To Burn is to be Alive

Dear Jess,

I love you. 

I don’t remember the last time that I thought that, let alone put pen to paper and etched it into my mind. 

This is a love letter to you and the journey that you have been on. 

A journey that started in your grandmother’s womb.

You are made of all of the elements – 

your mother’s fire and wind; 

your father’s water and earth; 

the dust from people’s souls that you have encountered, 

the tears that you have tasted, dancing in their rain, 

drowning in their floods, swimming in their oceans, 

choking on their saltiness.

 

You find it hard to say sorry, 

because you were taught to always be sorry, 

to appease and accommodate, 

and now it’s hard to tell when it’s your fault, and when it isn’t. 

For so long, 

“sorry” has lived on the tip of your tongue, 

placed there by colonisers,

and what you thought was femininity. 

 

You are strong and inspirational, 

inspired by those that came before you, 

and carrying that ancestral magic forwards. 

 

You are beautiful because –

because nothing. 

You are beautiful by virtue of being. 

 

You have cracked open your soul and scarred it with people, 

adventure, love, sorrow, loss, awe and questions. 

You have looked at your husband, 

mother, 

father, 

siblings, 

friends, 

Community,

strangers, 

and you have pinned pieces of them to you. 

 

The pin pricks mean that at night, 

you are a star studded sky. 

Light shines through you. 

 

Sometimes it burns, 

 

but to burn is to be alive.

Respond to To Burn is to be Alive

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