You can hear it on the wind sometimes, her sobbing laughter. As her ghostlike arms clutched another innocent to her chest with desperation, such sadness, needless pain.
If you saw her, you might think she was the monster. Her hair a snarled mess, eyes hard as granite. Her once beautiful body, coveted by gods, punished for the same reason.
She held her victims in a thrall, striking and deadly. Hunted for what she had become, what they had made her. Until one day she was struck down.
In modern times you can still see her spirit in the rage of every innocent who has suffered at the hands and minds of the true monsters in the world.
You saw it in how they continued to fight no matter how many times they were pushed down. Told they didn’t matter. In each of them her spirit survived and pushed them to thrive.
Each one shows that she was not a monster, but rather a protector of those who suffered, suffered in their minds, at the hands of others. Suffered for their rights, beliefs, and growth. In them her memory lived on. Reckless and fierce.
How tired you make me.
I grow weary and old when I am supposed to be young and full of dreams.
I feel as if I have lived a hundred years, so exhausted does my soul and heart bear down on me.
But I have not even truly lived yet in this one life.
There has been no grand love or even grander adventure.
There has been no freedom from this pain and heartbreak.
Only this staid life in exchange for a paycheck I have been told is what brings happiness.
And I…I have been to scared to seek more because of the whispers that scream I’ll fail.
Because of the screams from those that failed that whisper back I am not enough.
It feels as if my soul has been bleeding out for eternity, a slow and painful death.
Until I am gasping for air out loud because I cannot hold it back.
My heart beating louder with each breath, a faint ringing in my ears over and over. Each beat the same set of words of living with hopes of peace and freedom.
I cannot go on as I have any longer. I must let go of what was and instead carve out a life that is mine in every way. I must be be young even though I am old. And old even while I am young.
You speak to me, but your words prove you are deaf to what I say, to what I feel.
You speak about me, but your words prove you don’t know me and only say what makes you feel best.
You speak as if I cannot hear, as if I do not remember all the words that you have used before.
More importantly you speak as if your actions have not spoken louder than your words.
As if you have not already proven to me that you are deaf to my pain and my hopes.
As if you had not savaged the frayed ties that are barely holding us together yet again.
As if you had not shown me who you truly are beneath the veneer you wear for others.
Even if you play at something else, I have seen what lies beneath. I will not forget. I cannot forget.
My bones are brittle, as if made of spun glass. Still they hold me strong. If I occasionally shatter, who should know? I am still whole, only broken within.
My organs cringe, shrinking away from their duties. As the world tries to consume me with its spite. For the sake of its own un-faced pain, they will attempt to ruin me.
My skin grows taunt and becomes a mask for the madness and glory within. Hidden from a population of those that pretend closeness for insecurity or powers sake.
My bones, my organs, my skin….you see only my body. Only what you wish to see. What you wish to judge and take.
But what am I really?
One day you will hear my laugh from the heavens and you will know. It will send a chill down your spine. Send fear into your heart. You will wish to never hear it again….
Yet it will haunt you in your dreams. Both your nightmares and those of magic bliss, so then you will know what you tried to destroy.
How many seeds have others planted in my unwilling mind and body? Seeds of doubt, fear, pain, anger, and endless insecurities.
They grow like ivy, until it feels like I am consumed by them. Every inch covered in a deceptively beautiful but choking shroud of greenery.
But what of the others planted willingly and sometimes unknowingly? The seeds of laughter, love, safety, and small kindnesses.
Buried beneath the ivy, waiting to bloom in full vivid color. Until my mind and body is not a shroud of clinging ivy, but an ever changing garden that welcomes my soul and those I love with joyous abandon.
Until the vines are not suffocating or bleeding me dry. But breathing new life and passion into each day. Ivy will always remain in my garden, I cannot undo all that has been done or what will come.
But I will continue learning to no longer build a house from it. Rather tend the seeds in my garden that create more freedom and happiness. That lessen each breaths pressure and give way to peace and joy.
Staring into the glossy surface of the water, she lets the stillness flow through her as she kneels by the shimmering lake.
A slow inhale and even slower exhale as her body’s tension drains. Her feet and legs molding to the earth beneath her as they conform to her body. Earth and woman made for each other.
The sun shines exquisitely over her, making the volcanic veins just beneath her surface shimmer and dance. Her fingers sink into the shore at her sides as her head falls back into shadow with a piercing scream.
Birds scatter in the trees, small animals run a little faster, but the larger animals recognize their own. A predator in soft skin, with a shrill battle cry, one who is fire itself. They slink slowly away from it even as they envy it.
The water ripples outward at the sound, moved beyond measure to its depths at this creature above it. It can feel the pull at the shore line, the power in her hands, the call of her voice.
Drops of her blood meet the water as they fall from her nose and ears, but still her cry rings out. At the scent of her blood the larger animals scatter even further.
Knowing she is not only capable of immense love and kindness this predator in soft skin. But that she will set fire to the earth around her, blazing her own path, salting it after she is done.
Burning tainted bridges without hesitation and building steel in their place from her very own spine. Her cry fades away and the sound of silence reigns as the dirt on her hands mixes with the blood on her face.
She walks into the blazing sun, not caring of the eyes that watch, what is the uncaring weight of few when she is the hope and joy of many?
Life is filled with different seasons, the ups and downs, moments-good and bad. That make up our lives and daily interactions. I’m always amazed when I see how far an artist goes for their work. Especially photographers. Laying in the mud, in freezing or blistering conditions, for that one perfect shot. That one perfect moment they can wait hours to capture. This image they have in their head that shapes the way they view things.
Artists have such a unique perspective of the world. Whether you’re a writer, a painter, a photographer, a sculptor. Or any combination of thousands of different talents that make you the artist and person you are. So full of life and willing to share with others, while still keeping a part of themselves unknown. Leaving their work open for the masses or the few to be viewed. For someone else’s perception of their personal work to become what it means to them as the viewer and not what it means to the artist.
Perspective in life, in whatever season you are in. Whatever artistic talent you do or do not possess is what shapes your actions and your reactions. Artist’s are all about changing perspective. Theirs and yours. When you find yourself in a season of change or maybe hardship, be like an artist, look for the best in what you see and if all else fails, change your perspective.
When the brightness of day gives way to a luminous night, the moons rays fall across her weary face.
She is at once the Maiden, Mother, and Crone of the old tales. Shining with an inner radiance you can see rippling across the surface of her skin.
As the worries of the day fade, the laugh lines around her eyes come out to play. The moon rises ever higher above her as she tosses her head back.
It’s light shines fully over her face and down her neck covering her body as she screams like a banshee of legends gone by, fully embracing her whole self.
In that one perfect moment, all else is forgotten except the oneness of moon and female brought together by the darkness of night and that which resides in her.
Her fury and wisdom are given free reign, not even the soreness of her throat or the tears on her reddened cheeks can disturb the peace found in the moons caress.
Maiden, Mother and Crone, a banshee of legend, she is everything you think she is not and nothing like you think she is.
She does not ask your permission for the space she inhabits. Only that you do not unwisely stray onto her path, less she takes herself from the peace of the moon and gives you the fire of the sun.
She travelled down a path she’d wandered many times over the years. Through the greenness of the forest, pass familiar trees with their broken branches and the new growth in its place.
Her feet brushing over soft moss and sharp-edged branches, the scent of blooming flowers nearby as she made her way to the fading light at the end of the path.
Once there her feet hit sand and she walked towards the shoreline. The water had always soothed her with its crashing waves against the cliffs on either side. A fierce caress to the jagged rocks.
It was a fanciful place, one of dreams past and present. It wove through her mind making her feel small against the oceans horizons. But as if any goal could be reached here.
They told her she should know her place wasn’t in the water, but amongst the trees. That she would never survive it.
But the ocean was much like her life, full of beautiful and happy things. It’s surface stunning, if at times unruly. Then beneath its surface when you dove into its layers, it had hidden coves and shadows within.
It was wild and untamed, never to be fully explored. Though few tried to look past its surface. She looked longingly at it as she felt the vines wrap around her feet. Whenever she got to close, they always pulled her back.
One day she thought, the water will welcome me, and I will be bound no longer to the fallacies of others.
You are not welcome here. With your hands like thorns.
With your arms like entrapping vines.
You are not welcome here.
With your mouth of poison.
With your words of despair.
You are not welcome here.
With your hands that shred.
With your arms that take.
You are not welcome here.
With your mouth of hate.
With your words of false love.
Go from this place, my body, my temple.
I will burn the memory of you to ashes when I rise from this misplaced self loathing.
Go from this place, my mind, my thoughts.
I will no longer give you the space you do not deserve, I will learn anew what joy is.
You are not welcome here in this moment or in my future.
You must go from this place and never return.