Mother Earth is my home,
By Black Crow Walking
Homelessness is not who I am;
it’s just what I’m doing right now, to evolve.
I look with sad eyes, knowing the truth.
I wallow in the illusion of my patterning.
The conditioning learned from people who fear.
What makes me homeless
when I have the stars for my ceiling
and you have to use galaxy glow stickers for yours?
If I am not at home inside myself,
I’ve no place to belong.
The uncomfortable feeling of not wanting to be here.
The dread of going home, the internal groan.
The butterfly stomach of fear.
That tiny thread of hope,
that dangles a carrot inside my mind.
Somewhere inside my past
I watched the battle rage,
perpetrator against victim,
thinking it was normal.
We need each other in this addiction to pain,
I forgot what it was like to be happy.
To know the truth of my real self.
The authentic self that smiles at life.
There are bits covered in bullshit,
stopping me from seeing my freedom, happiness and peace.
Struggle catches me in its tangled web, the fairy-tale.
I reach out for the elusive happy ending.
I was born into violence
with parents who never learnt how to love.
They knew struggle and survival, abandonment and rejection.
Homelessness is a state of mind.
Deep inside myself.
Riddled with fear, I’m fleeing.
I long to wake up and see, truly see,
how beautiful those stars are.
When I couch surf I’m in a home,
the home of a friend who shows me care.
I want to explore self-care.
When I bunk down in a refuge, that’s a home.
Maybe a home for this moment but none the less a home.
A place to lay my head on a cold night.
A safe place.
A place that will put into action from their resources, what it is I need.
A chance to awaken my own resources and reach out to receive help.
To look beyond my pain
To look past my story
to see myself in the story of others.
That I may piece the puzzle of my innocence back together and find myself.
Like Bone Woman singing to the bones of her children,
calling them back to her.
I am designed to co-create and this is what I’m doing.
Each time I make a choice to stay and get hurt
I have invited fear to dine with me.
It eats me up inside, till I’m lost and believe I deserve it.
‘I can’t change him, only he can change for himself.’
I thought if I loved him enough he would change,
but oddly enough it was me who changed
but only when I’d had enough.
How bad does it have to be,
before I flee from his violence?
I fled in the middle of the night,
in just a see-through nightie.
Swollen black eyes
tears, enough to fill a bucket
and nothing to call my own.
That desperate, haunting moment,
when I know he stayed too long at the pub,
enough to tip him over the edge
and hunt me down,
like a wolf.
It was the hunting that was the worst.
Nowhere to hide in my own home,
the terrible fear that predicts his every movement.
The holding of the breath, the shutdown heart.
The face that holds no feeling.
I stayed hoping it would be different this time.
Wanting the fairy tale,
wanting the kiss to wake me up from the dream.
Yet I kept that poisoned apple in my apron pocket,
needing the pain to feel alive, to feed my addiction.
It’s scary being happy, it doesn’t feel right.
To be happy, makes me want to make better choices.
It cuts through the illusion that I need someone else to look after me.
That I have a duty to put up with it
because I took a marriage vow and had his children.
It’s too hard to stay and too hard to leave.
Someone rushed in to rescue me.
Enfolding me and my little ones in their own limited space.
But he’s found me and he was sorry and wants me back.
Promises it will be better this time.
I fondle the poisonous apple in my pocket
wanting the fairy tale once more.
Needing the pain, I return,
And someone shakes their head,
I’m not ready to surrender the apple yet.
I didn’t ask for help in my whingeing.
I can’t feed their ego
to satisfy their role of hero,
The honeymoon phase begins again
and lasts a week this time.
Until he is gone too long
and the anxiety begins to build again,
and I know what’s coming, don’t I?
I pretend to be light and happy
because he mirrors my mood.
Remembering that safe bed I slept in last week, I dine with shame and failure,
feeding the victim.
My body and mind yearn for his kindness.
Yearn for the man he is
when he’s not drunk.
I still love him.
I don’t love what he does to me.
I always have a choice.
I don’t do anything I haven’t chosen.
I choose to behave that way to meet a need,
my need is for the fairy tale. For the pain
Rapunzel, trapped in story
the tower of my making.
Yes, my mother gave me the apple of blame.
I took it, like it was important,
a family tradition to follow, my lot in life.
I need to free my mind of suffering,
my impulse to act following my old patterns.
Willing myself to stay.
He threw me against the wall
and put his fist through the pantry cupboard.
I wasn’t conscious, I wasn’t awake.
I was the princess who pricked her finger on the spinning wheel
and fell asleep, waiting for the prince to rescue me.
By making a conscious choice, and owning my addiction,
I reclaim my power
So, I reach out to me,
through my innocent four-year-old child
who was so much wiser and discerning.
She took my hand and said Mummy lets go now.
I left for her and I left for me.
I found all the refuges full
and no place to go with two little children, one in nappies.
I packed odd shoes, summer clothes in winter,
whatever I could find to push into a small bag for the three of us
and headed to the bus stop.
A friend came and got me and took me to his sister’s home.
A month going from friend to friend
until compassion and kindness
found their way into my heart.
I suddenly saw myself as the one to give kindness to.
Yes, he was sorry, always sorry,
a very sorry person.
But he found his next victim in his son.
I stayed for too long
to protect children that weren’t mine.
I found a house,
a happy place,
with a view of Lake Macquarie.
I sat on my veranda every day for four months
and grieved out my pain, rocking, staring.
At first, I felt nothing, felt numb.
Then the tears came and I let them silently fall.
I let my death-state return to the earth
seeing only the lake.
Ancient Mother held me, healed me
I watched the stars over my head at night
and they shone so brightly inside me.
I felt as if I could breathe them in.
I began to look forward to my view,
it became my meditation,
Then I noticed it… I was happy.
It was such a precious moment,
I felt I had to defend it.
I had stopped telling the story over and over again in my head
and to anyone that would listen.
I let it go back into the earth and went for a swim
to make sure it was all gone.
Happiness is a small packet of seeds
waiting to be planted in bits of me.
The fertile land of self.
The silence helped me hear myself,
I heard my breath and my own heartbeat.
Stillness, settled me deeply into the essence of self,
and I found value and self-worth.
I was fascinated.
Mother Earth is my home, rich and abundant with life.
I shall never be homeless.
Gravity holds me to her breast.
I drink from her streams and warm myself at her sacred fires.
I am not afraid when I lie down in the grass and she holds me.
Spending time in Nature
opens my mind to my own limitlessness.
Discovering self-care as I learn to sleep without fear.
I Accept my freedom like a fragile bird,
Wanting it to stay, feeding it.
Discovering that we are all extraordinary beings.
I’m no longer stuck in a state of mind that doesn’t serve me
Change came and I welcomed it.
Sweeping out the old patterns
I observe my evolution.
Liz Berger bought a pub in Maitland and converted it into accommodation for people who have experienced homelessness. They reside upstairs and are converting the downstairs to a coffee lounge and restaurant which becomes a training facilities for the residents. Listen to her chat to us about her vision: