Thursday, February 7, 2008

I've always been the tower

((This? Somewhat disturbing.))

Strong hearts. Weak hearts. The slow lesson of these convalescent days is: they're the same thing.

Strength is not found in high walls, in impermeable defenses. The heart allows what it will, protected or not; we cannot stop this, cannot change it. True strength is found in accepting the damage, altering where we can, working around what we cannot.

Healing when we get the chance.

the one who survives by making the lives
of others worthwhile
she's coming apart
right before my eyes


I protect myself with ice and pain, with cold stone and colder barbs of wire, with thickets of roses wrapped, beauty and injury both, on both sides of the cold blue walls. But I'm also the one setting the fires to melt my walls away, because I know the necessity of flame, even when it sears across nerves made all the more tender by isolation.

the one who depends on the services she renders
to those who come knocking
she's seeing too clearly what she can't be
what understanding defies


I destroy to create, Kali Ma says. There is no destruction without pain. The very ground cries out against the trees falling, the violence of transformation.

But there is no new creation without the death of the old. Earth is tilled for planting, disrupting the delicate traceries of green. Hailstones fall, knocking the tender fruit to ground. Water moves within the stones, shaking all foundations.

This is nature. This is necessary. The old must be swept away, that the new may flourish. Live; die; live again. The wheel spins, and we all move forward.

I feel as if I'm moving in reverse.

she says I need not to need
or else a love with intuition
someone who reaches out to my weakness and won't let go


I need not to need
I've always been the tower
but now I feel like I'm the flower trying to bloom in snow


These long days, it's so difficult just to think at times. That effort seems to be translating to the world. Moving--even across the span of one room--is taking every scrap of will and stored motion.

As if I were pushing my form through oatmeal, thick as paste. As if I were pushing my form through hardening cement. As if the very air has changed to chilled syrup.

she turns out the light anticipating night falling
tenderly around her
and watches the dusk
the words won't come


And all the while, thoughts I can't retain, leaving me as fast as I think them. I try to hold them close, perceive their meaning, understand what they're saying to me, and they slip through my grasp. Gone, like mist through my fingers, like smoke, impossibilities in motion.

she carries the act so convincingly the fact is
sometimes she believes it
that she can be happy the way things are
be happy with the things she's done


The deep grieving hits, and I'm pulled by the undertow, below the waves before I can even utter a word. It gets harder to surface, every time, and every time I do, the shore seems that much farther away. Deep burn to the muscles, now, from swimming in place, but I have to keep going.

I refuse to admit other alternatives.

and yet I need not to need
or else a love with intuition
someone who reaches out to my weakness and won't let go


I need not to need
I've always been the tower
but now I feel like I'm the flower trying to bloom in snow


I'm off my game, but still I keep playing. There's nothing left to do. My nomadic soul will shift again, riven part from part in tempestuous disarray, seeking the calm at the center. But the center cannot hold; it will swirl up unbound and cascade to earth, pulling flesh and earth and shining knives to dance on the wind.

reach out
but hold back
where is safety
reach out
and hold back
where is the one who can change me
where is the one
the one


It's a very uncomfortable place, waiting beside cold stone. Spring's green thaw has touched Caledon, transformed it, but the rest of the world is still locked in winter's chill, and I cannot get warm. I mean to build and must blow on my hands to heat them; I try to travel and fall into colder deeps, the darkness of between, the grey drifting fogs of limbo. I stare at the fire in my floating home, and wonder if it's there at all, wonder if I'll ever feel the blooming touch of summer.

reach out
but hold back
where is safety
reach out
and hold back
where is the one who can save me
where is the one
the one


I cling to my loves, feeling as if I have nothing to give, nothing to offer them for such need. I try to reach out to my friends and the effort leaves me gasping; I am too weak, unable to raise my voice beyond the thread of a whisper. I am wounded and I am too long healing.

she says I need not to need
or else a love with intuition
someone who reaches out to my weakness and won't let go


I need not to need
I've always been the tower
but now I feel like I'm the flower trying to bloom in snow


But there is a change I am glad to cling to. That I see this now. That I know what is happening. It is chaos, it is turbulence, it is the Jinnaeon, Rimble-Rimble, dance contrarywise and spin. I am here and I remain. I am damaged. I will change..

the danger and the power
the friend and the foe...


I protect myself with ice and pain, with cold stone and colder barbs of wire, with thickets of roses wrapped, beauty and injury both, on both sides of the cold blue walls. I pull up the roses by the roots, flinching, knowing they'll grow back in time, knowing the necessity of it.

The barbed wire I keep, and hold it close. I'm not ready to give up all defenses...not yet.

(Words and music for The Tower are by Vienna Teng; visuals, of course, are of Mal and Inara from Firefly. Certain other lines come from Shakespeare and Yeats.).)

2 comments:

Frau Lowey said...

Keep the fencing if you must, but please do not forget to maintain the gate.

((and your mildly disturbing is my highly enjoyable! Must find the place and see if it can be usable for the Jaegerbat Matron...))

Emilly Orr said...

Yes, otherwise it falls off, or refuses to open when I wish it to.

((HEE! I know they're in world somewhere; they can be found with sufficient diligence.))