a new post, a make-up post for my absence, me accounting for myself, sipping and spilling tea, necessary and almost impartial sharing of self, finding my way back to myself.
i have been writing a little more and i am so proud of it all. but before i share recent writings i want to update all of the inbetweens, to document the entire journey so i’m continuing with my poetry journals. i like reflecting on periods and documenting that way.
This period was duality. on one side i
entered into covenant with self, started learning French, for a friend , through his poems and posts and personal philosophies. Did a vegan detox, liked it, stayed in it. settled into third year, found my pace. Titled and wrote two essays that mean much to me still: 1. Discussing whiteness versus white skin and blackness versus black skin in African novels of 2015 – Igoni Barrett’s Black Ass and Petina Gappah’s Book of Memory. 2. Discussing the use of the personal essay in the writing of New York with focus on Joan Didion (new love), E.B. White (renewed love) and James Baldwin (beloved). i started to regularly attend kong-fu because what is an activist without self-defense. And what is independence without protection generally, as a woman, as a living being. Got stronger (physically). Got more of what eryka badu was writing about. Got sea salt and lavender candles. Got a new lens for my camera. i started re-thinking, re-defining, re-designing my understanding of vulnerability, as strength. i journaled almost everyday. It was good for me, whoever finds that journal finds a manuscript. i watched my best friend turn twenty one and then only had exactly eighteen days until my own birthday celebrations. my mum and sister spent a day with me in Birmingham, made the city a little more like home. i got a few days off work to actually enjoy the Christmas period; bought my family books as gifts. told myself daily that i was greatly loved and treated love as an adjective for a little while.
This period was also imbalance, i
lost myself within and without myself, cried on trains, cried with tears that did not fall, lost my paternal grandfather who i did not have the deepest relationship with but still meant much to me and to other family members. Watching my father carry his father was not an easy way into january. plus, i cried because i did not understand how i was to be made new in the dead of winter. nothing is made new in the dead of winter. i felt that spring was the time of plenty and renewal and when Yah has chosen to start the year afresh. i still got lonely when i spent new year’s day alone, when i was the one to convince myself and my close ones that i would be cool. i cried beyond the point of soothing my throat and lost all privacy with my tears and fears. i forced myself to speak even if i could not move aside reaching for the phone, even if only to my mum and sister. i abandoned my poetry, got upset and then realised most of the poetry was in my journal entries. most problematically, i worked more hours than i should had, didn’t want to risk loosing my job (i needed it) so never really said no to shifts and suffered with balancing 16 000 words worth of essaying over a week and a bit.
i made it out. prayed over february, spoke to myself and Yah and we agreed that no month will be january again and so i ran fast into my new season, entering into new covenant with myself – it would be fruitful, in the dead of winter.
here are the very few poems and several thoughts (and no picture because i did not reach for my camera often, it was not that kind of season).
so i sought refuge in the hollow of your cheeks
in the adult of your face
in the lines
where the look in our eyes wouldn’t meet
-seeking safety on the edge of raised cheekbones
will tell the day when she begins
will tell the suns risings and her settings
that they mean nothing to you
i will go back
and write fresh poems
aside old ones
i will fill all the gaps in
i didn’t feel qualified enough to fill
-unlined diary, todays and tomorrows
is it wrong
to want to be
but not read a proverb
or to crave magic
even though you have been told
or to speak in sermons
mention of god.
or to hate
but swear never to hate people.
or to pray with eyes open
while surrounded with mess
to cry a cry that
scars the throat
and then never address it
to call your mother god
because you know she will call it blasphemy.
– even though it is not scripture, perhaps it is unwritten
am i allowed to self-proclaim this page as
an absolute indicator
an irrefutable indicator
of a new stage
a new chapter
according to my own calendar
i am new
(so much power in this statement)
-i can’t remember the date but it must have been a beautiful day
vulnerability is about being open enough to read your hearts desires out loud without having read it over first. and once you’ve done that, it’s about letting the absent applause linger around you, without running fast and far when the vibrations do not hit you in surge, in multitudes or at all.
– redefining vulnerability.
it’s like constantly unravelling. Finding your core and allowing yourself to exhale at this discovery of self only to realise that there is so much more of you left to unravel over and over again. it’s like a pattern and routine repeated but never learnt, never taught. inhale discovery, exhale rediscovery, inhale exhale inhale exhale. and yet still, it’s repeatedly believing in the ‘new’ you and repeatedly reintroducing yourself to the world, without shame or memory. it’s constantly falling in love with your new level of vulnerability only to realise that tomorrow you will (or you must) be even more vulnerable, and so, even more strong. it’s learning to undress your thoughts slowly and intentionally and without interest of who is watching just so you can accept yourself in your barest form. Just so you can answer for yourself when they ask who you are. Or, to refuse to answer, and enter into a silence that is, for once, so deliciously voluntary. it’s to feel an unspeakable strength in watching other women leap forward in powerful strides or to weep an invisible tear when they fall, or stumble, even. it’s to pray an unspoken prayer for any member of your personal community, man or woman. essentially, it’s to be weaved together by a compilation of strengths and mysteries and capabilities that you don’t understand but celebrate joyously but never dare to articulate or explain. because you honestly cannot. because you do not and maybe will not ever know how much power is woven into your being, inbetween the gaps in your smile or the lines in your frown. or the vibration in your voice as you whisper, as you bid the world grow faster with you in delicate, unknowing commands.
-what it feels like to be a woman.
december 16 – january 17 done.