October

When the season changes to Fall, I fall too. No matter how I try to prepare, it still catches me off guard every year.

I always loved this time of year. Halloween is my favorite holiday. Fall is crisp and fiery and cold. I love the symbolism that surrounds the holiday. The acknowledgement of letting go.

October is the start of the season of mourning.

The first time a rape was burned into memory was in October. A few weeks later on Halloween, I remember somehow ending up wearing the same outfit I was raped in when Matt, Lee and I celebrated in Castro Street. I think perhaps I was trying to celebrate the death of something I didn’t know had been killed yet.

I don’t think about this rape ¬†too often anymore. I have relived it enough times performing “The mourning after” over the years. Resurrected it into art. Made the pain into something else. My body remembers though. It aches. I am overwhelmed with feelings of sinking…of drowning.

I miscarried in October too. At the start of the month I was told by the doctor that the baby’s heart stopped beating…but I had to wait for my body to “let it go” on it’s own. For 3 weeks I held a dead baby inside my body, crying for no reason at the slightest of things.

Finally, on Halloween the “small birth” happened.

At the time, it was the worst physical pain I had ever felt.

I was alone when it happened.

October reminds me to be alone. That ultimately, I go through it all alone. That lonely is natural. That breaking is normal. That life goes into hiding, and this is the season for dying.

I am mourning now. Still mourning the parts of myself I have lost. Mourning the emptiness I feel. How my body feels numb all season as a way to protect itself. I hate feeling this way. I don’t want to feel this way. I struggle with coming to terms with the fact that maybe yes, all of the rest of my life, it will always be this way.

I am waiting for this winter. When the transition to stillness completes. When I can hide and keep it all to myself again.

Right now I don’t feel like being quiet. The sun is still shinning here, and I am trying to find some warmth in all of this.

 

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This is why I write

to unfold the electrical mat of my nervous system

the pieces of me

tucked in secret dark spots

hidden and hungry.

My body is nothing but nerves. I burn at the slightest touch

I react at the smallest word

I feel everything

as if my skin no longer protected

my precious softness

my mollusk organs

all too vulnerable.

When i was young

I wished for a hard shell

I wished for larger teeth

and sharper claws

but all I have is these nerves

that beg

“speak up”

Speak up

and this is why

through this fire

I walk with a pen

why I stand

in a spotlight

shaking

The only time I can forget the ache

is when I take it

and turn it

into something beautiful.

“”Where there was once one, there are now two. Or were there always two? What is a reflection? A chance to see two? When there are chances for reflections, there can always be two, or more. Only when we are everywhere will there be just one.”

-Margaret Lanterman AKA THe Log Lady