Get a Grip

new courtyardHere at Poddler’s Creek the poddlers are poddling. We have had some marvellous showers of rain to fill the tanks and the dam. On Friday night the hail was so large and heavy it was like ice-cubes and the drumming on the roof was almost deafening. We have two cats who are terrified of thunder and loud noises, one also of helicopters and  third who is undaunted and takes everything in her stride. She is placid, accepting and laid back and several Summers ago survived the bite of a very venomous snake. The geese are in their element, literally, loving every minute of it, poddling in puddles, swimming in the dam and splashing in the run-off. They are joyous, excited and enthusiastic. Soon it will be mating season again and we will go through the ‘gander wars’  when the chaps fight for top position in the hierarchy and the right to mate with which of the geese they like best. Those who don’t get chosen are sad sometimes and we see a full range of emotions and feelings expressed. Who would think feathery faces could be so expressive!  Their necks too and posture are very much part of the body language they use. Geese grieve, feel loss and sometimes become depressed. Their family structure is complicated and the whole flock take a role in raising the goslings. Frank, the patriarch, no longer top gander, has a very dominant role in raising goslings and does it beautifully, diligently and with great dedication and determination.
What a wonderful weekend it was! My beloved daughter came for a sleep-over, after a wedding rehearsal. She’s to be a bridesmaid again, this time in the magnificent setting of the Botanic Gardens where the bride and groom will walk each other down the aisle, the matron-of-honour is so heavily pregnant she may not make it and the day no doubt will be full of surprises! Believe it or not we spent the day yesterday listening to lectures on trauma and torture.the-mindfulness-colouring-book My daughter is in the middle of a post-grad qualification on trauma and loss and had some on-line lectures to catch up on in preparation for her next assignment. While the topic is potentially difficult, we enjoy sitting together, making our points while she takes notes and I potter around the Mindfulness colouring book which is proving so enjoyable, soothing and relaxing. We laughed over our role reversal of the last decades – once she would have been the one with the colouring book! Her help and support are so valued and she does it with such good humour. It is a delight to spent time as we used to do before life got so busy and to sleep under the same roof.
We are both great fans of Jeff Brown and find truth in most of what he says.  I was stuck by this quote, which I share here –
 There is a meaningful difference between default positivity and conscious positivity. Default positivity is when we turn to positivity as a mechanism, a bypass, a defense against owning or feeling the shadow. Often birthed in challenging life experiences, this pseudo bliss trip can keep us alive during tumultuous times, but it can also become an embedded way of being that detaches us from our truth. Conscious positivity is birthed in authenticity and awareness. We don’t default to positive in an effort to avoid the pain-body- we choose to be positive because it feels organic and true in the moment. Smiling from the core outward…  Jeff Brown
How often we see this in the world of adoption and how understandable that position is – that of default positivity where adoption is beautiful and we refuse to see, own or review the other sides of adoption and those who do are ‘spoiling’ things, destroying our dreams and living bitter, twisted lives and they really should stop! When we have the audacity to #flipthescript or write a book,  a blog, a documentary or speak out with the truth it is very upsetting and makes believers angry, lash out and act on their assumptions. They lose direction, forget their bearings and fail to see clearly, or get muddled up in their feelings, their fears and their doubts, their sneaking suspicions winding around them like cobwebs out of the dark. The light splutters and flickers and it becomes hard to keep a sense of reality, a perspective and a firm foot-hold on balanced ground. It is a type of elitism in which the position is one of higher ground, a superior place from which we can ignore the marginalised, the stigmatised, the second-class, ‘the unfortunates’ and the inferior. While you may not call us any of that or use those words,  the position implies it, conveys it, enhances it and condones it. That is why it is offensive, marginalising and tries to be effective in keeping us in ‘our place’ which is not your place and never could be. We either shut up and join your ranks although never as equals, or we remain where we are. Many of us chose to do that. To take the ethical, authentic, aware, truthful position, because we are real and true to ourselves and can be nothing other and do nothing other than hold on to our integrity.
How often we see those who flutter between various ‘camps’, vulnerable, wanting to be accepted, to ‘work together’  and ‘cure’ everything, so that we can all live in love and harmony. They are flattered by being invited to write for magazines run by large agencies which profess to have adoptees’ voices at their centre and their hearts, or they are treated like pet dogs, symbolic adoptees paraded like trophies, examples of how ‘nice’ adoptees can be and their views acceptable and listened to. Let them tell what they really know and what they really think about some aspects of adoption and they’ll be dumped as fast as a filled nappy. As one adopter says, it’s all in the way you express it, implying that you can get away with anything if you express it in the acceptable manner. I wonder how true that is? It certainly works for a time for some, but perhaps it’s a grown-up version of the adoptee role of censoring speech and thoughts in order to be loved, tolerated, acceptable, inoffensive and not boat rocking. Truly speaking from the heart and from the depths of experienced, from a lived life is so hard to hear and so rarely whole-heartedly  accepted by non-adoptees. It takes genuine empathy, authenticity, altruism and the rare ability to not take something personally in order to really listen and to accurately hear. it is important also not to be tied up in elitism of any kind – white elitism  and privilege which complicate adoption and make it even more confusing, damaging and harmful to adoptees than it should be.
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