Breathing in and Breathing out, 11″ x 17″, Mixed media on paper, Ariane Nicole 2013
Breathing in and Breathing out
I didn’t expect this after the bliss of Divine surrender. I didn’t expect the shadows of sorrow to sneak across the floor, to engulf my senses and straddle me between space and time. I can’t do this. I’ve bled through the dark nights, please not again.
“Move into the softness,” said a voice.
“No,” I replied.
“Move into the softness.”
“What does that mean?”
Without answering, the whisper slipped behind my nakedness, past the “Do Not Cross” sign and into my crevices. I tried to block it, tried to conjure up yesterday’s bliss, but an unseen cord pulled me into a cave beyond identity and light. I spent an eternity there, dying to myself. It was a loneliness I’d never known.
After eons, I felt a sound whirling around what was left of me.
“Breathe.” I couldn’t.
“Breathing in and breathing out–this too is an act of faith,” it said. I couldn’t do anything about the pain, but maybe I could breathe. I did. It was shallow but it was enough.
“You can only enter and be true by moving into it, being with it.” I didn’t understand until memories flooded in, showing the dream of a saddened, frightened child whose history became un-anchored, sending her on a search for Self, no matter how desperate or painful. I was to watch all the dramas play, witness their importance, and then watch them vanish.
My heart spoke again: “Only the softened is welcome here. Purity is the one thing that resonates in this realm. Nothing else can exist except the center of your being.” And without warning, the dragon breathed smoke back into me. The lioness within picked me up from the scruff shaking me out of the reverie of being Other. She crushed the clay with Kali’s fury, crushed the stink of it, the thick sludgy lie of smallness, the brain washing, and replaced it with fierce love, strength, wisdom, and compassion devoid of pity.
“There’s no place for apology in this, My Universe, for subjugating or loving down. Do not shun the tenderness or the raging fires of your heart. It is in the deepest acceptance that you live your truth. Now breathe again.”