I don’t remember when I lost my most important treasure

The Goddess Series, 2023

I don’t remember when I started to hurt.

I don’t remember when I gave up on myself being enough, being worthy.

I don’t remember when I gave myself away to others at the expense of not keeping any goodness for me.

I don’t remember when I started to hate on myself and wishing myself away, wishing myself into something or someone else. Anything else but this. Anything other than who I really am.

I don’t remember when I started to hide myself away became secretive and dishonest as a means of protection and advancement.

I don’t remember when I stopped being my own best friend and started to seek this relationship, this love and attention elsewhere.

I don’t remember when I betrayed myself by thinking that I was someone who didn’t deserve to be here, as someone worthy of love and happiness and joy.

I don’t remember when I started to listen to others, the outside world and stopped listening to my heart, to my own wisdom.

I don’t remember when I stopped just {being} instead of doing. When {being} was enough.

I don’t remember when I stoped paying attention to what lights me up, my wants and needs, what makes me smile.

I don’t remember when I stopped being a child and took the burdens of the world on to my little shoulders like they belonged there.

I don’t remember when I stopped being in love with myself and gave this love to others who were not deserving of my love, who could not see me as me.

I don’t remember when I began to think I needed other people to love me instead of me just loving on me.

I don’t remember when or how or why all this happened, I just feel it. And now, here I am trying to get back to me, to me loving on me, the most important treasure, lost.

Hello 2023 with Creation and Healing

The Earthcraft Oracle

Welcome to 2023. Wow. We got here quick with 2022 flying by. I wonder what 2023 has in store for us all?

I eased into the first day of 2023, after a lie-in, with breath work, meditation and intention setting. For the life I envision, I need to invite in the energy of calm and peace.

I know (re)starting my gratitude practice will support me in this endeavour. No matter how small, taking a moment to give thanks, a small act of presence, mindfulness, and care is a gift I could be giving to myself daily. So why do I resist or forget and allow this practice to disappear from my life?

Fear. And that belief that I’m not worth healing. That I don’t deserve happiness and peace. It’s time to switch up my thinking and ways of treating myself.

I pulled the womb card today from The Earthcraft Oracle. I’ve been pulling one card a day for months now, and today does not fail to chime with how I’m feeling or send me the message I’ve been listening for.

The womb is the centre of all creation. The womb holds all the potential. This card comes into my life today of all days to remind me how to awaken my sacral chakra. To lean into creation as here there is healing. Create and heal are the same thing.

To create, one must imagine something that has never been. To heal, one must be willing to embrace a new way of being.

The Earthcraft Oracle Guidebook

On the first day of the year 2023, I take on board this message and practice to stimulate my creative centre and bring forth inspiration and healing for myself, and for those who came before me and for those who come after me. Ashe.

I am learning to be an inner healer.

I am learning to heal myself.
I am leaning to turn pain into medicine.
I may be at another crossroads. And I may to taking longer to get up
as I am getting older and in need of rest.
But I am learning to walk in uncharted territory.
I am learning to let responsibility go.
I am learning to let the guilt go.

I’m learning to not be afraid of death.
I’m learning to accept myself.
I’m learning to love myself.
I’m learning to not limit myself.
I’m learning to be free.
I’m learning to fly.

I’m learning to shine my light for myself first and foremost.
I’m learning to shed past selves, past skins, past traumas,
in order to let my light shine brighter.

Let’s Start with a Poem

Extract from my recent presentation for the Women and Wetlands Panel Discussion

When Petrified Trees Stand Up and March Into the Sea

I carve out solitude to wander
wide open shores

sanddunes, pebbles and
wooden limbs

Submerged
a forest of trees
so tall they flowed
above the clouds

what we cannot control,
we destroy and call it progress.

We advance like the tide
to claim what
we have
no right to claim

concrete blocks,
seaweed and dead seals,
emerge from
frothy waves
and marram grass.

unseasonal storms
uproot ancient trees
while manmade
concrete lines
remain in tact
in place in defence

here a legion of
foreign bodies marched
to expand an empire,
build a wall
then leave it to moss.

Bizzing dragonflies,
shrubs of wax mirtle
and the coconut vanilla
scent of golden gorse

Some day soon
all this will be gone,

gorse, grass, concrete wall,

washed away like blood
as the sea returns to the source,

returns to where it belongs.

There’s a small hamlet, Low Hauxley nestled behind sand dunes along a long and quiet stretch of sandy beach on the Northumberland coast.
Here along the high tide line stumps of an ancient forest are visible.

It is believed the stumps were preserved by peat and sand and are believed to date back to more than 7000 years and are the remains of Doggerland- an area of bogs, marches and forest that connected the British Isles to mainland Europe.

Archaeologists have also uncovered animal footprints and it is believed red deer, wild boar and brown bears would have roamed ancient Doggerland forest.

These petrified trees. This really blew my mind.

My name is Dr. Sheree Mack. I’m Creatrix : she who makes.

My practice manifests through poetry, storytelling, image and the unfolding histories of black people. I engage audiences around black women’s voices and bodies, black feminism, grief and healing, nature, identity and memory.

I advocate for black women’s voices, facilitating national and international creative workshops and retreats in the landscape, encouraging and supporting women on their journey of remembrance back to their bodies and authentic selves. This journey is supported and recognised by Mother Nature.

I’m the founder of Earth Sea Love, which is a social enterprise, offering opportunities to People of the Global Majority living in the north east of England to develop a deeper connection with/in nature.

The Earth Sea Love Podcast has developed out of these experiences and aims to change the narrative around who has a right to have a relationship with nature. I’ve recently been writer in residence for Northumberland National Park Authority. A black-led nature project I will add. At the moment I’m Creatrix in Residence for Hadrian’s Wall part of the 1900 years festival.

My Practice is a Healing Practice.

The Practice of ::SLOW:: is how I engage with my work and the world. Living within White Supremacy Culture, we are indoctrinated into certain principles and practices which benefit the few rather than the many.

Leaving aside racism and the systematic destruction of Black, brown and indigenous peoples, White Supremacy Culture, perpetuates the pursuit of perfectionism, product over process, and quantity over quality, to name but a few.

This means that the majority of us live our lives at speed, with a greater sense of urgency, with feelings of never being or doing enough, resulting in reduced contact to ourselves, our intuition and inner wisdom.

Slowing down supports me on my journey back to self and ultimately self-love and healing. Being and walking with/in nature teaches me how to slowdown and pay attention and just be.

Nature shows me that there is an abundance rather than a scarcity. It is through these practices that I fell in love with nature.

Nature and I are connected. We are one, therefore falling in love with nature, I fell in love with myself. This in turn means I turn up in life, in connection with others not only as a better version of myself but in a better place to offer love to other people.

Women and Wetlands

Last night I was part of a panel discussion which tackled the subject of women and wetlands.

Crag Lough, seen from Peel Crags, Hadrian’s Wall

I was asked by Elizabeth-Jane Burnett at Northumbria University to be part of this event and share my work around my residence at Northumberland National Park and my explorations of peat bogs.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect about this event or what I was going to share. But on reflection now, I’m so glad that I was invited to take part because I learned so much about peatlands within the UK, around the world and the special place they hold within the global climate crisis.

So much of my language around nature and the environment has been formed through white supremacy culture which has been biased on colonialism and imperialism and capitalist consumption. And of which I am at great pains now to unlearn and find a new language or it is just a re-memory of the language of my ancestors where there is no separation between us and nature.

Something that was raised last night by Khairani Barokka, which was totally new to my knowledge and way of thinking was that within indigenous communities gender was much more fluid and diverse. The binary system of male and female/ he and she which we take as a given now, as the norm, is a construction and part of the colonist program.

That the idea of “the coloniality of gender,” which might have seen the binary gender system in Europe but was not the case for indigenous populations around the world who were brutalised, moved off the lands and eliminated through genocide. This is going to require more reading on my part but it will be completed eagerly as it’s more evidence of how this system to live and breathe is a construct of power for a few white people over the rest of us all.

I share an extract of my presentation here.

Fear to Fury

James Baldwin when interviewed after the SNCC Freedom Day demonstration in Selma, Alabama, October 1963 described what he saw there.

When was asked if he was afraid in the moment when the police were moving in on the African Americans waiting patiently to vote with guns and clubs and cattle prodders, Baldwin replied,

“ The thing is you get – you’re so scared – I was scared in the morning. Before it all began. And I was scared the first time I walked around there. But, later on, I wasn’t scared at all … Your fear is swallowed up by, you know … fury. What you really want to do is kill all those people.”*

* Quoted in Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America And It’s Urgent Lessons For Our Own, by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

“The helmets were, you know, like a garden. So many colours.” James Baldwin *

Acting as if it were possible*

Visual journaling 20/05

I’m feeling a shift in how I’m showing up in the world. How I use language. How I communicate and connect with self and others.

It isn’t just happening now, this isn’t the beginning. There can be no true beginnings because we always come to things, projects, conversations, issues in the middle of our experience of it.

We’ve already been thinking about it, feeling it, ruminating about it. So when we say we’re starting on something or embarking on something, it’s not the beginning but the next step on that journey we began many many moons ago.

So when I say I’m feeling a shift, the foundations of such were laid down and built upon from time. Maybe it’s just a case of seeing and feeling the repercussions or effects of it now. Things are become tangible now.

But yes, I’m believing and acting as if it were possible. That anything is possible. Always.

After a quote by Angela Davis.

Quotes are useful too

Visual journal 12/05

Sometimes I can’t find the words. Sometimes a smear of paint might be enough or an image to spark the imagination or to stand in for that void.

Other times a good quote is enough.

“Don’t let what they want eclipse what you need. They are very dreamy. But they’re not the sun. You are. You are the sun.” Christina Yang

Quality reminders through tough times, quotes can be just that.

7 Reasons Why …

“ I dwell in possibility…”. – Emily Dickinson

7 reasons why me and alcohol are simply not a match any longer: –

1. In case of emergencies and who knows when there might be another one, I don’t want to be incapacitated because of having a drink.

2. Drinking alcohol no longer brings me joy.

3. Lately, I’ve been using alcohol to gain courage and gumption therefore showing up and not being genuine.

4. Alcohol is a gateway to other destructive behaviours and actions.

5. I’m no longer tasting it, really tasting it.

6. It’s been getting earlier and earlier in the day when I start drinking alcohol.

7. I’m drinking for all the wrong reasons.