These words are from my friend, RC.
She wanted to share them, knowing they are intended for more ears and eyes and hearts than just hers; yet, she felt they would not be honored in her own circle.
I know, deep in my bones, how important it is for us to bring what is held deep inside out into the light. I know how important it is to tell each other our stories, and to listen to those stories with our hearts, because the heart does not judge. We need each other to simply hold space for the healing that yearns to happen within each of us.
Standing in front of the mirror, unadorned and unashamed, I remember in my breasts and my belly, in my shoulders and my thighs the freedom she must have felt in the garden. I know the joy of being surrounded by succulent fruit and the caress of perfumed air. I sense the wonder he felt, watching her, adoring her with his eyes, the pleasure he took – and gave – his hands full of her flesh while the divine moved in their midst.
But when I cover myself with my modern fig leaves, the shame pours in, filling my lungs and threatening to drown me.
How can it be that knowing gets twisted, turned back in on itself, split again and again until the truth no longer exists? Starting with that first juicy bite, she has been blamed. And her daughters have borne the burden with every child they carried. Pendulous breasts and widening hips no longer worshipped but feared. Feet that danced now bound. Mutilated, humiliated, beaten and burned – for what sins? The sin of being, of becoming?
Layers of shame interwoven with layers of soil, each aeon invents brutal new methods of pain. And now, we rape the earth and her daughters with equal impunity. Nothing sacred, nothing safe. No elders have to hold us down for mutilation to ensure desire, we submit to the knife so willingly, impossible images of desire carved out of our flesh. We consume but find no satisfaction. We look for the divine behind men enthroned on the altars of religion and government, but she’s not there, and she no longer moves in our midst.
The garden entrance stands guarded by flaming swords, no hope of return. But the images shimmer just on the horizon. Freedom still beckons, reflected in the morning light. I hear the whisper of the divine still moving.
Hope hangs around my neck – a string of perfect pearls.