mothers

My mother wears her wrinkles
the way an ocean wears a wave

She is the only body of water
that has stopped me from drowning.

my mother is shipwreck and sailor
my mother is sink and plug
my mother is the start of the darkest parts of
myself, and then the light.

my mother is the last drops of
a bottle i cannot conceptualise
finishing
my mother is anything and
every
thing,
she is
the only chemistry that i did not fail
in twelfth grade.

my mother is a miracle of
science and god
of struggle and
strength
of
lived experience
and the power to shelter.

my mother is vessel: broken and
still letting me
take
my mother is fire: childhood
fascination and older childhood
admiration, my mother
is home:
where my closest friends are
from, where nurture is nature, where
i know. i know. i know.
hush, i know.
it’ll be alright. i know.

my mother leaped into every
ocean i found myself in
without knowing how to swim
my mother
refuses to drown even when her lungs
are heavy. full. enough.
my mother finds enough and
multiplies it every time
i do not have it
my mother carried me, and
carries me,
and carries me. home.

-s.c.o

(art by safina stewart)

On Faltering Hopes and Broken Promises

People with money who pay for all your things while you’re a minor. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without them. Unfortunately.

Whether your parent(s), your siblings, or whoever your caretaker is, someone always seems to let you down. Some more than others. Some promise you a trip to the mall and don’t let you know that they’re broke so you cant actually get anything. Some cancel said trip without letting you know. Some encourage you to get scholarships for high school and university options, and then flat out refuse to send you. Some encourage you to work really really hard at school, and take external tests and apply for all the universities that you want to…and then refuse to answer you when you ask about fees. Et cetera. I am angry. Et cetera.

My father is an important man. He’s influential and intelligent. People think he’s a good father too. (False.) But him -he source of 89% of my anger, sadness and frustration- aside, I’ve been trying to figure out how this life thing is going to work if people who hold such weighty claims over my life keep not coming through. As in, they just continue to leave promises unfulfilled and  leave me unable to plan any further than two months into the future. As in, I’m finishing high school in 10 weeks or so, and I have no idea if what I want is possible, or even plausible because my future doesn’t merit that kind of discussion, “it’s not [my] problem”, and because I should expect magic to happen and for my life to fall into a place along with fifty thousand dollars. Obviously.

College is expensive. This is a fact. Uni in South Africa is great, and the standards are great, and it’s all wonderful and cheaper but it’s not what I’ve been working towards since 2012. I was told then that if I worked hard and did well in my SATs, I could go back to the US for college. I got keen. I got down to business to defeat the huns. (Sneaky Mulan ref.) I fell in love with cities (hello, Iowa City) and universities all over the world (Buckinghamshire New University, I see you). I threw myself at schools (Hi, Bethel College!) and settled on a place that was more academically sound and in a super diverse city (Montreal. Hi. Yes.). And then, like everything else I’ve ever been invested in, it got snatched away because someone changed his mind.

Not this time.

There’s a lot I can take, but playing around with my future to this extent is a no-no. Closer to a hell no, no way on heaven or earth or in hell or in a parallel universe, but it’s a no.

Same, Simon. It's a no from me, too.

Same, Simon. It’s a no from me, too.

So, student loans are happening. Jobs are happening. Savings are happening. Selling shit is happening. Because I’m getting out of here next year, and I’m going to Canada with someone I love, and I’m making this happen. Whether the money giver gives or not, it’s happening.

I’m ferociously bitter. Also, my mom told me not to put my feelings on the internet. (Sorry mom.)

Love and light
Shalom

LET’S HAVE THIS TALK, PARENTS

Okay, look. I know my blog reaches people. I don’t know their ages, but I do know that I have a whole bunch of parents who are friends with me on Facebook and they should read this. Alright. Beginning.


Parents. Let’s talk about privacy.

There are some rules about having a teenager. First off, do not DO NOT DON’T invalidate their feelings. Don’t tell them that “everyone gets depressed” or retort with something you’re used to saying like, “clean your room” when they talk about wanting to die.

Secondly, respect their damn privacy. I’m speaking on behalf of teenagers, so when I say us, I mean your kids.

SNOOPING AROUND DOES NOT HELP. The facts are these: parents who think that combing through every possession of ours until they find something incriminating are not helpful. You guys create better liars. Seriously. Go through our journals one time and I swear to all that is holy, in the seven minutes that you were yelling about how we’re not allowed to profane or buy more CDs or talk about boys the way we do, we’ll have created at least four new lies and cover ups for the next time. Promise.

IT’S MY HOUSE is not an excuse. Yes, parents, I am calling you the hell out on this. It may be your house but the living space belongs to us and it is NOT your place to go through it. It is not your right nor automatic privilege to raise hell because we’re not fully functioning adults. One word: TEENAGER. We screw up. It’s what we do. We’re kids and there is nothing worse than a parent making you feel like your existence is a burden. Because this thing where parents expect us to be visions of Christ at seventeen is ridiculous.

STOP. GOING. THROUGH. OUR. STUFF. It will not make you closer to us, it will not give you a better picture of how “things : are, and it will sure ass hell NOT tell you what we are going through. It’ll make you think you’re doing the right thing, and that you’re on the right track, but you’ll really just be driving the wedge between you and your teenagers deeper, okay?

Lastly, threats are not okay. You can’t threaten us with everything we hold near to us and expect us to snap up and all of a sudden be the twenty four year old you wish you gave birth to. Don’t threaten us with our friends, music, diets, routines. NOT. OKAY.  Don’t terrorise your kids in an attempt to fix them for God’s sake BE CIVIL WITH US.

I am angry and this is important. Pay attention, mothers. Take note, fathers. Open your eyes, anyone who takes care of a teenager.

Shalom