Hellu! I have been away from blogging about my books and I have realised that as much as I love reading and talking about books, I always fall short on time to actually write about them and have therefore decided to limit my reviews and opinions on books to Instagram. So, if you would like to continue reading my book reviews, please follow me on Instagram. I am @ _tempestia. I am going to limit my blogging to only poetry and prose and the occasional travel posts. Okay, thank you for wasting your few precious seconds of time. Adios.
2017 was a mixed bag of emotions. In 2017, I learnt a lot of things about myself. I learnt that I am terrible at giving up on people, stubbornly so. But also that when it truly is time to let go, I will do so gracefully, but also with a touch of coldness. I will not look back or regret, or miss the company of that person. I let go of someone very dear to me this year. It was difficult to look rejection in the eye, pick up my frayed baggage and walk out of the door, but I did it with all the pride I could muster. I am quite proud of myself in that regard. You truly could give all of your heart to people and it will still never be enough.
I learnt that you cannot persuade time to change its course; you could hinder its flow by placing obstructions of your own making but time will find its course nevertheless. I learnt that people have a way pf bringing out the worst, as well as the best in you. If you must do emotional labour for someone, please ensure that they deserve it. I also learnt how to stand up for myself. Turns out, you can be polite and still have your own back and come out of it knowing that you did not stoop down to their level. Therefore, I truly am grateful for the people I count close to my heart.
This was a year of letting go of toxic people, finding a few wonderful friends, rekindling friendships, travelling solo and finding my footing as also of growing into the fabric of my solitude. 2017 has helped me understand why I detest the idea of depending on people but also that there is such a thing as a healthy dependence and one must practice it. Thanks for the ride, 2017.
I may not have been forged from fire but I rise, I eat air and I spread out my arms of flames. Warmth and annihilation are two sides of the same coin; touch me and you shall know. I am the destroyer, I walk on a ground of your supercilious bodies and bruised pride. My feet dressed in soot; hands gloved in the coarseness of your disbelief. Your hate feeds me with its coarse hands and boy, do I grow. Watch me, I light up the sky; shatter your glass ceiling to the ground. My fierceness and I, we run amok.
On the day we slept nestled in an array of sweaty limbs and hearts beating too fast, you kissed my lips and murmured, “I know you”. I was busy flirting with my fluttering heart to answer you. Your words, like kites lost and found, they came back to me today.
I have had lovers before you. Lovers who traversed my body’s busy lanes and landmarks through the lens of a camera. Lovers who moved around in a tourist bus and stepped out to mingle amongst each other. Lovers who went to the railway stations and took pictures of the trains but never got into one of them. I realised I was chasing tourists. They wanted my body and my laughter lines. They never asked for my radioactive bones. They never stopped to run their fingers through my corrugated flesh. They wanted the history I told the world, never the stories I hid in my lungs.
It was only you who took long slovenly walks through my body’s narrow gullies. You stood in the midst of the crowded streets of my mind while drawing on your cigarette. You have found my hidden bylanes and stopped to photograph the abysmal graffiti on the walls. You have been rendered mad, absolutely barking insane with the way you kept bumping into my questions and doubtful heart.
My lovers, they came to sit by the sea; They came to click over-exposed pictures at the wrong time of the day. You, you waited for the sky to take its time. You waited till I whispered my secrets. You got on trains and pushed through crowds like you already belong. You recounted my history like you have always been around. Your tongue mapped my body’s geography as your fingers conquered uninhabited islands of sensations.
You were always the traveller. I swallowed the tsunami threatening my eyes as you raced through the airport. You built me a country and coronated me the ruler. You flowed out of my life like time, slowly and then all at once. I didn’t hold you back; I didn’t stop your plane. I knew that like time, I had to let you go too.
You know what our problem is? We don’t want to feel pain. We are afraid of feeling pain. We have half-hearted conversations with pain. Pain is that friend you make small talk with at a party. Pain is the friend you dodge. When it calls you and asks you to meet, you come up with the most creative excuses to avoid it.
We think pain is ugly. We don’t want to witness tears, we don’t want to see a man break down or deal with a woman silently weeping to herself. We believe that pain serves no value. The funny thing is, pain is the only one who knows the real you. Pain knows what you look like when you are choking your guts out on the bathroom floor; It knows you have been drinking to forget. Pain knows the contents of the choked up feelings that have crystallized in your heart.
Would it be so bad if we would just give pain a chance? If we would just meet it at a café over cups of steaming espressos and pour our hearts out? If we would just curl up on the couch, entangle our limbs like close friends do and let the words tumble down? Wouldn’t it be easier to acknowledge the presence of pain, to hear it out rather than investing our energies into ignoring it?
Do you know what an abusive relationship does to your soul?
It makes your soul shrink into a corner and cower. Your abuser punctures your self-worth everyday with a pin. Little holes, little holes emptying you of your dignity. And the thing is, when they are done with you and you launch a search party for your soul, you won’t find it so easily. You will knock on numerous doors and peep through countless windows and you won’t find it. The thing is, even if you do happen to chance upon the right house, it will refuse to stand up to you. It has been shrunken and refused light. Your soul would have diseased legs that don’t function anymore. You can assure it of its freedom and it will create imaginary chains.
That’s the thing about abusive relationships, they break your soul. They devoid you of what makes you human, your dignity. Your abuser strips you off your dignity, packs it in a suitcase, takes it to the middle of the fucking Pacific ocean and dumps it in. He then commences to parade your unclothed soul in front of his friends who are all descendants of malice. You sway your ego till one of them pinches it; You jiggle your heart till someone crushes it. They lay you down on the cold marble and lick their sordid temper off of your wet face. Your tears are their salvation. They have just attained a form of sadistic nirvana.
“Why don’t you ever write about happiness?”
“Happiness? Well, how does one write about happiness? Happiness is such a fleeting moment. Why would I write about it when I can spend my time absorbing it?”
Happiness, I believe is like that fun friend we all have. You know the one you don’t see very often. They probably live someplace else. Maybe the two of you share the same continent or maybe they live across from it. But as soon as they tell you they will be in town, you rush to change your plans to accommodate them. You start anticipating all the fun the two of you will have.
It’s all perfect, the two of you have a blast. But then the next day, you wake up to a miserable headache and an empty apartment. Maybe happiness left in the middle of the night to hangout with someone else. But you see, it was here and you gave it your undiluted attention. You were present, you did not let worry consume you. So even if happiness is fleeting, the only way to really experience it, is to just show up and be there.