Galaxy Rest

galaxy rest

 

Go before me, like a forest dweller with a machete –
Carve a way in the wild.
Make a path for me in the brush of the shadow-life,

And when we reach the flower field on the other side,
Teach me the freedom of dropping the blade
and forgetting the battle.

Teach me to rest among the dandelions,
To fall asleep easy under the blue black
dotted with the light of galaxies that never burn out.

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To Re-Emerge

It started as whispers.
Gentle nudging in this direction or that.
They promised the water wasn’t that far away,
the well wasn’t too deep into the wood.
We trust at first because we have no reason not to.
They tell us that a woman will travel for hours to draw a day’s worth of water.
She will walk dusty trails
and brave dry heat,
all for a bucket of water
and the assurance of one more day without thirst.
There is a particular magic surrounding a well:
The vessel of one more day.
She will plunge her pail into the coolness and darkness
and it will emerge with a sweet hope,
a gentle promise of one more day.
The well is safe,
no matter how dangerous the journey was getting there.
That’s why we walked, too:
Because they told us that getting there would be the hardest.
But being there would be easy.

And so we wound our way through the brambles,
scratching up our ankles on
misplaced trust and withheld affection.
They told us to expect the scrapes –
We were not there yet.
Naturally,
nature would leave us a little dirty.
So we kept going.
They pushed walking sticks into our hands,
promising an easier path just ahead.
And sometimes it did become clear.
And sometimes it became more dense.
So they gave us boots to protect our feet.
And sometimes it did hurt less.
And sometimes the boots hurt our feet.
So they piled packs on our shoulders,
full of proverbs and roles and statistics.
And sometimes we found what we needed.
And sometimes our shoulders just ached.
They told us we were close to the water.
Close to the assurance of one more day without thirst.

No one really noticed how parched the journey had made us.

Then one day,
the whispers grew to shouts.
You’re here!
they congratulated.
And we could see it just ahead:
stone cylinder and pyramid roof,
like a little fairy tale cottage tucked into the forest.
A well so deep and everlasting that surely
we would not feel thirsty again.
And in that instance it seemed as though our journey had never happened.
Scrapes turned to scars,
boots forgotten and packs suddenly light.
The promise,
it seemed,
was real.
We peered over the edge to catch a glimpse of the sparkling water within.
And perhaps we were not paying attention,
or perhaps we were too mesmerized
or too convinced that we had made it at last –
Because we did not feel ourselves falling until we had hit bottom.

They told us that a woman would travel for hours to draw a day’s worth of water.
We traveled for years,
and then they pushed us in.
And when we found ourselves at the bottom,
we did not feel or see the water.
It was just cold and dark.
We looked to the top,
a circle of white sky far beyond our reach,
and there they all were:
Our guides, looking down on us, smiling happily.
You’re safe now.
they said, content.
The journey was long, but you learned enough along the way
and you’ve made it.

It was there,
at the bottom of the well,
surrounded by our walking sticks and boots and carefully packed bags,
when we realized that we had already been trapped.
Only now did we feel it.
Only now,
when we ached so desperately to return to the top,
did we realize how tiresome our journey to safety had been.
Because there is no safety at the bottom of a well.
There is only damp air,
and hollowness.

But when we asked for help no one came.
No one threw us a rope
or sent down a ladder.
They only kept dropping more books and rules and traditions on our heads.
They told us we had done everything right,
and now we were receiving the reward.
And the worst part was,
they believed themselves when they said it.
They couldn’t see us wilting,
growing paler and colder and less like ourselves.
They were too high
and the well was too deep.

They had told us that a woman would walk for hours to draw a day’s worth of water.
But they did not know
that women would sit at the bottom of a well
for much longer,
figuring out how to escape.
A day’s worth of freedom is worth more than a lifetime of suffocating safety.
We will stack their books and their pages of rules
and we will climb onto the shoulders of our sisters
and we will crawl to the world again.
We will walk back through the forest,
but this time we will go on our own terms.
And maybe we will be scratched and lose our way.
But maybe we will find others, too.
Maybe we will ask them to join us.
We will find our water.

Heliotherapy

This.  You should read this first.

_______________________

It was a crawling, creeping darkness,
gathered up in miniscule blue bottles,
stoppered with stifled feelings of
not enough
not known
not right.
Bottles hidden in the crevices of a
soul held captive.
And under the weights of
inadequacy, there was a bleeding heart,
alive and beating
as if nothing else in the world mattered.
A deception of life.
But stones do not have a pulse
and that meant nothing made sense.
Without learning to swim,
the whirlpool was a trap,
and spinning
spinning
spinning,
we discovered that it didn’t have a bottom.
Our insides defy the laws of
logic,
those truths we’ve been fed:
that the ground always stops gravity
and
whatever pushes us can be pushed back.
But our eyesight never failed us –
even when we wished it would –
and the distant light
was always visible.
It mocked but
it healed,
promising a hope we couldn’t accept
but had always clung to.
Sinking
into the
not worthy
not blessed
not wanted –
that light remained.

And then there was a day.
We smashed the blue bottles
and stared at the shards.
Perhaps.
Because feeling something
is better than being a stone.
We wish, now,
that we could’ve seen one another then.
That day when we wondered.
When the wondering terrified us
and thrilled us
more than anything else had in a while.
Maybe if we could’ve wondered together,
the ones who were brave
and the ones who were too afraid
could’ve held on to each other.
Because pain and shame
are very similar.
Both create marks.
Visibility doesn’t matter.
The darkness has a special light of it’s own:
perverting the definition of bravery.
Perhaps.
But also,
perhaps the bravery could go both ways.
Sinking
into the
be better
be stronger
let someone else fight this –
a truer light remained.

Because then there was a day.
The first day when waking was
not a burden,
when
hey, how are you?
could be answered with
fine, you?
and the smile wasn’t a lie.
They say the sun is expanding
and will one day consume this
dying earth.
Light becoming fire,
eating away at the dried-out darkness.
It is like that.
And when the flames engulf one home,
they engulf them all.
It is like that,
too.

The stones in us
are in us all.
As the spinning
spinning
spinning
goes on
on
on,
it only becomes clearer
that first we are cursed
but second we are cursed together.
Even the worst that could happen
enveloped that one blessing.
Not alone
not forgotten
not passed by.
And maybe there isn’t an escape.
Maybe there is only running –
from the black fog,
to the flaming sun.

I don’t know about you,
but don’t mind the sprint.
It is the closest I’ve been
to freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shall I shudder or shy away from that which I have made? Or am I not the One who told the dark how dark to be, that My great light might shine more gloriously in comparison? I hold all this together. Alone.
Tallahassee, by Abraham the Poor