Stand By Me


 

 

Is there anything that carries more weight with the human heart than knowing someone exists that has their back no matter what? If there is, I don’t know or acknowledge it. I have lived this long with love and friendships that have been, with a few important exceptions, tepid and surface deep. Those who are the foundation of me know who they are, and I value them above all others.

There is something primal and all encompassing about finding those few rare gems that sparkle in the depths of my heart like a darkly burning sun. They have my back. They will stay no matter what. Nothing of who I am scares them, or deters them from the living and active love they have for me. I can share my weaknesses and pain with them and they are unimpressed with my drivel.

These phenomenal characters feed my soul, and light my way as I struggle to stand and move forward on an as yet undiscovered pathway into my future. They are junk yard dogs willing to break the leash of civilization if need be to ensure my safe passage into unchartered waters. I adore them, and they command my unwavering devotion. They are a powerful few, an irresistible force of loyalty and strength that I will always honor and appreciate.

Those who are still standing when the weeping is over and the inner screaming finally quiets are the ones I will go to the wall to protect and defend from anyone foolish enough to cause them harm. I will burn the building, knock the walls down and help them hide the bodies. I hold no shame for that statement of fact. When I am afraid, and I reach my hand back blindly hoping that I’m not alone, they grip my hand with a resolution that steadies my soul and eases the barbed wire cutting into my heart.

There is nothing I wouldn’t do for these few who save my soul and hold a place of sanity for me when I have no hope of holding onto my own. My heart is a strong and overwhelming thing that I find hard to contain, and I don’t blame those not strong or vested enough in what I can do for them in return to stay the course. I don’t blame them at all, they are numerous and common enough.

But those who stand? Those whose razor sharp minds and diamond cut hearts refuse to budge from the storm I carry with me? Those are the ones who will never stand alone under any circumstance. I will rise as I need to to protect them. Behind, beside or in front of them. What matters to me is that they know they don’t even have to look to know I’m there. It’s a given.

There are many who talk the talk of loyalty and friendship and love. Too many to name. They are as numerous and as distant as the stars in the sky. The only things they illuminate are the shadows of those racing closely behind me as I stumble forward in a fury of change that most would avoid even acknowledging. I embrace these shadows cast by my  personal defenders. They are the real deal, more than talk, no smoke and mirrors when I look to them for truth.

I smile to myself when I hear people talk about loyalty as they’re stepping quietly out the door to prevent actually showing their true colors. I don’t mark them or call them out because they know who they are. They think about me at night when they try to quiet their thoughts before sleep. I smile not because they didn’t stay the course, many don’t. They say they will and are just not made of that substance which will hold up under stress. They show their colors and it bleeds into their silence right before sleep. It bothers them just a little before they slumber.

So yes, I smile.

 

Sticks And Stones


 

 

According to the Bible, the world was spoken into existence. Men have dueled and died over an injurious word. Masses of people have fallen to their knees in blind worship or turned into a crazed and rabid crowd by the speaking of devious words woven by the gifted in deceit.

Words have the power to build and destroy. We know this. They have the power to uplift the human heart at a crucial moment or devastate during a weak one. Words are wicked and wonderful things to be used with grace, caution and precision.

Since many of us have the adopted habit of looking outward for our worth, words can have more power over us than is good for the speaker or the hearer of them. When our souls are shaking from a life impact or our hearts are fragile we let the words of others poison us. If we’ve fallen too far down that slippery slope, we add our own dangerous whispers to the mix to inflict an even graver injury.

We can get caught up in the pictures spoken over us like some voodoo incantation that renders us helpless to do anything but try to defend ourselves from something that doesn’t matter. We think we need everyone to love us and think we’re wonderful human beings. We don’t. We’ve just let ourselves be convinced that someone else’s opinion of us carries more weight than our own.

When someone’s words are trying to convince us that we are someone selfish, ignorant or weak we have to step back and look with our own eyes. Many times, the poison others spew upon us is just an overflow of their own pain and misery. They are speaking reactively to try to alleviate a pain they can’t get away from. If we can separate their opinion from the truth of us, then we will begin to see that we know who we are.

Sometimes we may uncover a nugget of truth that is valuable for us to change, but that is our decision to make. The rest of it can go back to the little hell it came from because we know the truth of ourselves. That is the key. Knowing who we are and remembering that when someone else’s shit hits our fan.

We all know it sucks to have someone unload on us when it’s a personal attack. That’s when we need to know ourselves well enough to tilt our heads with a quizzical look and then walk away. Hang up. Shut the door. Let it go. They’re just proving they don’t know us. Take the evidence and run, darlings. We’ve got too many real problems to address to be hampered by the opinions of another.

It is possible, if you look very closely, to see the gift that such a diatribe has for us. Sometimes they are foolish and careless enough to go too far. They inadvertently push us past what we’re willing to accept and cause us to dig in our heels. Oh happy day. Somehow they sever the killer thread that binds us to their description of us. We draw our brows together and wonder who the hell they could be referring to, because we absolutely know it isn’t us.

This is when we begin to win our hearts back. This is when we exhale with a relief we never thought to feel. We may never know who they’re really seeing in their minds when they behave that way. Do we really care? Not at the expense of understanding that we aren’t any more or less perfect than anyone else. We reach inside ourselves and remove the power their words have over us. Did you catch that? We reach inside.

When we know who we are, we may wince a little at the spew we hear, but we don’t own it. It isn’t ours. We own our own hearts and like ourselves just fine, thank you.

Flaws and all.

 

 

Bully Beat Down


 

 

“Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others.” ~Wikipedia

Just read that to yourselves a few times. Let that sink in. Open your eyes to what’s going on in your world and maybe even your own life. We seem to think abuse has to be a fist in the face resulting in a black eye or a few missing teeth. We go along with the idea that if there are no bruises to show then no injury could have been done. We think broken bones and fragile nerves and weepy frailness personifies those who are bullied by another. Those who allow themselves to be beat down figuratively because if it’s not literal it can’t possibly be real. We lie to ourselves.

The tricky thing about abusers, narcissists and bullies is that we expect them to look like their afflictions suggest. We picture ugly and cruel and scary looking. Unfortunately, that isn’t usually the case. We don’t always get that kind of visual “heads up”. A lot of the time these traits hide behind a handsome or pretty face, a noble reputation or a soft voice. Sometimes the face the public sees is not what we live with. We allow ourselves to be trapped in the delusion we build for ourselves to make our choice in life easier to swallow.

I will never forget the moment I realized that I had slowly built someone into something they were not so that I could live more easily with my choice to allow them into my life. I shamed, humiliated and embarrassed myself in front of my own soul. You don’t get any lower than that. But I digress.

There are times when those who are allowing themselves to suffer under these circumstances appear to the world as a pillar of strength. They seem strong and indomitable. They project strength, confidence and authority in all other aspects of their lives save the one that matters most. They stumble blindly behind the scenes of their own lives allowing themselves to be that quiet cowering thing that they themselves have no respect for. It’s a slow and insidious downward spiral into isolation.

They are often the champion of the weak around them. They are the vigilantes for justice for everyone but themselves. I promise you that they hate themselves for it. They stand and fight for others, all but the most aggressive bend before their will to prevail. But they do not stand for themselves. They do not draw or guard those lines of decency that must exist between one human being and another. The way they allow themselves to be treated makes a mockery of the rest of their lives by their own perception. It’s a losing game.

There are bullies everywhere. They are cleverly disguised as spouses, parents and friends. You know them by the way you feel “lesser than” when you’re with them. You will know them by the way you tone down your personality, dim your exuberance and let them be the winner in any situation. You will know them because you can’t breathe freely or smile genuinely or laugh from your gut when you’re with them. Lightning strike me now if I’m lying to you. You know it’s true. You know it.

I hate to tell you this, but this is what I know for sure. It is not enough to run away. It is not enough to save yourself by relocating to a new place where you are ready to be a victim again. You have to turn around and stand up to the one that scares you. You have to not allow them to bully you anymore. You have to look them in the eye and say “NO”.  You have to stand your ground, come what may. If you don’t, you’re just another might have been ready to be run into the ground by the next big show. Because that’s all it is darling. A great big dramatic show that you’ve bought into. You will continue to be that one in the movies that trips on the root and gets chopped to pieces by the psycho. Not to scare you or anything, just saying.

Walk away. Then run as fast and far as you can. Then take a deep breath and turn around to face the thing that scares you the most: your own weakness. You are not fucking weak, you have merely been uneducated to the quality of a real life. Once you get a taste of it, you’ll be more than willing to turn around and face what you have to. You’ll wrestle that bear and win the right to breathe freely and with all the joy you can stand.

I double dog dare you.

 

Go Big, Or Stay At Home


 

What if we quit making things so difficult and just loved each other? What would be so bad about just letting go of the bullshit and loving someone, and letting them love you back? These are the questions that keep me up at night. It astounds me that another human being would not welcome being loved. Why make it hard? Why throw in stupid labels and needless parameters that have nothing at all to do with one person loving another?

I guess the next set of questions would be, if someone does love us and we know it, why would we keep ourselves from treating them with anything but the utmost respect and loyalty? We all know how hard love is to come by. We all say we’re searching for it, long for it, would do anything to find it. Nine times out of ten, it’s right in front of us and we’re ignoring it because it might mean that we have to open our hearts to love someone…

And let them love us back.

What a frightening concept that seems to be. We ask ourselves, “where are all the good ones?” when the real question is “when will we be ready for the good ones?”. The love we seek is hiding from us because we couldn’t handle it right now. We haven’t grown enough yet. We still need to develop our strength and wisdom. If we are not whole and healthy, how in the world can we ask for such a person to come into our lives.

How many times have we heard that we attract what we are? SCARY THOUGHT. I don’t want that, I will tell you straight up. NO. You just let me be for right now, and I’ll grow into a woman the likes of which you have never seen. And those good ones will come out of the woodwork to stand in front of me and everything I ever thought I wanted will be there for me to choose because I am everything I am supposed to be.

If we’re not living, we’re dying. If we’re not growing, we’re stagnating.

It’s time to get over the fairy tale and sink our teeth into something that matters. There is no Prince Charming. There is no Cinderella. Those are just stories to make us see that sweeping ashes is bullshit, mean people suck and if you have balls you can have the life you want. That is all. It’s a guide, not a reality. It’s a lesson to be absorbed, not something crazy to expect out of another human being.

Ask yourself this. Do you really want the perfect person? How in the hell are you going to live up to that? Oh hell no. I don’t want to fake being some perfect woman all the time. Christ, how exhausting. I want someone real, with the guts and courage to be honest and the wisdom to WORK. IT. OUT.

Screw Prince Charming. Give me a person with a spine and attitude. Bring on the honesty and communication. No holding back on the crazy-eyed loyalty that comes from someone who truly has your back in any hard situation. Ground level, gut deep and ferocious.

Yeah, give me that.

If you can’t bring that game, baby…just stay home.

Broken


 

 

There was a time when I

believed that I would find that

perfection that exists in the minds of

very young girls

and the demented…

But I have come to find beauty

in the honesty that speaks

to me and makes me feel

safe within it…

I’ve found strength

in the gift of another’s vulnerability

offered with fear

and therefore the greatest of courage

to be seen with my

untrained eyes…

I see the perfection of

possibility

where others see chaos,

I welcome the jagged edges of

every injury and as I do

I pick them up

and hold them to my chest

letting them slice at me

and revelling in the ability

to finally love someone

as broken

as me.

 

ShellyA

I’m Sorry Is Not Enough


 

 

This has been one hell of a week. I screwed up in a big way, unwittingly hurt a wonderful friend and got my ass handed to me. It wasn’t pretty. After studying the whole situation inside and out, I had to own the injury I caused. It didn’t matter if I meant to hurt, what mattered is that I did. It totally sucked that I had to step up and apologize for being an idiot, but it had to happen.

Unfortunately, saying I’m sorry isn’t always enough. Sometimes we have to let them speak. They have a right to tell us what hurt them and how it felt. They have a right for us to hear them and respect their feelings and take the punch to the stomach we feel as their pain drains out of them and onto our ego.

That being said, there are lines that should not be crossed without immediate action. No name-calling. No repetitive cursing or bully beat-down. Redemption is supposed to hurt like a mother but as adults who actually have the power of speech, logic and reason there is no good side to that kind of loss of composure. Now I do imagine that it feels good to rain hell fire down on someone who deserves it. I’d bet the farm that there was a huge sense of relief and release.

Hurting someone you care for on purpose is a severe loss to both parties.

Sorry, but there it is. I wasn’t trying to erase the wrong I’d done, that’s not possible. I wanted to “man up” so to speak and own my shit. I wanted my friend to know that I saw clearly how my behavior resulted in this downward spiral. I don’t think it mattered that I’m the type of person that bleeds for a long time if I find out I’ve hurt someone I love, or maybe they just don’t know that about me yet.

Honestly, sometimes “I’m sorry” isn’t enough. It deserves to be said and heard, but the pain or injury can take some time to fade enough to look a little closer and forgive. If I care for you in any way, knowing my past behavior is still causing pain is hell to me. Take comfort in that if you will. I am my own hair shirt when it comes to penalties for hurting anyone I love.

I have heard a handful of things in my life that I will never forget. There are words that have been said to me on purpose that I will never be able to un-hear. I am trying not to carry them forward with me, but it is hard to let go of my need to protect myself from those who would break my heart if I let them. This is a weakness, a cowardice that I will work to overcome. Otherwise, they win.

This time, something odd happened. I took my hits and understood the ferocity behind them. I heard the hurt and fury behind every word that stabbed me straight in the heart. I sat with all of this afterwards and just let it roll through my head and my heart. I let it sink in and settle. I even got pissed for a day or so because I owned my shit didn’t I? I apologized and copped to screwing up right? I did the right thing and this is what happens? WTF???

I hurt someone I love without thinking. They hurt me on purpose because I deserved it. I learned several things from the fiasco of this week from hell. Get my head out of my ass and listen to those who care for me. Do not insult them by minimizing their feelings of concern. Saying “I’m sorry” isn’t a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Dammit.

I also learned I have limits. I have boundaries I’m laying down to maintain the human dignity in any conversation I have. I’ll listen to every feeling, every sorrow, every injury I’ve created by any action of stupidity I perpetrate upon another. I’ll take every tear and jaw clenching description offered to explain why I am temporarily a low life, scum sucking piece of crap that needs to be lit on fire and put out with an ice pick. I can do that.

Name calling and cursing, over and over…not so much. No. Won’t be happening again.

This is the lesson I’ve learned. I hope, with all my heart, you learn from my mistakes.

Nut up. Take your medicine. Hold the line of decency. That is all.

 

 

This Is How


 

This is how you quit hiding. This is how you do that scary thing you only whisper to yourself when the shadows of midnight are your cover. This is how you quit being someone who accepts insult and disrespect and turns it into fuel for the journey to redemption.

This is how you quit looking at yourself with the same contempt that you hear in the voices of those who are supposed to love you. The same people who demand respect for themselves and won’t give it to you until you grab them by the nuts and squeeze. Yes, those people.

This is how you lift your head and look yourself in the eye and say “fuck you” to anyone who tries to tread on you while you fight your way out. This is how you lose friends you don’t need, and create an open space for people with spine and courage to come rest with you when you stop to breathe.

This is how you make it through the jagged edges of your own bullshit and throw yourself on the ground of the truth you were never willing to see until now. Go ahead, roll onto your back and look up at a sky you haven’t seen as you inhale the possibilities. Count the stars as you dream, watch them as they shoot across the sky and fall. Feel the wind of everything whispering at the edges of your mind for a chance to grow. Take in the feeling of the grass at your back supporting you like the certainty burning in your gut right now.

I didn’t know what it felt like until now, did you?

This is how you finally break the destructive pattern of giving pieces of your heart and soul that you will never get back to those who are too blinded by their own damage to love anyone.  They are not capable of seeing, accepting or thriving in the love burning you from the inside out.

This is how you say, “I love you, but you can’t stop yourself from trying to bury me in your own damage, so I have to step away”. This is how you say “I am here anytime you need me to hold you or help you move forward, but no more games”. This is how you say “I love you, but you’ll speak to me with integrity and respect, or not at all”. This is how you can look yourself in the eye every morning in the mirror.

The other option is shame and sorrow, which I personally have lived with for too long and do not recommend. When you look at yourself with the same disgust that you hear in the voices of those who say they love you, it is time to take yourself outside and kick your own ass.

Nobody is going to save you. You are all you’ve got.

So let me recap. No matter now badly we were treated, we thought even less of ourselves than those who smacked us down. No matter how much we want to love and be loved, allowing disrespect to build another’s broken self esteem is unacceptable.  Stop the lies you tell yourself. They don’t love you, you just make them feel powerful. They don’t need you, you’re just convenient. They don’t respect you and you hear and see it daily until you WALK AWAY.

WALK AWAY, MY DARLING HEART .

I am here. I am the sky, the stars, the wind and the grass at your back supporting you. I have been there, I may still be there now to welcome you. I am fighting my way out and away from those who would build themselves an empire of our shattered bones, broken spines and torn hearts. I am fighting. Every day means change if you just have the courage to take one step.

One step can be the difference between living or dying for your love, hope, soul and dream.

This is the way. Be afraid. Do it anyway. I believe in you. I believe in me.

Let it be written.

 

A Time To Grieve


I’m in mourning. I’m grieving the loss of so many things it’s overwhelming to me. I can’t begin to heal yet because they’re everywhere; vicious, to the bone slices that render me powerless to do anything but marvel at my ability to function normally.

I’m ashamed at my lack of self-respect and the unwillingness to cry foul when I’m being belittled. I’m filled with sorrow that I’m willing to minimize the showing of my heart and the sharing of my thoughts to make another more comfortable. I watch my words and the way I phrase things instead of freely communicating.

I’ve been a fraud.

I’ve hidden myself for so long, even I don’t know me. I’ve changed to suit those important to me for whatever reason. I’ve put others first when it was ridiculous and harmful to me to do so. I didn’t say “no” so many times when I should have. I didn’t mark the boundaries to protect my heart and the respect I should have carried for myself there. I let myself down and broke my own heart.

I’m not a beautiful chaotic mess, I am a flaming mass of regret for not learning the lessons sooner. I carry them as bruises on my heart and contusions to my soul. Nobody can help me, no one can heal me, there is not a single person out there who can make me rise like a goddamn phoenix from these smoldering ashes.

I’m going to have to do that shit myself.

I mourn my lack of honesty to myself. I’ve got to tell you the truth here while I’m on a roll. I’m so tired. My heart, soul, spirit and mind are weary from rolling the stone from the mouth of the tomb. I’m tired of allowing myself to be manipulated. Just accepting all the agony I brought upon myself is exhausting. It takes a lot of really hard work and focus to totally destroy your own chances to live and breathe freely.  We all keep peering into the tomb to see if anything comes out. No sign of life yet.

It takes a champion in self-destruction to be successful at this for a lifetime, but I’ve been nothing if not committed to the cause. It makes me shudder to realize I’ve carried some of it here with me. That shit clings. I don’t think anything but the shock of actually seeing myself repeating the unacceptable could have made me aware of the necessity to burn every bit of this out of me. I won’t take any more of this. It will be the death of anything worth having in me.

I mourn the part of me that loves you. The heart of me is cracked and aching from restraining itself from going where it’s not treasured. Even the joy in me weeps from its inability to reach into you and give you some sense of its power. I don’t blame you for not loving me, I just wish you’d been courageous enough to be willing to try.

I’ve learned that love gets labels slapped on it and slid into the appropriate slot to make people more comfortable. It apparently requires documents and promises and other meaningless things to make it some kind of goal worth achieving. It’s not a goal, it’s who you are. Or who you’re not. It’s not a tee shirt or a ring. The paper, the ring and the labels are worthless without the courage to love someone and allowing them to love you back.

All the documentation and diamonds I have will not hold a heart. Only love will. That huge, nameless, label-less love that you’re holding back because it’s just way too big and powerful? That love in there that scares the shit out of you because you’d be throwing yourself on the line? That love that you talk about and write about and sing about? You know, the one that you hide from because it will turn you into more than you’re comfortable with?

That’s the kind of love people will work their asses off to keep alive.

I have that. I feel it. I carry it with me. I will not be careless with my heart again.

But I will be fearless when I give it next.

No More Excuses


I’m at a pivotal time in my life. Some would call this a crisis moment, a fork in the road so to speak. I see it simply as a time of frightening and exhilarating clarity of who I’ve been, and why. I see my entire life built upon the constantly changing foundation of what I thought was expected of me. I believed that  what I taught myself to be because of that belief, was what gave me value. I lived my life as if my purpose as a human being was dependent upon my giving what was expected.

Now here I am, at 53 years old, holding the knowledge that I screwed myself, and everyone in my life, out of the real deal. I get it, it’s okay. I see and accept what I’ve done to myself, but goddammit if it doesn’t just piss me off at the moment.  I’ve been a hot mess posing as someone who has it all together, let me be the first to say it here.

So let me tell you what I’ve learned, and you may do with it what you will.

I have learned that honest communication between us is imperative if we are to have any relationship worth having. I’ve learned that love is a living thing that can be grown to an unbelievable  beauty or shoved into a closet for its inconvenience to slowly suffocate until it is no more. Love is a living thing that can thrive and strengthen the environment where it exists or suffer from the poisoning of neglect or apathy, thus destroying all that surrounds it with its misery as it dies.

I’ve learned that our lives are an example of what love is to us, and I’ll be damned if that doesn’t scare the hell out of me. The example I’ve set is that love requires constant sacrifice, and the lessening of self. I’ve lived as if it required that I didn’t matter, that I never say “no”, that I turned myself into a mat that it wiped its feet upon. I made myself matter so little to myself (and therefore others) that everyone was a priority before what I wanted was considered. Unfortunately by the time I asked myself what was important to me, I had no  idea. None. At. All.

Here is all I know for sure right now.

I know that I want people around me that are brave enough to say when I’ve hurt them, and how. People that are willing to say I’m sorry when they’ve hurt me, and mean it. I want those strong enough to work through the hard shit because our friendship is worth it. I want those who are willing to work hard the same way I am willing to work hard, to build a relationship of value and not just one that skims the surface. I’m tired of the bullshit, the cheap seats and the easy way to nowhere. I’m not just tired of it, I don’t want it in my life at all.

I don’t have time to spend on those who have no courage to really love me.

To be honest, I don’t have time to spend on those I can’t truly love. Because they deserve better and so do I. It’s  a ridiculous waste of time to live a half-hearted life in a mediocre way that fits into some la-la-la bullshit of normal. I don’t want normal, I want real. I’m willing to do the real and jump through the hoops that result in looking into the eyes of someone who will go the distance for me. Truly. Someone who deserves me to go the distance for them, and I will because they’ve done the work and matched my resolve and offered their heart. Straight up and without apology. Devil take it, come what may.

That’s the kind of relationship I’ll go to war to preserve.

I don’t want beige. I have no interest in tepid or vague or nerveless little gatherings of comradery. Give me the people who will put themselves on the line for me, start a riot, burn a building. Give me those people and I will give them every bit of that in return. Is that too much to ask?

And if it is, do you mind if I say fuck you, step aside and let the real ones through?

If you do, step aside anyway. These words and this life aren’t for you.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. It took me half a century to figure it out.

No more excuses.

 

 

Pieces of Her


Her scars were calling to us, the odd beauty of the pain she carried drew us closer, whether we willed it or not. In the dim light, we could see her bending down to choose a tattered piece of this, a scrap of that, and periodically sit quietly for a short time and stitch it onto herself. With her own hand. She didn’t make a sound but the occasional tear would slide silently down her cheek to land on the piece she was stitching~and then she would smile to herself and stand, looking for the next torn piece of her that was relevant enough to sew back on.

You could tell she had been a great beauty at one time, by the world’s standards, but every piece of her was from a different heartbreak, and her destruction was evident in the face we saw now. She would look at us from time to time, and give a sweet little half smile, as if she knew something we didn’t. But when we dared to meet her eyes, they were a clear burning flame that left us in awe, and somehow ashamed.

The next time she sat to begin her stitching, with considerable nudging from my tribe I stepped closer to ask her a question. She looked up at me and raised an eyebrow bisected by a thin scar, questioning what I believed was my folly.

I met her eyes, and they broke my heart, but I held her gaze anyway as I spoke. I asked her how she came to be in such a patchwork state when she had obviously been a great beauty. I asked her if it hurt when she stitched those pieces of her back on, and how-I wondered-did she decide from all the torn and broken pieces, which ones were worthy of bringing back into herself.

She started slowly, and her voice was as torn as her appearance, but her eyes never wavered from mine, and the Truth bled through her every word. She told of a fractured foundation, a hopeless grasping of home, her longing to feel safe. She spoke of the slow and insidious death of her joy and spirit, the rejection of her heart, the silencing of her voice. She did not cast blame, saying only that she lost her clarity of soul~and when her fingertips no longer touched the others of the universe, she was lost.

She explained to me, in a voice that filled my heart with tears, how she sorted through every heartbreak to find the one piece, every time, that made her living worth the effort.

I was spellbound by her story of a love given, greater than any I had ever known, her infection of  ‘life-blindness’, and the loss of her power with the loss of her belief in anything that mattered. Every once in awhile, as she told her story, a tear would fall again, and in it I would see the sorrow in every single one of us reflected in its shine.

As she spoke to me, the others drew closer, unable to deny the pull of her soul made audible. She told us of battles won, and lost…the sorrows of love squandered…and her final, agonizing acceptance of her own power.

You could have heard a pin drop in the silence following her last words. She looked at each one of us, cauterizing our foolishness, and stopping our breath.

Then she stood, just as a single beam of light broke through, shining into the heart of her for the first time. She allowed herself to be filled with wonder, and we struggled to take the next breath…she glowed with an inner fire…

And we had never seen anyone more beautiful.