I’m note sure if this word belongs and ironically that seems to be the essense of it’s very meaning. I dive into it wondering if I will inadevertantly find myself in a refugee camp somewhere. It certainly feels like I have lived that at certain times of my life. You can check that out in my singualrly depressing upcoming book Down and Out In Penryn & Falmouth. Where some of us didn’t thrive to tell the tale.

As  species we’ve been on the move for a while now around two million years. So it’s hard to figure out what diaspora means in real terms. That people move. That can’t come as a surprise to many of us and yet parochial mindsets seem to prevail. This paraochial approach often gets me thinking about hobbiton and the shire. Where the centrel beings of teh story are barely know to anybody else. What a way to live life as a community totally centered in self. A community that believe that Tree Shepards are mythical creatures and magic only arrives with the combustable consumables of wizards and in fact that wizards are something to be toyed with.

We riducle and mock what we don’t know most of the time and the word diaspora seems to sum that up a lot. Diaspora is an othering of self in the land that you stay in. It’s saying I am not from here and somehow that seems integral to it’s basis. What if you just assimilated on arrival. Isn’t that what the USA used to offer new life, new identity. “What me, I’m an Amercian”. People give themselves the name of a lesser known explorer than intigrate the the complication of dual identities. Of course forced diaspora is ahwole othr sotry whether through human disaster or natural one. We are all scatterings of Africa and yet how far will we go to deny our origins out place in the world as one massive global family. One species, one kind. Diaspora seems to hold the toxic roots of seperation. That if you leave wyou must be seperate that if tyou arrive you must be different.  In a year that has be defined by it’s lack of movement it’s clear that progress has had to be made in other ways. I turn to the USA again to consider Black Lives Matter and the failing global respose to take on the mutually inherited roles of slavery. Of the dispossed and the possesion. The ownership of other humans and how their labour, the labour of slave built the nations that ignore them. What does it mean to be stolen from somewhere else, never return and never belong. To be ignored triggered and experience such visceral daily denial and rejection. Have you seen the Christmas adverts? Where we are going we can’t return, both in the physical and the metaphysical. Why can’t we talk about reparations? Today I heard and astouding figure realting to the Lockerbie Bombing.  That they payed out to all the relatives of the victims was in 2.16 billion US dollars. I can’t even imagine the figure that would be necessary to sort out the cost of slave reparations and the impact it has had on family descendents.

It’s not the same of course not but let me tell you it was the first post industrial landsacpe in the world. Now that will get all you human geographers very excited. Healing those Cornsih Mining villages may well bethe key to plantary evolution.

I am the diaspora.


What is a Diaspora?

Hmmm it’s a big word with an ever more complicated meaning. It’s a generalise word for an immigrant or even refugee population. Here’s the crux though it doesn’t apply to a specific population, demographic and can even apply to events. The Diaspora of WW2 Jews might be an example. You see it also applies to those in exile. It’s something that can often be very difficult for us to imagine. A life in exile. Many of us do it. In fact “Right to Movement” Is even a human right. Yet you wouldn’t think it with all the borders all over the place, that are a highly anti-human construct. You wouldn’t think that if you were Palestinian or even Syrian. Border control seems to high up there with Land Trauma as a place where authority over an imagined line has the power make, brake and even kill people. Borders are where power is highly corruptable more than this where corrupted power has its way with the vulnerable, the destitute and the throughly weary.

Anyways I’ve been interested in diasporas for a while. I might have been interested in Land Trauma a little longer, though I hadn’t fully made the connection as to how they were so fully connected. Land desecration and the bad development have haunted me for years and yet I still wonder am I guided by the spirit or the wound with this one. Where consumption is real just a route back to the feeling of oneness you get while watching butterflies. Why are diasporas important to me? Because they are so intangible and leave so many of us lost. They are the reason for that I frequently come back to this thing I keep banging on about Systemic Trauma and at a more base level trauma. Which is both systemic and relational. The systemic feeds the realtional, just as the personal is the planetary.

People move all the time if we take it at its base level it might just be to the next street because you have a family of your own. Maybe it’s to pursue your passion or even find work and less romantically a means to survive. The whole of human history is coded with the idea of the diaspora that humans have forever been on the move. That we can rarely go back to where we have come from like the hands that move time. Yet it seems to be a long standing fallacy that we might. Was Jesus born under a wandering star on the way back to his ‘father’s’ homeland. Yet here we all are trying to find home with the sense of belonging that it might afford us. It feel to me that the only thing that we can ever truly belong to is ourselves and that seems far too radical an idea for most of us to grab hold of wholeheartedly.

You see I’ve said this before that the western way fo seeing things is so linear that we think we can box people, the human story. That somehow we can all be contained within a neat filing system. Why won’t all those humans just stay in their boxes and be neatly ticked off as something we can easily categorise. Easy to understand and easy to maintain. You won’t find any of those things in the word diaspora.

How could there be. There’s got to be an emotional element to a human life somewhere? Yet it is so concisely over looked by these imaginary lines we draw across land and culture. None of come from one place we are all moving somewhere, even if it is only through time and there in lies and ever deepening element to this story.

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Ego Death & The Crushing System

I’ve been tramping round Edinburgh to get to places cause money is a bit tight. The funny thing is that people feel sorry for me. After 7 years of being unable to walk around in the evening or at night, It feels like a total privilege to be able to enjoy what has come to be known to me as zombie time. Oh, twilight it’s nice to know you again.

So in my process of processing the term, Ego Death comes up. First of all, I do not in any way shape or form claim to be egoless. What I can say is that I’m stepping into me every deeper and exploring the inner landscape of shame in ways I’ve never been able to before. Maybe its because I’m turning 40 this year. Maybe it’s because I’m changing my approach.

Two things have happened to me recently one is getting a message from my Mother (who I’m currently estranged from) the other is having to get in touch with my old art college about course transcripts. Both have been triggering. Both have made me investigate my emotional landscape a little deeper. Even as I start to write about about it my anxiety rises and my self-harm ideation emerges and I very literally have to right now go deep into some somatic experiencing. I can feel the tingling of my skin the tightening of my chest and the emergence of ego as it’s rage and anger filled rant starts to emerge in my mind and I’m already getting up to the cup of tea and Instagram scrolling distraction therapy to not go there to deep. So I can stay here with you. You see I don’t think I talk about this part much. The fight. The fight to be here, to stay present, to keep going. To function while feeling and why the idea of ‘normal’ screams systemic abuse at me and makes me feel incredibly unsafe. You see for some of us and I’d like to think the growing part of the population that is becoming truer. The trauma levels are too high. The greenwashing, gaslighting bullshit is too toxic and I have to train hard to be able to deal with any of it. I know I am not alone.

Yet when I am out there posting my at-home selfies that don’t cater for outward appearances I feel like a failure. Like OMG seriously Kimberley again? You haven’t brushed your hair. How is anybody going to relate to this really? This must be so off-putting and then I realise that that is how most women feel all day, every night. That the pressure of appearance is crushing them, even when they have it all done. The hair, the make-up. The panic of office wear that has long left my life was a major liberation. I know for a lot of people that kind of freedom isn’t even on their radar. That I literally live a life of privilege every single day at home in a warm house with and internet connection in my pyjamas. You see and that’s when I think about it. That even the idea of self-care can be crushing. I mean I do brush my hair and teeth and I do do my four-step skincare most days. It’s just that because I work from home I don’t have to do those things immediately when I get up. Then some fab idea comes up and now I just hop online. Then even though I may be feeling good on the inside confident about what I’m saying my appearance doesn’t match my words. It poses big questions that although self-care might be for us what is it about ‘presentability’ that might be toxic. That people can’t see us as ourselves, at home in our pyjamas and does that work differently for men? So on that now I’m off to wash my face and grab some tea. To think about this a bit more.

I’m back.

Which takes me back to the thing I found triggering and why they interest me.  One I’m deep diving more and more into trauma recovery and the causes of systemic trauma which means a lot of deep diving for me personally. You see for me the personal informs the professional. I recently read somewhere (which I can’t remember) that they were thinking about naming CPTSD as a systemic disease. I’m not sure exactly what that means, except for me personally. So many things can be triggers if we are even slightly aware of the interconnectivity of everything how you connect with yourself is directly driven by how you were brought up and the family system you were or were not born into, will inform how you interact with the world.

Recently I’ve been thinking about that a lot. I am not ready to expose all yet. What I can say is that despite my trauma I do know that my family system made me into a change maker. You know why? Because I am playing out a polarity and using it to resolve my own trauma,  for which I am very grateful. It’s also allowing me to individuate in ways that I never imagined or managed. I’m learning so much about myself and my somatic experiencing about my family I’m quite simply shocked at the bodily feelings that come up for me. Like a few paragraphs before tears just started flowing down my face. It was purely a bodily response, a release.

The whole art school thing…well that. What I realise that through that horrific (Yes I do mean that) educational experience I would never have learned our understood exactly what it is to be complicit. How Systemic Abuse can be branded to look safe and how if we aren’t directly affected by Systemic Abuse we will still use corporate power to propel us personally and professionally even if we are well-meaning hippies.

So Ego Death…. what is it? Right now for me, it’s ending the idea of who you think you are or what you present to the world. I’m a lady that works in her pyjamas and old jumpers that don’t brush her hair until or wash her face until she is leaving the house. The weight of that truly feels enormous. Ego death isn’t anything to be afraid of. Most of us have already embraced it in some form or another when we donned our first uniform.