The Photographer's Corner

I'd like to say, pieces that resonate but I'd be stealing Falz's 'Stories that touch' line. :)

Love Lessons

Darling,

It seems love has found me and I am finding it difficult to comprehend.

I stopped thinking it would find me after receiving one too many blows to my heart and shedding more tears than usual.

Even though it beats normally, affirming stability, I find I still feel as though a dark hole is right where it lies. It is dark and cold and all I feel is an emptiness that threatens to make me cry on the outside.

I can only cry within

And I cry because a lack of love in life can be disempowering.

 

What is it like to have no hole in your heart because it was filled during your formative years?

What is it like to feel warm and comforted because you have loving arms to run into?

I am unaware of how that feels but I am open to learning.

 

Darling,

The hurt from the past has been profound, that I find myself sitting a bit longer when I talk to God about you.

Our conversation is private but I know my feelings can be seen through the width of my smile and the height of my cheeks.

I have never known smiling to hurt so much.

 

Despite the fact that you make my heart sing, my fears interrupt with a different tune.

What if the past repeats itself?

What if my void becomes deeper?

What if I am unable to take another blow to my heart?

Deep down, I feel that I have no fight left but I am learning that we must be willing to take chances on love even if we are unable to see the outcome.

I am happy to plant these seeds and water them daily in the hopes that they will grow into something beautiful.

 

I feel love is a leap of faith.

It is breathing, easy and done without thinking.

It is energising and beautifully overwhelming.

It is comforting and I can testify to this as it feels as though my void is slowly accommodating a strange warmth.

(Is this the feeling?)

Love feels infinite.

It is transformative.

It sheds old skin to reveal the new.

It is healing.

It is renewal.

It is home.

 

Life has taught me the joyful parts of love whereas previous lessons have been of pain.

 

Lesson #1

People can be cruel to the ones that love them just because, and it is best to love yourself enough to know when it is time to leave.

 

Lesson #2

Despite offering to give someone all the love in the world, they will still leave without a word if they wanted to.

 

Lesson #2.1

Those ones never deserved you.

 

Lesson #3

You may bare your soul to another with the purest intentions and have it ignored and pushed aside like the messages are meaningless and you are insignificant.

 

 Lesson #3.1

Your soul is expensive and its access must be earned, not given freely like small chops at a wedding.

 

‘What ifs’ used to run through my mind constantly.

What if you turned out cruel?

What if you disappeared without a word?

What if after I bared my soul to you, you shut down and call it quits?

 

I have now realised that you are not my past but my present wrapped uniquely in all the goodness God has to offer.

An offering of compensation for a difficult emotional beginning.

Another love lesson that has let me know we are not how we start but how we finish.

I may not know what our outcome will be but I am holding on to the current lesson I am learning:

 

Lesson #4

Focus on the present moment because all we have is now and in this moment, make sure to always choose love over any other feeling.

 

So I surrender,

Choosing to jump off this cliff,

Allowing myself to land in the ocean of love

And to flow

And flow

And flow.

Till I find myself where I am meant to be

And hopefully, it will be in your loving arms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alchemy

When I think of True Love I think of enclosed hands. I think of fusion, a point where two becomes one.

Union.

True love is seeing the beautiful parts of another and diving into the depths of their pool where the less beautiful parts are revealed. It is observing those parts and continuing on your journey. It is a lack of judgment of your significant other. It is acceptance. It is challenge for moments when their darkness threatens to choke your light. It is compassion.

True love is Alchemy.

My light and darkness coexisting with yours like the number eight turned on its side.

Infinity.

In Tabula Rasa Brymo intoned:

There’s one thing, one thing I know

If you be yourself, I go always be your own

If I be myself, you go always want me so

And nothing’s ever promised tomorrow

 

If you be yourself, I go be myself, no wahala.

As long as we both understand that in order for our love to be true, we will have to be true to ourselves. By individually coming to terms with our darkness and fusing it with our light, we can show up whole to each other, enclose our hands and create oneness.

This is True Love.

This is Alchemy.

Soul Mates

We must have known each other in a past life.
I couldn’t strike off the feeling that you felt like home.
You felt safe and inviting,
Your being emitted a warmth
Only accompanied with familiar surroundings.

The air sizzled with chemistry
But I thought nothing of it
Then I heard you speak without saying any words.
I wondered if I could hear your thoughts.
A confusing idea that could only make sense
If we were one person split apart by the hands of Zeus.

As I left,
I felt your face change before I saw it.
A look that screamed want and confusion,
Before it was replaced by hardness.
But I’d heard it,
Don’t go.

Afterwards my subconscious repeatedly called out for you
Like a person calling after herself.
My heart expressed her yearning for your soul
But you prevented yours from answering her calls and I understand.
The intensity of love scares some people
And like the ocean, you may need to dip your toe in first
To see what it feels like before fully immersing yourself.

I knew we were meant to be when I tripped over the sidewalk
And we found our bodies in close proximity.
It felt as if my personal space included yours
And we were in this bubble of acquaintance together,
Our bodies familiar with each other as if they’d been lovers in a past life.

This is fate.

And when you are aware of this,
I will be ready.

Because I begin where you end in our God given tapestry.
Our beings are entwined and our souls are one.
When you understand I’m the one you’ve been looking for,
Allow yourself to return my call.

Scars

The two scars on my arm are equal to the number of years that have passed since my mother died. Every year, I’d take a knife and carve a long line on my skin to commemorate her death. I think it would have been easier if she’d died of natural causes, but my mother committed suicide. You see, my father was a cruel man; he’d crippled my mother with his words and paralysed her with his beatings.

I remember the night I’d heard whipping sounds as his belt struck the air before striking at my mother’s skin. I was outside their bedroom door, crying, as I heard my mother beg silently.

I remember the times I’d hold her as she cried, making sure she didn’t see the sadness crawling out of my eyes. I also remember the elderly women my mother had sought advise from and how they’d told her to stay and ‘stand by her husband’.

The night before she took her own life, there was a sort of finality in the way she’d hugged and kissed me goodnight, so I wasn’t surprised to find her lifeless body in her bedroom the next morning. However, I was surprised to see my father hyperventilating, as if he’d just lost the love of his life. Six months later, my father re-married; society had sympathised with him, concluding that he’d not been able to cope with the loss of his first wife. It didn’t take long for him to begin beating his new wife too.

It’s the third year of my mother’s death.

This year will be different, I think to myself as I cut through my vain.

I smile as my blood begins to spill onto the floor.

I’ll see you in a little while mum.

Walking PTSD

I do not have my traumatic experiences tattooed on my skin.

I do not have a book of instructions on trigger words to avoid

Or how to behave when my thoughts cripple me without warning.

I do not know how to love or be loved without fearing that the real me

may chase people away.

I’m unable to run after every single person in my life

As I do not have a rulebook explaining how experiences

from my past have made me this way.

 

I am a walking PTSD

Realising that I’ve been holding on by a thread.

Understanding that I may put scotch tape over my wound

But my infection cannot leave without healing.

 

During the times I snap,

I want to sew a quilt with each square acting as a map

So it may guide you to the destination of understanding.

I do not have the strength to fight for some relationships

When I am still fighting for my relationship with myself.

How do you expect me to exist when I cannot stand my reflection?

How do you expect me to love you when I cannot even love myself?

 

I am a walking PTSD

Realising that I’ve been holding on by a thread.

So maybe you’ll wait

Until I’m able to stitch myself back together.

Second Class Citizen I: Race

‘Life isn’t a bed of roses but a chain of command.’

We forget that when our time on earth is over, our positions and possessions wouldn’t matter.

 

God judges us equally while we, His creation thrive on inequality.

Majority of us are forced to lie flat on the ground as implemented structures and limited rights weigh on our backs like the leg of a man.

The man prevents us from standing, crushing us in the process and even though we scream, we cannot escape.

 

It’s this man that has labelled us the lesser race.

Isn’t it the reason why black is worn to funerals and white to weddings?

Isn’t it why angel cakes are white but the devil’s food is black?

Or why our natural hair is anything but natural?

We’re regarded as animals because we look different from you

And it’s your inability to humanise us that justifies the killings of our brothers and sisters and our mothers and fathers.

 

Your whiteness may have given you a jail-free pass for the colonisation of our countries,

the dilution of our cultures,

the tarnishing of our identities

and the attempts to break our minds into submission.

 

Your whiteness may have washed away the blood on your hands here

But your whiteness will not do the same in heaven.

Behind Closed Doors

Who are you behind closed doors?

Do you strip layers of pretence when the world stops watching?
Do you air-dry your false personality to be worn another day?
Do you wipe away false expressions
And scrub yes’s etched on your tongue revealing no’s you’ve been itching to say?

Do you cry?

Some cry because they’re unsure of the strange version of themselves they present to the world.

It’s as though their real self is locked up in a part of their brain and the keys to the cell are in the hands of conformity.

It’s as though the day they relinquish this friendship with conformity will they be handed the keys to set their real self free.
Who are you behind closed doors?

Do you allow yourself to be defined by people’s perceptions of you?
Do you allow strangers to come into your story and take control of the pen?
Are you a prisoner of your mind,
Replaying the same records of words that impacted your self-esteem?

They don’t understand that people may leave or die but their words remain like open wounds on your skin.
And if these wounds are left to fester,
The effect is as severe as that of Kimberly Jones.
Because sticks and stones may break my bones but words can also break me.

Don’t you want to be free
to reveal the person you’ve been concealing all this time ?
Doesn’t sadness run through your body
Like the blood in your veins?
Isn’t everyday a struggle?
A struggle to pretend,
To convince them that you’re genuine when you’re not?

Who are you behind closed doors?

Do you shrink yourself in order to be liked?
Is this the reason for your self-hate?
This constant need to please
To be accepted by your peers?

Don’t you wonder where we’d be
if we condemned people’s thoughts
away from our minds?

Don’t you wonder where we’d be if we realised God doesn’t make mistakes
and no two people are the same?

Isn’t it time to embrace our differences?
To shed the skins of others
and wear ours with pride?

Isn’t it time we stopped
begging for acceptance?
Because this need to be accepted
will kill us without warning.

So teach yourself to love yourself.
Teach yourself that the real you is enough.

And remember that the only one you need to please
And seek acceptance from is Him.

You don’t need false personas
Nor do you need to shrink yourself.

Because He’s already accepted you
Just. The. Way. You. Are.

What is Love?

 

Love is unstable
It comes and goes; transferring quickly from one soul to another.

Love is taken for granted
My feelings for you are strong yet you walk all over them as though they are worthless. You tell me you love me, yet you treat me as though I’m a bed of flowers. Tending to me when it suits you but leaving me to wilt when you can’t be bothered.

Love is manipulated
‘If you love me, you would show it by giving me your body.’
‘I know you love me less for the unforgivable thing I did to purposely hurt you, but don’t.’
‘Do you know how much I love you?’ a little girl hears her father scream at her mother as he pummels her face.
She grows up learning that love is accompanied by a man’s fist.
‘I can’t be with a man that doesn’t hit me occasionally. That’s how I know he truly loves me’, she says.

Love is given infinitely to the wrong people
How do you know who is worth loving and who isn’t?
Aren’t you exhausted from your heart being handled carelessly that you’re left to pick up the pieces that can be salvaged, bandaged and taped together, leaving it weaker than before?

Love reacts quickly
You’ve been broken but you’ve met someone new. He’s nicer, shinier and you harbour hopes of him soothing your heart. You think he’d be the one to show you what love is really about. So you find yourself falling and time passes before you realise you love him. Is it real?
Isn’t it the hope that he would heal you of a broken heart and make you forget the past that makes you love him? Isn’t it because he’s better than the one before that your heart is quick to latch on to him as though he’s your lifeline?
And it’s because of this that you become attached and your whole world revolves around him. You become unraveled and melancholic on days he doesn’t call, your life feels ruined on days you have an argument and your mood reflects his when he’s in a bad mood and ignores you.
Is that really love?

Love is disrespected
It’s uttered quickly without thinking. It’s a cliff people are quick to jump off without checking to see if there are rocks at the bottom.

Love fades quickly
And all I’m left with are memories, echoes of the things I never said and resentment for the things I permitted.

Humans are known for making things ugly.
For distorting things until they are in a form that benefits them.

So the question remains,

What is love?

For Women

For women loved with violence,
Who live in fear because the one they loved shed his mask to reveal a stranger.

For women who lie counting the seconds as their husbands pummel to their satisfaction, unconcerned about theirs.

For women who had their childhoods snatched by the violation of uncles and neighbours and were blamed for their misfortune.

For women defiled by strangers and had their reports disregarded for their attire may have ‘provoked’ the act.

For women forced into marriages with men older than their fathers before they even had a chance to live.
Before they could mature in body and mind.

For women who’ve been ruined because some men believe throwing acid and expelling bullets when rejected is justifiable.

For women who’ve lost their humanity, who are shadows of themselves and beg for death due to the horrors they’ve experienced in war-torn countries.

For these women,

if only words could create new stories of freedom and empowerment.

If only words were enough.

If only.

Broken Bones

You were broken before you had a chance to form. 

And like untreated broken bones,

you’d healed the wrong way.

And the healing had never felt right.

It had felt as though you’d buried your hurt underneath wet mud,
hoping it would dry 
and stop the hurt from reaching the surface.

You’d accepted insults and broken hearts because you’d felt you deserved it.

People had humiliated you and you’d taken it all in without a word.

Because of this, 

you didn’t know how to stand up for yourself.

 

It reached a point where you realised how much you hated being silent.

How you’d swallowed the pain struck by others without a fight.

It’d felt as though there was a flaming hot morsel of food in your mouth

that you couldn’t spit out.

So you’d swallowed,

and felt the heat burn your flesh on the inside,
making you writhe in pain.

It made your heart boil

and your eyes water with rage.

 

When the pain became too much,

you turned to God.

He’d always been there, 

waiting for you to realise it.

And when you turned to Him,

He showed you that you were a broken bone

that hadn’t healed properly.

So He broke you again

and wrapped you up in a bandage.

And you found yourself healing correctly.

But most importantly,

you’d found yourself.

So you taught yourself how to speak up

and sought to fight back.

And you forgave yourself

for not being able to protect you.

 

You were struck down before you had a chance to grow
but you’ve been given a second chance to rise.

You’re learning that the battle isn’t over,

it’s actually just starting.

You’re learning that there are people
who derive pleasure from hurting others.

And there are people

who hurt others because they’re hurt.

So when the hurt tries to strangle you,

remember you’re no longer a broken bone

and fight back.