Posts tagged identity
Repair by Moonlight
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I could feel the pull. Then the release. Weaving in & out, a rhythmic pattern soothing & comforting to my skin. My footing reestablished underneath me, like a child given new shoes that finally fit just right. Giving in and making room. Dusting old corners free of blinding cobwebs hanging in the corners of my eyes. Purging old resentment and anger that I clung onto once like rare diamonds in a satin coin purse. Fleeing from the many masks that covered my anguish and deep rooted griefs. As I untied the knots that weighed heavily upon my chest, I was becoming lighter and freer. Softer & more myself.

October has always had a way of reminding me to take a deeper look inside. Maybe it was the way the leaves began to change, all knowing of the crisper times ahead. Slowly, then all at once, right before your eyes. Maybe it was how the cold air pressed at my sweet tooth, hinting that something warm & comforting be placed inside the oven to bake. It's like I knew something softer and kinder & more gentle was necessary of me now. And at the same time it's something stronger and fiercer and wildly more aligned with my own morals begging to be freed. It's becoming true to my own intentions through mindfulness & heart-centered balance. Its repairing my heart and my head to its original, perfectly imperfect self. The one given out in the beginning. The one untainted by society & judgements and heartbreak. It looks like placing my self worth back on the highest shelf in my house, rightfully where it deserves to sit.

The Black New Moon made way this October, entering into our atmosphere and equally into my soul. It is said that this Black New Moon is connected to many Goddesses, particularly the Goddess Lilith. Lilith is associated with sexual energy, creativity, rebellion, and feminine power. She is a symbol of divine matriarchal energy that refuses to be dominated or controlled. With this New Moon it has brought a newfound sense of release & a confidence to press onward in my own self repair. Unraveling the anchors of my past I could feel its gentle push inside me drawing out my intuitive and perceptive gemstones. Embracing the weaknesses I was once ashamed to admit to, alongside my inner strengths. With each brisk blow of our autumn wind I could hear the whisper of the new moons strong universal energy begging me to uncurl the clench of my fists & release the last of the toxicity from my fingertips as I would continue on my path of repair.

When you think about the word repair, often that follows the impression that something was damaged to begin with. I suppose I can think of myself as a little bit damaged. Damaged by feelings of abandonment, neglect, and rejection as a young child. My parents, addicts lost in their own turmoils have been much of an absent memory that I have tried to tuck far away.  Seeking love & affection too soon, too young, in the wrong places almost mirroring the images of my childhood tore edges off my heart. It made me question if there was such thing as real love at all. Question my worth. Question my value. Then I met a man, my now husband. Kind eyed, & gentle. He asked me what my dreams where and looked into my eyes when I responded, listening. Truly hearing the words I spoke. He'd hold my hands and we'd sit & talk for hours about life and love and slowly he turned the grey that smoldered within bright & beautiful. He really was my saving grace. His selflessness, kindness & unconditional love, even to a damaged girl, helped teach myself it is I that should love myself first.

When you live with many years of damage, much of which you've hidden, it can unravel in the darkest of ways. Pinning such negativity in for so long, I became much like a vagrant on the streets. Hoarding her belongings, toting them to each and every place she travels, collecting new items as she moved. Collecting more baggage, more damage. It is not until I accepted, and even embraced these unsettling feelings of unacceptance, pains and tensions that I am able to walk freely, and lighter in step.

This Black New Moon helps to illuminate our shadow side, which not only draws forward our deepest desires and yearnings to be heard, but also the uncomfortable, the raw, the vulnerable emotions we have let hold space in our unconscious mind. October has brought me much thought and a deeper understanding of these emotions as I've cleansed my psyche for a more harmonious relationship with myself. Slowly I can feel the shift from within. No longer looking to others for an approval. Letting go of the sore past and the people that lived there who hold no positive place at my present & future table. Unafraid to not conform, stand out, look different. Embracing myself wholeheartedly as a woman, a mother, a wife, freed from societal controls.

Strangely enough, or possibly coincidentally enough, I have always held a special place below my breastbone for October. The month I fell in true love. The month a shiny silver ring was slipped onto my left hand when a light haired man swung open the shower doors and bent down on one knee. My hair still fizzy from shampoo atop my head, tears rolled down my face as he told me he'd been holding onto the shiny diamond in his black leather coat pocket that hung in our shared closet for months just waiting for the right time. It was the month the fruits of our love was anticipated to arrive earthside, only to arrive nine days later sunnyside up & the perfect image of her daddy. And now October holds memory as a time when I shed the many coats I have collected from a past lifetime of uncertainty, anguish, & inadequacy & am reminded of my truth, empowered and embracing the wholeness of my heart.

This soul searching, unwinding, journey resurfaces many pained memories and is not as easy as turning off an old switch, and entering in a new room. It takes the hard work of digging through dusty, cluttered filled chests brimming with your faults and deepest sorrows. It takes looking at them face to face and truly feeling them all over before you can begin to heal. For me the healing is a life's work. The growing, the changing, the continuance of slipping up and making more mistakes. It all comes with this transformation. For me this repair period is the first of many that I am sure to come across in my life. But I no longer want to be a silent victim of circumstance of the world we live in, greyed & unfeeling, or angered & resentful. As the autumnal brisk air swirls by your face on a gusty moonlit night, the crackling of the amber fire burning it's embers into the air, your feet rustling over the fallen leaves, may you feel the New Moon too, and allow your souls to expand and accept yourself in all its beautiful, flawed, glory as you take the lead in your own life.

Journalist: Kylie Foreman 

A Talent For Daydreams

Once there was a woman who breathed in the gleam of a girl’s eye. She sailed on fancy, and though her face was never entirely clear, the corridor towards her looked clear. She was a woman who glided from room to room effortlessly, her hair poured knot-free across her shoulders, and settled into one kind of curl. The woman had a voice like honey, which would not break when tested, remaining sound and solid. This woman had a figure which beckoned paramours to her gate, and she was the chatter of other fantasies who envied the ease of her being.

I have a talent for daydreams; the churning within me is silent, a revving motor propelling me forward, often opening doors to new realms of possibility and creation. And yet, this woman I sought was pure figment. I designed her to punish myself for some unknown deed, to silence the voice which said I might be enough. She was smooth and fine, not like my ragged, struggling self. Child, I chased her madly, recklessly, forsaking at times the woman I was naturally becoming. I was fixed on a faint target and absent in the moment. I desired to know her so I might rival her. As I chased her, she broke into a thousand pieces, and the world became littered with versions of who I ought to be. That wicked word, that minimizing beast, and this was my youth.

And so of course I never caught her. I longed for her always, and perhaps still, for there is a certain peace in naïveté which allows for the seeking of something outside yourself to replenish a well perceived as empty, and in need of filling. Oh, how I failed to see how full I was. How long it took to recognize the weight lying upon my heart, it was not emptiness but the heaviness of my worth. The woman of my dreams dripped in bits out my fingertips and toes, down my cheeks, and soaked pillowcases. She blew like dust between the cobblestones and grates, until the memory of her was pure whimsy. I am glad to have known her slightly, and proud to have let her go in the sunset of my youth.

I suppose I left the pieces of her in my wake, and in so doing I found myself, bit by miraculous bit. I cannot touch the moment I fell into myself fully. I have only the memories of who I longed to become, the burning pit of doubt, and flashes of authenticity.

And then there was you.

A jagged, fatal adventure towards a destiny called Mama. Pressed against you, the ghosts of the women I’ve released fall silent. In your eyes I see a reflection of immaculateness, and in the moment we were born I found a raging peace. I imagine we mothers are stars, and between us exists a string, which draws the constellations of our days, and stitches us together within the great fabric of the sky. But there is no shape without the lone star, and you have made the cloudy nights enchanted, for you are the moon that lights the darkness about us all.

It is imperative that you make space for this dispensable woman, for you will have one or five. She may be known to you, in boxes on a screen, or in the boxes of your mind. Let her haunt you, and dare you, and defy you. Feel betrayed by existence, and weep in the night as she dances off into the distance like a mirage. Someday, you will look up and find you are your wildest dream, for you became a most magnificent creation, and the drafts of your soul will shape your spirit into an inevitable magic. It is crucial you create her so you may know the truth: there is no aim so riotously exquisite as your purest self.

I have a flair for reveries, but your reality is beyond my imagination. Do not become the echo of a dream, child.

Burn matchless, you singular soul.

JOURNALIST: Adrienne Oliver

Blooming

Through motherhood I've learned how a birth is really a death and that dying is really just a most unfathomable rebirthing.

Every since I can remember I have been scared of dying. I have memories from when I am barely two, in the care of Mado and Papi who's house I would spend long hours at while my mother, single and working, provided for me. Their duplex was filled with smells of meaty tomato sauce simmering, cigarette smoke clouds weighing atop our heads, an abundance of heavy pastoral gold framed paintings and plastic toys encumbering every nook. But most vividly I remember her long black floral skirts. Those red, vibrant roses seemed to speak directly to me; contrasted against black cotton, I experienced true fear at not knowing from where or what or how they are blooming. I see roses blooming out of nothingness and I'm barely two years old having my first existential crisis.

Thus must have began my journey of fearing and grasping tightly.

I am 7 or 8 years old in the passenger seat on the highway. My eyes land on a tall billboard advertizing the closest flower shop, Rose Drummond, sending my thoughts to spin once more into the fear of the nothingness out of which flowers bloom, into the uncertainty of how the speed of our car could send us crashing. I am buckled tightly into my fragile and mysterious ephemerality and a perfectly carefree moment turned pure anguish. 

My shortness of breath and panick attacks must have started in the 4th grade, the year my mother's brother passed away tragically. There's an intimidating child psychologist, irrelevant asthma pumps and a brown paper bag I'm told to breathe into, confusion because of how little sense it all makes. Despite well meaning attempts to understand, I keep my fear of living and dying a deeply guarded secret, unsure any other human being could possibly relate to it.

As a teenager, I grasp onto works of magical fiction and theology, a scattered apart family, friends who are way more busy than me and boys who can't love me. Slowly believing death may not be so scary and unbearable after all lands me medicalized and stripped of my power and much self-certainty but by then, I have experienced enough moments of creative bliss and oneness with nature to know that theirs is not my truth.

Bruised but not thwarded, I start to find healing through art and activism and the fellow sensitive beings I meet in college. My first week in my new school I am quietly eating my lunch on the eighth floor amongst eclectic, kind and communal folks when I hear of an armed man shooting people on the ground floor; the fear I've been imagining all my life becomes real with the hair on my body rising and my whole being turning ice cold as hundreds of us exit together yet alone through the emergency staircase and onto siren and ambulance filled streets. In the safety of my bed that night, I soak in cleansing tears and the knowing that I could easily have been the young woman who was killed; mine one of the 20 bodies wounded. I am warm in my bed surrounded by books I want to read and pictures of places I dream of going and in my grief I know better than to continue wasting any of it.

Days turn into months and tired of my legs trembling at the slightest sight and sound I decide on my eighteenth birthday to gift myself the present of jumping into the driver's seat of my life; to start creating my own reality, and chase after my own truth.

Thus must have began my journey of love and surrender.

I am travelling the globe, seeking my new identity in foreign languages, getting aquainted with my body through exotic food, outdoor living, manual work and the most breathtaking and far-reaching landscapes I can find, my smile as my main form of communication. Seeking meaning, connection and love propells me to journey across the country and land in a tiny fruit picking town thousands of miles from home. Its in the crux of a valley who's name means 'the meeting of the four winds' that I meet a man wandering equally far from home, reflecting back the same brokenness, beauty and strength I also carry. 

It's the beginning of my dismantling as from this moment on I am no longer just me; my "I" becomes 'we' as out of blind trust we choose to form a union encompassing also the tangible seed of love for our child not yet born. With that first kiss I feel motherhood tug at my womb; six years later I yearn to fill it. Outwardly we still appear far from settled and 'ready' but I know beyond a doubt from the depths of the rivers inside me that I'm willing to nurture a love greater than me... to flow into my power and capability. Through trust and surrender, acceptance and letting go, I birth our perfect baby boy.

Slipping into the vastitude and unequivocal joy of being Mother didn't happen over night for me. It's in the repetition of our tiny mundane moments that our bond became strong and our souls so intertwined. It's through learning and failing, getting back up as often as it takes, and delving into my self-awareness by letting go of everything I think I know one by one, holding space for my little one to guide ME and emerge as HIS self rather than what I want him to be. Day in and day out he becomes my growing reflection of the inherent wholeness and freedom within me. He is the healing and becoming I never could have conceived of alone, he is the meaning, love and union I have always been searching for.

Looking back on where I started, I cannot say I fear life nor death anymore. I know both are really the same sacred fabric, a luminous cloth I want to wear with grace and no longer hide under. Letting go of the past, rebirthed into Love, and blooming out of nothingness, I finally know a death is really a birth and that what comes after letting go is just too grand and beautiful to comprehend intellectually. So I let my heart lead my body, and nurture our fragile, ephemeral, mysterious and sacred Life together by Loving.

 

Village Journalist,

Monica