Friday, September 14, 2012


(dedicated to Belinda Rose Hawker, 11/6/1961 - 6/10/2009)

So who are the lightworkers in your life? I had an interesting conversation today (well, I do most days) this time with a stranger at a bus stop who had troubles, and it got me thinking about lightworkers yet again.
They were looking for a lightworker, because the darkness had descended on their life again. I may have made them feel temporarily better, but I'm pretty sure I didn't give them what they actually needed.
What, exactly, are lightworkers? Well, probably not me. "I am not a lighthouse, not the answer or the truth," sang Rosanne Cash, and I could well sing it too (in fact I do most weeks - The Wheel is one of my favourite housework-CDs).
Is the person who seems to have all the answers a lightworker? The person who makes you feel temporarily better, who says that you choose every aspect of your reality despite gravity, despite pollution, despite infection, despite the wholly unchosen and unwanted actions of others? (thus, placing blame on you for unintentionally choosing to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?)
Is the person who helps you feel temporarily better by understanding, sympathising, giving you a shoulder to cry on, or a meal and a bed for the night in hard times, a lightworker?

Is the rebel, the courageous person who stands up to oppressors including the oppressive aspects of society as a whole, a lightworker?

Is the healer a lightworker?

Is the firm friend who sticks by you through the decades a lightworker?

I think they all have their role to play - but do you know whom I think are the real lightworkers? (And bear with me here!) That alcoholic stepson who steals everything that isn't nailed down, takes it to the pawnshop at regular intervals and physically stands over you monstering you with brute strength should you ever say anything at all. That person you cross the street to avoid. That former "friend" who makes you feel so awkward that you try to avoid them at all costs. That addict who burgles your neighbour's house for money to buy drugs and finding your neighbour at home, takes to their heads with a crowbar. That disabled family member whom you will have to care for, for the rest of your life no matter how exhausted you become. That stupid person who can't seem to grasp anything you say and drives you to despair. The lover who walks out on you in the worst possible way, taking your heart and leaving an aching hole in its place. Brutal police regimes or soldiers in times of war making your civilian life a misery. All of those who seem to completely trash your life despite your best efforts.

And why? Because there is no growth in happiness. There is no development in peace.

If we lived in a perfectly peaceful world, with no pollution, perfect diets and relationships and no dissent at all, we would have no incentive to grow. We would have no incentive to develop. Our strength, endurance and compassion would never be tested. We would never have occasion to help others, or to test our own humility and ask for help from those we love - or strangers. Life would, in short, have no meaning at all.

"God" needs "the devil" in order to survive. Goodness is meaningless without its polarised opposite to give it purpose, give it direction and give it focus.  If everything was perfect, if the holocaust had never happened and everyone had everything they needed to be "happy", the world would be void of meaning, would be void of improvement, would be void of achievement. We would sit around doing nothing: never studying, never exercising, never working. We would be frozen in time, frozen in our own lack of development.
Yes, injustice is horrible. But it gives us focus, it gives us something to battle against. Yes, horrible situations and horrible people are horrible. But they give us something to transcend, something to learn from, something for us to measure our own strengths and development against. Yes, negative emotions are bad to live with. But they make what we might otherwise perceive as negative or at least neutral and call "boredom" seem blissful. They make us appreciate what we have. Some of the happiest people I know live simply without many of the things I value: broadband, hot showers, etc, working hard to coax food out of small acerages or doing hard manual labour for little more than the price of a roof over their heads.
Why? Well, if you can have anything, if nothing is an achievement against the odds, then there is no sense of satisfaction, achievement, even triumph. And the people who either have the least resources or have the most trials to overcome, are so grateful for even the small things, that their lives are flooded with light whenever anything goes their way.
You can be ground down by the negatives in your life - or you can fight against them. Fighting against them and the wins in the small battles along the way (even if you lose the overall war), bring a disproportionate happiness. My life is far happier now than it ever was years ago when I was young, because in between there were some very black years indeed. Nowdays, purely because of that blackness, I appreciate every possession I have, every moment of peace. The person and circumstances who caused that blackness is dead and superficially I am very grateful. But with some perspective of hindsight, she did me a huge service - she made my future-without-her far happier than I knew I could ever be. She was more truly a lightworker in my life than any of the people who judged or judge me for engaging in that situation in the first place.
So who are the lightworkers in your life?
 *       *       *       *       * 
by Nisaba Merrieweather
dedicated to Belinda Rose Hawker, 11/6/1961 - 6/10/2009
I want to pick the bad fruit.
I want to hold it and squeeze it.
Feel the rancid juice dripping
From my sticky elbows.
I want the waft of bacteria cultures,
Impure alcohol, repellent,
Coating the roof of my mouth.
I want the sting of acid toxicity.

Were I to pick the bad woman,
She would hold me and squeeze me
Until I could not breathe, and black
Lace netting fell before my eyes.
She would feed on my ideas,
Drink copiously and vomit copiously
With stench of abscessed teeth.
She would, herself, be the sting of toxicity.
 (NB: This poem won a gold trophy in the Allpoetry "I had my Choice of Poisons" competition two years ago.)

1 comment:

  1. Strangely enough, it is a cat called Stitch.

    We also call him Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky--a Lightworker by any name.