National Writing Month DAY 28: THE WOUND AND NOT THE STORY OF THE WOUND
(Word Count: 1435)
From that high place it appeared a lake, pinkish-white and round with promise—a beautiful mark on the land walled in by red rock and a giant sky.
It asserted itself on me, drew me like a fish fishing the man thrashing.
You’d think a part of me would know about mirages in the desert.
But I needed to touch the wound and not the story of the wound.
So I began the descent. With no dragons or wizards, no wise old ones or magic amulets. Only lizards and a relentless voice that carried my heart ahead of my legs.
My sole companions: Death and all my loves. In our work it is called a Death Lodge, a self-ceremony created to have those final conversations as if you really were dying.
Mine took the form of a walking death lodge. We said the unspoken things that needed to find a purchase in the open air, so it could finally float on up and meet the sun.
“To far, too far.”
“No. Go the distance. This is what you came for.”
“This is foolish.”
“This is the end. This is the beginning.”
Which powers in me were having this debate?
I climbed down, sliding over sandstone, through shadows and old stories, found and gave forgiveness, empty of stomach but full of purpose.
It was too late to turn back now—I must touch the wound, not the story of the wound. I must find the gift inside its pain.
I arrived at noon, my thirst stretched out like dune devils as the sun hovered an inch from my forehead like a rune foretelling troubling things.
My feet found cracked mud—it was no lake. It was not pink, but white like a skeleton—dusty evidence of the gash.
The only water came from my face, forced by the startling realization: the stories, my god how much I’d wasted with stories of the wound, and not the wound itself.
I blessed it with the final tear. I blessed it!! Thank you sacred wound.
Dry and new, I turned towards the arduous ascent with a swollen tongue and a swollen heart.
And I ascended hand over fist with my companions: Death and all my loves, including myself.
(Vulnerable Mountain Heart)
For #NaNoWriMo2018, we (Katie and Ryan @wildnatureheart) are each writing our memoirs, our Wild Nature Heart stories so-to-speak, sharing a glimpse of our progress throughout November. We really believe what the organization says: the world needs your story! Everyone has a story to tell—What’s your Wild Nature Heart? We look forward to sharing this journey of vulnerability and self-discovery.
Ryan and Katie