The house was dark, and I was afraid.
Laughter. Singing. Snarling.
And heaving footprints.
A band of shadows in the shape of men
forced their way into my home.
I stood up and said LEAVE.
Then they were gone,
and I was alone,
and she was there,
older than I’d see her later —
long black and silver hair,
owl wings wrapped around her,
then wrapped around me.
Holding me with her arms and wings,
Do you want to live?
I spoke through tears with quiet strength
each time she spoke the question.
She held me warmly, closer to her heart.
My tears were her tears for we were the same.
Days before I dreamed this
(nearly 10 years back from the day I’m writing this now),
I had been lying across the railroad tracks
outside my home.
I wanted to die, but I chose to live.
For me, making that choice also meant
denying my childhood God,
denying my family’s patriarchs,
and denying that my marriage was meant
for everlasting love.
It also meant
healing on my own terms,
defining morality for myself,
and embodying my soul.
Art has helped me.
Poetry has helped me.
Sweat lodges have helped me.
A wreck has helped me.
Jail has helped me.
Cancer has helped me.
and the women of Soul Fire,
who gather in July
in Marshall, North Carolina
have helped me too.
Yesterday, the Soul Fire sisters and I
lingered after lunch in the lodge.
We were talking politics,
as though we were goddesses
planning an ideal world,
where the boundaries between
mandate and choice,
as well as objective and subjective,
Among the many things we mused about
was why people act so often
against their own best interests.
Some of our conclusions:
Because they do not want to be wrong.
Because they are afraid.
Because they are uneducated.
Because value is ultimately relative
and no one’s the same —
making one person’s best interest
different from another’s.
I agree with all this.
I also think we left one major reason
That reason is:
Because they are human.
We all are human.
And self-sabotage is a human birthright.
What blocks my connection to MY soul,
preventing me from living my own “best life”?
The vague fear I’ll be regarded as insane
coupled with a much stronger belief
that I simply don’t deserve good things.
The second part of that idea isn’t rooted in abstraction.
It’s rooted in the reality that authority,
have re-enforced this as truth.
And, even though, other authorities
have rebuked my worthlessness and lifted me up,
my human, animal mind
remembers trauma more clearly
We all do.
WE, as our individual selves, AND,
WE, as cultures and subcultures,
recovering from a still-unfolding experience
of oppression, suppression and abuse.
Within my bedroom at home,
there’s a collage, pieced together
from other collages, made of clippings
ripped from the pages
of my favorite magazines.
The centerpiece comes from one I made
near Easter 2016,
just before my 5-year-old son shattered
the bone around his left eye.
Here is the world.
Beautiful and terrible things will happen.
Do not be afraid.
Today, my Soul says:
Yes. This is true.
Trust the process.