I am adrift on the water
and I try to find me
inside my body,
but I’m no longer certain
that the barriers it held
have stayed in place.
My mind is at sea
in the landscape of myself and
I don’t know how
to call it home.
My spirit is eternal.
It ventures forth,
even when my physical and mental
parts of me
are unsure of themselves.
It shines like a beacon
amidst the dark
so that I can find who I am.
I have ventured deep
into the mountains of my mind and
I have found that piece,
that small speck no bigger
than a grain of sand,
that holds the purest form of me.
I have brought it home
to the shell of me so that it can shine.
I hold it in the palm of my hands,
no bigger than a hope or a prayer.
Looking at its brilliance,
I try to breathe that shine in
so that I can see through
the dark of the water
I could hear her
before she became visible.
The song she was singing
stretched her voice out before her
so that it was the first thing
about her that I became aware of.
Notes of song rang out into
the cool air and, from where I was,
I could see them dancing with her breath,
as if celebrating being free.
A dog barked and she came into view,
her face bathed in the sun.
The dog walked in front of her
and would look back at her
as she sang, the notes pure and whole.
I was struck by how happy she looked,
as if the light of the sun that shone so brightly
was mirrored from within her.
Her song was part of the light
that she gave to the world.
I stood there watching her as she sang.
It seemed to be a private moment,
a woman with her dog and her voice
singing out in front of her.
I had never heard opera sung so beautifully.
In that moment, I closed my eyes for a second
and let her voice take me
on a journey that was filled with
such emotiosn that I could only
let them flow through me.
In her song, there was a torment of the spirit
but I could hear a hope
that shone as brightly as the sun upon my face.
As I stood there, I reflected
that this was what we were all going through,
trying to find the joy in the darkness.
I opened my eyes to see
that she had stopped walking.
She faced me, this woman with
a song for the heavens.
In that moment, I knew
that she was singing for me.
She stood across the street,
tears sliding from her eyes
yet a brightness on her face
as she sang. She saw me looking
and she bowed her head.
I understood then that this song,
her voice, it was my gift
because I was the only person
who could hear her song.
When she walked onward,
her dog walking joyfully ahead of her
despite the sadness that was contained
in her voice, she left something with me.
Inside of me,
there was a small seed of light.
If I closed my eyes,
I could hear her song within me.
It filled me with a sadness that had no name
and a joy that shone as brightly
as a flame in the dark.
The forest has changed over time.
It’s been years since
I have been so deep into the trees
and though the leaves still whisper
in the same way that they always did.
They are not tar black like they were before,
but dark green. I stand in the trees
and I wonder how I can find myself here
after so long. I look around at the trees,
remnants of tar and blood they took from me
littering the forest floor. I look into the leaves,
into the depth of the trees,
waiting to hear the creatures that dwelled within.
All I can hear is silence
underneath the sound of my breathing
and the beating of my heart.
I realize that I had never really left it behind,
that the dark forest was always there.
No matter how much I try to outrun it,
or deny its existence,
The dark forest is always within me.
Rather than be frightened by the trees,
I reach out to touch the leaves.
The trees all around me let out a sound
very much like a sigh of longing.
I feel it within me, as if I am accepting
a part of myself that I had shunned
when all it wanted was some kind of affection.
Looking at the forest around me,
I can see blood and shadow,
growth and light,
all held within a gorgeous balance
of air, earth and soil and light.
I expect to hear the sounds of ghosts,
waiting to pull me deeper into the trees,
but all I can hear
are the songs of birds
as they call to me and if I stop to listen,
I can almost make out what they
are trying to say.
I let my hands reach out on either side
of myself and touch the leaves
and I can feel that touch within myself.
When I get to the border of the forest,
knowing that this will not be goodbye.
I’m okay with that and I’m no longer afraid
of what waits within.
Voting is now live!
Make sure to vote for me and my book for the 2022 Ottawa Awards!
I’m under Author of the Year: Jamieson Wolf
and Book of the Year: Beyond the Stone
Voting runs from January 6th until January 31st, 2022 and winners are announced on January 31st!
I’d really appreciate your vote!
How awesome is this?
I’m a nominee for the Faces Ottawa 2022 Awards! I know, right?
Every year, Faces Magazine runs an awards ceremony to celebrate the biggest and brightest in Ottawa!
I’ve been nominated for Best Book of the Year (Beyond the Stone) and Best Author of the Year. Voting begins on January 6th
You can find out more here: https://facesmag.ca/awards/#//
This is an awesome way to start the week! More news as it comes, but get ready to vote on January 6th 2022!