i couldn’t title this

and here we are on the flip flop! hi friends. it’s 2018! this little space on the internet is turning five this year! life is weird.

anyway, today i got an idea for a maybe novel. that would be a bit funny, i think – me, writing a novel. i don’t have any of it to share with you, probably because it doesn’t and very well may never exist, but i do have dear june to share with you: prose i wrote for an obnoxiously good demo made by some of my favourite lads. here’s some of dear june, which really only makes good sense if you listen to the songs with it – this part goes with autumn – which probably makes it a shoddy piece of writing. i don’t have the energy to fight the part of me that was once proud of it. anyway. prose with music okay go!


Dear June,

I’ve found that people get warmer as the weather gets colder. Maybe it comes from a selfish evolutionary impulse to stay alive and with others, or maybe the falling of the leaves reminds us all of how fragile everything really is. Maybe closeness is a response to understanding.

In the fall we did things like consider futures where neither of us existed and I realized that I didn’t have her the same way she had me. We ran from the fear licking at our underbellies signaling the end, and loved it. I watched her do everything right and everything wrong, and anything at all, and loved it. It felt a bit like a funeral, really – understanding that what was, was really was coming to an end, and that we’d have to witness it. When we tumbled we blamed it on the weather, and dressed like we were waiting on the bliss of the summer that started it all to return.

She became nervous for the first time in all my knowing her that season, and I became overwhelmed. I didn’t know that you could float on an ocean of unspoken love for so long before you start to drown, or even that drowning could be bad. I faltered when I wanted to be plain with her and she withdrew, but I could never blame her. Not once; not ever.

When the last of the leaves hit the ground, I started to consider my reasoning. I knew she’d go, and I knew I wouldn’t survive it, but I continually found myself waiting for her, despite what she’d do. I never expected her to change, though. There’s little room for improvement when perfection is the standard one starts at.

With love,
Autumn


there it goes! there it be!

if you want to read the whole thing, it’s over here. talk to me about it on twitter if ya like! okay. i gotta zoom. there’s a bomb cyclone that’s preventing me from going outside and i need to be sulky about it somewhere.

love and light,
shalom xo

some thoughts about writing

y’all, i don’t KNOW what is going on in my life.

right. since the last time we’ve spoken, i’ve spent most of my life in bed breaking almost every record there is for the number of depression naps TM taken before noon. i’ve also maybe been to the gym twice, and have written nothing (until today. today i wrote something and also this! so. yes. carrying on –) despite my alarm that goes off every day at 5pm asking me in all caps and too many exclamation points: “HAVE YOU WRITTEN TODAY??!?!!!” the answer as of late is almost always no.

i don’t know if what i do here means anything on the grand scale that i hope my life will be. i don’t know if i’ll ever believe that my writing is good enough for me to finally stop thinking that i’m stealing everyone else’s work and that i don’t have an original bone in my body. i don’t know if i’ll ever not feel like there’s a big blazing LIAR sign above my head every time i tell someone that i’m a writer. i’m a writer? i…ah, man.

“You can’t tell anybody that you want to be a writer, or you’re trying to be a writer. If you’re writing every day, then you’re a writer. You may not be a working writer, but you are a writer. And if you’re not writing every day, and you tell me that writing is your passion and is who you are and who you want to be, you have to examine why you’re not writing every day… maybe you just like the idea.”

– Shonda Rhimes; powerhouse, writer of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, icon

i try to write every day because i feel like i need to write every day. some days are hard, and i’m working on that, but i want to write every day. whether working or not, i want to know that this thing – this idea that i’ve assumed to be almost all my power since i was 11 – is real, regardless of how very real the impostor syndrome is too.

i’m a writer and i’ve always considered that i am other things but the core of me is really as simple as the first line of my instagram bio. i am of mess, of words, of love, and of christ. an infinite, overflowing, overfeeling mess first, but my words…man, do i love (haha) them. i love the strength they give me and that they can clean my mess while adding to it. i love that i don’t have to think too much about how i want to say something because i know words are my preferred medium. i love how difficult it can be to find the right ones even though they’re everywhere. i love words and my words and the ones that aren’t mine.

is this making sense at the moment? i’m not sure if i’ve really cared about things making sense on here since 2014.

well, here we are. it is nearing the end of june, and the only consistent thing i have in my life are my monthly me posts. so, expect one of those shortly. i need to write the rest of my atlas series. i was really loving it and — you know what? writing every day allows you to keep the momentum from a day where you wrote something good, regardless of how long ago it was. i think that’s why i enjoyed writing the first half of that series; because after every post i would start the next one and know that i could write because i had written.

i want to write every day again. i’m a kind-of writer. i’m an aspiring writer. i’m a depressed, terrified, sleep deprived writer, but i am a writer. today, that will suffice.

love and light,
shalom xo


featured image from death to stock

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.

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)

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

 

 

Dare – More Angst. (Really, Shalom?) (Yes.)

Hi! I’m feeling super angsty and I keep writing these break up posts even though I have absolutely zero break up experience. Hence the melodrama, I think. Here’s another. Yay!


How dare you come into my heart? How dare you claim ownership –falsely! – over the only thing that I truly own? How dare you come, fleetingly, and leave marks like foot prints in the sand, in your opinion? Let me assure you, my heart is a Persian rug and you were, are, wearing those caterpillar boots with soles laden with mud and heartbreak.

How dare you make me think that anything was for you? It was all for you at one point, all points! Everything – how dare you make me believe in me because of a couple “you’re beautiful”s? How dare you?

How dare you allow me to think that good things come from you and nowhere else? How dare you crush anything that was alive and call it “housekeeping”, who told you my heart needed to be kept? How dare you, you and your empty words and “no promises” mantra. How dare you leave when you thought you’d cleaned up enough?

My carpets are dirty and the curtains are hanging off the railings. How dare you.

To whoever dares come after, some words:

Stake a claim in my heart, or get the hell out.

Amanda Torrini


 

That’s all. I’ll be back soon, I hope.

All my love,

-Scoot xx