She bangs the bars. She screams out to be set free. She’s found her voice after years of submission.
I feel her, past stirring, now demanding. I see her hands, withered, but coming back to life. I know her – she’s the banished one.
She’s demanding to be heard. She’s demanding to know who keeps her jailed. She’s no longer willing to submit.
Barely out of the shadows, the jailer just stands, keys jangling. Tantalizing her with the taste of freedom. Taunting her with her own power, stolen long ago.
I feel the jailer’s tyrannical nature. I see the jailer’s smirk. I know the jailer fears what it does not know or trust.
The jailer is a heady mix of misogynistic power and the false sense of security that comes from being able to control something, anything. Just like her, the jailer is welcome. Just like her, the jailer is me.
They stare at each other, sizing each other up, taking each other in. She knows her desire is too potent to be contained. The jailer sees the inevitability of alchemy.
“For within living structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not meant to survive. Kept around as unavoidable adjuncts or pleasant pastimes, our feelings were expected to kneel to thought as women were expected to kneel to men. But women have survived. As poets.” ~Audre Lorde
Yes, we have survived.
We are poets in this linear culture of reason and rationality.
Poets of feeling.
Poets of beauty.
Poets that long to nurture and nourish life.
We feel deeply.
But, what if our feelings no longer kneeled to thought?
What if the feminine in all of us, in women and in men, no longer kneeled to the masculine but danced in right relationship with it.
What if we didn’t hide our feelings, and instead realized the gift they are?
What if we allowed our own hearts to break open, to feel deeply what is here right now?
Would we finally wake up enough to feel what we have done to the Earth? to the animals? to the world’s children? to each other?
Would we begin to let in the stark possibility that the world we leave to our grandchildren will be far from what we have known?
Would we reawaken to the sacredness of life?
Would we finally feel the grief that is so close at hand?