Roadside Chats (12) – 29/4/15

It’s Monday the 23rd of March. I leave Christchurch for the Wakamarina Valley. Tomorrow is settlement day. The Camper’s loaded to the gunnels with belongings. I drive slowly and carefully. The van feels overloaded. It’s early evening before I finally make it to the cottage. I partially unload to create a small sleeping space. In the stillness of the Wakamarina I nestle in my sleeping bag and fall into a deep sleep.

The next morning I drive to Blenheim and complete the purchase. The cottage is mine. The Self has spoken of this moment. ‘You will occupy your place where the moon is bright and clear.’ The cottage is to be called ‘Deep Song.’ I link the two sayings into a poem. I paint it on the wall of the cottage.

You will occupy your place

Where the moon is bright and clear

You will call her



Gratitude is a constant companion. The last four years have been years of struggle and loss. I lost my Brooklands home to the earthquakes. I lost my Diamond Harbour home when my marriage came to an end. This is my sixth shift in two years. I now own a small writing cottage beside the Wakamarina River.

Deep Song is so peaceful. I watch mist furl and unfurl about the twin peaks of Mirror Mountain. When it rains I listen to the song of Moon Creek. A stag roars close to the cottage. Goats bleat in the bush. At night a possum romps across the balcony. The birdsong is constant. I hear tuis, bellbirds, fantails, grey warblers, blackbirds and thrushes. Wax-eyes feed in the fuchsia tree. A bush robin hops about my feet as I clear a path through the foliage. The weka hunts for grubs. The great consistency is the sound of the river.


Bubbling – Tumbling




Of my heart

Gradually I settle in. The power is switched on. The phone connected. I buy a mailbox and join the Rural Delivery. I wait for Satellite broadband. Part of the beauty of Deep Song is there is no cell or radio coverage. I will not disturb the tranquillity by installing a television. A fortnight after my arrival I drive to Christchurch to pick up a second load of belongings. Following my return Elle visits. I journey back to Christchurch with her to pick up my car. The third emotional hole opens.

I experience pain in my left side & lower back. I feel exhausted. I suspect it’s a kidney problem. I’m wrong. My GP suspects a kidney stone. He’s wrong. Blood tests are ordered. Three hours later my cell phone rings. It’s the doctor. He asks if I’m still walking. I say yes, but I’m weak. He tells me the tests show an anomaly. He advises me to go straight to the emergency department. My daughter joins me at the hospital. Elle quickly follows. A nurse discovers I have an irregular heartbeat. I’m given an ECG. They don’t know what’s wrong. The emergency doctor leans toward sending me home. He says I can get further tests later. I stand in the emotional hole of illness. I tell him the source of my pain has yet to be discovered. I want to know what’s going on. I firmly request a CAT scan. The doctor relents. Two hours later the scan shows an infection in a pocket of my bowel: diverticulitis. I am admitted and put on an antibiotic drip.

I am concerned about the arrhythmia. What’s going on with my heart? A member of the cardiac team visits. I focus on staying strong as the antibiotics go about their work. The energy of the surgical ward drains me. A number of patients struggle with bowel cancer. As an empath I’m especially sensitive to the emotions of others. I feel flat: exhausted. I draw strength from the Self and the writings of Barry Brailsford.

‘You are who you are; nobody else; by some trick of nature
you’ve come home to yourself.’ The Self

‘When we are doing what is asked of us with integrity, being all we are, we open to the Wairua.’

Barry Brailsford – The Song of the Eagle

Four days after my admission I’m discharged. Three days later I visit a doctor in Havelock. I tell him about my heart. He takes my pulse. He says my heartbeat is as steady as a rock. The arrhythmia is gone.

The health crisis draws Elle and I closer. I feel her constant care and concern. I introduce her to the poetry of Gabriel Rosenstock. Rosenstock is an Irish poet who writes beautiful Bhakti (devotional) poems to the Goddess. He draws on ancient Celtic tradition to darken certain letters within words to create a second set of words which point to the Goddess.

Show Yourself
Your lips
From which issue
The flaming tongues
Of my poem

Gabriel Rosenstock – Bliain an Bhande – Year of the Goddess; Pg 8

Elle cottons on… she reaches over and writes in my diary: ‘Your loving is differently beautiful.’

She’s right. We both experience something new and beautiful. The day after my release from hospital we lie skin to skin in Elle’s bed. We so appreciate the gift of our love. As we gaze into each other’s eyes we enter the realm of Presence. There’s something timeless here. There’s no need to do anything. We simply enjoy. Spontaneously Elle reaches across and touches my skin. I feel my body tremble. Again she touches. Again I tremble. I reach out and touch her skin. I feel her tremble. In my heart I hear the words; ‘The Deepening.’ I share them with Elle. At once she responds: ‘The Opening.’ Something life-giving is happening to us. What is it? Where will it lead? On my return to the cottage I read Barry Brailsford:

There is a magic in loving that makes us taller, stronger and more complete in every way. Such sharing is of the Creation, a wondrous joining that brings heart, mind, spirit and body together in an ecstasy that is beyond words. It is of the Power, and, if held within the balance, opens the way for the inner journey of the spirit. Nothing eclipses that realm of fulfillment. It is of the core of life, of the web of all being and the wellspring of renewal.

 Barry Brailsford – Song of the Silence


Roadside Blessings – Kevin

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