This is a coming out letter. Not the usual coming-out letter, though. A witchy one.
I am a witch. I’ve been putting off coming out of the broom closet – as we witches say – for so long. I work in politics, so I was afraid.
But a friend of mine recently told me a wonderful quote about how we are born with this whole castle of self inside us, and as we get older, we shut up the rooms one by one. (I wish I could tell you who said that, but I’m 44 and have had a child and Anne Lamott says that “when a child comes out of your body, it arrives with about a fifth of your brain clutched in it’s little hand, like those babies born clutching IUD’s.” So, I can’t remember who the quoted author was or even who the friend was. If it was you, let me know.)
Also, lately I’ve been spending a little less time lately editing direct mail and little more time studying the work of Joanna Macy and listening to the ravens in the redwoods and singing under the August stars. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling more hopeful, more like Macy’s Great Turning to a life-sustaining society is really possible if we all open up all the rooms in all our castles...
Or maybe it was that my six-year-old son recently helped me see that I don’t have time for bullshit. He asked me “Mama, when are you going to die?”
“I don’t know honey, but I hope not for a long, long time,” I said.
He thought about this for a second and then asked “When is Grandma going to die?” And I had to tell him the same thing. Then he did this faraway look that he does, like he’s watching the moon rise over my shoulder even though it’s the middle of the day, and he said “You know what? My great, great, great, great grandmother is Mother Earth, and She will never die.”
Maybe it was that juxtaposition- the strength in the fact that Mother Earth is forever, and the urgency of the fact that I am not.
Today is the new moon after the fall equinox, and for whatever reason, now feels like a good time to open up this castle and shine the light out of all, or at least more, of my rooms: I am a 44-year old single mother. I have inhaled and I have had sex just for fun. I have danced naked under the stars and kissed. I have marched against the war and I have stayed home from the march against the war to watch Weeds and eat chocolate ice cream with crunchy peanut butter mixed in.
I have prayed to the Goddess for the strength to keep working for a better world.
I am a witch.