“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.”
― Alice Walker, The Color Purple
I have been in a haze for the past 48 hours. Trying like hell to take it all in. To consider the accomplishments of the evening, of the year, of the past 18 months. I have been trying to grasp what it was to look around the room of our gallery and see the faces of strangers change as they saw soulfires, as they read their stories, their words.
I saw them breathless. I saw eyes brimmed with tears and hands held.
I saw freedom.
The logo for the foundation wasn’t going to be a tree. It was going to be a child’s hands holding light. A friend changed it. Her insight became my truth. From the roots to the tree, let it be.
And so it was and is.
I am never going to be able to take it all in. There is no measurement of what the survivors experienced. There is no yard stick for 4 children heard and treated by a loving therapist.
There’s a reason why I have to go place my hand on a big tree when I am overwhelmed.
Old, thickly rooted, wildly growing trees remind me that I am small.
This work is big but I am still small. I am still here feet on the ground, breathing deep and fine with letting the sparks fly beyond where I can see them fall.
I can’t measure it. I can’t hold it in my arms. I can’t define it. There is no vocabulary for this thing that I find myself in. This role of healer and heartbreaker. This job as fierce advocate. This magical vocation that allows me to whip generous beings into a frenzy of deep love and respect for survivors of sexual trauma.
Whenever I try, I weep. Because I cannot believe my absolute luck.
I cannot believe that I have the privilege of enjoying the confidence of these survivors.
I cannot believe that I was able to find my teacher 25 years after she set me on this path.
It astounds me that I get to share grilled cheese sandwiches, cupcakes, the floor of a bathroom stall, warm hugs, the best coffee in town, post cards, yoga poses, the office dog Lucy and hundreds of sparklers with all of you.
This is my honor.
I am heart tired and mentally dialed back.
I am connected and encouraged.
I am ambitious and cautiously optimistic.
Here it is.
You are the purple. You are the purple and I believe that God is just pissed off that someone hurt you and kept walking. You are the purple and I am only calling attention to what the world should have been in awe of in the first place.
You, my dear soulfire, are the purple.
Thank you for bringing your vulnerability, your truth, your pain, your experience, your support of one another, your tenacious faith – your being-ness to this amazing, community changing project.
And today, I am resting in red lipstick and stretchy pants. I am drinking from a mug that carries the image of a caped and masked squirrel. I am enjoying that my truth, my purpose gets to be my life and you play a role in giving me this gift.
Blessed be. ~FC