I don’t exactly know where to start to write about this journey I have been on for the past 5 months. There has been York and there has been uni; new learning and so much discovery. I retreated in my cocoon made of books and videos, lectures and seminars and there I disappeared. I felt the constraint of having my work graded at a uni-level, for the first time and I felt competitive, driven and at the same time stuck and rigid. And very lonely.
I made, I made a lot. I made different things in different ways. As I am used to, I got lost along the way, heavily. Blogging disappeared, any spiritual practice stopped, and I lost journaling, writing, being me. I felt I had to compete and win, esp. I felt I was doing 1.5 years of uni in 12 weeks since I started at YR 2.
I felt overwhelmed, tired, old. The usual, same old same old.
And then during the Christmas holidays, I stopped at home and I just wrote my two assignments while diving deep into the thinking of Martin Heidegger, which to me was a pleasant surprise. There, I got back in contact with my own source, with my own Being of being.
When the assignments were handed in, I felt itchy-feet again: for the ones who know me already, they know what this means. It’s the need for newness, to leave, to go, to explore, to discover. I felt bored and scared at the same time, of all this time at my disposal. I felt the need to go back to my cards, to my journaling. And as organically as that was, it simply happened. I journaled again about my desire for adventure, of my sense of divide within me, a never satiated need to be out and moving, studying and reading, and enquiring, and getting lost, and exploring… unsatisfied.
As it happens, when you reach a plateau, I turned to the cards, the archetypes, and these led me to Rachel Whiteread’s House and in there I discovered the word.
Sam reminded me last week over a Starbucks that since she met me, I have always told her I needed a word. I was missing a word. I was looking for the word to define me. Writer, artist, photographer, therapist, witch, Italian, wife, woman, student: those do not define who I am. I don’t recognize myself in them, because I am a bit of everything and nothing at the same time. Those are mostly things that I do or things that can change in a way or another. All of those words never resonated, I did not recognise them, I did not feel them like me. At heart, that’s not me.
But in this article, I came across a word: psychogeography. I instinctively enquired and I found me.
If you were to read my journals with my moving about, if you were to see the books I am drawn to - On the Road, Ulysses, Women Travellers, Walden, Robinson Crouse, the Philosophy of Walking just to name some; my fascination with maps; the movies I like such as Lara Croft, Indiana Jones, Da Vinci Code, all those documentaries about travelling and explorations: you would think I have always known I was a psychogeographer. Having found a word to define me, it feels it legitimises who I am. I don’t feel strange or weird or misunderstood anymore because there are people out there like me. I am not alone. As long as we stay at the respectable distance of not bothering each other in our silent walks and explorations, we are good. I am thinking of all the times in my previous rambling of how much I got close to find out and never really got there; how much the universe put me in a position where "being stuck", "needing to go", "mapping a way out" was a constant but something never clicked.
I am thinking how lucky I am that I have finally peeled that layer within me of self-observation that ticks so many boxes; and that map which looked more of a puzzle is clearer now. It feels that I do not even need to go anywhere, now that I know who I am (just kidding, of course…).
In a way, I have come home.
I am home even now: sitting in my car, parked outside the Half Moon Bar in Heysham, for example. Laptop, thermos, backpack, food, books, journal, pencil, silence. Happy.
As if by magic (who am I kidding, it is by magic) uni gave me another project to do, the InterSemester one. I used it to explore maps. Maps and more, delving into the concept of maps, the philosophy of cartography, questioning if maps are more “in the head”, “in the hands”, or “in the feet”; and then space, air, distance, what’s interstitial, in-between. Antevasin. And if you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that unfolding.
So, part of me was sorted: the journaling, the art-making, the maps, psychogeography and me bring together therapy, analysis, art, travelling, me. There was still a dimension which was missing, though. Deeply. That dimension that elevates psychogeography to a different level, to me. What gives me a sense of world-wide purpose, albeit not worldly: the spiritual side of me.
So, with the support of one of my tutors, I have decided that I wanted to go back to writing and blogging because I was missing its ritualistic and explorative value. I have decided that I will blog weekly, on here, exploring psychogeography in the broadest sense possible - emotions attached to space, memories, moving, literature, art, and anything that will happen in between - but I will use the mean of insight to provide me with a controlled (weekly) random (divination) system for exploration and self-reflection.
So, why am I here, then, today? And why did I call this blog, The Stone?
Here is what happened this morning:
I have decided to use the Archetypes by Kim Krans to open up to the insight and look at what kind of message Kali has for me. This is what appeared:
I immediately noticed how the three cards began all with S: shadow, storm, stone. YouTube for the past week kept on suggesting a video about Jung and the Shadow: should I watch it? The Shadow asks me what is it that I despise about myself, what is it that I disrespect. Can I learn to accept everything about me, feeling compassion? The Storm is the disorder, the chaos. I have to realise that there are forces greater than myself and learn to trust. Can I learn to surrender, even by writing this blog and following pure insight to lead me? I know that when I am in what I believe a comfortable position, in reality, I am stuck. And that stuckness is precarious and very fragile. The Storm comes to rebalance everything. And then there was the Stone, this eternal anchor: the sense of permanence, reliability. That inner core even within the Storm. On here, I can anchor my wild side, my flamboyant artistry. And as Theseus with Ariadne's thread, I can always find my way back to solidity and stability. On here, in my writing. And while I was doing this, my diaphragm contracted and I knew: this is The Stone.
If I didn’t have enough confirmation, Kim Krans suggests I go and check “A Walk at Dusk” by C.D. Friedrich, a beautiful oil on canvass with quite a peculiar title, for a psychogeographer!
As if that were not enough, she suggested I went out to build a cairn in nature, finding inspiration from Andy Goldsworthy’s stone eggs structures.
Immediately I felt compelled to find and hold in my hand a particular stone I brought with me from Italy and that comes from one of my favourite places (///backpackers.wiping.spellers) and that (weirdly enough) is connected to someone whose name begins with an S (...). And yes, this is the one in the badge I made for this blog! Then, I could visualise myself in Heysham, collecting stones, "making something", because Cairn was also the breed of one of my mother’s dogs and I scattered my mother's ashes there…
To dive deeper into the message, I then used the I Ching to ask for a specific confirmation about this blog.
This is the hexagram 40: JIE, or RELIEF. Thunder over Rain (Thunder as in Storm?). This action will bring deliverance and alleviation and (please) do act without delay! "If you have somewhere to go, go South West". So, I followed its advice and instead of going where I usually go (near St. Peter’s Church) I instead drove South West and stopped at the Half Moon Café.
Here I feel at home. Because also it does not matter which sea I am standing in front of. I could be here in Heysham, in Lytham, Grado, Lignano, Triest, Zadar, Liverpool, or Bangor. It doesn't really matter. I feel at home anywhere.
It is very cold and very windy now. I looked for stones, filled a bag, took them to a place that “called me” and there I made a door, a sort of portal: to more travelling, to more explorations, whether inner or outer it doesn’t matter because they are always connected. To more going and coming back.
To the Stone.
Now, to more making!
I shall see you all next week.
© mtomat 2021 - written on 30012021 - no reproduction without permission.