These Are My People: Lorraine Couch

Lorraine the Warrior Queen, multi-media, canvas SOLD

Pull up a pew, step up to the pulpit

Church with Lorraine is true; no bullshit

She’ll dip you in baptismal waters

Correct our sons, respect our daughters

She a woman of God fearing faith

a warrior healer with a transcendent face

She kneels to no one and you’d better be true

Because she doesn’t care who you are

but she knows what you do.

Liberty Stolen

My body, this I be (My country tis of thee)

Peace, Joy, Affinity, (Sweet land of liberty)

Youth’s fountain springs (Of thee I sing)

Blood on my mother’s thighs (Land where my father’s died)

Gifts of our sister’s sighs (Land of the Pilgrim’s pride)

At every hearth reside (From every mountainside)

“Hestia, we sing!” (Let freedom ring!)

17 Days

The sanctuary of grief is a holy place that is not for the weak of spirit. The walls are painted with every moment spent, no matter the color; a wild tapestry.

The hymns are long conversations into the night, short hand stories, inside jokes, and deep understanding that acceptance walked with ever present love.

The baptismal waters are of “Late-night-songwriting-in-the-bathtub” and “He broke up with me” tears filling the cistern.  It is a place where the words can become taunts or they can be such deep comfort.

They begin with the hallowed halls of disbelief and denial which is carpeted with woe fully outfitted with despair. It is not a place of blame but a place of detachment. A place where the eyes see, the ears do not hear, and hands begin the work of attempted redemption.

The sheered walls rise up like oceans of waves, but they do not crash down. They don’t encompass these halls, they merely rise up out of desperation to guard against the white-hot destruction that will soon birth a new reality.

It is a place where the spark of Divinity explodes into a supernova of absence; a star collapsing in on itself. A sun that no longer warms the darkness after the implosion. And yet, there is, where there is not, a silence so reverent that the living avoid looking directly where that sun used to shine. They all know where the lover must tread, no one wishes to accompany them.

As the shroud slowly unravels, allowing realization to usher the lover into the sanctuary, the air becomes acrid with understanding. Knowledge pours in, at first, as if a light rain begins on a warm summers afternoon. But that doesn’t last long before the heavens open the floodgates of comprehension.

And there, in that holy moment of mortality, there is resolution to fight the inevitable. The wails of anguish stripping layers of supplication. Promises made with any bargaining chip the lover can grasp feebly at in an attempt to resurrect the beloved. The crossroad between anger and mourning is littered with massive piles of these hastily created pleas, empty with rare exception.

But there sits the lover in the darkness, thick-thighed, back straight in meditation. Balancing in anticipation on the edge of the eternal womb of rebirth. This is not intentional, but necessary. This is the place that is reached once the silence of the sanctuary has been blessed, the baptism of lusty life has been committed to in honor of truth; to honor the truth of spirit.

The spiral walked is ever motivating. Once the feet have begun the path of acceptance, the narrative becomes deafening. But this, this is the distillation of everything the lover and beloved were together. This is the creation anew. There is no end, it is but adaptation. It is a chameleon of blended characteristics that creates a hybrid of their Divinity and your own.

Nobody will recognize you any more because you will look like you, but your words and actions will reflect stark and sometimes confusing messages to those who only knew you to be broken and lost. They will poke, prod, coax, bait, and attempt to see the pieces, but you’ve already swept them up to the last grain of shatter, carefully gluing them together into a stronger version of your destiny.

The most difficult of the learning spiral is that of silence. What once was filled with them is now quiet. But to allow things to just be, the constant distraction allows them to be as they always were. It allows them to exist in a different way of being, just as you are.

Every breath taken is a chance to fulfill your covenant with your new personal spark of Divinity. An opportunity to connect with your own authenticity which can happen with the simple act of breathing. The gift of grieving, not on a schedule, but as it occurs.

Consider this: When a grain of sand starts rolling around, it doesn’t understand that it’s from the mountain tops. It doesn’t realize it’s about to become a pearl. It just keeps doing what pieces of sand do. It is.

When a massive boulder wears down with age and becomes a pebble in a river bed, it doesn’t think, “Man, am I old and worn out.” It doesn’t know that it’s going to fit into a child’s pocket as a happy memory. It just keeps doing what rocks do. It is.

When a tornado rips through a house with high winds howling, scattering debris, it doesn’t pause to ruminate on the lessons it’s teaching from the destruction of its path. It doesn’t understand that it came to be out of a kismet of circumstances. It just keeps blowing chaos as tornadoes are want to do. It is.

When you open your heart to hear the language of the Universe/God/dess, you don’t always know what will happen, how the resources will appear, or how you’ll perceive the outcome. You don’t get to know the grand scheme of things because of our limited view of the rippling waves.

But like the grain of sand, you will become more polished until you rival a pearl with luminescence. Like a boulder, you will show up as a pocket of pebbles of happiness for any child at heart. Like a tornado, you will blow away the old and outdated to bring change and renewal in my wake. You are.

Left-hand turn

The loneliness isn’t in the silence, it’s in the absence of commentary.

My “Silent but Deadly” litany chants in my head

“Don’t open your throat, let the demons be fed”

I want to reach out. I want to be heard. But…

Reality isn’t where I want to be disturbed

My brushes lay colorless, lifeless as corpses

My observances from the corner, bodily divorces

I’m running like hell hounds know my name

The bridges start smoldering in fingers of blame

and they all return to me. Their rejection is plain to see

If I’m not them, I’m never good enough as me.