“If you bring forth that which is within you,
what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you,
what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
~ Gospel of St. Thomas
This pounding, persisting story
That will break through the period mark
At the end of my sentence…
I can’t begin to write
The words to capture
The severity and vitality of the living word
That passed from my great, great grandmother’s womb
Into the center of my heart.
And then it vibrated in my throat:
I speak therefore, I am.
I speak therefore, she was.
I speak therefore, they were.
I know that these words,
They come from deep within;
Like concentric circles
And making sense of that mystery,
Intertwined with her blessings and hesitations
As I speak them.
They knock down the obstacles
She once could not get past…
I am the heir to an ancestral legacy of energy —
That my great, great grandmother left me to address.
Decoding messages in the anatomical blueprint
Of my being…
These words were born
To shatter the walls that hinder me
And the we of my ancestry –
From knowing our birthright –
That we are all divine children of a divine world:
That we are heir to this sovereignty.
Crack open your heart,
She asks of me,
So that memories flow out
Like a river swollen with rain.
Let them wash you clean —
Yours and the ones made before you —
All memories flowing out
To meet in the ocean of timelessness —
That primal tide that shapes the very
Ground we walk on;
That sinks silt into the ocean floor
From the river flow.
Let the memories
Stack on top of one another
At the water’s edge
So that we have a place to stand — you and me —
And look out into the waters of what we once knew
And what we know we must become.
January 29, 2013 — Written for my great, great grandmother — Betty Taylor McNeill.