Who By Fire
One size does not fit all. Our bodies, our minds, our souls have a fragile grace that is matchless. We are beautiful originals, with a journey to take that will be uniquely ours. Yet so many still cleave to centuries of congested conditioning which has congealed our minds. We have learnt by fire, by water, by high ordeal, by common trial that it is very dangerous to leave the protection and the tyranny of the religious, social, corporate, familial tribe. One size fits all. New or unique thinking and behaviour have historically been brutally silenced. We have learnt that it is death-defyingly dangerous to be the sacrificial scapegoat. We have learnt by someone’s command or by our own assent how very lonely it can be in exile. Our brave hearts, our strong bones reverberate with the burnings, the crucifixions, the be-headings, the stonings and the suffocating clods of damp soil that silenced our ancestors who were buried alive, expunged from memory. They did not fit the tyrant’s mould. Heresy, blasphemy, treason! They asked for too much. Too soon. They were cut down to size.
Still we lop off those parts of ourselves that do not fit the standard norm of what is good, physically attractive, socially or politically correct. Still we sit in silence. Afraid to speak. Afraid to ask. We squeeze through the eye of the needle to find ourselves in Dante’s circle of Hell as we dance in the searing flames of pretence.
Alt-rock icon Amanda Palmer has gained acclaim and worn the fool’s cap of infamy as she has dared to ride the sacred cow of her truth. Giving voice to her uniqueness as a performer, a woman, a member of this human tribe, she dares to question, to challenge, to expose and to open her arms and her heart. She raises the Art of Asking to a sacred exchange between herself and her fans. She speaks of a world where one size does not fit all. Where people live surrounded by strangers in a vacuum of isolation and loneliness. And where it is possible to meet, to connect with a simple gesture and meet each other in a tender gaze.
So, as we silence our voices in the Medusa stare of self-doubt, fear of ridicule or reprisal, we must trust that by exposing our vulnerability, asking for what we need, exchanging what we can give, we will eventually find our flock of swans and learn to fly.
We must promise ourselves that we will keep an oracle eye on our own agenda. We must promise ourselves not to break our vows to ourselves or betray another when we lose congruence of head and heart. We must promise ourselves that we will try to speak our truth from that place in our heart which is generous and wise and loving.
“Consciousness is tough work,” says Carolyn Myss. It is tough work to be awake, aware, truly in our authentic internal power. It requires an act of will and spiritual discipline to pulverise our past in the pestle and mortar that contains the mustard seed of hope for each new day.
We alone are the custodians of our integrity. “The setting aside of one’s integrity is not required to win someone’s heart,” Neale Donald Walsch says. “But the setting aside of one’s anger may be. It is possible to make a point without making an enemy. It is possible to be right without being righteous.”
Leonard Cohen asks at O2 in Dublin, And who shall I say is calling?… Who By Fire?