Fly me away…

Sometimes, in the midst of the chaos, you just need to find your gravity and hold onto that…even if it’s a silent contemplation. Freedom comes to each person in different forms. To some, it is family, to others it is addiction, love or maybe even religion…and to a few it is a friend built in the imagination and kept safe in the recesses of a messed up heart. One that can never be tangible…but persists surrealistically in defiance. Fly…because life’s too short to stay still or caged little bird. So I’ll fly silently with you.

 

‘Fly’ via bulletproofcouch on YouTube.

Ride. Just Ride.

flowers
Art by Harumi Hironaka

” I was in the winter of my life, and the men I met along the road were my only summer.
At night I fell asleep with visions of myself, dancing and laughing and crying with them.
Three years down the line of being on an endless world tour, and my memories of them were the only things that sustained me, and my only real happy times.
I was a singer – not a very popular one, I once had dreams of becoming a beautiful poet, but upon an unfortunate series of events saw those dreams dashed and divided like a million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again, sparkling and broken.
But I didn’t really mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted, and then losing it to know what true freedom is.
When the people I used to know found out what I had been doing, how I’d been living, they asked me why – but there’s no use in talking to people who have a home.
They have no idea what it’s like to seek safety in other people – for home to be wherever you lay your head.

ldr
Image via Pinterest.

I was always an unusual girl.
My mother told me I had a chameleon soul, no moral compass pointing due north, no fixed personality; just an inner indecisiveness that was as wide and as wavering as the ocean…
And if I said I didn’t plan for it to turn out this way I’d be lying…
Because I was born to be the other woman.
Who belonged to no one, who belonged to everyone.
Who had nothing, who wanted everything, with a fire for every experience and an obsession for freedom that terrified me to the point that I couldn’t even talk about it, and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzled and dizzied me.

watergirl
Art by Free-man12 on deviantart.

Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people, and finally I did on the open road. We had nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore, except to make our lives into a work of art.
Live fast. Die young. Be wild. And have fun.
I believe in the country America used to be.
I believe in the person I want to become.
I believe in the freedom of the open road.
And my motto is the same as ever:
“I believe in the kindness of strangers. And when I’m at war with myself I ride, I just ride.”
Who are you?
Are you in touch with all of your darkest fantasies?
Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them?
I have. I am fucking crazy.
But I am free. ”

lana3
Image via Pinterest.

Words by Lana Del Rey ‘Ride’.

Click on the video below to experience the beauty of Lana’s art.

Video via LanaDelReyVEVO on YouTube.

Women & Wolves: the Path to Freedom, Love & Badassery.

Featured art by Samir Rafi.

estes

The topic of the ‘Wild Woman’ gets thrown around a lot these days. It no longer has that surreptitious taint of insinuations carved and bellowed from the bellies of conservative men and women. The ‘Wild Woman’ can be a hardworking mom, a mischievous daughter at play or the woman who says no when the bullshit is layered on thick. She isn’t a harlot and if she is, then it is by her choice and prerogative. Clarissa Pinkola Estés shed much required and intuitive light on the ‘archetype of the wild woman’ in Women Who Run With the Wolves (1992) and how important it is for women to return to that evanescent place known as their freedom. The female psyche undergoes constant cutting and shredding from birth…but imagine the creative possibilities we could achieve if we learned to live in tune with ourselves?

I’m not here to talk about the liberation of women or fuel the feminist chariot (not that those aren’t intriguing topics to  me)…I’m here because I had an earthy reminder from whatever powers exist in our universe that my fangs are important. Between exploring the origin of fairy tales in my academic studies and having life shit all over me, I learned to respect those trigger warnings within myself. I’m the type of person that people love to say two things to :

  1. Calm down
  2. Are your fangs really necessary?

The mistake people make with me is that they don’t seem to realize that I AM calm ( in a weird stormy sort of way) and that baring my fangs is how my body and mind register that something just isn’t quite right. I think if I didn’t bare these fangs of mine, I’d end up a bloody trampled carcass. That’s not very badass, now is it?

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Via Pinterest

A dear friend of mine, who life forced me to say goodbye to over 6 years ago, recently pirouetted back into my life this week. If ever there was a yin to my yang, it was her. Perhaps losing her made me develop a deep mistrust for others over the years. She’s the type of creature that makes you want to break out quoting

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thanks Lord Byron. Now if you could do some hocus pocus from beyond the grave and find me a man worth quoting your poetry about, that would be greatly appreciated.

Anyway,my friend comes back into my life, when the lines of fate are dancing dangerously along the edges of a supernova. And yet her timing could not be more perfect, more needed. Why? Because when I’m with her, I howl. The deepest, most raw, most honest howl ensues. And my fangs glitter from the reflection of the stars and the moon. I needed that. To be reminded of my strength. All women need that. And that is why I feel connected to those curious nymphs of my gender these days. We need to help each other grow. Not stab each other in the back at the sight of a new pair of shoes or a charming man. I’m all for war with any woman who needs a bitch slapping (don’t get me wrong) but I’m starting to nurture ideas of respect…respect that has been taken away from me on many occasions  (whether people meant to or not) and I think respect is the path to love.

Not only do we need to find love for ourselves, but we need to find a way to show men how to love us. Sometimes I think I come across as a male-basher. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love men. They give us butterfly feelings in the pit of our tum-tums and make awesome adventure companions. But recently I’ve noticed they’re not very good at understanding what it means to truly respect or love a woman. No matter how much they try or think they do. We’re confusing specimens, so I can’t really blame them. So perhaps, instead of hating them for it, we can show our displeasure (rather than accepting it as society forces us to) and teach each other. It’s not up to men to show women their worth. So females need to step up. We’re not frail, abandoned or dependent creatures. And if you think you are, you’re not doing anyone any favors by being so. Be free…be honest…and love from that ancient place inside yourself. That’s the place where creative impulses brew and stories take flight. It’s where you learn to be a better person. Strong. Helpful. An Amazonian friggin’ Queen.

“If you have ever been captured, if you have ever endured hambre del alma, a starvation of the soul, if you have ever been trapped, and especially if you have a drive to create, it is likely that you have been or are a feral woman. The feral woman is usually extremely hungry for something soulful, and often will taken any poison disguised on a pointed stick, believing it to be the thing for which her soul hungers . . . In order to avoid these snares and enticements that are tripped by a woman’s time spent in capture and famine, we must be able to see them in advance and sidestep them. We have to redevelop to see them with insight and caution.” (Estés, 1992, p. 231)

So if I need to bare my fangs or pull out a weapon or two in the name of caution to side step life’s poisons…I’m not going to apologize for it anymore. I’m going to gladly do it.

“You know, I’ve been thinking about how long people have been making decisions for me, pulling on my strings. I’m tired of other people’s decisions ruling my life and I’m done taking orders.” Dutch, Killjoys, Season 2 Episode 3

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Via Buzzfeed

 

 

 

A Bookworm’s Life Through the Amélie Lens.

 Time hasn't changed anything. Amélie still shelters in solitude 

          and asks herself silly questions about the world or about this town.

Amelie

One of the problems with being a natural born bookworm is the delicious snare of introvertism.

imagine

I wonder sometimes if I would ever trade my elaborate imagination (that more often than not gets me into trouble) for a sociable, rational mien. But I was never one to walk the dusty brown road rather than hop onto the crocodile-shaped glitter bus that spews out marshmallow treats.

  Amélie's only refuge is the world she makes up.

        In that world, vinyls are made the same way as pancakes, 

         and the neighbour's wife, who has been in a coma for months, 

         just decided to do all her sleeping at once.

So here I find myself, at the dawn of 2017 battling monsters (most of my own making) and preparing for an impossible quest that would put even poor Frodo to shame. But mostly, just trying to keep myself from falling down the rabbit hole. When you have an overactive imagination or FPP (Fantasy Prone Personality), life can be très hard.

amelie8

It can cause you to lose friends, lose love and most often than not, lose yourself. Most things just never match up to the yumminess you’re capable of manifesting in your head.

amelie6And even when things do look promising, you never trust that it’s real or going to last…so you run faster than the gingerbread man (hoping you’ll be able to convince yourself those really were coffee-stealing ninjas that needed to be slayed.) You keep yourself on the other side of a looking glass, waiting for imaginary friends that never see you. Or have their own friends…people that unlike you have both feet stably rooted in reality.

amelie5

Here is where books come in to save the day.  Books (as vehicles of the fantastical) allow you to create a world from scratch. It lets you be in charge (not of the words written but the images, sounds and interpretations your mind can conjure)…without any nasty reality checks. It gives you power where reality can often render you powerless.

The outside world seems so dull 

          That Amélie prefers to dream her life until she's old enough to leave

ameliebook

Good books can satisfy your creative impulses and provide you with the equality of eccentric that your heart craves. It can soften the loneliness one can feel when you’re the only one wearing rainbow-hued sunglasses sprinkled with magic dust.

ameliemask

So like young Amélie Poulain in Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain, we dig through the mundane and cruel to find a land full of possibilities. A world of wonders. Where things are marvelous and people are kind: where ambiguity makes perfect sense and we need not be godmothers of the outcast or Madonnas of the unloved.

amelieAs we let our minds build alternative worlds we find fantastical versions of ourselves that can’t be trapped or broken. Lies lose their sting and life gains a music box heartbeat.

Perhaps we find a tasty jar of hope.

Imagination is the introverts drug. It keeps us alive when our bodies and minds feel the pull of institutions that threaten to turn us into societal corpses. It doesn’t have to be a curse. It’s our freedom.

amelie3

 

Your Bigotry Makes Me Stronger.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” —Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

Today I was pushed to write this. I grew up in South Africa and watched the seeds of change flourish whilst multiculturalism spread its arms around every skin color we gave birth to. It was a truly unique and precious gift. But somewhere along the way things went horribly wrong. Nelson Mandela fought for peace and freedom. Not for one race, but all races. Color was inconsequential. As it should be. If you punch me in the face, it hurts. If you cut me with your blade, I bleed. My color, your color…makes no difference to the fact that we bleed the same, we need the same things to survive and we all die at some point. The color of my skin does not grant me special preference when Death bows her tresses over me. The color of my skin does not make me superior to you. It does not make me cooler than you. It does not grant permission to ridicule and strip away someone’s dignity.Seems like common sense, right? And yet…I am watching everything Mandela fought so hard for crumble in front of my eyes.

Why do you cling to your bigotry? Why do you think it’s fine to laugh in the face of someone whose culture is different from yours? Why do you sit there, men and women of a supposedly educated and advanced society, and hurl insults at your fellow human beings? Does that make you more powerful? Does skin color dictate the elite from the unworthy? Do I dare give you the satisfaction of naming my worth???

No.

You do not define me.You have made me angry,yes. But, you do not have a say in my happiness. And you do not get to dampen my night or the night of my family or friends. You…that ugly face that smirks at people you think are beneath you. You…that filth that stains the minds of a brighter future. People are not born with hate. You…paint them that way. You paint the brown, the white, the black and the colored. You…nothing but fear, insecurity and ignorance. Childish tantrums and spilled milk.  I could fight you with my fists. I could let my curses fall out of my mouth as you tell me to fuck off because my skin has no place sitting near yours. I could learn to hate, just like you. But I do not want to be anything like you. I am not y-o-u.

So I will pick up my books, and enrich my mind and soul while you

breathe and

breed and

believe

your arrogant discrimination. You and your friends took my special evening and vomited all over it. But I am not weak. I am not made of sour words and fickle thoughts.

I am made of lions and sunsets. 

The Wild Woman

Original illustration and words by Kamalini Govender.

The following poem takes inspiration from the wolf rules (below) by Jungian analyst and cantadora  Clarissa Pinkola Estes in Women Who Run With the Wolves (1992).

wolf rules

How often do you howl?

Once? Twice? Between routine? Never?

How often do you breathe

the night air as the moonlight seduces your skin?

How often do you laugh?

Without the pretenses, the awkwardness, the social niceties

digging its heels into your chest?

How often do you love

the moment, the earth, the stranger in yourself?

How often do you apologize?

How often do you break ?

How often do you whisper your magic on the wind?

There in the chaos bridled with tenderness

she makes a fire from old sticks.

There she slips off her clothes and lets the night

tell her stories of the times before cages.

Before man’s touch became ice.

Before man’s touch breathed fear.

Before the invention of trust and cupcakes.

With freedom singing through her hair

and inspiration quivering in her heart

alone

and content

she howls.

She howls. She howls.She howls.