Everywhen- Replacing Process with Connection 

November 14, 2022

Everywhen- Replacing Process with Connection

Recently I read an account of an Australian Jack-a-roo and a couple of Aboriginal Men driving along the old Canning Stock Route together. As they travelled along, the Aboriginal men would randomly hum a tune in unison or sing old songs their grandparents taught them. The Jack-a-roo drove around a bend in the road when excitedly, the Aboriginal men asked him to please pull the car over so they could hike over the ridge they were passing. They believed there was a big water hole on the opposite side of the hill, and they wanted to see if it was there. The White Fella was a bit sceptical, but he too had become wrapped up in their excitement. Together they all began the arduous hike through the bush and over the ridge. The four men crested the hill when much to the Jack-a-roo’s astonishment, a lake appeared on the other side. “How did you know it was here,” the old Jack-a-roo asked the Aboriginal men?

“The songs told us,” was their reply.

Songlines, as they are often called in Aboriginal culture, are a mixture of geography, songs, dance, old stories, traditions, and spirituality. I am an immigrant to this country, therefore I am no expert on this topic. Songlines have sometimes been described as everywhen, and this description has given me the most understanding. Everywhen is an interconnectedness of all things, both physical and spiritual, throughout time- past, present, and future. Songlines and the Dreamtime stories of the Aboriginal people represent all of existence as it happens simultaneously. 

It is hard for a western mind to truly understand songlines because we think linearly. Westerners develop and drive straight roads that only exist to connect one place with another. In contrast, when Aboriginal people travel the songlines of this land, the journey is not only the purpose but the very thing that connects them with their country, ancestors, and culture. 

Everywhen can teach us important lessons about our creative journeys too. If we approach our creativity as a process, we become stuck with a beginning, middle and end. Outcomes and finish lines become the purpose of the process. However, what happens if we approach our creativity with an everywhen mentality? The journey of creating becomes the purpose, and every stage of the creative process produces self-awareness and connection. In the same way, a gumnut is already a mighty eucalyptus tree, and a eucalyptus tree will always be a gumnut, creative works can be simultaneously complete and unfinished.

When we create with an everywhen approach, we imbue our work with connections to who we were, who we are, and who we are to become. We can still feel the child from our youth within as we create. Because of this, we bring both curiosity and insecurity to our work. Simultaneously we sense the person we are being pulled to become, which is why we stretch and reach past our current abilities. Both have a lesson to teach us, and through these interactions, we gain access to the wisdom of the past, present, and future.  

Carl Jung explained it like this, “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

Aboriginal songlines and dreamtime stories awaken knowledge that has always been and will always be in the Aboriginal people. We can learn from this and use our creative journeys as an active experience connecting us with inner knowledge and truth. Instead of approaching your creativity as a process, can you allow it to be an everywhen experience that awakens clarity and understanding in your life? Invite the curiosity of your youth to mingle with the wisdom of your future. Awaken the person you were always meant to be.

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