Saturday, March 8, 2014

the girl I was once

{photo credit unknown. do you know?
tell me, won't you?}
the girls we once were are coming back to us now. 
whispering their stories, our stories, in our ears. 
let us hear.
:: brandy walker

the girl I was once is the Statue of Liberty, standing at the entrance to my path with a torch raised, whispering, give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, except her voice is my own and it's stronger than I remember.

the girl I was once is a shadow turned concrete, the whisper of what could have been turned solid for me to wrap my fingers around and pull in close. she is a monument to growth, a grave-marker for silence, standing cement vigil so that I do not return to the shadows again.

the girl I was once is a blind figure of Justice, a flowing painting of Venus born, a fractured mirror made whole in the Light streaming from behind two beams of splintered wood. she is the fabric of the aerialist, giving wings to the earth-bound. she is the needle and thread in the hand of the Tailor, pressing fresh back against flesh as holy Blood flows in reverse from ground into veins.

the girl I was once is speaking words, repetition on her tongue of phrases once forgotten, turning shame into a dead language and self-deprecation into a dialect that even the Rosetta Stone has scratched from its surface. I close my eyes and she is singing His song, words familiar even if I do not yet completely understand them :: go deeper, little daughter. without borders, wander. 

the girl I was once is cracking. the layer of mud all on the outside is cracking, flaking off in pieces, in powder, in ash, in manure. she is filthy and she reeks of death, of abandonment, of uncovered skin and mocking cries. she is scarred, each line and each raw spot seen clearer when the shell falls away. she hid it once, but no longer, because they are breadcrumbs on the path and she follows them back with a tracing fingertip to remember the way she never wants to go again.

the girl I was once, she is still part of me. she is my calling, the reflection in the looking glass when I don't recognize myself. she is the thing that pulls me back. she runs her fingers through my hair and pats my cheek. I see her reflected in the eyes of my daughter, and I gasp at the way she is beautiful now in a way that was unrecognizable when I looked through her eyes.

the girl I was once, she's coming back. she's a reminder that night brings morning. she shows me that stepping into a dark room can make things muddled for a moment, but there is light peeking through the cracks that cannot be seen when the sun is blinding.

she is renewed. she is Lion-breathed. she is coming back and rising up. she is pressing tentative fingertips into the nail-marks on His palms and realizing that His breath is turning the doubt into straw on the breeze. she is building stone houses on solid ground.

That voice inside of us? She knows where the shalom is. 
May we trust her
and let her lead.
:: brandy walker



{today is National Women's Day. today, we are joining hands across the world. we are reconnecting with the girls we once were, and there is room for you, a space for your flag to fly strong in the Holy wind. join us and share your story, beloved.}

20 comments:

  1. grave-marker for silence, standing cement vigil so that I do not return to the shadows again.
    This is one of my favorite lines. Rachel you are my go to for freedom fighters abs I wouldn't be here without your inspired bravery. Your "keep goung" and your fierce determination to show the works your beautiful newfound freedom. Is is exquisite. But dear girl it's not just for you. It's for Jonathan and Marian too.
    I love you wild one

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh dear one, I love you too. and you inspire me so much to keep going, to keep fighting, to keep lighting things on fire. and yes, it is for my love and my babe as well.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. you are so beloved, dear Heather.

      Delete
  3. There is so much rich imagery here. I mean, it could go on for posts and posts, so much goodness. But you believe in abundance and sharing it all and that is one of the truly amazing things about you. The lion always gives you more words. Because you, love, are blazing a freedom trail! And I have tears as I write this, because it's that true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh dear dear Jamie, you bless me so so deeply. you are precious to me, and your witness is a gift from Heaven above.

      "blazing a freedom trail." yes.

      Delete
  4. Lovely as always, Rachel. You are so talented. I love the idea of shame as a dead language-YES!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. shame as a dead language means that I never have to speak it or understand it. oh yes, dear friend. <3

      Delete
  5. Rachel, this is all kinds of brave, and freeing! Thankyou for the way you take others along on the journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for being willing to come along side me, precious Anna. I am so glad that you are on this path with me.

      Delete
  6. I love how you say you see the girl you once were in your daughter, in a whole new light. I see that even in my son. It's miraculous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it's redemptive to see our old selves in our children, isn't it? love to you, dear Alissa.

      Delete
  7. You are so gifted, Rachel, and so brave. You just keep coming alive, girl. We need you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh dear Dana, I love your words. and yes, coming alive moment after moment.

      Delete
  8. Beautiful and powerful, dear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. love you and your witness, precious Adela.

      Delete
  9. Such an inspiring post. I'm going into the dark room to rediscover the girl I once was ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know you will find her there. just listen.

      Delete

I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine so you know there's nothing but light when I see you. :: Shinji Moon