poetry

We Live Here: Collective Fire, Alchemy & A Poem From Me Too. {poetry}

 

When I am craving clarity about the nuanced dimensions of my inner life, I do one of two things: phone a soul sister (one adept at asking good questions and generous enough to listen well as I speak into what is going on) or I write (often in threads, incomplete sentences, something resembling poetry).

The latter, the practice of writing into understanding, has been with me the longest. For as long as I can remember, I have carried a journal with me. Journals are the most patient of confidantes, and the best keepers of secrets and dreams.

This poem came through as I was contemplating how women have been treated as though they are objects, treated as though their bodies belong to the world. As a survivor of childhood sexual assault, there has been — and is — so much for me to explore here. As I wrote, the poem became both a reclamation of my own body and a celebration of the world’s largest untapped resource: Women.

I know I am not alone in feeling the transformative power that these past couple of weeks have coaxed out of our collective consciousness — with the rise of the #MeToo movement. Something very real is happening through the sharing and witnessing of these stories. The truth is being unveiled, women are rising — together, and people are feeling a lot.

This is not the beginning of this process, and it is nowhere near the end. I am full of hope for what is possible, and have faith in the alchemical process that is taking place collectively.

So, I offer you this poem into our collective fire, from my heart to yours, my body to yours:

***

We Live Here

I was born here
right here
in this skin.

These nerves
this blood
this heart right here
has been beating,
feeling, moving
from the inside
since the beginning
of me.

Since I lived
in the body
of my mother.

At some point
way back when
up until 15 minutes ago
you told me
I was too much
and not enough
of this or that.
And that you better
show me how to be
how to feel
how to live
and how to think

Since I was a little girl,
with Spirit to spare,
a ponytail
and long golden brown legs,
you told me,
I was
irresistibly sexy and undeniably sinful —
a whore, a slut, easy, asking for it.

You told me
I was to be ashamed
of myself.

You told me
I was
Too emotional, too sensitive,
crazy, bitchy, naggy.

You taught me
one violation at a time
that My body
was something that could be spoken about freely by anyone, anywhere,
without consequence.

You taught me
one demeaning experience after another,
that my body could be touched in whatever way pleased you,

And I better shut up and take it.

You taught me
one abuse at a time
that my body was yours to beat down —
with your belt,
with your words,
With your legislation.

And after all that
you told me
I was too angry.

It is no secret
you’ve violated,
raped, disrespected, objectified,
and profited off of
the body of the earth
in the very same way
you tried to rip apart,
use, and commodify
the body of me.

Enough!

This is the sound of the door closing.

This is my house
I live here
My flesh
My feelings
My choices
My blood
My magic.

I live here.

And every day
As you stand outside
Shouting your obscenities
Disguised as beauty advice
I get stronger by moving
All the way back in.

This is my house
I live here.

And every hour
as you bang on the walls
with your theories of too much
my cells begin to reverberate
with the mystery living in me.

Because you see:
This is my house
And I live here.

You may stand outside
Peddling your poison.
Meanwhile, I will be
Right here
In my skin
In my house
Remembering what it feels like to live in
These wide hips.

I will be teaching myself
How to trust my gut again
Which jiggles and shakes
with power
you have not yet seen.

I will be deep inside
allowing the ocean of feelings
Which ebb and flow inside,
Never drowning me,
Always clearing a path.

As your reign of tyranny
Burns to the ground
You will worry
What will we do?
How will this end?
How will we live now?

And just when you think
All hope is lost
The bodies of Women will rise up
From the ash
Whole once again
Full of the truth of themselves.

And those Women,
Those bodies,
Will lead the way,
Healing the planet
And all its children.

Because this is our world
We live here.

***

Your turn: This is an invitation to write your own poem — about your body, your experience with #MeToo, whatever would feed your wild soul. And feel free to leave it in the comments below. We would love to read what is on your heart.

***

Chris Maddox is the founder of The Wild Woman Project, where she teaches women how to utilize the gifts of the Wild Woman archetype in their everyday lives and how to lead women’s circles in their local communities. She is the founder and director of the beloved annual Wild Woman Fest, a women’s retreat-festival hybrid which fosters a deep connection with nature, a direct experience of the Divine Feminine, and profound spiritual sisterhood among the women in attendance. An ever student of the great mysteries of existence and nature itself, Chris believes women hold innate gifts and tools that society at large needs, now more than ever. She is committed to helping women remember their special magic and bring it forward into every corner of their lives, for the greater good of the planet.

***

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