Transformation and Rebirth: After the Storm. {poetry}


Have you ever been through an experience that felt like a complete rebirth, where you had to figuratively die and make room for the new you to take form?

I have, more than once. It’s the strangest thing to go through, where it feels as if there is no ground under your feet, from start to finish.

The most difficult and terrifying of these transformations was, for me, when I took a spill from a bicycle and got a nasty concussion. I was knocked unconscious, and I don’t remember the aftermath of the accident at all.

In the months and years after the accident, I worked on healing and regaining skills that I had lost, and though the loss of ability was certainly unwelcome for an ambitious woman, the most difficult part was the loss of self, the not knowing who I was or what I stood for.

You don’t have to go through a brain injury to experience death and rebirth. Break-ups, divorces, even getting fired from a job, are like little deaths that pull the rug out from beneath us. For a time afterward, we might exist in a space of bardo, a world between life and death where nothing much means anything at all. We may be confused and silent and hungry for life to blossom again, the way it once did.

We may make efforts to restore our past selves, to slide into a familiar suit, but it feels like putting on a mask; it’s not genuine.

We have to trust in the process. Trusting in the process is not easy, but it’s necessary. Like plants, we cannot force ourselves to grow. We have to accept the pace and the path we are on, and to understand that rushing things will only cause setbacks.

I wrote this poem in the midst of a rebirth that I’m still going through. Perhaps others will find solace in my words as they traverse the landscape of that unknown frontier: shimmering, after the storm.


A page calls out from its space of emptiness
Says Fill me, and stay awhile.
A seed calls out from the formless darkness and says
Keep me buried, keep me frozen and dark,
Enshrined in the innards of the earth, until
Emergence time.

Somewhere inside this delicious universe
One thing is dying to make room for another.
Somewhere inside the body, one cell dies
As a new one forms.
Which one is better? we ask, comparing, wanting progress.

But the One who formed that secret beauty
Does not discriminate, and we are left with only
Our own hesitant perceptions,
Growing more errant by the day,
Growing more unsure… growing.

Sometimes, I miss the woman I was.
I miss the way she moved through the world,
I miss her dreams.
Sometimes I think I am her, again,
Walking a narrow and star-kissed path
Wanting what she wants,
Fearing what she feared.
Awash in the blessed haze of ignorance
Of truths I never wanted to know,
And had to learn along the way.

It is a strange and startling reality,
To be forced to look upon your life as if
You are not the one inside it,
But instead, a dreamer,
a shadow trembling in the twigs outside
A brightened window.

Death has happened,
Brought its stunning and inscrutable
Clarity to my dinner table, has fingered
All the trophies of my self-worth hanging on the wall,
Has smashed apart any opposition to what it wants.

Now, I must weave tapestries from a loom of uncertainty,
I must weave from the knowing coils of my most inner fabric
I must trust the stars and the
Foreboding horizon that this is the path I must walk.
I must let her, me, my iridescent memories go
I must create new ones.

I must stop asking which one, which life is better.
And stop, and gaze tenderly,
At my refection
In the rain-puddle below me

As I traverse this scarred and ripened landscape
Shimmering, after the storm.


ClaireBoyceClaire Boyce is a poet, artist, musician, wanderer, dreamer, fashionista, composer of her own graceful and absurd reality, and explorer of both conscious and unconscious realms. She possesses a creative soul, artistic eye, and intellect that hovers delicately somewhere between genius and insanity.


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