Dear Anam Cara
A letter by Ashley-Louise McNaughton
your warmth, love, generosity, and sensitivity, is something that I cherish deeply
the memories, moments, and experiences that have been shared
empower me when I feel fragile,
inspire bravery when I feel the pangs of uncertainty,
and bring a welcome release when I feel myself trapped.
I breathe them in, they fill my lungs, nourish my spirit.
But over these past months, I dwell in-between.
I dread the despair
the overwhelming enormity of it can render me stagnant
in the urge to take action, be, do
a complex depth between frustration and numbness can shut me down
I fear of losing myself to it.
The looming sense of hopelessness, an underbelly fear,
a stifled anger under the weight of a suffocating swarm of confusion
breaks the surface of my subconscious
vividly visits my dreams
and yet, amidst the terror,
comforting offerings appear.
I am grateful for your presence, your light, and gentleness
grateful for the power of Anam Cara
for the restoration of faith in the sacredness of interconnectedness
the reminder that through these connections, and experiences,
in sharing our openness, support, empathy, understanding and compassion
there is love, beauty, hope.
There are possibilities.
It is strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone.
behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts,
the silence of another world waits. A world lives within you. (1)
I continue to give my trust.
fascinated in the mystery
allowing the journey to transpire
but at times, the silence can be deafening
the inner world can be dissociating and cruel.
I find myself tethered,
on the brink, peering over the edge,
tensioned rope fraying behind me
roots askew flailing for an anchor searching for the source
staring blankly out into a misty layered abyss before me
even with eyes shut tight, my internal sight will not let me go blindly.
folding and unfolding
the essentiality of change
Its continuous process, a metamorphosis, encouraged, needed.
I keep trusting
Glowing embers find me lost in the turmoil
caught in a loop in the bewilderness,
a presence brings peace, support, and hope
alone, yet, not alone
the tender grip of a hand solace in the weight of a head
smiling eyes that gleam a warm mouth
radiating a delicate light
when I am witness to a young girl running off the side of a cliff,
under a deep dark sky holding a triangular moon
when I am searching for a lost fish in the many rooms of an empty shell
when I have resurrected a dead mouse and watch as it transforms into a winged lion
like the sparks that glitter in the vast black void
there is an offering
there is promise
there is more
faced with my own reflection
there is but one visible body
still a constellation pulsates within me surrounds me
the pull of their threads travel far beyond the sight could ever reach
alone, yet, not alone.
(1) John O'Donoghue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom. New York: Harper Collins, 1998.