“My father used to tell us, whenever you fall down, get up and try to walk. When you try, you will always reach your destination. I just thought about what my father would say. Whatever you do, you don’t give up.”
Ayen was breathing heavily because of the beatings, and the thought occurred to her that she had one thing to look after – the breath that was in her body.
“To my mind, I am dying, but I am not dead yet. So before I am dead, I should care. So let me care for that breath; not to give up. So, whenever they would hit me, I would always stand up, and I became strong.”
Tears flood your eyes. A shiver runs along your spine. And then you notice the steps before you, leading to a giant screen. You walk up the steps and place your hand on the screen.
Slowly, coming out of the darkness, a woman walks towards you. She stands before you and puts her open palm against yours. Her eyes rise to meet yours. You stay there for an instant of sharing, transported beyond time, beyond cruelty and suffering. Her gaze radiates her strength and wisdom directly into your body.
And then she turns to go. You both slowly make your way away from the screen. You step back out of the dark room into the light.
You are forever changed.
Because you have looked into the eyes of one who stands beyond fear, in the vast fields of compassion.
Ayen from Sudan is one of twelve women who took part in Lynette Wallworth’s deeply moving art installation, Evolution of Fearlessness. Refugees from places such as Afghanistan‚ Iraq and El Salvador, having surmounted extreme difficulties, all agreed to share their stories with Lynette and take part in this project.
They gifted us with an opportunity to go within ourselves. To touch that deepest most vulnerable spot. Wherein lies our collective humanity.
Its revolting darkness.
Its sheer beauty.
I sat with Lynette in the halls of the Congress Hall in Davos, thrilled that such an experience would be offered to participants in what otherwise risked being a dry intellectual setting.
And I thought about the words I had written, at the end of The Heart of the Labyrinth. I was struck by how deeply they resonated with Lynette’s work, with these women’s stories, feeling once again the living web of life running through us all, connecting us to a bigger whole.
And these – the Sage’s reflections – are the words I want to leave you with:
“I thought about the many women who came to me for healing of body and mind. And I understood that through them, I was able to touch the indomitable strength of Woman, her power and her passion, her capacity to survive and rekindle her love when all around her has been broken. It was as if Gaia herself lived on in the bodies of all these women who carried the fire of Life in their womb, eager to live and love, learn and die, fall and stand back up, time after time.
Through their eyes, I was able to peer through the ages, unlocking the great mysteries of time. And I saw that Her spirit could never be vanquished. No matter how hard we tried to squash her, Life would always rise up again and give us another chance to reconnect to the source, to come into wholeness.
Yet, I was also shown that many paths were possible and the form in which we chose to partake in our own evolution lay entirely in our hands.”
You can find more examples of Lynette Wallworth’s amazing work, at the following links: Ocean Dome; Award-winning documentary: Tender