#28 Grateful for Being Able To Switch Off (for a week!)

 

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When I was doing theatre studies at school, we studied feminist theatre, which essentially introduced me to feminism and I guess you could say I’ve been a feminist ever since (I then went on to study feminist performance for my degree). I remember the term ‘The Personal is Political’ and it’s only been in the last year that I’ve realised just how much these words have driven my life. The decisions I make, on a daily basis effect the WHOLE system in one way or another.

So, I’m getting personal in my political activism. I’m going to turn my phone off for a week. No text messages, no phone calls, no social media, no nothing.

How is this political?

Seriously, our attachment to phones is kinda scary. On a personal level I check mine way more than I need to. It’s become a habit. An addiction, an addiction that is ruling my life, not me ruling it. So, I am going to try and go without it, to break this unhealthy cycle. An iPhone is not an organ, it doesn’t keep my alive. Political? The powers that be rely so heavily on our fixation with social media – it keeps us occupied, distracted and maintains a level of anxiety and fear. Plus Money is EVERYTHING and where is money? Technology. And what is money? Power.

Not only that but the natural resources being drained to keep this industry alive is astronomical. I wish I could sit here and write ‘I am giving up ALL forms of technology, forever!’ but alas, I am keeping my computer on as I use it to write, I’ll also stay on email. I’m seeing this as an experiment, to notice the small (or great) changes it brings to my life. I know we live in a time when technology seems to be the backbone of existence, and don’t get me wrong, technology has empowered so many and social media can connect in wonderful ways. I guess I just need to do this, for me, to break a habit that needs breaking, for my own sanity.

We are living in a time of excess – information overload and more hunger for power. This is effecting everything and everyone. How can we expect huge changes if we are not willing to change ourselves and patterns of behaviour. Change must come from within to then be mirrored externally.

I am so grateful to be in position where I can make this choice, that my job does not revolve around the phone – I am going to take full advantage of this while I can.

We can only do our bit. For now, turning my phone off for a week feels like the needed change, for me and our planet.

From Death

Could it be that I once flew

I spread my wings across oceans blue

Or could I once have slept in trees

And eaten the berries, the ants and the bees

With every breath I feel grasses grow

As waters stream through channels below

 

The bones of me were found in sand

Washed upon shores and carried to land

Sunsets kiss the rocks I’ve called home

Miles I’ve travelled to places unknown

All that I dream, I’ve been there before

I’ve cried many times, familiar to war

Wild are my eyes like the hunting bear

Like the tired boar and the frightened hare

So intricate is the nature of me

I’ll not question who I think I should be

As I am all the wonders of this earth

I am the cycle of life from death to re-birth

I AM SHE

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I am she

The saber-tooth, wounding comfort spots

‘Never think your work is done’

Sinking deeper into prayer

Feathers cleanse and winds whisper

As I call upon the sage

Wisdom coasting exhalations

‘I am she’

Words skim the waters

My core so fierce I bleed

Staining fingers that bribe silence

I burn

Nourishing earth with all I shed

I am linen, woven by the chief of stars

The cloth for inspired strokes

Imaginations willing me into existence

I am she

The deciding note

My howl stirs sleeping pixies

Sparking magic as wings chime

I am the symbol escorting the rain

The dramatic ending

I am she.

 

 

 

No More Talk

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Soft notes

Damming the rush

Patient appreciation

Saves me

Yet still I  wait, hopeful

Forward thinking the expected

But the expected never comes

The train pulls in too late

Or early

Who knows, and will I care when timeless souls greet mine?

Scolding players, we’ve crossed paths

I’ve met many who know better

I’ve known better than many too

But common ground rests where really we know nothing at all

Warm intentions spoken aloud on cold mornings

Disappearing into the fog

So no more talk

To light up is the only way to see

Foraging my own seeds

Lost, yet full of purpose

This may be the most powerful way to live.

Perfectly Not

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Imperfections

My armour

Bullseye to my blade

Imbedding deep

For pains I weep

Hungry teeth skewer muscle

My teeth

Because comparisons hurt

Blood stained spit, trickles

Wiped away by fingers ashamed

My skin welded to bone

Flames I turned upon myself

Ash caught by earth

Onto layers of prayer

Spoken by our grandmothers, for saviour

Yet still we cry

Generations silenced by promises

Morphing contractions, nothing changes

Woman whipped by ‘rear of the year’

Tits out

Swollen perfections

And stretched ideals

Suck on what you see

But so much more are we

Fresh eyes

Curious cries

Birthed from woman

And fierce love

Scares many

So imperfections

Are my sweet spot

To love

Loving what be

Saves from shame

The dampening weapon

When really

Imperfection has no form

No right or wrong

No weak or strong

Only the human

Being as best they can

The woman, the man

So my imperfections

 

Once my armour to blame

No more

No point to score

I am beautiful

No blame or shame for that.

 

 

Better

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Can I be better?

The the best I can be

Can I improve on this version of me

 

Can I be kinder?

I’m sure that I can

Can I be softer than the stiff that I am

 

Can I try harder?

And do so much more

Trying much harder than I’ve ever tried before

 

Can I do this tomorrow?

As I’m not sure how

To be someone other than the woman I am now.

Frustrations

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Brewing from frustrations, bulking out minutes, hours, days with thoughts of ‘fuck this!’ You know the kind, we all know.

Ah but what moments of brilliance it brings, to shatter guarded routine and sever truth from damnation.

How much I love the heat of annoyance plaguing morning disappointments, disappointed about nothing in particular but that’s where brilliance dwells.

Vapours coat such disappointments, handed over are medicinal pills to swallow whole.

Breathe in memorable scents of enough is enough.

Trepidation crumbles, ingenious movements possess us, leading us to countless discoveries.

See, where would we be without ‘Fuck this’?

From stillness, those nights when anxieties sweat onto fresh cottons, those days we imprint disaster before the clouds break and dawn freshens the foulness. How invaluable such moments, as what inventions would have pulsed into existence without common frustrations of the everyday?

Stand to attention!

Called to listen when no longer the mundane tickles our tones, the soundtrack to our life is flippin’, side A to B.

If we behave the way we’re told, goodness, what prisoners we’d be. Prisoners to others caged sentences, paragraphs to mould the wounded, slicing flesh with manipulative intentions.

They may have their intentions but my edges ain’t cut to fit their puzzle, I’ll carve my own.

And how brilliant I feel to cross the line, to show impatience and rip the pretty ribbon.

Frustrations burn too hot to stand ridged.

NOW, it’s time and I’ll dance my way. Shoes tapping noisily, marking pavements with excited skips and lightness of swing.

Yes, the time is now so thank you frustrations for your poker fingers, shuffle the cards and deal me what ya got.

Fuck this, I’m ready for new.

 

Sense

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Seeking breaks in double lines

When sense don’t seem to make some

Outward light from shining states

And rowdy hums from rumbling tum

 

What feels right and what feels wrong

Can’t tell apart what is, is what

Ain’t nothing what I thought I was

And tacky lips turn cold to hot

 

Double days they treat me as

As best it can, as can as is

Sensing made of crawling change

And flat-lines bubble up to fizz

Me

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How do I know what it’s like for anyone else?

I have no clue how others feel when thunder shakes their walls.

What advice can I hear but mine

Yes, others talk but what are they really saying?

We pour our heart into open palms

But non of us know how to keep another alive

Trials test my own abilities, its too heavy a load to carry another

How can I know how rain feels upon others skin?

Damp days are welcomed after summer but cursed during the frost.

Is this the case for you?

I’ll never know

Foundations

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My roots grew confused

One half of me foraged to the left, seeking distance, finding refuge in the dark.

The other half stayed small, hoping the sunlight would find them but I was quick to learn, sunlight doesn’t need to seek.

I grew detached, split in two and my weight never distributed evenly.

‘So be it’, thought I. ‘I’ll just continue to grow this way’.

And over the years I grew but my foundations were flaky, always conflicting and because of this I grew a little wonky.

It wasn’t so bad and I didn’t stand out too much, as those around me were a little wonky too.

When the storms blew I lost many pieces, rigid stems broke quickly as they refused to lean into the current.

As I was wonky, I lost more on one side and as I aged I found it harder to renew and as all my gusto seeped away, I stopped trying. Slowly I began to wilt.

I was tired and despondent yet restless and curious.

And then one day curiosity got the better of me as if I didn’t do something soon, I would surely rot.

I felt an intense need to shake.

To rip apart known structures and see what happens.

So I did exactly that.

I shook so vigorously that others looked at me with disfavour.

I wriggled and jiggled and rippled with such force that dormant life living in soils below woke up.

The earth began to move. Each organism scuttled, searching for new comforts.

And in those moments of complete disarray, I retrieved damp roots to dry them off and released all I was sheltering into the sunlight.

The whole of me swayed and for a second I thought I might fall, but I didn’t. My roots intertwined, warmly embracing the lost.

And my foundations spread out, they deepened. One root never far from another, I was supported by my very own community.

Water reached the tips of me.

Life crawled up my strengthening frame.

The further I reached, the more life I could welcome.

I felt integral, I still do. I feel necessary.

And now I am thriving

Now I am alive.