I had covered my fragility with a skin of stone. Believed that to be needed, was to be loved. That to be compassionate was to avoid causing pain, and therefore meant to deny the self. That to be loyal was to lock away the truth as a secret. That the jewel of my consciousness needed a protector. I wore the future as a brittle crown that cut and bled when I strayed from the path others wished me to walk. The butterfly of my soul flutters incessantly within the labyrinth prison of thought I have bound myself within. But to offer false hope is cruel. Trembling, I sought to open the window to allow my soul back in. Remembering the fall I realise I have allowed devolution to go too far with half-truths and excuses of why fear was too strong. But ascent is still possible. It is absolutely vital and ravenous, I hunger for it.
Insistent the old man woke me, night upon night he shook me from dreams leaving dark taste in my mouth. He was death yet alive, power roared within him, fear closed my ears to him and my eyes could not see him. Yet last night his voice reached me, stirred me from fear, his face, not death but potent life. Like kindly father he offered rough hand, hand in hand with ancient Ash, I walked into the night. All earthly sound retreated as we walked, the stars lighting a path beneath feet. His words echoed through my being, lyrical cadence calling me to path, a song of memory to light my way. He spoke to my blood least I forget and in final speech he uttered; ‘Not alone my girl’ as he leveled his eye upon mine and laid kiss on my brow. A single sound approached, beneath his words, through my thoughts, he smiled when he saw I heard it; pounding like drum, yet too quiet for human ear, pulse of thunder compressed within form. My eyes widened as recognition arrived, words tumbling forth from mind, ‘his beating heart’, my wise father did smile returning me to dream, awoken.