranges call themselves Adnyamathanha which means rock people. The rock owns them. It has been my privilege to be on their land many times and the deep time that they know in their very DNA is not separated by real time. Their dreamtime transcends and brings a constant intimacy with the whole cosmos and all beings past, present and future. Perhaps I will get a taste of what Adnyamathanha know when I am in the land of my ancestors?
The separation from your homeland lasts across deep time. This pilgrimage might turn out to be a bit of heart surgery – perhaps the equivalent of a stent being put in – to keep the blood flowing and end a blockage that is currently undetected? Deep time moments of heart work beckon.
Rainer Maria Rilke writes in Turning Point:
For there is a boundary to looking.
And the world that is looked at so deeply
wants to flourish in love.
Work of the eyes is done, now
go and do heart-work
on all the images imprisoned within you.