So, I love poetry. I love it because it can be extremely revealing but very concealing. Unless someone can untangle it properly, it becomes its own web of meaning for them. That is what is so beautifully peculiar about it. I was so tempted to write this post as a poem because it’s much easier to hide oneself in a flourish of rhymes, carefully plotted words, and conspicuously blotted truths. It’s just so much easier to wrap up what we feel, rather than outline it like the perfect course syllabus. This will happen then; you will have all read these texts; we will discuss. I feel like I’m fighting myself right now. I just want to break into rhyming couplets.
I heard once that truthfulness in corporations is always very shocking for consumers. We expect to be lied to. If a corporation reveals to us our capitalistic habits, we are unsettled. Yet, if we are spun genial stories of consuming paradise, we feel comfortable retreating into the elysium fields of shopping malls, box-stores, and large chains. (NB: Support your local businesses. It does a lot more for your communities.) We are uncomfortable with confessions or revelations that disrupt out desperate search for happiness, wholeheartedness, and fulfillment. The true teacher will tell you that you need these disruptions because you cannot live a full life without being aware that you, too, contribute to inequity. That is why people ask you to recognize your privilege, even if you don’t feel very privileged. Inequity is why we become bitter. That’s why you hear people say cruel things about people they don’t know. Everyone is bitter about something. Yet, for our own souls, we should fight against resting in bitterness. I’m trying to do that, anyway. It shouldn’t be a default position.
I think this is why I love Kristeva’s theory of abjection. The disruption of boundaries and barriers through the thing that disgusts or triggers us. Dirt, filth, crap.
I’m now using prose to weave a web that must be untangled to get to the point. I was walking down the street, listening to Paloma Faith. I was reminded of a love lost. It wasn’t even a love gained or fulfilled. It is a confusing relationship that always thrusts me into the more existential of my crises. It was a moment for transparency, but thankfully we had fans and flowing sheets to hide ourselves.
I consider myself a fairly straightforward person. But, I hate crying in front of people. I have cried in front of people, but I have also definitely been shamed for it. There were two people who helped me when I was once really broken: my best friend who dried the tears from my eyes and a classmate of mine who told me that I should close my eyes and imagine my breath was expanding and contracting a giant red balloon. That imagery still works. It still makes me smile. That is why I send so many balloon emojis. Not because I’m sad, but because they invoke a sense of calm, childlike freedom, and happiness. I once had a friend say that I would judge them if they cried throughout the film. Nope. I think the most cathartic moment I ever had was when I watched HP 7.2 in Bath, UK. I went by myself to a late showing. I was almost attacked on my way home. I’m getting ahead of myself. So, I sat in the cinema by myself because I was travelling alone. Of course, there were others watching, but I did not know them. I had already started sobbing by the time the Harry Potter logo appeared. I had tissues erupting from my purse like Vesuvius. I was openly revealing my emotional response, and suddenly others around me openly wiped tears and blowed their noses too. Why are we so afraid to reveal our emotional responses? They don’t reveal our truths or our stories? Although, I was vulnerable, I am proud that I made it a safe space to respond.
I wasn’t crying because it was Harry Potter, necessarily. I was crying because I was tired. I was alone. My grandfather had just been tirelessly cruel to me. Tyranny will do it every time. I missed my mom so much. I was privileged to be travelling, but it was also scary to be alone and so in charge of my own security. Guys, if you want to ease your stress when you’re travelling, stay in B&Bs rather than hostels. If you’re in a rather large group, hostels work, but if you’re by yourself or even with a partner, stay in a B&B. Do yourself that favour. Yet, no one in that cinema KNEW those reasons. In fact, I wasn’t even sure of the reasons. It was just a moment of release. It was a dark room where emotions were high, and yah, it was Harry fricking Potter.
We are beings with such varied emotions and emotional responses, but we are so uncomfortable with our emotions. I find that with little children. Parents will yell at them ‘STOP CRYING.’ But that’s bollocks. Don’t do that. There are times when we ALL throw a bit of a tantrum, and I know it’s stressful, but don’t stifle emotions. I also think children learn to be afraid to say what’s going on inside. I think there is a twofold explanation: 1) one assumes our parents are omnipotent and must understand our distress 2) one is afraid to speak up to claim one’s inner truth. With our families, our emotions and emotional responses are always rougher and less gentle than with people we don’t know. For instance, if someone tells me the same story 10x, I’m okay with it. If my mom tells me more than once, I listen. But if my sister does it, I could fly off the handle. But, at the same time, I think it’s because I absorb what my sister says because I love her, I listen to my mom because I respect her, and I sometimes forget other’s stories. (I also have a terrible memory, sorry guys). (Also, I hate it when people tell me ‘you said that already.’ shush).
I’ve been having a bit of writer’s block lately. I’ve wanted to just splat my soul onto these metaphorical pages. Unfortunately, I always feel I’ve revealed too much. Of course, the weather has been sort of grey, and I’ve been losing time to the job boards. I have this weird feeling that if we want to discover time travel and worm holes, we must look no further than job boards. Time really flies, when you can’t find a job. haha. I made a funny. 😛
Go make yourself a cup of tea and come back. I’m drinking coffee; hazelnut flavoured. I don’t usually like flavoured coffee, but this stuff is amazing–hot, cold, nom.
So, I know this post is long, but I’ll share an abridged story here:
I was in love with someone before. It wasn’t really a mutual affair. But it was a deep love. It wasn’t always romantic. It was just this deep-seated love that couldn’t be broken. Sometimes, it was a crutch because it felt easier to be in love with one soul than to admit it’s hard to open yourself to others. In any case, I’m fairly certain I would have trekked the earth for this person. I should explain, I was brought up on the religion of love. For me, God was a force that helped my (polish) mom’s dad (not the one mentioned above) and grandmother live through WWII. It was a force that meant that, even though he died days after my birth, I am always certain of his love. Love is doing the dishes so it’s nice for your mom when she comes home from work. Love is letting my (senior) dog walk as far as she wants in one direction and then carrying her home because she’s stubborn. So, I loved this person. A lot. Nothing ever came of it. I never did anything. Neither did they.
There were no truths shared. Poems tangle the feelings to conceal the shame of a love unfilled. My shame is not towards other people, but towards that person. I wanted them to know me, but I didn’t want to share. It seems like that proves we were ill-suited for love. If that deeper trust couldn’t be realized, then love couldn’t truly exist there. Oh, hindsight. You’re vision is spectacular, even if mine is not.
At the same time, I don’t think I lost anything by not opening myself to others. I know that seems a fairly final ruling, but I was really busy. I had other things going on in my life. I always worked and volunteered throughout school. I think that’s what we need to teach young people. If love doesn’t work out when you want it to, make sure those aren’t your only memories. Make sure you build yourself into a whole person, with or without a partner, because you need to be able to sit and look back on those years and feel happy with how you spent your time.
I’ll leave it here, but I’ll be posting a follow up to this (tomorrow-ish). Thank you for sharing this time with me; you’re all such peaches.
Word Play Xx