May 28th 2003
Darryl is in the Epworth Hospital being
operated on as I write. The last twelve days have been excruciating
as we have faced our worst fears. In my search for fresh perspective
I couldn't bring myself to turn over Tarot cards or take a reading
from Medicine Cards I acquired some years ago. It has been a long
time since I have meditated using these tools so I was especially
touched that my soul sister, a hemisphere away, was prepared to
lay out the faerie cards and do readings for me. She used Froud's
Faerie cards and 'The Singer of Courage' kept appearing.
I clutched to the reading and drew internal strength to calm, comfort
and console Darryl during the seemingly interminable days and nights.
This is the reading that has helped to
keep me strong.
“Someone once said that courage is not
the absence of fear but that which enables us to experience fear
and not be stopped by it. It is also what enables us to do what
we believe to be right even when there is pressure from others around
us to do otherwise. It is what enables us to be ahead into the unknown
or the perilous where there are no guarantees of safety or security.
In our lives we are often, even constantly,
confronted with a new world, a new way of being in the world a new
way of seeing and of seeing and of being seen. Ordinary living takes
courage, and to rise above the ordinary into the extra ordinary
takes even more courage. One of the keys to courage is to consider
the fear and find a way to let the energy of the fear itself power
the action. That is true courage.
Often people think of courage as being
part of high heroism. It is, but is also has its quiet, hidden side
as well - and that may require greater courage because we cannot
expect the rewards of praise and approval for it. For example, no
courage is needed to be unhappy and self-pitting. We do not need
to be self-disciplined or wise for that. However, to open our hearts
to the risks and vulnerability of joy and trust requires all of
those things, especially courage.
Within each of us, there is the terrified
inner mouse and there is the brave inner hero. Either part of us
can take over from the other. We get to chose which is in charge.
The mouse is a magician with only one trick. It can case an illusion
that it is as big as an elephant. Then fear nearly overwhelms us
- but we still have choice. Learning to live with and manage the
reactive animal within involves transforming emotions like rage
and fear into courage through self-discipline and the help of the
Singer of Courage.
Starter Reading: Most people have decided
by the age of three or four what they must do in order to survive.
From this decision, this belief about how the world is, most of
our fears and self-limitations grow. Have we the courage to discover
and break through these limiting beliefs, awaken to greater possibilities,
and go for our objectives? We need to transcend our fears and accept
the gift of courage.
Reversed: When the Song of Courage has
grown faint, and we feel overcome by fear and self-doubt, the questions
we need to ask ourselves begin with “What am I really afraid of”
Quite often deep soul searching enables us to discover that our
true fears are hidden behind our false fears. It is impossible to
face false fears because they are merely shape-shifters and shadows
without substance, continually changing form. Facing real fear is
much easier because it doesn’t keep changing the rules and moving
the goal posts. The question then becomes “What can I do to open
my heart to courage so when I feel fear, I can follow through on
what I want and need to do.”
As an Oracle group member wisely suggests,
another question to ask is “What else is present,” she notes, “When
fear of any kind arises in the mind, more space is allowed in the
heart if one acknowledges the fear while at the same time looking
for whatever else, besides the fear, is also there. Thus one neither
ignore nor gives too much focus to the fear itself - and more space
opens up within which the fear can be explored and liberated.”
These words helped me to focus, helped
me to look deeply into my heart and faced my fears - the fear of
being alone, of having to stand by helplessly as disease eats away
my husbands body, of having to say good-bye, of finding the strength
to live. The words helped nourish positive words, words filled with
We faced our fears by walking together
at the junction of the King Parrot and Stony Creeks where Darryl
wants his ashes to be scattered.
Before setting out I made my peace with
my muse because I had always said that I wanted to be scattered,
to drift across Mount Parnassus. She agreed with my pronouncement
that if I did happen to go before Darryl he was to scatter me in
this place and come to find me when he died. Likewise, if he goes
before me I will scatter him there and keep a matchbox full of ashes
ready for the children to scatter with mine when I go.
It goes without saying that it was an
incredibly emotional time for both of us. By the time we left everything
that needed to be said had been said and I meant it when I told
Darryl that it was a gift to hold each other, express our love for
one another. It was calming to agree on a place where we know we
will be together again one day, where we can warm our bones under
the gentle filtered sun that streams down onto the creek, where
we could listen to the water tumbling over the rocks and share memories.
Now it is all up to Rick Masters and
the surgical team at Epworth Hospital. I separated as Darryl was
wheeled into the operating theatre knowing that they would not only
look after him but would do their very best. This knowledge keeps
the candle of hope alight today.
Thank you to everyone who has been here
taking a turn on watch. Knowing that someone is always awake, that
we are being thought of is incredibly comforting. Sometimes as I
have slept I have felt a warm cloak engulf me and woken to find
emails filled with love - be it kind words, a lullaby, a painting,
a faerie card. As I read these missives of consolation I knew the
source of the warm cloak and felt strong enough to face another
day as we waited.
Think of me as I await the surgeon's
phone call. The coming days will be testing but I want everyone
to know just how much I have appreciated you being there.
You have each made a difference.