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Posts Tagged ‘inner life’

Inner Menagerie

In me, there is a mountain lion

who prowls the streets of town

with her powerful legs and fierce teeth.

She’s the one who smiles at everyone,

and why shouldn’t she?

But inside the big cat is a gopher

who knows best how to hide,

who is grateful no one seems

to have noticed her.

And inside the gopher is an elephant

who has been watching her mother

and grandmothers, aunts and cousins,

for centuries to learn from them

how to survive.

But inside the elephant is a sea squirt

who, attached to one spot,

has begun to eat her own brain

so she won’t have to use it anymore.

And inside the sea squirt is an otter.

She wonders how the rest of them have forgotten

the great joy of running and sliding

on their stomachs, playing tag and chase,

rolling in the water, feeling the sun

warm and generous on their backs.

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When her voice is weary

it means it is time to listen.

 

When her armor is heavy,

it means it is time to be soft,

 

time to slip out of her certainty

and her battle songs,

 

time to retreat from the lines

she has drawn, time to unknow

 

the world she thinks she knows

and to find herself in the world

 

that knows her. She lets the darkness

penetrate her, it caresses

 

her universal curves. Her quiet

joins her to an infinite quiet—

 

she is everything, nothing at once.

She relearns how vulnerability

 

transforms us in ways

ferocity can not.

 

She is her own fertile seed.

She is her own desert rain.

 

She’s her own cocoon, her own inner cave.

Sometimes it takes the darkness

 

to remind us how to be brave.

 

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