I am releasing.

Alcohol Ink on Yupo Paper
5 x 7 “
2019 Louise Gallagher

The sky is clear this morning. Blue infinity soaring forever.

My mind is fuzzy this morning. Restless sleep stirring my mind.

And softly, the sun rises. The river flows.

There is within me a quiet stream of contentment  Flowing.

I am releasing.

For the past few weeks I have been practicing releasing. It’s a simple process. A continuous statement of “I release.” Sometimes, I add ‘me’ to the end of the sentence. Sometimes ‘you’. Sometimes I get more specific, naming the thing/feeling in that moment which I am carrying and want to let go of.

There is a story of a man who travelled across a great desert, fearing for his life. No water. No food. Nothing but a desire to reach somewhere that was not desert.

Finally, it happened. Just as he was about to give up, he crawled to the top of a giant dune and on the other side, spied a mighty river flowing. He was elated. Not only had he found water, he discovered a land on the other side of the river that was rich and verdant. Beautiful and lush.

With the last of his strength, he eagerly scoured the river bank, searching for wood to make a raft. At last, his task of building a raft to carry him to the other side was over. He set sail and made it to the beautiful lush forest that was once a mirage as he crawled through the desert and was now his reality.

Elated to have reached such a place of bounty, he decided to explore. He hoisted his raft onto his back and began to walk. Eventually, the raft grew heavy but he could not put it down. It had carried him across the river to this beautiful place, what if he needed it again?

And so he travelled onward, each step becoming more and more laborious as he struggled with the weight of the raft on his back.

So often in life, we become like that man, carrying the hurts and pains we’ve gathered up throughout our journey through time, as if our lives depended upon them. Even though they are heavy. Even though they weigh us down, we dare not let them go. Doesn’t carrying the weight of our dark days mean we’ve learned the lesson? Doesn’t their weight keep us grounded? What if putting them down leaves us naked in the light of today?

And we forget. The lessons learned are always with us. It is our choice whether they are a light on our path or a burden on our backs.

I have worked in the homeless-serving sector for over 13 years.

It has been a rich and humbling experience. I have met amazing people. Walked alongside incredible leaders. Shared highs and lows with others who like me, want to create a world where everyone knows they are valued, just because they are here.

Throughout that time, I have been blessed with the opportunity to tell the stories of the people who travel the streets. Of those who carry all they own in a backpack on their back or sit leaning against walls on busy sidewalks, asking for coin. I have told stories of those who work alongside the travellers. Of those who support and care and struggle to create space for those with nothing, to find something to hold onto in the dark bleak corridors of homelessness.

I have been changed.  By everyone I’ve met. Everything I’ve done. Everything I’ve written and every story I’ve told.

I am releasing.

Setting down the weight of this work to release myself to dance in other spaces. Other fields of possibility.

And, just as a river finds space to flow free of its banks when it reaches the sea, I am finding my heart breaking free of where I’ve been, how I’ve been, who I’ve been as I continue to release myself from this work that has enriched my life so much and given me so many opportunities to find my voice, share my stories, create a difference in this world

I am releasing.

And in that release, I feel lighter.

In the lightness of being unburdened, I am releasing.


5 thoughts on “I am releasing.

  1. absolutely inspiring, louise! thank you so much for sharing that story, and even more so for sharing your stories. i am so grateful to follow along and see what rides in the new spaces where you have released. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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