Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New York

"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn... Too"

It wasn't hard to pack, I took only the important things with me, a handful of leaves from trees to remind me where I had come from. Yet I expected more.. there had to be more.

There are journeys that people seek out that lend to experiences not yet lived, I am one of those travelers. My plane to New York would arrive late, but it came and I could not stop myself from crying. A dream met, the hope of all who seek out distant lands, but never speak of them out loud. Whatever keeps the prize from those silent souls is often hidden in boxes with labels that remark there is no return. Boxes full of tape that bind gifts and treasures, only released in dark spaces while completely alone.

"I'm on my way to meet my creative side face to face, lest it lose its resilience," I said inside my mind. "Oh fragile path, its time to stop along the way and breathe in those desires. Time to take out your paints and splash their blood from head to my toe, lick up complaints from the wounded, give solace, because they are you". I cried again..."That's how you got here, you paid for a thousand and one days, time to feel your worth."

My goal met, I stood before my shadow, a painting on the wall. I recognized its worth beyond my past objections and wanted only to soothe myself. I had met one of my emotions head on and its fragrance became the charm I had been looking for. I stood before my painting, my painting of me and gave it back a smile of recognition.

"Did you bring the book?" I heard a voice behind me say.

I did not turn around to see the face from where the voice came, instead I closed my eyes and felt the essence from its breath. I felt it on my shoulder like a bird that rested after flight. I had the book, indeed I did. I took it from my pocket and in the process all the leaves that I had carried so carefully, fell to the ground.

"OH NO!" I opened my eyes and saw their green veined figures on the tiles on which I stood. "However will I find my way home again! However will I remember those graves from all my sadness, reminders from where I came from!?"

The door to the gallery opened and a wind swept in. It took up the leaves and caused them to begin dancing. I could only watch in disbelief. They seemed happy and unconcerned about me. I wanted to gather them again, put them in their place and demand they stay put, do as they were told. The next thing I knew they rushed right out the door, on to the elevator and into the street. I ran blindly waving my arms, screaming and frantic. I would not know who I was without them. However would I find my soul again? I watched the leaves swim through the currents of freedom. To be understood later? I was not sure, I was alone.

I walked back up to the gallery.. sensed a shadow but I was too bereaved to search out its eyes. Standing again in front of my painting I wept. Mysteriously the voice of before, was once again behind me, and it began to sing. It was soft and gently, something about it felt soothing and I wanted to stay there forever. I closed my eyes and bowed my head inhaling the music to my ears. I felt its presence, breathing on my neck, then kissing my shoulder. Opening my eyes, holding the book in hand, I knew a question could be asked of the melody that came from the figure behind me.

I heard myself speak up, "What am I going to do? My tokens, my history have left me, I have no more leaves to remind me of me."

Kisses on my shoulder the melody did reply, "You don't need them anymore, no more regret. No more waiting for life to begin or unrewarded promises of places you have never been only to wonder about. There are fresh leaves on every tree on every journey you will step out to meet."

I turned around to see the figure. Confused at first at what I saw but accepting, the voice I saw came from me. I had met my worth, acknowledged the relief of letting go and knew it was just the beginning.

Remembering the book, I opened up the pages to a treasured quote:

"I wept because the process by which I became a woman was painful. I wept because from now on I would weep less. I wept because I had lost my pain and I was not yet accustomed to its absence."

~Anais Nin

Placing the book on the floor beneath my painting, still open to the words I have understood so many times, I knew exactly what she meant. I then took off all my clothes, left the book behind and entered the world outside.

Kathy Ostman-Magnusen
6 December 2007

Kathy Ostman-Magnusen
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