Thursday, 8 September 2016


This critter:

And I have something in common.

Or at least I feel like I'm seen like this sometimes, as though I am pulling myself this way and that.

From the outside looking in (apparently) I seem to hold contradictory ideas.

I'm a both/and person living in an either/or world. To the crowd of disbelieving onlookers, that makes me a freak. That's okay, I play to the crowd; as long as they know they can't figure me out it keeps their minds open to what might really be going on.

It's when they start thinking one head is 'real' and the other is a parlour trick that the trouble begins.

Everything about me is genuine, folks.

Thing is, people are so used to their known categories, boxes, paradigms, mindsets and schools of thought that they don't know that they're (often) completely mistaken when they believe that I belong to the same one as they're coming from.

I can speak the languages of many, but my native tongue is heart-speak.

I often write about the struggle between the heart-mind and the intellect. It's not a battle, as such, the two 'minds' are not at war. It's more like an old-fashioned dance where one partner has to lead and the other follows. The Western way I was raised says the intellect should move us across the dance floor because it knows the steps. However, it's heart that dances to the music itself. 

And music itself isn't what most people think it is anyway; you can't really understand music by thinking about it. You can feel music, it can move you; as soon as you start thinking about any one part of it (like the beat, or the melody or ..) you're into the technical aspects of its production. The how of it, not the why.

If you want to know about music you'll have to ask a sparrow.

If you understand that, you're thinking with your heart-mind.

I say it all the time and I mean it - the fewer readers that I have on this blog, the happier I am. I wrote to a friend recently that the 'follow' widget makes me uncomfortable. (And she understood me, yay!) The last thing I want is 'followers', that's just creepy. I welcome the curious, I welcome all comers, actually, but I shudder to think that anyone would be hanging onto my words as though I am some kind of authority on anything. I'm muddling along here, that's all.

Most of all, I can't be constrained by anyone's expectations about where I 'should' be going with my writing next. (Believe me, I've given that my best shot often enough.) That's another reason I don't write on the wildcrafting/herbal blog any more. For it to be 'successful' it would have to hold to a certain formula or pattern, fit neatly into a category. I don't do categories. It's not how I learned about the medicine plants so it certainly isn't how I'd want to teach about them. The languages of botany or the tissue states of the body or the chemistry of the soil and all the other aspects of the herbalists' and wildcrafters' art that I have learned are useful and yes, even necessary, but I'm not qualified to teach them. Nor do they offer much insight into the medicine that plants offer us. Like music, that's a heart thing. If you want to understand that, put your hands on the trunk of a tree.

Some of us have missions in life, some of us have times when that mission is to learn some lesson. We probably all go through stages of each, nothing is static after all. Right now I'm in the learning some lesson stage. The lesson seems to be that there is no one category that I can say I belong to. No one school of thought, no one mindset.

I exist this way quite comfortably as long as I am alone, it's when I get into certain kinds of conversation that it gets tricky. I need to learn to speak the language of the other person without giving the impression that it is my native tongue. Is it that my accent in these other languages is so perfect? I doubt it. Is it that the other person is tone deaf, can't hear the lilt that betrays me as a native of County-Heart? Sadly, it must be so.

I say sadly .. is that what I mean? Yes. Sadly for me, because half of what I say is misunderstood. Sadly for them because they hear only what they want to hear me say. It's a wonder we bother.

Yet bother we do and we must. I don't mean to come off sounding as though I believe County-Heart a better place than where anyone else comes from. I do wish, though, that a little allowance could be made for the ways that we heart-led folks move across the dance floor. I'm a little tired of being bruised by the pointed elbows of the people who dance by the 'proper' steps.

So, what to do? Dance like a fool and let them feel my elbows? Nah. For now, until I figure this out, I'll just stay off their dance floors.

Gee, I used a fair bit of parabolic imagery today didn't I! Languages, dance steps and mythical creatures, and even the invention of a place County-Heart.

I like that one, I think I'll keep it.


  1. Yeah, alone is often easier to be. Not from those who dance (to use your lovely word) to the tune I hear, but those who can't/don't/won't. I read what you write because I enjoy it for many reasons, not with expectations but with anticipation of a forthcoming smile or a thought that it may trigger. I guess I am simply dancing along with you, aye?

  2. I know that song; I'll dance to that tune. Maybe we can get a few folks to come over to our ballroom.

  3. When I was younger, I always had a little dream of having a grand party, on a dark night, on a spacious lawn with trees, with little twinkling lights, a dance floor, wonderful food, and lots of smiling, happy faces of all the people I've met in my life, from all the places. I wanted to invite them all. They're so diverse, so unique, all with something they've shared with me. They think they don't like each other. They think they have nothing in common. One wears black. One wears pink. One is 90. One is 22. One went to Dartmouth. Another didn't go. But I just thought they'd have the best time at a party with one another. One thinks left and one things right (but really they have the same ideas, just different ways to get there they could brainstorm). And I think they'd have the best night ever, and even if I didn't, just seeing them all there trying to, well, I'd like that a lot. Your post brought back this heart-led little screen shot I used to have or Country-Heart.