I used to be made of origami paper. I was really pretty paper with patterns of flowers in bright, clear colors. Or tonal neutrals so I could blend and disappear. I was often black matte paper, devoid of light, dark with dis-ease… or silent retreat.
I was high quality paper and so good at folding.
I folded beautifully, willfully… holding my creases with the ease of many practiced patterns.
I knew my shapes and without conscious thought of how to become. I bent, I twisted, I became.
My lines crisp, my movements wrote, and when my last edge was folded… I was so smooth and so seamless that they couldn’t see the places where my insides were in fact… turned outside.
Sometimes I was a tiny box. My edges and points tucked in with aching precision. Small. Too afraid to take up space. Such a tidy little box with just enough air inside to sustain a life.
I used to fold into an obedient circus bear. Perched on my riser, a ball balanced on my nose, a false pride. Unaware that I was, in fact, pure, embodied power. Restrained by only the narrative in my mind.
I was a chameleon, a mimic octopus, a mutable rain frog. My colors and shapes morphing, smoothing, disappearing. Sometimes twisting and sharpening in defense. I was an origami shapeshifter.
Once I became a river so wide and so free that I felt flow and it terrified me. So I folded back in.
One day I folded too many times and my fibers began to fray. How tattered I’d become. I realized that I could no longer remember my original shape. Did I have an original shape? What was I? Had I ever become something that was just for me? Something that was actual, Me?
No. No I had not.
So I lit a fucking match. I lit that match, I held it to my edge, and I watched me burn.
I burned and smoldered for years. Until I was no longer origami paper. I burned until I was dust of dust. And then I rose, I rose in red and gold. In burnished orange, tourmaline blue, and hot pink.
When I rose, I rose a crested Phoenix. Resplendent in my feathered body of blood and bone.
I rose with embodied strength, with grounded resilience.
I rose with my spirit integrated and aligned.
I rose as actual, Me.
I bend now, with fluidity and grace. I am made of Stardust and magic. Of love, gratitude, and determination. I am fierce. I am exquisite. I bend now, when I choose, I bend but I never, ever fold.
I love writing I mean I LOVE WRITING. It’s helped me regain agency over my dark stories and celebrate my growth and joy stories. Writing helps me self-heal and has given me a place to explore my creativity and keep my sanity! Working for Our Story and Starfish Connection gives me an opportunity to do what I love and give others a place to do the same in a supported community that we built for storytellers like me.