at such a graceful hour
I call myself home. I awake in the early hours, 5:30am, 6… I see the sun cracking the sky like some peach bursting out of a shell. As my consciousness arrives - maybe more quickly than you would think at such a graceful hour - I greet it. Eventually, I have the presence to ask what it brings me.
My body is heavy with concern over my well-being. How will I survive? With what shall I go forward with this insane plan of making ends meet without reaching for the system for which I have lost any sense of desire or belief. Maybe this is insane - insane to be cognisant of the fact that things usually work out. The cycle: Impending Poverty == Furious Hustle == Trickling Increase == Contented Earning == A Big Leap Forward or A Small Loss :: Repeat.
And then I see: just because you are aware that something is a pattern or that something happens, doesn’t mean it stops. You learn to move past it; your station of heart doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
Guilt: carrying around some perceived wrongdoing (endlessly, until you are too tired to fight its repetition).
Freedom: being able to move past perception to reality (endlessly, though you spring unfettered and move naturally into what you want).
Letting Go: I sat with a friend tonight. I am fresh to this small community and she… she has occasioned in and out of it, a loving, empathetic, and intelligent person. We spoke of being used, tracked, of needing to give a Firm No to potential lovers; we spoke of what needed to be done in our communities and of What May Be To Come. I let out some of the confessions and avoidances of my past few months; it has been hard. I have come close to loving, whilst what I have been seeking is not a new angle, a new adventure, but rest.
And as I storied her, my heart grew tired. I could see that it seemed to her that I had been asking for trouble - and maybe I had been! But I saw it in the look in her voice, the tilt of her face. And I withdraw. I must stop, backtrack, find a safe place with her again. She is growing to detest what I betrayed about myself. And what I want least, what I am weary with is feeling I have betrayed my friends.
How strong must I be?
How strong must I be in the midst of learning myself? Is there a limit to questioning?
I hear there is a way to question whilst not alienating others. Is that so? Or is it so that I must remain the same person, the locked woman, the woman who could not be herself for fear that someone may step on her, may crush her? And when it finally did - it happened - my friends were there. They stood with me, they helped me find my grace, my face and feet again. After I had made a confession true in heart to another soul: - I want to be with you. I will negotiate this place in order to be with you - : and I was soon after literally struck in the face and then shunned, they were nearby.
And here I am, head covered and teary eyed, drinking Turkish coffee… wondering if my friends are able to carry within their bodies the same tension of disagreement, misalignment that I carried for them for so many years whilst I betrayed myself. Sometimes for the sake of them, often for the sake of lovers when I would cry on a friend. And now I stick my neck out for myself… because I know myself. Because I have slowed down and cared for and listened to myself above all else. Whilst listening to the silence around me - the lack of other humans, the haunting nights in so many houses, the unfamiliar but meditative nature of foreign language - I learned that what is not important is having external peers but having the companionship and adoration of the self… What is not important is holding another but rather feeling grace in the company of my younger self, or in wrapping my arms around my own body, stretching out my own fingers.
This is power and adoration and being centred. This is a daily meditation, a moment-to-moment awareness of the pain and unrest in my body that used to often lead me away from myself.
I have awoken in the morning knowing I am alone and the sense of freedom that only comes with a broken heart. I have awoken in the mornings with clenched fists and tight forearms. I have awoken - yes - ready to punch. And I have also awoken - eyes closed - after a night of turmoil that led me to thoughts of ending my life - only to open my eyes and see a fuchsia rose rising against a fairy tale sky, bringing with it a complex joy after such darkness-darkness.
How strong must I be?
I met a priest recently in a crypt at a moment of deep need. I asked him my questions: dear sir, I can see you have knowledge of the self that I cannot conceive, but that I must know. I have turned myself off to my EGO for a moment and, sir, I hate myself. I hate myself for hurting people, for speaking my mind when I should have been quiet, for being weak, for leaving my husband, for falling in love, for not pushing for my rights, for being walked over, for hurting friends, for moving, for not walking the prescribed path. Sir, why has all of this come out at a moment when I am turning inward, when I am defending the nugget of truth within my deepest, tenderest heart? I thought this turning point would be like a celebration!
Because, he said, your EGO doesn’t like being ignored. You are listening, he said, to a part of yourself much deeper than your EGO.
—— —— ——
I remember the howling in the woods in the mornings. It always happened between 9 and 10 am. I would sit on the terrace alone and hear her, a dryad or a youngling, crying out in a whimsically needy tone from the deep forest at the bottom of the hill. There were no cigales there; just Roberta the robotic lawnmower, and birds and other flying things.
I remember her howling and calling me into her space. I remembered, at that time, so many fairy tales that begin with this naïve call. Some imbecilic, unknowing child would follow it down and meet some ancient dead mother or a wolf, or another character, only to be lost for awhile.
Lost for awhile. It’s only a while. It’s never really forever. Sure, the child may emerge deformed, in totally different condition, or the child may only emerge out of the telling of the story and remain in the imagination, the psyche of the receiver. But that child did not die inside the forest.
I resisted that physical call in the mid-morning. I am learning that resisting some things is futile and counter-energetic. Resisting your own hagship is a thing done in vain. You must follow her into the woods, knowing it is terrifying. But - think about it - were we put on this earth to follow a system, to follow the crowd? Were we put here to continue to ride or reinvent the wheel? Perhaps there are other things to invent. Perhaps the things you invent will never be recognised by another soul. Perhaps leaving safety for that voice that calls out from the deep darkness is exactly what you need.
People say you must live within the system you are in. I doubt that's True. I mean, unless that’s what you want to do. Then yes, you must live within it. You don't need to abide within a system, society and bents, dispositions and institutions. I cannot say where you will flourish. I can say this, though: if you have glimpsed another thing - even if only the peach and fuchsia cracks of morning - and you have allowed it to crack you for just a moment, then you must follow it.