I sit to write to you from what Virginia Wolfe so beautifully called “A Room of One’s Own.” In fact, that very essay is printed out on thick, rich, creamy white paper, placed to my left. It is inviting me to brew a cup of tea, curl up and pour its words into my parched, weary and ravenous soul. I intend to do so the moment my thoughts have found their way to you.
You see dear ones, my kin and I have moved house, home and hearth to a new city where we are delightfully unknown. My husband and I have worked ceaselessly for five months to complete the process with its many details, concerns and unexpected events. This move has come on the heels of a devastatingly difficult season for my entire family. Trauma, especially sexual trauma, has a way of “crawling into the spaces that should never be broken and breaks them.” (W.P. Young) It has been a season of taking baby step on broken glass. We have mostly swept up the shards.
We drove to our new home just a over week ago… As each mile flew by the windows from that city to this, I shed years of shame, pain and sorrow. My husband went in through the garage door and opened the front door for me. He carried me over the threshold… as the door fell shut behind us, we fell each into the arms of the other – and wept. We had made it.
The old city held me like a little bird in a covered cage for twenty-three years. Those were years of predation, divorce, complicated grief, and isolation, sprinkled gratuitously with shunning and shame. In between these words are sandwiched years and years of sticky sorrow that seeped steadily into sacred spaces.
It is my conviction that each life has a separate song they must learn to sing. I had only learned snippets of my lifesong… I had never quite learned ‘the separate and entire melody of my own.”
“The master covered the cage and made it dark; and now it listened and listened to the one song it was to learn to sing, and tried and tried and tried again until at last its heart was full of it. Then, when it had caught the melody, the cage was uncovered and it sang the song sweetly after in the light.” – J. R Miller
Yet on the day as I entered my new home, new season, and new city, I did so singing my remembered song. I will never, not ever, forget the song I learned when covered and caged. I will now sing it long, low and free – in the light.
As for A Room of One’s Own… I return to it from an uncovered, open cage. The song I was meant to sing, mingles with the wine coloured candle burning freely just for me. The fan spins lazily causing the candle to dance and flicker with the breeze. It plays before my eyes its own visual song, wafting a sweet scent that pleases me deeply. This room… this Room of One’s Own is where I shall meet you again and again in the days and the decades to come. “Welcome home little bird,” says He who covers cages, teaches tunes, and sets women free to sing songs sweetly. I will ever sing with a hint of remembered sorrow, to those who are remain in the dark, “listening and listening to the one song, they are to learn to sing.”
There will be a day, when you have “caught the melody, the cage will be uncovered, flung open and you will sing the song sweetly… ever after in the light.”
With a tender heart,