becoming my name
the first passage:
katharine (meaning: pure, unsullied) huntington (meaning: the hunter’s enclosure or settlement) poinier, "kate", "kitsten kat", was born on 07/25 at 0139 in the morning. so many odd numbers under that night’s sky. even before she arrived, there was a young family waiting for her. two parents, three girls, and a new life they did not yet know was coming. as she rode the waves of light and whispers, she heard them talking about how if the baby was a boy, they’d throw him out the window and stomp on him. so much for belonging if you’re made of something different. her soul moved on anyway, somehow knowing this was an acceptable configuration. mother active until the day before her birth, sending the signal: “we will keep playing our games even while you are coming, and long after you arrive”. all of this happening simultaneously. the first and last of the four girls to be witnessed coming into the world, her father’s heart exploded at the sight of her, taking her in and wrapping her in so much protective material that she could barely move. being bound, it was hard to keep up as the tribe moved through days, weeks, months, seasons, years. she always felt the reach and the stretch and the longing. despite any harm she might do to herself along the way, she kept on stepping, crawling, grasping, running breathlessly to keep pace. no matter what, she needed to walk with her tribe in order to stay alive.
the second passage:
so many years, so many years, so many years of walking, searching, looking for her family. she tried to rest in a few other constellations of mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers, but none met her longing. her attempts to use magic to create her resting pad of comfort and connection remained in the ethers, an invisible mystery. she tried wife-ing and mothering and filling roles the best she could, never touching the void in her heart.
nothing quite felt like home the way the mountains and the trees did. they listened. they accepted her. they allowed her to expand. it wasn’t even really her idea to go and be born another way. some kind angel gently tapped her consciousness, saying “go out to go in, to find home”. so she began collecting – or she began to become collected – by crystals and feathers and bones and prints that crossed the path she walked. crawling, listening, feeling for the heartbeat of her mother, riding waves of uncertainty and trust that this passageway was the door to home. as she searched for her mother out on the land, a flash in a downed branch caught her eye. sparkling, shiny and silvery, a balloon of celebration waited for her, saying “happy birthday”. how life knew to put it there just then is still part of the beautiful mystery. nearby, her tree mother was waiting in the gaze of white mountain. old, gnarled juniper, complete with a bedroom, a living room, and a porch. she and the tree labored through four days and four nights of contractions and periods of rest, and she came clean in the process of threshing. squeezing herself through the canal of death, the gentle moon greeted her. her tree mother said “welcome child. to home in your radiant, sparkling, ruby spirit-heart, which is home in this world".
she rested here for some time. held in the embrace of knowing she belonged. knowing she could always talk to the trees, stones, birds, insects, water. home was wherever she encircled herself, wherever she spoke with the elements.
the third passage:
years on, there was still a diaphanous skin through which she needed to pass. so much light pouring through that membrane. and yet, she did not want to travel through. her legions of protections ran at least 200 deep. the familiar, second-nature perimeter was a most potent force field. she expended so much vital energy on the resistance. pushing and stretching against the stiff walls she felt moving in on all sides, she knew she had one way out. despite this knowing, the risk still felt immeasurable. but the resistance was tired. she was tired. tired of the front. tired of the quest. tired of the constant seeking and searching and reaching toward meaning-making. tired of grasping for the arc of understanding.
and one day she stopped. stood still. and understood in her body. her cells unveiled, she listened. more deeply this time. to the whispers of all that said “we are all light. we are all divinity. we are all infinity”. this human birth belongs to the earth. the pain, the pushing, the resistance, they all belong. and so she set out to shed this last skin. to surrender to the truth of her knowing. to her love. to her devotion.
to her surprise, this passage was not made alone. goddesses and trees surrounded her as the tall grasses licked her thighs. spiders accepted her as part of the landscape. all those present – seen and unseen, named and unnamed, known and unknown, they were all singing with her. the pulsing vibration, that moment of melting into the warmest embrace of her beloved. singing, singing, singing, as she was braided into the fabric, one unique and particular strand of light among so many beautiful others. no longer separate, no longer alone, no longer individual. making love with self, with body, with priestess, with unseen benevolent forces. finding medicine of love. of interbeing. of light.
katharine huntington poinier was born from and into this new settlement – or is it a womb? or the sky? – the womb of her own purity and truth. this one, whose name is pure, unsullied hunter’s enclosure, has been birthed into this place, which she now tends. she invites you in and welcomes you to birth yourself into your becoming, to know your true name, to tend your soul, to find your light through the passageway of relation and reciprocity.