Come Now, Woman, into the Dark Night of Your Soul.
Come now, woman, into the dark night of your soul. Carry your body, limp and writhing in your talons, and let the soft and warm tears melt your quivering skin.
Hear upon the demonic voices: you’re not good enough; you’re shit; nobody can love you; you will be abandoned. Let them fall like golden arrows onto your crest so you may cradle them with the petals of your lotus heart and tell them It’s okay, I love you again and again.
Let the drops fall and slide over your moistened bones, onto wooden floors, and carpets; onto Yoga mats and pillow cases; onto old jumpers and stifled bathroom towel mourns. Let them lie stained, holding the invisible ink of your salvation, like first blood smeared on young sheets, or pools of yellowing upon pale white dew from ecstatic love.
Fall. Not in, but forward. Pay your prostrations to the ground, and your temples at the feet of mercy, as you give to yourself the one promise you need among these blackening skies: the promise that you will go on; the decision that it will be so. Beyond the embittered voices serrating your fragile sense of worth, beyond the withdrawn turnings of curtains closed and I won’t go and I won’t try and I won’t show up.
Beyond the ash-tipped inhalations and dried burgundy glasses, the trigger-finger hatebook and sugar-dipped pain, the chewed nails and narrowed eye curses. Farther than your threshold knew, tipping the scales of sorrow until the chaos rages and shakes before you, threatening to dismantle your very self.
Walk then forth with a steady pace, my friend. For this is your becoming. Not over, or around, but through, your wizened feet meeting the charred earth within. Sear your skin on the arid memories of so many forgotten children you were, so many howling women beating their fists in your belly, ailing from within the layers of time so that you may hear them and fetch them wholly once more.
So that you may feel the fear and do it anyway, because it is worth it to return them to your soul and be real again.
Let the vacuous darkness come and be birthed within its timeless womb. At last, remove your mask, your golden crown, your warring armor. Strip back all that you know and teeter at the edge, tempt your devastation with open palms of candy courage and roar at the wind that turns tricks in your mind and eye and tongue. Tell it instead that you are ready. You can and you must and you will.
Because all we face in this storm are the echoes of our liberty, distorted through the mirrors of an unjust world and the scars of our innocent pain. And here, in the darkness of this night, it is our gentle hand that disentangles the dead from dying, that sense to differentiate between the parts which ask to be laid in the fire, and those which should be cradled to the breast.
Fear not, my sisters, for these are our greatest times. Wear your beaten bones and take quiet solace in the ghastly dance that tears and treads upon us as we drag our severed heels night after day in search of higher ground. Meet me there in the fields of the moonless. Rest your weary head upon my aching shoulder. Carry with me this lotus crest, and hear the knowledge of our dark night.
We will go on, the whispers will say. Because it is decided. And because it is so.
Nithya Iyer is a Melbourne-based writer and performer engaged in the exploration of cross-disciplinary performing arts, literature and culture. She is a contributor to the Asian-Australian arts and culture magazine Peril and a disciple of the classical Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam. Her explorations into experimental movement include embodied poetry, roving and ceremonious performance mediums. You can read her work on her blog.