All the things she had at one point wanted to be

someone said

we all contain all the archetypes

which archetype do you reject?
you say no, I contain no mother no father
no murderer no priest
rich woman poor woman beggar woman thief
doctor lawyer indian chief

princess is the role I reject
as a child as a girl
fearing to be used
fearing to be taken
wanting to be mine not his
not his ever
not chattel
not property
not owned

divorcee is a role I reject
realize I scorn it
then turn my face from abuse
and embrace it fully

lonely is hard
alone is easy

what is the difference?

my uncle says
I’ve never been alone before
I’ve always been the most
important person in someone’s life before

at least he thought so

which archetype do you reject?

we all contain all the archetypes

all the stories
all the stories that we know
if the only story that we know
is of poverty and despair
and hiding and war
discrimination and hatred
while the lighted box shows happiness
elsewhere while we suffer

the arch of the rainbow
may not be a story
that can be imagined

all the stories that we know
and tell

tell

_________________________________________________________________________

I will add this to the Ragtag Daily Prompt #54: reflection. Because it fits.

 

cabin door 2

For Norm2.0’s Thursday doors.

Another cabin door at Lake Matinenda. My aunt and uncle built this cabin, with help from family, including my parents. This is taken in 2006. We are gearing up to play pirates. My niece and I are wearing “pirate” makeup and my daughter has gone with “princess”. I put tiny braids in my hair and braided in fern bits, leaves, match sticks and other small things, like Captain Jack Sparrow. Then the pirates went to capture all the people!

Sink

Sink

I tried for a long time but now I am back in the water. My tail is back. I am so happy with it that for 20 minutes I just swim and dive and play with my own tail, chasing it. I am ready, strong again. I call my people and the waves.

I tried awfully hard on land. I hid the knife that my sisters bought. He married the other one and kept me in the little building in the garden. Everyone knew including her, it was normal for them. She didn’t enjoy his tidal pull, his pounding, the waves. It gave me so much joy. I sang without my tongue. My tongue was not cut out, that is a myth, one of those stories. It’s just that that is how they like the women: voiceless. Silent. Obedient. Admiring. Wounded: oh, he would kiss the poor feet, mangled jangled feet that I am forced to wear on land.

All for love. But: she had children. Three. And I watched as he treated the males as princes and ignored the girl. Mere princess, valueless, to be trained for a strategic wedding. Added value for the land, a pawn in training. She found me. And I pitied her and raised her and told her tales of my home, where people are people, not a gender. Not raised as a separate species.

She disobeyed and her father had her beaten, only where it would not show, and locked up. Bread and water. Cold and cruelty. And suddenly my love was slain. It was as if I was awakened and looked about and saw his cruelty to women and to his wife and his daughter and to me. I was a toy, an amusement, loved only if I kept silent and was crippled by my feet.

I rose and called the waves. The land flooded and the castle was broken and I reached the little princess in time to change her, to give her a tail too.

She is so surprised: in the water. She keeps trying to go up and breathe air and it chokes her. She swims in wild panicky circles, choking on the air, as I drag her out from the castle.

Now we are in the sea and the waters recede, full of broken bodies. Male bodies. I changed every woman I could find and the children if they were young enough and the girls. I called my family, my people. They came and each grabbed one, to drag towards the sea. The ex-humans fight and cough and wail and cry, but we drag them.

And now we sink, each holding one. We sink into the depths. They hold their breath, fighting, but we are so used to our tails and are stronger. And one by one they let the air go and breathe: and breathe the ocean. Breathe. We are entering the dark and the phosphorescent fishes come to see.

Soon we will be home. Just a little further into the ink black: sink.

 

I took the photograph in 2012 at the Pacific Northwest Synchronized Swimming Regionals. This is a young team routine with eight swimmers. These two are each lifted by three teammates, using only swimming, never touching bottom……