How hard it has been to come back home and find that “home” never was, that here it has been horrible as ever,
that there the wounds were someone elses,
and that is why I could breath.
It was not that I changed so much (though I did), it was that the climate I found myself in shifted weight and I, broken daughter that I am, was able to let some off my heart.
My heavy, heavy heart.
I got back & I forgot. I forgot that I write because it gives me a glimpse of myself, not because it gives someone else a glimpse of me. I forgot that I am the only audience that matters, along with the ragged few who clap & dance outside the city, scarred scapegoats of the society that tore them apart. I forgot that you cannot trust your (heavy) heart to someone who does not know their own. I forgot that if you do not break the rules, they will break you. I forgot that to be at the bottom is to face your demons: that a culture that forces you there is Heaven disguised as Hell. I forgot that the elders of this “home” are not elders at all, but rather dragons disguised as guides who want to lure you into the lair where they have lain with their fat bellies resting on piles of gold pieces. Safe. Unhappy. Secure in their rabid insecurity. I forgot that what I got for me, it must absolutely be for me. I forgot that I am my own, that I was not bought with any price, but I have been given a life. I have been counted worthy of living, and the power and agency to create that life is in my hands. I forgot that nobody can give me permission to be who I am; others will lead me in circles, it is mine to cut my own labyrinth.
I forgot that nobody here is happy & that if I do not beware,
I too will fall into the cycle of unending unworthiness, searching frantically for what is already mine, scoffing at the happiness of others, if it seems they have found it.
It is not that I believe the beaches of Chile to be any more radiant than those of Florida, California, Alabama, or Maine. It is that I have found that to find my voice I must exist alongside others of my own kind, and I have seen that the wounds there are someone else’s. I have felt weight shift inside & it has renewed the hope that I have cultivated since I hid alone in the wilderness of my beginning.
This homecoming has brought me to the back lining of my belly, where my body protests the religious practices that leave my knees red & raw, my heart banished to the dungeon where, perhaps, it may learn to behave. There in the deepness of my sacred self I see that wisdom is crafted when culture declares you unfit, shifts awkwardly on its heels because you are breaking the rules.
Only those who the rules have failed, are free to make their own. The rules have failed me. Could it be that their failure is my freedom?
I learned that in brutal weakness, I am terrifically strong.
I learned that there are no allies, unless someone truly loves you, but even then, you must stand on your own or there will be no room for them to stand next to you.
I learned that intimacy is not something only to be lived through stories of an ancient Jewish teacher,
something that I write myself into & thus calm my heart. It is not something that the courage-less watch me long for from the dank towers of their minds, lofty, isolated from the dungeon of their hearts.
In other worlds, not this “home”, I am not the only one with a heart, My yearning is not unique, it is universal, and there are other hearts that are interested in meeting me in the garden to play.
I know well how to garden my heart, nurturing my cactus-soul amidst the tumble weeds of “home” for 23 years has been the grueling training. This training brought me here, to myself, with the capacity to live unwatered, with a soft & delicious inside.
Perhaps now it is time to be a flower in the sun. A lizard sun-bathing in this flip-side of “home”, a place where the burden may lift off my heart as I see others with the courage to meet themselves in the garden, the place between their banished mind & their dungeoned heart.
In the powerful rhythm of Hope,