Tell me about the time when your heart wept a thousand love songs, but you forgot the lyrics because you could only remember three small words.
I want to hear of the days when your knees became bruised under the weight of your past, pushing your body to the floor in holy grief.
Show me the colours of your nightmares, the terrors that keep you awake the night over while you long to be held by the night’s entrapment, because even sleep is gentler than your waking reality.
Speak to me of the real you.
Walk me through the hours you spend banging on your prison walls, calling out to a life that you have not seen for decades gone by; the life you believe exists but rarely dare to dream of against the darkness that binds.
When you dare, of what do you dream?
Tell me of your fantasies, your secret hopes that you whisper to the moon, your silent wishes for him and for her and for you, and you and you…
Yes you, what do you want?
If you had nothing left to lose and no burdens to carry where would you be? What would you be doing? How might you feel?
Let me feel the heaviness of these burdens, show them to me in all of their detail; why they are yours and alive and crushing you still with each breaking step.
Tell me their stories, their origins, their pains.
Allow me to carry them with you a while, giving you space to let your tears get lost between each ache.
How much have you lost? Do you know or have you even lost count?
Draw me pictures of the pieces you watched leaving in the small hours of morning, the pieces that burned through the landscape of your life as you desperately tried to let go and move on and let it be.
Let it be.
Let it be as real and as raw as you feel it now.
Show me you, all of you.
I don’t need a pretense or small talk or the picture perfect mask you present to the world.
I want to know the cracks, the rough edges, the scars and the shadows.
Allow every inch of your shattered heart to emerge. Let’s explore the hidden treasures of your daydreams, the magic you hide behind your tired eyes.
Take me on a tour of all that is yours, all you hold dear and close and true. Tell me tales of where it all began.
Let your hands unfurl to reveal the scars you carry from clinging onto your treasures in fear of more loss, because you fear they could be blown away like gold dust.
Let’s ride the loops your mind runs through in anticipation of the pain.
Lay your fears out in front of me. Show me their power.
Do they consume your every moment, sucking the air from your lungs? Or do they creep up on you unaware, shocking you into submission?
How do you leave the fears behind? Do you ever leave them behind? Do you know who you are without them?
Tell me who you are.
Tell me of the person you once believed you were or the one you hoped to become. Tell me when it all changed and how lost you felt, or if you were suddenly home. Tell me of all the times you have not recognised the person staring back at you in the mirror.
Speak to me of the one you now see when you face yourself in the light. Describe the image that greets you, the aesthetic makeup of your body, the soul that pours out of your eyes.
Show me how you got there and if you see the roadmap to your life shining through your skin.
Where have you been? Where do you want to go?
Take me with you. Allow me to walk alongside you, exactly you, as you remember who you were, as you are, as you become.
When you’re weary, when you have no steps left in your tired feet and your words are all gone, let me sit with you a while.
Let’s just be.
And sometimes, when your arms can’t lift you any further, let me hold you, all of you.
Let me hold you, whole.
Author: Mariann Martland
Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Image: Amanda Bowman/Flickr