Rage itself is often taken on from somewhere else and may have been passed down through several generations. Under the anger, at its source, lies pain. When I am hurt, I become angry. There is strength to be found in rage and I can still maintain contact with others. In pain, I lose my strength and feel alone.
~ Bertold Ulsamer
You would think in my family
there would be some kind of ceremony,
a celebration for budding witches.
Every person who shares my DNA
is highly intuitive, and most
struggle in a world where admitting
you see ghosts, or you read feelings,
that you hear voices or receive warnings
through dreams is considered
downright crazy. At the very least,
you will be mocked and teased,
maybe beaten by those who fear
what secrets you may uncover.
I have always been driven
to discover the stories of my ancestors.
These days, I understand that they have
been murmuring in my ears
since I was tiny, showing up in the wee
hours of the night, longing
for connection, with no qualms
at disturbing my sleep. My grandmother
told me stories of her own grandmother
playing the piano when everyone was fast
asleep, sixty years after dying
during childbirth. Grandma knew
who was playing, and she told the most
delicious spine-tingling tales
about her family members, scared witless,
scrambling through the dark farmhouse
searching for a living prankster.
We come to this world with so much love
and loyalty to those who have gone before
us, sure that by taking on their troubles,
we’ll ease their pain. Yesterday I tuned in
to inexplicable anger. Whose is this?
I placed a huge rock of trauma I’ve carried
at my great grandmother’s feet — her unspeakable
rage at becoming an orphan far too huge
for her to feel, constrained into this boulder
that I gladly hoisted onto my own strong
shoulders. Except I finally realize
that my greatest gift to her
is forging my own path.
She won’t ever be forgotten;
her steady stream feeds this river
of life that moves me
to my own destiny, the going
easier now as I lay my burden down.