March 22, 2010

The Leaf Warrior

She was a fighter. An odd one, many would think, but a fighter nonetheless.

She had received many gifts from life. A powerful, energetic glow, eyes sparkling with intelligence and wits, and a softness rare in these troubled times. She could melt mountains with her smile, calm furies with a few simple words.

But yet, she didn’t see that. From her perspective, inside, it was different. She was a carrier of dark clouds.

As far as she could remember, she had acted against a powerful force that seemed to drag her down every step of the way. A ball and chain from the spirit world. It didn’t show much on the outside, adding to the eerie feeling she had when she looked deep down inside. It’s one thing to live in a dark underground, she thought, but it’s a complete other when this is invisible to the outer world. Like a twisted theatre, it forced upon her a role to play, a mask to wear; it burdened her with great solitude.

As she walked her path, she found discoveries and challenges like specs of light to show her the way. Closed gates blown open, wandering souls looking for a home, guides and prophets, visions and dreams. She was taken in many directions, some forward and some dead ends.

She felt like a leaf floating down a river; it was the current of life that was driving her downstream. It’s refreshing at times, she thought, smiling at all the wonderful memories this image had brought. But it can be constraining and brutal, as well, she echoed silently, clenching her jaws remembering every time she’d been given wings only to see them decay and fall.

She didn’t notice at first, but her vision of the river was still very present as the thoughts were swirling in her mind. As she centered on it, she noticed the stream she was envisioning had become larger, stronger, agitated. Curious, she frowned as she closed her eyes, slowly shutting out the world around.

What was this? The closer she was getting to the inner image, the more vivid her feelings. As the stream changed into a river and turned into a rapid, strong, loud, powerful, a flow of uncontrollable feelings rushed inside of her. This wasn’t a peaceful place.

Images from her life started associating. Clashing waves. Twisting swirls. The gushing waters of the darker thoughts she’d kept hidden were cascading forward. The black clouds had rained down one time too many. Her secret dam was overflowing.

A flash flood. Of refusal, rage and every restraint, humiliation and ignoring silence. A hurling debacle forcing upon her the realization of what was holding her up all this time. In the middle of this frenzy now turned into a thundering roar, overwhelming and uncontrollable, so destructively liberating, something awoke.

She was deep, deep in her thoughts and she had not noticed the flood had breached out to the open. As she felt the black tears of her rage streaming down from her eyes still closed to her soft cheeks, she knew something had changed. She was no more a leaf carried down a stream. She was the stream, calm and pure at times, but also the raging river rushing down, overpowering anything that stood in its way.

She wiped away her tears like a hammer breaks long-worn shackles. She took a slow, resolved breath and opened her eyes.

She’d sat down a leaf, and gotten back up a warrior.

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