Last Monday I went to St James Alternatives to hear a talk by an Inuit from the Eskimo-kalaallit people in Greenland. His name is Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq from a family of healers. At 65 he said he has only been an active Shaman for 5 years. After a long time of procrastination his sister said enough indecision it was time for him to take his grandfathers talisman and be a Shaman. A generous open hearted man full of humour, laughter and intimacy.
He shared his concern for the ice melt in Greenland and the unusual temperatures ~ apparently last year they had temperatures up to 35 degrees which made the ice boil. Where upon he went to his grandmother and asked what he could do about the ice melt. Her answer to him was that he needed to go out and help to melt the ice in the hearts of man. He asked her how he could do this. She thought for a little time and answered to go out and help melt the ice in the hearts of man and walked away. So this was what he was doing. He told us that in the 70's it was possible to have stopped the change in the world but now it was not possible. It was inevitable.
Last year I had a calling to go to the Arctic. The calling was from spirit and so shocking ~ for it had to be for me to listen and wake up ~ I awoke in the middle of the night with a cry that I didn't want to die. But in order to wake up from the living dream I needed to answer this call to be born. Which I did. And with that a growing understanding of the vision I had of Death walking beside me as my friend.
I was born to a mother whose heart broken, had been burnt ice cold by electric shock treatment. Her memories buried. As a child my experience of her was of ice. I have for many years described her as frozen. I am not sure I can honestly remember a time where she laughed from deep in her belly, a laughter that ripples out through the heart. Never satisfied she remained locked in a dysfunctional relationship. She died when I was 20 after being diagnosed with cancer when I was 10.
When I answered the call I connected with the loss of my connection of my mother with my struggle to connect with the divine feminine. I felt how those two were interconnected inside me. I also was connecting with how this story was fed down through the family blood ancestors. I am not a mother in the sense I have not had a child. And at 41 I am near the time when that will not be possible. So with that in mind I have been with how I can heal this story handed down through mother and daughter.
My time in the Arctic was more than I could have imagined. I fell in love ~ an experience beyond a focus on a single person. I had the experience of being held. I had the experience of wilderness. And along with that experience I connected with the loss of this connection.
And I then realized ~ My God ~ if I was being gifted with just a fraction of what indigenous people felt all the time?...what could they have felt at others trying to burn this connection? And with that I felt such grief at this loss. Not just theirs ~ which still goes on. But also our collective loss. For even though that loss happened generations ago for my ancestors, that loss is still there. I heard stories of how Shaman's drums were burnt in front of their eyes. Now I understood not just in my mind what this could mean.
So I returned to London with an expeirence of 'coming home' in a land far away. With the growing awareness that I was gifted this experience so that I could feel this loss. I was not meant to run away into the country. My medicine was to be with this loss in the middle of the city. When I was 20 I ran away to the city to be lost. Now I find that I no longer crave to be lost. It is about remembering. And at times that thaw can be painful.
Through the thawing of my heart I can connect with that divine feminine that is part of me ~ as I am woman. That this wilderness is in the heart of us all. And that calling can come with the smell of blossom, a butterfly alighting on your skin or the call of the fox in the night. All this in the middle of this huge metroplis. For it is not possible for thousands of us to go and live in the countryside as it is cities are spreading into vanishing green land. And with that thought I ask how do we reconnect? First we need to remember. First we need to feel the loss. Both are connected. And as I write this I wonder how Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq experiences people/us who have forgotton that connection?
At times I have felt impatient with myself. Why can't I get a move on and heal my personal wounds so that I can get out there and help with this environmental crisis? Then I catch myself. I remind myself that there is not a divide between the personal and the collective. I remind myself of the times I have been in communion with others and feel that healing resonating outwardly and inwardly. That I and others can only start from where we are. That there is a connection with the microscomic and macrocosmic. This world view in which we are isolated beings that are not dependent on others is not real.
So I clean my local area of rubbish. I can't clean the whole of London but I clean the paths where I walk. And even though I feel an urgency not only in my desire akin to a 'Call to arms', I also call for patience and compassion in these accelerated times. For I do believe that as we get nearer to 2012 more of us will feel that thaw.