(bare) witness


Please, bear witness. I want you to see the virtually invisible seams where I shattered and glued myself back together. I want you to feel one inch tall when you feel the fury beneath my skin and the fire in my heart. I want you to feel the earth tremble as I walk by, chin high, soles worn and soul worn, covered in ink and scars and freckles and time.

Once you see, let us mourn. Together we grieve the girl who slowly died in this town and was resurrected 1,500 miles away. When she sprang from the earth, she let out an inhuman wail that shook the trees and sent birds flying en masse. Over two decades of agony split her vocal cords wide open. All of the rage that she was too tired to release overtook her like a demon. She became your worst nightmare. She became mine, too.

I stepped over the threshold of my new home and broke so completely that I’m still finding pieces of myself hidden under rugs and tucked into corners. For so long I’d been so tightly wound, so strung out on grief and stress that I hadn’t realized I’d come apart completely, a thin thread of bewitching fishing line carefully holding me together. I didn’t realize how angry and bitter and cynical I was. I didn’t realize the toll I took on the people that I loved. I didn’t realize I had any impact, at all. I felt inconsequential and replaceable. In some ways, I still do.

Is it too much to ask to be beheld with the same reverence as the night sky? I wish my mended cracks had something to show for them, like gold lacquer or glittering glue. Perhaps I’ll just keep adding to the mural on my body, because at least then I’ll have something to show for the lives I’ve lived.

None of my bells can be unrung; I’ve learned and I’m learning. I could rant and rave about how I’ve been wronged or I could learn to forgive and move on. I could daydream all I want about being seen, being looked at, being witnessed, but you’ve all moved on, too. I have to make a change — I have to change how and why I live. I need to learn, and really learn, to finding meaning within and hold onto it for dear fucking life. I cannot sustain myself on anything anyone else gives or doesn’t give me.

When life’s weight increases, I feel the old fissures like bone breaks. I feel like I’m going to crumble anew. I beg the Universe not to do this to me again. Haven’t I had enough? Is this what I have to look forward to for the rest of my human life? I know that suffering yields growth, but how quickly does the Universe need me to grow? I’m just a kid. Maybe I’m not given anything I can’t handle, but I’d sure like to learn to handle the last pile of shit before a new one hits the fan. It feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to monitor all my cracks and keep applying the glue.

This wasn’t my first rebirth, and it won’t be my last. The labor is exhausting. I am so tired. But on I will go, because I know that one day the weight will be lighter and my bones will be less weary. Perhaps I shall imagine that rest and warmth and love that I am surrounded with is gold lacquer, and that when I am one day nothing but bones, they will glitter.

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