poetry diary documentation, a look back.
reading over August and September back to back was interesting. i feel like i started to make some very defined transitions. reading back through my journal a few mornings ago, i noticed two very present mindsets that seemed to shape the months. i would go as far as to say one voice became the other, without the kind of detection that is possible when you are in the moment. so. one voice was ready, completely, prepared for graduate life and big girl decisions and was very confident. was calm. was patient but not waiting, was easy and taking time, delicate steps. i think there was a woman-ness in my voice that i didn’t notice. dismissive of what did not serve. i was writing to myself as though i must, not as chore, but because i had to write my mind out. i was breathing, was practicing, setting goals, forming routines. my voice was constant, i was constantly trying to hear my voice. somewhere, that turned into impatience, being almost too ready. growing tired of my calm, wanting to be in my graduate job (whatever it was to be) now. applying, affirming, going to sleep with mantras that became threatening to myself when i wasn’t seeing progress. i felt stagnant even though i was doing the best that i could do and i was worrying a lot actually. i went from a readiness to a willingness to expectation to over estimation to impatient to indifferent. i became apathetic to a lot. this idea of managing myself, meeting deadlines, female bossing exhausted me. satisfying the requirements of a fresh graduate exhausted me. and i started to be in complete disregard for many things.
so. that is what is happening underneath it all, that is the goings on internally, spiritually, emotionally.
otherwise, august 6th is jamaican independence. i never really grew up ‘celebrating’ it. my household and many like mine are/were aware that we have much to do before we are independent. but this year i’m in birmingham (my first summer not spent at home in london actually; my first non-summer-holidays summer) and there is a strong jamaican settling so my friends and i explore that, celebrate that a little with the ‘Jamaica in the Square’ 3-day festival. Jesse Royal visits the city a few days later and we attend a talk where he engages in too much ‘reasoning’ with people i am not sure are his genuine fans. i learn a lot though. sparks a few thoughts about infrastructure and ownership in jamaica. it makes my future goals a reality, being in a room with people who have done well for themselves financially are thinking about ways to beat the system and better the people in a small room in Birmingham as though secret, as though we must strategise to live a life we are owed. thoughts i will return to later in life if Yah allows.
i find myself reviewing events in the city. and i enjoy it, for a little bit i become the journalist my mum sometimes suggests i should be and i recognise that i could do this more. through opportunities posted on the Black British Bloggers email list i see an opportunity to review Annika Spalding’s book launch and send an email that is well written and too long and get the position. to prepare for that, i ask a friend if i can review the launch of a new (and now flourishing) open mic event in birmingham- Wile Out.
in august i use one of my rare days off to just go to london and roam. there are not enough idle days spent in london i feel. you are always going for something, to attend something, meet someone. i just went. and it was needed. through wandering, i find a location that i predict will be detrimental to my future plans with my poetry book and i end up meeting with my fam.
a little less happens i believe. this month is dominated by my work experience – ‘South Side Producers’ curating the Culture Catwalk stage during the Birmingham Weekender. never done something like this before. probably won’t do it again. but it was a good insight into producing. (salute to all the producers in the whole wide world because it is a lot).
i remember ending september a week early or something, just ready for October. I wrote out some goals and wrote out some affirmations and decided to have something structured to read out in the mornings. i started manifesting things and giving myself back the pateince with self that i had lost. i stopped scoring my achievement up by the success of interviews and the way that interviewers responded to me or didn’t. i just decided to be. with this mentality, i drop ego (dash and scatter it actually) and start talking to people about my work situation and through this, somebody who i used to liaise with online during student activism days sends me a link on twitter for a job- the job with Women and Theatre that i have now. so. i learn a little bit about the rewards of not silencing your situation. i think i take a selfie on my first day you know. only because i hear my mum’s voice telling me to document these moments and the month silently transitions into what i need it to be-
missing out one big thing. i decide on the chapters of my poetry book in this month(!!) i have the appearance of being very chill (to friends not family) but i actually like to have things under my control as free-spirited as i am. my book felt everywhere until 18 09 17 when i realised the story that i was being asked to chronicle. i surrender to myself and let the chapters show themselves to me.
journal extract | 30 09 17
just a quick letter to myself. i’m in my bath, my happy place and i’ve read up to july and i love me.i love my journey. i just had to write that down for future me. no matter how i feel, i loved every moment + lesson + blessing of this journey. the story is incredible. my contacts are hurting + [bath] water is cold But i am in love again
[…] (loool tragic)
this is a season i have not seen. October will have to guide me and teach me and i will have to be the trusting student. today a customer told me that you have to enjoy being young. that you think it lasts forever but it doesn’t . and it really hit me, i’ll make it a personal goal, maybe a resolution.
This time last year
so deeply into myself
i haven’t been able to find the me of 03 08 16
she was so unavailable for the world.
from all but her promise, happiness, expectation
her poems, her Paris, her piercings.
I’m glad she got away
No one can lay her to rest,
She cannot be mourned
She never died
She is so
Lost in herself.
She cannot be found
But she allows you to
Down the other passage
And get just as lost
Just as misplaced,
Let several versions of yourself
Out into the world
And never be tamed by closings and endings
And just go,
She says you should just, go
With your own appointment and blessing.
I’ve always known of my importance. I’ve always felt myself shaping my world. I’ve never thought to say it out loud, to you, to me, to all who might mistake this silence for insecurity.
The moon follows me in the 3pm sky like
A mother who does not
Trust the day enough to protect her baby.
She’ll overlook from a distance
Safe enough for me to notice her and fix myself
Distance enough for me to
Know that someone witnessed that
Moment of silence
Moment of kindness
Moment of self-motivation
Someone saw me smile at myself in that car window.
Someone saw me decide and then redecide to take my headphones out
And enjoy the sounds of the day
Someone saw me trip and laugh at myself
Laughing at myself
With a stranger
I will not be afraid to look in the eye
And still not recognise next time.
Is what mends me
With absent hands
I have learnt how to be inimitable.
I have breathed deep and learnt that
No one can keep up with my rhythm
I hide myself for myself to find.
Sun rays quickening after the rain to dry tear stained pavements, like fathers should to daughters.
The warmth of the sunlight on my skin, through windows. Like joy does not care, does not care, will beat though glass to touch me.
Kisses on the inside of my neck, like no words need interfere and interrupt us speaking in our language.
The undiluted roar of laughter from grandchildren, like it does not notice that it is to one day become contained in the undiluted smile of grandparents.
First times aside last times as though time is trying to be on our side, is trying to show us, explain the pun with motions and gentle pointing from wrinkled fingers.
– 5 things to bring me joy.
Somebody smile at that black boy.
i never heard the sound of
Behind the muted screens
And diluted tones.
This is life.
This is life like versions of ourselves
Pretending to protect us from
Called baggage we must now
Agree is heavier
Than our unbound idle hands can carry.
Consider it luck
Of love from The Most Merciful
That we are sometimes shaken
To what does not need to be included in this definition of survival.
i have been raised in a home where prayer is sometimes all you can do, should do. i have watched and listened to my mother pray in difficulty, in joy, over phones and i have witnessed her praying for what others might count impossible. a few days ago we were talking and i spoke outloud about some things i was quietening and apprehensive about. my mother told me what she’d told me before. Thank God (Yah) in advance. Pray with confidence, ask and be ready to receive. Speak clearly Amara. She tells me how she has been going through some difficulties herself and how she had to smile at her brazenness but feel qualified to call on her God and say Thank You for what she had manifested. within the same day, problem erased and solution present.
– sharing advice from my mother to you.
August + September done.
Thank you for reading what i write.