g a t h e r i n g s

At My Back

I trust this force at my back. It offers support and asks nothing in return. The weight at my back is centered within itself; it doesn’t lean in or threaten to withdraw. It invites me to stand straight, shoulders softly hanging from my bones, vertebrae gently stacked, legs and heart and gaze taking in the power of the millions of lives already lived at my back. In the space between what was and what will be, I am free to inhabit myself — to offer what I receive. It is warm from shoulder blade to shoulder blade. A little giggle in my spine as I feel them writing me into life, my fingers picking out the best keys to blend my vocabulary with theirs. Hah, a turn of the page; their page becomes mine becomes other pages. Here at the edge between before and after, touch is not transactional. They pour their life-force into the horizon; it is there for me to witness, to absorb, to move toward it.

This image rises up to meet other images carried in the pocket of a smaller world, the images that have so often felt like truth: the self-rejections that once arrived one after the other in their feathers and finery. That still do sometimes. Oh, and the terrible rejections of others I have offered in response. Where once I was madly in love with all of the disguises, I am more peacefully in agreement with something more now, the easy companionship of what has already been — a thousand years ago and just yesterday — the mother and the father, the mothers and the fathers, their love, their secrets, their guilt, their despair, and poverty, wealth, violence, goodness, creativity, isolation, joy. And mine too. Delicious freedom is in both inhale and exhale, in the breath that whispers, Let belonging flow into you and through you like oxygen.