It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human. It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!” It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children. It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back. It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”
- Oriah Mountain Dreamer
- Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them
"Dominique Christina - "The Period Poem"
So let me be very clear. I wrote this poem with a very specific intent. I have a 13 year old daughter. It is important to me that I throw every part of my experience, whatever wisdom I’ve gleaned from that, every part of my backbone, toward her, to sustain her, to offer her language that lifts her up and keeps her up.
That said, there is for me, a necessary conversation that seeks to undermine the shaming that happens to some girls around menstruation. I had that experience of starting my period in 7th grade, boys, finding out that I had started my period. And then it was some shit, like I’ve been to class with the frantic, “I’ve got to go to the bathroom now,” waved and they’re like, “You’re in your period, aren’t you?” You know, that dumb shit.
And so then my daughter, like she starts her period and she’s stricken and walks out the bathroom looking like she’s died or something, and I wanted to undermine that. So I threw her a period party, my home is red up, dressed in red, and there was red food and red drinks. It was great.
It was great. So all red, everything. I loved it. So, that’s what it was and it was wonderful. And then, when I was in Austin, Texas for Women of the World this year, she sent me a screenshot of a tweet and in 140 characters, this dummy, damn their, undermined my legacy. This is my response to the aforementioned today. You’re welcome.
The dude on Twitter says: “I was having sex with my girlfriend when she started her period, I dumped that bitch immediately.”
Dear nameless dummy on Twitter: You’re the reason my daughter cried funeral tears when she started her period. The sudden grief all young girls feel after the matriculation from childhood, and the induction into a reality that they don’t have to negotiate, you and your disdain for what a woman’s body can do. Herein begins an anatomy lesson infused with feminist politics because I hate you.
There is a thing called the uterus. It sheds itself every 28 days or so, or in my case every 23 days, I’ve always been a rule breaker. That’s the anatomy part of it, I digress.
The feminist politic part, is that women know how to let things go, how to let a dying thing leave the body, how to become new, how to regenerate, how to wax and wane, not unlike the moon and tides, both of which influence how you behave, I digress. [laughter]
Women have vaginas that can speak to each other and by this I mean, when we’re with our friends, our sisters, our mothers, our menstrual cycles will actually sync the fuck up. My own cervix is mad influential, everybody I love knows how to bleed with me. Hold on to that, there’s a metaphor in it. [applause]
Hold on to that. But when your mother carried you, the ocean in her belly is what made you buoyant, made you possible. You had it under your tongue when you burst through her skin, wet and panting from the heat of her body, the body whose machinery you now mock on social media, that body, wrapped you in everything that was miraculous about, and then sung you lullabies laced in platelets, without which you wouldn’t have no Twitter account at all motherfucker. I digress.
See, it’s possible that we know the world better because of the blood that visits some of us. It interrupts our favourite white skirts, and shows up at dinner parties unannounced, blood will do that, period. It will come when you are not prepared for it; blood does that, period. Blood is the biggest siren, and we understand that blood misbehaves, it does not wait for a hand signal, or a welcome sign above the door. And when you deal in blood over and over again like we do, when it keeps returning to you, well, that makes you a warrior.
And while all good generals know not to discuss battle plans with the enemy, let me say this to you, dummy on Twitter, If there’s any balance in the universe at all, you’re going to be blessed with daughters. Blessed.
Etymologically, bless means to make bleed. See, now it’s a lesson in linguistics. In other words, blood speaks, that’s the message, stay with me. See, your daughters will teach you what all men must one day come to know, that women, made of moonlight magic and macabre, will make you know the blood. We’re going to get it all over the sheets and car seats, we’re going to do that. We’re going to introduce you to our insides, period and if you are as unprepared as we sometimes are, it will get all over you and leave a forever stain.
So to my daughter: Should any fool mishandle that wild geography of your body, how it rides a red running current like any good wolf or witch, well then just bleed boo. Get that blood a biblical name, something of stone and mortar. Name it after Eve’s first rebellion in that garden, name it after the last little girl to have her genitals mutilated in Kinshasa, that was this morning. Give it as many syllables as there are unreported rape cases.
Name the blood something holy, something mighty, something unlanguageable, something in hieroglyphs, something that sounds like the end of the world. Name it for the war between your legs, and for the women who will not be nameless here. Just bleed anyhow, spill your impossible scripture all over the good furniture. Bleed, and bleed, and bleed on everything he loves, period.
There may be small errors in this transcript.
No one knows what you are capable of accomplishing; because no one knows how much you can really take, but you.
All of this!!!
When they told you that your body is a temple they failed to mention that your skin is what keeps your haven safe. I can see inside of your window eyes and I can see that your so-called sanctuary is caving in. That the stones that once kept you safe, that once held you up when there was no trace of strength inside of you, are starting to collapse around your fragile body. You think that no one can see the pain inside of you, but I can see that what took you so long to build, what has now bruised your hands and left you to fight alone, is failing you now when you need its protection the most.
If it’s true what they said, that your body really is a temple that should be treated with the highest form of respect, than they must have never been through the great storm. The storm that came so suddenly but still has yet to pass, even when the skies have cleared and the sun has revealed itself to you. It’s still alive, still burning, still full of the energy that you have always envied since you first learnt of it’s true power. But I promise, you warrior that has seen struggles that not even the bravest of men could face, that what the great storm has left behind will someday dry up. Even if someday is months or years away, your skin; your shelter of protection will soon heal.
One day you will be able to start building yourself again. You will come out of this war with blood on your hands, but this time it won’t be your own. This time you will laugh in the presence of your own misfortune and you will thrive from their memories of the long and tiring journey that once seemed too impossible to complete. I promise you that one day you will be able to speak of the great storm without your eye like windows forming a monsoon of its own. I promise that one day you will look at your battle scars and you will be able to say with confidence that you survived. That in the end, you came out of the storm as a hero.
Experiencing the most uncomfortable “out of body experience” ever…
Feel like it’s happening all over again & I’m just trying to understand if I missed anything… If there was just a sign maybe…
A year ago,
On this day
this happened —>
"I must have been 17 then, and she was my very first girlfriend. She saved my life by not letting me sleep with her. As much as I wanted to, I somehow understood that she was protecting me ruining my own childhood. So I was very patient with her, her parents liked very much and I wanted to marry her. But one day a guy from Johannesburg came to my village and impregnated her. He never married her"
Music, Wine & Words.
“From One who says, “Don’t cry. You’ll like it after a while.”and Two who tells you thank-you after the fact and cant look at your face.To Three who pays for your breakfast and a cab home and your mother’s rent.To Four who says, “But you felt so good I didn’t know how to stop.”To Five who says giving your body is tough but something you do very well.To Six Who smells of tobacco and says “Come on, I can feel that you love this.”To those who feel bad in the morning yes, some feel bad in the morning and sometimes they tell you you want it and sometimes you think that you do.Thank heavens you’re resetting ever setting and resetting.How else do you sew up the tears?How else can the body survive?”
title poem from Yrsa Daley-Ward, ‘bone.’
now available at amazon.com(viayrsadaleyward)
This had me in tears at 01:45… This had me crying with a lump in my throat, not just for myself, but for everything wrong in the world, for everyone huting in the worl, for everyone who has gone through this burden…
i just… man i just can’t.
#notebook #runtheworld14 #design #illustration
YAAAAAAAS!!! Slayin Goliaths on the Daily
A While ago, I was invited by #IAmSouthAfrican on #ANN7 to speak about my depression…
I keep watching this and I realize how far I’ve come, and that make the journey ahead of me so much more easier to face.
Depression is not just a mood switch, you can’t just “get over it” i’m blessed that i am able to manage it and live with it. I have my highs and my lows and i let myself be…
I just wish everyone took #Depression seriously and can take a minute to look around them and pay attention to the people around them. It’s not easy to reach out for help when you’re depressed… so take time out love, pay attention to those around you.
“give your daughters difficult names. give your daughters names that command the full use of tongue. my name makes you want to tell me the truth. my name doesn’t allow me to trust anyone that cannot pronounce it right.”