the song of your people

The first time we slept together you took me to the pond and said
“This is where the lovers say their vows”
And I said nothing in exchange
Because I know what vows are worth in your language
A year of misery, maybe two if we’re really unlucky

I let the frogs in the pond sing their answer instead of mine
And then I let you kiss me.
We fucked, although you’d prefer it if I said we made love
But calling it that won’t change the fact
That I have no more love to give than I have fucks

The next morning I woke up when the cooks turned on the kitchen lights
Turns out your bedroom’s only window was placed exactly between the refrigerator and the pantry
And the cooks at the window were sharpening their knives
And looking hungry.

And I said it’s always the fucking same isn’t it
Your kind can’t help themselves talking of vows and of wreaths
And how you’ve changed from the frog into prince with the movement of our hips

But once you’ve come in our hair you can’t help but make us feel like a piece of meat.

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Detachment and why it is OK

I have struggled with the contradiction that is me quite a lot over the last few years. When I was a teenager, a doctor suggested I may have bipolar disorder or a borderline personality. She referred me to a psychiatrist but I never went any of the appointments. Instead, I took her suggestion as a diagnosis and then used it as an excuse for any shitty behaviour. A little later, a different doctor gave me a prescription for antidepressants and anxiety meds while he sat and ate digestive biscuits. Sure, I persevered for a few weeks until I realised that my ability to orgasm was more important than feeling numb. I decided that feeling sad sometimes and feeling EVERYTHING sometimes was more important than feeling nothing all. of. the. time.

Most recently, I went to see a counsellor. Self-loathing comes very easy to me, it has a home in me where it is never a stranger. She asked me if there was anything about myself that I liked and I replied “my detachment”. I never saw her again because she didn’t think that was a positive trait and I disagreed.

Detachment is not something that is “done”, in my mind, but something we arrive at when we really understand the nature of reality. Detachment is a lofty and beautiful esoteric goal. I wouldn’t be able to do my job if I didn’t have the ability to detach and cut off emotions and not invest my whole being into someone else, I would be unable to remain equanimous in the face of loss, change, and disappointment.

My most detached moments are most easily experienced when I am feeling incredibly grounded and convinced of my divine nature. When I am not in this awareness, when I am in my ego, steeped in humanity, detachment is much harder to embody. And that, I suppose is when the idea of wanting to “adhere” to it, or effort myself into detachment, is quite hard to do. In those times, I do my best not to run from what is emerging. To instead sit in that heat. This feeling what I am afraid to feel, all the way through, becomes my orientation. Seeing where it shows up in my body, my chest, my jaw, my muscles. Usually it is a feeling of fear, of sadness, and often despair, however brief, around the severing of a very human attachment. The aspiration to not be affected by relationships, and I can see why one might want that.

True detachment and aloofness and disassociation can look very similar. However I am learning to believe in relationships, to believe in kindness. It is one of the great gifts of being human, fostering and nurturing and allowing these relationships to affect us, to move us, to heal us, to challenge us open to our wholeness, our bigness, to shake us awake and out of our sleepwalking, to correct what needs correcting, through a move of merciful interaction.

Sometimes detachment is easy. And sometimes – when I am PMSing, when I am tired, when I am overwhelmed – it is very difficult. I attempt to inquire into any given experience. And provided that I have time to process and inquire, I can usually reach a place of detachment, or neutrality.

Other times, I can be only somewhat neutral, and that has to be OK for that moment.

she shone bright in the darkness, the subtle glare of red reflecting off the one streetlight beam peeking through the curtain. her darting eyes scanning the room and smiling in recognition.

i knelt beside the door as she approached me, dug my intestines out through my naval and stretched my heart down into my crotch. it felt fluttery and warm down there. i curled around the sensation and felt the solace radiate through my body.

her lips were full and gentle, her hands captivating and soft as she held my face side by side prompting me to my feet. i held her face and pressed my nose against hers as the cold fumbled around our bodies.

i knew she didn’t feel what i felt but i was happy that she let me kiss her and hold her like that for a minute.

she didn’t encourage my feelings but she was kind enough to let me indulge in them.

Let’s just have sex because love, love means one of us has to fall. I don’t want to fall and I don’t want you to either. So let’s choose not to. Let’s choose to stay afloat and be guided by the current, to grow and ebb with the tide. To contort our bodies into each other, to wrestle with the mania and to listen to that song which speaks the feelings we can’t articulate. Let’s take our detachment and fears and forget about them for the evening, to only know this reality. 

As lovers we are image makers and artists and unique. We’re story tellers and dream chasers. We’re the fingerprints and snow flakes and forgotten child memories, metaphors and desires out of the ordinary. The impulse is deep and old and persistent. A drug, chasing the highs but not naive enough to not anticipate the lows as consequence.

We can’t be in love because this is not how love is made. 

The only things binding are the shackles on wrists. The only things blinding are the scarfs and dust bags. The only thing warm is the melted wax from burning candles over skin. It’s concrete and viscera, it’s the wet and the hard and the dirt and the rope, it’s the only love I want to know.

 

“Don’t burn all your bridges down,” he warns her. “You won’t have anyone left to turn to.”

“I’ll still have you, won’t I?” Her words slurred with pain or too much beer, he doesn’t know. “You always come running back even when I make your life miserable.

You can’t stay away from me.”

He wished he could tell her she was wrong.

I’m going away for a couple of weeks but it’s no holiday. I’m going away to seek asylum from the war in my head. To find stillness, to yield the loneliness, bend the anxiety, manipulate the madness.

I’m escaping to arctic winds to remind myself that I am alive. I’m going away to seek the visible breath as proof that I am warm on the inside.

I’m going away for a couple of weeks but it’s no holiday. I have this incurable illness of restlessness, a pre existing condition of being alive. I’m running from the punishment of perpetual consciousness to entertain ideas of unrealistic virtues of an eternal hedonism.

I’m escaping to find beauty in the ugliness, find a fraction of joy in the bitterness, peace in the chaos, existence in the loneliness. To take my fractured sense of self, put that black dress on and contemplate death under the pale moonlight.