I sit in my room in California at a computer with words in my head, and wonder briefly what you would think of this place Or of us, so starved of space and time, so anguished to find purpose and meaning and a sense of our own measure. With tears in my eyes, I am afraid that I am unable to mend the torn And shattered places where we are full of pain. Afraid that I will not know how to gather this screaming, ravaged and wounded world Into my arms, close to my heart like a mother cradles her child, and with gentle hands and soft murmurings, allow it to remember itself and let go, sob like an infant for all that’s broken within it.
All I yearned to do out on a walk today was sit with back against tree so we could console each other, the tree and me. Instead I walked without rest like a wandering shade because I could never come to a tree alone without getting lost. Because of how many violations of love do I have the privilege to live where I do? Because of how many truths trampled in the clash of cultures, twisted within the bindings of forced misremembering, do I go out and walk this world? I don’t know whether you’re gone to another world or whether or not we have all run from the startling possibilities you show us are always within ourselves. If only we were not afraid of our own power, our own voices.
They say you lie still, well met by those with the courage to turn their eyes inward, hidden within the caverns of Ériu, among the sidhe. Within the underground passageways blocked and overcrowded with discarded forgotten ones, we stored the maps to our souls and we could not retrieve them. We left all who dwell there to shine a light of their own ineffectively at the bare gray walls where no one living dares to tread.
I heard your call, faint and distant on the wind, and answered you, journeying to that forbidding landscape, hushed with the heavy presence of an ancient imprint, where a traveler twice blew the Dord Fiann, but I found nothing there. I tried to excavate shadows of what could have been. I scrambled, falling and sliding, along the limestone paths leading underground that spiral down, down, down. I hurled myself into motion, and shouted what words you lived by– the truth against the world–, and gave an almost forgotten cry, and threw my wild defiant spirit so that it flew as high as the dome of the sky. And tears fell on my hands like rain, but I could not recover all that lies dormant within us, or disentangle your memories from the snares and trappings of our history.
So I stayed where you are, sitting down with you,, unwilling to fly like the wind when you could not now do so yourselves. We exchanged stories, and though mine were few and yours were numbered as many to formulate an age, we found the grit and color of our everyday living had carved it’s deep lines into the faces of all of us in turn. And slowly the sound of all things that happen resounded throughout all I’ve ever been, and all I am now.
And then I realized the cave was merely a projection made by this day’s obsession with fear when, in fact, we each are standing on the tallest hill. Each watching the sun rise, so close we could reach out, hold each others’ hands, though our times here on this sacred ground are farther apart than a millennium. For a moment, our journeys crossed, and in that moment I felt the walls dissolve and in their place, Green and shimmering, hundreds of miles of fields, and a peace I never could have dreamed.
But I did dream, and have done better than dream. In my dreams I have come to the land of the young, Tír na nóg. In my dreams I have been to the places you once walked the earth, fierce with wise wonder. I have spoken with you face to face and you stood by me unconditionally. And despite the caves and the fear and the many running from who they are, those of us who still remember Rekindle the light that otherwise might have gone out of our eyes, and are not afraid to stand by our own experience, not afraid to blaze with every fiber of our being, burning with passions that never had names, shining out from the very core of our wild and wondrous, mysterious and majestic selves, like living stars.