At school we’re taught to write in the same way: thesis, antithesis, synthesis. We begin a journey with a backpack of an idea, develop it, sweat through the uphill exercise of an exposition of for’s and against’s, and then – chan-dang! – on the mountain top, at the summit of our thinking, we express our declarations, glowing in the explosions of our mental fireworks we imagine are showering enlightenment over our world. The train hurtles into the tunnel only to burst forth the other side. Swollen cloud banks explode and rain us all in warm seeds of knowledge.
We lie back in bed and smoke on our conclusions.
There is also another way, a soft slow sinking in like dew in the morning grass. A more feminine journey has no direction, no aim, no need to peak. She knows that any tiny place can be a doorway to somewhere far vaster. The journey for her is more about the experience rather than the achievement. It is about relaxing into the abundance contained within each moment. It is about relating with ourselves, with others, and with what is being created: the third.
It meanders; it has no objective other than to experience what is. She is not interested in potential, or shoulds, or getting anywhere; her awareness is simply on the here-now. Each step is the journey. In following her natural rhythm, connecting with her body more than the maps of her mind, she luxuriates in the ‘down’, in the quiet, in the slow places where she can totally let go knowing that within this relaxation there is a myriad of deep pleasures.
The feminine path of intimacy takes unexpected turns, opens out into calmer glades, tumbles into sodden marshes, gets tangled in the knotted branches of trees, or finds herself on the top of the mountain yelling in euphoria.
We move simply for the pleasure of moving. It doesn’t matter where we go, what happens or where we end up.
And so I have wandered on the mountainside of intimacy. I haven’t covered everywhere – it’s impossible – these pages are a souvenir of where my nose took me. I have unashamedly written what took my fancy, tugged by ideas and words immerging out of the silences of meandering conversations.
As well as having no goal, or direction, I make no bones of keeping to any sort of order. I have followed where my typing fingers dared to go. I have not respected time. It is not in chronological order. I have also not cut out repetitions, which my primary teacher, Mrs Booth (R.I.P), would never have approved of; instead I have considered any repetitions a sort of wormhole, or maybe I should say a secret passageway to another text, or another idea, that is also linked but in a completely different direction as time folds in on itself and space expands into the tiniest of threads.
In a way I have tried to emulate my Hindu friends and how they make sense of their lives. When I lived in Nepal I sat in community every night and heard stories that repeated the same old, over and over again. I sat and cringed until, under the waves of repetition, the simplicity of the message eventually found a way in: I stopped being annoyed and became inspired.
The message in this book is this simple: you are good enough; relax into what is.
But simple is so difficult!!! It is where the Truth hides for it is so easy overlooked.
So the idea was simply to share ribbons of stories and ideas that I’ve stumbled across in my life that have helped me along on my journey to accept ‘what is’ and ‘who I am’, but unwittingly I have written intimately about myself: about how it is to be me within the world. This is who I am. This is where I go to. This is what I do. This is what I talk about. This is where I leap. This where I fall. The things we do unconsciously…
I have not charged up and stuck a flag into a conclusion, because as I progress I realise that I seem to understand less but comprehend more of this never-ending story of what it is to be alive. My hope is that you will be able, in the mirror of this book – in the similarities or differences – to continue inwards on your own path deep down to where Plato asks of us to ‘Know Thyself’.
The River of Being
We are born into
an eternal conversation
long after we pass away.