Talisman is the key, in more ways than one.  It took most of us further than we imagined we could go, or needed to go, or would be able to go.

Talisman was a tricky one for me, too, because so many people wanted to call this module Taliswoman or Talisperson.  Talisman is not a gendered noun.  Taliswoman makes no sense.  But who am I to shove grammar or etymology into a common feminist reaction?

Aurora june 2017

Aurora speaks, throughout the keys

Oh, my darling girl, all these things you had forgotten, or chosen not to remember.  Can you stand to recall so much? Is the fire burning you yet?  The fire of shame, the fire of redemption, the fire of learning what it is you are to be….. the knowledge gained here will be a talisman, to be worn like an amulet around your neck, replacing the albatross.

You know life is short, it is fleeting.  You know what you are, and what you are supposed to be.  You know what is standing in the way, what is making you unhappy.  The obvious and less obvious, the spoken and unspoken.  Be honest.

I am not willing to participate in the game(s) any longer.

My intention is to understand more fully, to be stronger, to take necessary steps toward completion.

Realizing that I was not just dissuaded but that I consciously stepped back due to fear of failure, that I only did what was naturally easy, what I couldn’t fail at.  The times I did fail were such a big fucking deal that I didn’t let myself go back there if I could prevent it. And I cannot lie, the return on investment was a calculation done long before I knew the term. Some things were not worth the effort.

Young girl: if I hide my love away, I can’t be rejected.  Young wife: If I hide away my sadness, I can’t be pitied.  Dead inside decade: if I hide away the dysfunction, I won’t reject the institution, the tradition, him.  At forty years, I came alive.

The critic says to me, little girl, you fought against being special, all those years, you rejected your gifts.  And now, now you want to be special?

Yes.  Give me that damned key.  Thank you and good night.

The critic says to me, you wasted so much time, girl.

It’s okay.  It’s okay.  I’m making up for it now.  I know now that it’s not too late.

I declare that I am alive with intent.

Aurora rises, bringing me, carrying me along a path to bring art and joy and healing to the beloveds who need me, to those who feel stifled and boxed in, who feel they cannot use their voices, who feel they cannot speak, who need to paint their freedom.