SOUL MAP

The sky is shedding rain today here in the valley of the moon. The buckets of water flowing across the earth are our embodied prayers. So many tears have fallen to this charred and parched earth, cracked with drought and heat and greed. Now there are millions of tears and they are her waters washing us free. While this sacred washing falls we remain inside, weaving a beautiful web of comfort across the walls, along every surface. Soups and teas and broths and medicinal tonics. For joy, for balance, for deepening. A Spanish guitar serenades to the steady rush of rain. Julius is growing bigger, and the puppy too. My son notes that he can “talk easier,” and it seems to make him happy to be able to express himself clearly. I know this feeling.

For many years I lived a glittering shadow, unable to find the medium through which to express the incandescence within. Like a mute animal, I stayed mostly silent and introverted. But my pen wailed. Oh how it soared and dove, and wept, and loved. Young and unsure of myself I had submitted myself to the vast beauty industry where my voice was not valued. In catharsis, I wrote down my memories – of home, of the sister I knew as a child, the one who was always there, picking up coins off the corner store floor with us, leaping from the roof. I wrote about the now, too. I wrote about the strange things I would see in my travels and my daily experience. I wrote about tomorrow – lists and dreams and visions. Then I went deeper: I began charting my inner landscape.

My words during that time were the lines of a map only my soul knew how to draw. With my bare hands scratching at the walls of the dirt tunnel, I moved through life on instinct. Each word, each page, was another inch. And then a mile. And then a continent. I was in new territory. No longer myself. No longer restrained by my past. When I moved to New York, the shadows of time had grown longer and I felt the need to fire up in giant lights, to do something bold, to be myself without reservation. I loved it. I felt the tangible cracking of the limestone around me as I emerged a mollusc on the other side. Completely new,  remade in my own gilded image. The lioness combing her mane. I was fierce, I was bold, I was full of desire for my life.

Looking back, I realize how different I am now. I feel I am remaking myself yet again. The woman I was in my twenties has been fully realized. But now – in my early thirties – with a small boy and a small puppy, a busy and hard-working partner, and the earth calling me to my aching knees, I know I am a new woman. In this time, especially this time, there is a pressing question arriving at the doorstep of all awakened souls. Who is it that you want to BE? And how can you do it sustainably, with joy, with pleasure, with delight? The old constructs are truly crumbling, and they touch all of us. The limestone is now a planet wide. With the tender green shoots of our life-force we are breaking through it.

As we walk along the mountain ridge my parents offer advice they said they never received as young people. Essentially: set yourself up to live well, and do not chain yourself to the hamster wheel. After my year of shamanic study, a year during which our joyful guide passed away, a year when Trump became President, when Prince, Bowie, Leonard Cohen and many more passed over – I see how critically important it is to ask ourselves these questions. Who is it you want to be in this one precious life, in this one precious time? We are the ones who are left standing strong in the face of the hardened faces. Awake! Alert! Ready to go! I must add that it’s clear this time is not about doing. Don’t ask yourself what you want to be doing, but who you want to be being. We are moving away from productivity, the cubicled worker-bee era. It is so much more valuable, healing, in fact, revolutionary to be simply who you really are, to be embodied in balance, tapped into the truth of our experience and our earth walks. Here and now. Tapped into our soul maps.

In honor of this new assignment in being, I am feeling the call away from the habitual experience of social media that we all share. I long to collect herbs and write letters in ink, to hold my friends hands and see the water of their tears fill their pupils. This is real life. This is the place where spirit meets soul, where heaven meets earth, where the rubber hits the road, where we we grow and go. We must continue to balance and re-balance. I long to let my long fingers explore the piano keys again, the keys I once knew as a young girl, playing Lennon and New Orlean’s Blues, and to strum the strings of a guitar, a ukelele, a banjo. I long to live fully – fully here, embodied in the bliss of every sacred moment. Showing up. Planning. Practicing what I have come here for. Service. Joy. Beauty. Music. Plants. Women. Love. I believe in these realities. In the tangible today. We may be in another dirt tunnel yet again, but together as one united front, a tangle of vines, we will together feel our way through to the other side. Imagine what our collective intuition can do when we bring our soul maps together! It is happening. The time is now. The current political climate is illuminating all that was heretofore hidden. But the light of our soul jungle is massive and we will break open the concrete that is being laid, crack apart the unstable foundations with the courage of our every spirited seed.

I love you, I cherish you. Write that soul map. Tune in. Ground yourself. Remember what is eternal. I believe in you and your soul of  gold.

NEW BEGINNINGS

Beloved friends and readers,

I hope you are all well and enjoying your new year and the magic of any new beginnings taking shape in your life.

I want to share with you that a few weeks ago I took a big leap of faith on my creative path and launched a special page for my work on a platform called Patreon. With this platform, it’s possible for creatives to do what they love and receive the support they need for doing so. If you feel inspired to be part of this exchange, it would totally rock my brave heart! My page is here when you have a moment to explore:

www.patreon.com/sophieward

In exchange for your patronage, I will be offering little gifts to support you in your creative journey – poems, inspirational artist quotes, writing prompts, advance copies of my book Heart of Bold, recipes to enliven and support the creative process, an online writing group, monthly videos and lots more.

It makes my heart sing to be able to share myself in this way, and in so doing, touch the lives of others with the light of my soul.

I am so grateful for my community of readers, you have all altered the course of my life in some way – infinitely for the better. Thank you deeply for your love and support.

With a heart of bold,
Sophie

NARWHALS

I am exhausted but I must write this. I don’t know who I am writing to here, but I know you are out there. I know you will find me. You have always been there, we have always been meaning to find each other. This struggle that I experience to touch my own heart with my bare fingertips, to bury my hand through the bone and tendons, to dig down deeply into my own being and so touch the tender reality of your human heart – it is an eternal struggle that I cannot seem to get away from. It feels like a curse, and a blessing. And then I sit down to write this and Sur La Table advertises 75% off tablecloths. I feel like a sea anemone.

This incessant driving need to express what it is really like to BE human, to live in a human world, to have human relationships – human, meaning REAL, dust and tears and complexity real – it just keeps hammering away at the door. What’s it like Sophie? What’s it really like? She’s not writing! Let’s make her feel invisible so she has to work harder to get it all out. It’s a very funny thing, this life and creating business. What do we get in exchange for our self-expression? Well, for the artists and writers and poets of the past, often nothing. For the boldest ones, they got ostracized. Alienated. Kicked out of the establishment/ status quo – the previous “cool” of the past. The artists of the future – they are ahead of their time. They are working at an oblique angle to what the current paradigm is expressing. They are expressing something slower, or faster. Something tangible. Unexpressed. Unmanifest. Something different. Surreal.

Something radical.

In a landscape of sameness, of fitting in and towing the line, to do this work feels tantamount to suicide. In early 1950s New York, the exodus from picket fenced America found refuge. Advertising (and TV) was born around the same time and so now America was able to buy and watch the same things. To stand out in a culture of Cold War was to be un-American. And then there was us. The one’s who don’t fit in. Who don’t toe the line. The ones who went a different way, who looked left instead of right, wore the clothes nobody else was simply because to dress that way expressed some previously unseen aspect of oneself. They are the ones who wrote pages and pages of words because they could not find ANY words they wanted to read around them. And once written, the words are a balm. Finally the alchemist learns to make her own medicine.

In 1950s New York, Thelonius Monk happened. Charlie Parker. Miles Davis. Jack Kerouac. Allen Ginsberg. Jackson Pollock. William Burroughs. Patti Smith. Bucking the riptides in the ocean and screaming, streaming, pouring their own music into the atmosphere. No other way but out. It’s a mustness that is excruciating if ignored. A mustness that is orgasmic if explored. And where are they now? These brave explorers? Why are we hiding behind these thin sunlit curtains and veneers? I created Paper Castle Press for us but now my majestic castle is but a hologram in the clouds. Alas, that’s also why I made it that way. Paper – infinitely reusable, refoldable, papier mache-able. It’s not about the castle. It’s not about the walls. It’s really about the absence of walls. It’s about breaking down our own inner walls. The walls that censor, the walls that quieten, the walls that, yes, protect.

A heart without a cage can touch other hearts. A fire without a flame is non-existent. We start with the spark. We fan it with anything we can – peacock feathers, paper castles, old manuscripts, our very own breath – and we make it bigger. Throw some more words on the fire. Make it big. Make it touch the sky. Why else are we here? If you are a creative person, and I believe ALL humans are creative people and so by definition also spirit-seeded people, we are supposed to be doing this. Breaking the cement in the center of the panopticon with a single germinated seed, and covering that concrete with fucking epic flowers.

My toe in a parallel universe turns into a leg and then my whole being, and I am consumed by the realm of the creative sea. If we are too busy panning for pictures on Pinterest and Instagram, we don’t access this sea. We forget how to look for the fish in the river. We are sleep walking in another version of 1950s America. The cult of sameness. The cult of cool. The cult of consumerism. I don’t buy it. I can’t buy it. I don’t believe in it. I believe in the wider ocean. The deeper sea. The sea that will always be there for me, when I am 90 years old, it will be there for me. Not things. Maybe not even my loved ones. But my sea – yes, it will be there. Always. We are born with it. We leave with it. Thankfully I don’t feel much like a sea anemone anymore now I have written this down. In this sea, I am 5,000 whales, I am 10,000 narwhals and we are storming the gates of the frozen city. In this sea, I am truly alive.

HALLELUJAH

Julius by Stef Mitchell for Twin magzine

The old kettle drips if you pour it too fast, forcing everyone in this house to s l o w             d o w n. I like it this way. One morning while eating turmeric and banana porridge, Julius asks, “Alexa*, play Hallelujah.” With these three words he spontaneously dissolves any lingering cold left in the room. Leonard Cohen begins to sing and the man is alive again. My sweet boy, with his warm wooden bowl and pink cheeks, developing a bond with Leonard all on his own. The rite of passage begins – and he’s not even three.

Later, we drive to the library in the rain, me dressed in white and color, he in a lemon yellow jacket. My uniform was once a swathing of black, but now when I pull the darkness on, I immediately take it off. I must have changed a lot. The rain is a light mist on our faces as we race across roads and driveways, with books, without books, with a bottle of olive oil, letters to mail, hand in little hand. Julius spots friends in the grocery store, asks passionately for snacks, moves the way the children do.

As he sleeps, I spend some time decanting brown paper bags of cinnamon and hibiscus, rosemary and nettle into the assortment of glass jars I collect. The stove is filled with pots boiling bones to heal my beloved. I see these medicines working on him already – he is lighter and brighter. It seems to be the best remedy for him yet. Through this process we express deep gratitude to the animals who give their life for his healing. The house smells strange but ancient, and I realize that this is the life I asked for, before I came here. This is what I’ve been madly looking for.

It may not be a wooden house, or a house in the woods. It may not be in some distant Nordic village, or in a distant time, but it certainly feels as if a living entity has settled here. A warm graceful spirit inhabits our home, something we have cultivated with all of our sounds and actions and prayers – the particular curvature of our unique beingness. I realize I have whirled like a dervish to find this ordinary peace that I know is my birthright. All the pushing and striving – it helped get me here. I celebrate that fizz. It has grace in it, too. For years, as I washed dishes, or walked through a meadow, or dressed my sweet boy, I felt like I had a simmering volcano inside. All those things I wasn’t doing, or couldn’t do. No way could I erupt yet. But somehow in the past year, the churning molten lava has dissolved into flower fields. What happened!

I believe there are turns we are supposed to be making as incarnated souls. That each of us has something like a soul-map and it was created by us pre-life. In my experience, something in spirit happened. I feel that whenever I veer too far from what my soul has incarnated here to explore or express, I suffer. The further I am from my soul’s mark, the deeper the soul’s pain. I feel like a mad woman. I feel depressed, suppressed, uncertain, bewildered. But – when I gather the courage to turn and go another way, perhaps a way I have a million excuses not to take: I don’t have time. I don’t have the energy. I just can’t…  when I finally start putting one foot after the other and actually GO that way – no matter how excruciating it originally felt, somehow the river of my entire life starts flowing again. (Earlier, there’s me at the swampy end of the river trying to rush the river dry…)

When I walk the way grace is nudging me to walk, suddenly as if by magic I am in the flow again. In spirit again. Following my starry soul map. Time opens up and I have an hour to write, and a handful of glittering moments to reflect upon. My eyes are open and it’s easy to smile. I leave the house messy. I walk out the door to be on time, instead of tidying the living room and making myself late. Finally my priorities are in order. I can watch a film at night. I can play hide and seek in the leaves with my child. And I realize that this is beauty. This is the beauty way. This is the way of peace, of harmony. Putting my affairs in order, my inner and outer affairs – and just being in it. Washing dishes, walking in the meadow, dressing my child.

The rain keeps coming down as I sprinkle kelp on my kale salad. Sometimes Julius asks for a bite of this salad when I forget to serve him some. He surprises me every day and I get to know him a little more. I hope this never stops. The Christmas tree is still standing, the falling pine needles scenting the room. A toffee colored dog bed arrives in the mail in a big cardboard box and we stroke it in anticipation of our puppy, Anais, arriving soon. My chest tightens with the emotion that brings tears to my eyes. I worked really hard for this. I fought for these words. I fought for this self-expression. Through all the self-doubt and the torments of time and the challenges of motherhood, I climbed that rocky mountain and I feel so strong because of it. How many mountains have I climbed now? They are each so different. They are each just as difficult. They each knock the breath out of me.

But my God, I am grateful for the view.

Julius and I by Stef Mitchell for Twin magzine

*Alexa is a tiny cylindrical robot lady who can take commands, play music, make shopping lists, order from Amazon and more.

MOTHER

I throw a pink and cream acrylic blanket over my knees as I begin to type this entry. I slipped out of bed with the burning breeze between my ears, waiting patiently for the sounds of Julius tossing and turning in his nest of blankets to cease. My beloved so warm as I curled around him. But that burning breeze. It is quiet in the house. There is nothing left to be done. This is my time. It may be late, but this gives me energy. I know it. Somehow there is a vein of gold here and each time I plumb it, I receive some new vigor. The elixir of life. A medicinal balm. Something.

What kind of mother do you want to be?

What a beautiful question the breeze has delivered me. As the words tumble out of me I realize that the mother I strive to be is a lot like my own mother, but also a lot like the eternal mother, and the essential me. Hopefully she is the me I am becoming. She lights me up. She is who I would want in my own life these days. I can see her already, zooming around a high mountain road in the sunshine, laughing, smiling, free. A bit mad. The best kind of mad. She is unconditionally loving. Deeply generous. Utterly patient. Adventurous (= the mountain road). Magical.

She is a passionate home maker. Her home clean and cozy, toppled over with beautiful things. Beautiful fabrics. The scents of sourdough and chicken broth, orange cake and homemade jam. Always ghee. She is fun and silly. She is creative. She is an ally to her children, a source of courage and strength, of inspiration and broader perspective. She is wholesome and devilish. She is rhythmic and spontaneous. She is a staggering contradiction, but devoted to loving, accepting, championing her children through all the wilderness of the world.

She is always exploring new things, learning new things, whether it is riding a horse or making homemade tortillas. She is always broadening her perspective. Letting go. Opening up. Embracing new ideas. Embracing that which challenges. Embracing the unknown. She is elegant and rough around the edges. She is creative and content.

Yes. This is the mother I strive to be. For my children. For me. This is the word painting I feel best expresses my gifts, and my quirks. This is the picture frame I am stepping into. But it’s funny how this dreaming works, isn’t it – as I draw these oysters from my inner realm, in many ways, she is already me.

LAMPLIGHT ON THE LAGOON

It’s still 2016 for about 45 minutes. I’m alone in a room with a light on, the light that was once a clarinet. We have another lamp that was once a trumpet. As I put my son to sleep tonight I wondered if perhaps these are the only lamps ever made from real instruments, and somehow they found us, and each other, on different sides of the continent. The kismet of lamps. My husband is writing his book at the kitchen table. The glass in the doors and windows are all fogged up from the chicken soup he is making with the left over bones from dinner. Julius fell asleep with my hand in his only an hour ago as I wondered all kinds of things.

Mostly, I feel grateful. This year has been good to me. A lot of people have remarked on how horrific it was, but for many reasons, it lifted me up. Perhaps because the year before was my torture. I remember friends at the new year 365 days ago speaking of 2015 as their most glorious year yet. I could hardly bear it – how could that be when I was being cosmically dragged behind a truck backwards? In a nettle thicket? In winter? It was rough. But I lifted my head up with all the tears dripping from my chin and I followed my instinct. A year earlier I had received a message: ‘soul retrieval.’ We had just moved to LA and I was hardly myself. You know when you go through something challenging, traumatizing, and you say to yourself and others, I was never the same? Shamans say that this is because a part of your soul literally left the building of your body. You aren’t the same. You are not whole. Yet.

So that July I got my soul retrieval. From a shaman I found on Yelp. Her office was right off the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Marilyn Monroe. Paul Newman. Shaman. Perfect. She opened her door for me and I sat down before dissolving into a million watery tears. She listened with such compassion before I lay down, proceeding to drum and hold space for me as we journeyed to retrieve my power. She told me my soul had many many pieces that had fragmented – all of them taking refuge in trees. It’s no coincidence that this year has been one of passionate return to mother earth. After that session, I felt my source nectar return. The dominoes began tumbling. In a meditation one morning in LA I heard, clear as day, the mountains of Ojai calling. ‘Listen. Listen. Listen.’ I journeyed to Joshua Tree for a gathering of like-souled family and felt inextricably drawn to the shamanic path after a goddess journey where I met the ferocious 8 foot tall spider woman with the necklace of golden eyes who apparently resided within me. Over vegan tacos by a smouldering bonfire I gathered the courage to ask the woman who performed the journey, ‘tell me about shamanism.’

Over a year later, we now live at the foot of those mountains I heard calling me. I have completed a year long alchemical healing journey known to many as the medicine wheel. I am back. I am better. But it’s odd sometimes, you know? One of my best friends at school used to resist my requests to join me at transformational workshops because ‘what would she have to write about if she was healed?’ I can attest that it takes some refining to walk the path of no drama. When I was younger, my emotions were a raging ocean, a forest fire, and occasionally, a warm lagoon fringed with coconuts. I documented my emotions like an anthropologist tracking the chief of a tribe. What’s he doing now? Perhaps I can placate him if I simply stay still here writing notes. It seemed to work, for several years. And then I married my soul mate, had a miscarriage and a birth and stopped writing like I used to. Now I just had me. I had my beloved, romantic, hard working husband. I had my angelic boy. But I was empty handed. No pen. Tides raging higher than ever.

The call to retrieve my soul was literally a God send. Without that, I don’t know what state I would be in. We must listen. It took me 6 months to actually act, although the nagging was incessant. Soul retrieval. Soul retrieval. Soul retrieval. Okay, I hear you, I’m shoveling avocado into a toothless mouth. Can I get back to you?  It doesn’t matter how long it takes, in the end. I did it on my time. I am here. I made it to the mountain top. Even though I feel emptied of all I once knew, those raging tides and forest fires within, I have reclaimed my pen. I have hacked the path through the overgrown garden to the pavilion and I have seized the stick I once wrote with. It’s still mine. Like Harry Potter’s wand, the wind blows and strange lights glow whenever I pick it up. I believe in it. I have no idea what things we will do together, but it feels damn good to be reunited.

2017, you are almost here. In the past few months, I have been whispering to God, what do I write about now? I would ask this on hikes through the Ojai mountains, I would ask while putting my son to sleep, I would ask while I bowed in gratitude to my sacred altar, I would ask while I did yoga, while I watched the rain, while I cooked, while I was surrounded by beauty. The answer? Write about all of this. Write about your life. Write about the way the woolen blanket is underneath you. This one precious life. Write about what you love. Write about now. Even when you are exhausted and the sink is full of oily dishes, just write, dammit. Because this is one of your favorite things. Wild woman you are still wild, just better. Bigger. Bolder.

Thank you 2016. I am so filled up to the brim with your blessings and ready to sprinkle them all over 2017. Let’s do this thing!

 

 

 

 

LUNCH

nobody notices
the particular green of the pine
the way the children crouch
at the edge of the farm
the eyes of the nursing baby

everyone notices
the laughter of the mother
the beautiful French family
who drove up from Malibu

the father, yellow sweater
green vest and neckerchief,
expanding elegantly, as he sits

there are instead many attentions
focused on a fork
or a stream of words across the table
the hum of cars, concealing
revealing, the space between

how long we have traveled
to get to these moments
which pass
how many steps we have taken
to get to this moment
embracing us
even as it swiftly
evades us

how many moments we have glanced over,
looking instead for transitory sanctuaries.
the shine in the eyes of the laughing mother
the worn leather shoes of the woman
the glimmer in her eye as she talks
of her horses
the squat weight of the mountain
the silence
expanding us
bringing us to our knees

in awe of the mystery
reaching, yearning,
while we hold the weight of the fabric at our fingertips,
the surface of which we will struggle to describe
as we navigate the sacred mundane
trample the ancient ordinary
gaze at the green of the pine

THE PAVILION

I skipped a day of writing yesterday. Instead, I made ghee and sauerkraut, red lentil flat bread and granola. Later, I had the most beautiful evening with Isaac and the transformational community of Santa Barbara. Such glory, the light of so many beaming souls. The beautiful gardens and flowing waters, the rich wine and Indian foods served by a harried looking French-Indian girl named Sophia who kept speaking to me in her native tongue. I thoroughly enjoyed this time spent together with Isaac, with people who are saying it, doing it, writing it. Just yesterday we were struck by how difficult it sometimes seems to write about happiness. To write the major chords. It’s somehow easier to wallow in wounds, to keep hashing out the same old stories of why me and why now. Even now when I connect with those words they make my heart clamp up and close.

I know this is not the way forward. I know there are glittering expanses just within reach, and I know I have the key buried inside here somewhere. That’s what Great Spirit does, right? Shows you the door to Eden and then buries a key inside you. We have a lifetime, 90, 100 years, to find it. And yes, better sooner than later. And if we never find it? Another lifetime of samsara, of illusion and struggle and working things out. Okay. So here I am washed clean of my pain – my wounds and scars still there, but I have tended to them. Some have sealed up, a constant reminder, a talisman for what I’ve been through, and some are still closing. But they have the appropriate bandage on now. Good. Now I can walk forward without wincing at each step.

I’ve realized that many people, even close friends of mine, even as early as high school, even my parents, have told me things that I don’t believe. Words that have become wounds, opening ancient questions. That to be an artist and have something worth writing about, we have to be wounded.  The idea that to be free of suffering would not make great writing. That spirituality is a luxury. Yes, it is luxurious, but I also say that it’s a necessity. Especially if you are an artist, your spirituality is a necessity. It is the conduit. It is the channel. Your connection to the Godhead IS the reason you do it. The reason we show up day after day, and type word after word, hacking at the overgrown gardens in our minds, is to meet Him/Her. Or at least to get a little closer.

I’ve had a lot of gardening to do these last few years since I walked to the house of motherhood, leaving the garden. Every now and then I looked through the window and saw how the paths I once trod were growing over. It was a long absence, and I cannot see the same path any more. But that place I fought hard to find is still there, just somehow everything is rearranged. I am rearranged. It reminds me of a story Elizabeth Gilbert began writing, before the idea left the boarding gate and embarked upon Ann Patchett. It was a story about a construction company and their plans to build a highway through the Amazon in the 1960s. When the money fell through, all their machines were left behind. Months later, the workers returned and everything was gone. Lumber and machinery, entire bulldozers with wheels as tall as a man, swallowed whole by vine and leaf, the yawning appetite of the jungle. Gone.

My old paths have grown over in a thick rush and so I am building new bridges. Working away every day with my hands, my intuition, to seek that old pavilion where I once raved until the early hours with God. I’m sure the paint is peeling and the wood waterlogged, the pillows faded and speckled with mildew. That’s okay. I just need to see it again. To remember, ah yes, this is where I was. This is where I have come from, this is what I earned for myself with my bare hands, tapping away at these keys on the white digital expanse, expressing my inner language in the only way I know how.

I want to see it once more, and maybe just maybe, begin building a new pavilion. Better rafters. New pillows. Even rarer flowers. I have a son now, too, God. You know him well. He is beautiful and brilliant. Perhaps we can start sewing ourselves together again after this absence, sewing the house and the garden back together, linking them, infusing them with the energies of the other. I might even let some vines climb into the bedroom. I wouldn’t mind that. Your creativity knows no bounds and feeds my endless thirst. My quest to know you and follow you and be filled by you, hollowed out by life, filled up by the unknowable everything. The thing is, in this absence from the rave in the pavilion, I got better. I had time to rest. To repair. To rearrange. So here I return a new me. A better me. Potentially even a healed me –  eyes wide open, decorating my new home.

THE QUEST

It’s a quiet Monday afternoon towards the end of the year and my son is sleeping. I thought I would arrive at some place where I would be done with the questing. The questioning. To some degree, I have arrived at a new helm and I have no more words to speak. I find myself mute and numb in the face of eternity, in the face of God and the Gods I have yet to meet. I am resting in this place of no where. Five years ago I wrote feverishly, leaning in to the edge of the morning to try to find some medicinal balm for my fast beating heart. Somewhere in those five years since then I stopped doing that. I went to shamanism. I went to the earth and I prayed. I prayed to the angels I have known so well all my life. I asked for my miracle. I received it.

What is there left to write about? This is an excruciating place to rest. What is left? My life is left. This beautiful, glorious life that I am so blessed to find myself so free within.

And so I begin again.

As my son is sleeping and the errands wait, I begin again. I begin to tell you some of what has happened to me in these fast five years. Dreams do come true. Your lover is out there. Your path is at your feet. The stony ground is reaching for you, asking you, come, come, come, keep walking. Don’t stop. I have flowered into all of my soul’s longings, and now I stand fully cloaked in velvet at the edge of my heavenly kingdom, and I am clarified. A clear channel. So stormy I once was. So full of fire. The flames are still there; they have  licked my soul clean. I once flailed about madly, rushing this way and that, trying to find you. Him. He the God and he my God. He the man with the smile I would catch repeatedly in a glimmer of a universe parallel to mine. Tormented with desire, I clung to any drop of his energy I could find. Through science, I found mysticism, and through my that, I found Isaac. The one who laughs. He the man from that same raw land I grew upon. Australia. What an astonishing miracle that we found each other in New York! Such an incredible feat of Spirit. Hardly believable. But I lived it. My veins tingle with the wild reality of that fated day.

It proves to me that there is a God, however you want to spell those letters. But you need to be free to feel it. You need to be free to follow it. When my beloved was 21, he moved to New York. I was 13, and suddenly like a strike of lightning after a long dream, I became obsessed with the city where nobody sleeps. I studied books on the boroughs, memorized the names of the buildings – Flatiron, Chrysler, Empire – and of course my beloved Statue of Liberty.

Liberty.

My soul’s desire is liberty. This is what I came for. What I came to press up against. Always. In all the pages of my books, I flounder and rage against any perceived or imagined restriction. Free! I must be free. Free to walk my own path, beyond those that have been dictated to me. Beyond those of my class, my race, my peers, my culture. I don’t care about any of it. I just care about me, walking my path. Me, the real me. Not the me sold endless products by the United States of Advertising, or the me sold on the ploys of thousands of Instagrammers, hoping that I follow them. No. I follow my own soul. My own drum. The drum that I made with my bare hands, with my bare soul, naked on the other side of the gate, wondering how on earth we don’t all have the keys.

liberty |ˈlibərtē| noun

1 the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.

2 the power or scope to act as one pleases: individuals should enjoy the liberty to pursue their own interests and preferences.
• Philosophy a person’s freedom from control by fate or necessity

ORIGIN late Middle English: from Old French liberte, from Latin libertas, from liber ‘free.’