My skin wraps around me like the bark of burnt sienna.
There is lichen growing in-between my thoughts & my heart & my body.
As a twenty two year old woman, I was only beginning to walk
with my feet upon the earth, eyeing my olive and pine colored toes.
Listening to these little arrows; I was not always able to discern the path
through the rhythms...which was mine, yours, ours:
My feet ended up sunk into the sand of illusion,
or wrapped up in the ivy of desire, disintegration, & repression.
All your voices
Led you here
Through the dark
With your fear
Red River Woman
Your soul is clear
Your soul is clear
Before Motherhood called to me,
I began to sing, to dance, and to surround my self with those
who wished to devote themselves to service, beauty, the recognition
and alleviation of suffering, and family.
We did not always get it right. We were not always able to hold
the balance of unfurling in front of each other's eyes. We called each
other out from our own mortifying self-rejection and sometimes looked away
from the invitation to soften, deepen, & calm.
The experience of connection, though, awoke what hid beneath
the bridge of my heart's juiciest peony.
I knew not what I longed for. I knew not who, or where, or
when. Why I longed, though, felt more low and luscious. Not the
desperate reaching, which unravels my tether to this beautiful planet,
rather, I will say again:
a low, luscious, lingering opening of my palms. My throat. My womb...
It was as though Sky Woman was about to fall and called out for me
to catch her. So walked through my days with my cotton dress held
out in front my me, creating a parachute for her.
The one who needed catching.
The road I walked was shattering around me and panic
drove me deeper into what I could sense only on the tip of my
tongue. Dry and dusty, I sat on the Prairie floor and remembered
the ocean in me that once was, and could be again.
I longed because
if I had not, I feared my life was not worth living. An artist aches toward their next creation...
My time as a girl, a Maiden, and a hopeless victim to the "Motherwound" began to
tick back. My limbs shook as I attempted to hold the walls of youth
from collapsing. I feared I was not ready to release the depth of my
loneliness and my wounds. I feared I was not courageous enough to
heed my longing to evolve and dissolve, to announce out loud how
painful my feelings could be. The call was an echo behind every
sound. If I hid, it only rang louder.
I felt a rising surge of transformation. A simple, yet mystical
greatness longed for me. As I slept I could see through the eyes of
my Grandmothers. They saw Bison charging headlong in the great
North wind. The storm yearned for those bison to purge through it,
adorning its wind with the thunder of hooves. In turn, the herd
yearned for the reward of following their feet through the reality of
what lay ahead.
Somewhere in the middle, where Bison meets Storm, each were
rewarded with purity of heart, and a deepening of inner strength and
With memories as guides, the longing of the women who have
come before me provided me with the courage I needed to walk into
the eye of what I wanted most: to be alive.
I wanted to walk away from the tragedy of aimless hope, and the
obsessive desire to submit myself to what could only undermine my sense of
communion with my natural self, and thus the natural world.
The Cottonwood tree in the back of my home was my signal. Its
heart shaped leaves rustled and shimmied in the wind. I sat with this
tree in the early evenings when everything over the hill was turned to
My heart ached for meaning. My womb, a totally unfamiliar and
almost rejected piece of my body felt dim and hollow and desperate.
Never before had I heard the voice of such Womanhood. My womb
was speaking. A mouthpiece for my life's willingness to live in the
rhythm of home: the home of my body, the prairie.
To live a life without immersing my soul within the energy of
my body, the prairie,
was destruction without any intention to recreate.
I was just beginning to live in rhythm. The rhythm I fell in love
with as a five-year-old girl on the Great Plains. I sat on the paradise
of dried weeds and dust and watched the grass spread itself out before me,
the Divine in the hue of buffalo grass.
Alone in my attic apartment, 15 years later, I sat in a green
velvet Victorian chair and looked down. My body was returning to
life. I was being reassured there was another way; a way that
demanded and rejoiced in real and heartfelt work. I was ready to
show up and put forth the tremendous amount of energy lying
dormant beneath my hesitation.
To follow my feet felt awkward. I was used to following a
schedule printed out by someone else.
The bones of my feet, and the
Spirit within, waded clumsily and struck the pokey roots of
river weeds. In order to find grace, I made a lot of mistakes. I moved
too quickly, faster than my feet could breathe, and found my self
more confused than ever. If I was to begin to trust my body, my
knowing, and follow flow, I could not do it alone.
On my 23rd birthday, I took off my shoes, shaved the hair off
my head, gave away almost every possession, and traveled South to a
sandy little river town, where my children would be conceived.
On whose banks my children would one day toddle.
The Longing is the meeting point of all of my intricacies.
It is the stillness when the Head, Heart, & Body become unified.
It is desire, with self-discipline.
It is a sudden vision, with the methodical baby steps necessary to see
that vision to birth.
I give thanks to my soul's longing to return to it's most original state. For me, Motherhood
is a non-negotiable landscape that holds all of my inner work, & nurtures me to fruition.
This place has initiated me back to myself.
I belong here.