Tag Archives: Pat Dodson

2021: Meeting the Moment #16

Taking steps that are unfamiliar, or even ones that may have been taken before, but not quite confidently, awkward teetering towards the promise of potential, are the ones making landfall right now. New paths are being trod and with each step a beginning, for we are never walking the same path as the day before, as we weren’t today’s person yesterday. Each moment is full of promise, potential. Each breath in and the exhale offering the fundamental call and response of our humanity entwined with all of creation. Moments seeking to be met by our fragility and imperfection. Taking risks with ourselves requires us to back ourselves and to remember who has our back. In the great lineage of those who have come before us, we hold this baton for a short time and with it the responsiblity to bring our best selves, give it our best shot; for the legacy we leave behind for the next in line.

I feel quite worn down by the deep grief in the air, generations of sadness spilling into crevices and pooling in hearts and festering in minds. While others are gaining energy and growing in their acts of resistance, I find myself remembering to breathe is a radical act. It might not look like that from the outside, but on the inside I am working hard and holding space for others and for myself. There are cobwebs to be swept away and seeds to be planted. A new season is arriving. New shoots and leaves falling, is not a paradox, it is congruence.

Deeply grateful for friendship this past little while, friends who have extended thier friendship beyond themselves to their friends. New circles opening and in surprising ways – a guided meditation, a chance meeting in a market, a door opening to a future harvest, a shared link to grief, a common history. Past moments disconnected coming together in real time, inviting a review of what has gone before, and in doing so, I got to see with new eyes. I have appreciated a little more of my past self. Definitely not nostalgia, rather insight and fuel for taking steps into new beginnings.

I was comforted with a remark about the courage of beginnings during the week and reminded of this extract:

There is nothing to fear in the act of beginning. More often than not it knows the journey ahead better than we ever could. Perhaps the art of harvesting the secret riches of our lives is best achieved when we place profound trust in the act of beginning. Risk might be our greatest ally. To live a truly creative life, we always need to cast a critical look at where we presently are, attempting always to discern where we have become stagnant and where new beginning might be ripening. There can be no growth if we do not remain open and vulnerable to what is new and different. I have never seen anyone take a risk for growth that was not rewarded a thousand times over. John O’Donohue, Irish poet and philosopher Excerpt from To Bless the Space Between Us.

Wondering what might be ripening when not being sure if any seeds are sown and will be fruit, let alone be ready to harvest, is an act of courage. I was invited to consider this week, in a moment, I was fumbling in the dark to meet. Grief is a tar baby and seduces stagnation into making a home somewhere behind the eyes where tears form. Being creative might be the antidote to shift the stickiness of grief that seems to get worse the more one tangles with it. Yet, inside this stickiness seeds have been sown, and they are being watered and fertilised with stabs in the dark.

I have been inspired by the bravery of a woman refusing to be silenced by lies and abuse this week in the most public of domains, a Senate enquiry. How she risked herself to speak her truth to power encouraged me and many, many others. We have more stories to be shared, more women to be heard and it is not OK that it is only the white women, educated, with a platform to be heard that are the ones being heard. We have more truth telling to come – the women and children removed from their lands, murdered, raped, starved of basic human rights since colonisation begun. I long for a Truth and Justice Commission aka South Africa’s for the First Nations of this country so their voices can be heard and a reckoning arrive. I am imaging a process that starts with a smoking ceremony and a litany of names of warriors and freedom fighters and martyrs and sacred places, read into the public record. It would go for days and days, nights and nights until it was done. The grief of this tar baby cannot be moved until those of us non First Nations peoples experience some of the uncomfortable stickiness of this on the soul of our country. We need to risk to become whole, to be vulnerable to find out what might be possible. A new moment to meet is ripening and the seeds have been sown in the 30 years since the Black Deaths in Custody Royal Commission. Pat Dodson, former Royal Commissioner and now Labor Senator says I sense that the same sort of storm of suspicion and accusation is gathering as that which precipitated the royal commission in 1987. Political resolve has been lacking, and the Morrison government’s response to growing concerns about the recent cluster of deaths has been quite desultory.

Meeting this moment is not coming easily, but it is coming, and us settler folk can’t hold our breaths forever. It is time for some creativity, some courage and some solidarity.

Photo by Johan Mouchet on Unsplash