|Painting by Shiloh Sophia|
“The best thing you could do is master the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire, you are the fire.” ― Mama Indigo
There is this magic that I can't seem to work. A barrier that I can't seem to penetrate. I've tried cooing and wooing, ranting and raving, talking and sharing. I've tried dropping it in a love note, dropping it in a love bomb, whispering sweet nothings and all out raging, but no matter. All for nothing. Energy spent. Exhausted. Wasted. You won't receive my magic. You won't see my worth.
I have fantasies of slicing open your chest and cracking apart the cages of your ribs with my bare hands. Visions of extracting your heart from its cavity, severing it from the life force that keeps it beating, and taking it on a tour. Show it what it has been like to walk the world as me, with love in my heart for you.
I want to hold your heart in my hands, exploit it of its precious and limited resources while speaking poison to it, stab it with a smelting sword, drop it in boiling salt water, pulverize it with a jack hammer, light the mutherfucker on fire, sit back and watch it burn until it's charred through and through. Then, I would drop it back into its cavity, clasp the cages of your ribs back together, suture your skin, and let you loose to walk the world like that. Then, I want to tell you that there is really nothing wrong, that all is well, that you're just freaking out. That it's all in your head.
I want to tell you that the pain that your heart feels is a choice, that you can choose to not feel it, if you really wanted to. I want to tell you that the condition of your heart is no cause to ask for accommodation. I want to speak these things to you over and over again, until you begin to whisper these things to yourself, and I no longer even have to speak a word. Until you make a neurosis out of hiding the condition of your heart so that I might be spared the gruesome and inconvenient task of having to witness your pain. I want to hold my friendship on a stick and make you jump for it, threatening to leave you should you ever so much as speak a word to tell me of how much your heart hurts or how your feelings in response to my neglect have been fused together with the tangled and mangled memories of your past. I want to blame you and shame you for your heart condition. Make you believe that the condition of your heart renders you unworthy of being shown love or affection. Make you feel like your need for love and affection is a burden; make you beg for it and ration every little drop that I begrudgingly give you because who knows when I might show you some again.
I want to leave you to weep out your sorrow alone, in the darkness of our room while I lay blissfully unaware, next to you in our bed. I want to dispose of you after take that great risk, and let my seed germinate deep in your womb. I want to watch you carry that seed to flower, breaking your body to give that being life. I want to carry that precious gift like it's an entitled privilege. I want to hold the weight of that gift as if it's lighter than a feather on my skin and never even once whisper my gratitude for you and all you have given me. Never once consider all the paths you chose not to walk so that you could walk this one.
I want you to come open-hearted and vulnerable, telling me of all the things you are most afraid of being hurt by. Then I want to do those things anyways, fully aware of the hurt you will feel in response, and trivialize your feelings when you speak up. I want to tell you that it is my entitled right to hurt you in t these ways. That your grievances are invalid, petty. Nothing more than an attempt to control me.
But its all just fantasy. Your heart will never know what it has been like to walk this earth as me, in this body, under patriarchy, and besides, I'm not even sure that you have any reserves of empathy there behind your walls of male privilege and fragility, to reach.
Desperation sets in, responding to all the ways in which you refuse to see me. The unfortunate position of being tethered to such a carless and reckless soul begins to dawn on me. I feel the rock behind my back, and begin to thrash against all the hard places that enclose me. That fucking rock. How many times must my back come up against it? How many times can I curse myself for wandering into this place? How many times can I pledge "never again", and still find myself here? I call on the stars for clarity in direction, I call on fire to sweep through me. I call on water to ground me And from this calling, She rises. Fury and rage are let loose to course through my body. Not just my individual fury and rage, but the rage and fury of every woman who has ever been, and for all the ways in which she has been forced to be the repository of your dis-ease, and for the diseases she developed in response. She assures me that we will no longer live invisible, and unseen.
You will see me, one way or another, to be sure, even if its only from across the bridge that spans the distance between us, watching as I set that bridge on fire, laughing, dancing, praising, and grieving as it burns and collapses into ashes from which a new and impenetrable forest will grow. And I will do this not out of hate for you, but out of love and compassion for myself. I will do this out of a need for survival and the space to integrate all the tattered strands of experience and sweet, sorrowful emotion. I will do this so that I am not carried away by madness. So that I can truly believe and honor myself when I say that I deserve to be treated better than this.
And listen closely as we say; we refuse to walk the earth with these things in our hearts. We did not lay these hurts on onto ourselves and we are not at fault like you try to make us believe. Yet, we have been forced to carry them for you, and for he, and he, and he, and he. For all of you. We've all been carrying it for you, until upon us dawns the notion that same as you, we have choice. Just as you have made a choice to transfer your dis-ease on to me, so can I make the choice to lay it down as well. Only, I will not lay it down on to the heart of another. No, I will ask grandmother ocean to hold it in her swirling womb for the both of us. I will ask fire to transform it and I will ask air to carry it far far away on the wind, into the mountains, to rest.
-Elmira Rodriguez, a selection from the upcoming Girl God Anthology, Single Mothers Speak on Patriarchy
Elmira Rodriguez is a rising spirit. A soul dreamer, heart listener, and tree speaker. Moon, earth, water, and fire spellbound. A wounded, phoenixing, cancerian mama. A friend, and beautiful, phenomenal woomyn.
She lives at the social intersections of: Queer, woomyn, witch, mama, suicide survivor, orphan, survivor of interpersonal violence, C-PTSD diagnosed, intersectional feminist, academic, writer, white privilege, member of the underclass.
You can connect with her here.