There are times when no amount of wanting, willing, or determination will bring us to that place we wish to go. The past lives in every cell of our body—whether from this lifetime or another—until we are able to hear, feel, be with what is trying to speak its voice through us so that we may, one day, be free.
This was my reality when I moved from my idyllic home in the Oakland Hills of California to a house with multiple unhappy people in the lowlands of Berkeley. I didn’t want to move, but my hips were in too much pain to function in the hills, and I needed a place without stairs that I could afford.
In this space of debilitation I wrote poems, one of which I share here:
I am no more than this, I say,
than the wind that crosses through my room,
than the tenderness of strangers,
than your voice that at times whispers when it is afraid.
I have been there,
I have frozen my gut,
closed my wounds to the world,
too big, too outside myself.
I have wandered and prayed for love,
have forgotten so many times that I am not alone,
only to stand here,
and to feel this—
this nakedness of possibility,
this breeze of flexibility,
this knowing that even in this great weakness,
I am not alone.
When you are alone, where do you go?
Michelle Adam is an experienced writer, teacher, and healer. She recently published her novel, Child of Duende, after twenty-plus years as a magazine and newspaper writer. Her articles have appeared in The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine; Hibernia Magazine, an Irish magazine; Vista Magazine, a Hispanic insert of major national newspapers; and multiple other publications.
Michelle has also been a photographer and artist; has taught middle school students Spanish for the past dozen years; and has worked as a healer and shaman. Michelle has created healing and teaching circles of song and sound, assisting others in awakening the spirit of the earth, “duende,” within them, and creating a space for the celebration of life.