Visiting Home

Love, soulfood

Every year because I’m nostalgic as shit, I sit down and write a birthday post. I reminisce about such and such and how it made me feel so and so. We all leave wide eyed, mouthing-over share much God damn. This year you got a taste of that, okay I huge whiff, but it wasn’t really reflective as much as it was let’s all cry for Reagon and her poor little crushed dreams. Sorry ‘bouts that, some days that’s the best I can do.

 

Last night after two cocktails (because I am astoundingly sober and legitimately have a ½ a drink limit) I was scrubbing away at my house as I often do reflecting on my adulthood. Trying to wrap my head around the fact that I’m t-w-e-n-t-y n-i-n-e. I know I know, just a baby. Which I’m sure will feel more true in another ten years. At the moment it feels like I’ve lived 1,000 life-times in the last ten years.

 

I’m not here to attest, another year wiser. Because though it’s cumulative, every year has been different. Each a new lesson. All cataloging themselves in my mental rolodex of this shit feels familiar. Let’s look at that a little closer shall we.

 

19- Grief and despair shape shift from week to week, weak to weaker.

 

20- Ignorance and determination are bed maidens, and sometimes they’re all you’ve got.

 

21- Love will fill craters of inconceivable depth. Hopeful innocence painted the most tender year of my life – Ever.

 

22- You are your mother’s daughter. Can’t and slow down quiver in your presence.

 

23- Ignorance is not bliss, girl. You keep your eyes wide open and steel your heart.

 

24- Loneliness is the most foreign, carcinogenic lump in a rejected throat. And still you will swallow.

 

25- Well I’ll be damned you are fucking physically beautiful. That’s yours. From you, for you. Guard that with your life.

 

26- Run. Explore. Quit. Just go. Eternal love holds your hand when you cross the street of change. You’re still strong and beautiful, that’s enough.

 

27- And you’ll be wrong, like you’ve been before. And you’ll be right, like you’ve been before. What you’re not great at is caution. And I don’t know that I want you to be.

 

28- Why hello love, my old friend. Intricately woven, the fibers sang family, finally. It was all I’ve ever wanted. I pulled that blanket up to my eyeballs and lay in that bed all year.

 

29- You are just a girl. A woman most days. You are not in control, but you wont stop grasping for stability. Balance there is hard. Love, sadness, power, grief, joy and there you are stuck to the side of the drain like a wad of fallen hair. It’s all swirling around you, hurling down the drain. Hey Mom look! It’s a tiny tornado.

 

I love a real storm, when everything falls silent, the sky turns purple, the flatness of distant rain hits your nose. It still finds me in the desert, I inhale deep and let out a thrilled- it feels like home. Watching, hell chasing tornados, is what you know. But don’t you forget that you are just a girl, and it’s undiscerning, vicious, lethal.

 

Twenty-nine, man, and only twenty-seven days in. I don’t know if I should sound the alarm, hide in my bathtub with a mattress pulled over my head or drag a chair out to the front lawn open a beer and take in the show.

 

“Jesus Christ, look, the crazy neighbor is out on the lawn again”.
Heard.

Advertisements

a doer or a being?

social awareness, soulfood

As of late I have been trying my hardest to grant myself patience and appreciation in the process of finding and defining my career. It hasn’t been easy and for the past three months it has literally been a daily meditation – let it be – let go of expectations – trust the timing of your life.

Today I listened to an interview in a series with Krishna Das (the Keith Richards of hippy dippy- mantra chanting- cult following- Eastern informed pop-music). In it an audience member asked are you a doer or are you a being? Honestly, that question sends me into the same cognitive overdrive that, that one semester of astronomy did. So, my succinct answer is that I have been a doer. That my default state is to do. Yes, I do with precision, thought and compassion but I always do. Doing. Being.

One of my most beloved professors lived in Nigeria  for many years. She shared the commentary that in most of Africa people don’t ask, “What do you do?” but rather, “Who are you?”. This distinction corresponds directly with the rate of unemployment (a Western construct) in the area. “What do you do?” situates the opposing party into an evaluation of worth based on circumstances largely outside of their control. “Who are you?” evaluates a person on who they are as a person, their thoughts, their actions.

Full circle, this summer I went to an intensive women’s retreat where one of many soul bearing exercises was to ask as many women as we could over lunch, “Who are you?”. When they answered you were to continue to press, ask three additional times “Who are you?”.

I went into the gathering with my mental notes in order: Mother, Medical Administrator, Student, Writer, Getter of Groceries, Cleaner of Toilets, Information Consumer, Artist. BAM. Iron clad with retort, I pose the question to the unassuming middle aged, grayed, Teva wearing woman in font of me in the buffet line:

“Who are you?”
“I am the human expression of the divine”.

 

“Uhh”. Let me regroup.

“Who are you?”

______
This is about a year old. But still something that I’m trying to get a grasp on, how to be.
Photo Cred: Yuli Serfaty

I’ll Call You Mama

Love, soulfood

I’ve been very conscious of the human tendency to dwell in the bad. To embody pessimism. To forget all of the good times.

Now while I’m driving, which is always, I try to think of more. To remember those sweet times.

When you force fed me milkshakes that dark anorexic summer. When you pulled one by one the cactus needles out of my screaming five year old flesh. All of the you are my sunshine lullabies.

How many nail polishes that I slipped into the shopping cart that you pretended not to notice. The pies, the breads the resounding hugs that kept me whole those few crushing times.

The day seven years ago when the whole hospital flashed, alarmed and panicked, all that mattered was your eye contact, your forced this is totally normal. All of the times that I have brushed up against rock bottom and your presence reminded me- you’re not alone, you’ve got this.

The space for my own expectations, my own me, authentically who I need to be in all of my seasons. The irrelevance of your opinion: gift or curse, I can’t be sure.