Black Madonna

Remember that autumn
we drove up to Campbell River,
like teenagers skipping out of class –
a cackle of women, spirituality forming –
felt as if we had bided our time, willing
this union to occur – high on anticipation.

Giddy that our routine femininity had
been strewn across the barricades of
our socially careful existences – we were
like lesbian lovers unafraid to explore our
crevices, our souls hungering for release,
we were researchers, reinventing masks

adopted in formative years, stretching our
capacity to believe, awakened by the crones
among us, sisters united, standing in the
flood of our collective herstory, shedding
the padding of our religious upbringings,
teetering on the brink of a lost divinity –

weavers, once paralyzed by the guck of
patriarchal dictates, fear of ascension
retreating, we broke free, immersed in
Goddess splendour, felt the ecstasy of
true abandonment, were wild women
unrestrained, catalysts for change.

How is it that the passion faded so abruptly,
that motherhood and responsibility, and
the rigours of competing in daily life stripped
away the afterglow, smacked me back into
this rigid self-definition, prayerful, thankful,
yet lacking the empowerment of the island?

Have I stored her somewhere; is there even
a space within me capable of housing such
expansiveness, open to wading once again
in the waters of a lunar deity, willing to sacrifice
superficiality for the compassionate mystery
of the Black Madonna haunting my memory?



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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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