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I walk into the forest of me. Before I am very far in, I begin to lose my bearings, those bearings that have held the powerful sense of self I’ve had in place for most of my life.
The forest floor is soft and thick with a build-up of old-life-dying. My feet are bare as is the rest of me. Here in the forest of me, everything is shed. There are no illusions about who I make myself to be. They all fall away as I proceed further in. Except the red nail polish on my toes seems to still be here. Maybe it’s the power of the chemicals that keeps it in place, or maybe it’s the power of the red to remind me of something more alive than the old-life-dying beneath my feet.
The red stands out starkly against the decaying matter.
Old skin, old beliefs, old stories. Old and dead. Shedding, sloughing, falling down to become part of the old-life-dying.
But my feet feel vibrant and alive. The toes spread out so that each one can feel the earth, can sense and grip and connect. As if they remember being part of paws feeling the vibrations ricocheting through the decaying matter, the soil, and the bedrock. Losing bearings and old skin can also be a finding again. Maybe of something new. Maybe something old. Maybe something outside of time and space. A place where I can taste the earth in my own body so clearly that I know I am from this earth, of this earth, will go back to this earth, and never can ever leave this earth. She and I are tied together, and not just through toes.
I find a place to lie down amidst this old-life-dying. It feels awfully comfortable. Soft and thick, and my bare bones sink into it as if to say, “We, too, will go one day. Go back into you, dear earth, marrow meeting molten core.”
Even now, alive with marrow, these bones taste the earth and know home.
My bare soft flesh fills the space between the bones and the old-life-dying. Flesh feels so freshly alive, and somehow also dead when I don’t want to feel it. When I believe I am only the flesh, I fear the old-life-dying. The flesh of my life, the things I call mine, fill the space around me so I can’t feel the bones meet the earth.
The bones are the bedrock. They know things. They hold me up, give me alignment and integrity, and teach me about laws such as gravity, laws that are always true, unlike some of the laws that exist out there, outside the forest of me. The flesh is sweet, yet too much and I can’t feel, too little and I don’t know home.
I found the opening into the forest of me when I really turned to look. Half-looking never works. Half-seeing doesn’t either.
It grows dark, here, yet the red is strong. Like blood. Alive. I follow the red. A light begins to shine. Like the sun at the center of everything.
When I know I am the flesh AND the light that illuminates this flesh, then I am home.