During the Covid-19 pandemic, as the world began to slow down, I naturally delved into the practice of self-portraiture from the shelter of the one place I call home, in south-west France. The following images are an exploration of my surroundings - these places which have cradled me all my life. They speak of coming home to my roots, as a means to meet deeper levels of myself. Having broken up with my first girlfriend not long before going into lockdown, this is also a journey through grief, as I learn to let go of the old and courageously face the new in these strange, yet powerful collective times. Held by nature like a foetus in her Mother’s Womb, I learn to love myself more fully, as I welcome and hold the blooming of a new life cycle within me.
Tuning into the transitionary phase of Spring and the wonderful teachings this time of year has to offer; accepting that Life & Death are one and the same and that everything that is born must die for new life to come again. A transitioning time of transformation ~ of coming home to what matters most.
Below is a poem I wrote as the backbone to this body of work.
I have felt broken into a thousand pieces.
Navigating through the oceans of grief and sorrow,
I experience the pain of separation,
when all my spirit longs for is unity.
Naïvety gave my soul away as
I lost myself in believing I could merge with the other in such a way.
Grief has broken me open.
It has exposed my tender heart,
Made me raw, vulnerable and lost at times.
In front of this vast expanse of possibilities.
Where will I go from here? What will I do?
And who am I without the other?
Can I love myself the way she loved me?
All of these questions resonate within my soul
As I learn to trust and surrender to the Mystery
Knowing deep down within my being, that there reside the answers.
I quiet my mind and as I drop into my Heart,
I hear whispers of wisdom echoing within.
The night time sky brings promises of new horizons
Qui se dessinent dans mes rêves
I feel grateful for the guidance and remain open.
Nature has been my refuge, my sanctuary,
Gently whispering into my ear,
“Dear one, you were never lost…"
She guides me back home,
to the Source of my Being,
the Well of my Spirit,
the Spring of my Soul,
So that I may drink from it once more.
She holds me with all of her love, like a mother holds her child in the womb.
The warmth and safety of this sacred space envelopes my being as
I feel her unconditional love wrap
itself around me.
Caressing my skin like the hand of a mother caresses the head of her new born child.
The changing seasons invite me into this dance of transition.
They speak of Surrender and Trust,
and remind me that from the ashes, new Life arises.
I feel her Heart beat new life into mine,
through the soles of my feet, all the way up my Spine.
Tuning into the rhythms of Life,
I smile and sing in celebration of this new beginning.
This new opening before me - and you
As we bloom into this new cycle of life.
The world mirrors my inner Sanctuary
As the microcosm of my being dances within the macrocosm of the world around me.
I learn to attune myself to the cycles within and
listen carefully as they reveal themselves all around.
From the ashes rises new life.
And as the Trees slowly begin to awaken from their deep winter rest
And the birds share their sacred songs of love,
So do I, begin to bloom once more
Like the flowers on the apple tree
Or the tulip which has pushed her way through the ground,
to greet the Sun once more -
I too, trust that light shines beyond the darkness.
From the ashes I rise.
As these words are born from the depths of my soul,
so do tears arise in the corners of my eyes.
I close them, and feel the tension in my throat.
I notice the change in my breathing
as I am reminded of all the emotions which wash through me
like waves breaking against a tired rock.
I try to escape, but I know that in order to get through
I need to stay still. To surrender.
To be present, and listen.
So I move, and try to find stillness within.
I scream into the infinity of the Forest
The frequencies reverberate around and within,
as I feel relieved and released.
She holds all of me without judgment,
And I am reminded of compassion and forgiveness
For myself and for her.