I reach for the music; but I want the quiet of my mind. I’m always looking for something, to fill the silence, and drown out the din. It’s been a struggle this year; it’s been unspeakably hard. I’ve spoken of it. The words won’t always come when bidden.
There’s a place inside of me, that sings. It resides around campfires, and sways to the feeling of bodies in tune with mine. It recognizes the stars at night, and hopes for more of itself. It knows things. It resonates. It calls to me.
In the harsh light of winter, the grayness holds it down. There are things that need doing. Bills that need paying. Chores that need tending. People. Places. Things. The nouns of responsibility. And they choke and claw at me, seeking to strangle that starlight.
In the starlight, many hands do the work. And there is Work to be done. In the quiet of a summer night, laden with stars and the sounds of frogs and crickets and drums, with the moonlight reflecting off the lake… With the fire burning brightly; a heartbeat of dancing people at its center…
Despondency. That’s the word for this. The feeling of moving, as if through water, with the murk all around you. The weeds pulling at your dress, your hair; the current driving you one way, while your heart pulls you another. Trying to remember to hold your breath, whilst you’re trying to breathe.
And that’s all. This wanting, surging, struggle.
So, how to bring it into the city, my starlight?
My singing, dancing, swaying, ragged self? This being spun of light and fire and a hint of fear beating back the dark? How does she become? How does she make her home?
With nimble steps and a tambourine?
With others of her kind?
By holding the hands of strangers, and saying, softly, “I see you. I love you. I am yours.”
Yours…or, With You?
That’s what gods say. They say, “I am always with you.” They don’t say, “I am yours.”
Sometimes, that Knowing Queen, in the back of my mind, she will say to me, “I am always with you.” and it reminds me, that we are one in the same. So, if I am anyone’s, perhaps, I am my own. “I am that I am,” said The Lord in explanation to Moses. “I am that I am.”
Defying description. Hearkening to a time and a place where all facets of the self are welcome and honored and needed, required, to create that which is Life.
Maybe the gods are wisest, to know that ownership is an illusion. But I am human, and I guard what is mine. Somewhere, inside of me, the starlight disagrees. The starlight is owned by no one. The starlight belongs to everyone. How can it be both?
Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit.
We each have our own, unique, personal cosmology. Mine is in the books my mother read me; the stories I told myself; the things I discovered as I grew.
There’s this knowing, that all things are capable of cruelty. There’s this understanding, that forgiveness is essential to healing and growth. To look at someone’s cruelty, and say, “I see this, I see it in you, and I love you anyway.” To see that harshness as a facet, rather than the whole.
If that is what I am, a Forgiver, then what is it for? For so long, I’ve fought against this word, Healer, because I didn’t want to be soft. I didn’t want to be trodden upon. I didn’t want to be in the background, where things were messy, and people forgot you.
But, Healer, I am.
Teacher I am.
Air I am. Fire I am. Water, Earth, and Spirit I am.
Each in their turn. Each in their season.
And who knows what happens next? Not me. Not me. Not me.
But the starlight is calling me. And I must go home. The question is… Is Home a place, or a feeling inside? Is Home a particular group of people, or when you find yourself there?
The desire to move through time and space unencumbered… The need to twirl amongst the stars and shine brightly. To be iridescent. To rise. To shine. To burn up in a fire of my own making. To explode and seed worlds with my death. That is a dream worth having.
To dance with the planets; to cultivate an orbit. To sing that celestial song. To move. To be free. To know your place, based upon the placement of others. To feel that prescribed movement, without feeling trapped or encumbered… To swing into motion, knowing that each moment, you are writing the world in time with the cosmos. That harmony.
I want harmony. I want each facet of my life to be a chord, playing in tandem with those who touch my soul.
Air I am. Fire I am. Water, Earth, and Spirit I am.
And, if I am all this, and more, then whysoever should I stop? Whysoever should I pause, and vanish into nothingness? Whysoever should I hobble myself from the dance? Close my ears to the song of the Universe? Cover my own mouth with my hands while I cry?
Anguish and Joy. Love and Apathy. Life and Death. These are my tools. My paints. My war cry.
And these things know; these things do not care. These things demand nothing.
Yet, I do.
I demand it. I demand to feel every moment with every cell of my being. I demand to be whatever being is. I demand to taste everything, know everything, try everything at least once. I will not be limited. I will not be held down by winter light and gloomy days and melancholy moods. These are but passing fancies.
I will become what I am becoming, every day, for the rest of my mortal life. And I will spiral out, at the end, and with any luck, there will be enough left of me to bear fruit in the imagination of someone else’s soul. That is a life worth having. And, I will have it.