Being broken can present many differently shaped wounds. Wounds of rejection, damaged identity, suppressed sexuality, unrequited love, struggle, pining, loss, missed opportunity, the loss of what we’ve never had, exhausting work, poverty and violence all have a different nature and leave diverse scars and ragged edges.
We can be broken in childhood, in our prime or in our croning years. Deep, volcanic grief can then erupt at our core, opening a dark chasm in our heart. This can last a moon cycle or a lifetime. Grief can make us solitary, sedentary and dull, brought low by the relentlessness of our burden. Sometimes we seek to numb the pain with food, alcohol, drugs, self-harm and damaging relationships.
A grieving heart can also make us restless and nomadic, an unbound spirit. We roam from town to town, from lover to lover, from job to job, from country to country. The enticement of a distant land is immense. It reins us in, capturing us, like a butterfly lured by the smell of nectar. We fall under the potent spell of foreign tones, intense colour, exotic flavours and virgin territory. Our grieving heart is then stilled for a while, fluttering in anticipation whilst we travel, by plane, boat or train, caught in a momentary oxymoron of physical movement and emotional suspension.
If the unbound spirit is brave enough, she will eventually attempt to heal herself. There are many tried and tested cures – I could not possibly list them all. Suffice to say she will need to grit her teeth and re-examine her wounding, gently washing away trapped dirt and any infection. When the wound is clean enough, she can then seek out a needle and thread. If the wound has neat edges, then repairing is straightforward, although may need to be stitched on several layers if the wounds go very deep.
If it is more extensive, then a darn may be needed, creating a new web of fibres over the hole, which can then be woven in and out of. May the ancient Grandmothers guide her darning needle.
Sometimes the chasm is so huge and gaping that she may be need to make a new patch to repair it. Never fear, this way she can choose beautiful fabric and pattern to her own liking and all will be well.
However neat and even our stitches are, there will always be scars. Soul scars carry positive energy, although they are decidedly not pretty and something most of us would sooner do without. They act as a reminder of our journey and stand as witnesses to our courage and hard work in healing ourselves. They force us to acknowledge our wounding and mending and to integrate the two into the colourful tapestry of our life. After all we know we cannot have day without night, summer without winter, light without dark. Our own soul’s voyage through the territory of the grieving heart, unbound spirit and a distant land all enhances our compassion and enables us to find deep empathy for other sisters.