Some of us decipher what we must do within the confines of community, tradition and good order, others must obey the lack of confines and the contours of known lovings.
We are leaves in history, in time, and our guises of men and women are rags on wisps of straw.
The unbelonging comes slowly. Like water on rock. You become the fertile river bed, life giver where you once rose above it all. Little by little the winding sheet, drop by drop the river. And then you find that you stand on the other bank of the river from all that you thought ‘yourself.’ You change.
In time you realize that there are things greater than those you love, that go further than forms of togetherness. You taste the skin of freedom. Strange fruit.
You step into the vastness of spaces after a lifetime in boxed stalls, and the madness of space takes you. You are excited by the expanses you did not know existed but which affect you all the same, so that you chase the horizons, past exhaustion, unto annihilation. You no longer obey the social contracts that ensured you a bondage of love and command, and thus you become the worst of the lot. You are where you were not bred for.
Even as you step nervously, at first, the old comforts flash by: it is much to be companions, and more to be safe and prized. But the distances are relentless, and will not cease to compel you into freedom.
So, first comes awakening, then exhilaration, then ecstasy, and then annihilation.
All leads to the end, but the littler movement is a dance between persons, the larger an obeisance to the relentless self.
I wonder at those who walked into nothingness because they were unwilling to sacrifice themselves, who could surrender life but not self. In men and martyrs this is celebrated, but in instances where women (or the feminine-identified) have walked away from their ordained life in order to save their selves the pronouncements become less celebratory, especially when the seeker has had to either renounce love whole or watch it being destroyed.
[Consider a few fictional examples : Laura Brown (played by Julianne Moore) in _The Hours_ and Woolf herself. Consider Edna Pontellier who walks into the water in _The Awakening_. Consider Maya at the end of Mira Nair’s _KamaSutra_ when she walks away after her lover has been crushed under an elephant’s feet. Or, in real life, H.D. herself, one of many, she who sought to see so far.]