February: The New Spring

My daughter Penelope mentioned that we need more weather predicting groundhogs on the job  and that Punxsutawney Phil was off his game this year. I think so too. This year, the effects of global warming caused a abnormally mild winter up and down the East Coast of the USA. Last week, I saw a groundhog crawling over the edge of my raised garden beds, in search of a carrot or turnip from last summer. When he found his nubbin, he was content to sit there in the sunlight and munch.

If we never had a real winter this year, perhaps we never had our proper rest and now the strange itch of new growth is only growing stronger. While the shadows of radical and antiquated opinions attempt to drag us back into our holes, nothing can stop the natural cycles of our evolution. The only question we need to ask ourselves is, do we have the courage to face our shadows and stay awake while doing it?

February 29, Leap Day, is an important milestone in the life of Jane Hibernia Smith, the protagonist of Together, book II of The Janaforma Trilogy.

The events of February are a great metaphor for personal evolution. The month begins with the pagan festival of Imbolic on February 1. The earth may be frozen and blanketed with snow but deep underground seeds are stirring with an itch to be born. The groundhog emerges on February 2. What awoke him from his underground burrow? Did he hear seeds cracking or did the embryonic roots snaking around him tickle his back? The groundhog peeks out of his burrow, sees his shadow, and retreats, delaying the process of rebirth. Yet spring will come because nothing can stop the natural cycles of Earth’s evolution. If the groundhog could find the courage to face his shadow, his cycle of rebirth would begin immediately and he would not be asleep when the opportunity of Leap Day arrives once every four years.

In the case of Jane Hibernia Smith, strange things had been happening to her for weeks before February 29th. Yet when Hibernia finally emerged from her space pod, she does not run back to her empty life. Jane Hibernia Smith takes advantage of the rare opportunity of Leap Day and makes an evolutionary leap into her future.

copyright © 2013 Martha Fawcett

Awake Great Mother!

Coral reefs slumber beneath the seas
like the profiles of long, elegant women.
Hidden there, the scattered shells
of siren’s voices still remember Her name.
Once, severed from Her by the steely blades of titans,
reason wore her shells ‘round their ears like two rigid teacups,
while tossing Her pearls back into the sea.

Awake Great Mother!
Open your sea-indigo eye to me
An inspirit my life with your eye for beauty.

Rise ancient sirens!
Sing Her songs
And She will echo “I love you” through russling leaves.

Let’s celebrate Her like lovers,
like children, dancing on Her beaches
with Her infinite sand between our toes.

Oh Mother One
of understanding,
tear off my rags of denial
so I may run naked into your sea.
Teach me the salt of You.

The murmuring Om:
the silent mystery behind Her sings—
Love’s meaning is hidden within you.

Martha Fawcett (copryright 2012)

No Man is an Island

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
John Donne

Am I a rock, an island afloat in a vast universe of indifference or “part of the main” and “piece of the continent?” The Janaforma crew of the starship, La Ventana, face this question in One, the final book of the Janaforma Trilogy.

Added, October 19, 2012, 3:54 PM

Am I a rock, an island afloat in a vast universe of indifference or “part of the main…piece of the continent?” If I direct my question outward, the question does not lead to any self-evident truth, but rather to a choice we ask ourselves. Do we choose to be one with others or are we alone?  It’s my personal decision to approach life with empathy so I can’t turn around when it’s inconvenient and say, “I don’t agree with you, therefore you are my enemy.”

I reconcile this philosophy by looking inside myself to the cooperative tension between my mind and feelings. I see my fear and doubt speaking with many voices while feelings use shame to animate the endless voices of my internal judgment. When I first approached my internal noise, I barely could see my real self among the distortions thrown up by doubt, fear, shame. However, when I began dialoguing with these internal voices, gave them faces, I began to understand my real self.

Webster defines “understanding” as “the quality or condition of one who understands; comprehension.” An understanding person is someone who is sympathetic or empathetic. Understanding opens our minds and soothes our feelings with assurance; and the quirky magic involved in understanding is that when we understand, understanding becomes ubiquitous throughout our being.

If we want to create authentic and lasting change in society, then we need to communicate with others from the strength of internal morality. Does this philosopical modus operandi mean that sometimes individuals are going to take advantage and we are going to open ourselves to more emotional bumps and bruises? Yes, but the bumps and bruises are tenderizering and exposes us to our own empathy and gives our human experience authentic depth.