bloodletting.

i.
Post-its on the wall.
I belong deeply to myself. ~ Warsan Shire
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself. ~ Michel de Montaigne
My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude. ~ Warsan Shire

ii.
Cape Town.
You flew in and out so that you could catch Laura Mvula and bask in her sweet melancholy. Something about her makes you want to hold up a board that reads, “It’s going to be okay, you’re going to be okay”; so she can see it and know that she will, indeed, make it through. But you realise how superficial fan girl love is and maybe that message is for you, a note to self? So you don’t do it, but you do bask in her sad glow, and phew, she takes you to church. How glorious, she sings, this light in us – (the crowd raises their firsts in the power salute) – we are a wonder. And the congregation of natural haired girls with pretty eyes and bold lip colours said, Amen!

iii.
Solo.
You cut your hair. You’ve done it before, but all your friends say it’s because you’ve just had your heart broken. But I’ve been wanting this for a while, you reply. Yes, they say in response, but grief makes us do stupid things, makes things urgent.
You hate that they make sense. Damn them and their righteous attitudes.

iv.
Melancholy.
You swirl it around in your mouth and spit it out like a wine you didn’t like the taste of.

v.
Grief.
Days and days of agony. And opinions on how you should grieve. What is the right way to mourn? This bit is the worst.

vi.
Lemonade.
You were served lemons, and you cut your hair and danced in your underwear, wore a colourful shirt with clashing hues, felt the prettiest you have in a while, and beat your face. Your face. You’d forgotten about this beautiful chubby fat gorgeous FACE. And it’s yours. And you see now, again, because being bald (something about not having the distraction of hair and society’s beauty standards on your head leads you to confront your visage, I mean really look at it and examine every perfecter flaw and surface of flesh) always makes you remember that you are beautiful. My God you’re beautiful! Do you believe it? Believe it.

vii.

Intimacy.
There’s just me.
And all the thoughts screaming into the silence.
But there’s me. I found me, again. Or am trying.
And the taste of it is like smooth sweetness sultry silky
on my mouth.

-ends-

yours,

Dusty

“We’re writers – we bleed on the page.” – a character from BET’s “Rebel”

bloodletting
/ˈblʌdlɛtɪŋ/
noun
1
historical
the surgical removal of some of a patient’s blood for therapeutic purposes.
2
the violent killing and wounding of people during a war or conflict.
Advertisements

Just a Moment –

When we were students we would to trek up the hill of the University, get to the top and head to the Monument building, which overlooked the city. Once there we’d scream our frustrations out into the air, till our voices were hoarse or at least tired. Aaaaaaaah! We’d roar, ferociously. It didn’t solve our problems but it was the release that we needed.

I think I need a Monument Moment.

A question’s been bugging me for the longest: How do we mourn in an age that doesn’t appreciate humanity? How do we mourn when we’re saturated with concerns, causes, epidemics, craziness? How do we mourn? A life vanishes and we are forced to do business as usual. Like it was nothing, like it was Thursday.

I have no idea what it’s called, but there’s probably a name for it in some social science. I’m talking about being an intensely sensitive person. If you are sad, you feel it deeply, (depression, bleh). If you’re happy, you feel it with the heat of a fire that can turn coal to diamond. Sometimes, ‘feelings’ are how you know when something is right or wrong – you know, like when something about an interaction doesn’t ‘feel right’, or when you need to make a decision and a certain path ‘feels off’. Sort of like your gut, or intuition, discernment. The great thing about hypersensitivity is that you’re super aware of everything happening around you, and so nothing goes by unnoticed. The bleak thing is you tend to carry people’s ‘heaviness-es’ like they are your own, or you don’t apply wisdom and your emotions overtake your judgement.
The downside of empathy is having to cope with the weight of the world on your back.

There’s a little song by Laura Mvula, ‘Can’t Live With the World’, that I like. In it she sings:

You can’t live with the world on your shoulders
Take my hand and you’ll see love will find us
You’ve been lost in a dark place a long time
Come to me, say goodbye to your struggles
Remember how far you’ve come
From the start till the end
Depend on me
You can’t live with the world on your shoulders

It’s great because it’s a reminder that we can’t believe ‘the hype’ of our own feelings. Sometimes we’ve got to breathe, take care of ourselves. We can’t navigate any of it as though we were an island. It’s okay to reach out.

Audre Lorde said:

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

We so desperately want to know that our living means something, to be part of something greater, but you can’t change your corner of the world if you’re weary. I’ve heard it said, that love is a revolutionary act. Yes. Love is activism.

It’s hard to mourn in an age that doesn’t appreciate humanity because there’s so much coming at us that we can’t keep up with it all. There’s so much wrong with it and we feel helpless. We can’t fix as much as we’d like to – is it any wonder that we even get desensitized to the pain?

Ever get fatigued sometimes, when you log onto twitter and all you see on your TL is more stuff to get angry about? Or when you’ve spent a little while confronted with challenges that won’t come right, and your frustration just keeps building?

For those who have the tendency to feel every hurt – don’t. Take a moment, a Monument Moment, and press the Off button. Then keep it off. Nurture. Find a way to love in this world that hurts and is hurting. Internalize that. Remember it. Press the On button. Reload. Then, as fiercely, relentlessly and compassionately as you can – love.

Love and light,
Dusty

“There she waits looking for a saviour, someone to save her from her dying self. Always taking ten steps back and one step forward. She’s tired, but she don’t stop…”
– Laura Mvula, ‘She’

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
– 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭3, 13‬ (ESV)