What Exists

By Kusani
Who I am is not to be judged. I am not to be caged, or bound, or restrained. I am not to be labeled, scoffed at, laughed off, mocked, belittled, or looked down upon.
I, along with every other living creature in this world, have every right to be who I am in my entirety.
There are some sacred truths I hold. That is one of them. Who I am changes, and will always change. Not just fluctuate, not just shimmer a different shade of the same color – but change. I am coming to realize how many things that were once so intrinsic to my Self have been lost.
It has been a summer of healing and of learning, as I had hoped – a summer of shed skins and spilt blood. The summer dwindles and the darkness lengthens, its grasp on this land tightening. Soon, snow will be squeezed out onto white knuckles and the heat flee like feeling past a stranglehold.
I am lioness, yet the winter smells like home.
So many things I want to write about. Reading always gets the muse whetted, honed and sharp, ready to carve meaning from these simple text words. It is up to the fingers and, nominally, the mind, to choose how to wield that blade of inspiration, the fire that pours forth and threatens to drown.
I’m waiting and listening to the tendrils of muse-music-life pour down my bare shoulders and seep past my lips, and I wonder if I shouldn’t be doing something Important And Concrete, like packing. I move in three days. I wonder if maybe I should just experience. Maybe I should be on World of Warcraft, offering my time and energies to my guildmates, most of whom are close friends, all of whom are a strange sort of family. Maybe I should be posting on animal_quills, because I have been aching for a place like that. Maybe I should be working on my website, or writing something other than WoWfic.
Or maybe I should be right here, doing what I’m doing, being what I’m being.
So tell me what is. Not what it is. What is. What exists.
What is? Lioness is. Human is. Woman is.
I have watched from afar a small handful of feline therians. If they are not outright transgendered, female-to-male, most are androgynous. I’m not. Lioness is not lion, lioness is as she is – but is she. I am the Warrior and a guardian, I am a singer and dancer, I am an empath and a nurterer, and some of this is classed as “masculine” and some as “feminine,” but guess what. Human society holds an awkward grasp at best on the meanings and implications of gender – be it soul-gender or biological gender. I am a female. I am feminine, in the lioness meaning. I am the huntress and I am the mother. I still play. I still feed. I am impatient and curious and demanding and (sometimes) practical. I am smug, nestled into myself, enwrapped in my own strengths and quirks.
I have my pride. My pride, and my Den – those make Home. And when I say Den, I don’t mean, literally, a den – a nest, or a hole in the earth, a cave or burrow. I mean Den is where I belong, Den is Territory, Den is Home. Den is mine and if you touch it you’d best be part of the pride, because otherwise you will see the business end of the lioness very quickly.
Mist, is what some music feels like. Cool and damp, roiling, feather-light touch.
I suppose this is a shift? If you can call it that – I’m not sure. A “shift” is generally a noticeable, nonpermanent bias towards an animal nature – can be voluntary, can be unexpected. I haven’t “shifted” like that in .. ages. More, this is an explosion – of me, of all that I am rising to the surface and begging expression all at once. When the water begins to boil and the steam rises and coils.
I have a thousand things that I want to write. Therianthropy. Spirituality. Gods. Self. Death…
There is something untouchably sacred about winter. The snow piled against the doors and windows, holing you in, and a warmth at the center of what is Home. A fireplace, or a steaming mug of cocoa, or candles and incense. A friendly voice in the ear, be it a familiar and well-loved movie, or pleasant music, or a person there or on the phone – or on the screen. Being enclosed by the wild world outside, and being able to step outside and touch it, feel the wind whip ice against your cheek, smile and wince simultaneously – but being able to retreat into a warm, safe, secluded haven. Time stops when the sun goes down beyond snowclouds, and the night is forever – and you have time to dig, nestle more securely into your own fur and skin, reach out and touch what is icy cold. Time to write, and dream – time to live.
Summer is different. Summer is boundless freedom and no cage that fits properly, no snow-banked doors and windows. Summer is plains and plains and plains and then more, open and brown-green-yellow, open and boundless, open and inviting. Time to hunt that which feeds, stalk it under the sweltering sun, then doze in the insufficient shade. Summer is the ability to move as much as you want and need, no chains, no ties – all physical exertion, sweat and shedding, thirst and heat. Pushing the body to the limits it was made to meet and exceed, and smile for the burn of exhaustion in aching muscles.
Spring is explosion, like tonight, winter-into-summer. Spring is green things and colorful things, uncoiling and slithering towards the sun with tiny leaves and even tinier buds. The rich, almost pungent scent of flowers and thawing sap and moist earth – scent of rain, icy then refreshingly cool, scent of the winds that still nip with winter’s fangs. Spring is life, is birth, is rebirth continual and endless – spring is reawakened curiosity and mobility, as snow melts and feeds the streams, as the animals emerge from their hidey-holes and look around with renewed wonder at the world unfurling around them. Tentative steps, remembering old dances and old trails, and joyful song.
Fall is death. The winding, slow, meandering death of a stream that dries out amongst the rocks – the withering death of a green leaf turning brown and cracked. Fall is the dark rain that falls as night lengthens but does not yet bring the white relief of snow – fall is the cold winds that drive the rain to rattle the roof and windowpanes. Fall spits the rain in the eyes, a warning to hole up and prepare for winter, making sodden all the fallen leaves and the mulch, darkening the rocks. Fall warns, and if you don’t listen, fall rips your throat out with the first snows and lets your blood be a decoration on the virgin whiteness. Fall warns, but if you listen, you watch from those windows as the rain sheets down and floods the world, soon to ice over.
Hm. Am calming a little – the words coming less readily. I eased the press against the dam, I suppose, and I’ll be content with that. I cannot afford to knock everything down and let the river rage – not yet, not when I have to deal with wood and metal, paperwork and legalese.
But soon, I’ll have Den, and will break the dam down.