Life got in the way of my trip to Scotland. I am not sorry really as much as I love being there.
It is time to get down to the business I have committed this Summer to...re-membering myself .. to putting back the pieces that I disconnected when I was too distracted by life and my love of others to notice that I was discarding pieces of myself out the window as I negotiated the twists and turns of the way.
I am retracing my track to that point where I got lost. It was here in England where I came in 1968 full of hope and enthusiasm and knowing that I could be whoever and whatever I wanted to be. It was also here that I started to unravel the cocoon that cushioned me throughout my early years to expose the potential - the blueprint of my life.
Forgive me if you feel this sounds dramatic but just for the record, I deeply believe one of the most amazing things about each of us is that our lives our full of miracles and signposts that most of the time we just walk past and dont even notice. The sign posts that could lead us to our true potential but in our fear of facing who we truly are we run for cover. We distract ourselves with the desperate search for other things... we give ourselves messages like "I am nothing without a boyfriend" or "I can think about myself when I have sorted out the kids" or "buying loads of stuff" or "thinking the look of our body is more important than what goes on in our hearts" when all the time perhaps the most important thing is being authentically ourselves...or rather finding out who that authentic person is. The rest is just extras- wonderful, enjoyable extras, but extras nonetheless.
My time in the UK is running out. There is an urgency now for me to get down to retracing the trail before I have to go back. The difficulty is that many of those people I could remind me of what I used to be like, have disappeared into the tsunami size wave of people who have washed into my life and drifted back out.
I do know that 1968 in London stands out as a time when my life was sparkling - rich with gifts and people. Maybe that is a good starting point. I will start there. It is a good time to remember. 1968 in London was fun especially for a girl from a large ordinary family in Sydney who's life had been sheltered from anything even slightly dangerous or painful. London was Carnaby Street and Liberty's and naked dancing and ... it was a incredible. The music, the clothes, the freedom ..they all shouted to the world "that times were changing". There were people thrown into my pathway who I had only imagined ever meeting. Left wing writers, artists and revolutionaries. I met people and I now cringe about my ignorance of who they were and the courage the showed. Some meeting stand out like having lunch in Highgate with a friend and Koestler was there and I was silly...vacuous and silly... but I was just 20 and 20 then was not like 20 now. I forgive myself for being silly but not for wasting a wonderful opportunity. There were others of equal stature but I didnt know they were.
1968 was was also a time when I finally found a person who's dreams and sense of humour and heart aligned with mine for a couple of years. Throughout 1968 and 1969 he took my hand and guided me through the maze of pop concerts and the hippy life. He was the one person who woke me to the transforming magic of relationships. He was the first person that I had met that valued words and books as much as me. You have to know that growing up in Sydney then was not easy for most men unless they were football loving and macho. But my new friend was different. He had arrived from the States trying to avoid Vietnam and the army. He played with words, and made literary jokes and fell in love with Australia and me. I felt like I had been waiting for him. Together we headed to the airport and he held my hand across Europe until we married. But like all relationships they come with the gift of pain as well as pleasure and when he left a little of me died. A callous grew that enabled me to keep looking for love but never really trusting it when I found it. Perhaps here there is a key to who I was.
Perhaps...just perhaps, it is time to revisit the woods of Highgate and Hampstead Common and the chocolate maker at Primrose Hill. Perhaps I left a little piece of myself hovering there in the view from Kenwood or the dappled spring light of the beech trees. Perhaps the sweet smell of the melting chocolate will open the door to a lost memory.