Soul land review

In which Soul Land is highly recommended. James Nicol is a well respected member of the druid community and founded an influential contemplative project

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https://contemplativeinquiry.blog/2020/08/06/book-review-soul-land

Her devotion

She loved him so he could be free

To be adrift amidst her caring and

Anchored in her home roots

She loved him so he could become

The version only heavens know

To fly in spirit and deed

Come back to her devotion

She loved him so he can feel

The warmth only known through her

To laugh and act as if to see

The world she sees for him

Hidden

Hidden

Unreachable, beyond awareness

Dead to the world

Alive to myself

Linked with the animal and land

And no more

Rejoiced in not found and lost

Until I call for it… if ever

I remain in a way of spirit

Like a ghost to the living

Like a flesh to natural

I am a flower petal as pink as the sky falling beyond the sea

A blade of grass the same colour as ancient hills beyond

I hide in small to become aware of the giant infinity of being

And out there I disappear, as angry feet stamp out all that’s soulful

Away from view yet looking through the brightest biggest window

Hidden away yet fully alive

Back to safety

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Sometimes what once was the centre of your world becomes exhausting, murky and isolating. This year I have opened my eyes to others’ perspectives on that very important thing I had only looked at from my own heart’s perspective. It can be hard to separate heart and mind when the love one feels is all consuming. It is very true what they say about love being blind. Grateful I am for insights and clarity on a picture, which had only ever had one presentation, nothing else compared and something I fiercely and unconditionally protected shutting eyes and ears to anything else in the process. It nearly cost me dearly and took me away in a direction I knew nothing about however much I convinced myself that I did.

Today I looked at that same picture and saw a gloomy, lonely, unwell landscape what before seemed like haven on earth, the only place to live and die. Strikingly it looked back at me as there we both were as if seeing each other for the first time. What an eye-opening experience this summer. I finally admitted and accepted that suffering does not equate eternal bliss, they are polar opposites, yet my attachment to pain, an old pattern, slowly sneaked up into this experience. Being blind was part of the game, part of the lure into a place dark and lonely. Love is a funny thing and that, I understand, relates to all sorts of love, be it for a person, behaviour, place or a certain feeling. We often get blind-sided by what we are not willing to see for the sake of preserving what we think will ultimately bring us joy. When we get out of our heads and step away from this one perspective we can see all the blind spots. The words of others would ring in our ears all at once and suddenly, for the first time, we hear their voices and see their perspective. Being trapped in a love that is projected, idealised can be dangerous, I know it now, as that kind of love will ask you to give up many things and people, who are actually meant to be in your life. Others are like mirrors into our experience, they are there to point out where we are going wrong and take us back into their arms no matter how far we might have strayed. This is a blessing, as what would happen if there was no way back, no one there to welcome us back to a safe shore?

It has been a difficult summer in particular. I found my allies in places I didn’t expect and returning to a home I long forgot provided me with much needed foundation to start rebuilding my experience, anew, in a different way, more kind and compassionate to the whole of myself, not just an isolated part.

Relationships, however, weak, strong, distant or unnoticed are valuable for us all and should be cultivated and cherished even if only for a while, but the most important thing is to notice, to hear, to allow for that hand of help stretch towards us when we don’t know what is good for us. Living in the earthly is fundamental for the spiritual to feel safe – that much is clear. One without the other is limited and it is also the most difficult integration and manifestation there is, the hardest lesson to learn while we remain in this time space reality.

Summer always feels unsafe to me with its unforgiving, merciless sun and the overwhelm of all senses with dense, unpenetrable forests’ paths. I get lost, confused and on edge all of the time, which makes me vulnerable to all sorts of experiences. They hit all at once, relentless dreams, mental states confusion, anxiety, body shutting down its communication. I don’t feel healthy or well during summer and by the end of it I am always exhausted and in a break-down mode in every way. Now with autumn coming, I am finally coming back to myself., back to safety. Relieved I can begin to breathe again. A process of recovery and reconstruction starts all over again, as it does every year. I am yet to figure out a way of working with summer, something, I suspect, is meant to be that exact way, although difficult to tolerate.

Photo: Arielle Vey ariellevey.com

When love is too much

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I said good bye to the land yesterday and this time it is indefinitely. I need to rebuild myself from, what feels like, ground up, as I am completely broken and exhausted from love. Yes, that is possible and I have been here before with another previous love, a human kind. The land has always been like a living breathing entity to me. Our relationship now needs a break and I hear everything it had ever said to me clearly. I cannot go on for the time being. My edges need softening, my rage pacified and my soul needs peace. All love eventually, I believe, leads to pain after an ecstasy of experience.

Rest in knowing I have given you my all without leaving much for myself, but life needs sustaining, nourishing, building and rebuilding if all is to co-exist in balance. It is hard for me to write this, yet I recognise an immense need to release it out of my being, awareness and constant swirling of it all in my mind.

The land is wise. It knows what needs balancing and often we come to realisations through hardship, illness, losses or experiences that are confusing and painful. This time the land spat me out. Like a wild animal that did not want to be domesticated. I dreamt of walking away with ravens and black roses bleeding out of the tips of my fingers and winds howling. Like a horror movie with my heart in my mouth I felt like a curse was in place and it was about to exclude me out of its working finally, for my own benefit. Too much pain and too much love. The two old friends of mine. Intensity had become difficult to bear and I am tired. Misunderstanding, confusion has occurred in this relationship. I have come to understand the reasons behind what had happened and patterns I entangled myself in. I started experiencing loses, threats to my security, family, health, financial losses and my mental stability and peace began to suffer. Confusion, grief, sadness, intensity, apprehension and fear had all been present in me for far too long with my association that rooted in this relationship. It was a warning for my own good and on reflection I am grateful for that ‘rejection’ that really stemmed from mutual love and understanding.

For now I want to be released and something inside me has broken on this last trip, which feels completely necessary. I have also gained awareness of the outside perspective and how others had viewed the situation for many years, which I had been blind to. It is as if I gained a fresh sight and overview of what’s been happening. “Love, indeed, is blind” would be the right description here. I now crave something softer, gentler and kinder like one does coming out of a storm whether in nature or from an internal emotional one. I would like peace of a different kind where loud sharp spiritual messages come as soft whispers instead and where my body feels warm and intact rather than torn to pieces. Sometimes places call us for a reason and my work is nowhere near done, but huge lessons learnt from this deep relationship of unconditional love, destruction, transformation and personal growth. For now I am ‘kicked out’ and I am glad of it, as it is exactly what is needed.

 

 

The Loch of my heart

A beautiful melody of your heart brushes against a shore

As I stand in trance-like state amidst the symphony that is your waters

Silvery shimmer like a thread connected to my inside

I spill my musings into a flow of the sacred grey depth

Loch Tay is a dream that is continuous

Without interruption it comes to my imaginings again and again

The deep calm waters touch into my unconscious like a life’s mystery never to be discovered

But what an ecstasy it is to wonder

To gaze upon the expansive body that takes me places of indescribable power, beauty and spirit

Image: clivecatton.co.uk

Going home

Like a lover long gone it gently teases with its promise of pleasure

Like the first love long dead it stirs the ashes of my shaken heart into yarning

Like a smoke over the hills it entices me home

Like a river it washes off my worldly doings

You never were mine, will you be mine now?

Will you come like an old friend that never forgot?

Like an old wound that still remembers the pain of love

Will you heal with me in embrace eternal and sacred?

Will you die with me always knowing the love we shared?

Will you come home?