Pain Found Me

I guess wisdom like wine, comes from a pressed life and aged tears. I used to chase away the gathering clouds of sadness with a wind of denial. But I was young then and pain seemed unnatural then.

Pain walked in one evening, I tossed and turned all night and in the morning I discovered the dawn of my womanhood. Pain would return monthly to remind me I was no longer a child. And pain would make an appearance in many garments and many personalities but I always knew pain. Pain is unavoidable, it paralyses all other thoughts and demands complete attention. Pain would be friend or foe, and I was to make that choice.

I used sorrow to lean on pain, sorrow became a crutch and in time, sorrow evolved into a conception of a being I long to be. You see sorrow’s hurts gnawed off the false, they scrape layered wrongs of shattered dreams away. Nothing makes the heart sick like an unmet expectation. And many of the damaged dreams have left me decaying. In bitterness I have often sworn. I have spoken words that must be unspoken. Too many wounds have compelled me to make false oaths but pain exposes my faults with truth and lights my path to freedom. Pain captures my attention and holds me there till I see a truth.

I guess that is why, the truth often hurts. It comes with a searing burning to one who has been in darkness too long. It stings the limbs of one who was frozen but now thaws in the sun. Pain screams I am alive. I do not inflict injury to prove that fact, no. Pain will come in good time. Pain will warn me, awaken me and guide me. It is written, ‘there is godly sorrow and deadly sorrow’. One leads to life the other to death. One leads to a change of mind and the other only stiffens the neck of pride. And pride always comes before a fall. And there are places we fall never to rise again, if our path is not altered. Some pain saves us from the fire. Other pain, operates a defect to make us whole. There is nothing more unexpected, unwelcome yet as familiar as pain.

Whatever pain has come to do. Let it fulfil its task. If it is a healing ,then strengthen your body and heal. If it is a signal of a problem, then get it resolved. If it is repentance and forgiveness you need, then seek reconciliation. If it is letting go, then walk away. There’s a time for everything. And everything serves a purpose. It is not there to kill you but only make you stronger. It serves to make you better not bitter. Let it press you, like grapes in a wine press, your best often flows out of pain and sorrow.

Lyrical Therapy

Was in that moment of strange mood,
That minute when the World offers no good,
It’s a moment of hunger but it’s not for food,
It’s a search, one that compels you to leave your mental familiar hood,
So I turned to my playlist, I needed a soundtrack to guide me into dark wood,
And to the crooning of Tracy Chapman there my mind stood in sweet sour brood.

“All That You Have Is Your Soul”
By Tracy Chapman

Oh my mama told me
‘Cause she say she learned the hard way
Say she wanna spare the children
She say don’t give or sell your soul away
‘Cause all that you have is your soul

Don’t be tempted by the shiny apple
Don’t you eat of a bitter fruit
Hunger only for a taste of justice
Hunger only for a world of truth
‘Cause all that you have is your soul

I was a pretty young girl once
I had dreams I had high hopes
I married a man he stole my heart away
He gave his love but what a high price I paid
And all that you have is your soul

Why was I such a young fool
Thought I’d make history
Making babies was the best I could do
Thought I’d made something that could be mine forever
Found out the hard way one can’t possess another
And all that you have is your soul

I thought that I could find a way
To beat the system
To make a deal and have no debts to pay
I’d take it all take it all I’d run away
Me for myself first class and first rate
But all that you have is your soul

Here I am waiting for a better day
A second chance
A little luck to come my way
A hope to dream a hope that I can sleep again
And wake in the world with a clear conscience and clean hands
‘Cause all that you have is your soul

All that you have
All that you have
All that you have Is your soul

I run, oh how I run

You make me write pain well, though I wish you inspired me to sing of love instead. I bleed from a need rooted to a heart that is drained of all sustenance. But alas this is strange, for like a raisin, it only sweetens and like a date it nourishes me from the desert storms of a sandy relationship.

You make me wail well, though I wish you taught me to croon to a melody that made newly weds believe in eternal union. I moan like a widow, wondering on lonely hills, like a howling cold wind seeking a love that won’t be found.

You make me ache and coil. Into a ball, I rock in empty halls of forgotten balls. I wish you gave me relief to untangle my joints so that my limbs would find their dance. And in my cascading choreographic form, hearts would be caught up in a dance of a love that can only be known in motion.

You do not give me, what my heart expected, but give you do. But why has it taken so long for me to see, that I do not have to take what you give. In pain, I chose to write. In wail, I chose to lament. In ache, I chose to coil. And now, here stands another choice.

You make me run. Open the door into a World that beckoned me, my feet are light and my hands are unchained. No hero came racing in. No trumpet blew for Jericho walls to crumble down. No Hercules to slay my nemesis. I turned the knob. And you could not resist my choice. Oh the feel of sun, wind and life on my skin. The tears of joy in the embrace of my kin. Is that a smile, I sense, awakening my face?

I run. Oh how I run. Into the light of a liberating Love.

I love.

Meaning in the rubble

Sometimes you do everything but it all seems like nothing especially after all your efforts unravel. But as you raise your hands in surrender, you suddenly see meaning in the rubble. You realise that it was all meant to tumble. You discover strengths you never knew you had and though they could not win this fight. You know that next time, a new muscle will beat down another battle. And maybe it will be the blow that draws out the winning cry of a defeated enemy.

So until then. Do not be broken by the burden that seems to bend you to a breaking. Remember that tightening grip of lost hope. Do not forget memories that should never be sent into darkness. And dig no graves to lessons learned in defeat.

We never fail but we sail on winds that were meant for our destruction. We soar on waves that could sink us. Though your anchor has been dragged by tumultuous currents, have no fear, you will dock on peaceful havens again. Though you have tossed treasures over board and lost love to laughing winds. Remember life is full of islands with strange jewels of grace and love is too merciful to ever be lost or taken.

So heal. You can and you will.
Learn. You are able and always have. Grow. It is your purpose and essence. Be. It is all you can.
Love. It is the heart and soul of existence. Everything else will work with you even if it seems to be against you.

“And this commandment do I give you, that you are to love one another, as I (Love) have loved you…”

I carry your heart

Love is often a burden one loves and hates to bear and this poem by E.E.Cummings reveals the weight of it so eloquently.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Strange Fruit

It is hard to believe that not so long ago, men were hanged for being black and the scent of their burning flesh floated to uncaring noses and fearful nostrils.

It’s hard to believe that we are still in a world where millions die for being female. And more die for being conceived in the wrong time and in the wrong womb.

And as I hear Billie Holiday reaching from the grave. I am saddened that we have not grown and we still have the hunger for strange fruit!

🎶Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.🎶

Say something

‘Guilt says, “I made a mistake”. Shame says, “I am a mistake”.’ Brene Brown

say something.jpg

Please stop looking at me like you have never seen me before. I know my words turn back the pages of my character and erase everything I ever displayed to be. But I am so tired. Am tired of carrying this shame. It’s not my name but it clings to my identity and drains my confidence. And every time you say my name I wonder, do you really know me? If I spoke my shame would you remain the same. I am so tired. So tired of holding up the walls. I just want to cave in. I want it all to come tumbling down. I wanted to break the dam of all I kept silent. I wanted it all, like a flood to come shouting forth. Maybe with you it would cleanse me not cover me. I was hoping that when all was spoken and all was shaken that you would pull back the rubble, dive into the deep and carry me out. I was thinking that you would wipe the mud from my face and see past my filth. I really want you to see the swan in this vision of an ugly duckling. I want to know that I can fall apart and you can hold my pieces long enough for me to find myself.

Say something.

Please don’t turn your back on me. Don’t look outside the window like you want to run away from me. It seems you regret all you gave up only to discover what you have is a lie. I know, it no longer feels safe in here. I opened a door, I should have left shut and now strange creatures are crawling in. But stay. Fight with me. Fight for me. I was hoping we could clean out my closet, together. I was wishing my spoken shame would be safe in your presence. I chose to believe that two are stronger than one. I was praying that I was worth your courage. I was hoping we could protect each other’s back rather than turn our backs on each other. I know, pushing the spoken back into silence will not undo what I have done. Please look at me. Turn and reach out for me. See past my failure and reach into my isolation. Am I worth a risk?

Say something.

My mind is making up words for you and they leave me frozen inside. I am getting cold and the pain of regret is squeezing the life out of me. I wanted you to look at me but your eyes are doing more damage to me than my fear of loosing you. Will those eyes ever look at me they way they used to? Like I was a wonder of the World. Like I was a mystic being. How can words drain life out of eyes? My chosen alphabetical letters seem to have been daggers and now your eyes bleed tears. How can I heal your hurt? How will you see me and not my sin, when your eyes are drowning?

Say something.

My knees are shaking so badly. I do not mean to manipulate you by falling to my knees, I just don’t have the courage to stand. I can’t hold my head up either. Do not misunderstand my bowed head. It is not pity I seek. Though I would not be ashamed to beg for your love. I would cling to you and let you drag me if begging would lead to forgiveness. But I will not turn this into a cheap drama. This is not an act and my love was never a play.

Say something.

I can no longer swallow the lump in my throat. Am finding it so hard to breathe. My tears are forming a pool on our floor. I can feel your disappointment and it feels like nails being driven into my casket. You feel so far away and holding you wouldn’t bring you back. So I wait for your judgement. You are the jury and the judge. I wait on whatever judgement you place on my bowed head. All I wanted, was to give up my last chess piece. This was my last territory. The one place you hadn’t occupied. I wanted to keep it hidden but every time I spoke of how I loved you, treacherous laughter often came from this dark territory. This is a part of me but it is not all I am. This is a wound I have carried but it has not permeated all of me. This is a memory that would not fade, no matter what it was paid. Now I hope you are not the prize it has come to claim.

Say something.

I thought words were what I needed. But you kneel before me and as I raise my head and look into your eyes, I am amazed. Is this what forgiveness looks like? I have never seen your eyes caught up in that shade before. Is that mercy? Is that grace? Your eyes speak of a love I have not known from you. The swan glides through. Your mercy washes my filth. Your grace cleans my shame. A door opens in your embrace and as a light fills the room, dark creatures slither out and I am home.

“I love you. All of you”

You say something and it is everything.