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  • Suzanne Venuta

Inner Landscape...





Three years ago today, I had been in Ireland for ten days or so. I was early into “Suzy’s’ Epic Irish Odyssey”. A ten-week journey around Ireland. I have written and spoken about this amazing trip of self-discovery and it is still teaching me lessons.


Since I was ten years old there had been a pull to this land, and life circumstances may have intruded with my dream, but it was tucked away in a safe place so that no one could take it away from me- and decades later, I once again felt that pull. I could not explain it- but I knew it was something I had to do, I felt it on my bones. I saved for 10 years and it finally happened. And I knew it was the right thing for me to do.


When I was there, I got a felt sense that Ireland was multi-layered. The land, and the people spoke to my soul, and when I heard the Irish Language, I felt like a blanket of welcome was being wrapped around me- even though I did not understand a word that was being said. I felt like I was finally back home, to a place I had never been, and every fibre in my being was being welcomed back and nourished.


I would go around touching stone- be it chisel marks some stone mason made over 5000 years ago, standing stones, or stones inside the cairns at Carrowkeel- where I felt like I was once again with my ancestors. And there were countless times I would place my hands on some of the 400,000 km of dry stone walls, like brail, followed the contours of the land. There were many times I wept for no known reason.


This was a journey of the inner and outer world, and it feed my inner landscape with nourishment I didn’t know it needed. I returned a much wiser, stronger and more secure person. I returned more whole and I could feel my ancestors with me.


Now, I have no science to back this up- it’s more of an intuitive, felt sense kind of thing, but it is true non the less.


When I got back from that trip, I also became more aware when I was not in sync with my inner landscape- my authentic self, and what was right for me. I would feel a little out of sorts, discombobulated. It would take time for me to figure it out, but when I did, I would always find my rhythm once again.


There have been times when my inner landscape itself was shifting, and these past seven weeks those tectonic plates of my inner landscape have been shifting and crashing together.

Life has been somewhat challenging- as it is for everyone, and there were times that I felt like Thor had been throwing fire balls at me any chance he got. Once that settled, I could feel the inner landscape starting to shift.


I waited, figured it would soon settle down and life would carry on, but this time it was colossal, and it felt like my inner landscape was experiencing a massive earthquake.

I did have the advantage to know that this would pass, and it would not always feel like this, but it was tough just the same. It did pass, and like my “Epic Irish Odyssey” it has changed me for the better.


Once again, I don’t have science to prove this- but I do feel it and know it in my bones. It’s like the universe knew this would happen, and was patiently waiting for me until I was ready.


It may sound weird, but I now feel like I am now part of the world/universe. As my son said, “Mom it sounds like you are now taking up your space in the universe, instead of holding it at an arm’s length” and I think that’s a pretty good description.


I feel more connected, with myself and the world, and as I told my therapist- “I feel like I can now step into my writing, instead of watching it from the side lines. I feel I can now step into what I have been meant to do, and I realize that the universe was with me all along, holding me and waiting for the time I was ready.”


Its interesting how the universe places before you what you need, to take the next step.


I have taking a writers workshops over a weeknd, and it has inspired me, I am no longer afraid to write poetry- before now- I had always been terrified of it. I had a zoom meeting with my TEDX coach and we have some work to do over the next few months and I am looking forward that and see where it goes. And it looks like- if all goes well, I will be going on another Outward Bound Canada adventure- fingers crossed- in July


I knew this stuff was coming down the line, and especially with the writing of my 1st book- but I still had inner work to do- and I’m so glad I sat with it, didn’t run, didn’t try to busy myself up etc.


Often in the world, we are told, or there is that perception, that we should not rest. We honour busyness, celebrate it in fact! Or when things start to rumble, we believe we are not strong enough, and need to numb ourselves from the pain of the transformation. If we do that- we halt the very transformation itself. It took me a lot of years to learn that last one.


Life is full of transformations- from the very moment we are conceived, birth, life and then death. Not all of these are easy transformations, but if you think about it- EVERY transformation we go through, is magical and brings new gifts with it. Unfortunately, the western world has very little, if any rites of passage to help us celebrate these moments. These transformations enrich who we are, fuels our inner light to shine a little brighter, gives us more depth, and this is a gift.


I think back to my trip to Ireland when I was on a tour and was standing on the Burren. One of the members of the tour commented that “This is just bare stone, what’s the big deal?”. I felt sorry for that person. They could not see the beauty of this Karst landscape. Their eyes and soul were blind to the richness, and different shades and hues of grey. Their senses could not feel the difference in temperature between the air and stone, and eyes were unable to see the multitudes of ecosystems that were living in the glacial formed cracks and crevasses of the glacial formed land. Their ears were unable to hear the water running along hidden inner streams below.


I stood there, as I did at many spots in Ireland, and I felt a sense of the land. The people that came before, the myth and lore. I felt nourishment in my bones and every fibre of my being. I was full of gratitude that life had led me there, that my bones and soul knew this was where I needed to go all those years ago, even when I didn’t know there was any ancestral connection. I felt my ancestors beside me. This land spoke to me and I felt like I finally returned home.


As I write this, I realize that if I did not welcome, be present to, and acknowledge those inner and outer transformations that happened to me- I would not have been able to feel, see, and be welcomed by the landscape, my ancestors and Ireland itself. I would have been unable to bring the richness of those experiences back with me.


I wonder if that person in the tour group had numbed or ignored their transformations?


These past seven weeks my inner landscape has rumbled, roared, exploded, crashed, spewed lava, rocks and detritus from below and a new landscape has emerged. With it, a knowledge and wisdom I had no prior access to.


I now know what I am meant to do, and I stand tall, as I step into the unknown. I know I am meant to write- and at some point, when I was in grade two, I knew that- but it was, as with everything else shot down. So, like my dream to go to Ireland, it just hid away, safe, until the time was right.

I am now at a point where I not only realize, but believe I have a story to tell. I have talked about this before, but its like I was an outsider to me writing- but now I am stepping into it. I know, that I am the only one who can tell my story, and I have no idea if anything will ever get published- but that’s not the point. I know, in my bones my worlds will end up where they are meant to be. I know- that some may read them and only see “ the grey rock” – but I know others, the ones who are meant to, will see the richness, layers and beauty of the landscape that experienced such pressure and transformations.


Transformations are not always gentle, pretty or fun. Some are like putting different ingredients together and you end up with a cake. Its fairly easy, sweet and you are quickly rewarded. Some are like the eruptions and ripping of a monumental earthquake, and its only after those layers have crashed, ripped themselves apart and been blown aside, that the diamonds and gems that have been formed by pressure can be discovered. And to realize- they were always there.


Whatever your next transformation is- try to befriend it, welcome it, let it tell you its stories and you will be rewarded with a richness of wisdom and insight that was not there before. And when the rumbling starts, and it feels like you are alone and in the dark, know that it will not last forever, and that the universe is lovingly holding you in its arms.

Inner Landscape

Tectonic shift

Darkness, Pressure, Rumbles

Unseen

But felt

Unbalanced, Swaying

Nauseas


Lithosphere

Cracking, breaking

Plates Shredding

Old protection

Perception

Biases


A new world

Wandering

Blind

Feeling brail

of the new landscape


Quarried light exposed

Embracing, it feeds me

Equilibrium re-set

Finding my new rhythm


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