We dance together, or not at all – anger between men and women is not the solution

March 29th, 2016

A strange thing occurred the Easter Saturday as I walked my dog Milly to the beach. A young man, 25 years old, asked if he could join us. (Milly and I) I said no, as I value the silence of the dawn. But he was persistent, asking me questions, until we walked for over an hour. At some point he asked if he could invite me to dinner. I didn’t say yes or no…we did discuss age difference (he is my daughters age)…but it was a sweet conversation. Towards the end of the walk he was more assertive with his desires. Something had switched for him and I felt like prey. By the end I asked him to leave…and leave me alone, not in an angry way…but firmly.

This made me think about the typical relationship. There is a ‘getting’, an extraction from most relationships. Men generally want to get sex. They want to get it with single minded focus. Women want to be seduced. Slowly. They also often want to be rescued/saved….swept off their feet. Which is a pretty heavy thing to load on a guy. (I am generalising..some women want the instant physicality of sex.)

I am of an age where if I want sex I am not going to go for random bad sex…I want mastery..a man who loves to love woman, and knows how. They know how to seduce…to conduct foreplay over time…they know how to read the signs…build the momentum…take sweet time.

Here I was, being desired (I think) by a young man, which might be nice…yet by the end of our walk and talk the conversation slipped from simply being with each other and enjoying a conversation to one where I felt like an object of extraction. At least I was clear enough (that is what you get, hopefully, with age) to tell him that I was not interested. And he was smart enough to walk away.

I have been contemplating the male/female dynamic for some time. I have recently become aware of my inter-generational anger towards men in general. For centuries of being discounted, abused, burnt, ignored, unseen, unheard…for my value of mothering, caring, domestic work being left off any balance sheet…for being paid less, retiring with less…having to fight for every inch of my place at any table…

I know what it is to be seen as an object. As  something to be fucked and discarded. I know now what it feels like to be entirely unseen as a women in my 50’s. Where most of the men my age only see those women 10/15 years younger…or even younger still. Where the men who do see me are 20 years older than I.

None of this is unusual.

However, when I saw the extent of my rage…not at any one man in particular, but at the entire race of men..I saw clearly that this was not a rage that would change things. It was a rage that would continue to fuel the fire.

My work for the last 20 years has been predominantly with men…long form intimate conversations with men where I have had the privilege to hear their thoughts to a degree that they may never have shared with anyone. From these conversations I know their pain. I know their isolation. I know how lost they are in a world where the mans clearly defined role has been completely disassembled…and there is no new role in its place. The confusion of women wanting the strong man, but needing them to be vulnerable. Of women wanting independence, yet still wanting the man to pay…Of women wanting to no longer be objectified as sexual, yet wanting to wear sexual clothing….of the very confused messages of our media…

I know the pain and isolation of the man trying to establish his identity through all of this.

I know as well that the system our world is operating with currently…you know…the monetary, capitalistic, winner takes all system we have…the one that by design and in order to work has to make a large number of the population slaves…be that by colonizing time and making us trade hours for money…or literally enslaving people…or…not including the ‘externalities’ of such costs as unpaid women’s work, the caring jobs… ‘cheap labor’ (as well as the environmental costs…this list of externalities is long…almost any business would not be able to ‘make a profit’ if we did include the full costs on the balance sheet) is designed to do exactly what it has done. Make an increasingly smaller number of people get all the spoils whist the rest of us, men and women included, fall under the bus. However, the spoils usually go to the man…and the occasional predatory women.

Our culture has created, and reinforced…and still does…the great divide between men and women. It is no one person’s fault. It is the design of the system.

Therefore to be angry at men is an inappropriate response. Anger towards anyone is a projection. Rather I can be angry at the system…at what it is doing to humanity….men and women.

At the same time I can clearly state that I am a sovereign being…I will not be extracted from, ignored, abused, objectified. We are all…women and men alike…under the cultural influence of this game, most often without even knowing we are doing it. To patronise is often done as a culture reflex…not as intent. We are taught in the playground and at home to continue to propagate this behaviour. It is so much a part of us…all of us…that we hardly see it…until it becomes extremely loud.

And mothers…mothers and fathers simply do not know they are continuing to train their kids to play this very old and no longer useful way of being.

We are all sovereign beings. No one person/child should be exploited. No one child should have to not respect the other. All children need to learn both the full suit of domestic duties and how to fix/build things.

Tom can cry…and Mary can get really angry. This is human…not about gender. It is about the full range of human emotions.

Our inability to see how we exploit each other…how women subtly dismiss a man because of his apparent inability to provide…and how a man wants only to get between a woman’s legs…to treat her as his commodity…these are all paths that we need to undo. To stop. To end. Our addiction to youth, and our complete disregard for women of an age…(see Amy Schumer’s excellent skit about the age you become unfuckable as a women..I can’t post the link because it is not available in Australia!!!)

As a women, my practice is to replace my anger with compassion. At the same time to no longer allow anyone, male or female, to ignore me, dismiss me, undervalue me…not from a place of rage…simply by pointing out…I am here. I have something to say. I will be heard. As a women my practice is to continue to create a space and time to listen to men…not to fix them, or judge them…but to witness them in their fullness. Isn’t that what all of us want? In the end? To be fully seen?

I do not know the full motivation of the young man walking with me on the beach. I suspect in the first instance he was lonely. Maybe bored, as he said he was. Just to walk and talk…without agenda…that would have been fine. When the dynamic changed…when he saw me as a potential conquest…everything changed for me.

In my wisdom (I hope) of age…any relationship of value is built on a platform of friendship…mutual respect…and mutual desire. We dance together, or not at all.

 

 



The Longing to be Seen

March 9th, 2016

The Longing to be Seen

The Longing to be Seen
March 8th, 2016

Somewhere, long ago
I went to seek love from another
And in that moment
They rejected me.
I shrank

In that moment my Being was diminished

From that small place I told myself
A story
It went something like this….

“I am not worthy enough to have my basic needs met”

In that moment, when I wanted to be seen
I was invisible.

The story became my life
The story of never having quite enough
Of always being in short supply
Of not being seen
Fully

Understood
Completely

For simply being me

Now
As a 55year old woman
I find the story at its peak
It is an old, tired story.
Shared by many.

Our longing
Sweet, painful longing
Is to be seen in our glory
Our sweet, angry, ugly, powerful wholeness

And loved as we are

Today I meet the me who has grown up from this story
Who opens her arms to its lies and illusions
Who knows that I, you, we
All
Seek to be seen, heard, understood

This is our longing
Bone deep

I will continue to be unseen by many
Dismissed
Again
Not because I am not worthy
But because those who dismiss me are lost in their own dismissal

What I can gift them is love and compassion
What I can gift them is seeing them
Seeing their essential selves, as they cannot yet see

What I can gift me is the grounded knowing of my own value, of what I have to offer in service to the world
Steadfast, pure, no flashing lights or megaphones required

I can lift my head
Steady gaze
And say
Yes
I see me
I recognise me
I love me
Here is what I bring
And no you cannot be the thief who takes from me

No longer

And yes, for those who stand beside me
And meet with mutual respect
Let’s play



Big Blue Sky – A new model of enterprise

October 23rd, 2015

We have been asked a few times ‘What target market is Big Blue Sky relevant to?’ The truth is it cannot be put in a box. We have some of the best speakers in the realms of Innovation, IT, Art, Science, Social issues and Sustainable systems. We are looking at challenges for our City from a holistic perspective that involves collaboration with us as people and with nature because really…in the long run..how can they be separated?

Spend 2 minutes today and have a look at a snippet from the film that just won Best Short Documentary at the 2015 International Film Festival Awards. Directed by Kaya Finlayson and featuring our ‪#‎bigbluesky2015‬ speaker David Martin we are excited that Big Blue Sky has been chosen for the Queensland Launch of Future Dreaming on 4th November. A perfect encapsulation of what we aim to achieve.

Future Dreaming: Big Blue Sky from Future Dreaming on Vimeo.



Sky drama – the beauty of pure raw emotion

May 4th, 2015

Sky drama - the beauty of pure raw emotion

Sky drama – the beauty of pure raw emotion

Even the sky has drama. One day clear and blue, another angry and yellow. But do we judge the sky for its drama? Do we try to change it?

Or can we see the beauty in the drama? That the dark clouds and the passage of light make something so unique and unforgettable.

Human emotion is like the clouds….some days clear, other days angry and dark…

There is beauty to be found in all phases…

In our world where the emotion of anger is taught to be wrong perhaps we can look for the beauty? A person who finds their authentic anger and expresses it without doing harm to another is living in a moment of great beauty.

Any authentic pure emotion is beautiful…pure rage…pure joy…pure jealousy. The disease is the suppressed and half baked emotion.

I want to experience you…the real, the all…the raw…as I want to live the real and raw…

 



The blues can be beautiful too

March 6th, 2015

The blues can be beautiful too

The blues can be beautiful too

To wake and feel blue might be experienced as a problem, or a gift.

Those blue moods are calling out to us…warning of some part of self that needs attendance.

Look… here…..go deeper…go down into the messy dark places that never see light..
For there…there is a pulse of an ancient memory that longs to be seen.
And in the seeing, now cast in light, cannot remain blue for long.

Do not go alone…take wisdom, compassion, and space for the extraordinary.
Be sure to have a travel companion who provides a thread to remind you of the way back.

The blues are beautiful too…

Once the light hits the horizon the blues will be gone.



Beauty is the portal to transcendence

March 5th, 2015

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Beauty is the portal to transcendence

It matters not what mood we are in, how life seems to be unraveling in this moment, how despair and grief may be the shadow across any whisper of hope.

If we can make room to experience beauty, we are saved.



On Spaciousness

March 4th, 2015

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On spaciousness

To squeeze a life full to the brim of schedules, meetings, tasks and to-do lists is to dishonour the geometry of relationships, where spaciousness is essential to existence.

 



How do we give wild flight?

February 3rd, 2015

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How do we give wild flight?

There is a part of each of us that is wild. Rough, raw, prone to fury. Uncontained.

This morn reminded me of my wildness. It reminded me of the few places in society we can allow our wildness to live out loud.

Perhaps dancing in your living room. Or running a trail. Attending a music festival. Camping, hiking.

The need of society is for us to conform, to not rock the boat.

But wild is an essential part of our nature. The question is, how do we give wild flight?



Epic Stories, Angry Gods

January 22nd, 2015

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Sometimes the dawn sky tells an epic story, one of angry Gods, blood spilled on thick dark clouds, whispers of light desperate to seep through.  And yet a calm ocean…as if all in the heavens are seething while we go about our lives in untethered and often painful ignorance.

If I were the Gods I might well be seething with frustration at the Humans…our careless ways. How we think nothing of taking from Earth, of throwing away…but where to throw to?…as ‘away’ is occupied by others… of treating each other as objects to be bartered and sold on the flesh markets called work.

And this morning I heard another ever-so-normal story…of the return to work, the pain of that, the yearning to not return to work…our lives so crazy a representation of people doing work that sucks their soul, to keep themselves living a life as defined by our society…

This…we call this innovation, human evolution? To spend the bulk of our days doing work that dims the light from us each day?

And what of our true value? What if we each had the chance to do what was spontaneously arousable from within that did not harm another’s right to liberty?

What if this was the ground upon which humanity was invited to exist?

Sure, a small few would abuse this privilege, but most, after days of idle, would find they needed to do something of value, some form of expression.

In truth this option is already available to most….if but for the artificial constraints of society, education, and world view.

The dawn today was one of heavenly anger. Perhaps it is time more people voiced their anger at being reduced from the fullest expression of their Humanity to a casual and disposable object with a productive life cycle of around 30 years.