The Emerging Rose

The Emerging Rose

[Note: I wrote this piece in June 2020. It was a tumultuous time, to say the least. The impacts of a consciousness that has created and perpetuated racial, gender, economic and social inequality was under the spotlight in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and in both domestic and international responses to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.]

A few days ago, I happened to see a friend’s open letter, in which she joined the call at this time for transformational change. As I read her letter, I was struck by the purity of her voice. It was a voice of love and of power – of clear seeing – free from judgement or attack. I also felt something else as I read her letter: a deep, deep sense of familiarity. I realised that this voice was also my voice. Waves of sadness came and, with it, a clear knowing that hurt and pain was obscuring my own True voice. The sadness was followed by volcanic rage. I stood in the centre of the room, feeling it silently erupting. Meanwhile, Joseph drew another drawing (he’s been prolific this month).

That night, I went to bed, feeling and noticing thoughts of unworthiness and hopelessness. I barely slept. Yet it wasn’t a disturbed night. I felt there were many with me all night, gently speaking to me, encouraging me to see myself clearly, without the distorted lens. They reminded me of the projects – the creations in this world – that I am working on, that are dear to my Heart. They reminded me of all that my Heart is yet desiring to create and to do in this world. They encouraged me to keep the faith and continue to be moved by this thread of desire.

The next morning, Joseph was recounting a recent trip to a mountain and lake that our family love to visit. He described how, on the first half of our walk around the lake, it was dark and icy, but on the second half of the walk, it was warm and sunny (we had visited on a very cold Winter’s morning). He said that his beloved soft toy, who accompanied us on our walk, was “resting” when we were walking on the sunny side but “awake” when we were walking on the dark side. And then he suddenly sat bolt upright and looked at me with bright shining eyes. ‘Awake, mum!’ He said, his voice filled with astonishment. ‘She was awake when it was dark!’

As I arose from bed, I could ‘hear’ Diana Ross singing:

I’m coming out

I want the world to know

Got to let it show

Diana Ross, I’m Coming Out

I had barely slept all night and yet I felt energised and weightless.

Joseph pointed across the room where our hula hoops were hanging from a ladder, near a wall. ‘Look at the hula hoops’ shadows [on the wall]’ he said, ‘There are lots of shadows, even though there are only two hula hoops’. YES! In my mind, the objects of darkness can at times seem many and overwhelming, but really they come from just a few sources.

I played Diana Ross’ song as we prepared breakfast.

Later that morning, Joseph was drawing at the easel. He invited me to come and complete the drawing with him. I looked at what he had drawn and noticed, not for the first time this month, the prevalence of thick black markings on the page. He had also drawn a purple cross in the upper centre of the page. I felt to pick up a red crayon and my hand drew a red rose in each of the four corners of the paper. Then my hand picked up the orange crayon and drew a spiral in the centre of the masses of black markings. And then, almost as an afterthought, I picked up the aqua blue crayon. I felt a soft smile spread across my face. I drew a thick arc across the top of the page. My whole body smiled. As I sat back and gazed at the image – feeling it – I could still feel her with me.

I always ask Joseph, when he completes a picture, if he wants to give it a title. This time it was him that asked me. ‘Mother Mary’, I replied.

Today, Joseph again invited me to join with him to complete a drawing. He took me by the hand and led me over to his easel. There were many black markings in this picture also, but this time there was just as much aqua blue. I immediately picked up the black crayon and, my body hunched, I drew hard and fast a black mass down the bottom corner. As I sensed a pull in me to let the blackness spread further across the page, Joseph gently took the black crayon from my hand and replaced it with the dark green crayon. As soon as I received the green crayon, I felt different. My body opened up, becoming bigger: it wanted to make large and open movements. I drew swirls and thick bands of green all around the border of the page.

‘What are you drawing, mum?’ Joseph asked excitedly.
‘LIFE!’ I smiled.
Joseph jumped up and down. ‘”LIFE”! We’ll call this picture, “LIFE!” ‘

As I lay the dark green crayon down, he suggested that we now move on to build something with the wooden blocks (the source of much daily glorious play and creativity for Joseph). ‘I’ll be with you in a moment’, I replied, sensing that the drawing was not yet complete for me. I knelt before the picture. My hand then picked up the deep red crayon. As it moved towards the picture, it felt like my heart was moving out and onto the page. It knew exactly where to go: deep into the centre of the swirls and streaks of black and aqua blue. Joseph appeared by my side, watching me draw.

‘What is it mum?’ he asked.
‘A rose’.
‘I can’t see it’.
I laid down the crayon and rested. ‘It’s emerging’, I heard myself say.

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