April 3, 2012

Our Wounds As Bridges to Intimacy

Hi all,

Today, I would like to share a poem written by a fellow beyond survivor who I've had the great pleasure of getting to know over these past few months.

In his words, this poem,
"expresses how child abuse removes one from himself and his tribe, the ensuing effort to find one's place within and without that center, and the realization that the ideal has no place for him as he had conceived it; that one must find his own way within the ambiguity, and perhaps the ambiguity itself holds an answer. It's about meeting someone who recognizes his injuries and reflects them, and how ultimately the wounds themselves become a bridge to intimacy."

Two Survivors 

She threw back the gates of her isolation
and absorbed me
beneath the ages
of earth in her face
To the buried city
where children had played

We spoke of the fall
God and rain falling from the sky
Father's falling bootsteps toward the room
Blood and angels on the floor
We were ghosts and ghosts of ghosts
when they were through

Voiceless ghosts in the cells of Alcatraz,
who, when the ocean was still
heard the laughter of women
high and soft across the water
And scratched out our replies in the walls

The muted ghost of Maya Angelou
Who would not allow poetry to be raped from her soul
But would give it willingly
To a more kind world

We watched America from windows
Spied the night fires of Eden
from the hills

Watched  the baptist from the shores
Drank the water, and tasted every sin

Smoked and threw dice
against the pearly gates

maddened by silence
We screamed out in the canyons
To hear the mountains say our name

and we carried more than we wanted
And less than we needed
On the long walk out

To gather new countries around us
of carnival mirror souls
Who reflected, not beauty but recognition
and that was enough

"Does it ever come back to you?" She asked.
"All the clarity and wisdom and love?"

I said, "Its like being on a train
and looking thru the window of the next train
and seeing yourself
and he looks back at you
But the train slowly pulls away
and you watch yourself go."

As we talked I thought of Helen Keller
Raging in her inarticulation
And how those first words to her teacher
must have felt like being born

And I wondered if Helen
ever met anyone like herself
with neither sight nor sound
And what secret language
They must have whispered
Into each other's hands

It is no small thing to share something so intimate, so I hope you will take a moment to share your thoughts, feelings, or insights - or even just gratitude to the author for sharing. Every day, I believe more and more that healing is a collective effort, and I count myself lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing and strong individuals such as the author of this poem.


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