Wednesday, January 9, 2013

pockets full of stories...

A Litany for Survival
by Audre Lorde

"For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
... for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
like bread in our children's mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours:

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother's milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid
So it is better to speak
we were never meant to survive.”

~Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn: Poems

i pulled this poem up today because so much came up in me last night...dreams crashed in on me all night...pulling me down more and more as the night grew thicker...i could barely breath at one point...waking up gulping for air...struggling in a drowning dream in which i died and sunk to the bottom of murky water...i was an old woman with stones in her pockets...when i died i fell through the bottom of the lake i was in and stood in a field watching a fire consume everything but me...i only felt the torture of the flames licking skin from my body...

another dream i was sitting inside a quiet house with sophie from the book "sophie's choice" was a book i read as a young woman and it still haunts me...her death and what broke her still brings up strong emotions...for many years i worried the struggles of my heart would break me...and so i sat with her at her kitchen table as she nervously smoked her cigarettes and kept drinking strong was as if we were waiting...for a person to appear...or a bus to stop outside we would get on...we waited...but then i realized we were waiting for time to be done with just sit and wait for it all to be over...yet we both knew it was not coming quick enough...

another dream of going to my hometown...of driving my mother to my grandmothers...somehow my grandmother was still alive...sitting in a chair...and the old man...her husband...was running all felt the most surreal...i only understood one moment as anything i knew growing up...when he went out the door calling her "baby doll"...that was always his nickname for her...and as he left this time he gave her a small bottle of perfume...and i remember he would always give her these gifts she never liked...would always complain about when he was gone...would toss aside...this brought alot up in me...

when i did wake up this morning i didnt know where i was...i didnt know if i was young or apartment was felt like my grandmothers room...a moment of real be in a room like create that in my life...her cold, sick room...little wonder my mom became just like her the dream they could have been twins...with their crippled my mom she thinly hides out now...there really is no place to hide her dysfunctions now...i have so much compassion for her at times i can feel my heart glowing...she has no idea how much i wish she had been able to free herself from her be healthy spiritually, physically and mentally...she was poisoned by the craziness of her childhood and never had the strength to extract the poison...even as she gets overwhelmed with it all sometimes and directs it at me i do understand and find compassion...i do get why she broke...i just will not allow the poison in me to spread...i am removing every damaged cell, ever drop of toxic suffering from me...i hoped this for her...i think she may have in small degrees...i think she will die with the poison in her though...and this is sad...still i pray for her...

and so i string these dreams together today...and do a journey into them...and a line of lordes poem echoed in my journey..."we were never meant to survive"...

and this is true...but some of us do...and find meaning in life...or at least a tolerance for life...and then some very blessed ones find purpose...even a simple keep us tethered to our own body and to keep it from being painful to experience our own lives...

for me taking a breath in the morning and opening my eyes was painful at times...i just didnt want to live in this world...people were unkind and cold...i longed to be held and told everything would be ok...i struggled with isolation and feelings of being worthless...

even this last year i felt thrown away or low on the list with others...yet i had what sophie never discovered...what my own grandmother and mother could not find beyond their wounds of low self esteem...i found acceptance...

i didnt find it from fact rejections have changed part of me...i wont trust others easily again...i dont say this is a bad thing...i have armor now and will not be harmed again...i have self respect now...this is what i found...self respect...

i am no longer desperate for acceptance from others...truth of it is i have been "cured" of that...i honestly could care less what others think of me...good or is more important how i feel about myself and my choices...

i have acceptance from myself...i have an immense feeling of worthiness within me...

i am not my mother, my grandmother, sophie...i am not giving up...i will not wade into my crone years with stones in my pockets...i will not sit and wait for death...i will not allow the poison to snake through my veins more than it has...i am healing myself...and i did see this as i dreamed...i sat with their despair but i did not despair...there is an amazing victory in this...not pockets full of stones for me...but pockets filled with stories...

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