Nothing really ends. Although this was the final day of the conference [so soon, so quickly, I thought as I entered the building. Wasn’t it Tuesday only a day or so ago? Where has the time gone?] it is really just another segment in our lives as we navigate a path.
At this point I could become deeply philosophical but I neither have the inclination nor the knowledge to do so. Always intrigued by the philosophers’ stance [so many of them men by the way], I have a creative impulse that attracts me towards poetry [so many poets also men as it happens].
But I am not going in that direction either. Instead let me try and draw some opportunities [possibilities, as well put by Gabor Mate, who shies away from hope ] from my time in Melbourne, my time among how many traumatised professionals? For as I look around my fellow delegates I do not see many who are profoundly elated. I think you understand what I mean. To come to a Trauma Conference is to be Traumatised in a way. It is to say: well, yes I work with trauma on a daily basis and if I wasn’t traumatised before I started I sure am now.
However, I will return to my work on Monday as a person transformed. I may not have ‘seen the light’ [I am not religious though I subscribe to some form of Spirit, even if I do not yet know how I connect, or where, or why – I need to learn more from Judy Atkinson] but I have had an experience this week that is transforming.
As every experience we have is transforming. Can any experience we have be said to be non-transforming? All we do contributes to who we are as humans going about the unenviable task of making some headway in an imperfect world. Perhaps that is what trauma is: sensing that the winds are coming at us too fiercely that we need to seek shelter within ourselves, and not seek comfort or protection elsewhere.
Goodbye Melbourne for now. I did not know you well enough this time, did not seek out your refuge, your sanctuary at the end of the day [apart from a Guinness stolen one evening].
Yet Melbourne, you will always be there. And for someone working through his own trauma that is all that matters: a sense of place.