Candle of Hope
Ways of Seeing - A Journal

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 hope

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.