Still traveling, still exploring what embodiment means when I’m on the road and allowing new longings and textures and exhausts and sirens and aromas to touch my skin. Still walking my days with almost, with so close, with right there right there right there — and letting them throb and hum through me continuously.
I’m doing a ton of writing in my notebook these days, deep journaling, the kind of writing that lets me both remember and discover who and where I’m living these days. When I don’t have time for this kind of writing (and I haven’t been having time for it), I start to feel fragmented, split, utterly untogether — the writing practice allows me to bring all the pieces to the page of me. (Helps, then, too, in staying present when I’m sliding my fingers into the pages of me.)
I have something older to share today, something that describes the arc of my particular trajectory these seven months or so — it’s a write from a workshop last fall (the prompts were definitions of the words indigenous and occupy):
I would like this frame back, this skeletal structure, these muscles and tendons, the jackboot padding that constructs itself across my shoulders and up my neck, down inside along neckbone, esophagus, larynx, feathering pins and needles those iron bars down into my back, the breadth of my ancestor center shut off and away from history because there’s too much construction the raw gnawing at belly, this wreckage of a shell, I meant the tension I inhabit I want you off of me. Uncolonize. Deoccupy.
This isn’t a thing to be made a metaphor of, no need to take the language of the resistance against the white forefathers and apply it like a balm to my skin, it doesn’t soothe the iron anyway. What I want is your remove, what I want is your fingers off my beck, what I want is this body back in time and free, what I want is the possibility of safety tomorrow, which would mean I could relax today. It isn’t yesterday I’m worries about, is it, shoulderblades? I’m worried about the promises he made for tomorrow, that any day he could be released, that any day he could be at my door, that any day I could be unsaved, proven wrong: oh look, you thought you were free. Fooled you. People say the parole board would have to contact me. People have too much faith in the parole board. Is it that I still trust him more than anything or anyone else, the promises he whispered into ears that couldn’t close tight enough, couldn’t keep him out, his promise of always, anywhere, find you. Did he say that? How to walk into this life with the tight rope existing within my own skin?
Breathe into now and don’t look over your shoulder. You have to choose just one direction in which to point your eyes; commit to it. But I was the girlchild who sat only half-way in her chair at the breakfast table, hair uncombed, jeans dirty, sneakers half-tied, anxious already to be off and running how to choose only one now, only this moment, how to choose to breathe into that armor that boulders my shoulderblades and makes muscle untouchable? How to tell it: you can let go now. How to believe, after eighteen years, how to believe it’s ok to let go now? How to say I want back what I have never had had: serenity in this body, the profound privilege of safety, of getting to sit peaceful in one ‘s own skin, not preparing already, tightening up into the fact that he could step through prison walls and into my living room. This is that kind of love song, the vigilance of the body for its violator, the thrumming of the broken and left behind for that which wrecked it.
And so now, this month, these days, relinquishing (in steps almost too small for me even to feel) that allegiance to trauma, to his hands and promises, to the ways he shaped the conditions of possibility for my very being. How could it be any wonder that I am living in a state of cognitive dissonance? How could it be any wonder that my lines feel blurry? They are crumbling. These bifurcations are re(-)fusing and I am wobbly in my shoes and I am still walking forward into a future that looks altogether too brand new for me to even believe.
And yes, more orgasms to come. Tomorrow a guest post from a good friend R_, who is tangling with self-love/masturbation as (potentially) radical self care around depression — hard wrangling, and good and gorgeous writing. I can’t wait to share his words with you.
Be easy with you. Come as you can, as you are — and see you here tomorrow.