I was asked by a man recently “how can you support yourself doing what you do?” Why did you choose “these ways?”
I have never heard my Mother’s Voice. It lay in decay under the headstones of her losses. But, all decay can compost itself through worm dreams and seedlings and find its way to the light.
She was silenced long ago and has been riddled with illness all my life. I lost her young when I left my home, her and my three younger brothers behind. It ripped her heart out and, yet, she knew I had to go. I have wandered in the streets of my own dark night for decades in search of her touch, her song and a somewhere we could be together again. Her story has formed much of my own narrative.
My mother has olive skin, the softest you have ever touched, deep brown eyes and a spirit of the fire that forged the Earth long ago- which is why she is still alive. Somedays I do not know how she makes it through.
And she does. Each day. Despite the horrors in her head and screaming pain in her body, she rises, she meets herself- “maybe today will be better, maybe an answer will come falling from the sky”. Yet, it already has. When she arrived. Soul descending from Star. She is the answer she seeks. Yet, her mirrors have mostly shattered. Her children remain to be the only reflections of her beauty- that she can see.
She stays alive to hear us sing. But how can we know our song without hers’? She keeps herself silent to not disrupt the fragile family web where lives dangle in prey to the ghosts of spider women who lost their way. She is afraid she will lose her children if she speaks and sets the record straight. I have never seen anything suffer and shine so much- oh wait…
She worries about me. Her only daughter who fled home at 16. She wonders how I will survive. Yet she knows I have the wisdom within me to keep my spirit alive- as I have. It’s confusing to see I agree. Women with so much to give, precious jewels overflowing from their hearts and songs that could repair what has been torn apart- struggling to make ends meet.
She drove a school bus for years- a job to survive after losing everything she loved. The delinquent children that lived on the fray, the bullied and bruised, would hang behind and talk with her each day. They found solace in her presence and all- knowing soul. She holds a gift that lost its shine except by those who can “see”. A gift that could heal the world’s pain but was burned and the sacred ash sold for money.
Many of them told her it was because of her that they were still alive. Oh Mother sing.
The heart of a Mother always knows what her children need to grow even when her hands are tied with the tattered threads of her Life. This voice and wisdom of the heart is always there. It is hard to hear when there has been so much separation and devastation. But then one day I felt a presence. It is a presence I have known all my life but couldn’t understand. In those moments of suffering and grieving not having her “in the ways I needed” there was always something that pulled me through.
Within the womb I was made with the codes, contracts, wisdoms and initiations I would need to steward my Life. Each lesson and voice of revelation there at the right time; not a moment sooner or else the lesson would have been lost on me. Our higher intelligence knew the path beyond the birth portal. So, there She infused me with every tool I would ever need to walk my path. She has been with me every day. Her voice. Her ancient voice. I have spent most of my life deeply lost in serious addiction and disappearance, deafened to Her. Even though I looked shiny and alive- I was fighting for my life- and she was there. I chose Her for a reason.
There is an ineffable intelligence I bow to each day as I rise. The Herstory of pain is erased when I can hear Her voice in the strands of codex from the firmament that dreamt us together. I know of no force stronger than that of a dream in a woman’s heart- daring to be heard behind the lies of a life that tried to trick her into giving herself away. You can peck and prey but there is a thread inside every woman that is woven into a tapestry unfettered by the violations of fear.
That is my Mother. She can’t see it fully, this Life long initiation she has been in. But I do. I help her but not too much as I wouldn’t want to rob Her from that moment when She fully remembers again by the fortitude of her own brave faith. It doesn’t mean her illness will disappear, but it won’t be her story anymore. That is wealth and why I do what I do. I believe in Love because of my Mother…
2 weeks ago, just before her 65th birthday, she came to stay with me. This was a major energetic push for her. I took her to a gathering where we sang in community and listened to the inspiring words of Penny Livingston. My Mother and I have never been together in community together outside of the oppressive walls of the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall where I spent all my formative years- as did she.
We were asked to join in song. All of a sudden, my Mother’s heart lifted her heavy head and a sound, rippling and mysterious joined the room. I heard my Mother sing from her own voice for the first time- ever. At first her voice was overpowering as it tried to find itself- her nervous system wild and organizing amidst all the life force. I felt the waiver in my body of embarrassment like teenagers have about their parents. I just watched it rise as I watched my Mother rise inside her own person- outside of me, in self- discovery of how she weaves into this mystery web of Life. She belted out every song in a flutter of redemption and belonging.
Then her head hung heavy again. It was time to go home so she could rest. How does she do it!? I often can’t go inside of that pain. But that is just it. There is a different story to step inside of now, the one I have always known is there. When I tell of and focus on only her pain, I block a whole entire channel of healing from revealing itself to me. She believes that once she is well she can then be wise and the Mother she could never be. But she is the Mother I need now- as she is. I chose her and she chose me- at this time in Herstory and it is perfect and painful and wrapped in a Mystery that silences me in humility.
I am in a deep process of learning to love what it is. Or, at least be at peace with what is when I can’t wrap my arms around the pain. As I do, wholeness stitches itself together again and tells me it has been there all along; I was just telling a one-sided story that couldn’t ever be redeemed until the dark was allowed the light and the silence found its song. Then a new telling begins. A new code awakens, a deeper breath is taken, and Life finds a way again.
That is why I do what I do and why my wealth is determined by the sum of song in my Life- The “I listen to and follow my Heartsong, laying my head down on a piece of land that knows me song, community that holds me song, hearing the Earth whisper ancient stories song, overcoming a life threatening- 30 year addiction in one miraculous prayer song, knowing why I am here and alchemizing my wounds into wisdom song, being a woman song, embodying that there is another way song. Love song”.
So, when I am asked why do you do what you do? How do you make a living?
What is wealth to you my friend?
Listen to my mama and you will hear the caged bird sing. When the one who has been watching is given freedom to fly you are best to listen because it is the silent one who often remembers Life’s lullaby. The notes of Her soul, crescendos of light and thunder and windforce gust. I chose my mama long ago and it is this voice I trust…