Slowly You Will Sink Into the Depths of My Memory

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Slowly You Will Sink Into the Depths of My Memory

slowly you will sink into the depths of my memory

Slowly You Will Sink Into the Depths of My Memory by Molly Boeder Harris

I am near the ocean now, I reluctantly step inside.
I have dreamt of water so many times.
Whales, orcas, and dolphins swimming deep — I enter their world.
Sometimes a guest, sometimes a target and sometimes: I am one of them.

The water rises and I breathe shallow.

The tide will pull me down deep
if I don’t catch this arching wave right.
I should have known better than to explore this unpredictable, unforgivable, and colossal sea.
How can I recover? Will I drown here all by myself? My pulse slowed by the fear of a fate with no rescue.

Flashback:

I offer him my soul if he will spare my life.
I bargain with the shadows of men in nightmares daily.
I make promises and search for an escape, but my body is not my own,
and now my body is on its own.

My spirit seeks refuge and weeps helplessly perched high in sympathetic trees.
The scent of eucalyptus tarnished by the odor of violent sweat.

I sense clearly, so grotesquely connected to the man before me — he has no heart.

I call out loud and hear my voice echo as it disappears into the vast, blue open sky.

But my life will be spared by a breeze through the trees.

A fawn splinters a stick.
An angel exhales.
And he is gone.

I lay stunned and fragmented,
Tears and cells distorted on the forest floor.
My most sacred spaces mixed with dirt and bugs, blood and bent grass.

I have to run, I have to escape.
I do not dare look back.
I gather what is left and I leave most everything behind.

Inside there is a shallow nothingness, like the pool in early Fall — dying leaves, hollow ground — memories of another life.

I begin to remember a future that I will never feel. Shadows too soon growing tall, outlining the regret of each passing day.

Flooded once again by the present moment which seeps
with the grief of all that was felt and seen.

An imprint so profound it seems impossible to erase.

How do you guide yourself back inside yourself?
What magic will it take to make this inner space safe?

I attempt to make sense.
I try to use my words, but two languages are not nearly enough.
I make art and I sing songs. I try to create. I try to believe. I try to simply feel my way through this.

I try to be here now…
and still:

I flow in every direction with a mercurial current. I am too tired to resist.
Acceptance may be my only survival, and I choose to let go, my last ounce of energy expelled.

I surrender and soften into the dark ocean.
Subterranean water reflects my swirling brain and pulls on my leg with insatiable sadness.
The surf holds dreams and danger — and it decides when.

The preciousness of the life cycle irrevocably transformed in an instant.
Floating in salty liquid, my fear seeps to the surface of my skin.
Saturated by sensation, I ask the Atlantic the question that risks crushing my only hope.

This simple contemplation, followed by an unspeakable knowing – the inevitable heartbreak of such longing only disappears into the void:

Why me?

Why me?

Why me?

A wave surges, and I expand.

I stretch my whole self out across the crest, a desperate attempt to transcend the weight of my own loss —

Coughing in shallow water, sandy rocks slide beneath my flesh.
My body bobs and bends gently with the rise of the tide.
Gasping like a newborn into a second life, I wait out a slow recovery…

Hours pass before the sea begins to settle and I can see clearly.

A smooth black fin sends a ripple of circles across a still surface, and dissolves back
into the swell: no trace. A secret kept, a mystery too profound for the human mind to contain.

Acceptance will be my survival, and I relinquish a futile quest to comprehend.

Slowly you will sink into the depths of my memory
with the miracle of grace, I will find a way.

This is a choice that sets me free.

Having finally absorbed the metaphor of cetaceans, having truly felt it in my own flesh:
the long distance swim of survival is not catalyzed by our efforting.

It is in fact, our allowing that propels us,
buoyant and infinite.

Flowing forward through this mysterious dark turquoise. Traveling down deep, rising for relief.

Erasing all my edges with the forgiveness of water
following and trusting, even amidst my ego’s questioning.

Experiencing and embracing the inevitable fluidity
that which is forever beyond body: the resilience of the Soul.

***

Slowly You Will Sink Into the Depths of My Memory was written by Molly Boeder Harris. The first draft of this piece was created when Molly participated in The Voices and Faces Project’s testimonial writing workshop “The Stories We Tell“. Molly is the Founder and Executive Director of The Breathe Network, as well as a certified yoga instructor teaching private and group classes for the general public and for survivors of sexual violence. You can read about her work with survivors via the holistic practice of yoga by visiting her practitioner page.

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