love it if we made it

it is fifty four degrees in a small city in new jersey. the weather calls for a t-shirt and a light sweater. the students call for cow onesies and rosie the riveter costumes and rick and morty cosplays. it’s halloween and the semester is still heavy with promise, but halfway through, we all know how this works.

a kid on a skateboard zooms past in yellow shoes. he moves as fast as i’d like to. we both end up at the bus stop, and i try a smile at him. he smiles back, and i smile to myself. i wonder if he was smiling at me or at how fast he was going.

at the bench i find myself at, there are people as furniture. a girl sits atop a monument, and another sits oustside the english building. it feels like they haven’t moved for ages, typing away on their laptops and tapping their feet in tune with music only i can hear.

two boys play frisbee on the lawn and the boy in the grey sweatshirt jumps higher every time it comes his way. they switch sides and he continues to jump. he yells to his friend, “i’m consistent!” and he is. he’s consistent.

all of these people are in my mind as matty healy sings, “i’d love it if we made it”. i would. i’d love it if we made it.

love and light,
shalom xo

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uranus | atlas

this is uranus: of endings and realizations.


it’s sort of picturesque, really: you on the porch and me still on the other side of the door, both of us knowing that neither of us has the strength to say what we both need to hear. it’s as though a chorus of angels powered by flame could appear and the whole world would still just be you, me, and our cowardice.

if love is anything, let it be everything. the words sit on my right hipbone where your left used to rest, except they feel as hollow as the cave your collarbones made in your neck. make. you are still you, collarbones and all, and i am aware that no matter how lovely, i cannot stay here anymore.

we exchange hellos like we’re still in love because maybe we are, but maybe we’re just tired enough to collapse into anything that was once home. maybe you are still home. maybe i missed the eviction notice and got thrown out anyway. maybe i still love you. maybe it doesn’t matter when the friction is lost.

the last time we kiss feels like a big crash in a song that i didn’t know was coming, because my heart swells from the beating it is taking and my brain tells me to remember how everything feels, tastes, smells, but you are not there. we kiss and i try to taste you but i only taste my chapstick and i know it’s all been me. i don’t know how long you’ve been gone, but i know you’re not there the way i am.

you leave and it’s sad how refreshing heartbreak can be. sometimes the sky looks like it’s made out of layers of blue, each more chipped than the last. sometimes the sky looks like an angry god, displeased with all of his children born of the earth. sometimes, i forget that we live under him.

when i cry, i do not forget.

// l o v i n g s o m e o n e //

ohhhhh we’re back with those the 1975 song posts aren’t we just! well, i’ve had this one in my drafts since june and i just got a moment to get this out of my head. so, here we are. loving someone. also, i’m trying to write something every day this month. bedid?

you should be loving someone, shouldn’t you? i like to think that despite what we may have conditioned ourselves to do, we all are loving someone at any given point. despite being what i believe is the base human emotion, loving is difficult in every way it is simple. loving freely can be illegal, loving wholly can be all consuming, loving at all can bear a kind of hatred that burns with the passion of a was-love – loving is complex. but i think, you should be loving someone.

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as easy as it is to see love and chalk it up to romance or familial duty, i like to think the joy lies in the choice. you should be loving someone, if you choose to. you should embrace the freefall of romance, if you choose to. you should throw caution and advice out for the end goal of more than you could give your heart yourself, if you choose to. if you choose to, you should be loving someone with your heart out.

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i think for the most part, all actions are based in love. i think that the default human emotions are love and apathy. the opposite of love is apathy. in any case, the two motivate everything that anyone’s ever done, as far as i know – be it a love for control, or apathy towards the plight of others. regardless of which is at work in any given situation, there are people. people with hearts for others and desires to live, people with nothing to live for and nothing to die for and yet, here we are. loving what and who we love without ever fully understanding why. i think that’s a part of the human condition – not fully knowing. what a shame it would be to know everything at all.

amy winehouse sang that love is a losing game, and i sometimes i wonder if she was right. if we’re all human and we’re just loving to be more whole, then it really is a losing game. love isn’t the cure for brokenness, and i think that using it as spackle really gives way for further destruction. loving as we may be, the human condition is a fragmented one – the quest may not stop but neither will the cracks that appear in us all. love can’t fix that. i don’t think it can – not when loving someone holds the power to jam a crowbar into those cracks. maybe i’m naive. sometimes i hope so.

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i am forever in alongside the boys in jumpers
on bikes from schools and cars
with autumn leaves fallen sparse across mid-afternoon
she blazed about how
cultural language is an operating system
a simple interface rendered feeble and listless
when tested with a divinity or a true understanding
of the human condition
i never did understand – the duality of art and reality
living life and treating it as such but with a certain disconnect
to touch that cajoles at the artist with comfort and abandon
and between the spires and rolling roofs of the white city
that orange, english light cast only one, singular shadow
for you are not beside but within me

you should be loving someone.

love and light,
shalom xo

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.

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.

could this be earth?

this was written for “white” by frank ocean (& odd future at the time). i’m not sure what this is other than prose for “white”. listen to “white” below.


if a gravity wave hits a rotating thunderstorm, the thunderstorm can spin up into a tornado. nothing around the thunderstorm receives a warning beforehand. what gets swept up, gets swept up. i looked at her. i was swept up.

when someone puts their hands on you, their lips on yours, their body on yours, there’s little that holds you down. little is more important than trying your best to stop your body from betraying your mind: do you focus on the feeling or the memory? which will be preserved first? which will stay longer? i don’t know where i was, or how i hadn’t been carried away into another world where i could balance the two. i slept, and gravity kept me around.

after the big bang, scientists thought that the universe would slow down in its expansion thanks to gravity pulling it together. it hasn’t, though, and the universe has only expanded faster than ever before. for this to make sense, the theory that the universe contains enough energy to overcome gravity must be true. i revelled in the dark energy, and expanded ever outward. she rested in gravity, and stayed.

in the dark, she pulled me together. i woke to touches lighter than the part of me that stayed in space, and to everything around me being more than i remember leaving it. i fought for my brain to remember rather than my body, but i lost. the silence that was once lonely held me down and i asked questions of love, light, and space. gravity doesn’t give answers.

the thing about a tornado is that the start is hard to remember. i know that there is damage and that new buildings are rising where old ones were levelled. i know what i hoped for before, i know what i  danced to during, i know how i slept after. i don’t remember the start. i don’t feel the same as i used to. my brain doesn’t betray me anymore. i forget things like tornadoes, first loves, and time-specific dreams.

we’ll all fade to grey soon on the tv station.

CHANCE

Can you tell me why? Can you try to explain why you’re here to me?

She’s new. She’s a dirt-brown haired newbie, who thinks that she’ll be the one. She’ll crack these girl and the four boys in our ward, and she’ll solve the pesky problem of eating disorders. She’s really trying quite hard: her arms are open – no barriers to communication; her notepad is in her lap, and she’s looking at me in the face. She’s smiling a tiny, closed-mouth mother-of-three smile, and she’s waiting.

I know you’ve heard it before, but I promise you, you can trust me. I just want to know how you’re doing so that we can be on the same page, okay?

I know her type. Two of the guys won’t speak to her because they know her type too. I cross one leg over the other, tilt my head upwards, remind myself to murmur, and say, “I’m doing fine. Thank you.” She’ll stop smiling, and then she’ll write something – ‘uncooperative’ or ‘unwilling to engage’ – and then look back up at me.

She doesn’t.

It says here that you don’t talk much. You once told a psychologist that you wanted to disappear entirely. Can you tell me why do you want to disappear?

It’s funny how you think you have any sort of privacy in this world. The ghosts of the past haunt us, and remind us of realities we seem to have forgotten. My ghosts swim in my lungs, and dance to my irregular heartbeat. They read the notes of the first woman I ever spoke to about Vanishing. They keep those notes forever, and give them to the the New Head Psychologist Woman, PhD.

I don’t know why I told the first one.

I size this one up again. New Psychologist: tall, brown hair, face like pale sand. Blue veins down her arm, like I always wanted. Family photo on the desk, like I always wanted. Tiny smile, like I never wanted. The chances are these: tell her, and have her question you; or don’t, and have her wonder, like the rest of them. 50/50. Moon or sun. Heads or tails.

Romeo and Juliet. Dead, and dead. 1oo. Both.

Part one: Moon. I tell her, “Do you know what it means to transcend everything? Everything that you know. To be apart from everything here, all of this trouble, all this stress? I know what it means. It means vanishing. It means leaving all of this behind, and still getting the grades and the girl and being the good daughter. It means that you say no to some things for a little while, you grow smaller and smaller, and in a little while, you’re closer to vanishing than you ever thought possible. You get to disappear, and live above all of this.”

What do you mean when you say, “live above all of this”?

Part two. I don’t tell her.

I am the sun.

-s.c.o


 

featured image from unidentifieduniverse.com

 

 

my youth is yours

what if we say goodbye to safe and sound?

It’s always a whirlwind. It’s a crazy amount of everything you’ve always wanted to feel and everything you’ve been told only “stupid teenagers” do. It’s breathing when another person does and trying to recreate the moment that the two of you stood with baited breath, words hitched on either of your tongues, thoughts running amok in both of your heads.

when the stars start exploding, we’ll be fireproof

It’s “we’ll weather this”, it’s “long distance will work because we’re different”, it’s “I can’t tell my parents about us” and “I want to do this”. It’s every fear every adult has thrown at you, and anything that can and will happen to the 21st century relationship – it’s what you won’t allow to happen to you.

cross your fingers; here we go

It’s every single BuzzFeed article about how to make things work, every single #relateable post from Tumblr that was tweeted about that you saw on Facebook. Every day is a risk, love is risk, art is risk – and you have and always will be determined to create a masterpiece.

we’ve no time for getting old, mortal body; timeless souls

It’s making a decision to never stop doing the little things, a promise to yourself that you’ll never end up like your best friend’s mom, crying over a broken marriage and a broken man. It’s an acknowledgement to yourself that despite all of your only eighteen years here, you know what’s good for you. That you know what you want, what you need; and that what you have has got to be the best of both.

a truth so loud you can’t ignore

It’s the moment you realise that this is not forever, but it is all you have. That you’re more than warnings and false starts, that “you are what you love and not who loves you”. It’s the moment that you surrender to yourself – your young, idealistic, opportunistic self. It’s all you. It’s all youth.

a truth so loud you can’t ignore
my youth, my youth, my youth
my youth is yours


happy tunesday! this piece of writing was based on troye sivan’s “youth”, for which the lyric video was released yesterday. blue neighbourhood is available for preorder here, and several tracks become available upon preorder, including “youth” and “talk me down“. i’m a big, big fangirl. sue me.

love and light,
shalom