“Grief is not a feeling. Grief stays. Grief is a way of loving that which has slipped from view.” Stephen Jenkinson
There’s so much we could grieve – all that has been lost on a personal and cultural level and then, of course, the extinction of species … so much loss! At the same time, we are burdened with the consequences of not knowing how to properly grieve. The dominant culture, or the overculture, as Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes names it, simply does not make room for the proper tending of grief.
We lose that which we love and hold dear and we’re expected to ‘get over it’ in a suitably convenient space of time. No sooner have we held a funeral for a loved one, than we’re expected to resume everyday life.
But grief doesn’t work like that. You’ll recognise this if someone you love has died.
Grief reminds you of what has gone when you least expect it. Your loss might have been last month or last decade – grief doesn’t go away. Completely blindsided, grief makes a play for you by taking a side swipe at the least appropriate of times throughout your everyday life. It dissolves you and – seen in the light of the overculture – can make a fool of you.
But here’s the deal – you’re no fool : grieving acknowledges that which is forever lost to you – that which you have loved – and reveals the consequences of that loss in painful revelations of memories good and bad, lost pieces of information, songs, phrases and stories never to fall upon your ears again …
Grief reminds us of what it means to be human and tending grief is an act of human-making. It’s both personal and cultural and it’s not a one-time only deal.
Grief does not demand a solution from you, therefore in a solution-oriented world it isn’t given a priority, but providing space for grief is necessary.
You simply have to make space for grief (as you do for suffering) in the same that way you make space for that which you deem a positive aspect of your existence. The impact of not allowing grief space to exist in our culture takes such a great toll on our psyches and bodies – and the collective trauma is there for anyone to see.
This event invites you to attend to the collective grief as well as your personal.
I am uncovering so much grief when tending to the deculturalisation of my ancestral line, both those I can name and attend to as well as those not named in the family tree : it’s heartbreaking.
But in this invitation, I’m not trying to recreate an ancient ritual I could only make a very poor guess at. I don’t wish to dictate how we can come together and collectively grieve. I’m not an expert in grief and this is precisely why I need to spend time in the tending of it – and why I’m extending the invitation outwards.
This is an event on offer to those in my Patreon community (for Clan Adder, Deer + Beastie) and is about creating a space with which to tend to everyday grief, the big picture and the small – nothing is excluded. There will be time to allow tears and all the feelings and participate in creative exercise that allows for the container and focus we may otherwise lack as we go about our everyday.
We will work in a circle to create a circle – a safe space where we can temporarily create order from the chaos. We will work with salt (a few types, but one would work) + water, to symbolise tears, watercolours (only one colour necessary, but more if you wish) some glue + watercolour paper, something round to trace a circle (optional) and some scissors to cut paper.
This is not about making art for exhibition – it’s all about the process. In this creative, ritual activity we can come together in our alone-ness and record and bear witness to our shared pain/loss/shame/fears. No transformation is expected – for none is required – and instead we will welcome our grief home.
The creative act can offer us a means to undertake this grieving without intellectual understanding and in its stead, you will be invited to welcome your feelings, intuition and sensing for a full experience.
This event has been brewing with me for some time and it feels like the time is so very right.
If you are interested to join us, please hop on over to check out my Patreon. If you join Clan Adder, Deer or Beastie prior to the event, you will be able to participate. I would love to welcome you there, particularly for this Salt Circle of Tears.
Patreon is the platform I am using to deliver regular community events such as this, in addition to providing other content including creative tutorials, behind-the-scenes of my creative biz, studio vlogs and much more to come (including tangible merchandise.) Your regular pledge can be increased or decreased at any time, and your support there enables me to develop a rich creative output as an alternative to a rigid membership system.
This is another way I am working to unravel the binds of the overculture – by offering a fair exchange mechanism for both you and me via a platform that doesn’t rely on the algorithms of Google or Facebook and their reliance on selling our time, attention and information in exchange for advertising revenue.
Pledging your support to me via Patreon can cost you as little as a take-out coffee per month and helps to ensure my ability to continue as a small creative biz owner and continue to offer relevant content in complex times. That is a revolution in the making!
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