There Is a Warrior Inside of You, My Love.
Last year, on a Tuesday, I was lying on the floor. I had been broken to the core, and finally surrendering, I let go of everything to see what would arrive.
I was weightless, but not empty, not vacant. I had arrived somewhere new. That’s when I first saw her. She was laughing loudly, her eyes dark and laced with intention, turned toward the sky. She was inside of me, somehow. She was living there. Now, she will never leave. I know she built her palace in my bones years before I could breathe.
She was just waiting for me to bow.
This year, I light all of the candles. I open the windows. I let everything fall in disarray. The earth could tumble around me and I wouldn’t know, because what leaks from my palms and into the pen is from 10,000 moons ago, when my crown was brand new. My vena cava was polished, beating, warm.
It’s still bright, but bears the mark of many battles waged and won or lost; the tally is still up in the air.
I put my hand there, where I saw her. I realize that what I thought for so long were whispers are the cries of 14 armies of girls with their arms crossed and a penchant for trailing the earth. They are being led. There is a warrior inside of me with a headdress on. I settle into this. She will not leave me alone.
I see her in my darkest hours, and again when I am laughing and careening through moments of bliss. I see her when my arms and eyes are tightly turned inward, wrapping, and I see her when I am bursting open and forth with a wild, sparking fervor. She is begging to be unleashed, even though we’ve just started. She calls to me at all hours.
She is relentless in her instruction.
She won’t stop at opening. She won’t stop at feeling. She won’t stop at giving. She implores me to claw to the very depths of my body and this Universe, until I have pored over every secret she feeds me, slowly, when I am so hungry for words my mouth gets wet with the weight and light of the world.
I salivate for the depths. She tricks me. The bottom is nowhere in sight.
No matter how quickly or deeply you dig, she says, you will not find hollow ground. Your arms will always be sore. You will always want to put your feet up on the porch. But not now, she says.
You reach and claw, and dig and touch, while the shocks shoot straight from your heels and fingertips into every space that will hold them — human, and beyond. Beating life into life. Brave love, she says.
Your work is never done, she says. This is why you breathe. To find grace and pleasure in the exhaustion of flipping your own skin inside out, for everyone to see and touch and taste, so they will have the courage to do the same. Coaxing armies and forging horizons where once there were only places to hide.
Beckoning to the fields beyond you to prepare for your arrival, she says, for you are not to fear how far this challenge will carry you. Keep moving the dirt, she says, there are others ahead of and behind you, we must keep the path alive. Your shovel made of stars, she says, your heart a light in the dark.
She tells me that my days will always be long, my life will always be full, and every time I pick up a pen, she will be tapping her foot. When I put it down, I will feel her absence like a deep screeching into the night. An acid-burn to all of my organs. A shower of emptiness so brazen I can do nothing but beg for paper.
Fire, she says. From this we are born. You, there, she says, where the flame burns blue, your favorite part. That is where you are to build your palace. Take up residence in the heat so strong it changes the form and color of what fuels the life around you. Be that now, she says.
Burn stronger and brighter until you realize what you are, and even on that day when you do, there will still be corners left to warm. There will still be untouched parts to edge into, to unleash, to kiss from bottom to top with language and unending invitations. Seek further, she says.
Bondage and boundaries are figments, she tells me. Wider, she says. Wider, she screams.
She cackles. She sets fire to the sky. She casts a glance in any direction, and waves take form. Light descends. Time expands. She is simultaneously in me, of me, and alive with me. She conjures me down paths she knew I would never take on my own, as there are thorns and battles, but also the rising sun.
She teaches me the grace of complexity, the enchantment of intensity. The thrill of going where I do not understand. The earth quakes when she presses her finger to it. She calls into caves, and constellations emerge.
The cosmic meets the earthly, the secrets are pulled from their hiding places, and when they arrive, she implores me to realize that they are the mysteries I have always been seeking. I must dive into them with abandon, take them on as dream lovers which I can never shake, as they become part of me. We fuse, the great mystery and I, and we must, she says.
Nothing will shake you into expression, she says, like stoking what pulls you both deeper into and out of yourself.
I resist her when she bellows to me, from deep in her womb, at times which seem inopportune and inconvenient. I would rather escape, I say. I must relax, can’t I calm down? She tells me that the rising will never cease.
She tells me that standing tall will diminish in exhaustion the more I learn to laugh and ease the corners of my mouth to greet the day, knowing that I am simultaneously kissing the weary. If my bones ache and I find confusion as a home, it is because I have closed my eyes. May your senses never be deprived, she says. Choose wisely. Choose extraordinary.
The lessons will challenge you, she says, because expansion is the purpose for your aliveness. You are here to feel, she says, and to catapult the experience of that wide as a net and into the stratosphere, gently raining down and washing away the desperation of anyone who does not feel at home, as you have on so many days, my love.
But you are home, she says. Now, you must call into the evening all of the quiet cries and meanderings of your heart, and each time, a feather will be added here, to your glowing fortress, the film of your mind. A soul will be soothed each time you show up. A voice will grow louder, she says, because you chose to speak.
You will become exactly what you are. A warrior for opening, she says, and you rise in numbers. You are alive in a sea of billions, caressing each other’s hands. You find blindness when you get lost in thinking that the battle is dark.
If you knew who lived inside of you, and everyone you touch, you would never feel alone.