As one door closes, another heart opens
It’s not often I like to admit when I am wrong, but I suppose, who does? Tonight I am pleased to not only admit it, but to publicly declare it. Craig, I was wrong.
This past week I watched as Craig was publicly and disrespectfully attacked and blamed by someone completely out of line; someone who preaches love and community no less. Someone I might add, who used the platform and the audience grown by Craig, to slander him. Poor form would be an understatement. I mean at least have the decency to acknowledge that without Craig and the infrastructure he has created, you wouldn’t have the space to rant your incongruent untruthful rant at all. But, I digress…
The point is that I was angry at Craig. I was angry that he had allowed this to happen, that he had left the space open for such behaviour to unfold. I was angry that he didn’t scream and rant and vent and swear and threaten and call and abuse. I would have. Truth be told, I did.
But that’s not Craig, and therein lies my point, but I’ll get back to that.
Over the past 2 years I have sat back and watched, sat in and listened, joined and quit, questioned and doubted, but overall, supported this crazy little thing called Earth. It’s not my bag, nor my vision. But 2 years ago I urged Craig to follow his heart, to dream big and live it and that I would do whatever needed to be done to get it done. And so it began…the systematic unraveling of what I had known for the past 10 years of our relationship. We had been through financial ups and downs, relocated and ventured before, but not like this. First went the money, all of it. Then went the house. Then went my friend networks bar the dedicated few who ventured out into the middle of nowhere to visit me. I saw Craig but not..if you know what I mean. Every second he thought about Earth, talked about Earth, studied for Earth, gave his time and energy meeting people, talking to groups, writing presentations. He was engulfed by the love of this possibility for his planet – our planet. He was not only willing but eager to take responsibility and walk the walk, put up, not shut up, and put every cent where his mouth is. How many of us do that? Risk that? How many of us ACT? It’s even (relatively) easy for me to sit back and ‘support’- if it goes well, I benefit, if it doesn’t, I get to say it wasn’t me. I get to say, ‘well at least I supported you’. There isn’t really a massive investment on my part other than the isolating lifestyle changes and the occasional week with no money, at all. That’s not to say it wasn’t tough and that we aren’t going to take a long time to recover on all fronts. We are. But honestly, the real effort is in the doing, not the viewing, and certainly not in the criticizing and blaming.
As this ‘experiment’ came to its first end last month I found myself pissed off and shaking my head. The reasons are more personal in nature than I am willing to express here but I will say they were feelings I had felt before. I began closing down and distancing myself both physically and mentally from all things Earth. Those who know my writing will understand that I had battled my place in Earth before. Emotionally though I was not able to detach. Some of these people were my friends, most of them were friends of friends. Need I mention the size of Adelaide. I was sad to see my personal routines lost, my connections tarnished and the public aware of the apparent failings of what people associated directly with my husband. Me me me me me.
Last week’s public announcement tipped me over the edge. I was furious at this situation and the result of the last 2 years that we had sacrificed. I was livid at the gutless actions of nitpicking small minded people who showed such little compassion and gratitude for what had been. I felt helpless and literally paced with rage not knowing how to help or comfort Craig. He was obviously hurt but I was far too focussed on my own rage to tend to his needs. Again, me me me me. Im not proud to admit that I screamed at Craig to be different, to change, to respond, to say something, to do something!! Anything!! …………………………………………………………………………………………………………
The night Craig was dealt the blow, he didn’t rant. He didn’t blame. He didn’t threaten. He pondered the differences, the motives and the different values of different people. He was silent. He was graceful. He was the antithesis of me.
Tonight, less than one week later, I sat at Craig’s computer to do some work. I notice an email about Earth and I read it. Then I read another and another…there were dozens of them. As I sat cross legged on the bed allowing the words and wishes sent to Craig to sink into my heart and mind I realised what I could’ve done to help Craig. I realised what tipped me over the edge. I realised that I had lost sight of what I saw 2 years ago (actually what I saw 12 years ago…), of what was really important here.
Its so simple and yet it took the words of so many others to remind me of what I had known all along. And that is, that Craig is a good man. With good and noble intentions. With skills and vision and guts. He is determined and strong and he is willing to give and give and face adversity and risk head on. And, he is human. He makes mistakes and he is not perfect. He feels scared, burdened, responsible.
All of a sudden irony came in and slapped me straight across the face. I have to admit, it had a sting to it.
I had screamed at Craig to BE DIFFERENT, TO CHANGE, TO RESPOND, TO SAY SOMETHING, TO DO SOMETHING.
Yet what has been doing.
Earth was all about being different, breaking the mold. It not only posited change but provided an answer to it. He responded not only to his heart but to the planet, to the poor, to the generations of the future. He said things worth saying. Not gossip, not blame, not excuses. And most importantly he did something. He got up, quit his job, faced all those who told him he was crazy, delusional, wrong. Even scarier I think he faced the hundreds who said yes! Who relied on him, who went to him, who depended on him and who hoped that he would make it different, and he DID SOMETHING.
I am sorry Craig for losing sight of who you are inside. Of supporting you partially but letting you down when you needed it most. I am sorry for being selfish. I am sorry for not standing tall beside you at every stage. Ive had my own battles and Ive had my own journey these past years. But you are worthy of love, support and respect for what you have achieved. You sent a ripple out into the world of positivity, love and possibility. This is not a failure.
There are some who have lost more than others. It is certainly not the ideal outcome.
Nothing (of intrinsic value) is lost if lessons are learned and love is experienced, hell if pain is experienced! and I think we can all take some of both from this one. Nothing is accidental. Everyone involved took risks, but at their own will. Everyone will gain something from this experience, if they so choose. I stand by this past two years and acknowledge the lessons that have come, that are yet to come and the opportunities for doing things differently as a result in the future. But it’s been quite a journey to get to this place internally for me and I know I will have to keep giving it my best to stay positive and self aware.
What’s special about you Craig is that before the public slaying was dealt, before the emails of support came flooding in, before you were truly over the disappointment of this past month, before you have had time to wallow in self pity, you were already contemplating a way to make things right for as many people as possible, you were already planning your next step to make this world a better place. And you just can’t fault that kind of spirit.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
― Winston Churchill
Craig, I love you, because in your heart, you are a good man.
Diane and Robert, I know this isn’t about me, but thankyou for acknowledging me in this journey..indeed I have been on it too.
Thankyou all who sent Craig emails to Craig showing him support and love; thankyou for re-opening my eyes.
Thankyou Ruby, one thousand thankyous.
And thankyou Peter, for your part in helping me to reacknowledge the perfectly imperfect man I have in Craig.