I’m learning to love this body on a different level this year, man. Honestly, it’s been such a journey. It’s the kind of body that’s been carrying me along for 28 years and has yet to stop. It might wear down sometimes but most of the time this body of mine keeps it together and does a damn good job of it.
This body puts on weight, loses it, puts it on again and is ridiculed for it. Sometimes even I hate it for that. But this year, this year I’m seeing these curves and loving them for what they are. Proof that I am still here. Solid and good and enough as I am…yes, I am still here.
There’s been close calls, you know? Often I don’t get to say this but there has been moments when my mind wanted to take a break and my body kept us standing. Reminded us that we feel pain but we can bear it and for when we couldn’t, this body told us where our threshold was so we knew to stop. Take a break and recover.
Yes, this body is good. It does well for me and I’ve grown to love it.
I walked through the streets of my city today, Melanin by Sauti Sol playing in my ears, hips swinging in time to the music as the scent of rain settled in around me. This body of mine is special and I’m going to live in it well. I’m going to love it.
©Saddi Khali photogrophy
I seem to be on a trend at the moment! I’ve been thinking about what truth is, what belongs to us and what truth belongs to others and what that all means.
I’ve been thinking about how easy it is to lie to yourself and how much it can shock your mind and body when someone speaks the truth you would rather not hear or do not yet have the courage to face.
It’s an ongoing conversation with myself but here are a few random scribbling from my musings today:
Unfiltered #throwbackthursday. This photo comes up on my Facebook memories every year and it always takes me back because this day was such a complicated day. I was out with friends and outwardly was having an awesome day but I was so depressed during this time.
And this day internally was one of the lowest days I’d had in a long while. And I was distracted because I was out with people I loved and who loved me but for each year this comes up, I’ve always had such a visceral reaction to this photo because I remember how conflicted I felt on this day and I hated seeing it represented like this.
But it also reminds me that things do change and get better. And God is good. And getting help is great.
When I think about depression, one of the poems that comes to mind is this raw, powerful spoken word poem by Sabrina Benaim titled ‘Explaining My Depression to My Mother”
As a child of immigrant parents, one of the toughest things to bring up has been my struggle with depression and anxiety, both because it’s hard to own anyway and also because saying “I am depressed and need help” in a culture that does not cater to the importance of mental health is one of the hardest things to do.
Have a listen to this poem, I find it so comforting:
A couple of weeks ago, the world of poetry lost one of its heroes. Ntozake Shange, an American playwright and poet who addressed issues relating to race and feminism and a voice that will forever be unforgettable, gave us one of the most visceral and heart-wrenching collections of poetry I’ve ever read. For Colored Girls (who have considered suicide /when the rainbow is enuf ) has in turn inspired countless other writers, particularly of colour, and set the bar for what you can do with this art form.
I was first introduced to her work through the highly-acclaimed (and somewhat unexpected?) Tyler Perry film (For Colored Girls) by a dear friend and it is still, to date, one of the most disturbing but necessary films I have ever watched; and a sincerely loved collection which now sits at the top of my TBR pile once again.
For Colored Girls was Ntozake Shange’s first work and she premiered it to high acclaim as a theater piece, though it has now been widely shown both on stage and on the screen.
A bold, heart-breaking, humorous, and thoroughly human and unapologetic exploration of black womanhood and feminism in general, there is not a single part of this collection that doesn’t touch you in some way. I still to this day have moments where I flash back to that scene in the film (seriously, watch the film!), smile at my favourite line (I found God in myself/ and I loved her fiercely–read the collection!) and laugh when I remember the dancing in the play (if you ever get a chance to see it staged! DO!).
All this to say, Ntozake Shange changed the game for many and her presence will surely continue to be felt. Rest in peace, Ms. Ntozake Shange. You articulated so much that had been unsaid for so many and we can only thank you for your words.