When I was a very small child I remember roaming through fields with my brothers and our neighbours. I have strong associations with those times as being part of a unified family group, a feeling of intense and absolute belonging, with no query. The fields we wandered, full of long grass & wild flowers were fenced in by immense oak trees, which seemed to me as large as gods. I remember horses whispering warm breath on my small cold hands, climbing lichen & moss covered fences and gates crossing seemingly endless vistas of grass.
In a new home many year’s later these childhood meanderings developed into solitary excursions. Rather than safe explorations buoyed by my extended family, they became a search for haven, escapism from the mundane repetition of everyday routines and a longing to recapture the state of being previously taken for ‘absolute’, the search for a sense of belonging. Our family had fractured and dispersed, each alone beneath the same roof. Seeking hope and a place to belong I ran through the long grasses and delved into observing the neighbouring fields and the lives played out in them. Countless hours I spent lying perfectly still on my back watching the grasses sway around me, the insects, the birds, absorbing the sounds around me, watching clouds skid across the sky, drinking in the smallness and the bigness and seeking answers to the question I had: were others feeling this same sense of aloneness? It took an entire field to hold my aloneness yet I felt my wholeness, with nothing to impede it, could fill the sky.
I wrote something at this time, something I stumbled across today. Young as I was I was trying to explain where I danced from:
‘If I dream myself alive, I will awaken, I will live. I evolve alone, alone but whole. At peace, I seek depth. Touching the real, really living – can you see that I am alive? This is where I find the dance’ – twelve year old me.
Words by errant satiety image from Stefan Olivier