The Stillness


(Photo by Mike Stacey)



I watch my sweat drip down along the contours of my body, snake-like tendrils of salt and anticipation falling around me. A twelve year old me could never have known how aptly they chose their name; I'm always wet like a damp Autumn forest, like rain falling onto soft decaying leaves. Dripping like honey, leaving my marks on everything like a snail on a pilgrimage.

I long to speak my truth, to say out loud all the words that I weave together in spells on paper and a love language as ancient as my great great great great great grandmothers bones crushed into dirt that makes the flowers bloom. I write these words that I can't say out loud. This is my confession: my voice was taken from me out of fear of persecution. One day I will retrieve it and gift it back. For now I speak in symbols and I wonder who can read them.

I gave my vulnerability as an offering for the coming year, like gifting seeds thrown to the earth. And this is it, this is me. I'm here baby-faced, laughing with a cackle that would do a witch proud, stripped back raw, skin flawed, resting here for a moment in child's pose. Who will I be when Saturn is through with me?

And now I find myself here in this ephemeral sliver of time with my body tied in rope woven from the magic of past rituals. These words don't come easy; there is always a price to pay in having the audacity to try to describe the divine. This moment is all there is.. goosebumps rising on damp skin, bound up in surrender, a giving and taking of breath. A stillness so profound, discovered only in the inbetween, here in the greyness, the penumbra of this moment.

I never knew how deep the rope would burn.