October 2, 2017

An Animal of Earth



An Animal of Earth

There is a space, a gap,
a chasm, a schism, 
a rift between my body 
and my eyes that perceive it. 
Like a cleft membrane, 
as though there were a mismatch 
between the form
that my acculturated eyes 
can narrowly receive,
and the actual rugged peripheries 
and contours of my real life body.
And in the space between 
a great grief dwells, 
unmet and in search of asylum. 
This space is filled with the wasteland 
that says I could never be enough,
that I always was 
and ever will be, too big,
too soft, too textured,
not quite right, 
not deservedly worthy.

When I look with these eyes,
they see through the lens 
of this judgement,
this critical imposition,
punitive imperative,
through the lens of this brittle world,
and it leaves the animal of my body
in perpetual isolation,
forever unseen 
for all the beauty she expresses,
all the generosity she exudes. 
There is a chasm of unlovedness,
between the body and the eye,
and I see now it has always been 
the eye that does not belong,
the eye that imposes the exile
on the perfectly imperfect body,
that has only ever wanted love,
only ever wanted to belong to itself,
nothing more,
just to belong to its own self.
But every time the eyes look,
they shame and demean,
all they ever see
is the not-good-enoughness.

I feel a whisper now,
a longing to integrate 
the space between 
the eye and the body,
I want to fill that space with silence,
and in the stillness,
I want to fill it with the presence of love.
I want to bridge that gulf, 
with a gentle acceptance, 
a homely comfort,
a tender generosity of heart.
I want to retrieve my gaze from the world
and bring it home to my body, 
home to the animal of Earth.
I want my eyes to belong to my soul,
like a baby belongs to its mother,
fiercely protected
by eyes that see only with love 
and the great responsibility 
of being a shelter 
from the harshness 
of the world.
My beautiful body has been torn to shreds 
with the sharp edge of every mirror,
or happened upon reflection. 
My eyes inflicting cruelty
with razor sharp dexterity,
amputating myself from belonging.
With every gaze, a violence done.

I want my eyes and my body 
to curl up together,
to wrap themselves up tight,
like my dog, 
when she curls 
around herself to sleep.
I want them to be together, gently,
for all the time that it might take 
for the world inside them to die,
for the space between them
to still and to close,
to mend and to heal,
for friendship to forge,
so that finally they can belong again
together in the one skin,
singing the one song 
that says,
you are enough,
and you are home,
and to know 
what a riotous blessing it is
to be home in a body. 
To be home on the earth,
in love. 



Word and Image © Lucy Pierce 2017



September 25, 2017

Stolen from The Heart



Stolen From the Heart

All my art, is stolen 
from the clutches of my motherhood.
Poems scribbled on napkins, 
and drawings traced on the backs 
of my babies as they stumble 
towards sleep. 
Whatever births, 
had better be quick, 
hot and fast.
No presence residing to revise 
and to intricately labour.
Just the raw pouring forth, 
before I'm enveloped again 
by the detritus of my service.
All my poems are stolen 
from the mouths of my babes.
So excruciating at times 
to feel Her rise,
the Queen of my creativity,
suddenly there in the kitchen
amidst the breakfast dishes,
emerging inexplicably from the dregs 
of my servitude, 
an unexpected grace 
that I barely have room for. 
I scramble for a pen 
and a spare piece of paper 
to offer her.
There's some space on the back 
of a shopping list, 
and a child's dirty crayon. 
I clear a space on the cluttered table, 
and wipe away the toast crumbs 
from the chair, 
I ask her to sit down 
but tell her she'll have to be quick 
because we have to hang out the washing
before dressing the kids.
All my art is squeezed 
through the eye of a needle.
The gravity of the couch 
with the tangled limbs 
of my no longer babies, 
the fierce, sticky love, 
is never quite what you bargained for 
and sometimes it feels as though 
you gave up too much 
for the privilege of peace-keeping
between siblings 
and the trimming of dirty fingernails. 
But other times, 
that same grace descends,
from the blue,
as you watch your boy, 
your shining sun, 
hurtle down the hill towards you, 
golden and grubby 
and you understand that motherhood 
is its own art, 
and the humans grown 
each a rugged masterpiece, 
and all the poems lost, 
for lack of time, 
and all the paintings unrealized 
for arms too full to hold another thing,
but the wood 
and the dishes 
and the washing,
have somehow woven their way 
into the fibers of the future, 
in these wild and wayward beings, 
who love and fight so fiercely 
and with such chaotic abandon. 
I hear threads of thematic resonance
between all the songs I never wrote 
and my 6 year old daughters 
glorious abandon 
to improvised soliloquies.
There is the stolen thrill 
of being let in so close 
to the pristine magnificence 
of a daughter grown,
the exquisite softness of her
in the cusps of my hands.
All my art, 
flows through the great canyon lands 
of my heart, 
carved with the tears and the blood 
and the sweat of my motherhood, 
the great ask of this love 
to make of myself something 
and nothing, all at once.
I am learning to see, 
what my world may deny, 
that all life is an act of art-making,
of love-making, 
and not the least of which, 
is the crafting of a heart 
that can map the terrain of a love 
so mind boggling vast and mundane.
All the tiny acts, 
the minute strokes that build the world, 
that paint a picture, 
that write a poem, 
that tend to the wayward tangles 
in the wild mane 
of our Earth's future custodians, 
each an act of labour, 
each an act of love.
And I wonder how it might be different 
if I were to reframe
my perception.
That rather than being 
the artist I am
despite my children,
I am the artist I am
because of them.
Because all my art, 
including my motherhood, 
is stolen from the heart,
as a prayer 
of love
to the future
unknown.


Text and image © Lucy Pierce 2017




September 24, 2017

Owning the Exiled Shadow

My dear ones, I am sharing this with you in deep trust that you will know it for what it is, a scouring of the deepest dark reaches, it speaks to a part of me, not the whole, an exiled voice, and I share it in the trust that you will know that I don't need saving, that you will understand the death as metaphorical. Sometimes this shadow that asks to be expressed through me, feels like it carries a medicine for me, just in the sharing, just to be less alone with the experience. Sometimes writing can be like the lancing of a wound, the enlightening of the darkness, an advocacy for the split off parts that are shrouded in shame.  I see how I have exiled my own darkness, made it wrong, when really all it needs is a space to speak of its experience and an opportunity to be loved. I have felt a sweet sort of restitution in sharing this poem in a treasured private group. There was something about seeing this part of myself with new eyes, seeing also the very punitive quality that I carry in regard to my own brokenness, and the question arising from this seeing of can I bring it all to be loved? Offer it all up to love, the wounded child and the punitive parent, the barren and the broken, the raw and the transmuting, the weak and the undone. So I felt in the wake of this enlivening awakening to my own shadow self, to share it with you all, perchance there might be some dear soul who might benefit from the shedding of light on the broken voice, so marginalized in our world of bright and shiny surfaces. It always seems that everyone else is coping so very well, with all the mayhem of the world, and many are, but maybe there are some of us who like me, feel afraid to love the parts that do not cope, that sometimes feel broken and undone by the ask of this modern world in which we live. Blessings to you, in trust and love, a poem. 

THE EXILED VOICE
I feel that I am not fully alive. 
I have felt for such a long time 
that I am running away from myself, 
hiding from my own health and vitality 
in some compulsive way
that I long to heal 
but cannot find my way towards. 
There is a fierce engine within me 
that overrides my good intentions 
and compels me to disassociate, 
I eat foods that exacerbate symptoms
atrophying tender tissue, 
and this I choose again and again 
over health, over healing.
The sweet fix, the temporary relief,
the intoxicating oblivion.
I compulsively browse my phone, 
scrolling, scrolling, scrolling,
seeking momentary gratification, 
seeking a sense of being seen and loved. 
I believe there is a deep unresolved trauma, 
like a Neolith dwelling within me, 
and after so many years of struggle 
to unveil, or dismantle, or heal 
this mechanism within me 
I feel defeated. 
I cannot find my way into the core 
of my own wounding, 
it eludes and evades me, 
I am exiled to my own experience,
and its symptoms leave me in despair. 
I do not truly know myself, 
I question and doubt myself 
in compulsive and annihilating ways. 
I cannot commit to anything 
in the wake of this undercurrent 
of despair and hunger 
to belong more deeply to myself, 
to unearth my own capacity 
from beneath this numbing witholding.  
I read books on trauma, 
I shake, I weep, I feel, I beseech, 
I pray, I speak, I write, I hunger, 
I hunger, and yearn and ache 
to know myself, to be love,
for wholeness, aliveness, becoming.
I feel trapped in the fear of my childhood, 
as though a part of me has never grown up, 
never evolved, she keeps me hostage, 
I hunger for  my liberation 
from her dissociative imperatives 
but I do not know how to reach her. 
I have tried, a million different ways, 
with all my might and I have failed. 
I no longer know how to move forward.
It is as though there were a great 
black-hole-shaped parasite, 
taken residence in my womb,
ravenously suckling from my life force, 
dependent, uninitiated, 
self-exiled and so unreachable.
Sometimes when I look down at my body 
I am surprised to see just a body, 
flawed and humble as it is, 
but just a body, simple, 
and not half as ugly and grotesque 
as she sometimes feels to me. 
How do I choose life over death, 
the living death of feeding addiction, 
of escaping the body, 
of isolating my shame 
from other humans? 
How do I keep turning up and choosing 
to heal and to give and to create, 
when a part of me is always longing 
for death and oblivion, 
when all around me people 
are singing of the light, 
while I am walking in a shadow 
whose source I cannot find, 
or when I find her I cannot heal her?
I have sought help so many times, 
taken food from the mouths of my babes,
to feel less alone in the searching, 
longing for witness,
for salvation to come 
from outside myself. 
Everything I offer of myself to life 
is so full of this dark shadow 
that it is heard and seen 
by the seldom few 
and then falls mute and deaf. 
The instincts of the world 
can smell my deceit, 
is repulsed by the rabid wound 
at the heart of my offerings. 
I do not trust myself, 
I am afraid that if I give of myself 
I will do harm to others, 
and so I am turned to stone, 
lives to support but no means 
by which to do it. 
Paralyzed by the parts of me 
I cannot reach that keep me their hostage. 
I am stuck, wedged tight 
between the boulders 
of my own becoming 
and of my insurmountable separation. 
Is it time to start severing limbs? 
There seem to be these bedrock beliefs
that I cannot dig beneath, 
of my own wrongness, 
of my own badness,
that I am dangerous 
and that I cause pain. 
How can I wholeheartedly give of this self,
if it will do damage to others, 
to those I love and am in service to. 
How can I take another step 
down the path of believing 
I can find another way, 
that I can scoop up that little child 
and heal her pain, 
when all the other times have failed.
I am so very tired, 
so very sick and undone, 
and still my psyche spirals in, 
deeper in, 
further and further away from the world 
of human and culture. 
I know there is a death awaiting me. 
I hunger for it and I resist it 
in equal measure, 
so that I dwell in a perpetual
centrifugal inertia.
I have watched others heal, 
grow their wings and fly, 
as I stay rooted in my pain. 
Hungry and ancient and old. 
Is it cowardice, is it fear? 
Is it just that the roots are so very deep, 
dark and twisted,
and the compulsion to leave 
so intoxicatingly relieving?
I am an addict, I am weak, 
I run and I hide.
After so much seeking, I am still so lost. 
There is so much I do not know.
I long to let go,
to give up,
to surrender,
to stop trying to prove to you 
that I am something I am not.
I am not healed.
I am not whole.
I do not belong.
I am afraid.
I am alone.
I am hungry. 
I have been annihilated 
by my own darkness,
and yet I still live 
and breath. 
I have tried so hard 
to lean into the light,
with my word and image 
and heartfull prayers, 
but the truth is the darkness 
swallows me whole
every time. 

September 20, 2017

A Bullying Culture

A Bullying Culture
As someone who was raised as a middle class, heterosexual white female and who now lives a very small and secluded life, I have felt I have little of worth to contribute to the current threads of narrative around gender and race. I am too acutely aware of my privilege and in equal measure my ignorance of what it is to be on the other side of the cultural divide.  As a sensitive human I am laying low, I am nursing my psyche through great gaping wounds of grief and shame, I am relentlessly searching inside to find an interface with something true and enduring, so that I find that I have come to a place where I feel I belong much more implicitly to something very much "other" to my culture, but something difficult to define or articulate with the language or the lens of our modern day world, something deeply personal and self-determined and largely at odds with the edicts of my society. I am listening to dreams and trying to discover what love really looks and feels like in the body. I am dancing through my shame and self-loathing to seek an acceptance of my awkward embodiment. I am trying to learn what it is that a child really needs to grow up empowered and free and whole unto herself, I am seeking to hold the full weight of this responsibility. I am trying to learn how to be gentle with this Earth upon which I depend so implicitly for my own survival. I am trying to bring forth into manifestation the creative nudgings which emerge from within what I discover about myself along the way, that might hold some clue of truth or meaning as to why it is that I am here at all. I am not versed in the current cultural narratives of gender and race and white heterosexual privilege and supremacy and so without a doubt I may well put my foot in it, but lately I have felt that there is something I want to say, and it is to my fellow white folk, it is to us, we of the dominant way that is so afraid to not be right, that is so hungry to be so sure and certain about the shape of things, we that are really just so afraid and so hungry. 
As a child there were times when I was seen by my peers in the schoolyard, that cultural frontline of prejudice and brutality, as insufficiently aligned with the acceptable paradigms of the societal imperatives of my time,  as seen and interpreted through the eyes of that societies most susceptible and perceptive of up-holders, its children. I was bullied and teased in the early years of my primary schooling. I hated school and it’s culture of bullying. At the time I wasn't really sure why, but in hindsight it may have had something to do with the Indian embroidered tunics that my mother dressed me in, or the old beaten up Peugeot that my parents drove, but I think it went deeper than that, it was my woundedness, my vulnerability, my sensitivity, my belonging to an unseen world that was not so easily understood, I was a little dreamer, I wrote poems about my own uncertainty and the vastness that I perceived in the spaces between things and in the world around me when there weren't any people around, in the vastness of the night sky through my bedroom window when I couldn't sleep at night. Please don't perceive me as positing this information in order to compare myself to those who have been outcast far more overtly and brutally than myself, for reasons of gender or sexual orientation or for racial or cultural differences, I deeply understand that this is another playing field altogether, that I will never truly understand, being myself so largely on the culturally privileged side of the battlefield that is life for some.
What I do want to speak to though, is a sense that the fear, the bigotry and bullying, the fascist brutality that operates against those seen as "other" to what is culturally acceptable to a rigidly gendered, homophobic, racist paradigm, also controls itself very brutally from within. Deep inside the dominant culture of my white Australian education, there existed an urgent imperative to suppress particular qualities and energies, that were seen as unacceptable to the powers that be in our acculturation and I feel this is something we need to address as white Australians, it is desperate and dire that we do so. 
I remember at school it was the boys who didn't fit the rigid precepts of "masculinity" that were taunted with words like “poofter” and “homo”, they were singled out and named this long before they had become sexually active, long before they had chosen a mate for themselves. Similarly girls who didn’t innately comply with the pretty, pretty, vacuous precepts of femininity were equally labeled “dyke” or “lesso”. I’m sure the words change throughout time and location, it offends me to use them but I heard them enough, echoing around the concrete grounds of the institutions we were indoctrinated in. I wonder if what was being picked up upon as a marker of "otherness" was more than just the orientation of their sexuality, the gender of person they might one day choose to engage with in their own loving. Not to undermine in any way the significance of this life choice, I am also curious about what else is being shunned and shamed in conjunction with this more overt expression of our sexual orientation. It seems to me that there are often qualities of being that are primarily targeted, that are not exclusive to the colour of our skin or the nature of our sexuality. Gentleness, vulnerability, emotional intelligence, sensitivity, artistic/creative sovereignty, individuality, flamboyance, a sense of the numinous/ sacred/spiritual, empathic qualities, attunement to nature, nurturing tendencies, introversion, introspection, autonomy, empowerment, individuality, dancing to one's own tune. There is an exiling of these qualities and those who exhibit them too overtly that occurs within the dominant culture that is clearly amplified to an intolerable extent where there are additional factors of race, gender and sexual preference involved that distance the individual further from the apex of desirability, from the distortion of hyper-masculinity, or the objectified and domesticated feminine, the brutal cynicism, economic rationalism and materialism, fascist anti-sensitivity, colonizing mentality of the culturally indoctrinated imperatives of our time.
I do not know if the school ground is the same now as it was 40 odd years ago. Or if the modern day work place mirrors the school yard, I would certainly hope not. I cannot speak to the experience of those who suffered more brutally than I did in their occupation of the territory of "otherness". I do not put myself in the same strata of struggle that others have experienced, but I do know deeply what it is to be a sensitive, empathic, creative, emotionally vulnerable, spiritually leaning, deeply feminine human, raised in a culture that meticulously subjugated these qualities in the cruel interface of its school grounds and mainstream cultural narratives. 
As a human being, I am endeavoring to address the shame that I associate with being born into a culture of white supremacy, because I know that it does not serve the evolution of my people, nor does it enable liberation for those subjugated by my kind. It robs me of the feeling that my voice could mean anything in the volatile soup of our cultural discourse, and I wonder if we might now just need all the voices to be heard. I carry within myself a deep fear that if I speak out I will reveal the ways I have not yet seen and taken responsibility for my own indoctrinated bigotry. I am so open to learn. I live a very small life, possibly because I heeded the messages given to me as a small child in a predominantly white, middle class Australian State School, that there wasn't really a place in the world for the qualities that came naturally to me, but for many other reasons also, not the least of which being personal choice. I do not engage particularly with mainstream media, I raise my children outside of the mainstream educational system, I am an introvert and a dreamer, an artist and a poet, my finger is not on the pulse of current social discourses, I do not hold a degree in these matters though I seek deeply to understand them in my own skin. Sometimes it feels very frightening to be so unhinged from the world of my own culture. I don't really know whether what I am fumbling to articulate has any relevance to anyone but me, and understand it may be most relevant to me in revealing to others that which I hide from myself as much as that which is understood within me. 
But I feel from my place on its fringe, that as a culture, and I am speaking here of the dominant white culture of modern Australia, we need to learn to embrace and stretch into some of these qualities that are shunned in the psyche of its inhabitants. Qualities of emotional attunement, creative thought and expression, artistic imperatives, concerns of care and reciprocity and tenderness towards that which is seen as "other", or that which we are afraid of, within our own beings. Can we develop our capacity to be vulnerable and to gain some comfort in "not knowing" and "not seeing" what it is that must be done, surrendering to the greater mystery of life, coming to understand concepts of reciprocity and sovereignty and the primal matrix in which we are embedded, to evolve our receptive capacities to listen and to receive and to open to the unseen powers that be in the world around us and beyond us, and within us? We may need to come to embrace with a deeper capacity the qualities of fierce care, of heartfull compassion, of sensitive attunement, of empathic communion if we are to liberate our fumbling human world from its unimaginative and demoralizing shackles. 
It seems to me there is an apartheid of consciousness within our culture that is atrophied and excruciatingly rigid. The little boys and girls within our own  psyches may need to learn that it doesn't make you a wierdo or a freak, that you will not be jeered at, or pelted with stones or mocked and ridiculed, excluded and shamed, if you were to choose to feel a little more deeply, to risk being a little different, to be a little less certain of one’s own rightness and entitlement, and a little more open to how it might be to be a little more inclusive and a little less barricaded against that which might grow our compassion and our sensitivity and our universality as co-creators and blessed recipients of this cosmic gift of life in a body, in the gloriously diverse tapestry of humanity, on an exquisitely beautiful and life-giving planet, in a mind-bogglingly vast and magnificent and unknowable cosmos. 
In order for a culture to name such a vast array of human traits and leanings and embodiments as "wrong", there must be at its heart a deep fear and insecurity. I see the way that we police our people to comply to a paradigm of shame and suppression and compliance to an authority that is sourced outside of the self, outside of the heart and the soul. It is a small place we are given in which to be free, in which to love, it is full of punitive conditions and rules and imperatives to comply, that make us in turn small and mean and violent. It is a way of being that is in truth heartbreaking, and that is destroying the paradise of this planet we call home. We become barren and broken and cruel in the wake of what we are told we must be, to belong to this culture. 
I am trying with all my heart to choose another way, and for me what that looks like is to listen to the parts of myself that my culture has made other, the wild edge of the interface of my soul with the mystery of creation. What does the dream tell me I am? How do I unearth my intuition and instinct from my own acculturation? What does the earth ask of me, the ground that we so brutally stole from our indigenous brothers and sisters, how can I learn to speak its language? What do my fellow humans ask of me, how might we all come to find deep rooted belonging in the skin which we inhabit? How do I help others belong more deeply to themselves by belonging more deeply to my own self? How do we come home to love? Who are my ancestors, to what did my people once belong? What is mine to atone for? How can it be that the more mytho-poetic and archetypal realms of life may offer us allegiance and assistance rather than be seen as a threat to the narrowness of either our hyper-rationalist, dogmatically scientific vantage point or our archaic and annihilatingly outmoded religious perspectives?
I am so very full of questions and have so few answers, but I wonder if there might be medicine in this for those of us who dwell within a chrysalis of cultural privilege. Medicine to be received in choosing instead to be the ones who don't know, who don't have the answers for everybody else, maybe we need to become less of ourselves before we can again become more. Maybe we need to seek to know all of ourselves, not just the culturally condoned parts, in order to feel less afraid and less hungry and more willing to be the one small piece of the vast puzzle that we were born to be, rather than to try and tell others what piece they should be. We miss out on so much beauty and colour and magnificence and glorious heartfull human love when we insist that others fit our own strangulating imperatives. 
It is a long journey to come to know oneself as the wounded and to seek to heal, I know because I have taken some excruciating but liberating steps down that dark and tangled path. It takes such tremendous courage to own the ways in which our beliefs have done harm to others, who were innocent, it takes courage to perceive the violence that dwells within our own gaze. I know we can make more room for otherness, I know we can come to celebrate and receive the precious gifts of a world of diversity, but first we must do it inside of our own selves. To take the journey we will need all the tools we can muster. We will need to be very gentle with ourselves. We will need to be very soft and tender, it will probably feel very vulnerable. We might often feel lost and uncertain. We will need to learn a fierce inclusivity and a great compassion. We will need to learn how to be loving and kind to ourselves, and radically accepting of our own differences and desires. We will need to call on spirit. We will need to learn this journey cannot be made alone. We will need to connect deeply into our loving mother, the earth. We will need the help of all of our fellow humans, they will have much to teach us. I know we can do it though. We might just need to be very gentle with ourselves and try not to be too harsh when we judge ourselves. We might just come to realise that there is a place for us, beyond the one we have so brutally claimed, a little human sized shape just for me and one too, just for you, as you are unique, no better or worse than any other.
It feels imperative that at some stage we come to recognize the dire trauma and displacement and persecution that lies at the heart of our culture. We are a deeply wounded people who have been robbed of our capacity to grieve, ourselves torn, at some long ago point in our ancestral history, from our own place of belonging and cultural cohesion and thrust into this headlong imperative to homogenize and colonize and rationalize life into a bleached, eroded, wasteland of progress. As someone who is ready to admit I know nothing and have no idea what the answer is, I wonder if we must somehow own our woundedness, address the severity of our own intergenerational trauma, the millennia of it, and begin to learn how to grieve for what we have lost in our compliance to a colonizing wave of violence and power. We are at the crest of that wave, perhaps it is time that we let ourselves be drowned, so that we can find a deeper inhabitation of what progress and advancement might look like. By drowning I mean to maybe allow the engulfment of the feeling realm, surrender to the primordial oceanic consciousness of the bigger, more inclusive aliveness of the world.
Is it controversial to say that the same restrictive, punitive, punishing, shaming sentiments that we inflict on those "others" to our conventional, white, heterosexual profile, we also inflict upon ourselves collectively and most insidiously from within the acculturated self? We are all brutally impacted by this regime of rightness and wrongness, of goodness and badness, of polarising dichotomies of blame and shame and punitive narratives of manipulation and control. It does occur to me at times that actually no one feels safe to be exactly who we are in this modern world of ours, we all live to some degree in a state of hyper-vigilance in regards to how we inhabit our bodies, our skins, our desires. It doesn't really feel safe for anyone to deeply incarnate into wild embodiment in this artificial world we have created for ourselves.
I have felt great shame and hungered to find a way of enacting some sort of radical restitution or atonement for all the wrongdoings of my kind, the genocide and slavery, the rape and pillage, the medicalization and institutionalization of otherness or neediness, the hideous prejudice and dehumanization of those who fall outside of the creed of dominance. At the very least I have tried to live a life that seeks to minimize the harm done, whilst engaging with the process of seeking to discover in what ways one can do good or contribute something like unto a balm upon the wound to the soul of our shared humanity on this planet. But whilst I am so deeply sorry and so willing to engage with a process of atonement, I have always fallen short of knowing what on earth one would offer, of finding anything that could remotely touch upon the injustices inflicted by my people. What is there that one can do to make up for all that? 
Perhaps now it seems to me that the greatest gesture of atonement we can enact, as those embedded in the dominating paradigm is to take the arduous path of becoming self-determined. To come to truly see the dire severance we embody from the unified field of creation and the extent of our own woundedness within the family of our humanity. Perhaps we need to do less, to do nothing, to get out of the way and to look very deeply inside. Perhaps our work is not with the other, perhaps it is with our own selves, the formidable work of coming home to ourselves, our true primordial origins, our vital roles in creating a new paradigm of unity and acceptance. Perhaps our job is to heal our own separation, so that we no longer require others to be demeaned in order for us to feel powerful. Whilst this is a mythic journey it happens in the minutia of our mundane existences. Part of this journey might be learning to look and listen, to hear and see, that which is behind and beyond and between. Learning to seek and to know what is true, not because the mind has been taught, the identity instructed, but to know from the living animalness of your bodies, through the fertile interface of our embeddedness in the Earth, from the blood pumping thirst of our own hearts and the finely filamental tendrils of our dreaming souls as they span the cosmos as we sleep. 
I remember a moment from my life in the school yard so vividly. It was at a point in time when I had finally and momentarily secured a precarious position of friendship that had temporarily alleviated the intensity of my conspicuous invitation to be teased. I remember how fragile I was, how broken and how I would have done anything at that point to just fit in, to belong, to not be seen as other, to have relief from the torment of that mantle. Some of the girls who had somehow inexplicably befriended me began to taunt and tease another girl, another outcast, herself seen as a threat to the indoctrination of normality. Was it her weight, her fear, her clothes that had marked her out? As the girls teased I stood at the back, behind them, engaged in my own torturous battle. I knew exactly what was happening, not a week before it had been me on the other side. In that moment I said nothing, I did nothing, I stood back as silent witness, but something vital took a blow inside me that day. I had somehow suddenly been included, become that which I had abhorred, I had finally come to belong, belong  to something that did harm, not just to those who did not comply but also to the soul of those who perpetrated the punishment of not belonging. 
There is much work to do in repairing the warp and weft of the soul of those of us who have done harm, either through our violence or our silence. I wish I had known then, as that traumatized little girl, what it was that I truly belonged to, how truly brave my soul could be, how little I needed those girls, to know that I deeply belonged to a web of creation that embraces all, and can find a tender perch for even the most strange and peculiar of us. I wish I had known the importance of sisterhood and kinship and inclusion, and the healing that comes when truth is spoken to the false and the way that all the forces of the universe are behind us when we work to reconcile that which is outcast, and home the gifts of our own exile. Needless to say, my belonging to this group of taunting girls was very short lived, and actually my schoolyard salvation came not long after when I banded together with enough misfits to become a formidable enough formation to be left alone to our own devices. But I do wish, all these years later and with all my heart, that I could reach across time and move my body towards her, that persecuted girl in the school yard, Christy was her name. I wish I could reach out my hand to touch her skin, palm to palm, to make of her my friend. 


Text © Lucy Pierce 2017