Imprinted Memories

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I’ve been pondering the idea of how we are all connected. Not just in the usual way we might talk about connection in present time, but connected throughout history.

We have been asked by the indigenous people of this country, to have an awareness of the ancestors, the people that have walked on this land before us, the tribes of indigenous people who lived where today we have built our towns and cities.

How do we honour these people? How do we create relationship or connection to them? How do we find our own place in the history of a particular land? What is my authentic relationship to the ancestors of this place and how can I improve our relationship with them every chance I have when leading groups and workshops?

These questions have been sitting with me for a few weeks now and I am beginning to imagine some possibilities that make sense to me.

Paul Stamets, a researcher in the field of mycology, posits the idea that the mycelium mat, as a single organism, or a collection of cells, can cover a huge expanse of ground. Not only is it huge, but it remembers every imprint that has touched it, or walked over it, or connected with it in any way. It works similar to the internet. So this one organism may have an imprint of all the people that have walked or lived on a particular piece of ground, over many years or even centuries.

Our own bodies have a similar network, the fascia, that connects and transmits signals almost simultaneously to every cell in our body. Perhaps connecting parts of our body, in a biological version of the internet.

I have been working with fascia for over 10 years now and I have an understanding of the non-linear but very real connections and relationship, this network provides. Mycelium may provide a similar network with the earth. To me, this points to a way for me to integrate ‘body’ of the earth, with our own human bodies. There is a way to relate to everything and everyone around us with this deep memory that every thought, action, footstep or emotion is imprinted. Not only in our own body, but in everything around us, including the earth, and the people who once lived here.

So I am sitting with that connection, the wonder of it, and the responsibility it entails. It is not without impact that we drive our cars, or cut down trees, pollute the rivers or plant mono crops. Every action we take has an imprint. It is said by Yeats

The Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light;
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

We have the opportunity to repair our relationship with our past, our countries’ past, our ancestors choices, with every step, thought, word and action. This is something I can offer to the indigenous people of this land, to tread softly and with awareness.

To me, this makes sense, and my heart is full as I write. Perhaps in the future, my understanding will change or deepen, but for now, this is my relationship that I bring to the request made of us, as descendants of white settlers.

Relationships and connection are such gifts of healing. I am honoured and full of joy to be working in this emerging field of somatic connection.

To find out more about me and my work, visit my website

With wonder and responsibility