Dying has meant coming completely undone. Feeling utterly untethered. In the worst-best way possible. Absolutely terrifying, at first; midly exhilarating like filling my lungs with new air in the midst of terror next; and then the sweet painfully liberating fight back to life.
My primary response to the terror phase has been being in low key hibernation. I often called this a “phase” imagining a short span of time, and believing many of the smaller cycles of change I went through to be it. But in reality this phase lasted upwards of three years. The hibernation meant going within, cutting away all that distracted from the going within, considerable loss as a result — of people, of opportunity, of perspective, of comfort — and the constant lure of turning back and resisting the journey inwards.
I had many a good day and my bad. Entire periods within the larger phase where my triggers were heightened, as the contours of whatever was changing found its new normal and readjusted the edges again. I felt like my limits were tested, my capacity for endurance woefully inadequate, and my appetite for pain constantly challenged.
Even in death, there was constant movement and action. Even in hibernation, the wheels of change were in motion. Just not in the outward way that one expects, towards furthurance or progress.
This is the quintessential fire. And I believe I am still somewhat in it. Probably feeling the vestiges of the last of the dying embers. Because even in the heat, I feel the cool, inviting breeze of that which lies above. Air, water, sky. Glimpses of the rising phoenix that will come.
I hold it as a beacon of hope. I’m finding my way up.