Too soon after this picture was taken, I was raped.
Raped for the first time by a friend of my mother’s and not the last time one of her friends found their way into my person.
Such an act has a way of destroying.
No good comes from such evil taking.
And it never fully goes away
The scars of such thieving of a soul
A worse betrayal is found in the lying and covering up
And heaping of abuses
And choosing to not believe because the truth is
And may cost your adult self
No worries that your children suffer in the days and nights
and decades ahead
though desperate in their efforts
and always imperfect
to not stain
or pollute the next generation of dreamers
by the rapes of before.
Who once could have cured cancer
Or danced unafraid
In the moonlight when the summer stars
Flit and fly from the ground up
Soon tries to become invisible.
By your desire
To please yourself
Or protect your interests.
This thievery becomes the angry cancer
That drips poison upon oneself
And the world at large
And too often becomes a torrent
That the newest and youngest
– And there is no way to identify all that happens to all raped people –
Choose to hide
and work so unceasingly at being good
That we exchange ourselves for the lesser
So that we do not intimidate
Cause undo notice
And in doing so
We hope to relieve ourselves of future
And new abuses.
But for me
It didn’t work out so well.
Last night, I spoke with another who knows this artificially inseminated vacuum of the soul
“It’s like I’ve fortified the walls, triple-locked the windows, and reinforced the doors, but somehow left the side door unlocked- the door where predators first try.”
And in this season
I have asked myself
How an intelligent
And brave woman
Could have succumbed to such a great lie.
Did I – like the ever foolish ones
Who leave their keys in the car
And the engine running
Only to wonder why the Vibe got stolen –
Did I unwittingly invite
I posed this to my best friend
While running or walking the other morning
And she stopped me
And said, “You know it wouldn’t have been okay even if you had left the keys in the car”.
I know she is right.
But years of taking the blame
And shielding the shame of another
– who reportedly recently asked “I guess you girls hate me” –
Have made me easy to assume the shadow of doubt
And bear the responsibility
For what is not mine.
Pretty messed up, eh?
And though I am healthy
And have healthy friends
And the remembering of a now-cauterized faith
A hope whispered in memory
That once sustained through so much grief and pain
Admittedly some of my own design
I now have no idea where the solid lines were originally drawn in my person.
It is not an empty nest
Or midlife crisis.
Nor existential query that would make Camus proud
Nor drama for the masses
Or an appeal to pity.
It is a search for my north star.
In the midst of lightening grief for the ones who remain in the stolen car
Or who have had to bear with me as
Trauma’s shrouding fugue lifts
With its beauty and brutality
Abuses without number
My sweetest connection to a broken family dying
And I found out short hours after pledging life to that unseen god
Working my way through grief and colleges alone
With souvenirs of doubt, judgment, and despair now gathering dust in the rubbish bin
While treasures – children of my marriage and heart;
Friends who are family
Family who are friends
And strangers who I hope know that they are seen
… these treasures accumulate and grow
In my Hobbity Home.
You bastards who take from others
What is so precious and sacred
Or surge in
Where you are not wanted
If only karma was true.
But the problem of pain and evil persist.
And – as my friend and pastor reminded me as gently as a friend will – that with the problem of pervasive evil comes the problem of GOOD.
How to explain the good in the world?
Where does it originate?
Well played, Steve.
And now I offer another picture
Of this emerging clarity of identity.
I now longer demand to leave a mark on this world.
To be seen and applauded (though a little clap here and there would be fine)
And professional, personal, or spiritual excellence.
I now will plant
My little seed of wonder &
My fuchsia-painted toes
Into the soil
Directly beneath my feet
And try to live each
Keeping in mind that life is short
And we shall make it as wide
As our strength
And the collision of humor
And imperfection will allow.
In this way
I will not let the rapists
Steal my most precious
Don’t you let them take you, either.
We shall stand together
And learn to dance beneath the stars without worrying
About being unseemly
We shall stand
And speak truth
No longer paying truth’s as Price
For being “sweet, cute, and obedient”
We will not
Ramp up a storyline
Or character defect
As who we are.
We will live simply
Work with our hands
And leave this world
Slightly better than before
In hopes that our little lives
And weave into a safety net
A warm blanket
A lighted way
For a thirsty
This image I have as I finish this
Is that of a firefly
Joining with others
To light up
In the sweetest of magic
A dark world.