was a girl of 20 when she realized that her heart had stopped moving. Sure she could breathe, but her inhales and exhales had somehow become mechanical. The quiet song between heartbeats no more.
She was known as “she” because so many folks had names for her and none were the name she was born with. Folks had deemed her (un)redeemable very early because she was at once familiar and foreign. Familiar enough to irk her aunties; and foreign enough to put off her cousins. Born a brilliant blue in a field of green she often sat in silence when others frightfully roared. She was a sensitive among thick-skinned heroes. She was dark when others were light, ever long and round in short narrow spaces. But oh so young, and charmed by her own she-ness, she danced in the fullness of herself, naked and free, her cerulean leaps and indigo spins awash in blue beauty.
Until folks asked her with close-mouthed grins to stop spinning please. But oh so young, and charmed by her own she-ness, she danced in the fullness of herself, naked and free, her cerulean leaps awash in blue beauty. Until folks laughed away her leaps, and bound her blue body in green-green covering. But oh so young, and confused by her own she-ness, she danced in the outline of herself, awash in blue beauty.
Until folks reminded that her brilliant blue really wasn’t so brilliant, and in fact, was downright shameful. And alarmed by her own she-ness, she hid in the blueness of herself, buried underneath a she that wasn’t…
Names carry a great weight and she became strong underneath hers, wearing each one that didn’t crush her like notches on a swaggering woman’s belt, finally gaining respect in the eyes of a few of her own. But her nights were flooded with dreams of cerulean leaps and indigo spins, so, in order to get through her days unharmed she began to hide her heart. Locked, and totally safe in a beautiful box of alabaster, only temporary, shielded for a moment, protected for a day or two that became a month. And then, and then, years passed until girlhood dreams danced her nights and she realized that her heart had stopped moving, the lock to her beautiful box rusted over and impenetrable.
…spent her nights in longing, fear curling its icy fingers around her toes. She dreamt of dark wolf moons and eyeless blue women; of forest walks at twilight; of scarlet pointing fingers and fresh meadows. Some nights her dreams were pools of darkness engulfed with sound. One night she dreamed of lying in long grass underneath a hot sun with eyes closed. And one dawn just before waking, she met a curious, cobalt woman who beckoned her with a smile. Cautious, not realizing she was dreaming she kept her distance until the woman hummed:
There was a woman, known and misnamed by her past
A mistake made, or a mistake born, it is unknown
She was unseen. Her heart, too, unmoving
Her she-ness shrouded in shame
But a flicker of unabashed boldness, the kind that rebounds in a well of despair
Moved in the marrow of her bones
She had a vessel of alabaster…a jar
Inside, precious ointment and
Hearing of a prophet who could restore her she-ness
She searched for him, carefully planning a meeting, just knowing that the ointment would show her faith
But alas, all of her planning was for naught,
For she slipped into the house where he was an invited guest unhindered again, unseen.
And at the sight of the prophet’s back, her boldness fled, and overcome with weight, she wept.
Standing behind him, her tears, each one named and scarred with dis-grace
one becoming a thousand, and a thousand more with each breath flowed to his feet
She was overtaken, wading in a river of shame and tears.
Wondering why she’d come, her sudden awareness driving her to wipe her tears away with her hair
And his feet, now ashen with the residue of salted tears demanded ointment
And somehow, she continued, through the veiled water curtain that became her eyes
She went on wiping her tears away, and anointing the prophet’s feet.
And thrust into that moment, her heart moved
Shame melted into Vulnerable
And Vulnerable broke open an inner power that gifted her with the grace to continue sharing her gift though the prophet speaks about her but not to her
She continues, brushing aside the objectification of her Self with her tears
And finally he turns to her, granting her four words:
“Your absence is filled.”
For he had witnessed that
through her faith, and her softening, and her willingness to be seen in despair, she was broken open, and she had been restored.
SHE…awoke with the cobalt woman’s last words burning in her ears, her alabaster encased heart clutched to her chest. And she felt a stirring, a flurried movement that reminded her of her she-ness. She could not weep, but her tears began to loose. A slight sting in the corner of one eye upon seeing a reflection, an unearthed memory, moist and quickly blinked away, the heavy and unexpected drop sourced from the unknown and unchartered seas of the unconscious and warning of a coming storm. And at a breaking moment of stillness a light shone upon her vulnerability. Thunder sounded, and her hurt and shame came bubbling over. She wept tears from a thousand moons and standing on the banks of her own river, she swayed her hips for the first time in years, causing her heart to swell just so, forcing the alabaster to break, and free her at last.
© Chanda Rule 2015