Art, Creativity, Permaculture: On Becoming Whole

I find myself at a point in my life where I feel the many aspects of me, including my skills, talents and interests have become integrated. The catalyst for this has been germinating a social enterprise, Wild Ceridwen CIC with my friends, and now business partners, Cam Elizabeth and Elen Robert.

As is usually the way, the tale of our becoming involves an incidental conversation which spawned a catalogue of serendipitous happenings. I have been in flow. It seems that everything I have needed, and everyone I have needed to meet to progress the journey to now has been there, available just at the right time. There’s a mystery in this which I enjoy. It ties me to the old ways of knowing, where we trusted our intuitive selves and enjoyed the unfolding of the ever expanding whole of life. Taking the opportunities as they arise, playing with the possibilities that unfurl in the emergent nature of our reality.

In permaculture, the adage that the meeting points of two or more ecosystems is where you find the most diversity is commonplace. The urge to ‘follow edge’ is encouraged. Find the edges, because that’s where the action is at. The proverbial principles from David Holmgren call forth attention to ‘use edges and value the marginal’, ‘use and value diversity’ and ‘integrate not segregate’. On my permaculture learning pathway, I don’t think I have yet come to know so intensely the articulations of the Holmgren principles in my life, but it is at that point which I find myself as I write. A good thing surely.

As I deepen into my learning, I am keen to lean into other principles that have been offered by generous others in the movement. I sense the movement is reshaping, progressing, evolving, as it should, if it is an example of a living system. And this edge within the movement feels lively to me. I feel gratitude for my place within it, and whole-hearted thanks to the women who are supporting me on my pathway.

When I started my permaculture learning journey I really did think everything I was going to learn would be about land and food growing. How wrong I was.

I learned of permaculture in 2019 whilst I was delivering the Share Cardiff project through Cardiff Transition with my beautiful friend Mike Erskine. I had been reading Rob Hopkins early books about Transition, and he talked of his efforts to write the Kinsale Energy Descent plan while he was delivering a permaculture course there. This led me down the long and winding path to today.

Today, I find myself reclaiming the authority to call myself an artist. In part thanks to my permaculture tutors Liz Postlethwaite and Carla Moss who have shown me that permaculture is art too. And also to Cam, who through our interactions has opened up an invitation for us to play with this generative idea.

I am also reclaiming the authority to call myself a witch. Because I belong to this land, and I know intuitively that on some level I am still connected to the wild Earth in ways that I might have been in the long past. This resignification of myself as ‘artist and witch’ feels empowering. I am looking forward to the playful experiments that emerge as I lean into this expression of myself in the days, weeks, months and years ahead with our work in the world.

I am becoming whole.

I am dancing at the edges, exploring creatively, trying things out in the iterative process of creating that I have come to be so embedded in. Experimenting with ways to live more lightly on the Earth, so I can become once more part of the living world which I love so deeply.

Being part of life.

Along the way I hope to be able to create conditions to support others to experience the wonder and joy of this unfolding and connection too. That feels like the intention for our work.

When I was small, my Mum gave me the gift of a book. It’s got an affirming quote for every day of the year. The one I remember that feels true for right now is…

‘Everything you have ever done in your entire life has brought you to this moment, it is wonderful’.

Read my permaculture design on germinating a social enterprise here.

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