Wednesday, February 15, 2017
A big, audacious word hiding inside four small letters.
Oh, the ache and pain. I can hear my younger self. She wants something and she hasn't told a soul. She is seven and she takes her little sister out to this straggly garden beside their house. Inside the house a storm is brewing. They see it, they know it. The beast of their parents marriage that is tearing them all apart. So that little girl escapes. Not to a garden. No. This is more than a garden.
This is where she tells her stories. She crouches down among the shadows and the overgrown ferns. The sisters are so near they can feel the other breathing. And the little girl speaks. Not words. No. These are more than words.
These are other worlds. Places where creatures smaller than your fingers run amok at the base of the tree and in among the flowers. She feeds these guests on paper bark stew mixed with mud and fern fronds. Her little sister mixes the brew and they set a table made of chip bark on top of rock and smaller stones for seats. The guests come as the little girl talks. Her sister can see them. And oh, the adventures the sisters have all the while living in the land of stories. She knows what she wants this child. Not merely dreams. No. These are more than dreams.
This is who she is. Who she knows she was born to be. Children know this. Clearly, like the ring of a bell through time. They know with clarity who they are. Maybe not what they will do upon this earth, but they know their essential being, the who that they were created to be.
She is sixteen now. She hasn't forgotten. She still tells stories. Quiet words to the wind as the car drives along and she wishes she was anywhere but where she is. She talks in story and the breeze t spreads her words out into the void. Her mother has one question. What does she want to do? But it's not a question about wanting. No. This is more about college.
She tells no one what she wants because it's been made clear enough. Her mother doesn't read. It's a waste of time. Books. Wasteful. Not serious pursuits. What she needs is escape and a way to stand on her own two feet against this world. It's what her mother wishes she had. Where is the degree in story? She isn't even looking for it. It never occurs to either of them that story is exactly the way to escape and the only way this child will ever stand on her own feet. But this is not about standing. No. This is about surviving. Pressing on. Moving forward.
So, she forgets. On purpose. She forgets who she is. She is thirty-one before she wants again. Thirty. One! And that wanting comes on the back of everything finally falling apart. Everything she has fought so hard to hold together inside her collapses. In the darkness of that falling there is this small light. Flickering. It is the WANT. This is who she is. In desperation she reaches out for the want. For the stories.
Let me whisper them to you, my friends. Your want are the most essential raw part of you.
These are not merely dreams. No. These are more than dreams.
They are who you are. Who you were created to be.
Please. Oh please, begin to want again. The world is waiting for you to be you. We need your wants so desperately. We need the essential you.
Posted by Tabitha Bird at 7:01 PM