When I was a child, my aunt playfully dubbed me Blossom to tease my uptight reserved nature. When I would visit her in Florida in the summers, she would wrap her arms around me, shake me by the shoulders, and declare exuberantly in her thick Southern drawl, “Blossom, you got to bloom, like a beautiful flower!” She would raise my arms into the sky and flop them around. But when she let me go, I would inevitably clamp shut like an aggravated clam, blushing scarlet and aching to disappear.
I have spent my whole life seeking a place where I felt safe to spread the petals of my spirit. Religions, sanghas, activism groups, sub-cultures. I have searched for a community that would pry me open, would shake me out of my shell, would offer me a haven where I could be authentic and emotionally liberated. Born out of the rubble and raised in a fog of bedazzling terror, I have sought to break free from it all. To transcend. To transform. To become. To give myself, fully, back to the world that created me.
Always, always, always, always, always, in vain.
And yet, when I come upon another community, another group, another possible route to my spiritual sovereignty, I feel the ground of my apathy and resignation quake beneath me, feel the quiet and desperate shudder of my heart breaking through the cracks of my consciousness, whispering, “Hold me. Unfold me. Please.”