When we can process how we feel,
we can think more clearly about how to act.
007: Pernicious Master
My journey towards imagining a new era was always going to be different, tricky, due to my unique needs. When I was first diagnosed, my first body-shaking tears came when being told that any future engagement in trying to change the world would require special work. I wasn’t even ready for that at that time but the thought that my relationship with campaigning would be forever changed by having this chronic condition was more than I could bear. I couldn’t just join a free-form protest whenever I wanted, officials had to be involved, indeed it was they who could tell me whether I was ‘good to go’. Harsh. Challenging. I always knew I wanted a better future for the world; would having this new condition prevent me from taking part in the push toward the Great Turning?
A decade passed and my husband and I felt we were finally ready. I became obsessed by my own abilities, I was focusing on mastering my limitations for the sake of all living things. Never before in my life had I looked after myself this well. Doing it just for me wasn’t enough. Nurturing a new era and maintaining that deep desire within me required a great deal more thought and care for myself, for regenerating my energy.
I called the forces working in favour of the status quo our ‘Pernicious Master’, with a strong sense that the notion of perpetual growth has complete control over our lives, just like a capricious and cruel ruler.
Before I was expecting, I accidentally met a stranger with the same condition as me, in the library café. I saw her nurturing the new values my husband and I so desperately wanted to grow and strengthen in the world. I plucked up the courage to talk to her. She told me about a time that her condition put her severely at risk during an event on the way to the new era. The tiredness and confusion you get can overwhelm the calculations required to cope effectively. Sometimes your own needs must be front and centre. Pernicious Master.
Just because we decided to invest our energies, and had worked hard to prepare, didn’t mean it would happen. Notwithstanding the surrounding narrative regarding the ease with which others could engage adding further pressure. It took us over a year to find our calling and I was preparing myself to get ready to start thinking about failure and the loss of this longed for path. Then it happened. The miracle. Love shaped into a vision of a different kind of society, a different future.
Bringing things to fruition has been traumatic, a labour of love lasting for days and days. But the result is the beginning of a frankly gorgeous, healthy new epoch.
I sometimes feel that I am being greedy, and have no right to these feelings. I experienced a second wave of sadness owing to our Pernicious Master when we were told it would be unwise to push further, faster. There was a real risk of going blind to the truth, the science. I experienced pain and grief when those around me were able to embrace more change than I was able to bear. I had to change the image I had of myself, paring back the expectations I’d always envisaged of our future. Eventually, however, the understanding of the good things about this also became clear to me. And, although I sometimes still have wistful thoughts about what we’ve lost, I am more than happy about how the new era looks to be turning out.
Investing in a new era for us and for future generations has been one of the most important things in my life. Having the experience of conceiving, carrying, and nurturing a different set of values for living has affected every aspect of my life, my body and mind. I am truly grateful that it happened and that I continue to be a part of it. I’m not yet able to thank our Pernicious Master though – that remains work in progress.