Everything is connected.
My son is into Alan Watts. He was speaking about him to me yesterday. It made me think of an old blog I had from 2014 where I quoted Alan Watts.
“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone.”
– Alan Wilson Watts | 29 Best Quotes about Writing: We are Legion
I am spending my retirement on 10 acres of unrestricted land in North Carolina.
I met this man last October online, and we spoke every day. Long phone calls. I felt heard and seen and appreciated by a possible partner for one of the first times in my life.
We met. He leaned over and kissed me, and I fell in love. He touched me, and every cell in my body screamed ‘more’. Yes, please.
But then a wall went up. He said I was too much push and pull. Of course I was. I’m going through a second divorce. I’m starting over at 52. I’m living on my savings. My children have their own big challenges, and I do my best to help them and put aside my concerns to be there for them. Each day is a mental struggle to put what is truly important into perspective.
The day I left my husband is the day my mother stopped sending me money to help out. I don’t understand this except to say that she was bribing me to stay in a dysfunctional marriage so that I would have financial security.
Now I am falling.
Twisting and turning through the air. Trust. Fall. Let go.
Back to the man. Of the two times we physically saw each other, the pain was gone briefly. Pretty much forever I have lived with this pain. I do not recall a moment that I did not carry it.
And then the lovely man who said lovely things disappeared. We still talked on the phone. We were still friends. And I did what people have done throughout time, I went chasing him. The more he retreated, the more I looked and looked for glimpses of his softness underneath the turtle shell.
He said point blank he does not have time for me. His life is full with his job, his kids and nature.
I did not hear him. I told myself he did not mean it.
Because I would do anything for that love. I would do anything for that partner that I have never had. I would do anything to take away that pain for brief periods of time. To not feel alone. To feel loved and cherished and appreciated.
I am broken.
Every day since I met him, I have thought of him. I wake up and think of him. I go to bed thinking of him.
I am broken.
I get on Match to find someone. I just put pictures but no intro, and I get lots of responses. I put an ‘intro’ briefly talking about who I really am.
I get it.
They see. I am not normal.
Underneath my pain and fear and brokenness, there is beauty and strength that scares the shit out of most people because it is steel. Because it is fire. Because it is water and earth and wind.
Because it holds fast. No matter what.
I will no longer lie about who I am. I would rather be alone.
I pick up a recommended book Evolutionary Witchcraft by T. Thorn Coyle. It is on Feri (Fairy) Tradition Witchcraft.
“It is a tradition of varied streams, all of which flow from the practices of deep communion and self-examination. An ecstatic tradition, it brings the individual into direct contact with the Gods, Nature, and the self. This contact is often galvanizing, stirring the blood and opening the heart to the whispering world. It is a tradition concerned with the development and alignment of the human soul. Its tools help us to walk into an expanded humanity and an essential divinity. None venture here but the brave – the poets, the warriors, or healers – for this is a life-changing path of power.”
I realize I have been on this path for years. Each day, I understand my little human and my pain body a little more. Each day, I grow a little stronger.
Each day, I learn how to acknowledge the pain and then let it go. How to acknowledge that deep ache I have for normalcy and for someone to share my bed, my heart, my body. And then to let that go.
Because in the end the only thing that is important is that I was true to myself and followed my path the best I could even if sometimes it was stumbling, crawling, complaining, crying, wailing, sitting in petulant defiance. I still always got up, dusted myself off and continued.
Each day I grow more into the realization there are things we have control over, and there are things we have no control over. The first is simple. Our attitude. The things we hold on to. The things we let go of. The decisions we make each and every moment and each and every day.
The second is everything else.
Do we reach down deep to that fire and steel and hold fast to our truth and purpose?
I do not know if I am doing the right thing buying this land. In 2016, I went to ALisa Starkweather’s Daughter of the Earth event off grid in Massachusetts, and it changed my life. My husband at the time was out of work. We did not have the money for me to go.
But I went anyhow.
After a very long day of flying in to Boston and then driving hours to the middle of nowhere where I knew no one and struggling through setting up a tent with pretty much no camping experience whatsoever, I sat in that tent with a forbidden cigarette and beer and had a massive panic attack.
What was I doing? Why was I there?
I forced myself out of that tent and went and heard drumming, singing and chanting.
My whole perspective shifted. And all of a sudden where once was fear, I saw beauty. I saw stars. I saw forest. I saw the Wild.
And I needed Her.
I sat down this morning to write about the Land.
But first I had to acknowledge my brokenness. My smallness. My pain.
I won’t stay in that tent. I will not.
I will return to the Wild. It is time.
BIO: Caryn MacGrandle is the creator behind the Divine Feminine App which has been connecting and inspiring women [and other genders too] throughout the world since 2016 as a directory to find Sacred Circles, events and resources. Women find the app each and every day, and it currently has almost 8000 users from around the world. Caryn has also hosted Sacred Circles and events for the past nine years and is passionate about the power of a Circle to heal individuals and the world. She has participated in numerous online and location events such as the World Parliament of Religions in September of 2021 in which she presented a workshop on Embodying the Goddess: Creating Rituals with Mind, Body and Soul and just recently a webinar/panel with Dale Allen presenting Dale’s Indie film award winning “In Our Right Minds: Leading Women to Strength as Leaders and Men to Strength without Armor.” Each and every day, Caryn (aka Karen Moon) works tirelessly towards her belief that the most important area to first find equality and balance is the divinity found within yourself.
10 thoughts on “Return to the Wild by Caryn MacGrandle”
Beautiful, powerful writing, Caryn. Every word. Thank you.
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Thank you Xochitl.
Thank you for writing this, Caryn. Yesterday I was thinking about the concept of the “wounded healer.” I was thinking about how having been in pain, or being still in pain, physical, emotional, or spiritual, can make us more powerful healers of ourselves and others. Others can see themselves in us and we can better see ourselves in them. You have written a wonderful map from feeling broken to coming to wholeness, and many will benefit who read it. I have found much to think about in your post myself. I think you did, indeed, write about the Land, for, to me, our relationship to the Land we love is where we get so much of our strength to find our way out of brokenness to wholeness.
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Thank you Carolyn. And I agree wholeheartedly. <3
Powerful writing – I loved it – truthful – vulnerability is beautiful – not sure that ‘normal’ has anything to do with anyone’s reality – its a lie we bought!
Yes! And thank you Sara.
The way you write this you make it seem like an epic journey. I hope you are experiencing it that way.
Thank you Janet. Doing my best to. <3
Just so real and honest .. very beautiful to read your words…I hear and see you you. Caryn…
Thank you Tess. <3
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