Agate, all blue-black and pale stripes, is positioned within my mouth, grating against my teeth, holding my tongue. Till I am ready to speak again. A jet bracelet to bind me to new roots. The quartz woven within my braid to help lift my spirit out when I rise again. My skin has been oiled to a gleam, seal-skin smooth. It resonates, still seemingly alive with breath, catching the light of the guttering torch flames which witness the earth-rooting of me.
As an arrow, tip first, into the Otherworld, I am placed within the prepared and slightly shifting space. My eyes are fixed open. Arms stiff-outstretched, fingers unfurled. I am eased in with great care. Sand. Beneath nails, in the crease of elbow, hair flattened against my skin, in tight frond-coils. I must not be damaged in any way. I must be able to return in dreams and visions.
Stones, smooth and grey and flat are placed upon the upturned soles of my feet, so I don’t lose my way. The leather thong around my left ankle is left exposed and wrapped around the heaviest weight. I am now the stepping-stone between worlds. I, who had my flesh-life eased away from me, access to a life knowing love and child, stopped-up. Stilled.
My people leave.
My time now. My final body-space. I will be left to settle and transform, for at least twelve turns of the moon.
To speak again.
Lynn Clausen: Following a 20-year teaching career as a drama specialist and English teacher, Lynn gained her MA in creative writing and started-up as a creative freelancer, in and around south Powys and Monmouthshire. More recently, she has been developing her work online as both a tutor and course facilitator. She is also hoping and planning to set up a CIC to deliver creative community projects, with a focus on living history, life-story writing and writing for well-being sessions. Lynn takes great pleasure in her role as a director with the Abergavenny Writing Festival for which she also runs a youth writing competition. When not at work (looking for it or delivering it) she continues to feed her curiosity for ancient history and is a bit of a magpie when it comes to all things rooted in landscape, memory and myth.