July 16, 2015

On Surviving: Voices In the Storm.

Andréa Portilla on Flickr

You know those times when we come up against something so immense, so testing, that it takes every last drop of our courage and strength to keep standing?

We long to break, because breaking would bring relief but we hold on and hold on, till our fingers are raw and our nails breaking and the scream coming out of our mouth has long since ceased to make any sound?

And then, just as the storm is reaching its crescendo, we do let go? Finally, we give ourselves the permission we needed?

And we fall to the ground in our full humanity, one with all who have gone before, all who have also known this place, all who witness it and all who now keep us company?

And in that moment we realise that, in the very midst of what it is to be fully human, we have tasted our true power, our most searing wisdom and our deepest compassion? Our divinity.

And in that moment, we know that we are one.

You probably know these moments, just as I do, just as everyone does. For we are all fellow travellers, journeying briefly through time and space, come for the adventure of it in all its fullness.

And I know you have also been where I have been and that in that truth we are one being—we have all stood in each others’ shoes.

In one of those moments, I wrote the following poem:

I cried out in the
middle of the storm:
I cannot do this,
it is too much,
do not ask it.
And the voices whispered:
This too shall pass.
Let it be.
All is as it should be.
All is well.

I cried out as the rain
lashed and drenched
and chilled me
to the bone:
I am not strong enough,
I cannot withstand it,
this will wash me away,
I will drown in it.
And the voices whispered:
You are strong,
you are powerful,
stand firm and it will
wash over you.
This too shall pass.
Let go, let be.
All is as it should be.
All is well.

I gasped as the wind
took my breath away,
tearing and swirling and raging,
almost knocking me over.
Struggling to stay
on my feet,
I cried out in fear:
I need this to stop
I cannot hold on
I must let go soon.
And the voices whispered,
Your roots are deeper
than you think,
and you are far wiser
than you think.
Bend and turn and let go.
This too shall pass.
Let this flow and move through you.
All is exactly as it needs to be.
All is well.

I cried more tears
than I knew I had inside me,
and sobbed more protests
than I knew were in me.
I became the storm,
I became the rain,
raged with the wind itself.
I gave myself up,
I let go and became one
with each moment,
as the storm whipped
into a frenzy.
I held on and held on,
as I shook and bent and turned
and broke and yielded.
And let go…
And let go…

And finally,
finally, finally…
at long last
the storm began to ease,
the sky became kinder,
the rain fell more gently.
The wind became a breeze,
warm and gentle
tender and soothing
and I remembered
all the voices had whispered.
And I knew
that I was not only the storm,
and the rain and the wind,
but the voices also.
I knew that the voices
had been mine,
and yet not mine alone
but our voices,
countless voices.
All of us.
One voice.

I knew that where I had been
we all had been,
where I was, we all were.
And that where I now stood
we were all now standing.
I remembered these voices
down the ages, beyond and beneath and in all.
And I let go.
And let be.
And let be.


Author: Janny Juddly

Editor: Katarina Tavčar

Photo: Andréa Portilla/Flickr

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