I am the girl who runs with wolves. No, I have never read that book. When I was a child I wanted to be a wolf.

I’m the loaded gun, the bullet, the body and the chalk. I am the purifying waters, I’m mother’s milk, I’m an apparition. I am everything on earth, heaven and hell.

When I was a child, I discovered that words were often tools for manipulation. My parents manipulated me to be a good daughter, to do as they said, just like all parents, benevolently or not. My father wanted everyone to think our family was terribly upstanding, but behind closed doors was another story.

Do you know when I realized that familial love was conditional? I stopped doing as they said. No matter how many belt lashings I got, I kept rebelling. Nowadays, I have no hate, I have forgiven. But my heart is far from them now.

I have two memories of true happiness:

The wind chimes. Serenity. Just the sound of them. The dappled sun. Nothingness. Barely anythingness.

The other is waking up in a tent on the beach on the Oregon coast. Waking up cold, but alive. Just a speck on the cosmic map, cradled by the earth.

Solitude is my medicine, my freedom. I follow my heart. My soul has always craved silence and emptiness. Perhaps because it has for so long been filled with things that are not me. My truest essence is silence, stillness.

I see myself from afar now:

I see a girl, shedding her past like clothes, the falsities of need and enmeshment falling away, and she stands there naked, vulnerable, but “standing tall in her hell.” (That is a line from a poem by a young boy I knew once.)

Security is an illusion. Nothing lasts, and everything can change in one second. So I choose freedom; I choose to ride the wave instead of sheltering against it. I live on the edge so I can really live. I have noticed that the richest people are the ones most afraid of losing everything. The jaundice of the one percent.

I have always been hungry to experience everything. I want it all. I am intoxicated by my being. Divine self, where are you taking me?

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