The Two-Headed Serpent

It’s been a while since I wrote in this blog.  I’ve mostly been sharing my thoughts only with myself, in my private diaries.  I’ve been going through a hard time; my depression and anxiety resurfaced.  Slowly, I’ve been climbing back out of it.  I am not religious, but I find channeling certain symbols helps me identify how I feel and what I’m going through.  I feel a lot of connection to the classical elements (earth, fire, air, and water), but recently I feel like a snake, who had its old skin starting to restrict it and cloud its eyes, and is starting to wriggle out and tear free to a bright new set of scales, that was inside all along.
I was puzzling for a while on how to put this into poetry- but I realized I already had.  A poem that I wrote shortly after coming to Gainesville.  I think I want to share it now here.

Four snakes float to an amber shore
On the back of an osprey who never soared,
One has two heads.
An old man comes along, on his usual walks,
Seeing the bright set, scoops them to a tin box
With his scarred hands.

The three snakes squirm and fight with rage.
“Speak to the man, to let us out of this cage!”
They say to the snake with two heads.
“You’re not one of us, so you’re one of him.”
It grows shy, afraid, its eyes grow dim
As it waits for it all to end.

The man has to work to feed his snakes.
When he’s away, that chance they finally take
Except for the snake with two heads.
It hesitates
The man only wanted to keep them safe
But there’s a way, and she knows that she has to go away.

She springs free- it’s a grand new world!
The sights, the colors, the wind!
She wants to breathe fire, she wants to SCREAM THUNDER!!!
She wants to crack apart the pillars of the world in her coils.

But she sees the hurt too, and knows that there’s still pain
She wants to nurture, protect, shed her blood to heal the world
She gives her heart and soul unflinchingly, unguardedly

Her skin peels off, she’s breaking free,
The two headed snake bursts out
In a riot of noise and color
No longer a slinking thing, a winge’d being of flame and peace,
A feathered Serpent of the World,
The Twin Spirit Quetzalcoatl,
A Rainbow Set.

It is the story of my family, who shaped so much of who I am now, and a dark time we endured together.  I have made amends with them, for doing the things we had to do to survive, and I am so  glad and grateful they are now such a positive force in my life.  I couldn’t have torn free without them.


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