by Tau Tara
I’m not always full of life, fire and beauty.
No, I’m not.
There was a time and still are times when I am dark, dangerous, and… dead.
Like a limp body of a brown winged sparrow, on grey concrete lying on the wayside of a busy, crowded, noisy street.
The beat in my wings so long gone, the life force so depleted before it left the body, that not even the hungry lowly stray cat with the broken tail will eat me.
Because I’m that dead and unpalatable. That even my death is wasted.
I feel that lifeless. I am capable of that much despair, filled with gloom, covered in grief.
And I remember I was once capable of curling up inside that blanket of grief to lie under its thickness for days without an end. To be beat and broken and helpless by Her power to devour me whole.
I used to be terrified of the despicable things she could do to me.
What I could do to wreck others
Until one day it stopped.
How did it stop?
How did that change?
Well it didn’t.
Pain still exists. Grief comes visiting regularly.
What changed though was the relationship with Her, with grief.
I stopped looking outside the window, seeing her shadow emerge under the night lamp, and run to secure the latch, shut all windows, gather weapons and hide in a corner, ready to fight her away with all my life, refusing to meet her face, look into her eyes, not ever giving her a chance to hear what she has to say.
So instead this one time, I open the door, invite my grief, my pain in, ask it if it wants tea, without milk and without sugar because there is only jaggery in the house and then we, my grief and I, sit and sip warm black tea, with ginger and elaichi.
And I read out from a good book and play some stirring music.
One night she gave me a present.
In it were a single mirror and a sacred stone
the song of the ocean
and the thunder of a mighty storm,
the smell of wet earth
and the breeze of trees in summer.
There were herbs and flowers,
bodies and birds,
memories and ancestors.
And at the very bottom, a tender dark song,
that as I started lifting with my fingers,
howled painfully into the night,
a heartbreaking cry,
of the earth,
of the stone,
of the flower,
of the tree,
of the ocean,
of the bird,
of the body,
of the ancestors,
and of my soul.
She held out the mirror and I saw I bore such striking resemblance to them all, and all their pain.
Grief, with her heavy kohl drawn eyes and dead lashes, was me, was all.
And the present she brought me, was really a gift of memory and tears, covered in layers of pain, with a single ribbony streak of fear.
And I fell to the ground and cried, and trembled and shivered in my body and very nearly lost my mind.
But that night changed me, changed Her,
Changed how we looked at each other.
I saw my grief as myself and all my elders, and the land and of all the people in the world.
And then, when we were both done, I carried Her great body of the ages, and tucked Her and myself to bed.
Sometimes I lie down next to her and hug her when she has dreams at night. In the morning when I wake up sometimes she is there, smiling, and making me more tea.
And I know I will have another day with her. But most often, if we have held each other as she shared and I shed tears, I wake up to find grief has gone, slipped out of bed in the early hours and tiptoed out of the room so as not to disturb me.
In the morning I’ll see a message she has left for me,
in a flower, a stone or a poem.
Sometimes I notice what grief has done later in the day,
in the strength I feel rising,
in my belly, in my blood, in my bone.
What had changed is that there is no longer that panic when She arrives, no longer is there the need to find remedies to push down the symptoms, put a lid on the despair that begins to bubble up like hot, sticky tar that hurts my insides, burns my eyes, and seals my mouth, leaving me helpless, forcing myself to not cry.
I no longer try to reach for the matchstick, to find a ray of love and light. I let Grief be.
I let my human self feel.
And I allow an alive decay of my body, watch my life dissolve like it didn’t stand a chance in the endless mouth of that void.
I let it be. I let Her be. Let the shadows be. Let the demons feast on me. Let the birds fly over my body.
I die, and die, and die. At Her feet.
And again, and again and again, She clothes me, offers me flowers, brews me hot tea, and brings me closer, closer,
and closer home, closer more to my soul.
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About the Author:
Tau Tara is a young budding witch, engaged with the healing process and learning about her witchy gifts which she is still discovering through the power of plants, sounds, body wisdom and soul connection. Tau is spring born on Indian soil, chirpy in the sun, but sharing a special relationship with violent storms. She loves digging up ancient secrets from the buried past, and buried truths from primal spaces. You can find and follow her adventures on Instagram.
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