Somewhere there’s a place …

Somewhere there’s a place …

 

I returned recently from a short and secret trip to Europe. By secret I mean that I had no technology with me apart from my phone upon which I only have my travel email address – the others are deleted so I can be undisturbed. People who are important know where to find me if there is an emergency, but that’s all I will allow.

I have longed with aching heart for many decades for a beautiful, silent and  magical place where I can write, love, create life and give joyously back to the land. I have now been granted my wish, You can imagine my utmost joy as my energy was ramped up into cascades of overflowing happiness as the divine unfolded to show me my heart’s desire. Everything not only fell into place, but I was given much more than I had thought possible. God as infinite benevolence was showing me what incredible magnitude is possible if we just let go and surrender to the infinite principle, and permit love to take the reins and deliver our dreams. Ask and ye shall receive. Yes, yes, I understand  – this is grace in full flow.

I was interviewed on camera recently about EmW and about what happened to me 6 years ago. I was also asked about my perspective as a Eurasian woman and the difference for me between that description and  “Anglo-Indian”. Firstly, my mother is part French as well as English (there is Irish in there too),  but also, and more interesting from the historical point of view, is that my father insisted, no, categorically demanded, with an intimidating, thundering boom in his voice that we never allow ourselves to be called Anglo-Indians.

For him as an Indian, this was a highly derogatory term used to describe the children born during the British Raj in India to British army officers and local Indian girls, most of whose offspring were illegitimate. I can remember Pa’s boiling rage at the thought because these children were wanted by neither side, and thus rejected into special schools as social lepers because their colour was not accepted but seen as an immediate and  unmissable stigma of illicit sexual fancy.

They remained 2nd class citizens for decades after Independence never finding true acceptance and I have always acknowledged my profound gratitude that Pa made it across the turbulent, unsettled waters during WWII to London before I came along. I had my own British version of this, but at least I had a platform to build an identity, although it took me 4 1/2  decades, and then a further 10 years to drop the entire lot in the final wipeout.

Interesting it was for me to explain this term “Eurasian”. I then decided to say that “mixed race” is a term I find so highly offensive that it has never occurred to me that it could ever apply to me. I was here in 1956 after all when that term was considered as shockingly racist as the word, “negro”! In fact, I remember I mentioned it to my mother a few years ago and even through the blanket fog of her dementia she looked at me with wide open eyes in utter shock and said, “What did you say? Did you say mixed race? My God, what would your father have said?” I imagine he would turn in his grave if he thought it important in the land where he now resides. Last week in London, an unknown woman walked past me and said (to me), “Hola!” Nothing apparently changes …

During all the first 45 years of my life wherever I walked I was seen as a palpable outsider with a cut-glass English accent – both in the east and west. To be stared at was an intrinsic part of my daily existence; my physical appearance, it seemed, defined the word exotic – something which I came to find as staggeringly unoriginal as a stale loaf of bread. As cross -cultural marriages started to  become part of modern society and children with a different colour palette started to appear, I found myself noticing I had become an elder of the Exotics. That was some realisation! I was the leader of the tribe without even having been democratically elected. I turned around and found a crowd – how extraordinary is this thing called life. What happened?

The dissolution of boundaries to colour and race is what occurred, and I can state that if anybody believes that things have not improved in the last 50 years despite what we see today on the world’s media, they are welcome to come and talk to me. I will be happy to enlighten them if it’s so important, but I am much more interested in what lies behind those strange perceptions because I want to know who is doing that kind of seeing… and what kind of filter is in operation and where/how did it arise? That is my life’s work – this I know without question.

A little sparrow has just launched into glorious song and leaped off a tree to chase another. Landing on a magnolia to catch its breath, it sings again before swooping down to land and feed from the seed I cast down this morning under the grey, wet skies of this London Sunday. It must be a male! It is Spring, after all.

As I contemplate the unimaginable new and rapturous adventure that is approaching in my life, my cup runneth truly over at the thought that I can write for you, show you the way, sing my joy to you and create a virtual sacrosanct Shangri-La for you to feel completely and forever safe.

Leonard Bernstein in West Side story wrote the score: “There’s a place for us,” and the incomparable Rumi said:

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”

I pray I can  sing this sacred melody and many others … and if it is to be, I may even be given the joy of holding EmW retreats where you can come in person and talk to me in the wild, ecstatic beauty of the complete and mysterious unknown.

Take my joy today …

Only with love,

Selima