“Ah, not to be cut off,
Not through the slightest partition
Shut out from the law of the stars
The inner – what is it?
If not intensified sky,
Hurled through with birds and deep
With the winds of homecoming” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
“To be an enchanted life is to be challenged, to be awakened, to be gripped and shaken to the core by the extraordinary which lies at the heart of the ordinary. Above all, to live and enchanted life is to fall in love with the world all over again.” ~The Enchanted Life” by Sharon Blackie
“Enchantment isn’t about magical thinking: it is about being fully present in the world.” ~The Enchanted Life” by Sharon Blackie
I got a new book this week and haven’t been able to put it down: is one of those books you want the evening to come fast (or any break you may have) so you can hide away and just…READ!
The book is “The enchanted life” by Sharon Blackie, the same author of “If women rose rooted”, a book I loved reading, and which opened the doors to ecopsychology and looking deeper into European ancestors’ myths and practices as well as the role of women in reconnecting and re-generating Earth.
This new book is about becoming enchanted with the world again: that sense we all once had as a species and from every culture in the world, the same enchanting that indigenous peoples live so naturally when not stolen and negated by settlers and colonizers.
The book starts comparing two scenes: in one, a woman walks through the forest following the human-made path, with the cellphone in her hand and barely paying attention to the wonders around. She quickly becomes invaded by the many “to-do” lists of what’s ahead in her schedule, bills and other concerns. When a crow lands in front of her and looks her in the eye, she quickly dismisses the experience as “just a bird”. She ends up her walk feeling rushed and anxious, looking forward to the next time she may be able to fit a “walk in nature” into her busy schedule.
In the second scene, woman “B” walks into the woods with her cellphone mute. She goes into the forest without fear, following her inner compass, knowing she can’t be lost. Her lungs take all the wonder of the surrounding spring flowers, she becomes one with the forest, no need to go far: there are all kind of wonders down in the soil, in every trunk and branch…when the crow lands in front of her, she knows he knows she is there: the entire forest has welcomed her, and this crow has a message, even when she may not fully understand.
She leaves the forest in peace and re-energized, knowing that she belongs, happy, with a smile. She looks forward to going back to her friends, her soul, but she also carries them inside: in the air she breathed from the ground and the flowers, the sounds of the forest and the eyes of the crow…
Enchantment: I never lost it, and I miss it so much when it is not around!
Enchantment was my first teacher of interconnection and belonging. I never managed to “grow up”, and always carry a bit of straw in my hair, a wild and “lost” sight and soil in my hands. My pockets always carry something from a forest or a beach: my reminders that there’s much more than this “human” life full of unnecessary fights, drama and pain.
From Laguna Pueblo writer Leslie Marmon Silko in her novel Ceremony, describing the way Westerners see the world:
“They see no life.
When they look, they see only objects.
The world is a dead thing for them
The trees and the rivers are not alive
The mountains and stones are not alive.
The deer and bear are objects,
They see no life.
They fear the world,
They destroy what they fear,
They fear themselves.”
“If I have influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupations with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.” ~ Rachel Carson, from The Sense of Wonder.”