Gazing into the mirror, I saw myself as I was –
a black silhouette in the room,
a woman whose darkness had completely leaked through.
~ Sue Monk Kidd, The Mermaid Chair
It is into the darkness that we are being called – those of us who are wise and lovely. Underwater. Into the woods. Further down. Deeper in.
As I talk to other women about this, they intuitively understand exactly what I mean. They nod their heads, smile slightly, and sigh. We *clink* our glasses (virtually or real) and wonder where it will lead, what we will yet discover, how we will emerge – if we do at all.
We do not fear. This is no scary unknown that threatens to overwhelm. No, this is a provocative darkness of swirling power and endless potential – a return to some earlier knowing, primal experience, and ancient home. This is a darkness of beauty, seduction, and irresistible pull. This is a darkness in which we gather up all our force, all our wisdom, and every ounce of volume we’ve neglected to express (or which we’ve been taught to suppress). This is a darkness that holds, that nurtures, that restores. This is a womb, a safe haven, a coven-like embrace of the Feminine. It’s sacred. Witch cauldrons boiling. Secret formulas whispered. Dark magic practiced. It’s exactly what we’ve longed for longer than we can remember. It tugs at a part of us we’ve forgotten…but…we are remembering at an increasingly exponential pace.
In this darkness we speak a language that does not yet make sense on the surface, in our day-to-day life. It’s guttural, before time, and cryptic. Still, we recognize and respond to this native, mother tongue. And we know that once we’ve re-mastered it, we will never speak the same way (or of the same things) ever again.
The longer we are here, the more our eyes adjust, the more our throats loosen their too-familar constriction, the slower our hearts beat. At first, just shapes and long-neglected senses, now faces, voices, parts of the self that have been in hiding – waiting to be found. And so many other women. Those who have been here all along, holding our place in the circle. They immediately welcome us – faces aglow in the sacred fire that crackles, beckons, and burns. Eve. Lilith. Hagar. Mary Magdalene. The Woman at the Well. Pandora. Psyche. Demeter. Medusa. Sophia. Here, in the darkness, our eyes can see all, our voices speak unfettered, and our pulse throbs in a rhythm that comforts and heals. We have no intention of leaving.
You know of what I speak. The undertow that precariously upsets your footing, but thrills you somehow. The branches that scratch at your arms as you enter the forest – willing and wondering. Keep walking. Listen to the trees. Let go. Trust the tides, the waves, the water, your tears. Take a deep breath, dive, and then exhale – certain that when needed, you can and will inhale. All that you need, all that sustains, all that supports, encourages, and empowers awaits you. It has always been here.
Go into the darkness. I’ll meet you there.
As I have written this post, I have wanted for more articulate language; for some way of making sense of all that I am feeling and sensing within – this darkness that calls and willingly consumes. Then I realize: that’s the way of it, the way of the darkness – at least for now. No translation required. No justification. No argument. No reasoning. No reasons. Just dark and beautiful and home. If we will go there, if we will gather there, if we will stay there, we will find one another. And then, together and grateful, we will dance and sing. We will toast with endless, delicious elixir. We will speak in a thousand tongues. We will look into each other’s eyes. We will be seen and known.
One last thing – at least for now: this can and does happen at any moment and at any time, all the time. Because deep calls to deep and like knows like. So look for the darkness and trust that it is looking for you. Once found, once seen, once experienced, once felt, even in the slightest and most surreptitious of ways, you’ll know exactly what I mean. You’ll nod your head, smile slightly, sigh, and then *clink* your glass with the rest of us. Welcome home.
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay
May it be so.