Category Archives: Open Letters

To Those Who Would Not Meet My Eyes (If They Knew)

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When I was about ten years old, I received a present from my aunt (actually a cousin twice removed, I think, but I always called her “Tati” – Auntie – and so that is who she shall remain) that I carry around with me to this day, much like my cherished teddy-bear and my newer companion, my teddy-bunny.

My auntie is a writer, which is quite a magnificent and wondrous thing to be. Every now and then, she’d send me a box full of books she’d written and I’d be delighted. I too wanted to be a writer when I grew up (as well as a cat, and a mermaid, etc.) so the books bearing her name were proof that it was possible to become a real live author.

I’d always pick up her books with the intention of reading them cover to cover but I never got very far. Being a strong reader, I could understand the books just fine but they were always about – no offense, Auntie – boring things. Acclimatization to a new reality, separation from one’s family, solitude, fear, hope, hope, hope. Loss, tragedy, pain. Growth. I don’t know if there were happy endings; I never made it that far into the stories. Read the rest of this entry

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On Being Burnt Alive

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“A history lesson: A faggot is a bundle of sticks originally used as kindling for fires that engulfed gays. When they were burned at the stake, people were firewood. But Moses came across wood on fire and saw God in it. What is a burning bush but bundles of branches on fire? Isn’t it funny how faggots and God can look the same sometimes?”

Excerpt from the slam poem  “God is Gay” by Elliot Darrow


I’m always hearing people use the words “fag”, “faggot”, “gay”. They use the former two as synonyms for “unworthy” and “unworthy” and the latter as a synonym for “most terrible evil bad of no-goodness”.

I’m also always hearing people use the words “fat”, “stupid”, “retard” and “crazy”. They use these words as synonyms for “unworthy”, “unworthy”, “unworthy” and “makes me feel unworthy, which is completely unacceptable”.

I’m always hearing people be unkind to each other. I’m always seeing people be unkind to each other. I have damned good hearing and my peripheral vision makes owls jealous, which might be why I notice this unkindness so much.

Or it might be because I’m not apathetic to the suffering of others. Read the rest of this entry

I Need Your Support More Than Your Help

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To help me means you walk with me, helping me carry my burdens. It means you brace me. It means I lean upon you to bear my weight when I am weary. If you help me, you are my companion, my assistant, my crutch, my buttress.

I do not need your help, however much I may enjoy having it.

To support me means that you are like the wind or the ground upon which I walk. You do not have to be kind to me or favour me. Your displeasure and lack of appreciation is merely an inconvenience to my journey the same way walking in a storm means sometimes being downwind of a great gust of air or a hiker sometimes travels terrain that is rough and mountainous. I do not fear the effort of overcoming your hate, your apathy, your dislike or disapproval of my person. I am not afraid of mean people.

But I dread the idea that you might cease to support me. Read the rest of this entry

Dear Unsolicited Advice Giver

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Dear Unsolicited Advice Giver,

Ever since I was born, you’ve been approaching me with declarations such as “I wouldn’t do that if I were you”. This confused me for a very very long time because that sentence makes no damned sense. It makes no sense because I am 100% certain that you would do exactly what I am doing if you were me because you would be me. Being me, you would have the same genes, upbringing, experiences and thought processes as I do so and so, you would be exactly where I am now.

Your more audacious announcements such as “you should(n’t) do this instead of that if you want to amount to anything” or the particularly sadistic sanguine “it’s not that I don’t like you, it’s that you would be better/prettier/more likeable/more credible if you did/became that instead of this” confused me even more as they sounded just a tad bit shaming and dehumanizing mean but you always spoke them with a hopeful smile and kind eyes. The dissonance was a bit dizzying, to be honest.

However, because I cried myself to sleep night after night for years and gave myself a ludicrously high number of breakdowns in the process have excellent communications skills, I was able to translate your coded message of “I wouldn’t do that if I were you” and its kith to the following idea, which I am assuming is what you meant to say: Read the rest of this entry

On Being a Happy Person

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To be free requires effort. To be happy requires skill.

I am a freedom artist.

I make serenity, passion, pleasure and faith look effortless. It is my daily act, my performance.

If you look closer, you will see that my spirit is bruised and trembles with the strain of holding itself aloft so beautifully in a world of heavy burdens. Misery, regret, fear, turmoil and shame weight me down so mightily, they leave gravity green-eyed.

I am free not like a bird flies but like a ballerina leaps.

When you see my brightness, know that it hides a small universe of shadows that work in dark costumes to arrange the stage of my life so that I may shine shine shine and astound you.

Do not mistake my exertion for a miracle. Do not mistake my lifetime of endless trying for a blessing.

To all those who see me smile and dismiss my joy as naive, my hope as ignorant, my faith as baseless… My darkness is a space deeper and vaster than you can imagine. My shadows could eat you alive. My abyss will gaze into you if you come near enough to see its reflection in my eyes.

MY SMILES HAVE MANY TEETH.

To all those who see me rejoice, worship and pray, know this:

My happiness is not an easy thing for me to display. My passion is not effortless. I suffer for my freedom every day. I practice my liberation from my burdens for hours.

I leap for perfection, stroke its fulfilling breadth with a dainty hand then land, heavy-hearted elegance.

Sometimes, I fall. Sometimes, I break.

I wait. I heal. I grieve. I wake. I rise. I toil.

I am late for my let me show you who I am what I can do all I will be.

I run. I run. I run.

I catch up to myself.

I dance again.

Are you awed now? Do you recognize my skills now?

Do you see me?

Come closer. Here are front row seats to my performance of my existence.

Look keenly. You will see me breast the effort of holding my soul so high, it brightens your day and lights up your path (you ingrate). Look at me. You will see my soul’s sweat drip drip drip from my eyelashes.

Am I not brilliant in my craft? Am I not equally magnificent in my exertion to fabricate myself?

I am a freedom artist. I am a manifestor of dreams.

Admire the the fruits of my pleasure, Witness.

WATCH MY SPIRIT SOAR!

Resisting Hunger: The Dark Side of the Marshmallow Experiment

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Resisting Hunger: The Dark Side of the Marshmallow Experiment

The Dark Side of the Marshmallow Experiment

What does it say about a child when they feel hungry yet are still capable of maintaining the self-control necessary NOT to eat the single marshmallow they are offered, preferring instead to wait fifteen whole minutes to get two marshmallows? Most people agree that it says they will be successful later on because they can, from an early age, calculate short versus long-term benefits and plan for the future. Such planning is an essential life-skill because, obviously:

  1. Short-term benefits and long-term benefits are never the same thing in the final term, i.e by the end of a person’s life, and
  2. Long-term benefits are always better than short-term benefits.

Right? Right?

Wrong. Read the rest of this entry