Wednesday, 8 March 2017
To my Mother who has taught me that, sometimes, the bravery and strength you need to make a change comes with time, but that it's likely that whenever you do take the leap, whatever it is will always be a cocktail of messy and complicated difficulties inside of which is the empowering freedom you have deserved from the very beginning.
To my Grandmother who refused to stop until I believed that, whatever you want to do, it isn't ever too late to start. And I do believe, wholeheartedly. Even though she is no longer here, she was one of the driving forces for me to go back to University and study for my Masters. I'm doing it mostly for me, but also partly for her.
To J.K Rowling for introducing me to Hermione, and Luna, and Ginny, and Minerva, and Molly over a decade ago. Their fierce bravery, unapologetic thirst for knowledge, pure nerve and intense love have stayed with me, and a part of each of them will exist within me for the rest of my days.
To Sue, one of my undergraduate lecturers who taught me to focus on studying for the pure joy and magic the very act inherently possesses, and not for the grade or result that inevitably comes at the end.
To Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Zadie Smith, and Olivia Laing, and Margaret Atwood, and Sylvia Plath, and bell hooks, and Juno Dawson, and Ava Duvernay, and Adele, and Virginia Woolf, and Kate Tempest, and Ali Smith, and Florence Welch, and Patti Smith, and Sarah Kay, and Laura Dockrill, and Susan Sontag, and Sarah Waters, and Lorde, and Daphne du Maurier, and Eleanor Catton, and Katherine Mansfield, and Toni Morrison, and Eimear McBride, and so many other incredible storytellers with powerful, gentle and fierce voices.
To Bee, and Carly, and Laila, and Josie, and Ria, and Sophie, and Dianne who inspire me in more ways than they could ever imagine.
To every single woman. You are strong, and powerful, and wise, and brave, and gentle, and magical, and loved, and worthy, even if, in this moment, you don't believe that you are. You are. You are. You are. For always.
Friday, 3 March 2017
I'm waiting for it / that green light / I want it.
For the best part of two decades I've spent a lot of time considering mortality, specifically my own, and there isn’t really any way to say that in a way that isn’t obtusely frank. I don’t know whether there is anything after this, or whether the end really is the end. Moving on to somewhere wildly different, coming back in some other form, or slipping into the warm embrace of an endless silence. An eternal sleep as reward for navigating this messy, complex, beautiful, noisy, overwhelming thing we call life only feels appropriate for those who have had the chance to truly live. And as that is denied to so many, I suppose seeking comfort in an unmoveable belief that there is something more is only natural.
When someone leaves you seek comfort, a signal, a sign that everything is, or will be, alright. And when what you're searching for suddenly becomes clear is it true, merely coincidence, or simply a particular interpretation of something that would have happened regardless through the lens of heightened perception in response to the finality of loss? Who am I to say, really? Because it could be one, the other, or both. And, you know, I don’t even really think the minute details are always of the greatest importance.
But I do know that life is too short and too damn precious to accept that your circumstances are unyielding, immovable, or that feelings of hopelessness will endure above all others. Because you deserve more than that. You have always deserved more than that.
If I've learnt anything this year, so far, it's that it is now strikingly apparent that I haven’t given enough consideration to life. To this moment. To all the moments that have already passed. To the moments that could happen, will happen, and aren’t ever meant to happen. I think of everyone I’ve ever known. Trying to break through the illusions that have formed an opaque cloak over connections I made with people in a time that feels like a lifetime ago to truly see, with new eyes, the connections of now.
I understand now that the eternal search for more will always be fruitless. The power we need to make the changes we want to see are already contained somewhere within us. Sometimes it just takes some time. And it’s frustrating, but it is what it is, I think.
Be the change you need to see.
We are products of everyone we have ever known, every situation we have found ourselves in, and the inner voice we have grown to trust, or doubt, or question. And this means we’re all unique. But we are also the same. We all laugh and cry, hope and thrive, bleed and heal, love and lose. We are also made up of all the things that haven’t happened yet. The difficult, the wondrous, the devastating, the pure moments that are yet to come.
And they will come. Things won't always be the same. And there's beauty in that.
In the end we all had hope, and even though, in that moment, it was no match for the greater force that we will all meet at the very end, we haven’t lost hope. We mustn't lose hope. Because hope is in every sunrise, every shooting star, every breath and heartbeat and tear, it’s in hard work, heartbreak, a smile from a stranger, an embrace from a lover, a dream, a spark, a burning desire.
It’s inside you, even if, at this moment, you fear you’ve misplaced it. It’s there. Right between your light, your talent and your fiercest desires.
And so if you want to, think of this imperfect collection of sentences as your green light. They have been mine.