Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Good-bye .... hello!

"You say good-bye ... and I say hello"

I love the way holidays act like mini life endings. When you come back even though the furniture may still be where you left it, the curtains still sitting on your bureau waiting to be hemmed and hung, and there's green slime lining the pool - just as you left it, nothing ever really is exactly the same. You've changed inside.

Before I became a parent, I never really took holidays. In 1995 I went to Sydney for a week with a friend of mine. It wasn't a complete disaster, but the whole experience left a pretty bad taste in my mouth. Then in 2001, after I quit my job I took an extended holiday to Victoria and then into New South Wales. It gave me a new perspective on life and I came back refreshed and ready to launch into a new career as a university student.

Now each time we take a break (and this was our first ever big family holiday, exploring somewhere other than the known terrains of where our families live) we seem to come back charged, better connected to each other. I know for sure that I have more patience and this time I'm seeking out ways to keep it. I hope that I have the tenacity, patience and ingenuity to keep this reconnection to famiy alive and evolving in the months to come.

My new boots, written about in my final post before going away, and now broken in and looking well worn. It was an interesting way for me to reflect both forwards and backwards on life. The very first day I wore them - you guess it, blisters!! Well to be brutally honest - one had gone beyond the phase of blistering and it was a lovely weeping open sore. I didn't take another pair of shoes with me, so I had to find ways of getting around in them. Whilst not freezing, it wasn't appropriate to get around without shoes on.

The first full day in Tassie, I relented and bought strapping tape, my save old remedy for blistering/sore feet. This reminded me of my months working on a cruise boat, with a pair of shoes that just never broke in and softened, and the lovely mess of tattered strapping tape that would adorn my heels for the week or more that I was aboard. This time, with the tape over the bandaids - my feet were in agony. The second day we were there, I noticed that Dave didn't always do up his hiking boots ... and thus we went into slipper-boot mode. For days I wandered around with bandaids on my heels and my boots undone. It went from being bareable to being comfortable and my feet slowly healed.

Then my heels were healed enough - just as the bandaids ran out, to put the strapping tape on them. Next I could do my boots up. Finally 8 days into our trip, I took the two hours hike around Dove Lake, at the foot of Cradle Mountain, with my boots done up and no pain.

It got me thinking about what its like to adopt new beliefs, or to let go of old beliefs. It's damn painful. You build a little blister like cocoon around yourself to allow the assimilation/metamorphosis to take place - somewhere to feel safe, warm, wet and womblike. I know that the cocoon that I built around myself in pregnancy was a pretty tough one - my decision to birth my baby at home, put me on the defensive with family and friends. I realise now that I probably did become a bit of a zealot as well. The next cocoon that came was the one that was built for me by the early motherhood and this is where I am at.

Now I'm shedding this skin and trying to work through what I want to keep and what I want to let go of. Even after this holiday I am still in my cocoon and keen to be here a little longer - perhaps a whole while longer. It seems I've been here all year.

Going back to be in the town that I spent my teenage years in, including a night where we spent our holidays, bought lots of ghosts up, lots of untouched and unexamined feelings. More feelings and deep senses of shame that were long buried .. but there were also lots of good memories brought up.

I'm trying to get the best of the old me, and the new me, to create the next evolution of myself.I know that you can't help take the worst of you along also - but I'm hoping that for once it will be tempered somewhat ... which brings me to glance up at the card of Temperance that I have had on my wall for almost a year now ..'balance, harmony, truth'. These are what I want to believe in now, strive for, to bring to each breathe of my life. The next step on the path of my year of authenticity.


Paul said...

Welcome back, hope your feet are better now!

Finally got myself a copy of On Writing, and am racing through it now.

d sinclair said...

welcome back Jodi - and well done on the skin shedding front too.

when the butterfly is ready, the cocoon can't hold it any more :)


Jodi Cleghorn said...

Thanks Paul and Dan ... its great to be back. I missed our writing community while I was gone.

Great to hear that you've got 'On Writing' Paul. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. I've just got back into reading it today. I've found it quite confrontational -but its a whole post in itself. By the way - I will get organised and donate some money to you.

Dan - today, according to Mystic, was the day of reinvention, or the tool for reinvention. Had two close friends tell me about their experiences with spiritual healing and past lives ... and I think this is where my future lies for the time being. In exploring my past lives (I finally feel that 'its time') and also singing up to train to be a kinesiologist. The first nibbles out of the cocoon?

Wild Iris said...

Cocoons can become broken in and comfortable, until we begin to outgrow them, and thank God that we finally do, otherwise comfort might dictate we remain a caterpillar forever.