THE ART OF LETTING GO.

If you have been waiting for a sign, this is it. This is your permission to let go.

The lesson: Stop trying to resuscitate the dead. Stop trying to water an already dead flower. 

The ability to let go, to not grasp tightly at things, people, places and moments which refuse to stay willingly is a childish trait I was born with and have carried like a blanket of comfort. In exposing myself, in order to remain true to the purpose of this blog I am going to admit, reluctantly that it derives from an internal sense of entitlement. I was raised to believe that I could have, be, go anywhere that I wished, if I felt it truly within me, I was raised to believe I was invincible… and in the name of honesty, that sense of entitlement still lives within me like a small, dim but nonetheless burning candle. The real burden, however, of this all is the frustration and sense of loss that accompanies the feeling when I realise that my sense of entitlement does not always align with the universe, God, spirit’s plans for me… that my path was not written entirely by me and that my life story does not have one author, but multiple.

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Beyond this however, is more of a selfless reason… when I love, when I care I do so in fullness, with the entirety of my very being. The friendships, the relationships in my life, both romantic and platonic I invest heavily into and the thought of this image which I feel I have so carefully constructed I feel entitled to, I feel that I have every right to protect it, I feel that I have legal ownership of it. It has taken me almost 20 years to conclude that this attachment is doing more harm than good. The minute we have the urge to hold onto a moment, a person, a place, a relationship… is the minute it is dead. The natural flow of life and laws of the universe, such as synchronicity and the power of our own energy teaches us that each moment, each action has a consequence and we must keep moving with that flow… to attach to a moment is to block progression both internally and externally. To work against this natural flow won’t provide you with a sense of security or clarity or gratitude in having obtained what it is that you so deeply desire, instead it will prevent you from having what it is that you not only truly desire but deserve and need. In order to grow, to truly expand into who we are meant to be we must follow this flow… we must move on from relationships that are no longer serving us and take with gratitude the lessons that they have taught us, to understand that what was once for us no longer is and that this is a sign of growth and to accept it in order to allow yourself to expand and grow into a better version of yourself is to perform self-love. I don’t know about you, but I am excited to meet the woman that I am becoming.

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The true art of letting go is in isolating oneself from the notion of self-entitlement, to understand that each loss is not entirely a loss, but a greater lesson that the world is providing you. The art of letting go requires us to destroy the idea of attachment that is used to disguise self-entitlement, it is this attachment that destroys the magic of living. It’s easily we find ourselves in the perfect moment and how we become so deeply entangled in the awful truth that this is not a forever-thing and soon enough the pink of watercolour skies begins to fade and the beauty within the image of the present is tainted. This sense of dread becomes overwhelming, but the real tragedy is that you have strayed too far from this perfect moment to truly live it. The juxtaposition of emotions that arise in knowing that nothing is permanent and everything is constantly changing, shifting, growing… and the enjoyment of the moment… in itself is an art form. 

So, perform. 

 

 

Crazy Idea: “Chocolate” Isn’t A Compliment!

“I can’t even look at myself naked while I change out of body into the poem.” — ANA BOŽIČEVIĆ

The issue with fetishisation and exotic terminology is that it creates a sense of negative uniqueness and hyper-sexualisation on the basis of race, in doing so it also implies that whiteness and white-features as the default, stemming from colonial ideas of “the other” and intrinsic racial differences. This emphasises differences and contributes to the global hierarchical placement of individuals and groups of peoples on the basis of race, also stemming from racist colonial ideas.

The attraction of race or in extreme racial preference also works to blur the lines of internal cultural and ethnic differences and instead clusters a race or ethnicity together, more so it indirectly impacts those that are not placed within this ‘exotic’ category, by washing out those within a culture who do not hold these stereotypical features of exoticness.

Beyond this it also does another thing – dehumanises and objectifies individuals on the basis of race and racial features, as a black woman it is not a compliment to be referred to as “chocolate” or any other food which shares a similar tone to my skin, the over-sexualisation and comparison made on the basis of my skin also reduces me to the colour of my skin tone and reflects racist undertones through placing emphasis of my own attraction on merely the colour of my skin.

In other cultures, and ethnicities, the same issue appears although in different forms, for example the fetishisation of women of East Asian descent, particularly Chinese women and the image and characteristic of passiveness placed upon them. Fetishisation is usually followed by infantilisation of these woman and is a dominant feature of what is sometimes referred to as the ‘Asian fetish’. I’d like to think that it is obvious why this itself is problematic (hint: sexualisation of child-like features… anyone?) and so moving onto the implications of this, it too abolishes individuality and forces an entire ethnicity into one box. This can also act as an oppressive tool in the same way that patriarchal ideas and stereotypes act as an oppressive tool toward women in primarily western societies.

It’s important to note that in writing this, my point is not to state that it is wrong to find attraction beyond one’s own race, but rather it is wrong to find attraction in another race because the attractive individual is of a particular race that one deems attractive.

Misogynies: Women and The Earth Go Through A Lot

And most importantly don’t betray yourself. Not for a relationship. Not for status. Not for power. Not for money. Not to fit into a stereotype. Not to look a certain way. Not for approval.

The difficulties of being a woman, include the pervasiveness of your own personal space, it requires sharing your existence with the rest of the world. The female body has indirectly been stripped of autonomy and labelled as public property through hyper-sexualisation, however the impact of this has little power until the experience plays out in front of you. My own experience in which my space was invaded, in which my discomfort was unaccounted for, in which I as a thinking individual didn’t really matter, but the display of my body did… that is when I experience the power of patriarchy.

There was no ‘demeaning’ display of ‘too much’ skin (unless you have issues with turtle necks, in which case I apologise for allowing the top inch of my neck to peak out), no eye contact made… in fact, it was day-light when I was stalked, cornered and told explicitly the ways in which my body appealed to the male gaze, in highly sexual, highly vulgar, highly demeaning and pervasive terms. My discomfort although quite apparent through the look of disgust and confusion etched across my face was not enough to prevent this man from staring me down as placed himself in front of me. His need to place his own … over my comfort, is one of the many examples in which men are taught and conditioned to believe that their own desires weight greater than a woman’s sense of comfort.

This is just on experience of many, with the recent media attention upon the pro-rape, anti-feminism, pro-misogyny (…the list goes on) ‘activist’ Roosh V who put together an international rally/demonstration advocating the legalisation of rape within the private realm. Previous extremist movements regarding the position of women within our society, are largely a response to growing recognition of women’s rights movements and the increasing strength of both liberal and intersectional feminist action. My right to carry myself in whichever form I feel comfortable is deemed offensive to those who view women as children who must be told what they should (or better yet, shouldn’t) do with their bodies. In fact, it shouldn’t matter what I was wearing, it shouldn’t matter how I was walking, it shouldn’t matter… all that should matter is that my basic rights were revoked, and that there was lack of respect for my comfort, rather I was dehumanised and objectified with a single glance and the utterance of vulgar sentences. The sad truth is that the attempted liberation of women is receiving hostile backlash in the form of counter movements, of increased sexual assault and violence in the name of repressing such liberation.

So the next time, a woman steps back when you approach her… or seems hesitant in her interaction with you… when she discusses her liberation as a woman with both excitement and fear… remember that experience is life’s greatest lesson, and fear is taught.

Photographer: Kidst Ayalew