by Roberta V.
I first meet her on a dancefloor. The dance floor is a therapy space in which I mostly grunt, howl, roar, crawl. I sought it out, sought this therapist, to begin to create space for holding the legacy of murdered relatives, mass graves, for the great grandfather stolen so cruelly that no-one would speak his name aloud, for the ghosts of unspoken names.
I grunt my way through it, unpretty, feral. Some pain runs too deep for words. It’s in my belly bones blood soul. Fuck socialisation. I have to reach under it, just keep going, unravel it. As I writhe there is a visual in my mind’s eye. Birdwoman. Scabbed and bloody, thick black matts of hair, hawk eyes, beaked. Horror and strength intermingled.
Months later I see a named image. The Morrigan. And then I know I have been seeing her along. The strength that rises up and moves through me as I become a force of nature, fierce fearsome unstoppable. It gains a name. The deity I have been worshipping, unknowing, as she moves through my body.
She finds me proper, formalised, on a retreat. On a trance journey, she lands in my womb, illuminates it as she sees it. Right then, it has frozen over. And she whispers to me my path forward. The path is sex and the right kind of darkness, the darkness capable of holding me, the darkness into which I can sink, heal, not drown. She whispers strength and surrender. Sex is just one doorway. She lays out my pathway for that, tells me how it’ll go. All I need to do is follow, and from there I will, do, follow. Things happen just as she says they will.
Her paths twine, intermingle, separate. Sex. Death. She’s in my shadow and I hers. She finds the grief in my body, turns it to treasure. You know grief, she’s whispering inside me. Hold it for others. All those murdered relations, all that death you’ve been dragging with you. You understand grief and shadow and darkness, and that makes you a keeper: of souls, of stories. A woman who can meet the darkness, see the glitter in it. Climb in.
She lays out this pathway, too, for me. Become a death doula. Do my work that way. Walk with the dying. Guide their souls, meet them. Hold their grief. Sink into this great beauty and use your knowing this way. Do my work. Voice. Use your voice. Do my work.