• Eimear Stassin

We are the Wayfarers Sailing to Byzantium


It's school Spring break for the kids!


On Sunday we were to celebrate our sons' 9th birthday (I mean we still are!) and then pack up the car to take the Ferry to Ireland for 2 weeks.


As we set sail from Scotland, I usually break into song..."we're going this way, that way, forwards and backwards, over the Irish Sea....".


But not now; not today.


Because everything has changed...changed utterly for us all.


The rug has been yanked roughly from under my feet with an abruptness that leaves me reeling chaotically, breathlessly off balance.


In between moments of calm and clarity, "unsavoury feelings and emotions" surge again - fear, anger, grief...disorientation, bleakness, overwhelm. Lining up like tormenting waves rising within me, surging forth and bursting to be released. Doing everything possible to get my felt attention.


At other times it feels like being sucked towards a big black vast hole with a Dyson like force....falling, falling into the darkness of unchartered depths.


What's it like for you today?


Eventually I arrive at calm light waters to anchor down for a time.


All of this is ok and very much expected in these global pandemic times as our new normal is rapidly shifting at cosmic speeds.


These surges of feelings, thoughts, emotions aren't really unsavoury. They serve a purpose - to help. To guide us through these pandemic times towards the hope of a new world that's waiting on "the other side".


It's time to discard that old tattered map as we find our collective way.


We are the wayfarers of these times.


Create space to allow abundant ideas flow. Ground in nature if you can venture outside.


Be brave - Be Creative - Trust - Believe in the possibility - You were made for these times...


I've read that the only way out of this is to navigate our way through it (along with all the medical advice).


Just like in Michael Rosen's book We're Going on a Bear Hunt:

"we can't go over it; we can't go under it; oh no, we've got to go through it!"

The by-pass is closed.


The way ahead is through.


My mind turns to poetry once again - my saviour in these times:


In Yeats' poem, Sailing to Byzantium, Yeats explained that "Byzantium was the center of European civilization and the source of its spiritual philosophy, so [he] symbolizes the search for the spiritual life by a journey to that city." Jeffares, Alexander Norman, A Commentary on the Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats.


"An aged man is but a paltry thing, A tattered coat upon a stick, unless Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing For every tatter in its mortal dress....Nor is there singing school but studying Monuments of its own magnificence; And therefore I have sailed the seas and come To the holy city of Byzantium." - Sailing to Byzantium, William Butler Yeats

This global pandemic has forced us to set collective sail; to express what wants to be expressed on this wayfaring journey that's beckoning us back to the very source of our humanity.


Our spiritual home.


It's a fecking epic journey right now right?!


Yours truly,


Eimear


"This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival....Welcome and entertain them all! Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond." - Jalaluddin Rumi
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