I was so relieved to find an unoccupied hot spring, the remains of candles, the scent of wine and incense still clinging to the air. The water was almost too hot, but that is what I needed right then.
I was in such a space that I was doing a good job of chewing my lower lip raw,my head was throbbing and muscles from there to past my waist had become a macrame sampler of knots. My stomach churned and grumbled, and I was beginning to shake with the strength of my feelings.
I piled my clothes onto a clean, flat rock close to the spring. I slid into the steaming natural tub, the only problem with my plan was this...
The more relaxed I became, the more tears ran all down my face and dripped into the water. I didn't want to cry!!! I hate crying, even worse I doubly loathe crying in public. The worst would have to be crying in front of strangers, anywhooo...
It didn't matter how I tried to calm down, I would struggle for an easy breath and sniffle mightily. I didn't need to start with the nosebleed again, there is something about having sinus/allergies so bad that the inside of your nose starts to swell, crack, and bleed. Too late!!! My kleenex was once again stained odd shades of red, orange, and brown.
"Well... rats, mice, and other assorted rodents!!" I blew my nose over and over, waiting for it to clear up and stop bleeding. The wait was getting longer and longer, while I hurt worse and worse. It is a good thing I plan to call my doctor tomorrow.
I stopped fighting it and rested my hands on a rock, then pillowed my head with them. I am not a noisy cryer, I learned far too early that to cry aloud was to show weakness, which is always exploited.
I heard footsteps approaching, I ducked my head under the water, so no one could see that I had been crying. I feigned dozing, and tried to ignore my growing awareness of whomever had joined me.
"If you want me to believe you're sleeping, perhaps you should have thrown away your tissues. Besides, I could hear you sniffling as I came into the clearing."
I looked up at the speaker and...
She was The All-Mother, Creatrix of the world, and man. Seeking what??
"I heard your weeping and knew I was needed here." She slid into the spring with me and, waited. Just waited. For me to speak, to turn to her.
I crawled, heartsick and grieving, into the lap of All-Mother. She was always there, and She is there now, to comfort me and soothe my squalling, aching heart.
“Letting go is so hard!!” I wailed from Her embrace.
“It was the best thing to do beloved daughter.” She spoke gently, already knowing my next cry.
“That doesn’t make me hurt any less Mother, I truly love him as I can love no other.” My voice shattered on the wall of truth and broke into choking sobs.
“I forswear romantic love. No more shall I seek a Soul Mate, nor even a boy-toy.” While my voice shook, my resolve was unwavering. “I cannot bear to be rejected again, by anyone."
All-Mother didn’t argue, or try to reason with me. She knew, more than any other, the truth of my cry. In the darkness I mourned far more than the loss of dreams. I wept tears of acid grief, for the death of trust. My wails were for things that will never be. My hands were in fists, ready to defend my lost and empty state.
All-Mother simply rocked me as I wailed, for me, and him, and her; for everything that will never be for lack of trust.
“I cannot seek vengeance, nor feel hatred. That is not allowed in my heart and spirit.” I dragged in a sigh that wobbled fiercely when I exhaled.
“I know child of mine, I know what you will do, and what you are feeling..” She held me close and I soaked Her shoulder with my tears.
Wise All-Mother, knowing that words are no comfort, nor vague promises any relief. Tonight, all that She can do is comfort her daughter, wrapping the sweet mortal She birthed in a dream of possibility in the endless love from Her heart.
When tears blinded me, Her hands wiped my cheeks dry with far more gentleness than any other mother is capable. Her touch held tenderness greater than my own.
I sought to punish myself for being fool enow to dream, to believe, I scraped the tears from my face, not caring if I treated myself kindly or not. I am sure I will be bruised on the morrow, and what does that matter?
I cried so hard and long that my tears and sniffles became coloured with blood from my nose. The endless supply of tissues created a small mountain of crumpled wads, tinged in yellow, orange and brown, and all of them wet.
At last my tears began to slow, and I could see my lonely little room and life; what else did I expect?? I know better than any other that I am not desirable; men do not look at me and want me beyond all reason.
If they take the time to get to know me, I am not even considered in a romantic way. I am ever the friend, the one who is there to help them pick up the pieces after the pretty ones break their hearts and spirits. I am there still to celebrate the next pretty one to blind their judgement.
And you fellow mortals wonder why I forswear romance??
A long time ago I said, “Love is a fallacy created by dreamers and poets to keep the rest of mankind enslaved to an impossible ideal.” Pardon my bitterness, and bwitchiness, I have learned the hard way, that what man calls love is but a form of emotional blackmail on one another.
Beg me not to go on hoping, to believe in what we all know is not my fate. I have e’er been the High Priestess, one who does not have mate or children. The liason between Goddess and Man, I do not truly live in this world, simply exist because it is asked of me.
I long for the day when I can go Home, and choose a life less sorrowful and lonely for next time. I know I’ve many years yet to look upon through grey and dreary washes of dust and ash piling up in my spirit.
In All-Mother’s arms I dozed fitfully, always, always hoping, dreaming of the touch, face and voice I will never know. She simply held me, and let me cry myself to sleep, like a child sent too soon to summer camp.