Edition #10 – In my Town

5 minute read
The Mists of Avalon - Glastonbury Tor - Matt Witt May 2018
The Mists of Avalon – Glastonbury Tor – Matt Witt May 2018

In My Town – Glastonbury  & Avalon by Matt Witt

This edition is perfectly timed with one of the most celebratory months in the calendar here in Glastonbury, the U.K.’s oddest town.

It has one foot rooted in the past, in mystery and legend, the other floating somewhere in outer space and its heart fixed firmly in the centre. Glastonbury is a town that attracts travellers, spiritual seekers and pilgrims from all over the world. When you live in Glastonbury, the world comes to you, to Avalon, the mysterious land lying just beyond the veils.

I arrived in Glastonbury in 2012, “right on time”, some would say. I was in a strange place, disillusioned from four years living in London. I had no grand plan, I didn’t know why I had moved here and I didn’t know much about Glastonbury except for its festival (but that’s not really Glastonbury). On the surface, I suppose it was a revolt against the City, the hustle and bustle, coercion and societal pressures. But beyond that, I felt lost, untethered and despite no immediate danger, I felt anxious and insecure about the decision. 

It was the start of winter and I was not prepared for the process I was about to be guided into. I experienced weeks of deep anxiety, depression, sleepless nights, utter confusion and worry. It was like a frenzy, an energetic fit, like parts of me were dissolving and reforming into a renewed configuration.

After a few weeks, I started to settle down and I began to feel normal again, but it was an altogether different kind of normal. I started to be creative in areas I had neglected, venturing out to open mic nights, drawing the town and meeting new people. I started to rebuild myself in collaboration with my newly adopted town. I started meditating regularly and walking up the Tor daily, a new me started to unfold.

A vague plan sat somewhere in the back of my mind: I knew I had the tools and the type of job that would allow me to travel and take my work with me, but my conservative side took a lot of convincing. I was attached to financial security, frightened of change and worried about the unknown, scared to leave my island. By moving to Glastonbury, I was able to boil the correct energetic concoction to overcome these fears and take a running jump into the wide world, taking off from the Tor!

On many occasions, I have tried to put into words what Glastonbury has done to me, perhaps it wasn’t the place, just the openness to change, the time and space convening. It really felt like there was a developing conversation between me and this town, like it wanted to collaborate. It felt like Glastonbury was encouraging me, like it wouldn’t let up until I achieved what I wanted, which was ironically, to leave!

After Avalon’s initiation, once I had proved I was committed, that I could stand on my own when I knew I was ready; then the magic presented its masterpiece: an opportunity to travel to Thailand to take part in an artistic meditation retreat with artists from all over the world. Over the next two years, I travelled backwards and forwards to Thailand, taking part and managing more retreats. Finally, in September 2015, I committed fully to begin the next stage of my life, to be outside of my Island for an extended period, to really put aside all the doubt, insecurity and worry about what might happen and give myself to the universe to do with me what it will.

I arrived back to Glastonbury a few months ago, and chatting with the people of Glastonbury, I start to understand how this is not an isolated story. Many have a tale of some drastic change in their life as a result of moving here, or a dramatic event that caused them to move here. People gather here to connect with themselves and with Earth. The town has a strong creative community, artists are respected here, and the town continues to honour the seasonal festivals, the Celtic roots and Bardic traditions. Some say it’s the heart chakra of the Planet, but that might have been the Glastonbury tourist board!

This month has led me to meet some of the characters of Glastonbury, the real people that make it such an open and creative place, and slowly but surely I am becoming one of those characters myself. On Sunday I was initiated into the circle of Bards of Ynys Witrin (Glastonbury). Who knows, maybe next year, or in 12, I might one day become the Bard of Glastonbury myself.

During this month I have seen dragon parades, celebrated the Beltane festival, Maypole dancing, poetry readings, the bardic trials, talked to artists, poets and alchemists and street musicians… I have really given the effort to overcome my introverted nature and as a result, Glastonbury has opened its next layer. It feels like the next stage of this processes has completed, amalgamating Avalon with my energetic body, merging us together like some sort of etheric Power Ranger.

In my town, the town itself wants to collaborate with you in your spiritual, personal and creative development, just make sure you start with a healthy intention. Avalon is the ever-present overseer, calling for us to make the most of our time on Earth, to become the fullest expression of ourselves, to unlearn our worthlessness and relearn our Earthliness.

A poem 

Inspired by Glastonbury and May.

One Hand Holds My Head On – Matt Witt

Here is a song I recorded this month. Most of my songs remain unheard. When I do share them people tend to respond positively so I would like to share more. This song emerged from me back in 2008 – 10 years on it’s become somewhat of an anthem for me, continuing to reveal new layers and meanings as my life and human being develops. 

Lyrics

One hand holds my head on
The other checks the time
One foot stands in front of me
The other one behind
One eye looks to future times
The other to the sky
And one thought settles in my mind
Another will in time

One man stakes his claim to fame
The other sits inside
One man ponders everything
The other drifts on by
One man looks to find his prize
The other justifies his lies
Convenient his alibi
a fitting lullaby

One voice changes everything
The other is too shy
The criminal vulgarity
of what shyness can hide
Bullshit baffles brains they say
Offend in every way
You pay the price for what you cannot say
And death is on its way

Death is on its way

As one hand holds my head on
The other checks the time
One foot stands in front of me
The other one behind
One eye looks to future times
The other to the sky
And one thought settles in my mind
Another will in time

One eye hopes for symmetry
Equal on both sides
The other hopes for chaos
In which order then resides
One thought says I think therefore I am
But who am I
And one thought searches for another
Thought in which to hide

A thought in which to hide.

As one hand holds my head on
The other checks the time
One foot stands in front of me
The other one behind
One eye looks to future times
The other to the sky
And one thought settles in my mind
Another will in time

 

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