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The Day’s Delight: Skeleton Key

I read Women Who Run With the Wolves on a blanket at the edge of Mink Lake. (Warmth and sloshing waves and once even a butterfly that landed on the open page).

Clarissa Pinkola Estes said, yes, you’ll fish up more than you bargained for, yes, it will terrify you and you will run; it will follow you home, hooked on your line, this messenger made of bones with a face you imagine as your every fear. But, yes, light the lamp and look her in the eyes, this Skeleton Woman. The more you look the less your palms sweat, the slower your heart pounds, then: passion and compassion. Lay her bones in the right places, so she appears at peace.

And then let yourself feel peace. Trust this familiar stranger enough to drop your guard, drop your heavy eyelids, and sleep. Then she’ll take your grief and your love, and make you both whole again.

That’s what’s possible when you look at the thing you don’t want to see, when you bite off more than you can chew, when you reach out in the dark.

A friend used the phrase, “lacks the creativity” when talking about reimagining a belief based in fear. That was a hook tugging on my rib cage, a flicker of new light revealing a glimpse of this terrifying visitor. I’m creative. I know this tool.

And now, suddenly, at least in this exact moment, I want to touch the thing I didn’t want to touch. I want to shuffle the cards, lay the delicate finger bones and nesting vertebrae in their place and see who has been waiting for a visit all this time.


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