May fierce joy lead me.
May I grow out of this righteous anger
Into something more powerful:
A wild and holy joy
That returns as it is given
That replenishes as it is spent
That clears the old, the mess, the weight of past mistakes
Both collective and individual.
oh! What cleansing there could be
(the gentle unstoppable force of soft rain)
Not with the violence of harsh words
Not with brutality disguised as civilized contempt
Not with terrible games of defense and offense, weapons and barriers, scores and sides and screaming, winners and losers
(all of us losers; the game is fixed)
Not with displays of strength to intimidate
Not with displays of rightness to shame
Not with displays of greater pain to invalidate
Not with displays of spiritual largeness, put on like a robe,
To make others feel small.
These worn-out ways offer no cleansing.
It is rearranging bodies on the battlefield.
It is mopping up blood with more blood.
Let me be something different than a fighter.
I have been a warrior:
noble and seasoned, ready and wise,
tired exhausted ravaged worn
by the weight of my battle-strength.
It is so heavy.
Let me be something different.
Let me accept the terrifying vulnerability of
Removing armor, piece by piece
Laying down weapons, one by one
Standing still—naked, free, unashamed—in the midst of this fury and roar.
May the sound of my stillness deafen a room.
May the steadiness of my breath issue a higher command.
May the quiet of my presence
the openness of my heart
the raw softness of my soul
(with unavoidable clarity, like a scream frozen in air, like the shape of a sunrise, like the movement of planets)
the triviality of
all these swords clashing.
Let me make a different music.
Let me sing old, old melodies
That reverberate through the cosmos and
Return to us, call forth our child-selves,
Shatter our walls
Wake us from this deadly sleep.
Let me be a healer, a weaver, a knitter together of disparate things, a planter of seeds, a seer of connection, a speaker of oneness.
Let me dance it in a universal language.
Let me speak it in a hundred forms of beauty.
Let me give it with each soul-exposing act of work.
Let me call it forth:
This warrior strength
Building instead of breaking apart.
I honor the breaking apart.
I honor the anger.
I honor the warrior spirit.
I honor all who stand, who kneel, who sit, who speak, who meet each gaze Eye-to-eye
When they are told to
Keep it down
Quiet imposed must be broken apart
To make way for
We have fought wars we did not relish
We have borne burdens we did not create
We have killed even what we loved
We have left behind homeland
Left behind safety
Left behind identity
Left behind comfort
To trek across a bitter soul-piercing body-breaking wasteland
To make our way
To make our own way
To make our own way forward.
We are more than resistance.
We are evolution.
May we listen to the pull of the stars
The voice of the Spirit
The music of rebirth.
(oh! Almighty music
Source and life and pattern and chaos
Cycles of being
Ebb and flow
Wave and sand
We are caught up
We are released
We are the energy
We are the sound
We are here
May we hear the next word
and follow it.
The word is not
What is the word?
You can only hear it in the pervading stillness
Of your soul.
It is the hush and awe of your own divinity.
It is the overpowering force of peace.
It is the bright-hot cleansing of desire.
It is the unfettered savage beautiful power of joy
A fierce and unrelenting joy.
(It will get you called all sorts of names.)
It is an arrow straight to the heart
It is the ultimate weapon
It does not repress
It does not defend
It does not conquer
(My greatest battle is my own rebirth.)
Header photo by Kyle Loftus on Unsplash.