Sometimes I think of you and a bit inside me does a little dance of excitement, a dance of joy. In that joyous little dance of excitement, I want for you all the weird things that make you happy. Tattoos of flowers, a neck to snuggle up to, a girl who makes love to your ears, linen pants and newspapers. With the news of today and cuttings too. Made into collages of the interesting shapes you’ll see and colours that complement each other. All symmetrical and making your spine tingle with ocd pleasure. I want the smell of coffee for you every morning. Black but like your brown skin because you won’t touch milk. But you touch me. And I love how you touch me. I love your hands. Nimble but rough. Firm. Hard-working hands. I want bright cotton sheets and sunshine falling on your face every morning making sharp shadows of your upper lip. Maybe there’s a notebook next to you, stopped at a page with a pen that’s open. You fell asleep while writing down some crazy idea last night. An idea that you will make happen because you can and you have the energy to. Wake up, I’ve eaten half the pineapple and there’s a pot of coffee on the fire. Maybe I want me for you too.
In my most recent posts I’ve tried to be correct, sane, logical. I am trying to be all that now but it isn’t helping the heaviness in my heart. So this is me spilling my feelings out on virtual paper, tapping at my keyboard with the fervour of a woman trying not to break down because that would be what a girl would do. And I am no girl.
I have felt like a woman with you. You always said that. That I was a woman. I have never felt that way with anyone else. But guess what. I was a woman still hiding in girl’s clothing. I was lost and broken and confused. Now I am just a woman and I am heartbroken. Heartbroken that you could not wait. I know I may have asked you to wait too long but love isn’t timed. Love doesn’t know years or days. Love knows only itself. Maybe this is a girl speaking but I don’t care to discriminate. I am me.
You didn’t have the time to let me find myself. To let me grow into the woman that you always thought I was. I don’t need to prove it to you because you already know. I suppose that is what makes this so frustrating. You don’t want to take a risk at a forever with me, but you would take a risk at a less than awesome forever with her just because you believe that with her its forever. I don’t offer forevers. I don’t deny them. I just don’t promise them either. If you chose her over me because she tugs at your heart strings and is the music to your step then in that truth I cannot stand disappointed. But you are choosing security. You are choosing “a life”. A life is not life. A life is not living. A life is just a life. It doesn’t cause you to sing or write or shudder in ecstasy. I am not making this up. Its in your words that I have found this conflict. You say that something’s missing. Why is something missing? I miss you, I wish you were here because like you already know, its undeniable. I am missing you, but nothing in my life is missing. I would rather be missing you with passion and writing as I am now than feeling a sense of incompleteness or inadequacy. I choose this. I hope you know what you are choosing. I hope you convince me. Even if you don’t, life will.. That is just me becoming sane again. I hope you are too.
I wake up at 2 am after having tossed and turned for a good 3 hours dreaming that I was in a boardroom meeting trying to explain the intangible concept of stress and how what we were doing was stressful. I woke at the moment in my dream when I realised I wasn’t being understood.
Maybe I didn’t understand it either.
Sleep is something we all need. In large healthy dollops. The way we live has cut down sleep into worthless chunks. When our lives haven’t eaten into our sleep, we have let our minds do it. We have let our minds do it because our minds have been put in an environment, both internal and external, in which it has no choice but to.
To clarify, when I say mind, I mean our internal processor. The one that receives requests, analyses, organises, prioritises, works out logical answers and decides on a response.
Our way of life bombards the mind with a million requests. Not everything that the mind needs to pay attention to, but nonetheless the senses are transmitting to it a million stimuli that it needs to sort through. Social media is bombarding us with information that is constantly distracting us from the tasks at hand, let alone distracting us from our divine purpose. Maybe that divine purpose is to live human lives. Our lives are so fast paced that we don’t have the time to be human: from fundamental physical requirements like eating, pooping or exercising to the fundamental mental requirements, the intangible aspects of our be-ing which I am trying to touch in this piece of writing.
What the mind receives, the mind interprets and the mind responds to. The mind quite often responds as an emotion. An emotion is a beautiful concoction of chemicals and energy, both physical and mental in nature. An emotional response seems to have little logic in it but I am not certain of this. Emotions can become further input to the mind especially if the emotion is received as being negative. One never questions when one smiles or laughs in response to something. But if one were to get angry or hurt, this emotion itself becomes fodder for the mind as it tries to process it and respond to that which is its own creation. Thereby creating a situation in which it is getting into a loop and creating a conflict with itself.
Our lives have very little time for emotions. Our speaking very clearly demonstrates this. “Stop being so emotional about it”
We live the lives of machines, expected to work at a certain pace every day and meet a certain output demand. We are expected to be functional every day at the same time be it sun or rain. We are expected to function as always whether our hearts are broken or not. Our heartbreak is not even seen.
But lets take a step back from there. What is heart? I write not of the 4 chambered organ that beats in our chest, but of the part of us that dances. Not the salsa or the waltz, but the dance of our nature. The part that shakes our bodies in laughter; makes us crawl into a ball in sorrow; makes us walk away determinately in anger; makes us pace in worry and makes us run or cower in fear. Whether this dance is necessary at all is another question altogether, but while our mind (albeit unwillingly) is creating and playing the music of emotion to which we dance, it is time we start to listen.
The expectations imposed on us are societal but more importantly they are self imposed too. The mind has been programmed to believe that it must function in a certain way and that it is the sovereign. Emotions have been so far removed from it that it doesn’t even recognise them as its own creation anymore. Its connection to the heart is severed. Whenever emotions rise, especially those that are not pleasurable, they are pushed into the background for processing at a later time along with all the seemingly less important things that are calling for the mind’s attention. Over time there is only an accumulation of things on hold. Some are forgotten and seem to get erased from memory, but some leave a trace and others remain in memory, popping up every now and then to ask the mind for attention. This accumulation causes the mind to become less sharp, dull, confused. Its process of reception, interpretation and response starts to become warped. It starts to block its senses because it is being overloaded, it starts to interpret that which it receives in a corrupt manner, its responses start to become incongruous and disproportionate and this becomes further fodder for the mind to digest, for in its be-ing it knows that it is dysfunctional.
So many of us are functioning in this dysfunctional state that even our reference points are inaccurate. The heart feels it, the mind knows it deep down, but its insanity is still questioned. We are all mad. We live mad lives that are not human, the mind and heart don’t speak and we are dysfunctional human beings that don’t know how to dance. Our music isn’t being heard and when we do dance it is ugly and violent. We have stopped receiving beauty or receive it only partially, for our mind’s don’t have the time to process it. With such a warped view on life, we are becoming violent beings that kill each other with no remorse. Some of us lay in bed at night tossing and turning unable to sleep because the mind is like an overworked maid trying to clean up a home that is being used a garbage dump and a factory.
So what can one do about this?
If we have seen in it for what it really is; if we have really seen the problem, the answer lies within it. But are we really capable of seeing it? Do we have the energy to?
I don’t know where to start. I want to write because every thought is adding to the last and it isn’t all bad, but it is all crowded and cluttered. Maybe that is why I feel so comfortable in this room. This room has a wardrobe, 2 cupboards, 2 desks, a chest of drawers, a single sofa and two chairs. There are also boxes of books and baskets of clothes. A mattress on the floor takes up the only bit of floor left. I had my lunch today sitting in a corner between a desk, a shelf and a wall. In a single moment that seemed to last for all eternity, it was absolute bliss: the gentle humming of the fan, the sunlight coming in filtered through the mosaic pattern of the glass on my windows, and the way my fingers felt as I mixed up my rice and curry in a perfect blend of flavours and texture. In that moment, huddled in a corner on the floor amidst all my belongings stuffed into a tiny room, I was perfectly content.
It might have had something to do with how tasty my lunch was; or how absolutely comfortable I was in this body that through the years of yoga has become flexible enough to not feel discomfort in seemingly uncomfortable positions. Maybe it has something to do with being in a cramped little space. As a child, I had often slept under the bed or curled into a ball under the desk. Maybe the way I like to be held by the man I sleep next to has something to do with that too; being enveloped, cocooned, protected. Maybe it is none of those things. Maybe in this clutter I had found a comforting mirror to my mind.
There are more questions than there are answers and there are more things than I need. When in my imagination, I dream of the house I will some day live in, it has large open spaces and very few things in it. So different from this temporarily cluttered room in which I find so much comfort. Maybe it has something to do with wanting many things and having many interests. Maybe it has something to do with loving many men.
I am attracted to polar opposites. A part of me wanting one thing, the other part another. To deny each extreme and strive to go along a middle path seems boring to the say the least. Is there no single path, one truth one reality amidst the illusions of this apparent chaos that is my existence? Maybe this cluttered room is an expression of that truth. To see in a single moment, every thing that belongs to me. Maybe to see in a single moment, every thought, memory and ideal is the end to confusion?
Philosophical questions follow musings on clutter and the men who’ve held me in their arms. And in this clutter of questions, books and memories I will sleep in the last little bit of space in this room of my life. And sleep well I shall.
The tin of green tea is over. The tin has something else in it now..
I feel the annoyance and anger rising when I find out that my favourite green tea has been drunk.. At the same time the critical perfectionist in me is saying “Are you this petty? Angry and despairing about some green tea?”
I walk away.
I pick up my phone and ask her about my dilemma. Does this annoyance over the green tea make me a horrible human being? She is my mirror. She is me.
I am a lot like my father I tell her, I realise. I am with my green tea, how he is with his whiskey. Particular. Peculiar. Human.
I share my green tea with the people I deem suitable.. They must love it and savour it as much as I do. To have me share my green tea with you, you must be worthy. I must consider you worthy. You are few and far between. You know who you are.
In the conversation with her, I speak of one person with whom I would share that last little bit of tea. My thoughts travel to the others, the worthy ones.
The conversation; as much with myself as it with her; progresses to the person who walked into my life and started drinking the last bit of my tea. I opened the door to him and his presence wasn’t silent or slight. He took up space. He didn’t sit in a corner waiting for me to offer him some tea. He walked through my open door and started to drink the last bit of my tea. I was a wreck. I had opened the door to my house and invited him in. My invitation had conditions. My heart had compartments. The cupboard had green tea. He wouldn’t accept any conditions.
So I asked him to leave..
I take up space. I walked into his life and home and made myself a cup of tea. I made more than one cup of tea. We shared many cups of tea. I am just like he is. I take up space. But his open door was unconditional and his invitation all inclusive. Mine just wasn’t.
He was more than worthy of that last bit of tea..
I can’t quite describe this feeling in my chest..
It is a little bit like sadness, it is a little bit like I miss you. But really it is just that this photograph of us is so beautiful. There is a certain grace in the way I’ve wrapped my arms around your neck and in the way your head is resting on my chest. It is a grace that very often I didn’t feel with you. It is a photograph of a love that I have only just discovered I felt for you. I feel for you. But you are not mine and I am not yours. I am only just starting to learn that that is ok. I am only just starting to learn that to love and let go is something we will do again and again. That is how it is and how it will be. I love you for everything you are. I forgive you for being angry. I forgive myself for making you angry. I wish you love and I wish you grace. Sometimes captured in a photograph like this one, but more often than not, felt.
I cannot write. I am cracked. My thoughts are two ways, but there are no two ways. No ways to go about it at all. No words form sentences, form thoughts, form ideas, form anything but a jumble that is so disjointed, dismembered like the cracked plate that lies on the floor, its pieces laid in a pattern of a memory of what it once was.
I am no longer a whole. I am not defined, I have no direction. I am lost. I close my eyes waiting for letters to form words. There is none. There is emptiness. There is silence. In a mind that was once too loud, there is nothing.
I am afraid of the emptiness. I am afraid of being not I. But if I am not I then what am I? What is I? What are I?
I am afraid. Am I afraid? Is this emptiness a block? Is it a wall? Is it a capsule I am trapped in. A dead weight denial. I am black.
I cannot write.