Rage. Pure hatred channeled into a well of suffering sustained over a life time.
I found a perfect throwing-sized rock in a park today. It was about the size of a fist, jagged and warped. It seemed to hold my rage in it, tense and angular, falling inward on itself.
My body used to fold in on itself when I looked at certain paintings in the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Seeing shadows crawl up other people’s bodies at right angles made it a little hard to ride my bike the last time I went. Can’t remember the artists name, and I might be lying anyway.
Now I’ve seen that sensation in embodied in a rock, lying in a field scorched by the smoke of province-wide forest fires.
It told me to destroy, to deconstruct, to dismember and dismantle. Fist and stone and mind one with fire. With chaos. My connection to stone was forged with a magical sensitivity, guided by a heart torn open by love and exposed to the world, raw, full of horror, despair, knowledge of the certain imminent death of humanity, along with most of the species on Earth. Knowledge the rock held for me, my muscles clenching as I heard its voice. Trauma scraping at the surface of reality again, trying to creep in anxiously through my tendons.
That despair however, is not a sign of emptiness; it is part of a whole. A bigger picture of life rich with details of joyful dreams, actual, literal, symbolic, waking, sleeping, and spiritual dreams. Dreams of burning alive. Ash filled Russian towns. Whale skeletons climbing out of the pavement during conversations about nihilistic astrologers. Melting clock guitars. Dreams of films, completed, in line with my personal sense of havingness. Dreams of memories that motivate and stimulate and recreate my sense of what it means to love.
That despair is eclipsed by the cycles of life when followed to a natural rhythm encompassing both the dream world and reality.
Three weeks ago I turned into a deer during a ritual in Southern Oregon. I was called to stop fighting myself and start fighting empire. Destroying, deconstructing, dismembering, dismantling. All without disassociating. A challenge that I am still learning to work with. Tension wrecks my body in its sleep every night. But that tension is what reminds me I’m still human, still in this body.
When deer are traumatized they run back to their family and tremble soundlessly while their parents/siblings hold them. I came home to a mattress on the floor. Having lived most of my life in poverty, I have yet to recondition my brain so that I believe I deserve an actual bed–now that I can afford to actually improve my own situation using money. A mattress on the floor and no sound insulation between myself and four roommates, two puppies, and a bigger dog. That mattress is where I dream, as my body folds in upon itself over springs and all the wrong edges.
Dreams of another world, dreams of something peaceful after this extinction cycle. Many take place on other planets. Sometimes the dreams are of empire in rubble, grown over by forest and ferns. The stars peering through the canopy of branches, radiant in Oregon meadows. Radiant celestial bodies in lovers’ hearts. Hearts of stone used to break windows and riot shields. The stones on my altar that keep me safe while I’m travelling. Or when I’m dreaming of travelling in a bed of twisted metal.
Dreaming about loving with nothing left to lose. Breaking open, breaking down, taking the love I’ve built and creating it anew. Breaking open within a rhythmic cycle.
The beating of my heart. Lungs breathing deep after years of hyperventilation and trembling in lovers’ arms.
The death of the system, the death of the Self, the death of my body, with a dream about life somewhere in the middle.
A painful nightmare turned into an erotic memoir.