by Nessa Norich
It's astounding how many stories reside inside of each of us. We are like the pyramids of Tikaal, layers built upon layers at different stages of time, each layer as sacred as the last. As I excavate my memories, I realize the significance of each brick laid in my process of growth. When I hear the vulnerability and variability of our collective voices, I recognize that we are all heroic in the telling and listening.
Within our forming collective, there is no one like me, there is no one like you. As I tell my story - it transforms from that which I carry, to the gift I give away. As I listen to yours, I have the capacity to feel your feelings, I learn your lessons, I experience your perceptions. I have the capacity to love and care for you, to regret or rejoice in what happens for you. I feel closer to you.
You are a hero and, as life continues on its cycles, you grow more valiant, more compassionate, more brave, more spacious, more vulnerable, more empowered, more more more. You grow into a magnificent oak tree with countless roots and branches. Together, we are a forest, connected at our roots, trading information that nourishes us, that ensures that we thrive. Our branches collectively reach towards the light, so that our leaves might purify the air, breathing in and out to generate more life for all the creatures among us.
Like the forests, we matter (Latin: Mater = Mother & substance).
Our stories need to burst forth from underground and be told. By us and for us. We must step into the role of narrator and heroine simultaneously. A heroine is a womxn who survives, who remains compassionate in the face of all that is, who remains hopeful, who strives. As narrators of our own stories, we commemorate and celebrate our victories as they happened, creating a swelling symphony of and with the variations of our individual struggles. By showing each other how we fight, how we overcome collectively with grace.