Celebrating my birthday and the birth of this new weekly poetry project.
At this very moment… 45 years ago, I entered this world. Tiny feet kicking, little hands reaching for comfort of a mother’s womb, no longer present. A new sensation, cold and sharp like a doctor’s slap awakes me to… life.
I’ve crossed the river flowing between the spirit world and this one. Hours of wading through deep waters leave me on these banks gasping… So easy to get lost in the tides and currents pulling me back to the other side. But I’ve made it, once again to this shore called life…
Rubber gloved hands attached to faces hidden behind blue masks pull me into this maddening world. Bodies whizz around me… washing, wiping and wrapping… the deafening noises of voices, the answer to a world no longer muffled, call back and forth. Harsh, fluorescent delivery room bulbs glare at me and I cry and cry… nostrils widening with smells sterile and strange…
Oh but the relief of air… the promise of mother’s arms encircling me… her eyes smiling down and the wind, for the first time, caressing my naked, brown skin…
I cross another river today, 45 years later. It is not the first time, and I imagine it won’t be the last time that river waters will meet my feet.
But like that first crossing, so many moons ago, it is easy to get lost in the pull and tug of rivers flowing between dreaming dreams and living reality, so easy for life’s currents to pull me back to the right side I just left. So easy to go in one big circle and like deja vu, end up at the point where I started. And when success does arrive, carrying me with strong, steady strokes to the coast on the other side of river’s edge, I must still confront the slap, the harsh reality, the faces hidden behind masks, regardless of… no matter what the color of the mask they wear like skin.
But cross rivers I do… because in spite of it all… flesh tired and spirit weak… beyond the kerfuffle of change, with newness attacking senses I didn’t know I possessed, and pressure building, pushing into lungs never before used… beyond all this struggle… stands the relief of air… with open arms. Each new birth brings new air, glorious new air to breathe and spread invisible wings in and fly.
Fly with new families and friends, arms encircling… while neighbors and even strangers rejoice, washed in tears, towels extended… all wiping and wrapping… even as I cry and cry…
Fly even now as I realize the souls hidden behind masks pull me into new worlds, where I, under the Eye of Horus will live and breathe and have my being. Safe in the arms of a Goddess.
Each day I cross the river Nile flowing long between dreaming and waking… and each day dream morphs into reality, as eyelids flutter open.
Each night I cross the river Congo flowing deep between conscious and unconscious minds, as reality slips into dream and I commune with the stars.
Awaking… I remember I have indeed been here before, life is a circle… but each time I arrive at this point of beginning, I arrive with new awareness… new kindness… and a new appreciation for love.