alone – not alone – June 2021

when I recoil in stress or horror

door opens within –

clarity pervades

Some articles have recently come to sit in my inbox still to be read on the wisdom of trauma. My own experience of how a transformative quality is right at the core of a traumatic event is in this abstract, naked haiku. Nothing special, uniquely personal and, if I allow it time will help to bring clarity back to the everyday.

I remember a Doctor with access to some spiritual wisdom saying to me over 40 years ago: ‘Never force yourself to do anything…’ I complete the gentle warning in my mind ‘… that way chaos lies…’ I don’t know what the Doc’s stance really was on this – ultimately it matters how I received and let the warning echo in me.

I remember a Judge at the beginning of what could only be an unfair process dealing with injustice done to a mental health patient, some 5 years ago, invited me to talk after the break ‘why you now think what happened was wrong, not what happened back then… but what you now think…’

I knew at that moment with clarity, perhaps aided by the prospect of a break, that this Judge was entering and was inviting me to enter – denial of what happened and the context in which it mattered. Walking to the cafe with two friends, chatting about other things, the clarity remained pervasive and grounded – so I said it as I saw it when we returned to Court: ‘Your Honour, I feel I should not answer your question. I sense it as an invitation to take what happened out of context. And once that is done, it will be difficult to put it back in.’

After a moment of silence, the Judge simply handed the process over to the Barrister for the other side to cross-examine me. With hindsight, my moment of insight perhaps stood for the whole process. Perhaps, as I got dragged into the distortions the Barrister mentioned was allowed to pursue under an adversarial system that neglects investigation of the facts, I lost my clarity, perhaps I was asked questions that served exactly that intention.

Clarity remains at heart though, or as Kathrine Gun, protagonist of the process that became the film ‘Official Secrets’ put it: Truth always matters. I would do it again.

May I never allow confusion to have the last word.

En detail, I notice when I get stressed now to resubmit papers the Court has lost, my brain seems at the verge of seizing or cramping, like when I can’t find immediately some documents from years ago. Even then I know to trust clarity. Let it go, rest for a few days and it will become clear what to do next, how to find the papers.

You're a Winner, Charlie Brown, and It's Bumming Us Out | GQ

why did I give this post the title alone – not alone? Clarity, for me, lives in being alone, arrives in being alone. In that break during the civil process 5 years ago now, I received the rare gift of a moment where clarity arrived instantaneously and even remained as I was going out for lunch with my colleagues. For once there, perhaps because the time was limited, I was able to hold on to my inner aloneness that protected the clarity in me and more.


~ by Barbara S on June 13, 2021.

One Response to “alone – not alone – June 2021”

  1. see also:

    Cobbles – Oct 1995

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