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It had been. And then it no longer was. It had slipped through my fingers, time keeps on slippinn (cue the Steve Miller track). I had thought, but that’s where I went wrong. So I unplugged from the mainframe and went AWOL. And I think, or rather I feel, that it couldn’t have ever been anything other than what it was.

Last week I sat down to do cards. Shuffled, once, twice, nine times. Cut the cards three times with my right hand. Drew the XIII card for the first time in my life.

Death.

(Of course.) It begins here. I opened the baby blue paperback to read the meditation but I already knew the verse.

Rebirth. Reborn. Refresh. Renew. Re Up. Revamp. Revise. Restore. Do Re Mi and all that good stuff.

Begin again. Begat once more. Circles spin like spirals like my curls fall, bounce, spring to life. Black to brown to bronze to copper to gold to platinum and I—

Sit still. And still I sit. And I consider that the past has past and I am free of it. Freedom, that’s all it’s ever been. Is it no wonder I chose him? To bring me here, to this, to all it has ever been. I can dig it.

I haven’t written because I could not write. I had used words to slit my wrists and let the blood pour forth. And I loved it. And I loathed it. And I couldn’t help myself. I was in too deep.

The warm splash and the earthy smell and the sticky icky feeling as it slid across my skin. I had splattered myself across the clean white walls and drew broken hearts, teardrops, barbed wires, spirits and ghosts.

It had been a cruel pleasure that I loved and hated with every breath until the tide took me under and I was drowning in it. I had to stop and so I did, and I focused my energies on my salvation, that is, on photography. On photography books. On the printed page. On the place where the left and right brain tango into outer space.

And that grounded me in what had been lost, in who I’ve always been but had burned to ground and from that arose my spirit animal in feathered form. And for months, I went this way and that, always writing but never writing because I could not. Or would not. Because I didn’t know how to write of myself without opening a vein.

Until the other day when I finally grabbed a pen and started to journal once more. It had been months, quite nearly a year, and as I lifted the seal, it began to pour forth. Like a bottle of wine, it had to sit still and still it sat. And as I pop the cork I consider my path.

It is ever evolving, this. Me. I begin again, like the card says, a Botticelli pieta.

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