To Love a Winged Woman.
To love a winged woman, you will need to learn how to fly.
The Earth, for all its magic, will never be enough for her without the Sky in equal measure.
Learn from her to dance upon currents of air, to close your eyes halfway against the wind, and to become drunk on spaciousness. Experience ecstasy as you sweep, swirl, swivel and swerve upward.
Touch the spot between her shoulder blades and let her sing you the secrets that lie furled within. And if ever you should see her stretch out her wings to their full stature, you will have witnessed something older than all of us.
If you love a winged woman, build her a home full of windows, that she may never feel trapped. Then make with her a nest as intimate and close as the sky is massive and open.
Honor her freedom, and she will honor yours.
A lesson in metamorphosis, she may be volatile. Hold her as gently as you can bear and count time by the flutter of her heart.
Do not be deceived, however; what is delicate is not weak. A winged woman will not be possessed. Song, after all, cannot be owned, but only loved and cherished again and again.
If you have found such a woman, know this: you will never capture her. Enchanted and enthralled you may find her, but never captive.
So if it is hunting you seek, look elsewhere. She knows that the nightingale’s song is one of sorrow and subjugation. She has seen her sisters wither in wicker cages, and she will not follow them.
She is Lilith and Astraea and Erinyes. Powerful and fierce — often misunderstood — her spirit yields to none. She is Grace and Fury alike, for there cannot exist the one without the other.
Above all — above all, she is not the Crane Wife. She is not the Swan Maiden. Steal her feathers and she will steal them back, return to the sky and disappear.
Like Philomela, she refuses to be a victim; rises — always rises — through adversity; does not cower from the inherent violence of survival.
She is movement personified. She might hide away her wings, but they are always there, poised at the edge of flight.
Your love, then, must be that of a million tiny moments wound into a universal melody. Each note no heavier than a feather, the whole will encompass a lifetime.
Touch the space between your shoulder blades where your wings beat, and you will understand how to love this woman.
Brush the tips of her wings with yours, and soar.
Toby Israel is an incorrigible vagabond. She travels in search of dragons, mermaids, adventures and searches… and cross-cultural understanding. Avid dancer, yogi, cook and lover of words, she is inspired by movement and poetry, good food and new things. She studied Anthropology at Middlebury College and now seeks to squeeze by as a freelance writer. She writes a column for Elephant Journal, and a travel blog, Next Stop World. You can also follow her journey on Twitter and Facebook.