I am a private person.
Yet, in the last few weeks, I have felt a voice wanting to express itself.
I remembered an event that happened in 1995. I was stark naked in a sweat lodge teepee near the prehistoric Uffington Horse in England, facing an equally naked Chief Druid, his robed wife, and another senior member of the Order.
“Gerald, you are now initiated as a Bard…” the Chief Druid said, as the ceremony came to a completion. They left into the night, and I sat alone in the teepee, rivers of sweat pouring down my face and body, as I absorbed what had just happened.
I then returned to daily life, and promptly forgot my initiation.
I remembered it again a few weeks ago. “What is a Bard?” I thought. “Why did I forget that I am now a bard?”
In ancient Druidic culture, a bard was a story-teller and music-maker, someone who memorised the culture and recounted it back to their society. I had become a bard for a purpose, but at the time I didn’t know it. I was just interested in Druidry as a way to find out more about spirituality, and the initiation was part of that experience.
It has become apparent to me, that the story I had told myself about myself, had deeply influenced the outcomes and my experience of life. If I could review that story, and recount it in a different way, my experience of life could change.
The stories that societies are telling about themselves, impact all aspects of society, including politics, laws, and culture. These stories are being told on social media and in the news; while some stories are inspiring, many stories are robbing people of their belief in humanity.
“To poison a nation, poison its stories. A demoralised nation tells demoralised stories to itself. Beware of the story-tellers who are not fully conscious of the importance of their gifts, and who are irresponsible in the application of their art…” – Ben Okri
Thus, I feel a responsibility to speak: in words, in photography, in music, in any way that people understand.
I also feel a responsibility to express in a way that reminds people of who they are and of what could be; that reminds them of their dreams and hopes; that helps them find their voice.
I don’t know how many will read this blog. It doesn’t matter. If you found something interesting or helpful, please post a comment.