"I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin. Our love came
unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up
on asking love to come. I think
that has to be part
of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
of your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.
And I will not be afraid
of your scars.
I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane."
— Clementine von Radics, Mouthful of Forevers (via wethinkwedream)
(Source: waydowntown, via powderdays)
"…a broad man with an earpiece asked for ID, pushed our arms up and dragged us toward the police van. Apparently we matched a description. Apparently we looked like someone else. We sat in the van for 20 minutes. Alone. But not really alone. Because 100 people were walking by. And they looked in at us with a look that whispered: ‘There. One more. Another one who is acting in complete accordance with our prejudices.’ I wish you had been with me in the police van. But I sat there alone. And I met all the eyes walking by and tried to show them that I wasn’t guilty, that I had just been standing in a place and looking a particular way. But it’s hard to argue one’s innocence from the back seat of a police van. And it’s impossible to be a part of society when everyone continually assumes that you are not. After 20 minutes I was released. No apology. No explanation. Instead: ‘You can go now.’ And in the knowledge that others have it much worse, I chose silence instead of words. After all, I was born here. I know the language. I am not threatened with deportation."
Swedish-Tunisian novelist/playwright Jonas Hassen Khemiri (via thesmithian)
This resonates o much. As a matter fo fact, wrote something similar in resposne to Quora question on racial profiling: What does it feel like to be racially profiled?
On a single incident basis, being profiled is humiliating. I’ve seen grown men break down, crying hot, helpless tears of frustration. On an ongoing basis, being profiled begins to corrode your sense of belonging and personhood. You begin to believe on some level, that the things being projected onto you, might actually be true. It marks you, shapes your habits, leaves you feeling permanently precarious, like you might be jettisoned off the edge of society at the whim of strangers.
"I take much pleasure in being alone but there is also a strange warm grace in not being alone."
— Charles Bukowski (via beryl-azure)
(Source: henrycharlesbukowski, via ken-bryant)
In conversations with young, professional women peers of mine, I hear a great deal of angst about how their career ambitions will play out alongside other things they value, namely family. Indeed, there are a lot of things to be anxious about when it comes to navigating workplaces and professions that structurally and culturally disadvantage women, while also building family. That said, I think that implicit in some of the anxiety is the idea that they will have mediocre partners. That is, less-than-partners really, who wont take on at least an equal share of the burdens (and joys) of home-making and care-giving, making career sacrifices when necessary. That makes me sad. I can’t speak for other men, and I struggle myself with social norms at the intersection of masculinity and career, but I am committed to the work and sacrifice of true partnership. I want to be involved in the messy, exhausting, beautiful work of care-giving and home-making, and of making a life with someone at least as ambitious and capable as I am.
"Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…"
— Timothy Leary (via encephalous)
"It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig. Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me. When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic. No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell. And of course, no theology, no metaphysics. Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling, on tiptoes and no luggage, not even a sponge bag, completely unencumbered."
- Aldous Huxley, Island
This came yesterday, scrawled on note paper, a pre-amble to a letter from a dear friend.
When I die
Give what’s left of me away
And old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
Cry for your brother
Walking the street beside you.
And when you need me,
Put your arms
And give them
What you need to give to me.
I want to leave you something,
Look for me
In the people I’ve known
And if you cannot give me away,
At least let me live on your eyes
And not on your mind.
You can love me most
Hands touch hands,
Bodies touch bodies,
And by letting go
That need to be free.
Love doesn’t die,
So, when all that’s left of me
Give me away.
- Merritt Malloy
Noticing this morning’s reblog from Humans of New York, our producer Phyllis Myers was reminded of this poem, which is a favorite of hers, and it’s so lovely I wanted to pass it along to the rest of you.
"With thanks to those who blew the wind,
And those who sailed the ship,
We sailed it tight against the tide,
And I shall be forever in your debt."
— “Forever In Your Debt”
"Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Either we have hope or we don’t; it is a dimension of the soul, and it’s not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, and orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons …Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. The more propitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper the hope is. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out."