The power of the poet:
transforming direct experience into words in such a way
as to capture the essence,
the magic and the truth beyond words,
so that all who read are transported to that experience.
©️Janey Colbourne 2017
This poem reflects how I perceive my fellow living beings. As the poem starts it may read as if I am talking about an animal, but all of life strives with intent. We are all ultimately from the same ancestors. We are kin. When we see the world in this way it is profoundly transforming. It gives us a sense of belonging in the world, which naturally leads to a sense of responsibility. This change in perception is a way forward to living in harmony with nature, and a more hopeful future for all of us.
You called to me,
as I passed you by on the path.
I thought to take you home,
but I was mistaken.
You have no wish
to be a pet, possessed;
your home is here.
You plead with me
to save you from the risk
of trampling feet,
so I lay you by the side,
still clinging to your stick.
I wish you well,
©️Janey Colbourne 2017
©️Janey Colbourne 2017
This poem is also a public post on my new Patreon page
I’m taking part in Papergirl Blackburn this year. Artists of all kinds donate work to be exhibited and then given away to members of the public.
Artist: Janey Colbourne
I am primarily a writer and musician but I’m a very visual thinker with a vivid imagination. I meditate and practise shamanic journeying and I like to walk in the woods and talk to the plants. I sometimes draw pictures of my visions and dreams. My octopus sketch is my attempt to capture the spirit of a dream I had about a baby octopus that wanted to be rescued and taken to the ocean. It was a significant dream that I wanted to share because of the feeling it gave me. This baby octopus is overflowing with unconditional love.
I drew the picture on my iPad with my finger. Although the drawing is very simple I think I have captured the mood of the dream. I awoke with such a lovely feeling that stayed with me, I’d like to pass that feeling on.
I also like to…
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As promised, today is the day of my patreon launch. I’m very excited to start this new venture. I hope that you would like to join me. Subscriptions start at $1 a month, which is only about 79p! You can cancel anytime if you feel it’s not for you. There’s plenty more information over on my patreon page about what I do, the rewards I’m going to offer and my long-term goals.
“I believe I have something worthwhile, important and highly relevant to share with the world. I wish to speak for the disenfranchised; for more-than-human nature, for those living in poverty, the disabled and those who suffer discrimination. I want to continue to be accessible to those who cannot pay for my work and to share more widely my vision for a better future.”
To find out more, click on the link below:
UPDATE: my patreon Page is now live at www.patreon.com/janeycolbourne
I am currently preparing my Patreon page to go live this Thursday 16 November 2017. Patreon is a type of crowdfunding site that enables creators to share their work with subscribers and for subscribers to support creative work that they like. The subscriptions are on a monthly basis.
My first tier of supporters will be called acorns. Acorns will contribute $1 per month to receive exclusive access to my patron-only posts, or previews of work, such as poetry, short articles, seasonal newsletters, book reviews, music, spoken word and so on.
The second tier of supporters will be called seedlings. For $5 a month seedlings will receive all of the above plus occasional extras such as sneak peaks at my current projects, behind-the-scenes, insights into my creative process and thoughts from my journal.
The third tier of supporters, saplings, will receive all of the above plus occasional extra goodies, such as exclusive access to videos, pdf or mp3 downloads, for a contribution of $10 a month.
The fourth tier of supporters, oak trees will receive all of the above plus a signed copy of one of my books for $15 a month.
The fifth tier, mother trees, will receive all of the above plus a signed copy of another of my books for $20 a month.
The signed books will be my two published books of poetry, ‘See with Heart’ and ‘Growing with Gratitude’, which are also available to purchase from Amazon
I’m very excited to be launching this page, which I’m hoping will grow into a like-minded community, where I can connect with my readers. Your support would mean a great deal to me, as it will contribute to enabling me to earn a full time income from my writing. I will of course continue creating my free blog here and continue my other social media posts. My forthcoming Patreon page is an opportunity for those of you who have found this blog worthwhile and interesting to offer support in return, and also will give you access to exclusive posts and behind-the-scenes from me.
I’ll be posting the link here on my blog when we go live on Thursday. Hope to see you there!
Thank you to all my followers. I hope you continue to enjoy my blog.
© Janey Colbourne 2017 all content and images
I’ve been musing on some of the concepts I’ve encountered regarding life paths and our choices and difficulties in life. One such concept is that we ‘choose’ our challenges or obstacles. Now I’ll agree that there are times when we can get in our own way so to speak, and it’s always important to examine ourselves for any possible self-sabotage, conscious or unconscious. Sometimes a block can be serving a deeper need of some sort, and if this can be brought into awareness and resolved it is possible to move forward. Also of course, our choices do have consequences, sometimes unintended ones, and maybe even years later. Accepting responsibility for our decisions makes it easier to accept potential consequences and also can empower us to deal with them. I also accept that within each one of us are particularly qualities and talents we have to potentially offer the world, and that finding a path we can take to achieve that gives meaning to life, although there are myriad ways to fulfil that. There may be times we feel we are ‘on the right path’. Everything flows and opportunities open to us. We feel that we belong. When we feel our life is on the right path it is because the choices and opportunities we take at that time are a good fit for our psyche and therefore we feel a sense of right fit or ‘destiny’.
However, personally I disagree with the maxim that we always choose our life circumstance. I’m sure that blaming is not the intention of those who hold these ideas, which are often shared to offer comfort or a sense of empowerment. However that is not necessarily the feeling triggered on the receiving end. Of the same ilk is the idea that things are ‘meant to be’ or ‘happen for a reason’. Underlying these is the same implication—that we deserve the hurts that happen to us—an insidious form of victim-blaming. To say that an abandoned infant, or a child in a war zone, an abused woman, cancer sufferer or murder victim ‘chose’ their situation would probably be a shocking statement to most people, but these extreme examples highlight the disturbing sentiment of such maxims. Ironically, suggesting that a person chose their situation can amplify a feeling of powerlessness. If the reality is that their current difficulty is caused by external factors beyond their control, and therefore they have limited power to resolve the situation, then the claim that they chose this implies that they ought to be able to fix it for themselves, leading to feelings of failure and inadequacy. Being told that we should be able to fix something that is beyond our power to fix creates even deeper feelings of being trapped and powerless.
I would like to undertake a reframing of these ideas, which I believe will conserve and enhance the self-empowerment and self-responsibility that is intended by proponents of these ideas, whilst removing the blame aspect. Rather than saying I chose or deserve a situation I like to take the attitude that nevertheless I can learn something valuable from it. This resonates with the perspective of Roberto Assagioli, the founder of psychosynthesis—that difficulties in life are opportunities for growth, encouraging a positive mindset without the negative feeling of self-blame.
The concept that ‘everything happens for a reason’ is related to ideas about destiny and predetermined paths in life. These are narratives that some people feel gives them a sense of purpose and meaning in life, and a sense of security. Personally it’s not a narrative that I find reassuring.
There is a difference between association and cause and effect. It’s a subtle but important distinction. We may learn something valuable from a difficult circumstance but that does not have to mean it was ‘meant to be’. In fact this thinking reverses the cause and effect; I learned something from this, ergo, it happened because I needed to learn it. What if reality is ‘it just happens’ and we make the best of it? This is not to dismiss that there are clearly times when we unconsciously re-create a situation in our social lives or relationships until we learn from it, often related to emotional wounds from childhood. But again, this doesn’t have to mean that the whole experience is occurring in order to create that learning, simply that we can’t move on from the experience until we learn the way out. Once out of it, we are hopefully wiser and stronger. But sometimes people are so damaged they can’t move on. Does this ‘happen for a reason’? It is always true that an individual can choose how they respond to a situation but sometimes their wounds prevent them from seeing or being able to act on all their choices, and sometimes their choices really are truly limited. The only choices then are how we look at a situation. I have been through a lot in my life. I don’t personally find it helpful to think that I ‘chose’ all that pain, or the pain I caused other people in trying to cope with it. But I damn well did choose to face it all and work through it and make the best of what I do have.
I choose to see the good in my life and in the world around me. I don’t deny the pain, but I don’t let it blind me. I don’t believe it ‘happened for a reason’ but I do believe I can choose a narrative of my own that helps me make sense of my life. Sometimes a painful experience can lead to a positive outcome you may not otherwise have had. Like the current in a river, a boulder can redirect the flow in a different direction. One door closes, but another one opens. Humans have an incredible capacity for hope and renewal. We can make good out of the bad. We can take our pain and remold it to make something good. We can choose our own narrative interpretation of experience. If ‘everything happens for a reason’ or ‘I chose this life’ works for you in your own life, that’s great, and I respect that, but please consider it may not be helpful for other people. The problem is not in having that for your own narrative, but in projecting it onto others. We can support each other to see what choices we do have, and to find our own sense of meaning and purpose. Empowerment means writing our own story.
©️Janey Colbourne 2017