Living light : Julia Baird

There are few things as startling as encountering an unearthly glow in the wild: Glow worms, Ghost mushrooms, Fireflies, Flashlight fish, Lantern sharks, Vampire squid. Our forest floors and ceilings, our ocean depths and fringes are full of luminous beings, creatures lit from the inside. And they have, for many centuries, enchanted us, like glowing missionaries of wonder, emissaries of awe.

Is there anything more beautiful that living light?

Julia Baird


What lights you up from the inside?

What gives rise to your flashes of light within the dark?

Inspires you with awe on the hard days?

Wakes you up when you feel half asleep?

Out of the darkness : shedding

I remember now

With a flood

How you brought me out of the darkness

I was living in

I remember now

How your love and belief in me

Made it possible for me to

Reach for sobriety

And I remember too the times

It hurt you

When I hurt

I am sorry now

I could not see it then

How hard you tried

Not knowing what to do

And how in time you had to walk away

To save your own life

And leave me

Back in the dark

If I could change these things

Then I would

Sometimes I lose sight of the goodness in me

That made me pursue this path

One were my heart would be

Completely torn to pieces

Only to be re-arranged

I often say it

Life is strange

But in the end it will have its way

And we must dig so deep to find the meaning

Even as we are leaving

That older self behind

We must remember to be kind

To everyone

As we undergo the displacing

The replacing

And the shedding

Grateful for the love : grateful to know who I am

My heart and I seem to have made good friends over the past while.. even thought I have been hitting into the depths of so much painful emotion over the last month, in the past 24 hours I have felt a shift.. Just hearing from my ex stirred up so much, meeting that lovely older gentleman, Glen was a gift and I keep thinking about the angels a lot.. they seem to conspire to do things that keep me somewhere or divert my path at times so I meet someone…even having to stay in when the water pipes got broken by the water man and trust the plumber wound turn up to fix it helped me realise that although the past cannot be changed some things can be repaired and put right.

I have held on in therapy when I had several of those painful tears with my therapist, Kat… she let me down a couple of times but it was boundary stuff and three times she owned her part which really helped and I am so glad I didn’t cut her off in anger those times because most of the time she is so attuned to my real self. Repair can come in relationships if both parties are willing to open up, try to understand the other person’s reality and forgive. Forgiveness can come in time even when we have been hurt deeply if we realise people don’t just exist on this earth to suit our purposes in life and temperament but their own, and I am learning sadly we cannot be close to certain members of our family, sometimes we just have to let go of trying to be seen or struggle so hard…and find other family.. our family of choice.

WordPress blogging has been amazing for me in this way, over 6 years people come and go, some stay and you don’t comment or exchange a lot but knowing they are there means so much…..during the really dark years after my sister Judith died and I was coming out of long term damage of neglect and narcissistic abuse I often felt suicidal and on those days when I shared I always found someone here who reached out, same the other day when I was struggling my good friend Carol Anne reached out and that did me so much good to reach back.. slowly I am learning who can and cannot see the true me and that brings gratitude into my life.

I am also learning to hold my own hand and make the best of things.. I am going through yet another round of mistrust with Scott who takes it all in his stride and just keeps loving me through it, he has to get off deployment some time and from now on I am caring for myself and when I do I get the care and understanding back. After so may years of being terrified to set boundaries or say ‘No’ I am beginning to understand how empowering it is do to so…I seemed to lose myself so much when I was younger through not really knowing, loving and accepting myself. I know now what a bloody tough and lonely childhood I had, I see how it impacted other relationships, especially the underground anger my mother and sister’s carried and often acted out on me…in violent ways. My older sister much as I loved her was basically abusing alcohol and drugs and encouraging me to do the same from about the age of 13 onwards, I didn’t have a lot of healthy emotionally engaged role models around me and was effectively thrown out on my own after Dad died. I am glad for those adventures overseas but it was a lonely dark time too…and I endued three very painful relationships between the ages of 22 and 28 that left deep fears and scars.. It was not really the emotionally healthy guys I was attracted to and I see now how they struggled to understand me.

In the end understanding myself has been the most important thing… I love the quote by Goethe : “know yourself, then you will know how to live”. I struggled to know how to live when I didn’t know myself…and the powerful words my AA friend said to me a while back resonate : “I hope in time you get to know and love Deborah as I do”…today I know that despite all my wounds and past pain basically I am a pretty valuable human being..

I read a lovely blog last night written by From A Spark To A Flame that quoted a reading from Ephesians which says something to the effect of how we are all God’s masterpieces.. I believe that to be true.. its only the negative deflated ego that tells us we are a pile of pooh or worthless. When ever my inner critic says in therapy that I am ‘pond scum’ my therapist Kat always says : “well Deb, there is a lot of life in pond scum”. When I reject my dark side or my compost I reject the regenerative part of me.. when I bring it all into the light I can allow it to be used as fuel for the new seeds of self expression and emotional growth I wish to plant in my life.

Here you are

Here you are

Before my eyes

My feelings cannot lie

They feel things even more

Now that time has passed

And reasons wounds

Are not longer

Eclipsing the deeper truth

If there is any proof

That I loved you

You will feel it in my kindness

And in the forgiveness I show

Because I realise then

You were just so

Out of your depth

And did not know

What to do to fix something

That only needed tenderness

But even now

I forgive that too

How can you give something

You do not have

To someone opening their heart and hands

For love?

So I will just let a silence fall


Upon this page

As in my minds eye

I see you walking away

And remember in my heart

How your face looked

When we parted

Oh what pain

So glad I never have to live through

Such a soul shattering goodbye


It will pass on through : evening reflections

I feel better after making and eating some nourishing food tonight.. I know when I was in severe depression just making a meal would help me, these days my grief is more available to me and it calls to mind a comment by the American poet Robert Bly which says depression takes us to the Underworld when we are not allowing ourselves to feel the grief hidden inside of it nor the rage that may be one of the other responses to things not working out as we wished or suffering loss, abuse, betrayal or neglect.

God knows we are taken on these dark passages for a reason.. Maybe the way out is through (not MAYBE BUT DEFINATELY). Allowing myself to feel for my ex husband connects me to the hope we once had that we would grow old together, when I refused to move forward either way he decided to move back home to the UK nd leave me and that is as it had to be.. it is well and truly in the past… I go over and over it but Kat my therapist says that will continue to happen until it is resolved and to let the process go on.

I feel better tonight, as if that longing and nostalgia and backward turning has abated, those 2 years in the UK were very special and I will always be grateful for them…. I need to accept things worked out as they needed to, no one deliberately did anything wrong, Jonathan and I both needed to grow in different directions.. He will always be a huge part of my life, much as Mum loved him she always told me I needed a stronger partner, maybe mothers know these things.. I like to think her spirit is close to him too and that she is glad he got in touch, may even have prompted it, but that is the magical way I think sometimes.

Opening our hearts means opening to embrace the full expanse of our feelings, even when they are painful, we need to accept that suffering and loss and change are purposeful, not meaningless and random although a lot is probably more random than we like to think. I always feel freer when I open my heart. I see the amount of mistrust I have in the goodness of life at times, I am aware of the attitude of healers such as Louise Hay whose motto is always “life loves you”. I also remember her advice to imagine others as little children so we can have compassion for what they went through when young and open and defenceless, some build walls and some have guns and arsenals in the place of boundaries and those of us who never got a firm foundation of inner trust built deep inside so often rest on an insecure foundation.. I don’t know the answer to healing all of that to be honest because I still struggle to open to myself and accept love at times and sometimes I struggle to forgive others, but as I always say I am just human and fallible, never completely secure but still complete on some level, even if a lot of the time I don’t feel it..

Random lovely connections

My anxiety is not good today. I can see how I contribute to it with fear and being drawn back into the past I have not yet fully resolved.. Hearing from my ex husband has stirred up so much, I don’t want nostalgia to claim me entirely but I left a huge piece of me back in the UK when I left and then today, as if by fate or angelic guidance I ended up sitting next to a lovely older man at lunch in the Woden centre and we started discussing all things English and Scottish as well as ancestors, angels and the power of prayer (through seeking Gods’ will).. it was a beautiful conversation and the man had the most lovely name : Glen Friend. I told him about Jonathan and how our UK life got aborted, he said to stay open for opportunities to visit and keep praying for guidance from God, he also explained to me how sexuality was mixed up due to a misunderstanding of the teachings of Paul and we discussed issues across a huge number of levels…

Not having a Dad around, having a difficult relationship with an emotionally avoidant brother and not having known either Grandfather at all these kind of older male relationships have extra value to me. Sadly I may not see Glen again unless our paths cross but it was so lovely today to have that moment of connection and it happened twice as Jasper refused to go on one walk that would have left us out alone in the wild today and so I opted instead to go get a take away coffee, drink it in the car and go for a beach walk where we met another Grandad with his grandson…. these kind of random encounters do a lot to lift my day.

I got myself into a bit of a glum state today reminising on the past with Jonathan.. I notice more now when it is happening and our anniversary of meeting back in 1993 is only two weeks away so that may be why the feelings and associated memories are so strongly around at the moment and its interesting that he got in touch around this time.. I often feel the ancestral connection is what drew our paths together and I hope one day to visit him back there, I really do.. a huge part of my inner soul is both English and Dutch, I have just explored more of the English side and it may also be an important time leading up to my Great Great Grandfather and Great Great Grandmother’s birthdays too, I do feel them around me, along with my Mum and I am trying to pull my energy into the now so that old themes don’t keep replaying.

I am grounding myself this evening by making a vegetable Korma, its on the stove and the heat is now off so it can sit.. I have some salmon marinating to have with it and I will make some black quinoa as well.. Its a new dish I had a few weeks ago and I only use a bit of the Korma so I can combine it with other proteins on other nights…my anxiety is usually less around meal times, I feel more comfortable settling in for the night…

I am back to mistrust on other levels at the moment.. I recognise more and more what a shaky foundation I have rested on in past years… Its been so hard for me to trust anything, let alone my own feelings, needs and thoughts.. When I made that decision to come back to Australia I cut off a forward potential and at times it feels like I have been pulled back into a major regression for over 19 years now.. But I have to keep remembering my life is a work in progress and not to be negative… good things can happen if grief from the past does not totally eclipse everything… maybe I just need to feel all these feelings through and in time they will pass. I hope so….maybe I am still integrating a lot and had a lot to learn about the ancestors by coming home.. maybe this is just one chapter of a far longer saga that will continue…here’s hoping there will be in time a move into happier more lifeful and interconnected places.

Once a part : new shore

You were once a part of me

And always will be

For the journey we took

Still continues

Maybe it is just too hard right now

For me to let go of the past

As anniversary time draws so near

To me

We moved on

It seems that over the intervening years

Continents rose and fell

As water covered the land

And so it was I felt myself to be

Almost completely swallowed

Within the belly of the whale

Gosh life is strange

We move on

And turn the page

And yet earlier chapters still linger

Somehow defining the perimeters

Of current time

Then in the midst of this reverie

A truth occurs to me

That perhaps grief and letting go

Is not quite yet done with me

And so I will surrender my soul

To these waves

Praying in time

They break apart

All of this mixed up feeling

In my heart

And with time

Carry me to

A new shore


Dreaming of you as we rode

Out admist the cow parsley

Waist high

Or across the frozen snow

That littered the meadows

Dreaming of you

I will be

Until the end of eternity

Deep down inside my memory

These things are not even past

For me

Because when the soul finds its true home

How can it ever depart

From that place

And how can the rest of life

Not be

But one long lament

For what was lost


Or left

Weep for you

I wept for you

The land I knew

Where soft rain fell

On fields of green

In afternoons

I feel the flood

Of misplaced love

Yearning as it does

For release

As I remember how it was

To be caged

Within ancestral memories


And so it is

With the passing of each year

I feel the truth

Of all I lost the way to

Abandoned here

Like Parsifal

And yet there is another strand

Of longing now

Reaching all the way to you

Do you feel it too

Am I there with you

As you cycle across those fields of green

Oh how my aching heart

It tears apart

With longing

My love

I am so sorry

I could not find the way ahead before

And so it was

I became

Lost in mist and fog

Tears and confusion

But now with this profusion

Of tears

I feel it here

Within my chest

Rising like an ocean

Between us

I cannot contain it any more

My heart is sore

My heart is sore

Getting overwhelmed : a broken shoe lace!

My ex husband replied to my email on Tuesday and due to being so busy I missed his reply.. It made me cry to read his reply, his second marriage ended and he gave me news of his mother, sisters and niece it sparked an avalanche of memories and sadness…but also gratitude for the happiness we shared.. when he told me he cycles around Somerset and to his allotment and has the care of his 13 year old daughter it makes me feel so sad in some way.. I still love him a lot, I realised (from the depth of feeling I felt at reading all of this).. I always will. there is such a pool of forgiveness around me at the moment but God I miss the UK at times, the land of my ancestors.. things are tougher there but I miss it so much.

I just broke down on the phone with the water company, they were replacing the meter and just knocked on the door to say they broke one of the pipes and there will be no water for hours now.. they said I would get a call but when I broke into tears the guy freaked and said he was referring me to customer care.. as yet there has been no call…..I get overwhelmed by these kind of things so easily.. my chest felt all caved in. I remembered writing this that people say that alcoholics or those in recovery ‘cry over a broken shoe lace’ the truth is that its not that thing but the other losses and breakages it summons up, the feeling of things being so far out of one’s control and the sense of loss that comes as things are taken or changed or we are invaded and things broken or damaged by others… the feeling we can have things happen to us we didn’t cause and cannot change. maybe it makes us feel how it was as a child to be so young and feel we have no power.

Anyway its not a huge deal really.. people in third world countries may have no running water and have to walk miles to collect it.. I filled the kettle up before it happened and I can go buy bottled water, just wish I got the dishes done after lunch.. no call as yet from customer care…. sometimes life just throws you spin balls… some days problems just fly out at you from left field… time to do a gratitude practice for what is NOT BROKEN TODAY…

Post script…. this is all just me processing stuff but the water company man called back and said they are sorting a plumber to fix it, I stopped them palming it off on me earlier by getting upset and being real and vulnerable and so they are going to sort a plumber to come to rectify it all in an few hours.. it seems broken shoelaces can easily be replaced…