light

i cannot sleep. a familiar feeling keeping me up. the shift. physical. mental.

sharp pains striking my chest. my feet. my stomach. my hands. what is this? i ask.

and then the lights flicker.

wind howls in the cold dark grey space between night and morning. calling my name. whistling at me. taunting me.

and then the power goes out.

could this be it? could this be the end of the world? the end of my world? the end of my life? fear takes over.

and then, an explosion. a boom. a bright light. piercing through the window and onto my wall.

i’m certain. the ship has crashed.  they’re here. my time has come to return home. i am no longer worthy of existence on this planet. but i am not ready to leave earth. this temporary home. cold and dark as it is. i love her dearly. i am terrified.

and then, i tip toe toward the window. no longer do i wish to be alone. cradling my dog. my anchor.

peering through the window, i come face to face with the source. of my fear.

an electrical fire. burning down a telephone pole across the street. mother nature’s sparkler. reminding us of her power. taking out our artificial power.

forcing us to disconnect. to unplug. to detox from the fake white light. detached from our own.

no longer do i feel alone.

 

the butterfly people

staring up at the night sky. with my anonymous companion sitting by my side. i want them to see what i see. and i see the stars. all of them. tonight they are going to put on a show. i can tell by the way they start to move. it’s subtle at first. one by one they begin to shift and shoot across the sky. warming up. building momentum. pretty soon they will dance.

and then pretty soon turns into right now. and right now they are floating and jumping around like a confused school of fish. such a lovely sight. i want to take it all in before it goes away. cause it always goes away. this scene never lasts longer than a few heartbeats. and my heart is beating. because i know what comes next.

the dancing usually turns violent. and i usually panic. anticipating doom.  the stars twisting and turning. swirling around so fast my head spins. i panic cause i feel powerless. no control. my human body stands no chance against the inevitable crash. and they always crash.

but tonight is different. tonight i am calm. i know the stars are going to crash because i’ve experienced it before. yet here i am. still standing. heart still beating. i always survive the crash. because the crash is just an illusion.

just an illusion i say to myself. and something shifts within me. no longer worrying about the crash. no longer playing it out over and over in my head and bracing for the impact. this time  is different because i am looking forward to crash. i’m ready for what awaits me. and then a light goes on.

and the light appears to me as a star. but this star is not dancing. its movement and hue set it apart from the others. a tiny yellow ball of light. drifting with the wind. toward me. all the other stars are white. but this one is yellow. this is my star. and tonight is the night i get to formally introduce myself. finally.

the ball of light is getting closer and bigger. it has a dark spot. a silhouette. i see wings. a butterfly. i see the silhouette of a butterfly. a glowing butterfly coming my way. closer. nearer.

i extend my arm and she lands. perches. kind of like a bird. but her body looks like a bat. a bat with beautiful monarch butterfly wings. i am so lucky this creature has chosen my arm to land on. i can’t believe this is happening.

i blink and the butterfly shifts. changes shape. the butterfly has turned into a human. she looks exhausted. she says we’ve made contact before. and i tell her about the dream i had. the one with the path of butterfly wings on the sidewalk. and she nods her head.

she says that i may be one of them. a butterfly person. and only time will tell. they will visit me again. and over the course of their visits, lessons will be taught. and i will be tested on these lessons. i’m told to be vigilant. and vigilant i will be.

i look forward to the lessons. to the tests. the transformation. maybe one day i will learn why the stars dance. and learn how to dance with them up in the sky. and float down to earth. and check up on the people.

until then i can only dream.

sit back and enjoy the show.

the cycle

in the air. on the air. of the air.

off. the air. out of our vehicle. on to land. to this foreign place.

and here. the air. salty. dry. bright.

and the sidewalks. paved with dirt. fresh dirt. clean dirt. pure dirt.

feet sinking in to the earth with each footstep. like walking on foam.

no bags. no phone. no way of escaping the past, present, or future. i am here for the first time. with mother at my side.

she speaks no words. she is able to be. and she being is enough. we’re in this together. calm washes over me. i feel light.

i am her. and she is here.

how long will we be?

no matter.

looking down. i see the butterflies. everywhere. their wings littering the sidewalk. littering the dirt. littering our path.

bodies attached to wings. tiny bodies. or are they snakes? are they tiny snakes with wings?

no matter.

she picks one up. and it turns to mud. i feel the body crumble in her hands. wet and elastic.

one moment these bodies are bodies. and when they are no longer bodies, they are dirt. fresh dirt. clean dirt. pure dirt.

yet the wings that were once attached to these bodies remain. glittering the sidewalk. glittering the dirt. glittering our path.

no longer does this place feel foreign.

for. in this place. the wings are eternal.

and that is enough.

 

origins

please send me a message about my true origins. one that i will clearly remember upon awakening.

And then I drift…

floating. on a campus. through the concrete structures that tell us where and how to gather. the air is thin and frosty. and the sun is about to rise. but it’s still dark. foggy without fog. am i wandering around aimlessly or am i aiming for something to aim at?

i see crowds of people gathered up ahead. inadvertently following the advice of the concrete structures. a small cloud of breath forms above their crowns. it looks like smoke. as i near, the crowd appears more like a circle. and Or is at the center. attention is aimed at him. and attention flows right back to the attention givers.

words are not spoken because words are not necessary here. this is where we go to escape the noise. escape the need for words. residing in the static between radio stations. there is so much beauty and life in this silence. and this silence sounds like tambourines and laughter.

i remember a time when silence was uncomfortable. but discomfort is necessary. a form of suffering. a rite of passage. the moment we make peace with the discomfort of silence, we make a new friend named patience.

we fear silence because we fear change. we fear ourselves. not unaware of our capabilities, but unwilling to manifest. lost in the noise.

and here we are.

i float over the circle and i’m spotted by Or. He jumps up and joins me on my journey of aimlessly aiming. i trust Or so together we soar. higher than i thought i could go. excitement bounces between us, fueling our momentum. Or has done this before. his calmness comforts me and gives me confidence to continue.

we float above the trees. through the trees. through the branches. through the telephone wires. so far up that all we see are dots. sparkling dots. like artificial land stars. i am so happy that i’ve made it here.

i blink. and we go back down. our friend would like to join us. a friend neither of us have met before. but we’ve heard her call. so we show up. we show up because we care.

our friend has long strawberry blonde hair. i want to just pick her up. that seems like the logical approach. and so i do. but she is like a magnet. dragging us back down. she is so heavy. but the weight is an unnecessary illusion.

i notice that Or is keeping a distance. and he’s doing just fine.

so i try a new approach. she knows she can fly. i know she can fly. Or knows she can fly. we know she knows. now is she ready?

i think so. i think so hard that it tingles. i think so hard that i know. and so. she becomes weightless. her weightlessness is perpetual. and so she flies.

my crown is pulsing. now aimed at the sun. we are gaining speed. gaining confidence. and once again we are on our way. to the next radio station.

letting go

i’m on a beach and its wet. i can’t escape the mist. it’s damp and uninviting. yet i’m still here. dealing with it whether i like it or not.

i’m digging with my hands. there are two other women with me. one is twice my age and has beach blown sandy hair. she’s probably been doing this for a while. the other woman is faceless. anonymous. but her presence is definitely felt. the sand is wet and keeps getting stuck under my nails. it seems strange to me why we’re doing this here. with our hands. the graves are shallow. and we bury them on their backs. face up. facing the heavens. eventually, the ocean will swallow and carry them out to sea. not the most secure burial but i didn’t make the rules. we’re still here. doing it whether we like it or not.

as my hands become raw from constant exfoliation, i hope for some kind of relief. a shovel. a shell. anything. my hands need a break.

in my lucidity, an object appears. looks like a shell. tan. shiny. oily. everything becomes bright. i’m not fighting to keep my eyes open. the woman with the knotty hair is screaming. crying. in shock. misery. rays of light pierce my eyes. why is this woman wailing?

the object is connected to something larger. a foot. attached to a small girl. but her face is down. she’s been here for at least a week. the ocean failed to swallow her up and take her out to sea. how could we have missed it? now i’m traumatized. maybe the woman next to me is rubbing off. i begin to join her in mourning. why is she lying face down?

the light gets brighter and my eyes can no longer bear it.

i’m awake. but i’m still not in my bed. i’m in my friends bed. again. this time in a very old house. it’s huge and i know it’s haunted. i can feel dead woman with me and she is full of despair. this is her room. and i am her guest. she has long black hair with no face. and she’s wearing a night gown.

i’m on the 4th floor and the windows are open. the breeze is comforting but it sends chills down my spine. just like her.

i’m meeting my friend at church. the one who’s house i’m staying in. she’s left me a note. the note tells me to go to the basement and grab money for the collection plate. the money is on the laundry machine in an envelope. i don’t wanna go down there so i send someone else. the whole house freaks me out. i only feel safe in my friends room where i’ve made friends with the ghost.

i walk down the creaky wooden stairs and escape the house. ready to go to church. i’m in the street. driving. drifting away. looking up at the 4th floor through the open windows. hoping to catch a glimpse of her. i’m scared of what i might see. everything in the room is viciously blowing around. and i see her long black hair dancing with the wind. i blink my eyes in disbelief. she is gone. and now all i can see are plants. and they are dancing in the wind.

the sky people

restless. tossing. turning. sweating. eyes closed. ten minutes pass. or is it an eternity? i look at the clock. 4:00. it’s only 4:00. go back to sleep. close your eyes. nobody’s watching you. you’re the only one in the room. just you and your dogs. don’t think about it. stop thinking. don’t think. let yourself drift. back. where you just were. away from this room. out of the windows. back into the night.

and there you are. again. in the room. only now someone’s hogging the bed. someone intruding. taking up your side of the bed. a childhood friend. all grown up. haven’t seen him in years. that’s odd, i don’t remember inviting you here. maybe if i close my eyes he’ll go away and i’ll have the bed back to myself. i wish he’d just scoot over. i’ll keep my mouth shut and hope he’ll read my mind. i don’t want to be blatantly rude.  i haven’t seen him in years.

we’re both awake now. the lights are on. the room is orange. and there’s an infant sitting on his lap. smiling. giggling. we join in. giggling is contagious. and so is love. 

“love,” i say. “can you say ‘love’?”

the baby giggles and responds, “that word.”

smart ass.

my friend looks over at me and says he’s sold his organs for $50. classic move. he hasn’t changed one bit.

my window is cracked and i can feel the crisp breeze gently whooshing in. i want to be where its coming from. i want to be outside.

i feel the need to look up at the sky. something big is happening. something we usually don’t see. something carefully hidden. something that chose to make itself visible. right now. a glitch in our reality

a lion’s face lights up the sky. almost like its being projected on to a screen. and the screen is the night sky. captivating. enchanting.

the sound of helicopters and chaos echo in the distance. but that’s in the distance. i wanna get outside and catch a glimpse of the night sky before it switches back to how we’re supposed to see it.

i waste no time, climbing out of the crack in my window and on to the street outside my house.

it’s the middle of the night and all the neighbors are out to see this phenomenon.  almost like we’re being summoned by the sky. neighbors i’ve never seen before. there’s a sense of urgency. soak it all up before it disappears. 

i rush to the parking lot behind my house to get a better view. along the way i notice the time written down on the sidewalk in rainbow chalk.

four twenty something

they have tents set up. my people. they’re all wearing colorful costumes with body paint and glitter. and i’m wearing pajamas. but nobody seems to mind. it’s a celebration. a festival. how lucky am i to witness this in my neighborhood? in my back yard?

 

drums and flutes are humming in the distance. overshadowing the helicopters. all of these people are so welcoming and friendly. and so bright. like the stars. like the pictures in the sky. i don’t know what to do other than look up at the sky. that’s what i’m here for, right? they laugh and hand me proper eyewear. and invite me underneath their tent. we dance.

been here all along,
celebration,
a’nother day,
every night. coming out to play
only after we’ve drifted,
away they go
only then is it ok
the fae

 

the wolf

i’m looking for the bathroom but get lost along the way. i don’t mind. i never do.  but especially here. there is an abundance of pillows and the view is probably spectacular. the walls are made of windows and sliding doors.  it’s hard to tell one from the other. its like a beach house. a translucent box on a wooden porch built on top of sand near water. there are other glass structures on this porch. i chose to get lost in this one.

it’s about to rain. maybe even storm. windows begin to fog up. rain drops soaking into the wood on the porch. but the sun is still radiating light. the same kind of light that blankets your face and gently nudges you to wake up when you know you have another hour before the alarm goes off. allowing you to doze off. your eyes are closed. but the light is still there. nature’s snooze button.
i have a front row seat to the storm. looking out onto the porch. forgetting what time it is and remembering what time is. an illusion.
i see a small brown bear pacing the porch. no not a bear. a wolf. back and forth. circling.  i almost don’t believe my eyes and  i start to wonder why he’s here. perhaps he is looking for something. perhaps he is lost.
alert. alert. this porch is now on lock down. just like a disaster drill in school. but it’s not a drill this time. stay away from the glass. i’ve been told i’ll be safe if i hide behind these walls. out of sight.
they fear the wolf. they want to get rid of him. a team of large men are sent to attack. there are seven of them and the one with grey hair and khaki pants is the leader.  i must confess that i’m enjoying the chaos. high on adrenaline. it’s entertaining. besides, the danger is on the other side. i’m safe here in my room full of pillows. i’m comfortable. i’m bored.
i get up and edge toward the window to get a better view. edging toward danger. feeling compelled to open the sliding door. I have always enjoyed playing with fire. i crack the door and before the wet air even has a chance to brush my face, a mans  voice comes barking over a loudspeaker,
“close that door, grace,” it echoes.
there’s urgency in his voice. i didn’t know i was being watched. i feel violated. like i can’t be trusted to make my own decisions. what’s the big deal anyway? it’s just a wolf. not much different than us humans. I’d probably be pretty bitter  if alarms are sounded everywhere i go. constantly attacked and reminded that i’m not welcome.
nonetheless i comply. following the orders. attempting to shut the door. the harder i try, the more they start to wobble. coming loose. off their hinges. for a structure so technologically advanced, it seems silly that the doors are so loose. a man joins my deflated effort to shut the doors. shuffling as they wobble. probably doing more damage than help.
the wolf smells panic and turns his head. we’ve been spotted. i know what’s next.
he walks my way and pushes through the door. game over. i can no longer hide behind these walls of glass. i accept my fate. i trust the wolf. i trust myself. i come in peace. i brace for the impact. he walks over and shoves his head against mine. i push him off. he is soft like a pillow.
as he rebounds, i manage to catch a glimpse of his piercing blue eyes. or rather, they catch me. in our brief moment, i witness a haunting type of beautiful. a beauty you can’t unsee.  screaming. crying for help. trapped in this misunderstood vessel. he doesn’t know his own strength. he just wants to find home. his jaw comes toward my neck. i have no fear. for the bite is just a nibble. i feel no pain. it tickles. i feel love. and the blanket of light nudges me…. time to wake up.

the train

I am on a train. I’ve been on this train before. In fact, I am a regular.  Each time, a different car. Each car, a different world. Each blink, a fresh glimpse into someone’s life.

Some nights I’m stuck in one car. Unable to realize I’m on a moving train. Unable to become lucid. But I am comfortable in this state of unknowing. Comfortable in the windowless cars. I sometimes feel the movement, but there are no questions. No concerns. I simply be.

Other nights I feel the tracks beneath my feet. I will realize I am moving. I will close my eyes and when I open them I will be in the next car.

Tonight I am in a packed car. Full of people like me I assume. Travelers. All of the seats are taken so I am standing. Everyone has their head down. They are in limbo. I don’t make eye contact with anyone. In fact, I’m avoiding it. We are all avoiding it. Or maybe we are avoiding the fluorescent light. This is definitely not our end destination. I don’t want anyone to see me.

I spot an empty seat. The car is thinning out of people. I spot an empty seat next to a faceless woman with blonde wavy hair. Sprawled out. Relaxing. Lounging. I don’t want to intrude. I’d rather not sit next to her. Her body language is uninviting. I worry that she’ll turn her head and look at me and I want to avoid recognition. Besides, I’m standing three rows away and it’s not worth the effort to climb over. But who knows how long I’ll be here.

A man stands at the front of the car. He appears to be official. Wearing a grey shirt that reads US ARMY. He is looking over and monitoring the seating situation. Directing newcomers to their seat. Inviting only those who are worthy of his direction. He signals me. Pointing to the seat next to the blonde woman. My intentions shift. Suddenly, the seat looks inviting to me so I climb over the rows and sit down.

He is walking toward me. I become nervous. He is not like me. He is an other. He is the US army. So I know he can’t be trusted. I can’t reveal too much to him. He will not use my power for good. But still, I allow him to advance. I’m curious. I open myself up. There are no longer any others on this car. Including the blonde woman. It’s just us. The lights start flickering out. Let’s see how far I can push this.

The closer I get to my limit, the harder it is to escape. Good thing he stopped. He says he’ll be back. Then he disappears. Perfect timing. I close my eyes. I disappear.

When I open my eyes I’m in a bathroom. A very clean and luxurious bathroom. Familiar territory. I exit through a sliding door.

The lighting in this car is much more inviting and comfortable. Dim and orange tinted. I’ve never been on a yacht but I imagine this is what it’s like. I’m definitely in someone else’s space. But I’m not intruding. I’ve been invited. But where is my host?

I walk around the car. It feels like Im in a basement. A dark cage of a place that’s been transformed into something comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Expensive modern furniture met with tasteful carpet. The carpet acts like a blanket. Contradicting the modern furniture. Muffling outside noises. This place is uniquely sculpted to meet somebody’s specific taste. Suburban jet setter chic.

A tiny young girl flutters in. Like nobody I’ve ever seen. But I’ve felt her before. Like an old friend. She’s itty bitty. She appears to have a disability. She looks nothing like her peers. We instantly click. We laugh and play like children. She is a child. And for that moment, I am too. We speak the same language. We have so much fun playing with bugs and goofing off.

Her father walks in. Dressed in formal clothing. He checks each room. Inspecting and scanning for imperfections. He thinks he’s giving his small daughter everything. More than he ever had. He only lets his her leave the car with a babysitter. Approved by him of course. He buys protection. A cold form of affection.But this is the language he speaks. It’s all he knows. Wealth and security are clearly things he deeply values.

Before he even gets a chance to unwind, he sits down at a table and gets down to business. As he watches us play, his face lights up. He immediately starts listing terms and conditions. Insisting I name a price. I’m thrown off guard, having no idea this was a job interview.

I felt her pain. He doesn’t know what to do with her because she is so different in his world. I don’t see her as different. It’s very easy to connect with her. It’s natural. We were having so much fun goofing off and joking. You can’t quantify that. You can’t put a price on human connection.

I couldn’t tell how old she was. It didn’t seem to matter. She looked so frail. Like she could get caught in a door and snap into two. Or blow away in the wind. I didn’t let her appearance fool me. All 5 pounds of her were far more strong and wise than her mildly overbearing father.

No matter how shiny and nice he makes his car, it’s only temporary. We are all on the same train headed to the same destination. I have no doubts that she will thrive in that place. She is prepared from within.

From the outside, one would look at the two and see a disabled child with a stable, successful, healthy father. They would feel sorry for her because of her disability. I saw the opposite. The child was fine. It was the father that I left that dream praying for.

When my eyes open, I’m in my bed. I have returned to earth. I check my earth phone.

A text message from an old friend: “The healing has begun… We’re getting better now”

IMG_3768

The house

I’m trapped in this house. A house I hate. The bricks are crumbling. The door  inconsistently open.
All things are welcome. Good and bad.
All things are banished. Bad and good.
And if you find your self anywhere in between, who the hell knows? could be open. Could be closed. Could be somewhere in between.
The door may be decorated. Inviting. Or it could be strategically left unlocked. The smell of lust and adrenaline seeping out of the cracks. Tempting those who are near. Victims of this fucking house. This evil ugly house. Masked with the blood of its victims. Myself included.
I want nothing more than to watch that house burn. Turn into dust. Become the wind. The air. Complete the cycle. Purified. Reborn. Cleansed of all things filthy.

A girl can only dream..

Some days I walk out of the door. Temporarily free. Not giving a shit about the house or anyone who’s ever lived there. But I am weak and can’t sustain my existence outside of these roach infested walls. So I come back.
One day it’s going to burn. It has to.

Should I be worried that I don’t care where I am when it’s consumed by flames?

Outside, front row. Inside, part of the show. No matter

It has to go..

 

 

 

your soul and mine

Today I am here exactly when I need to be here. 5 minutes early. 7:55.  A bus blocks me from my usual entrance. The sun has not yet risen and they are happy I’m here. The instructors. The teachers. The bus driver. I’m the final one. We can leave now. They are relieved they no longer have to wait. Eager for action, they rush me on board so we can take off.

Today we’re having a field trip. Who cares where. It’s an escape from the mundane day to day routine. I’d much rather be on this bus to an unknown destination than stuck in that damp brown dimly lit building. Listening to the mumbles of regurgitated stories and false interpretations. Fighting the impulse to close the windows and wander to another land. Middle school classrooms. No thanks.

I spot Eliot on the bus. I am so happy. Thinking about it makes me happy. Really happy.

It’s 7:58 and we are on the road. Through the woods. Over the bridges. To those familiar concrete cities. They are sunny and white. Sterile. There are no trees in sight, as if anyone’s even looking. I have to wear sunglasses for protection. Instinctively. Or, at least, as instinctive plastic eye shade can be.

We get out and take our tours through the museums. Nothing strikes me as unusual. Or interesting. I’m subconsciously in limbo so I let them lead me. Obey their rules. Submit to the talking clipboard. I suppose I blend in. Calmness shielding me from the danger that is recognition, lucidity, what I do not want right now.

With each stop, we get closer. Nearer. The sky is blue with just the right amount of cloudiness. Reflecting sunlight. Through the wilderness and desert. Green pillows of rolling hills. My chest flutters. I don’t know where we’re headed but I know its where we’re going to be. Where we need to be.

We come to a halt. We’re here. I know this area better than my classmates. Somewhere in New Mexico. Or is it New Orleans?

This place is magic. A beach. White crushing waves meeting the clouds in the distance. Blending together as one. We’ve reached infinity.

Time to shine. Show them around. I feel superior cause I’ve been here before.We’re on my turf. And they need me. Without me, they’d be lost.

I’ll let them get out ahead of me. Explore and dip their toes as I gather my things. My stuff. As I fumble, shuffle, and fight it. They are free. Breathing in that salty sub zero contradictory air.

Last time I was here, I swam in circles.Trying to get away. Away from land. Swimming in circles. My strokes became effortless and I began whirling around. And just when I thought I was lost, I found a tunnel. I stepped through. Getting familiar with the motion of walking again. Teaching myself to use my legs for  stepping, not kicking. Heaviness.

The tunnel led to an escalator. I hobbled down the escalator and looked to my right. Fish tanks. I looked to my left. More fish tanks. I looked up. Fish tanks above me. Why are there so many fish tanks? What a strange place.This tunnel through the ocean. Why do you need fish tanks in the ocean? Or could I be misjudging this tunnel of fish tanks. Of course they look like fish tanks. I have been fooled. There never were any fish tanks. Quite the opposite.

The fish were actually holding me captive. Cutting off the door to my world. The dry world of air and land. This tunnel is a human tank. This is what I get for testing boundaries. This is what I get for swimming away from land. Swimming away from security. Now I am walking in captivity. I start to panic.

Nerves. Firing. Blood. Flowing. Eyes. Twitching. Eyes. Opening. I. am awake. I. am on land. I. am safe. It was just a dream. Just. A dream. I told myself. 

But. I. am here again. Waiting to get off this bus. I’ve been here before. And this time its snowing.

I want to get off this bus. I can’t get off this bus until I gather my stuff. My stuff. My things. My baggage. My phone. My phone case. My bag. My shoes. Tie my shoes. Do all these things. You can’t leave the bus till you do all these things and grab all this stuff. Your stuff. You must carry it because it is yours. Don’t leave your stuff on the bus or else you may never see your stuff again. Your stuff will disappear. Your stuff will become someone else’s stuff. What are you without your stuff?

Ignore those thoughts. Let them pass. Feel them move through you. Entering. Exiting. Gone.

I don’t need my phone. Get off the bus now. Get off and explore. Be where you need to be.

Someone is on the beach digging a hole.  There is no sand. Only icy bluffs. But it is a beach. It is a beach because there is ocean and there is waves. She’s digging through the ice. Drilling. She’s humming a familiar tune. She needs my help. Digging. Deeper. Deeper.

I am death, cried the vulture.

Gil Scot Heron. I know that song. That poem. I can’t remember the words.

Remember the words, Grace. She needs your help. Something something something-taking babies from their mamas. C’mon c’mon you know the words.

A bell rings. An alarm. Ding. I remember the words. That’s it. It has to be.

So if you see the vulture coming, flying circles in your mind.
Remember there is no escaping for he will follow close behind.
Only promise me a battle, battle for your soul and mine.