when your tower crumbles
and you come riding through the night
as a person who operated in codependent and abusive relationships for most of my life, i was harboring a grief that felt untouchable.
to avoid facing that grief, i jumped from person to person, i did things to fit in (to the point of self abandonment), i tried very hard to be perfect, i put myself in dangerous situations, i put myself in the arms of dangerous people, i played the victim, i worked and achieved, and worked and achieved, i drank and smoked to cope, and i stayed very busy. i took on projects and people and identities and things that were astronomical. i put myself in situations where my discomfort could be linked to something else- where i did not have to investigate or answer to it. i created an external chaos that i could blame. and over time, every trauma and loss and heartache bled into the next, creating an amorphous lineage of loss where nothing began or ended and where i could not possibly pause to feel the edges of one loss versus another.
i was left with an internal loneliness so pervasive it was killing me from the inside out. so insidious, it cloaked itself in shame so it could hide in my plane sight. it was a kind of loneliness that could not be cured by company. and i wish there were different words for types of loneliness because i would use one here for a loneliness that occurs when you take the most gentle, kind, pure, intelligent, and genuine parts of yourself and you lock them very far away in a tower and you ride off into the sunset saying mommy will be back soon knowing you are very much not coming back anytime soon but telling yourself they’ll be better off for it (and then you also gave them all cell phones and they are calling, day after day, they are calling- and your phone is ringing off the hook and every time you do not answer, they get angrier and more afraid that you will actually never come back and they will die for no witness in that tower).
is there a word for that? for the loneliness of being ghosted by yourself?
my grief was the heartache i felt, when from my walled city, i gazed in the direction of the tower which stood tall in the far distance exactly where the sun rises. and every so often, i’d exile another part of myself to the tower where these very scared little parts of me lived that i had not called back in so many years. i had missed their birthdays. i had left them to starve. and the shame of that kept me from picking up the phone, much less making the journey out to the tower to visit or bring them sustenance. meanwhile, the tower was overcrowding. there was restlessness. and the city i had built with high walls, was lifeless. there was no art, or comedy, or intuition. all of those things had to go. in fact, there were other rulers in my city- people and things that had taken over. it was no longer a sovereign kingdom.
then one night, i felt the ground shake. i knew the tower was crumbling and those spirits were being set free.
[i’ll save the rock bottom story for another time, but insert here, around January 2021, my really big tower started to crumble.]
when your tower crumbles, those parts of you will come riding through the night. i imagine them on ghost horses carrying lanterns, traveling through foggy marshes, making the long and treacherous voyage to meet their maker. (clearly, this is the song playing)
and at that moment, when you know that they are coming, you, you the maker, are given a choice.
when all of the exiled parts of you arrive at the walls of your broken city, will you barricade what you have constructed and fight them to the death, or will you meet them on the horizon and join them in burning it down?
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Even when the people are asleep the massive dance goes on.
Do you wish to hear it-
the tongue of the crows who gather daily in ceremony, discussing at length- the Otherworld?
More than to listen, but to believe them.
To know that they mind the turning wheels of giving and grieving, in this cemetery.
Do you wish to taste it-
how the earth offers herself to you?
How she offers you as well?
How you ripen and rot, along with all fruiting bodies, daily, lunarly, annually, and finally?
How small and vital.
here’s a playlist of 10 weird songs for you.
The Dreamer’s Book of the Dead by Robert Moss, which is an incredible guide to the otherworld and the liminal
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