The Messenger

What are you saying to me? I am listening. I am open. I am ready.

Star veil.

I wear a shroud of night and I come to you like a breeze through an open window.

Open your window. But be cautious. You will know when the untoward things are near. You will know when the pleasing things are near.

Sometimes the way we come will surprise you and the hair on your head will pulse, and the follicles will dance, and you will feel a surreptitious tap on the shoulder. You will feel a warm presence.

You want so badly for there to be communion and yet you are also afraid, and this is why you fall short of entering the great slumbering secret at the sphinx’s gate.

You talk of wholeness but you do not honor your fragments.

Honor your fragments. Stay with the boredom. Stay with the part of you that wants to bolt.

Do not make the mistake of believing that you are honoring these parts by offering them to ungrateful wretches. This is a myth that must be shattered once and for all.

You can be kind and generous, but don’t toss your pearls before swine. Be the orange blossom. Be the honeycomb. Be the one who wantonly laughs and brushes the curtain of her hair against the sky.

No lover can contain you. So don’t consort with those who are beneath you. Don’t give them more than a glance, or a mere drink from the fountain of your lips.

It is a gift to be given love, and it is a gift to give it.

Do not squander stolen moments with rogues and deceivers.

There is nothing hostile about a vast and open meadow. But people are strange empty fields haunted by memories that will have nothing to do with what you see. Memories that will crouch and leap across the reaches and make you hold out your fingers with longing and snatch them back with resentment.

You want so innocently to give of yourself, and there is nothing wrong with this, but how can you give if you have not offered graciously to yourself first? Give by giving your self back to yourself.

Begin here, and end here.

The earth thrills to see such a luscious gesture. The earth thrills to see the wedding of self and selves.

There is nothing luscious about being ensnared in the trap of a desire that does not belong to you. Find what belongs to you and allow it to sing you alive.

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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