for women who are ‘difficult’ to love


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This was initially  published on Warsan Shire’s blog, “for women who are ‘difficult’ to love”. It is a meditation on the power of feminine individuality, and how it should be celebrated rather than chiseled or “refined.” Pure acceptance of what is of who we are.

you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
forget you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
prettier
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do, love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.

PS. Don’t change.

i am no bird; and no net ensnares me


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July 7 was an emotional earthquake,” she said. “In an earthquake, everything is shaken to the core. The foundations are split and everything is exposed and you can’t start rebuilding until you have sifted through the rubble and the muddle. Issues of faith are part of that rubble and muddle.”

This was cited in an interview conducted many years ago in the NY Times.

It was believed that Jenny Nicholson was reading The Magician’s Nephew on that day in July 2015 whilst on the tube at Edgware Road.

In the same article it was said that Mr. Lewis — “A Grief Observed,” published in 1961 after the death of his wife, the American poet Helen Joy Davidman — at a time when his faith was shaken into the suggestion that God “hurts us beyond our worst fears and beyond all we can imagine.”

In the recent BBC documentary, London Underground, agreed to halt a train briefly at the place where her daughter died. The moment was entwined with her musings on the Pietà — the Christian vision of Mary cradling the broken Jesus after his crucifixion. After the bombing, she said, “physically holding and cradling” her daughter was impossible. But she had wanted for months to enter the tunnel “and just stand a moment at that place where my daughter’s life ended.”

Parents don’t want nor expect to outlive their children. It seems unnatural and but I continue to witness that so much of what happens in our world is unnatural. I’ve given up trying to make sense of it all.

Yet I do know that amidst all the madness, courage, strength and hope, do exist. It is not lost. It is not gone.

And so as a Londoner but more as a human being, I’d like to wish you much peace, much faith to all left behind, and struggling to find faith even after 10 years.

My thoughts are with you, my heart holds yours for we are after all, all connected.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

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i was ready to die


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‘Working with the British public is particularly hard. They’re very sarcastic. They’re easily bored.’ Photograph: Mike McGregor Mike Mcgregor/PR

Marina Abramovic is a talented artist 🎨 whose work is raw and poignant. If I were an artist I would be like her. Bare and vulnerable. Tough yet fragile. Loud but silent. Serene yet turbulent. You may have heard of her Moma exhibition and her relationship with Ulay. When I first saw him, I thought you idiot. You let a woman like that go?! You fool. I still think it. Why? Well because I am a woman. I know this stuff!

Marina says it so well, she could be speaking for me:

From a very early time, I understood that I only learn from things I don’t like. If you do things you like, you just do the same shit. You always fall in love with the wrong guy. Because there’s no change. It’s so easy to do things you like. But then, the thing is, when you’re afraid of something, face it, go for it. You become a better human being.

What’s the cost?

“Ah, a big one. Lots of loneliness, my dear. If you’re a woman, it’s almost impossible to establish a relationship. You’re too much for everybody. It’s too much. The woman always has to play this role of being fragile and dependent. And if you’re not, they’re fascinated by you, but only for a little while. And then they want to change you and crush you. And then they leave. So, lots of lonely hotel rooms, my dear.”

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Ulay and Abramović split up in part because she was moving ahead of him as an artist, something he reflects on rather bitterly in the documentary, saying caustically that she became “very ambitious” after they separated. Of course he’d say that. The ego is a precious thing, both foe and friend.

Yet her words of loving the wrong man rings true. The loneliness is so aptly captured, it hurts. Being too much seems to be a problem. But is it? I’d say no, no, NO. A man who is worth your salt will come to you, will run to you because you are YOU, too much and never enough. Those who run away, well they were never enough for you anyway. If you are too much, well they may just be too little.

Marina’s dream remains. She dreams to have this perfect man, who does not want to change her. She says:

But my dream is to have those Sunday mornings, where you’re eating breakfast and reading newspapers with somebody. I’m so old fashioned in real life, and I’m so not old fashioned in art. But I believe in true love, so perhaps it will happen. Right now, no, I have no space. But life has been good to me. Lots of pain. But it’s OK.

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trouble me


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While the words to “Trouble Me” are simple, they are profound. They are not not exclusively as I’d like to believe just for lovers 💏 but for all of those we love and for those with whom we need to loved by. There are so many things I love about the lyrics to this song.

The words are simple, straightforward and unadorned. They speak to me because they are pure and truthful, as it was intended. The words serve as a reminder to all those who care and love us whilst also expressing our offer of comfort to the people we love.

These words are from the 10,000 Maniacs albums Blind Man’s Zoo and Unplugged:

Trouble me, disturb me with all your cares and your worries.
Trouble me on the days when you feel spent.
Why let your shoulders bend underneath this burden when my back is sturdy and strong?
Trouble me.

Speak to me, don’t mislead me, the calm I feel means a storm is swelling;
There’s no telling where it starts or how it ends.
Speak to me, why are you building this thick brick wall to defend me when your silence is my greatest fear?
Why let your shoulders bend underneath this burden when my back is sturdy and strong?
Speak to me.

Let me have a look inside these eyes while I’m learning.
Please don’t hide them just because of tears.
Let me send you off to sleep with a “There, there, now stop your turning and tossing.”
Let me know where the hurt is and how to heal.

Spare me? Don’t spare me anything troubling.

Trouble me, disturb me with all your cares and your worries.
Speak to me and let our words build a shelter from the storm.
Lastly, let me know what I can mend.
There’s more, honestly, than my sweet friend, you can see.
Trust is what I’m offering if you trouble me.

how to love


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This is a truly good book with words of timeless wisdom to offer when it comes to Love.

I will post some of Thich Nhat Hanh’s words here, in a few parts perhaps so that it’s not too overwhelming initially. Maybe his words will resonate with you too as they did, me. Maybe you’ll find something that helps, that makes sense to you, that feels right in your soul and that you would feel moved to slowly bring into your own life and heart ♥.

I find Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings really meaningful just like Pema Chodron’s – they both offer a sense of meaning to our human suffering.

If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform.

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a letter, from father to son


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In New York on November 10, 1958, John Steinbeck wrote this letter to his son, Thom, who had fallen in love with a girl named Susan while at boarding school. Steinbeck’s words of wisdom — tender, optimistic, timeless, infinitely sagacious — should be etched onto the heart and mind of every living, breathing human being.

The letter below is precious in many ways but this is what stands out for me: Nothing good gets away. Read it again. Nothing good gets away. Therefore, what is truly yours, can never be lost. Hold on to that when you struggle to hold on. Instead just believe and let go.

Here is the letter from father to son:

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so — only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.

Love,
Fa

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barriers we build


I found this blog only moments ago (https://moodphototeija.wordpress.com) and her photo, the poem and caption, made me wonder.

The photo speaks of a certain vulnerability; a fragile like state of being that is almost impossible to sustain in this crazy world we live in. But I guess it mostly resonates and speaks to me because it’s what I’m thinking of at the moment so naturally the eyes see what the heart ♥ feels.

I am thinking about the barriers we build to protect ourselves, our own vulnerability, which only, in turn, serves to isolate and keep us locked up in our own man-made prison.

Yet, these barriers are there precisely because we have been hurt. They’re not there from birth, we weren’t born with it. No. They’ve been created, built brick by brick, from life and because of life and we have learnt to do this, I’m sad to say, from our fellow humans.

People cross our boundaries every day, in obvious and subtle ways. So the barriers are necessary, a needs must, and a way of self-preservation. They protect us from further harm, further damage to the already weary soul. They guarantee, to a point, that we are somewhat in control of potentially, more pain and heartache. And at times we need to do what we must, and not what we want, in order to survive another day.

I guess all we can possibly do as fallible humans, is hope that when the time comes to let these walls down (because that time WILL surely come this I know, don’t ask me how), that we know we can; and that we feel brave, and ready enough to do so with the ones who have always been waiting to Love us.

Here is what moodphototeija says in her blog:

Somehow I have lost the ability to tell how I feel, not in photography so much but otherwise… Too afraid to reveal my inner thoughts. Always bit afraid what others might think. Would they use something against me? Or would they like me less? And would it matter if they did? I have been too trustful too many times, for example to people who has been acting like my friends. And then they are just been using me for something, their own personal needs. It is hard pick up the pieces…but that`s what we do. Someone breaks our heart, and we still keep going. But sometimes we start to build up a wall around us, wanting to be out of reach of anyone to break us again. And then we are keeping the good people away from us too. The people who would be honest and caring.

“Well I’ve got a thick skin and an elastic heart
But your blade it might be too sharp
I’m like a rubber band until you pull too hard
But I may snap when I move close
But you won’t see me fall apart
Cause I’ve got an elastic heart
I’ve got an elastic heart
Yeah, I’ve got an elastic heart” – lyrics by Sia, Elastic Heart

You lost me.