cut open

I’m being cut like a frozen river by the blade of a skate. It stings and seethes — for awhile — then heals over with fresh snow or the thaw and re-freeze of a sunny afternoon. I’m tracing circles through the layers of my life — trying to make sense of patterns that aren’t clear, or perhaps aren’t there. I’m looking at myself in the mirror, on the shiny surfaces of the technology that surrounds me, in the reflective eyes of the people in my sphere. And I’m seeing a crust, a veneer, a peel. But what am I beneath my outer layers — the ones that I ritually put on for protection when I walk out the door, or that I let others slip over me so that my packaging pleases them more? What leaks through when I’m cut by loss or fear — or love? (For when it’s open and deep, love makes a cut too.) Is it emotion? Vulnerability? Honesty? Integrity? The wildness of possibility? And how beautiful would it be if we let ourselves, and others, bleed our glorious life-juices all over the fresh white snow, instead of trying to pretend that we’re perfectly smooth and together both above and below the surface — especially when there’s a vibrant, messy, unruly fire burning in us!

— heidi kalyani, 2018 
from the *nothing is black and white* project: illustration created out of meditation with a single unbroken line