Freya is not her real name All details have been changed that might identify her but the rest of the story is true .
Shes there at the town central bus stop centre with one of the elderly townsfolk regulars dancing in attendance .She’s at the bus stop surrounded by 3 huge suitcases .Shes like this blast of radiant gorgeous warm heart- centred energy and despite a shaved head and cuts and bruises and this air of dishevelled chaos around her shes still luminous with these huge gorgeous green eyes that flash with a fierce intelligence and this beautiful flawless olive skin .
She’s just arrived in town and Donald the old timer she met on the bus has been helping her lug her suitcases around town ,up hill and down as they searched in vain for the place shes arranged to stay in . I watch as she hugs him with genuine warmth and appreciation telling him hes ‘just the best’ .He grins appreciatively . Its probably the most affection and warmth he’s had in years.
I can see instantly this is a very special woman .Shes like this huge beacon of light . She reminds me of a little Bodhisavattsa As I spent more time with her I saw that Freya has this beaming smile and this way about her that reaches out and grabs people ,bypassing the bullshit of ego separation and touching them at the heart of where they really live .That she is remarkably evolved and a very old soul is in no doubt .That she is also in some sort of personal landslide and bumbling along in terrible chaos is also in no doubt .
I recognise it instantly The wounded Goddess. A dishonoured Queen of Heaven spun out of a more orderly orbit by her life’s suffering and propelled along a chaotic path by her pain and yet somehow bestowing gifts and blessings on everyone she meets as she goes .
People just want to do stuff for her .Protect her look after her shower her with gifts .I am the same .Its instant . I don’t think twice . I have just done my shopping and am about to take a taxi .She has been booked into a divey flat in Allamande Place .Its on my way so I offer her a lift which she jubilantly accepts with comments to the effect that the planets must be aligned and Providence is on her side .
At Allamande Place a gaggle of kids appear from nowhere to help her with her bags and eventually we find the flat a welfare agency have helped lay out good advance rent on and I help her get settled .I cant believe it .She is paying the same money as I am paying and the place she is renting is a total dump .Its shabby, only barely clean .Completely bare of any home comforts and it stinks of urine .There’s no linen not a cup or a spoon or a plate to make yourself comfortable as surely there ought to be for a pay by the week temporary apartment .The landlords are charging pay by the week temporary accommodation prices but have put no thought or care into what might need to be included in short term temporary accommodation I make a note to ring the agent at some stage and tell them what I think .
Allamande place is where you crash when you are on the descent from the civilities and niceties of so called normal society It forms a very inadequate safety net filled with gaping holes that people sadly fall through.
There are decent folks there at Allamande place ,people with good hearts who are making the best of what they have but there is also an air of desperation and hopelessness People crashing about in one another’s spaces .A lack of personal boundaries.A sense of “all in together boys and girls this not so fine weather” People feeding off one anothers frailities and fuelling and hastening one another’s fall from grace with alcohol and drugs .Loud perpetual parties .
Everyone there is on one benefit or another .A place where social workers wind up their car windows and ring back to home base offices to reassure them they have successfully survived their business there.Not a place to tarry .
Freya instinctively knew that and within a week had booked herself in and out of Allamande place preferring to take up a squat on the local Kemps oval 3 or4 huge suitcases and all but I am getting ahead of myself.
As we arrive, one of the local kids helps Freya and I up the stairs with her bags .He’s a polite kid probably glad for the new excitement and distraction .Freya offers him a few dollars for his trouble .He politely refuses .While Freya and I sit at the kitchen table and sip on a couple of coolers she produces form her voluminous handbag sadly she cant offer him one cause its laced with vodka .The kid takes charge of reconnaissance of the place he darts about scouring the dark precincts of smelly cupboards for anything resembling something Freya can use but there’s nothing a smelly stained torn old sheet a dilapidated old teddy bear .
As we chat I learn something about her .She’s the daughter of a swami a spiritual teacher teaching here in Australia who follows the teachings of Swami Satchinanda .Her mother is an aboriginal living in Darwin and she’s one of ten children .She herself has six children she never sees. She has lost a son .She tells me past Christmases have been spent with Freya drunk and lying beside her dead sons grave . She’s on a disability pension for some really vaguely diagnosed mental health issues and the troubles with her love life and family life have been well rife.
Her first husband took the three kids from her .Her second husband was having an affair with the next door neighbour from early on in her pregnancy and apparently is still there shacked up with her with Freya’s two kids
There is also a cut on her head She tells me she was bashed and rolled by some unsavoury dudes who used schoolies week to run rampant in Byron Bay .Yet therse no maudlin self pity just a sense of wry acknowledgement and acceptance that in life sometimes bad things happen . Shes cheerful and upbeat even though shes clearly exhausted with the days events
Still I can read the truth of the pain that drives her .She makes reference to a more settled family life in an outer Melbourne suburb when she helped to run I think it was a community preschool and I wonder what the tipping point was eg the point at which she decided to let it all slide and make her descent downwards to flow gracefully with the river of chaos her life had seemed to become.There is the drink of course and drugs all of which can numb the intolerable emotional pain her experiences have bestowed on her and also dull the senses and cloud the judgement and maybe that is to blame for some of it .But shes whip smart in other ways ,clear as a bell and profoundly wise …Its such a contradiction .
She trusts the Universe goes with the flow .says what happens needs to happen But there doesn’t seem to be any Freya there taking a stand for what she wants in life making decisions dictating the terms .She is just total Effect Simply allowing life to happen to her .Total surrender to not very satisfying circumstances .and yet in all of that seemingly uncontrolled chaos there is a Divine order and there is Light and Grace Her Divine redemption is in her beautiful radiant being and a heart centred ability to make the minute to minute connections she makes with the people she passes on her way truly memorable and meaningful . Page 4
When you are in Freya’s presence you feel love and you feel loved.She makes you feel needed, important, special, necessary and alive and connected . All the people who rush to protect her and help her tell me they feel a connection and yet there’s another side too She invokes jealousy and violence and chaos In the week I travel beside her when shes out of my sight she gets bashed twice .She tells me it was completely unprovoked but clearly she is acting as some sort of trigger in these unfortunate experiences .
She’s high maintenance too and I realize what a swamp she can be because as she lurches from one chaos to another in the dynamic of the friendship she is offering you would be almost entirely fixated on solving her problems. But still you cant resist helping her .
I bring her sheets a blanket a pillow a pretty candle a teapot with a teacosy, I made myself I figure when your accommodation is shit and your position in life is precarious you can still dress up your table and lift your spirits with a good teacosy .Its worked for me and at the last minute also as an afterthought I toss in a pack of angel cards.
I love my angel cards like other women love shoes I wanted Freya to know she was loved to offer her some divine reassurance . That somewhere there I believed Goddess was watching .Never have I been more gratified to give a gift and see the pleasure bestowed than those Angel cards .The next morning I go around to check on her and she’s sitting on the floor having a beer with a neighbour with the angel cards spread out on the floor before her revelling delightedly in them .
She pulls one for me and it reads “ Be strong and share your deepest truth People will respect you for it” .I grimace as I think about the letter I am just about to write my mother
A Christmas letter from my heart to hers filled with my home truths which I think are going to go down like a lead balloon ……Ahhhh Such is the magic of Christmas !!
She pulls one for herself It reads “You are about to start on an important new adventure in life “ Its kind of appropriate Dull is one thing Lollis life is certainly not.
As we leave to go shopping she stuffs the angel cards under the mattress She tells me “I don’t care if thieves break in and steal anything else I don’t want them to get the angel cards”
I love angel cards but I do wonder if they really cover Lifes deepest karmic emergency situations we might find ourself facing ……..Is there an angel card for all contingencies I wonder ? E g Is there a card that reads “Brace yourself your husband is about to tell you he has been having an affair for the last five years and is about to ask you for a divorce so he can marry her ? or how about “you are beset by betrayal on all sides and your best recommended course of action is to take your own life .”Are there angel cards for such contingencies I wonder ?
Freya is in her 40s but looks to be in her early thirties .I ask her . “What’s the secret of your youth ?”and her answer amazes me .She doesn’t go on about this beauty product this cream or this elixir or waft on about keeping a positive attitude or taking fitness classes or healthy eating She says simply “I feel things fully and then I let them go”.I am bowled over by her answer and I recognise the truth in it.
Anyone who is an exponent of or knowledgeable of natural therapies knows the truth of how our withheld and suppressed emotions not clearly and fully expressed at the time of experiencing them clog up our energy field and dull our senses and cloud our perceptions as they accumulate through time .Its these suppressed and out of present time emotions that eventually manifest as wrinkles and aches and pains and limited perceptions which age and weary us and cut our lives short .
I take Freya shopping and what a blast that is .Everywhere we go she talks loudly and she dances . In the supermarket aisles she dances . I just steer the course and push the trolley to get her from A to B . I’m the straight man to her dancing deva . The calm voice of clarity and reason practically plotting the moves .We shop for food .We go to the bank. We go to Vinnies to buy her some crockery and everywhere we go she lights up the place and the people in it .I see the bored shop workers suppressing smiles .
I see tired frazzled housewives break out in broad smiles and sparkle in the moment as Freya doles out genuinely felt and freely given compliments .She tells someone they have beautiful energy or beautiful eyes . She’s larger than life and she lights the place up .
I see the effect she has on men .One sad controlling house frau who I had seen putting her poor husband through some gruelling grocery shopping paces calling out to him from one end of the shopping aisle to the other with a slightly desperate edge to her voice “ Darling shall we buy more ham ?”One wonders what the husband is even doing down the other end of the shopping aisle if hes supposed to be out shopping with his wife .
As Freya dances around in the supermarket aisle she collides into the husband .She apologizes and he accepts with an easy grace and generous smile .The housewife bristles …… “Darling she screetches shrilly down the aisle what about this icecream .Do we need more ? Will we get this one ?”
I look to the woman and her squeaky cleaner than clean well scrubbed appearance and her taughtly drawn slightly desperate expression and her blonder than blond hair . Shes the uptight Aryan princess to Freyas slutty bohemian Goddess grace and in that moment its easy to see which the husband prefers. Its as if in crashing in to Freya he has been momentarily let off his leash and he waggles his tail appreciatively .
The woman tugs at her husbands leash and calls out to him again . “Darling do we need more topping ?” the shrill edge in her voice rising .I look at the husbands face and note his relaxed smile has disappeared and his brows are knitted in a tight ridge silent mutiny and fury . “Hhm” I think to myself “There’s definitely trouble in that paradise ”
We go to the Fruit and Veg shop and Freya is loud and larger than life “Wow” she yells “ this is the biggest cabbage I have ever seen in my life” Theres a little baby embryonic cabbage growing out of the side . “Oh my God she yelps excitedly This cabbage is having a baby .I tell you there are strange and wonderous things going on in this shop ” I watch the shop keepers break out into smiles .
I had offered her earlier in the day to come and have a meal with me and watch TV but by the time we get back to her place I am exhausted .
As we arrive loaded up with groceries the vultures descend and people come out of the wood work to follow her up the stairs whether to bathe in her light find a distraction from their boring day , bum her smokes or eat her food …I want to tell the vultures to go away …….but its not my place and I realize suddenly I have to back off and leave her to her life . Its clear that wherever she is the party is happening and its up to her to set her boundaries which clearly she does have trouble doing ….but I have done all I can do for her today so I go home grateful to be alone .
I decide at that point I need to let her go to some extent .I had visions of saving her ,finding her a counsellor to work with helping her make contact with legal resources who can help her get back in touch with her kids and supports that can help her resurrect her life to a more coherent and promising trajectory . But does she need resurrecting and is it right for me to impose my western middle class values on her ? Still I make a list of support services and resources I know of in town she can reach out for as she needs to .I feel it’s the least and the best I can do at the moment .
She has a life and she has a path .Shes larger than life .For all her frailties and despite the chaos that whirls around her we’ve been out all day together had lunch been shopping together and perhaps in all that in 5 hours she hasn’t uttered one cross or impatient word to me
And yet this same woman when shes not with me manages to get herself bashed twice within the space of a week
That day she has brightened up dozens of lives .Shes brought dozens of smiles Dozens of peoples spirits have been lifted . Freya lives completely outside of the boxes by which normal healthy functional citizenry might be defined Who am I to tell her that my way is better and to try to impose my standards on her ?
Under rightful auspices Freya would sit in a very high place and people would part with large sums of money to sit at her feet and hear her wisdom and receive her blessings
She is like this little Bodhisavattsa whose chosen path a very difficult path indeed but maybe that’s the best way she can reach her intended constituency and also learn whatever lessons she needs to learn on the earthly plane
You hear of Goddesses in India who will sit on a crowded pavement in white saris and channel their high powered Grace and Light and Love to the passing throng and people will flock to receive the blessing . People in India are smarter about recognizing the presence of Divine grace They are more open to receiving it and naming it .
I marvel though that this creature of grace and light can act as a trigger for such chaos to whirl around her .I have only ever seen people being nice to her and vice versa and scratch my head that in the space of the week that I travel with her when shes out of my sight she manages to get herself bashed twice . How so ? I cant conceive that anyone would want to hurt her and clearly there is a whole other more feral side to her that I am not seeing …
The next time I see Freya its back at the bus transit centre She’s sitting at the bus stop once more and theres another man dancing attendance on her. I have already heard on the grapevine there has been a fight with the neighbours and the police came .
I heard she went to the real estate to try to get her money back because she is moving out of Allamande Place
She tells me its true ,I hear she has taken up camp on Kemps Oval with her four suitcases in a shopping trolley covered with a tarp and she is under the protection of a man called ‘Fatboy’ ….Shes homeless .
Inwardly I quake and quail for her .I have the list of support organizations I typed up for her in my bag . On it there are two organizations who I know can be of real practical help to her in finding a place to stay . I urge her to give them a call .and I tell her without reservation she can put her things in my storage unit .
I am not really in the position to offer her a place to stay in an ongoing way There are limitations there but still without reservation I give her my phone number and I say if trouble strikes if anything goes wrong ‘if she needs a place to stay temporarily call me .I put the ball into her court .
As we part I have a million things that I have to go and do appointments to keep and I impress on her to call me if she needs to .She smiles and says I will call you ‘if I want to’ and suddenly I feel relieved because in her inimitable way she has shown me the way to go. Of course it is her choice .Its up to her . I feel relieved feeling that I have done the right thing .I haven’t abandoned her but I am not rushing in to play the rescuer .I have let her know that I am there for her with practical support if she needs me
She loves me in that moment and her affection is real. She tells me “You are awesome I think you are amazing .You are a beautiful angel and I know that when you look at me you see who I really am .”
I wish I could tell her the truth about my pain and the crap that’s been laid on me in recent months by people I thought were friends and the beytrayal that has hurt so bad it made me feel I wanted to end things to go to sleep and never wake up but its not the time or the place
I see her later that day .Shes sauntering down the road with an easy grace as if she doesn’t have a care in the world. How can someone homeless living in such randomity and chaos look so unruffled so radiant and beautiful and so well….. clean ?
I tell her she’s looking good and she smiles and says guilessly “You know I do everything in my power to make myself look well less womanly .I’ve even shaved my head and well still they come ………”
I remind her again to call me if she needs to and I go home to my safe quiet apartment and I eat my TV dinner and watch some silly movie on TV about a talking snowman
And I sleep with my phone fully charged beside the bed just incase she calls .