The sun has risen and reluctantly I have risen with it. I listen to the moans and aches of my body and wait for the feeling in my legs to come back before I can move. I listen to the ringing of a church bell not too far away and I am brought back to my youth.
I am 10 again, its a sunny sunday morning, and everything is as it should be for the moment. Just when I think I will be lost in a happy memory the pricks and stings in my legs bring me back to the reality in front me. I stretch ignoring the pain in my legs, because I know that if I don’t move now I will miss out on my plans for the day.
There is a secret that I have held unto for ten years. For ten years a part of my voice was silenced.
“Open your mouth! Say something! Tell them! Say it!” over and over they beat it into me, but I didnt have the strength then and I didnt have a good of enough reason now. I shake my head after each pointless beating until one day the dam breaks.
“what would be the point in planting seeds where they wont grow?” I asked. “Tell me, what would be the point in planting seeds where they wont grow?” Confusion. I could read it all over their faces. I was the one with scars on her body, marked across her soul, and somehow they stared at me like I had done the most horrible thing to them by asking my question.
“I have listened; seen men & womyn pour out their pain in hopes of support only to be judged, not believed, and their reputation dragged through the same trenches of dirt their pain had them pinned under.” I wait for the realization sit in, but it doesnt so I go deep. I find the words hidden in suppressed memories until I find the words that pushed me into silence ten years ago.
I raise my face to the sun asking for strength and bring my eyes to hers in truth. “When my mother tells me she wont believe me if anything ever happened to me…why should I ever open my mouth and share my truth with you?” Finally, like a slap across the face, I see the weight of meaning behind her words finally sink in.
I make my way to the shower, carrying my secret, letting the water wash away the phantoms seeping out of my pours. Flashes of the womyn, who wants to be my mother so badly, flashes across my mind. The lack of warmth, the lack of comfort, the silence is all I can remember after sharing my truth. It was the same response the man, who wants to be my father so badly, had. I try to tell my older self not to take it personally and I don’t…their response is almost expected. It’s my younger self that rages, that seeks, that hoped for a bit more from the two people who made a choice to bring her into this world.
With my eyes closed I imagine that I am far away in a safe space. That the water I feel is fresh rain on a warm day that I gladly welcome to cool my spirit. The breeze coming through the open window brings in the smells of growing grass, flowers, and tress from the outside and I imagine I am walking through a garden of my own. Bushwick birds singing allow our local cardinal to come to mind. Everyday I am gifted with the site of his vibrant red feathers calling out, singing, taking comfort by my fire-escape and so its easy to form the details of his face in my mind.
For this moment, my younger self doesnt rage, doesnt want, doesnt seek…I have found a bit of my resolve again. When the birds become slower in their chatter I begin to make my way back from that place of peace and remember to breathe. I let go of what was and prepare myself for what is.
Ten years of silence. It was the dam that needed to be broken, but this time I wouldn’t rage. This time I would not hope for something only to be disappointed later by the pain. This time I would move with the current, allowing it to pave its own way, and I would wait to see where the waters chose to settle before deciding what could come next. I will remember that she is still just a womyn. I will remember that he is still just a man. I will remember that all that I have achieved has been with the support and hard work of myself and the family that I chose to have versus the one I was born into.
I will give myself the warmth and comfort that others lack the capacity to give, because its clear they just simply didnt learn how. But we know better know. We understand that it is a choice to continue to stay stuck in a cycle that does not serve you or to choose to replant roots so you can flourish revealing all the vibrant colors and light living within. Ten years of silence and it as much flying as I have been able to do it was time to let go of the final piece and sore higher than before.
– don’t just live for the peaceful moments, love yourself enough to become it –