“grieve. so that you can be free to feel something else.” — nayyirah waheed*
I feel reborn. Or, that I am re-birthing. Being born again, but not in the usual way.
The past two years have had me digging. Excavating, pounding against the deep. Yes, because of Eve, because she died and left my body, left us in all the ways that count, except for her absence. That remains.
She died before breath and she's had me digging ever since, twenty-five months of black earth and muddy filth beneath my fingernails. Digging through the grief of losing her, but that was only the beginning.
That girl that barely was, she broke the dam I'd kept beaver-strong for all these years, since that adolescent time when I was supposed to awaken to the world and my self and instead found all growth trapped and tied and knotted down. And --
I left it that way, added more soul-baling twine to cut into my spirit-flesh, let the knots chafe and bloody
and thought it was fine. Fine, I said, I'm fine. But
I was wrong, living small and gasping, and this soul, she was not meant for that. Somehow she -- I -- lived in spite of their/my best efforts, and when my body birthed the limp and lifeless we had long expected, those knots began to fray.
My Eve girl, she loosened the twine, handed me a subject from whatever waits beyond to use with my new-wakening limbs.
Dig, her death said.
Dig, her ashes sifted.
Dig! her memory cried.
And so I pressed the shovel blade to the desiccated ground of the Story of Me and pressed in, leaned close, hauled sand and rock and pain and grit and hurt and dirt and fear and
the hardness began to give way to something below, something soft and loamy, the fertile earth that my soul -- every soul -- was made to grow deep into. It has been there all along, but three decades of disbelief in dignity and worth and all those intrinsic things each child breaches first air possessing, that I had been taught I did not deserve, that I had thought did not matter.
Two years, I've sifted grief, missing her and mourning the self that was nearly stolen forever from me. But that baby girl, she taught me to dig, to fight for life, for the pulse pounding to the fullest beat, and I have and I am, and
I realize today as words sway my spirit and I run less and less from the work I was made for, I am living that life, for the first, the first, the first time and my breath comes quick, that full beating my dead daughter wanted for me rocking this tendered heart, and my soul crows with the glory of this wild life that she birthed in me.
Today is day one, again. For the first time in nineteen years, the new moon coincides with the first of the calendar year. The symbol drips with meaning for me. And so here, amidst the moon-dark and the everyday newness and the mountains of soul-earth that I have sifted and that I have yet to sift, let me share with you my guiding word for 2014. I whisper it in your ear, and let its fullness en-courage us both -- fearless.
This year, I will dig -- fearlessly.
This year, I will question and seek -- fearlessly.
This year, I will rebel, throw off the moorings of heart decay and bondage -- fearlessly.
This year, I will love -- fearlessly.
This year, I will show up, I will try imperfectly, I will press into my soul's yearning -- fearlessly.
This year, I will write and I will lead -- fearlessly.
This year, I will breathe deep and connect -- fearlessly.
This year, I step forward from grief, and back into grief, as needed -- fearlessly.
This year, I will listen to and honor my intuition, the leadings of my feminine soul -- fearlessly.
This year, I continue -- we all continue -- the journey of the soul, wild and tender. Fearlessly.
Are you with me?
*quote courtesy of Hillary at Spirit Soul Earth