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Kirsten Macdonald

Kirsten Macdonald

Wordsmith

The Broken Path to Diamond Kisses

by Ponderings Radio

The Broken Path of Diamond Kisses

12 Minute Read

She ran away from the pain her whole life. 

As a small child, she learned very quickly that a gross room torn with old wallpaper and mildew could be quickly transformed with a diamond-infused paintbrush. Diamonds crushed from the ideals of television families and fairy tales could be blended into the bristles of the brush to create alchemy.  

She took a thought gently pulled like fairy floss and moulded it with her hands. Some singing and stamping of feet and a diamond-encrusted paintbrush would appear in its place. She was ready to paint the walls. Anything could be transformed- a yellowed bruise, the words thrown like poisoned darts, the dark looks and the nights of terror. 

 

Surviving was her greatest trick and most sincere gift of distraction. 

Until a battle opened her scars, it seemed her very best tricks trickled out with the blood. Seven years of smiles, prayers, kneeling on cold soothing grass and plenty of dark humour got her to here. This spot. Right now. The running from the pain has bought her full circle. She stands in front of a tsunami rising up to swallow her. It wasn’t going away, and there was no avoiding it. The diamond brushes were ground down to dust. The stories are faded, pulled from pages and now composted in the ground of experience beneath her feet.  It’s just God and her. Time to walk through it.

She tried once before jumping over the forest, running around the forest. She dug for days under the forest. Tears anointed her skin, thoughts of all the loss — the things she could not replace or fix. Her fingernails filled with the dirt of days and gritted teeth determined not to let people see behind the veil. It was time to march through the forest. She knew what waited for her in there. It made her soul wither and want to run, to hide, to drown in the sleep of peace. 

What had she become? Life had not been kind. 

 

She grew wings. 

 

They aren’t pretty. 

 

They have twisted tufts, barely resilient. Once strong and fierce, they’ve seen too many fights. They could have a mind of their own. Each time without fail after a battle, she would feel as though she could not get up from the floor. A cold desolate floor- echoing silence and a lack of hope. Then it would happen, a flutter, a rip and her body would haphazardly rise. Before she could clap her hands, her feet were 20 cm above the ground. Lopsided but up. The wings wanted to make sure her children’s foreheads would be kissed again, and again and again. Her last legs, her broken wings. 

 

She tied a sash of red around her waist; the last strands of faith gripped in her hand and the songs of her women. Her heart is splintering, stripped by bearing the weight of a thousand walks, numb beneath words. Pushing through the bracken and branches, the murky ground sponges beneath her. 

A cabin is in front of her.  She walks inside and waits. She knows he will arrive soon. 

The most grotesque monstrous ogre gnashing and snarling, trauma dripping from its teeth like an ooze. Welcome, she says, her fists daring to take him down and scream her rage at him, but she knows it will infuse him into her skin. She resists with all her might. 

It screams at her; you are a  burden. You will not make old bones. You are lumpy. You are bumpy. Your teeth are too big. Your hair does not cover your scars, who are you fooling?  Who do you think you are? Look at your swollen body and the signs of your scars. Who are you again? The teller of stories? The world is like stale water in a starving dessert of narcissism. What a joke. You are broken. The world is broken. People are like shards of glass in your eyes, and they will never change. 

Your children don’t need you anymore. Blah. That’s your humanity, your silly little ego humanity. Keep trying. Always were, unloved and craving like a dirty little beggar. You will break. Pity pity pity.  Do you remember what you once were? Haha, no longer. 

Reader beware- we should have warned you first. It’s a nasty ogre.  

She crawls in agony from the whips of his words to the bench. She makes tea; her bloodied heart rips open like an old tent door in a storm. The tea is steeped as he yells his profanity at her, she laces it with love, squeezed like a rung towel from her heart. Each drop captured by each glance of her children as they slept. She thinks about God. She thinks of the love for her family. 

The ogre begrudgingly sips the sweet nectared drink, a sly look upon the woman, its bruised and black drooped eyelids closing. Yawning, it falls asleep and starts to shrink.  He hiccups. Snapping and sounds of squeaking, the ogre becomes as tiny as a baby bird. She picks him up and places him in the palm of her hand. 

With a prayer of love, she blows a sweet breath upon his scaly body. He closes in on himself, spinning and turning. Again she prays, sending him love and the feelings of beauty and abundance. He becomes still. Very slowly, a wing unfurls. She smiles. His dark muck glitters and shivers into shimmering light. Another wing unwraps. The summer hue of yellow and forgiveness glints around its small body. The elytra reflect the blue of her eyes and open to taking flight. It opens an eye in surprise. Beauty.  She watches with a smile as it rises up into the sky.  

Time to get the child. 

She walks through the forest, and the small house comes into view. The weatherboards are broken, blistered and puckered from the hot sun. The verandah is still sagging. 

Inside a little girl watches the contorted and angry faces of the grown-ups. Loud voices and smashed glass punctures the air around her. 

A clash,  a bang and fear races through her child heart like unfiltered lightning. Her small hands became fists; her pink fingernails dug into the palms of her hands. She needs paintbrushes now. 

Pianist hands, her grandmother told her many times. They are fighters hands now. 

The woman walks up behind her and quietly places a hand on her shoulder. The girl looks at her with wide, startled eyes. This stranger’s eyes look so familiar. Who is this? 

It’s okay, says she. 

“This all finished a long time ago; you don’t need to be here anymore. You’re okay now. You are safe. 

The little girl takes a breath, calm envelopes her and her fists unclench. 

It’s time to go, says the woman. Are you ready? She removes her sash and lifts her shirt slightly. Gripping the edges of her sides, she rolls back her stomach like a lush velvet curtain. Behind the rubbery sheath is a door. The little girl gasps, but she is fascinated, not frightened. Grained, knotted and scarred with lines, it is tough wood now, this old door. It is built to endure. 

The woman taps twice on the wood and pushes gently. With a small screet, it opens. It looks very dark in there says the child as she glances at the woman with the familiar eyes. 

Of course, says the woman, look closer though, you are safe, I know about the diamonds and the paintbrushes. 

The child is comforted. Who is this person? The woman rubs her hands together and hums a tune. It is harmony and honey whipped together. 

Inside the door, a light grows and pulses, warm and inviting. The child tilts her head and looks closer. 

It looks lovely in there. She can see a chair, a bookshelf, a warm fire and a white cat that looks like it’s fur is velvet. 

Are you ready to hop in? The woman asks. 

The child nods enthusiastically, as the woman kneels down, pulling the door wider. Reaching out, she holds the child’s hand to helps her in. The child ducks her small dark head. 

The child squeezes through, her hand is warm from the wooden door frame, melded to the woman’s skin. She gasps at the vastness of the interior. How did she get so small, or how did this room in this lady become so big? 

I know, right? Says the woman with a smile. Go have a look out the window. Get comfortable. 

The little one runs to the window and looks out. They have the same eyes. She sees what the woman sees. 

The woman closes the door with a click and turns around, walking back through the forest to the new track. 

The little girl smiles and claps her hands, spinning around on one foot. She IS loved. She IS safe. They are going to find some new paintbrushes. 

Can we have some fun now? She calls out to the woman, and her most ubiquitous smile sparkled. 

“Absolutely,” said the woman. I thought you would never ask. 

I’ve missed you so much, said the woman. 

As the sun set on them both, they knew the battle was over, and the fight was over.

The call of her family bought her home, not broken but forged. For no sword is made golden without flame and hammer.

They sensed her wild woman; her walk was a stalk. Her hips were a eurythmic stride founded in a whole lot of don’t mess with me, and I will love you forever. Her once perfect hair now wild and held by a piece of frayed denim, with full lips that were anything but pouted.  A sweaty brow reeked of courage and bloodied determination. No longer owned by the flesh of fear, she was ready to dance, and it would be glorious for the worlds more than these granted her witness to the extraordinary.

To understand and feel the warmth from the sun of God’s grace. This was her Invictus. 

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