It is just after midnight when the world has fallen silent and I
can hear the tepid sound of the tap, as drops of water, fall into the sink. I
can feel exhaustion ebbing its way through my body and I would give anything at
this moment to lie down and sleep. Instead, I find my eyes gazing through the
contacts on my phone and the name of a dear friend who jumps up at me, through
the glare of the screen.
It’s been a while since we’ve spoken and out of a genuine wish to reconnect, I type a casual
“Hey, how are you doing?”
She responds shortly, with the word “meh” and it is enough to set off my internal inquiry.
“What’s going on?” I reply
She proceeds to tell me all about the ways that life has treated her a cruel blow. The Jagged words of the man she loves, falling off of his lips, like a hand grenade. He says she’s stupid, she’s fat, she ignorant and all manner of insults and somehow though I do not see her, I can feel her shriveling up from the weight of all that pain.
We speak for more than an hour, I attempt to show her that life
is worth living and that she has every reason to be here on the planet. I try
to shift her perspective from one wrapped in the ostentatious darkness of
self-loathing and to see her life through the eyes of love.It becomes painfully
obvious that for better or worse, the damage has been done. The cruelty that
has been pressed against her skin, has managed to work its way into the most
fragile parts of her. Her confidence, thinly built from a sheet of glass, has
been shattered into irreparable damage.
By the end of this conversation, I feel myself becoming drained
by the exchange and we part ways. My words consistently hanging in the air, and
her heart unwilling to accept the compassion I have offered her.
This is not our first conversation on the matter and it certainly won’t be our last but so often I wonder what it is that could make someone lie down in the dirt and allow someone to walk across them. Why do we as women continue to sacrifice our self-value, chasing down the love of those who do not honor us? What is the difference between the individual that is able to overcome such trials and find the dignity to stand up, when the world would rather see their confidence, sprawled across the pavement, bleeding at the seams?
Such questions meander themselves through my mind, settling inside the deepest parts of my heart. To be certain it is not easy to be a woman in any capacity but to be a woman of color is to consistently walk through life, attempting to find spaces where we are allowed to simply be. To be reminded over and over again that although our womb is the birth of civilization, the offspring that emerges from us, will spend an entire lifetime, fighting for the basic right to be considered human.
I would dare to say that if you wonder why the black man is so targeted in places like America and Canada, it is because by default he carries the essence of the black woman in his veins.
As someone once said the black woman is the most unloved flower
in the entire world and whether this is true, what cannot be denied is we have
carried entire generations of pain and sacrifice inside the rivets of our
spine. Our tears flowing through us, like a dam that has broken forth.
The only way one must survive such pain is to look deeply within ourselves and remember under the reflection of the universe, which dances beneath our pores, that we are so much more than the divisive words that cast negativity over our skin. In the heart of every woman, is a flame that continues to burn effortlessly. It is only when we allow the world to snuff out that flame do we lose ourselves.
Many of us have the capacity for light, but we have forgotten who we are. We look at the mirror and have exchanged the ideal of the creator, for the fraudulent, self-serving deceit of the taskmaster’s words. Not realizing that we are not simply created beings but we too are creators in our own rights. Our energies an unfailing firework that could light up the entire expanse of the galaxy and how each of our lives, when they converge with one another, gives meaning to our time on this planet.
It is essential that we see ourselves as more than just victims of our own narrative. We do not always choose the cards that we are dealt.
Just as we have no control over the parents we are born too, the
people who surround us in our early years, the socio-economic situation that we
may initially experience in life but even in these experiences, we become
equipped with all of the lessons that we need to learn to navigate our way
through the passages of life and at some point whether we realize it, the
universe will hand us the pen and give us the opportunity to rewrite our story.
What good does it do, to rehash old memories and continue to dive into the pain
cast upon us by others, if we are not actively looking for ways to improve our
situation? As long as you have the gift of breath in your lungs, your story can
never be over.
In spite of the dark and maybe because of it, you will often find out that translucence is a little human power that can bring such beauty to the troubles of life.
That is we come to understand the burdens of life by secretly
shifting our focus into a cloak of invisible knowledge. Rather than looking at
the problem, we gaze through it like a
drop of clear water so that we may better understand its foundation, how it
came into being. In this way, we are able to help ourselves to overcome even
the most adverse of situations.
Pain is an immutable part of life. Turmoil and heartache undeniable attributes of being human but it is so much easier to bare these trials when we are able to step back and consider perhaps we have missed something in the process.
While we attempt to complete the puzzle, move pieces into formation we must be open to the possibility that the key to solving these life equations are not solely found in our hands but that there are moments where we may be the final piece needed to bring the conundrum to its conclusion.
In short, life requires us to adapt to its whims. Change becoming Constant. An open heart and the surrendering of our need for comfort makes us less afraid of all the ways that life will pull us apart and stretch us because when we finally open ourselves up to it, we are able to grow and become abundantly more than we ever expected.
Melodic Rose is a spoken word artist from Montreal. She has written poetry for 15 years. She believes that poetry should be a transcendent experience. That true poetry comes from artistic and emotional vulnerability, and at the heart of it, should reflect the distinct voices and nuances of the human experience. Melodic Rose hopes to reflect this philosophy through her work by producing art that is unbound by the confines of race, gender, or political affiliation, challenging and inspiring others to live with complete authenticity. Her 2015 Chapbook, Ephemorphosis, was published by Prolific Press.