Friday, 16 November 2012

Peace is coming.

Friends, it has been so long. I am here, still, singing and longing, swallowing curses with honey, doing myself differently daily and following that thread which has always been me and can lead only to me. I am here, still.

These months of ferocious learning are bringing a kind of peace. It becomes obscured by the stress of grief and responsibility and the details of life, but it hums darkly inside me and I cocoon it willingly, bracing myself for the first cracks which will surely bring cataclysmic dismemberment and then the remembering. To journey this far into the underworld; to refuse all helping hands out; to march down and down, winding this silken thread of me tightly around my embryonic peace: there can no longer be an easy exit. People ask me if it's getting easier to be without Thomas. Sometimes, when I am feeling more compassionate than truthful, I tell them yes. Or glamour them with a tale of Pickle's adventures. But I'm telling you (and if you don't like it you're following the wrong blog) that it's going to get harder before it gets easier. And I'm not even going to try to stop it. 

One small child, a house, a big garden, a creative business and an orchard allotment... too much. Too stretched, particularly in the head. Which hurts. So, the allotment has gone to an enthusiastic, organic tender who will safeguard the bees who live at the top. I promised them that. Thomas spent hours with this piece of land and they would have come to resemble one another in time. Another goodbye. We ate apples from our trees for the last time, Pickle ceremonially stripped the loganberry bushes and I transplanted the double-petaled feverfew we always plucked a flower from for Pickle's hair when she was tiny. It died immediately.

We went on retreat to stay with a crazy canine friend, chickens and a couple of geese. If only the geese were this relaxed. After a smooth and quiet few days, we were ready to go home when a fever took me which I feel has not quite released its last tendril yet. More burning; signs of getting nearer to the core.

I took these photos to celebrate the startling beauty of my garden after I had shown you its rough and raggedy underbelly. Sweet wonders have been appearing and disappearing while I do little more than stand and stare.

And then it was my wedding anniversary.

For weeks before I had been refusing this day - silently insisting the world denounce it with me. I wanted, desperately, to avoid living through this day - to fall asleep the evening before and wake the morning after. But, of course, no.

'Mama, Mama.'
I can't do this.
'Mama, Mama.'
I am lifting her from her cot, feeling her warmth against my face as I carry her back to my bed. His bed. She latches on and snuggles down, arms around me.
My face is wet as I look across at him, see that smile.
I can do this.
Sometimes there is such a shortage of alternatives it gets really simple.
Sometimes that is a good thing.

And then, as we left the house for playgroup, pretending this was just a Thursday; a gift. A huge rainbow, like the ones we had for days and days after Thomas died; the moon above and a raven flying below. Face wet again, I trundled the trike down the street, at last remembering that gratitude is what brings me back every time.

That afternoon Pickle was off playing with her Gappy and I was all set for an afternoon of wailing and gnashing of teeth. But only the day before I had learned of a singing workshop and before I could intervene I had my shoes on and was walking down the road, not really knowing what I was going to.

The Naked Voice is what I have been feeling for. For me, it is freeing and strengthening and challenging. Moments of exquisite grace soar over the powerful drone of charmless and perfect truth. We are tribe, for a time, and as much ourselves as we dare. That thread again. Always leading to the burning. And the peace.

After this induction into the song of my soul, I sat on the top of the hill which holds the body of my husband, and I sang and I sang and I sang. And the more I sang, the more beautiful the world became. Gratitude, bringing me home again.

Not many of these Firsts to survive now. Christmas, of course, then the big one. Gappy had her first birthday without Thomas. To help get her through we went to the Food Festival at Powderham Castle. I was spun out by a strange, bullying man quizzing me about Thomas's jewellery which I wear, but Pickle had an excellent time, which made it okay. Here she is waiting for the return ride on a land train (pulled by a tractor), under an ancient oak in the sunshine, eating a cookie the size of her head. What could improve such a moment?

The hilariously unexpected emergence of a Gappy!

Much else has happened, but that can wait. What I want to say here is that it's not getting easier but it is getting better. I am still making my best amateur attempts at reaching out for help and I can't tell you the gratitude I feel when your hand closes over mine and I know I am not on this journey alone.

Peace is coming. Peace is coming. Brace yourselves; peace is coming.


  1. good to sing through.
    Blessingsa Be

  2. Even when you don't write your blog, my thoughts are still with you. I hope that peace arrives.

  3. Aw Lunar ! Anything I want to say sounds so fatuous and banal. You're so strong & we are here for you. That's all I can say. Big hugs to you & Pickle xxx

  4. We are always thinking of you and Ember, even when our own stories (of study, of work, of stories themselves) overwhelm us. This time, though, it's been too long XX

  5. My hand, always here for you hand. With so much love. xx

  6. You find some perfect words, Lunar. I absolutely believe you when you say it's not getting easier but it's good you are finding that it's getting better. Peace is something to strive for; singing towards it sounds just right. Your strength and inner goodness is wonderful. May it carry you onwards towards that peace.

  7. Lunar, it is so good to hear from you. I think of you often and wonder how you and Pickle are travelling. And I am so pleased you found has always seemed a most powerful and potent tool for healing and expressing to me. It has some deep magic that connects with the parts of us that don't think, that just feel. Perhaps you need the underworld for a little longer, for now it is shelter, cocoon perhaps? Hang on to your thread, and you will find your way out when you feel the time is right. Take care.

  8. Dearest Lunar, I LOVE your website, and your paintings too. I am so happy you are enjoying the Naked Voice afternoons too. It is an immense privilege to sing with you, to share and to follow that unique thread that is YOU, through your soul song and 'wise old soul' presence. Your voice is inevitably strong and pure, substantial, intelligent, and original. When you share sound, a song, a thought, or a smiling look, I always can feel that it is YOU communicating. Nothing else in the way, just you. You are a beautiful woman soul, and you are navigating this fierce and blessed destiny, with Thomas and Ember and Gappy and all of us who love you, with GREAT COURAGE and GRACE. I am as moved by your writing, as I am by your singing soul. I love the way your soul moves through your words to say the truth, trusting the outcome and saying it as it is, sometimes its funny, sometimes piercingly sad, always true, direct, and most important, always blessed by invisible supporters cheering you on. You have a lot of invisible support thats for sure. I first met you (from afar) at Thomas's memorial at Barefoot Barn. I had only just arrived in the village from Bristol. I was so moved by the community's deep loss of Thomas, who had just passed. I stood on the outside of the circle at Barefoot Barn, as one person after the next shared their great respect and love for dear Thomas. I felt sorry I had never met him in person. I was most inspired by your words on that day, after everyone else had shared their praise. You spoke of being the luckiest woman in the world. That whole day I shall never forget. I knew that it was essential to make my connection with Thomas then too, because I was to facilitate a voice workshop in the Barn the next day. We sang for you in the voice workshop, and we sang for Thomas and Ember and all your family relations. I found myself hoping that you might come and join us one day, at what is now your naked voice singing tribe. When you walked through the door this late Summer to join us, I breathed in and out a long deep sigh of JOY and DELIGHT.
    How We Love You ! May I buy one of your paintings? I like "In Residence and under a Rosy Sky" and "Tree Study 3 Autumn"
    Love light and blessings Chloe x

    PS Do you remember Bill, quite a psychic guy, who came to the previous three naked voice afternoons in October? At the end of the first afternoon voice session when everyone had left, he looked at me and said " Do you know anyone called Thomas? or Tom?" I looked at him and said "Well yes.... " Bill intervened saying "Well he's got his arm around my shoulders and he is laughing with delight at what is going on here!" "Aha" I replied, "that makes sense".

  9. Thinking of you and Pickle as you sing your way through, and back out of, the underworld.

  10. Lunar,
    Isn't it strange that you come to my mind often? All the way over here . . . and hardly any interactiosn ever.
    I hardly check blogger anymore, but am glad to see this post from you. The thought of you singing on that sunlit hill through that chest-hollowing, gut-wrenching pain affects me deeply -- it makes me love harder.


  11. Ah Lunar

    I remember when I too found Naked Voice singing as one of the threads to hang onto, keeping me connected to Life. This thread grew like a vine and it's deep roots connect me to the Earth in joyful ways I could never have imagined 10 years ago. My heart sings with you and I look forward to the day our voices can soar together again. Whether you reach for help or not, the love of all those you touch when sharing your Great Journey, connects us all through gratitude - that same gratitude that brings you home, perhaps. All love and song xx

  12. Whatever I say here sounds wrong. I write and delete. Your strength and courage inspire me and I want to say thank you.
    Jess x


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