I Danced… I Cried…
We do forget to take those moments of abandon when there is pain. Pain has a loud, loud voice and we lose ourselves to it like we used to lose ourselves inside a song when we were so young that nothing at all mattered. We forget and let it thieve away the precious moments we’re all given, and then one day we find that we’re out of moments. I have always prided myself on being the one to savor life, it’s fleeting beauty, and it’s amazing turns, but the last 8 years have strangled me down. My own inner voice has been silenced for far too long, and I’ve had no strength to fight it. I lost myself somewhere in that.
Someone came into my life two years ago that changed me. It’s been a long time climbing out of that pit but I feel like I’m finally grasping the changes that I needed because of them. I feel like I can reach inside and find the things that made me a good dancer with a spiritual heart; that made me an insightful writer with a caring heart; that made me a unique artist with a weeping heart if that’s what it takes. When pain is all you feel, you stop wanting to feel anymore and I was dying that way. I feel again. Not all of it is happy but it’s feeling none the less. There are lost loved ones that I miss… lost loves that I grieve… failed plans that I regret… and all the many truths I still have time to share. I know there are things I want to do that may or may not come to pass but if there’s a way to move heaven and earth to be well enough, by God, I want to.
A Dr today agreed with me. She looked at me and knew something was wrong, and she heard me. I’m no longer accustomed to being listened to and treated as though I’m not an idiot or a hypochondriac. She actually gave me a tentative diagnosis that was sensible. I left feeling weird because I got what anyone else would consider bad news but I was smiling. When you struggle so long to make someone acknowledge your pain, it’s a relief from burden for anyone to stop and SEE you. So… I came home and danced. Then I cried. I cried not because I am sad but because I was heard. I cried for the same reason I danced. Release.
I was told when I was young that I could not make money with my art. Today I don’t care. I’m going to do what I always wanted to and be what I was born to be. It may not look practical to some, and not everyone will see it as useful or conventional, but it’s mine. If I can’t be happy at what I‘m doing, I won’t move. I won’t dance. I won’t cry. I won’t succeed.
When I close my eyes, I’ve always had the ability to step into the worlds of spirit and vibrant living voices of the forest. When I walk alone in the dark in the woods, or wade into the river, I can feel the thoughts my ancestors sent ahead for knowing I would come one day. I can see the deep woods of the eastern Oklahoma hills and the wizened face of my beloved Teacher, rest his soul, as clearly as the last day we spoke there in the oaks. I can hear the screech owl that called the night I finished my Four Corners ritual in a place called Wahil’yi by a tiny local spring, and see my Elder’s amazing blue eyes that he almost never showed anyone, as he handed me the things to remember my Clan by, and spoke of my path and responsibilities. I can feel the cool morning dew falling on my skin in the great Northern California redwood groves, among the ferns and streams of delicate light filtering through its’ canopies. Those things made me who I am today. I will cherish the life they poured into my soul that I may share with others all the beauty that this world has to offer.
Today I may have pain, but today I also have joy. I was heard. I was really seen and heard. I never set out to be an advocate for disease awareness, but if my path has brought me to this… then so be it and some of my art may bring light into someone’s dark world. It has always done that for me. I hope that others will find something of value in it as well.
Tala Smith… Wolf Clan – Aniyvwiyv