The hand is a throne, and it lives in the heart. It’s where fire, earth, wind, and water coalesce and become something tangible. It’s where you are drawn when you want to be a body and simultaneously more than a body, when you want to come home to yourself and remember.

The memory goes like this: You are more than an aging carcass of bones. You are more than the changing of the tides toward ill favor or fortune. You are not the name they call you by but something quiet and held in secret. An island in the middle of a vast ocean, pure and virgin. Untouched.

You are the hidden paradise. You are the discovery at the end of a long voyage. A land of milk and honey. An earth flowing with womanhood and sweet interiors. You are the thing that made it all worth it in the end.

Every place on this island is sacrosanct. Every place has its own secrets to tell, and its own set of ancient longings. For you are not just a body or mind. No. You contain life itself. The lives of countless atoms branch off into their own cycles of breath and drama. An angry multitude competing for space in the region of the infinite.

When this happens, you must remind yourself, after all, that you are the queen of this land. It is yours to govern. Or perhaps not govern but call into coherence.

Parallel lines coalesce and pour into the valves of the heart. Beneath the crust of the Earth is a river of blood. Life undifferentiated. And you, the pulse beneath it all. Journeying to find yourself in a remote region of infinity, parceled into this small body that bleeds and goosepimples and runs and dreams and shivers in the dark stillness.

Yes, YOU must call yourself into coherence. Recall that you exist outside of time, in many dimensions. And flesh incarnate is merely a map of the cosmos with all its strange meanderings and quantum substances. It is a place where wild hearts govern and longings and griefs alike run untrammeled and free.

I’m Nirmala Nataraj, a New York–based writer, editor, book midwife, theater artist, and mythmaker.

As someone who has woven in and out of a number of different word realms—nonprofit communications, advertising, theatre, publishing, and community arts, to name a few—I know that liberation is possible through the stories we choose to tell. As a first-generation South Asian American, I myself exist in the liminal spaces between cultures, art forms, and languages—and it is this multiplicity of narratives that informs my personal and professional approach.

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