August 27, 2016

To All the Bits about ourselves we deem Too Dark & Unloveable to Face.

Portrait of the writer by Jake Spicer

I live in a van and sometimes park near a friend on an industrial estate.

He has an unnerving way of seeing people’s shadow attributes and bringing them to light.

It’s often discomforting, and people sometimes run from it, blinded by the clarity of his vision and turning away from what feels “negative” (myself included in the past).

But over time I’ve realized he has a powerful gift. He loves even the darkness and cherishes it, sees people’s pain and wants to heal it by bringing it into the light and loving it in all its uncomfortable truth. He knows our pain has come to teach us.

He is a wonderful musician called Magic Bird, and he has held space for my darkness.

Sharing our pain may be one of the bravest, kindest things we can do—to not run from our flaws or sweep them under the rug of denial in a world that constantly demands that we appear perfect. To acknowledge when our less evolved attributes are in the driver’s seat; to look at the demons we wrestle.

Through what Magic Bird has taught me, I have moved toward accepting and even celebrating life in all its tumultuous imperfection—not just the soaring highs. I’m still on a continuing journey toward being unguarded and raw.

I wrote this poem for him.

Maybe this is why we’re here, to unearth and learn to love all the bits about ourselves we deem too dark and unloveable to face.

A shaman once told me
I needn’t be afraid of the dark.
He pushes his hands into the damp earth
And sings songs at the moon
While creatures gather around him.

Lately my walls have been blasted away,
An oaky darkness brought screaming
into the light,
My hands covered in earth and deep roots untangling
coiled in my fingers, keep unearthing—
He laughs and calls it medicine.

Dark lumps pulled up now
by my hands in the undergrowth,
Solid shapes, fecund and round;
The shaman brushes the earth from them
And I see that they are fruit.


Author: Naomi Wood

Image: Portraits of the Author via Jake Spicer & Mark Harrison

Editor: Toby Israel


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