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Journal

Embodied Rituals for Skin + Soul

I have gone a'bone gathering...

Katie Gordon

Dearest souls, I wanted to share a poem with you this week that echoes my own journey, and I imagine the one I share with many of you as well. Especially, the past few weeks, I've been coming back to it a lot as a sort of anthem. If you find Shiloh Sophia's work as inspiring as I do, please check out her website.

Bone Gathering

Returning to one’s self after a long voyage into the desert is the work all beings must do one day. The day will come when the absence of the missing bones and the pieces of your heart that you left on the highway to die after too many mornings waking up alone, in body or spirit or both, will require you to return. For this sacred work, a map for returning will be provided, so you can find the missing persons reports. This map is not in a language you will understand. Are you surprised? With each stop on the quest there may be a sitting-down-hard head-in-hands-wondering-why and even despair you thought you had gone beyond. Grief and wonder are the companions you will find because they are also the way through the hard to see places. Give in to them. You will be okay. I wish I could say it could be easier than this. Hiding, cutting, dismembering ourselves wasn’t so easy, was it? We did it to survive, we thought, and we wrapped up the bloodied limbs and continued on, almost soldier-like in our sacrifice of ourselves. Never mind the blood-loss of not being ourselves. Never mind not even knowing what song belongs to our mouth and what movement our body loves the most. How did we go on this way? All that is done now. No more, we say, and that is how we found ourselves here. This excavation requires specialized tools, if it didn’t bone gathering would have started long before now. Yes I know you have already started. I can see that in your tender eyes. Don’t worry, yes it is scary at first. The tools are intact for excavation and user friendly, you will find they fit your palm just so. The stranger within you knows how to use each one. She was the one yelling at you before, to listen listen listen inside the soul cave, but now that you have listened to her, she will be the one to help you see in the dark. This is the one we call the Muse. Visionary bones are made of stardust and glow in the darkness. Come. You will find them. You have to. I need you to. We need you to find them. I have gone a’ bone gathering and I found this poem here in the wet earth and brought it to you. Dust off the mud and muck and you find words dry enough to light your spark.

-Shiloh Sophia