We, Blueprint-Makers

There is no blueprint for people like us, or there barely is. I feel so sensitive to the world that my fingers feel pain even typing these keys. Bright lights hurt me; certain fabrics leave lesions on my skin. Certain foods will leave me in pain for days. Resensitizing is a process that this noiseland tries to forget; but it can’t. The earth is made of sensitivity, and it always has been.

I want to be the goddess with a silent spine, a calm heart and a peaceful mind, with open hands and feet—antennae trained on the world. And I am her, sometimes. After sex with my lover I sometimes am. After a shower I sometimes am. During meditation, feet rubbing each other in a fetal memory, toes and fingers sliding along the texture of the sheepskin rug I call my bed, skin enjoying the sense of it—I am her then. But she curls back up again, out there in the street, where the noise dulls my ears and ads push my eyes away.

There are no blueprints for people like us, or there were, and they are almost all gone now. Blueprints grown in temples filled with priestesses “taking the war out of men,” or in the thatched-roofed homes of medicine women spending their lives in relationship with the natural world, learning her secrets. Blueprints in the form of gods with breasts and penises, or goddesses with beards, told to us by the most sacred hybrids in our infancy. Blueprints etched in the wrinkles of ancestors who never grew old, for they died of disease for loving each other, or they dared to reclaim the feminine in ways that threatened the oppression of the world. In those places, with those lovers, we would have been taken in early, to learn the ways of the gifts growing inside of us. Nurture would have replaced fear and forcefulness. We would have made more sense back then, with my path laid out for us, lined with roses. I would have made more sense back then.

Now our world stands on the brink of madness, as it has for hundreds of years, and I look back from the edge, at my “power-over”-driven brothers, sisters, and siblings, who are recovering a sense of autonomy in themselves, but slowly, oh-so-slowly, and I with them — and for what? It can seem so hopeless to strive for a relationship to power-from-within when we, the collective “we,” have seemingly forgotten all but our base humanity. There is so much to unlearn, to try to remember. We are the Forgotten Children, or perhaps The Forgetting Ones. And yet…

I see now, or I want to see now, a turn toward the Remembering Ones, and I know why I am here: to Remember. To Remember myself and to Remember our earthmother and our relationship to the natural world. To Remember that we are pieces of earth, given as gifts to ourselves, to nurture and protect, to tend and steward, as we might the land upon which we stand. We are mountains, all of us, and rivers. We are oceans. We know this, deep down, somewhere. Our hearts know this. Yet it is so easy to forget when the Square World, the Grayscape, would have us become images at the expense of our own humanity.

I read today that a dam was broken and salmon are coming back to the rivers, to spawn. I read today that an entire state in India is now certified organic, after twelve long years of committed and collective retraining and unlearning. I read today that we now have apps that identify plants for us, that people are tweeting about “nurturance culture” as the opposite of rape culture, that plants have developed strategies of forgetting in order to bounce back after times of drought. Hope surrounds us for the sensitive ones, for the ones who lost their blueprint in the Great Forgetting, who sing notes that are not sung back to them by the loving Foremothers who should have been there. Those notes are there, though. The earth sings them back to us. She sings back to us in the form of salmon swimming upstream, after 102 years of absence, to spawn. She sings back to us in the faces of children, nature-raised, who identify plants for unlearning adults. This world, this life, sings back to us every time a lover looks us in the eyes and says, “Thank you.”

I may not be the most refined writer, yet, but this is what I can give to the cause of permaculture, of rewilding, of reconnecting to the earth so that we may regenerate the land, each other, and ourselves for ages to come. I can give writing—my words. Verbal language is a transitional technology, barely 50,000 years old—written language an infant by comparison—and I hope to goddess one day that we won’t need it anymore. In the meantime, it is here, and I am here with it, and I will wrestle and dance with it until I can say to you what I really hear in my heart; what I can hear the earth say, which is:

“I hold you close to me because I never once turned my back on you; face me now, after your time away, with the knowledge that we are, and always have been, suspended together in an unknown place, miraculously in existence, for this one moment, and our togetherness depends on each other.”

Sleep now, siblings; release your fears and sadnesses into the earth, who will gladly take them from you. Goddess-willing we, the blueprint-makers, will greet each other in the morning.

Chloé Rossetti