When I chose to incarnate, the soul teachers told me,
you only have to remember one rule.
It’s the sound of the Universe,
cyclical and reciprocal,
everything returning to the beginning.
As you leave the cosmic waiting room to enter the Earth plane,
Just remember this rule, they said;
will pretty much
work itself out.
It’s the sound of strength and surrender,
and each time you make it is a choice:
a demonstration of resolve
and a commitment to stay alive.
For those of us steeped in trauma, this sound is an affirmation:
I deserve to be here!
This life is mine!
It’s okay to exist!
No, more than that: it’s necessary, for the world needs your smile.
Yet the culture tried to extinguish our light,
to erase our struggle;
they tried to take our choice.
We didn’t know how to deflect and defend,
so we turned their weapons on ourselves:
hatred, heteronormativity, homogeneity,
internalized as self-phobia.
Some of us tried to do the work for them
and surrender our most sacred choice.
But somehow, something in us
remembered the first rule.
Now we sit in this circle,
making different decisions
to free ourselves from the pain.
Not by running away—we tried that already—
but by running toward,
For you have to give it away to get it,
and you have to get it to give it away.
To surrender is freedom,
to release is to gain,
and your greatest fear is the portal.
Die, get sick, pee your pants, lose your mind,
walk headfirst into what scares you.
Lose the people you love and the things you hold dear,
And you’ll find that you’re always connected;
love is what truly matters,
and you’ve had everything you needed this whole time.
One by one, we tilt the glass,
and swallow the viscous, bitter black liquid
that dissolves our separation
and turns the up-sides down.
Dying each night and reborn each morning,
one body, mind and soul
Singing and crying, vomiting and laughing,
pooping and peeing and wiping front to back,
forgetting and remembering, succeeding in failing,
making the choice
over and over again.
We go into the nonsense world to make sense of it all,
trust-falling with the Universe,
but we don’t go alone, we go together,
accidentally on purpose.
The maestros and maestras are our intermediaries,
our metaphysical medical professionals.
We are their pasajeros on this healing journey,
taking medicine prescribed by the plant teachers.
They sing the songs revealed through synthesia as we gather in the dark,
guided by our facilitators;
trusting things we cannot see, taking outstretched hands,
putting one foot in front of the other,
breathing smoke from glowing embers
as they walk us back to ourselves.
We’re here to heal through centuries of ancestral trauma,
reprogramming epigenetic patterns,
for queer people are the scapegoats and the ciphers of civilization,
receptacles for lifetimes of repressed longing.
Hopes and fears, pain and dreams, desires and projections heaped upon us
through millennia of collective deflection,
and the weight of the world is a lot to carry.
So shrug it off, sing it off, draw it off, dance it off,
keep making the choice every day.
Make the decision to claim this life,
And remember the first rule.
The first rule of incarnation
is the only rule
you have to remember.
It’s how we came into this world and the way we will leave,
So we can do it all,
all over again.
It’s the sound we make to close each ceremony;
the beginning and ending of everything.
Are you listening, class?
It’s very important.
Never forget the first rule,
and it goes like this: