six weeks

I’ve been talking about it but it doesn’t seem real? Still?

In any case, I leave South Africa in six weeks. Six short weeks, and then my room is no longer my room and my street is no longer my street. I have issues with comprehending time, and have done since I was 10, so my reaction to this isn’t shocking news. Not to me, not to anyone who know me, and definitely not to anyone on my street that has either seen or heard me having a “time isn’t real!!!!” breakdown on my balcony.

It’s not as if six weeks is a crazy short time, but we’re somehow nearing the end of June. I’m ageing in two? two and a half? weeks, and I haven’t even had time to freak out about 19 because TIME ISN’T REAL. I remember six weeks before a big party we threw for my father in 2013, when I had to draw up a massive calendar and fill in all of the upcoming events before the day of the party. I remember looking at that calendar on the day of the party and wondering how I possibly could have lived through all of those events and still feel like no time had passed since I made the calendar. It’s the same way I felt when high school was ending, and the last five days were staring me down and I just…I didn’t believe they were there. Not that I wasn’t aware that I was leaving high school, or that I was astonished by how quickly the five years had passed, but rather because I couldn’t believe that the time was gone and I felt like it wasn’t. It’s a stupid thing that makes no sense when I try to write it out, but it’s where I’m at with time.

It’s like backwards nostalgia. I long for the time for no reason other than it’s time, long before it’s passed. And when the time comes, I’m near incapable of living in the moment because I’m too busy begging for the time to stay  rather than the moment. When I tell people that I freak out about time, they ask me what it was about being 15 that I miss…and it’s nothing. I don’t miss being fifteen. But I miss the time. I so, so miss the time.

The next six weeks will be me grappling with the days that go by and probably laughing hysterically about it because crying takes more effort. Last week, for example, I skipped two days. Obviously, I lived Monday through Friday, but I went to bed on Monday and went by Tuesday and Wednesday in such a time-confused haze that when I woke up on Thursday, I was sure it was the day after Monday. I lost 48 hours. I don’t know where they went, but I lost them. It messed with me pretty badly, so I spent 40 minutes on my balcony laughing hysterically and yelling about how time isn’t real. Issa lot.

Have I lost my mind? Well, yes, but that’s alright. It always has been. Where would I be if I was my brain?

love and light,
shalom xo

waving through a window

ben platt won a tony the other night! it was incredible. he’s done so well this season. unrelated intros aside, hello. welcome back. welcome for the first time. i like musicals and apparently write about my new favourite during tony season. COOL.

dear evan hansen is an incredible musical. it’s about a kid, evan hansen, who draws very much into himself. he gets caught up in a lie that changes a lot and hurts a lot, and is just…a lot. here’s the trailer:

in one of the earliest songs in the musical, “waving through a window”, we learn about evan & his strategy for getting through. we learn about how saying something means nothing if nobody hears you. we learn about his experience as an outsider, and it hurts. it’s relatable – too much so. if you’ve never been an evan, you know an evan. it hurts.

step out, step out of the sun if you keep getting burned. step out, step out of the sun, because you’ve learned.  it’s strange how this lyric connected with me, but mostly because i do the exact opposite. who? self preservation?

giphy

on a slightly darker note (as expected), there’s a part of the song during which evan talks about falling out of a tree. he broke is arm, but (SPOILER SORRY) he didn’t just fall from the tree. evan tries to kill himself by falling from a tree. he says:

when you’re falling in a forest                                     did i even make a sound
and there’s nobody around                                           did i even make a sound
do you ever really crash                                                it’s like i never made a sound
or even make a sound?                                                  will i ever make a sound?

it makes me question the nature of suffering. george berkeley famously asked, if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it still make a sound? if you’re suffering and nobody sees you, are you still suffering? the nature of suffering is isolating and lonely. it has the power to turn everything into insignificance. it’s sad. it’s like i never made a sound, will i ever make a sound?

evan asks, “will i ever be more than i’ve always been”? and i wonder the same about myself. is there more? we all start off thinking there is, but for some of us, that disappears as we grow. every sun doesn’t rise, and we’re left wondering what happened to us. nobody tells you where you went wrong.

i think yes. i think there’s more. i think that despite waving through a window and having nobody see you, receiving no response, seemingly not making a sound…i think that you will be found. if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one around to hear it, it still makes a sound. that was my answer to berkeley’s question when i was 9, it was my answer during first year philosophy, and it’s my answer now.

you are not alone. if you fall, you will be found. you are not alone.

love and light,
shalom xo

monthly me| may ’17

May: the lilacs are in bloom. Forget yourself.

I gotta get this post up today. I have this rule that if the 5th of the month passes and I don’t have a “monthly me” up, then the month is cancelled. Now, I don’t do well with the passing of time in general, much less the cancellation of an entire month. So, without further ado: May.

May was… intense. I think. A lot of time blurs into itself if you spend enough time thinking about how we abstractly separate it.  In May I joined a gym and started a lifting guide, and have been told off three times now by the same trainer. He has this idea that I care about whether he thinks I’m too muscly. (I don’t care.) I’m working out and enjoying it for the most part, though the hardest part is talking to my brain and trying to stay in a healthy mindset rather than slipping back into my disordered eating mindset. Granted weight restored doesn’t mean brain recovered and it’s a process, but I wish it were easier.

In May my friend got married! MARRIED! Their wedding photos are incredible and I’m mad at this much ocean between continents that stopped me from going. Congrats to the newlyweds who are now #HappilyHoisted.

This month I received the stellar news that I’m going to roughly $100k in debt once I graduate. It’s hilarious. Can you feel my laughter? SO much laughter. I’m mostly laughing because I thought I was going to start my life off debt free, but when the controller of your life, apparently, decides that you will and must suffer, you will and do suffer. Litty titty. It’s ridiculous as hell and I can’t really talk about what’s going on on here anymore (because of uh, wandering eyes [yikes amirite]) so I’m doomed to mostly maniacal laughter and dangerous thoughts and rants to my roommate.

May. What else? I spent a lot of time in Starbucks and Mugg & Bean (you know Starbucks, M&B is a South African coffee chain that does all day breakfast and some good wine) and have come to the shocking conclusion that the year I have spent out of school has drastically reduced my caffeine tolerance. I got dizzy and shivery after a latte – a latte! It’s mostly milk! – and had to drink maybe 3 glasses of water before I stopped shaking like a leaf.

Aah, yes. BEDIM! Needless to say, I didn’t exactly complete BEDIM. I got (if I counted correctly) 15 posts up last month and had a lot of ideas but also had a lot of depression naps. I’m gonna try a post-a-day program soon again. Maybe for NaBloPoMo? WHO KNOWS. Will we even be alive by November? Will I have died from the crippling pressure of impending debt? WHO. KNOWS. MY DUDES.

tunes n vids

these memories are nothing to me / they’re just salt in the wound

sav brown is one of my biggest writing inspirations and also her voice is maybe the most calming thing i have ever heard.

maybe the most ‘me’ title to ever exist? | we’ve never met but, can we have a coffee or something?

Snippets of internal monologue

  • This is funny. What else is funny? Perhaps my death? The coming of the Lord? My death?
  • YASMIN AND I, WE WILL FOREVER BE JOKES. I AM A JOKE.
  • Girl, add them to your do not text list. You cannot be talking to people who leave you broke AND upset!

May: the lilacs are in bloom. Forget yourself.

love and light,
shalom xo

featured image from death to stock

currently 3

currently, my room (which doubles as my office [ha office what]) along with my entire house, has been turned upside down and inside out due to renovations and painting. all of my stuff has been moved out (save for my bed and immovable desk) into another room and i grow more and more frustrated every day. i do not know where any of my stuff is. despite the painting in my room being finished, i now have no internet to work off because our internet has been disconnected (in line with the study where the router is being pulled apart because painting) and it’s driving me mad. and broke.

currently, i am in a starbucks after almost crying from frustration after spending three hours on the phone with the bank. i am so tired, and also regret my ill advised decision to wear a bra today. (i’m just going to take it off.)

currently, i am craving food from chiapas eat mexican here in rosebank, but i also know for a fact that i cannot afford it at all. i’ve filled out so many forms and drank a chai latte that i only bought because a friend of mine from high school was working the register. i couldn’t drink it. it’s so much milk, man.

currently, i am stressed about student loans and being broke until i am 40. i’m tired today, and i can’t be arsed to call those banks today. i really can’t. i’m living this tweet at the moment:

currently, i am spending most of my time thinking about the severe lack of the
knowledge of the logistics about my move that i have. it’s a mess. there is so much happening between flights and after flights and in the magical time that i think i have but definitely do not. i have to close a bank account here and if you were around this time last year, you’ll know that my luck with banks is…near non existent.

currently, i’m working on trying to get my may monthly me up and see how it differs from last year’s. i like having these months to look back on. i’m going to finish the atlas series (which has been wonderful and challenging and maybe the only series i will ever finish) and write when i want which will be often. i hope. speaking of writing, i have letters to mail to dora.

currently, my body is tired. my brain is eh. mostly, life is comme ci comme ca. ya girl is thuggin. (trying.)

love and light,
shalom xo

 featured image from death to stock

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.

image201705170006

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.

image201705170003

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.

image201705170001

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.

image201705170005

today is a lot.

love & light
shalom xo