Several months after I had the baby last year, I invited my sister to visit and attend a poetry workshop with me. The theme was about women finding their voices, and the workshop was held in a yoga studio in the historic part of the city. As we opened our hearts and allowed our emotions to flow through words, our bond as sisters deepened. We'd been estranged for a number of years for various reasons. But this experience melted the years away and brought us face to face again, heart to heart. She sobbed with me as I read a poem about our grandmother who'd been such a loving influence, and I offered my support as she shared a poem revealing the struggles she'd had during a dark period of her life.
Several months ago I wrote about being disowned. Growing up, I was often the one singled out whenever rage exploded. And beat. Then ignored. Months passed before my presence was acknowledged and I was a member of the family again. There was a price to pay for anyone who didn't participate in the silent treatment. My sister snuck food out to me when I was dragged to the door and put out in my pajamas, for some infraction on a Saturday morning. Rage seemed to simmer on days when the outlet of work wasn't available. Unfortunately, my sometimes-rescuer worked two jobs, probably as his own escape, and didn't have enough of a voice to stop the madness.
My sister sent me a poem she'd recently written as part of a class she's taking. I can barely describe the impact it's had on me. I realized that for the first time, I am not alone on the outside of the family. She has been banished as well. And understands what I've gone through.
We are here to help one another continue to heal and grow. To unveil the gifts, talents, possibilities and potential that we have to offer. To celebrate the beauty of the women we've grown into from the inside out. To love one another freely and without repercussion. Sisters. Too long torn apart by the jealous rage that demanded all the attention and the lies told to keep us separate. Rage is a hurting person who continues to lash out.
Sisters. Determined to live with integrity and courage, to embrace joy and express love. Sisters. With strong voices and peace in our hearts. Her poem, below, references so much family history and tragedy - perhaps one day I'll be able to share more. My husband once said that it'd make an amazing book or movie. Beyond the stories and more importantly, my focus is on the God that transcends every experience. His Love that never wavers, His touch that always heals. His Word that comforts and is Truth. He's here with us.
With fluid grace she danced the histories of samurais and geishas
as she hid the shame of her sister's Yakuza.
She painted her face with the triumphs of her daughters
and tucked away the shames her daughters reflected within.
She withers in her created sacrifice,
blind as her daughters conquer the world.
Her stew of self loathing and regrets still emits the scents
of our rich history.
As the cherry blossoms fall,
the memories of the flowering tree live on...
and her legacy, the myriad of beauty and disease,