I sit and stare at the wall, remembering what it felt like to feel imprisoned by invisible chains. My wrists still chafe from the friction of my bonds. A jailer with a black heart watching my suffering in silence.
Even now, my freedom seems surreal, even though my heart still bears the proof of scars to show that my debt has been paid.
A debt we created, but I never understood. A price left to me alone to pay. A price I’ve paid many nights over as I lay soaked in the sweat of my fears, useless tears streaming from eyes that could no longer see beyond the blackness of my prison.
My chest aches at the memory of nights spent curled on the floor beating my rage and helplessness with clenched fists, unable to move, afraid to breathe.
I pull myself from those memories, reminding myself that that life is no longer mine. Shaking myself like a rag doll to clear away the last of the visions burned into my heart.
I stand alone on the porch, eyes searching for the water just out of reach and have to pull myself back from the beating of yet more memories that found an end to the pain in those murky depths. The siren call of false freedom.
A raven calls in the distance and I know my Goddess is not yet done with me. I am reminded that service to my Goddess is never an easy path. I knew this years ago when I tried to deny Her call. She is well known for tearing down her followers to rebuild them in whatever way pleases Her.
The wind lifts my hair from my face as I unconsciously rub my writs, a habit I picked up somewhere over the years without realizing it. This time, I’m reminded of my freedom as my fingers glide over flesh, feeling for bonds that I could never touch but could feel with my heart.
In this moment, I find an imperfect perfection and I can feel the stirrings of wings upon my back. A raven circles and calls me to flight, offering another kind of freedom.
The first real smile in years lifts the corner of my mouth, transforming me into a semblance of someone I used to know. A reflection that rippled and changed until I didn’t know myself anymore now smooths and shows me with clarity how much the years have changed me.
As I look deeper, I see the woman life never gave me the chance to be standing side by side with the woman I became. As I watch, the surface shimmers again and the two women begin a dance like flames in a fire. Twisting and curling, bending into and out of each other, dancing away and then back.
I know that the Goddess is offering me a gift through the sight of the raven. This is my next challenge. No rest for the weary or the wicked, and I am both. I am to cross the distance between who I thought I was and who I am and make my peace with both so that my vision can dance into a single burning flame that flares in the darkness, lighting my way.
My last challenge was to walk alone in the darkness. This challenge will create the light that was lacking to illuminate my path. I know that this will be another long, hard road paved with sweat and sacrifice. My only tools are the lessons I have learned during my last ordeal and the visions the Goddess chooses to show me.
With a deep breath, I lift the hem of my skirts, cast a nod to the raven that swoops to light on my shoulder and take the first step on the path my Goddess had chosen for me.
*Author’s Note: I promised a few people recently that I would let my true voice be heard. This is it. This is me. These are the words that burn in my head begging for a release I’ve denied them.
Once I wrote a piece for the original PoM site about the ending of my first marriage. Anyone that read that piece might hear the similarity of the voice it was written in.
I am an almost morbid person and much of my writing is done from places of pain. Phoenix writing, if you will. My words often rise from the ashes of my soul.
At any rate, this is me, laid bare for the world to see.