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  • Writer's pictureMartha Hartney


Caution: This prayer is strong medicine. It’s been coming through for the last few days. I offer it with trepidation and care for all. You may want to sit down first though.


Brother, I need you. Brother, I call to you. Through the eons of pain, guilt, war, shame, and the ravaging of my body, of the Mother’s body. I cry for your arms to protect me. For the vibration of your resounding voice in my ear. For your potent magic to shape the world anew and hold me in the fire of hope.

I yearn for your care. I grieve the loss of your companionship. I wonder where you’ve gone when you were my playmate for so long. Once we laughed and giggled together and wondered at the story we weaved. But then you were gone. Lost to me as I watched you move out into a world that doesn’t care for your essence, your wildness, and your curiosity, but gives you your assignment and punishes you if you don’t follow orders.

Then, something broke and you loosed a feral and gnarling beast toward the village of our family and outward onto the earth herself, where it has raped and maimed and torn us apart inside and out. We have lost your tenderness. Your searing truth. Your grace-filled heart.

Come back to us. Be with us, your sisters. Remember us and let your heart beam out from within the safe cage of your chest like when we were too small to know better. Come back into our shared mystery of how we are even in a body at all, on this planet, at this time and at this place. Remember that?

Command back to you every sliver of your blessed soul that was stolen from you and strewn about the world, stuck in the naive flesh of classrooms and dorm rooms and bedrooms and bars and stadiums and locker rooms where they have laid dark and festering far too long.

Remember that you are a man. A warrior. A fierce protector. A husband. A lover. A father. A Father. The Father. Our Father. Remember who you are, dear Man. The one we love.

Your potent magic is indestructible. Rise up out of the ashes of last night’s fiendish festival and find your place again as the unguarded guardian, naked herald. As the fool relentlessly seeking the slices of his Self.

Take your place as the guardian of the womb of the Mother, holy womb ever-unfurling the unspeakable miracle of life. The womb that now must cleanse itself. Guard it with your life for the womb holds you and cradles you even in the depth of despair.

Gather your medicine, man. Dig the deepest well and draw up your most potent prayer. Give us that prayer now—ring it out and chase the demons out with your hollowed and breathless lungs. Give us the antidote to the poison wracking our shaking bones.

Encircle our stabbed, cut, worn, flailing bodies in the safety of your arms. As we writhe and spew and vomit out the corrupt code we have taken on, fortify yourselves. Be still. Be constant, be present to that which must be done for wholeness and holiness to emerge from our communal cholera. Have faith. Life knows what to do.

Remember the eternal truth of your being even as we tear you down and show you what we have endured, the pain we are in. What you have done to us. Our girlhood stolen from us. Our innocence eviscerated by power misused. Our flesh flayed from our breasts and hips and wombs and hearts. See our blood dripping from our bruised mouths, our strangled necks, our mangled vaginas. What has been done to us, has been done to you too.

Take your medicine. Drink it in and taste of our violation, horror, and agony, gobble up this evil like the most delicious Thanksgiving turkey ever made, digest it, metabolize it, and let it break you.

Let it break you—break you out of those shackles. Break you free of delusion. Break your addictions and the ways you run from yourself. Break your heart open wide for all the world to see your wretchedness, greed, lust, hurt, and fear. Be broken for us. Be slain for us. Lose your mind, brother. And come to your senses.

Be drowned in the ocean of our tears. Be tossed like a leaf in the maelstrom of our wails. Be incinerated in the pyre of our fury. And be buried alive under the weight of the earth and stones of our terror.

Be with us, Brothers.

Gather your strength. The strength that is yours, encoded into your soul from the very beginning. You have been cast of the elements to endure insanity, made strong to bear witness, to transmute all that corruption into soft loamy soil that nourishes and restores our strength.

Use your penetrating power of manhood to direct your astounding care to the right, the true, the beautiful, and the good. Move this moment, like planets into balance with our precious stars and moon, and be the impeccable precision of how this all works.

When our bodies have ejected all the semen and blood and bile and hate that doesn’t belong, when we have been truly known in this desolate place, and you are ready to burn the whole fucking thing down to begin again, your sisters await you, weakened but not dead, exhausted by ringing the shattering bell of our anguish. We wait by the fire at the center of the village. For you.

To have the fucked up conversation. To listen to how we have wronged you, beloved man. How we’ve shown up in all the worst ways we have—the ways of our subtle, twisted, devastating harm that you dare not speak of. To hear you tell what happened to you, to ask your forgiveness and finally to offer you ours.

Meet us there together to learn how we got here in the first place. To do this better, to have a full reckoning of our wrongs against each other and let them begin, slowly to flow and break the stalemate of our revenge. There we will gather our daughters and sons and share the stories of how it once went so very wrong because we let them out of our sight and out of our arms before they were ready.

In time, we will be warmed by our mutual accountability, by our humility, by grace birthed through the blinding pressure of humiliation, shame and regret. In the letting go of it all, the giving over of every single shred of hubris, we will only then share in the quiet glory of being reborn. Of Woman. Of Man.

Brothers, we need you. Now is the moment.

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