by S. Pearl Sharp
My hands are trembling when I put down the phone. Did I do the best thing, asking my aunt to come over? Do I have a choice? My body, my essence is slipping away from me and I want someone near if life gives out completely.
What should I do next to save me? Instinctively I move to the bathroom, grip the side of the tub as the water rises to meet me.
It’s only when I slip into the warm liquid that I know I am back in that sheltered fluid that held me when all my pieces were forming. I am going for the womb. Through hazed eyes I watch my pieces floating out into the water. Liver. Energy. Pancreas. Passion. Colon. Kidney, caring. Spleen and splendidness. Heart. Hand. Blood. Yellow blood of gall bladder bile. Green blood floating on fatigue. The pale pink blood of drained dreams. Pieces, floating out, until there is no part of me left to reach back and gather myself.
Goddess knocks you off your feet for a reason. Like when she is tired of trying to get your attention. Like, when you’ve ignored the voices and the dreams and the flashes until her patience is completely tried. Then she zaps you, and you wonder, dumbly, what happened?
Cognizance kicks back in uncountable days later when, from my pallet on the floor, I hear a part of me humming “I found god in myself . . .” from Ntozake’s For Colored Girls. . . “I found god in myself, in myself, in my . . .” To say the next words, “And I loved her fiercely” is not yet possible. I can’t shape the words because I can’t reach the thought. But it hangs in there, with instructions like “do not wring” dangling from its syllables.
I pass a mirror and startle myself. Don’t recognize me. Back up. Staring, studying that woman. Perhaps she has some answers, some paste that will allow me to put the pieces of my Self back in order, to secure them. In her eyes I see both fear and courage, which compels me to ask her, not “What are you afraid of?” but rather “How did you come to be so intimate with fear?”
She speaks back to me, speaks words I already know. Love, queen, god, spirit, breathe, breathe, let go, breathe, let go . . . .
“I have already let go,” I tell her. “I let go and pieces of myself are floating out in the universe with no I.D. tags. How will they find their way home?”
“Do they need to?” she asks.
I inhale the question. The empty spaces in me are emptying more, flushing themselves, like an apartment of freshly painted and still empty rooms. This is a new emptiness that says This space is O.K. as it is. Do not bring worry furniture in here. Do not hang those control curtains on these windows. Things are fine here, just as they are.
Breathe. Honor Self. Breathe. And I am awed at what blows out of me, the fragments spinning away from the deepness pushing up from my abdomen. My own air is cleaning house.
Laughter is the second note on the scale of healing. I am standing there, humming laughter lightly when a door opens and AusetIsis enters like a meteor rainbow in points of light, like Fannie Lou Hamer coming for the Democratic Convention, like Martin headed for the mountaintop. She comes dressed like Oshun, ready for the search and seizure of love. Comes with instructions: selective piecing.
AusetIsis bathes me in the soft white of new gardenias, drapes Oshun’s yellow silk scarf around my shoulders, ties Olokun’s bells on my ankles. Taking my hand, we ride into the forest of possibilities, skirting quicksand and mire, whispering in pawnshops, seeking the missing pieces that were sold for a ransom in the world, stolen from unconsciousness in hopes of becoming conscious.
In the bowels of my mother’s grave we find love for my being tangled in the vines of approval and disapproval. Walking the river bed we collect my softness strewn along rocks of disappointment, and suck it up into pillows. We buy back my throne from the flea market, discarded by women who think it is more appealing to stand all of their lives. At the temple, Truth, wrapped in mystery, is a hard bargain. Everyone knows it exists, few have any to sell. And I did not want any truth, I wanted my truth.
“You will have to create it,” AusetIsis instructed.
“From the essence of your experience. . . .”
“My experience is in my pieces,” I pleaded, disconsolate.
“. . . From what you know to be so despite any proof from others of the opposite.”
And so I put away paste/masking tape/hammer/nail and baskets that hold small things. Sense memoried myself into wholeness. Sang myself into wholeness. Gave myself grace into wholeness.
I am no longer my pieces. But I honor their bringing me here. Always, yes, I honor them.
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c. 2004 S. Pearl Sharp/ Poets Pay Rent, Too
c. 2009 S. Pearl Sharp/ www.Water From The Well.net