Tag Archives: thoughts

Here Am I.

I don’t know what it is about this man, but shit, Anis Mojgani’s poems make me want to live. They make me want to speak in cliches, and speak with an overbearing brand of optimism – they make me want to breathe deeply, and live deeply; they make me feel infinite, and infinitesimal; they make me want to live out my life as a permanent quest for self-improvement; they make me want to laugh and cry and dance in the rain and drink round a bonfire and swim at sunset and drive to nowhere – they make me feel all of these things, all at once, like a spark that lights up from the first line, and grows throughout the poem until it ends and I’m left with a raging inferno of emotions. But it’s a nice inferno – an inferno that brings back so many feelings, like feelings of childhood I hadn’t quite held on to, and feelings of nostalgia for a life I haven’t really lived yet, and feelings for all the things I could do, and want to do, and should do.

This poem, “Here Am I”, reaches it’s climax, and I feel the tears building. And it’s rare, because they aren’t sad tears, or angry tears, or even teenage-angsty tears; they’re just tears. Emotions, spilling out of me, forcing themselves out in one of the few ways they know how to force themselves out of me. His words are so beautiful, and so inspirational, and it’s so hard to describe how they make me feel. But that’s okay, because I shouldn’t need to describe it. I want you to feel it, for yourself. I want everyone to feel it, not necessarily from his words, but from something. It’s a wonderful feeling. It’s one I need to feel more often. And one of the best bits? They leave a lingering sense of hope behind.

“I was here / I was here motherfucker / And ain’t none of y’all can write that in the spot that I just wrote it in / I’m here motherfucker and we all here motherfucker and we all motherfuckers, motherfucker / Because every breath I give brings me a second closer to the day that my mother may die / Because every breath I take takes me a second further from the moment she caught my father’s eye / Because every word I carry is another stone to put into place in the foundation that I’m building / Because the days can erase something that I never saw / What all of us wanted and what none of us got / What we all had and have and what we all forgot / That we all wanted to be something / That we all became something / And it might not be the shit we once though we’d be when we were kids but something is still something and like some cats say, something is better than nothing / Feet are smarter than an engine / And dreams are stronger than thighs / And questions are the only answers we need to know that we are alive as I am when I have the mind of a child, asking why is 2 + 3 always equal to 5 ? / Where do people go to when they die? / What made the beauty of the moon? / And the beauty of the sea? / Did that beauty make you? / Did that beauty make me? / Will that make me something? / Will I be something? / Am I something?

And the answer comes: already am, always was, and I still have time to be.”

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Filed under Life, Poetry, Thoughts

Friends.

After some prolonged moments of pensive thought, I’ve arrived at a conclusion very different from where I started: ‘friends forever’ is a lie. Or a half-truth, if lie is too harsh a word.

The other day, I was reading through this autobiography we had to make for school. At the front, one of our parents was asked to write a foreword, and in the back are messages from our friends. In mine, there are about 7 messages, most of them saying something nice and ending with “Cathy will always be my best friend!” or “I know Cathy and I will stay friends forever!” While the sentiments are appreciated, and I’m sure at the time they were true to some extent, I’ve learned that those sentiments don’t last long. One reason being that you never stay the same as you were at the age of 13. Some lucky people grow together – from childhood to adulthood, from their teenage years to their old age. Those people are indeed truly lucky – to have someone who knows them so well, and knows their past. To have someone they can always lean on, and run to, and call in the middle of the night – that friend who’ll be around, always. Forever.

I’ve definitely had my fair share of ‘best friends’, but they moved on. They grew up, matured, in a different direction, and I suppose for most, that’s inevitable. That definitely didn’t make it less hard, however. And ever since, I’ve proclaimed my feelings on the topic loudly for all to hear: I don’t feel the need for a best friend, I’m content with many close friends. But I think I was kidding myself, really. That feeling of being needed by someone else, of being able to tell another person everything – it’s the friendship equivalent of a long-term relationship, I guess. It’s a great feeling, and that feeling of consistency definitely eases the mind. It’s fairly sad that I don’t feel I have ‘another half’, per se; almost all of my other friends will be graduating this year with one other person to share it with – hey, some even have two people they consider their best friend, their closest confidante, etc. But me? Well, I think my post-graduation plans speak for themselves: finding myself on the fringes once again, I’m travelling alone.

It has meant I’m at peace with being on my own, though. Sometimes, I’ll talk feelings out to others, but mostly I just feel like a burden. I try to work through things by writing them out; writing forces me to organise my thoughts enough so that there’s a structure to them, and it helps. But I digress – what I’m trying to say is, that at least from personal experience, I’ve lost my faith in the belief that friendships last forever. Both past and recent experience have conditioned me to almost keep people at a distance – you let a friend get to know you too well, and you’re vulnerable to pain later on. You’re friends with someone for years, and a tiny issue can spiral out of control and destroy everything you’ve been building up over years of friendship, and it’s awful. It’s an obvious defence mechanism on my part, however – some friendships are definitely worth being that open with someone. And I’ve most likely got friends like that now who deserve that level of honesty, but my self-consciousness always gets in the way; I fear I’m a burden, or that I’m annoying, or a manic-depressive nuisance, or all of the above all at once.

I’m not quite sure that I arrived at the point I was attempting to make to begin with. I think my stance changed halfway through this post. I’d love to think that some friendships can last through anything; however, the fragility of high school friendships has led me to believe otherwise. Who knows. Maybe when we grow up (I refuse to believe that just because we’re turning 18, we are mature), our friendship will stand a better chance. Maybe, eventually, I’ll find a friend who’ll be around forever. Until then, I should just appreciate the few that have made it this far.

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Filed under Life, School, Thoughts

Breathe In, Breathe Out.

How do you work out the value of our friendships? It’s not who you’re Facebook friends with, I know that – if my friends list is anything to go by, at least. So many of the people on there are not people I would consider very good friends – we’re just Facebook friends because we met at a party, or an event, and added each other for… no particular reason. Ergo, not good friends.

Is it who we think would turn up to our funeral? I know we’ve all thought about it – somehow having the ability to watch our own funeral, so we can see who has actually cared enough to mourn our death appropriately (black clothes for three years, at least, and perhaps a tattoo in my memory). I’m not sure on this one – if possible, most good friends would make an appearance, but sometimes other people turn up at funerals – people we didn’t expect. Like your first high school teacher, who you really got along well with. They aren’t a friend as such, but there was a mutual fondness and they cared enough to attend your funeral.

Are our friends the people we would call if we were in distress? Not health-wise, in which case I would hope people would call an ambulance, but mentally. You’ve just learned of the death of a close relative – who do you call (not Ghostbusters, they’re far too busy)? A lot of people would call their ‘best friend’ – their other half, the person they tell everything to. Me, I don’t have anyone that fits that description. All of my closest friends have another person they consider their ‘best friend/other half’, and I don’t mind really. But it does mean I’m not sure who I would call. Truthfully, I’d probably write about it somewhere. Collate my thoughts into neat paragraphs on a blog in some corner of the internet. I’d eventually talk to a friend, but often when I do, my overanxious side takes over, and I worry I’m annoying them, or that they’re not interested, etc – self-consciousness means that if I was distressed, I would have to pause.

Think for a moment. Breathe in. Choose a name. I don’t know who I would call when push comes to shove, and that’s slightly worrying. Hopefully it isn’t something that will be a pressing issue any time soon, but it’s there, at the back of my mind. Would anyone call me? Who would turn up to my funeral? Who is a true friend, as opposed to a convenient friend? Who would I call?

Breathe in, breathe out,
Tell me all of your doubt,
If everybody bleeds this way; 
Just the same.
Breathe in, breathe out,
Move on and break down, 
If everyone goes away
I will stay.

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Filed under Thoughts

Creature Fear.

It’s strange to think about the fact that I could have been born anywhere. Not me, necessarily, with my genetic makeup, but the idea of me – these thoughts could be floating around the mind of a seventeen year old girl in Cuba, or in Zambia, or in outer Mongolia.

This is a common realisation, I know, but I think it’s one that everyone needs to come to at some point in their young lives. It helps give us that sense of worldly perspective that lurks in the shallows of white society – “think of the African children!” during dinner when you don’t finish, the comparison of your problems to the problems of a starving child in the developing world. Obviously, we can’t just think of other human beings when using them as anecdotes to feed our guilt – we can’t, because it doesn’t do them justice. They are so much more than their situations – they could be so much more than that even, if not for their situations. They could have been born in Connecticut to WASP parents, destined to be CEOs, their position in life pre-determined by their birth. They could have been born in the same suburb as me, sent to my school; they could have been a childhood friend of mine. Instead, they were born in a makeshift house somewhere outside Addis Ababa, with a mother soon to be struck down by HIV, and three siblings to care for.

I think that this is part of the reason that racism and bigotry, especially in our globalised world, are nonsensical. They’re throwback qualities to the days when folks lived in fear of anything different – and I think such fear is unfounded today. We have the internet, we have television. We have news outlets reporting from everywhere in the world, and we have the ability to talk to anyone with an internet connection. Yet people are still terrified of anyone different? Those who are privileged are able to travel everywhere, but along with their suitcases packed full of hand sanitiser and reminders of home, they’re carrying around this permanent sense of fear. I truly believe that fear breeds this sort of hatred we see towards anyone ‘not like us’. They are like us though. Sure, the pigmentation of their skin may be different, and they may have a different culture to yours, but underneath, it’s all blood vessels and muscular tissue. They are human, and so are you. We have enough problems as a species without discriminating amongst ourselves – it makes no sense to me. Why would you hate someone based on something beyond their control? They could be you. They could have your heritage, your skin colour, your four bedroom house in the suburbs. Don’t let fear control you – it shouldn’t dictate your thoughts and actions and treatment of others. For all our differences, for all our defining characteristics, a human being is a human being. What’s there to be scared of?

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Filed under Global, Politics, Thoughts