becoming a self in history, becoming a self in my street


For many years Patricia worked with her husband and others on a project that was the meaning of their lives. The work was very hard but very inspiring. It never entered Patriciaís head that this work would end, and so when it did it was a huge and incomprehensible shock. All the structures and purpose that had previously held their lives together were lost. Suddenly freed from heavy responsibilities, she and her husband took the opportunity to go on a long journey which included America and Australia. In Australia Patricia met her cousin. She hadnít seen him since she was a child. His presence acted upon her in such a way that she found herself remembering her own beginnings. In remembering her childhood she realized that there were parts of herself she had forgotten, which needed to be given a chance to flourish again. When she came back to Britain she found she needed to keep talking with Dan. The more they talked the more she realised that vast aspects of her inner life were hidden, even from herself. Her conversations with Dan resulted in a continual uncovering, as layers and layers of adapted behaviour began to fall away. Freed from these layers she began to feel her own feelings and speak in her own voice. In her efforts to be helpful and constructive in her work situation, she had lost an essential part of herself which she needed to give space to again. Everything she had done or planned up until then fell away. This meant giving away most of her possessions and work. In doing this she became completely unprotected by either things or roles. She realised as well that she needed to return to Australia to be with Dan. Her life there is very simple. The main task of her life now is to keep her nerve and to stay in that empty space without panicking. She is convinced that only this emptiness, properly endured, will lead her to her next task in life.