jupiter | atlas

credit: nasa / nasa.gov

atlas is a series based on the planet songs off of sleeping at last’s atlas: year one.
this is jupiter: a realisation of and hope for purpose.

If anything I do must be for something, then it is for them to mean something. Day after day, I turn any knowledge of who and what I believe myself to be inside out – all the light I collect within myself, everything I protect – in search of purpose, elusive as it may be.

Today, I close my eyes and realise that we are all extraordinary, and like that, none of us are. That nobody leaves without changing something, and that nobody can change everything. That the chaos of the present may be, in its entirety, something to get caught up in rather than to resist. That maybe, the undoing of everything that we all are is what we’re here for.

I think that maybe, in this here and now, the mess we make counts for both everything and nothing, and within them, all that counts. I think that regardless of however many moons we each have affecting what we gravitate towards, all of our fractures reflect the same thing. They sing the same song of wanting to know; of purpose. They sing:

Make my messes matter.

mars | atlas

credit: nasa / nasa.gov

atlas is a series based on the planet songs off of sleeping at last’s atlas: year one.
this is mars.

War is glory. War is a hazy place of death and death, and for what? For your country, to make someone – anyone –  proud, or to prove a point via the power borne from crushing skulls underfoot? War is never fought by those seeking the latter – what’s the point of fighting for power if one could die doing it?

Instead, they rally a group onto a precipice, and push.  War opens her mouth and swallows the bodies of young people whole. She swallows those who were just old enough to sign the dotted line, those who needed a way out from something, those who believed that it was worth it, and those who did nothing but exist at the wrong place at the wrong time.

She takes strangers to suffering bursting with life and rips them apart. She breaks their bodies, their brains, their sense of self, until all that remains is her pervading reminder that they are in her hands. She reminds them that she is all they can count on, all they know, and all they will know. Bodies laid down and names forgotten, she becomes mother and savior and enemy and everything. Constant. Everything.

When those fighting see it time to inform their fighters that someone has won, that enough skulls have been trampled on, war does not receive the message. Instead, she leaves with every person who is lucky enough to. She takes up prime real estate in their brains and continues her work.

Those who come back continue fighting. Their war rages on, and time does too.  There is hope for quiet, for resolution. The hope that now…

Now we’re young enough to try to build a better life.

earth | atlas

credit: nasa / nasa.gov

atlas is a series based on the planet songs off of sleeping at last’s atlas: year one.
this is earth: an account of necessary and inevitable destruction.

I have a knack for destruction. It’s in my name, my veins, and  every movement I have ever made. This time, I am weary.

This time, I am not destroying a safe house I had made for myself. I am not undoing the world of work done in relationships, nor am I crushing the tower of support that I have stood on for as long as I needed to. This time, I am not destroying. This time, I am being broken, and it has been a long time coming.

I saw the sky change and saw myself create a courage based on a cheap attempt at self deceit. I saw the water rise, and I locked the door. I saw the fires grow and readied my bucket. I saw myself, and I saw futility. For what is a bolted door against an unending ocean, or a pail of water against a forest fire? No lie I tell myself can convince me that I have enough time to collect myself enough to survive this.

This time, I am not destroying. I am watching disaster after disaster wreck me magnificently. I am watching earthquake after avalanche after flood after fire, and I tremble and crash along with all it destroys. My family has since left, finding refuge in a place safe from disaster and destruction. Despite this, I greet the mess. I greet destruction as my old friend, my constant, my ever steady companion.  I allow the old self to drown and to burn, and wait for the change.

These wildfires grow and grow until a brand new world takes shape.

venus | atlas

 

credit: wired / wired.com

atlas is a series based on the planet songs off of sleeping at last’s atlas: year one.
this is venus: a reflection on discovery and love .

The space between the tangle of limbs that we are is heavy with wonder and potential. I remember the first time I stood close enough to you to realise that I could see you, after years of telling myself that I would never find you. I checked and double checked every feeling I had, just to be sure, but there I was: leaning into the white-hot heat that you were and are; my calculations for naught.

Like this, bodies touching no longer a dream, I start to question whether this quest was worth what I set out for. I looked for you and somehow, despite my search, I was the biggest find of the search. Me and all one billion fragments of myself spun far out looking for whatever we thought could be you. I learnt that too many different focuses really mean no focus at all, and found myself caught up in the sparkly wreckage of everyone and everything else. Somehow, you saw me looking out. You pulled me into frame, and I wondered if I knew that I could see you. I saw you, but did I know I did?

Now, your legs draped over mine and our fingers knotted together, I see you. Without the charts to fill, without the measurements that I religiously held this search to and without mistaking you for a mass of dancing stars rather than the celestial superpower that you are, I see you. I am helpless for the most part. My undoing is my becoming, and I see you.

Together is a place with you. Here – together – I realise that what I’m saying, what I’ve been saying is that this has been an awakening. That you are my awakening.

Astronomy in reverse; it was me who was discovered.

mercury | atlas

credit:  nasa / https://www.nasa.gov

atlas is a series based on the planet songs off of sleeping at last’s atlas: year one.
this is mercury: a conversation with the self about progress & control. 


I don’t know what’ll be the catalyst. I don’t know what will make me feel different, what will undo the mass of doing that I have done within myself, what will change anything at all. I know that it must be something.

I am alone, and I am aware. As hard and as far as I run, I can’t seem to leave this bridge I’ve found myself on.  It’s as if knowing what I’ve done to get here is enough to keep me here. There is somewhere I should go, but here is enough. This is enough.

The control I have to stay here is enough. It is worth the loneliness and the atrophy, it is worth the way I fall over my words, it is worth the subjective truth I’ve created. It is worth the dissonance. I am dissonance.

As wide as I open my eyes – as wide as I try to – I know that there’s something else. There must be more, there must be something bigger, there must be some reason, some worth, some thing. Any thing. Anything. There must be more to me and to this loneliness.

I know that I know that you see me; desperate, if nothing else.

I am here. You are somewhere, but until I know what key to enter on, until I become aware of what I am or what this is, I’ll go anywhere you want me.

I’ll go anywhere you want me.

today i am depressed

not a fun one today.

these photos were taken by my webcam around 2:30 this morning  when i posted a lengthy post on facuebook regarding sexual assault and religion and queerphobia and femicide. i cried for three hours.

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i woke up at 9:41 this morning and i haven’t been able to get up. it’s 12:26 now. i’m wearing the same hoodie and i’m just tired. so tired. not sleepy tired, but depressed tired.

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granted, i am depressed every day. that’s my diagnosis. shalom has major and manic depressive disorder. okay. thanks to 300 grams of bupropion every day and a lot of experience with myself, i manage. i get through the days. i complete to do lists.

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today my to do list has groceries and taking my sister somewhere and writing and exercise and eating and studying. i know this because i wrote it out on Sunday night. i also know that i am already disappointed because i can’t do all that today. i can’t. i can’t get up.

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today i am depressed, and it takes a toll. today my body aches because of how hard i cried for women who are at risk for existing last night. today, i am writing this from my phone in my bed because i don’t know if I can get up.

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today is a lot.

love & light
shalom xo

tunesday take 5? 6? who’s counting?

Hello hello hello welcome back  to Tunesday happy Tuesday if you’re new to Tunesday here are some links  that’ll help you  understand okay on with the show!!!

imagine dragons – believer

second, don’t you tell me what you think that i can be
i’m the one at the sail, i’m the master of my sea

Believer was released earlier this year as the lead single off  Evolve (coming soonish?). Admittedly, I didn’t have this song on this list until about an hour ago after I watched the Riverdale season finale. The song is used excellently (though the finale was definitely weaker than the penultimate episode) and there’s something about the grittiness of it that’s getting me through a lot at the moment. Lotta pain here, y’all. Lotta believing.

4 non blondes – what’s up

trying to get that great big hill of hope / for a destination

I’ve been watching a lot of TV series recently, and I just started (read: have almost finished) Sense8. It is incredible. In the fourth episode, aptly titled What’s Going On, something has some people all having or hearing the same song – namely What’s Up by 4 NOn Blondes. I was listening to this in the store today, and I felt better than I have over the past couple of days. Honestly, what’s going on? Does anyone actually know? (Hint: no. Nobody knows. What’s going on?)

hayley kiyoko

 ease my mind

i need you to be here / i need to see you crystal clear

palace

dance in your colour, reflecting in your light
you’re my horizon, you’ll always paint my sky

To be frank, the last week and a bit has really been the week of Hayley Kiyoko. I’m a lil bit of a massive stan, and I couldn’t decide which of the songs that I’ve had on repeat to add to this list. Naturally, I’ve chosen the excessive path and left you two of my favourites from this week. Citrine is her best work and is available all places music is available!

Such has been Tunesday! I’m probably going to eat a heck ton of mac & cheese and then watch Sense8 and scream. Life has just been…a lot.

love and light,
shalom xo

dear men | honest letters #3

Oh boy.

Hello, men. Male human men. I have a lot to say to you, and less patience than I once thought. So, I’m going to tell you some things and I’d like you to bear in mind that this isn’t even half of what I’d say to you if I could address you all as a collective group. I know this letter comes across as though I am, but having this space on the internet allows me to do things I would never be able to do.

So, without further ado, let’s begin. TW: assault, sexual harassment

Men, you exist. You are real. Every. Single. One of you. You are real, and when a man is abusive, a rapist, a murderer, I see far too many things saying that “real men” would never do such. I’d like to pull your head out from under your “I know I would never do that”-shaped thought hole, and remind you that real men did that. Real men who exist are the biggest threat to women’s safety and life expectancy. Real men. Not the imaginary ones that you seem to never relate to, those evil guys! Real men. Like you. Your masculinity doesn’t give you a pass on decency. When you absolve men of any responsibility, you are standing by and letting it happen.When you create a defensive movement in response to a movement that was never about you (see #YesAllWomen & #MenAreTrash and vs #NotAllMen & #NotAllMenAreTrash), you are doing it for real.

Why are you offended by #MenAreTrash? Are you offended because you are not a trash man? Because you’ve never, and would never disrespect women? Because your ego is taking a knock? Because the statement makes you question whether or not you’re the nice guy that you claim to be? Look, #MenAreTrash isn’t about one man. It’s not about two or seven or a million. It’s a movement about the treatment of women in greater society.

We know that there are “good men”, we understand that not ALL men are trashy bigots. That’s not the point of the movement. In fact, “Not all men” misses the point every time. It [quiets] us [and] it’s an attempt to shut us up. It has to stop.

The “not all [insert problem]” argument is not constructive, it doesn’t bring forth any substance to the debate and it certainly doesn’t bring forth any solutions to the problems *womxn are systematically faced with.

Is it not relevant that the majority of [men] are raping, abusing, killing, disenfranchising, undermining, patronising, policing, pirating, mansplaining to and widely victimising *womxn?

Must we just pack up and go home, forget this is happening because “not all men”? So what are *womxn to do? Nurse our wounds, overcome your systematic oppression and also have enough energy to try to figure out who’s trash and who’s not?

-Thabi Myeni, News24

You are dismissing real life problems that women face every day because your ego is bruised. You are dismissing the fact that I have never, in my entire life, met one woman or girl who has not been sexually harassed or assaulted. You are dismissing the fact that no matter how many times you are told that catcalling is not a compliment, you do it anyway. Or you watch your friends do it. Men, you are real. You are a real threat to my safety, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.

Men, stop using “she’s someone’s sister/mother/blah blah blah” as your basis for respecting women. I don’t know if it’s crossed your mind, but there is not a single person on the planet that does not have some familial relationship with a woman. Not one, buddy. Every person deserves respect, regardless of who they’re related to. Stop placing women’s worth in their relationships with men. Honestly.

Men, stop calling us females! What the hell is with that, you guys? Did you forget how to say women? I just…I don’t get it. I don’t understand why you do it, or why “females” is near always used in a demeaning or disrespectful way when talking about women.  First off, female is an adjective. Your grammar is bad. Female as a noun works when it’s derogatory, and why the heck are you so rude? Secondly, have you ever heard anyone refer to men as “males”? Eugh. It’s gross. Stop it. JUST STOP IT.

Men, you’re privileged. Shhhh. Don’t debate me on this. It’s not up for questioning. It is a fact, and you need to accept that it is and then use your privilege to make things better for those who are not. The patriarchy hurts everyone – women, men, gender-nonconforming folk – and the manifestation of this is often used as anti-feminist reasoning. When men are raped, assaulted, and suffer domestic abuse, there is a misconception that feminists don’t care about those instances because we’re too busy smashing the patriarchy. We do care. The patriarchy is the reason most men do not report assault because of the conceptions they have of masculinity. When we fight the patriarchy, we fight because of how it hurts everyone.

Men, stop piping up with unconstructive arguments for the sake of it. Stop saying you’re a good guy while you creepily ask that girl,”Where’s my hug?”. Stop being transphobic douchebags, saying you’re here for women but only ones you deem acceptable. Stop being complicit, watching your friends catcall and harass women. Stop making this about you when you don’t calculate how fast you’ll have to run if some guy decided today’s his day every time you walk past a group of men. Stop killing us because you think you can, stop raping us because you think you can, stop disregarding our “no”s because you think you can. Stop because not giving a man a phone number has cost several women their lives, because a woman not responding to a man on the street resulted in her being punched unconscious, because women die when men decide that they should. Stop because women are people, and gender based violence is real. Stop it.

Be better. You have to be better.

love and light,
shalom xo

mother’s day blues

Today’s a hard day for a bunch of people. These family-oriented days are a tricky one because of how families work, and I always feel particularly strange when it comes to them.

Mother’s day can be difficult, but all I’ve got to say is that whatever your feelings are today, they are right. They are valid.

If you’ve lost your mother, or if you’ve never had a relationship with yours, today can be difficult. If your mother is toxic, abusive, unaccepting, or has thrown you out for being who you are, today can be difficult. However you feel, your feelings are valid. Despite the card you will not write or the phone call you will not make, your feelings are valid. To mothers who have lost their children, mothers who have strained relationships with their children, people who long to be mothers — your feelings are valid. My thoughts go out to you.

Be mindful of those going through the most today. Be kind. Be aware, be compassionate, be understanding.

Happy mother’s day. Happy Sunday.

love and light,
shalom xo

we were on a break!!1!1!

Damn, Shalom – back at it again with the being unable to follow a single schedule you create for yourself! (Hello, dated reference weekly? She’s doing it again.)

So I took…a week…ish? off of BEDIM. I think it’s time to call BEDIM something more Shalom-oriented like…As Many Blogs As Possible In May. AMBAPIM. Welcome back to AMBAPIM!

I’d like to tell you all that I spent this last week doing some heavy introspection, and that I’ve come back refreshed and feeling great and glam and wonderful! However, I didn’t and I haven’t, and this is probably my most honest space on the internet so I’ll keep it that way. (Huh. Maybe second most honest.) (Stop reading my blog, parents.)

Anyway, what I have done in the couple of days that I’ve been away is buy too much chocolate (there are three slabs in my bedside drawer, please help), scream and yell in frustration about being a joke with a pal I’ll miss more than I’m ready to comprehend, and learn a lot about the Habsburgs.

I’m ready for this week. This week, I’ll do BEDIM. Blog every day this week in May? Yo, I don’t know. I have a plan and I’m *really* trying to get my life. How many times have I announced my trying to get my life here? I’m not sure, but if we count back to 2014 when scooton.wordpress.com was a THING, we’re probably on 30 or something.

This week has been a lot, and I have been doing mostly nothing. I am ready to not do nothing. Have an incredible video about the history of the world, I guess. (Love you Bill Wurtz)

love and light,
shalom xo

SEE YOU TOMORROW. AND THE DAY AFTER AND THE DAY AFTER THAT ETC. FOR REAL.