Going it alone

Lensa AI

Getting into the Christmas spirit, I’ve been meeting up with friends for eats and drinks these past couple of weeks. I’ve been enjoying my time going out, catching up and dancing my little heart out.

Each time though is marred a bit by the line of questioning that always seems to follow while out and while the drinks are flowing.

So have you got yourself a new man yet? So what are you doing to meet someone? What are we going to do to get you fixed up?

I haven’t really spoken much about my separation from my husband. Probably because it still fresh and also because there were two of us in that relationship and talking about it publicly is disrespectful I feel. For now.

However, as we move into 2023, moving further and further apart and having less and less interest in each other’s lives, thoughts and feelings, friends and family think it’s about time for me to get with someone else.

But I have to ask where is it written that for an individual to be ‘fixed up’ that they need to have a significant other to be so? It’s beginning to fuck me off more and more each time I’m asked these questions, so where’s your new man etc.

Their justification is that they think I’m awesome, a wonderful person therefore why am I alone or should be alone? Why not share your awesomeness with someone else. This is their reasoning no mine.

And I repeat this fucks me off that they think I should be sharing my awesomeness with someone else. That it’s a waste not to. That there must be something wrong with the world if I’m such an awesome person and have no one to share it with. That I’m awesome and alone. So there must be some on thing wrong with me!

And this is the part that fucks me off the must. I’m so awesome but not awesome enough to keep all this awesomeness for myself, to myself. That I do not deserve to direct all this awesomeness towards myself. That’s I’m not enough to be awesome alone. Take all my time, energy, attention and love and keep it for myself, because I’m worth it.

Where is it written that my only value or awesomeness is truly recognised when I’m hooked up with someone else who probably doesn’t deserve it, would take it for granted and steal it for themselves?

Where is it written that to be alone is frowned upon, is seen as something wrong and that it must be because I haven’t found anyone or no one else finds me attractive rather than an active choice?

I choose to be alone and focus on myself because I deserve to follow my dreams and hopes and not hang them on someone else’s or on someone else being around and loving me.

I choose to not direct my time and energy seeking ‘the one’ because I believe my time and energy is better used focusing on me and fine tuning the energy I’m putting out into the world. If this kind of energy attracts someone else so be it, but I’m not going to put my life on hold or stop shining ‘this little light of mine’ because I do not have a man in my life to be with and love.

I’m not going to go around thinking I’m less than because I’m not in a relationship, because no one is loving on me at the moment. Because I don’t need anyone else to. I can do that all for/ by myself.

And this isn’t me just settling. It’s not me realising that the world doesn’t live Black women and I may’s well give up on trying to find love with someone else. I know this to be true by the way. But this is not influencing my choice, my decision.

I’m choosing me because I can. I chose me when I walked out on my last relationship. And that hasn’t changed it’s just become more of my mantra now as I navigate singleton status. I’m not pining for anyone else. I’m not searching anyone else. I’m not measuring my worth by being with someone else

I’m choosing me, every time. And that feels good for me. So do me a favour and stop asking me when or how I’m working to get a new man in my life and just rejoice in my choice to {BE} alone.

In the Earth of her Voice is the Remnants of Fire

If I allowed curiosity and love to seep through the wounds, I wouldn’t be here now at the page trying to make sense of it.

A black girl walks through the meadow, enters the dark woods and forfeits her life. And I can’t but think if she was white …

Trust. Always difficult for me to hold, like light on burnt leaves. Like the coming of winter any day now.

The race talk, an accumulation of cautionary tales told through time, she, with earth in her voice, filled the void of rage with what was right for her soul. Joy.

Black Wet Grief Has a Tendency to Cling

Loch Lomond

After Ada Limon

On the black wet branches of a sycamore, grief waits for me with the last few clinging burnt umber leaves.

Rain, black blankets, wind-whipped worm into the scarred wounds of me. Her great absence present.

Waiting for the shift, in fall, like stinging nettles’ persistence call, being still is vulnerable and exposed.

Yet suffering is all around when I choose to be part of the world. Privilege I acknowledge and push against.

All this will pass. Time playing through space. Illinear like this journey of grief on the black wet branches of a sycamore tree.

My Mother was the Moon, the Earth, the Song

As I pull into the roadside drenched in memory, I practice breathing. Cycle through the minutes trying to gain ground.

She was silence behind her smiles. Behind her ample flesh. I burnt down our bonds because she dropped before her time.

I’ve too much fire to ever accept her truth. Too much sense to feel the moon held her fullness.

Late into the night standing by the window, she waited for my return. Without fail. I took her love and joy without a backward glance.

I am dark. Too dark. But meaning comes with the light. My own light, learning to shine from the inside out.

I wish she had her chance. I take her picture sitting in the grass amongst the trees and seal it into memory.

The earth she could not give me. She didn’t know how as she laughed her soul into existence.

I am red. All of it. And not at all. But with eyes wide open, body claiming space daily, I listen to her song and bathe in the moonlight.

It is in place that we locate ourselves

It is in place that we locate ourselves, mark ourselves in relation with others; it is  in place that we survive. – Meena Alexander  

Within my body, I carry the stories 

of my mother, grandmothers, 

sisters and aunts. My body carries 

their stories of love and loss;

wounds passed on through

bone and blood. Leaving scars, 

leaving diminished spirits.

But just as those stars are burning

bright right now, leaving their trails

of light, my body, my beautiful body

will survive, heal and fire. 

Another day another page

Visual Journaling Through The Night – 05/05

Can’t sleep. Won’t sleep. Story of my life at the moment.

Could be the change. Could be tummy pains. Could be anxiety. Who knows.

I just know sleep will not come. So instead of mindlessly scrolling I got the journal out again and explored the thoughts and feelings that were at the forefront of my mind.

To go to Paris again in June or not? I fell in LOVE in Paris when I booked a few days there in August 2009 to complete the PhD.

I needed to get away and just focus on the manuscript and be done with it. And Paris was the ideal place to go as it was quick and easy and cheap to get to but it would have plenty of sights and sound and tastes so feed my soul as I dredged it all of everything goes in order to complete the PhD.

It was such a magical time where I would walk most of them day, stop for food and drink and work on the manuscript and then walk some more. Photos galore. And then I would run during the evening through the streets enjoying the fading light and voices and sights of families coming out to socialise.

It also holds a dear place in my heart as I was pregnant with Miss Ella during this trip and didn’t even know. She was definitely a gift.

So I’ve been itching to travel again and go back to Paris now as I’m much older and wiser and have more of a sense of self to really appreciate all this beautiful city has to offer my thirsty soul.

But as my late night/early morning muses explored, I can’t justify the expense of going at the moment, well June, as money is tight after a few weeks of little work due to sickness and tiredness and lack of forward planning on my behalf.

So I’ll continue to dream of Paris hopefully be able to share my plans to re-visit this magical place somewhere in the near future.

Until then I’ll dream about it with my eyes open. As there’s no sleep coming my way.

Can’t sleep. Won’t sleep!

Under the Pink Moon, The Procession Thrums with Memories of Blossom

The Procession, 2022, Hew Locke

After Hew Locke. After Taylor Johnson

My father would say so much with his eyes and hands. Sitting up in his burgundy armchair like a thorn. He would dress in waistcoat and trilby to walk up the road to the bookies on blossom warm afternoons. And when he was gone, I waited in his shadow for his sing-song step to return up the stairs. And when he didn’t return, I sat there lost like our place in history and the world.

Something was wrong when I left the country. Heart tight, sorrow crawling through the blood. Leaving meant joining an age-old tradition, down dusty roads at the crack of dawn. Humid bodies, sweat mingling fear, ebb and flow red blue and green paints. Thrumming bass behind the truck. Before us, lined streets, roped between black and white bodies. We whine to claim space.

I love the freedom assembled lines give. Celebrate, protest, mourn, and escape: The Procession. My father who packed away home in his grip on arrival; was Roberta Flack who set off a smile. I was left to shift between the gap and practice owning something around blackness. I had a feeling I would never be enough. There are times of melting, with the turn of a record, under a pink moon, when there is so much beauty to live, when I recount memories of love tucked inside.

When you want to be so much like your mum but fight the urge

as the day comes to a close,

and the house settles in for the night,

the clock ticks-clicks into the thickening

silence, a breathing silence, you claim as your own.

You’re reminded of late night conversations

with your mum about everything and nothing.

How sitting across from her, you longed to be as kind and giving as she but not as lonely.

You’ve witnessed how she never had a chance once everything

shifted and drifted off course after

her one and only love died. You witnessed their love

desiring that kind of love for yourself and grabbing at any given at times in desperation.

Now you realise, their love was conjured up in a child’s mind to be all

and festered in a woman’s heart to be nothing.

The Body As Memory

The Object of My Gaze, on going project by Marcia Michael.

This body is the site of memory.

Riddled with shame and mystery.

Stories hidden like oysters

to be prised open from reluctant

lips and hands and hearts.

This broad brown back bares

history’s heavy weight.

Shame folding in on itself

for what we have no control over.

This body is stolen territory.

It’s gonna take the rest of our lives

to reclaim ownership.

To belong between this high

shine, bruised and batter flesh.