“Everything about her seems to be saying, Listen, if you don’t look attentively, if you don’t go beyond my simplicity to detect the simmering volcano in me, you are not it.”Rawi Hage, Carnival
They come for me seeking a one-dimensional cardboard cutout they’ve created in their head.
This projection of artist-rebel-good girl-mama-goddess-poet-saint-sinner that looks and sounds like something they’ve been seeking their whole damn lives.
Yes, I’ve always known how to light a fire in one who is ready to burn.
In the story they write of me I am the personification of a paradoxical myth.
I am untamed but wholly controllable. A wild force of nature, yet also organized and contained. Endearingly eccentric but with my shit entirely together. Pulsing with eroticism, but never undone by the power of my own want. Adored by the world, yet completely possessable and only their own.
I look damn good on a pedestal. We all do.
But then comes the fall. And my falls, they are no graceful swan dive.
Those people, they see a photo of the raging open sea but still somehow think I only swim there from time to time. Be aware: I’m a goddamn mermaid who walks on land at will. There isn’t a placid lake on earth that could contain me.
The reality of a human is bigger than what fits in a tiny box on a screen, or even in the very best words we can write to go with them. What you see here is not persona or make-believe, but it’s not even a sliver of the whole. Its intensely real and its carefully curated, an entirely open book with so many pages the world will never see.
The whole of me is messy, leaving open drawers and a trail of jewelry and abandoned shoes and scraps of poetry in my wake. Prone to delusions of grandeur and flights of fancy and daydreams so big you couldn’t possibly imagine them all. A million separate tracks running simultaneously, madly attempting to follow every last one. I’m changeable and prone to melancholy and cagey as fuck if you push me for more than I’m willing to give. I’m wise and ancient and I have all the answers, and I’ll forget every last one at 3am when I’m sobbing over my own broken heart on the bathroom floor. I observe everything and miss nothing and also pay shit attention to detail. I’ll forget everything except my own name. I was born in a body that well knows its animal hunger, seeking the edge and the ecstasy wherever it may be found. If you think that line is purely about sex you are missing the entire point. Go back to the start and begin again.
My art is rooted in my ability to fall in love with the world, with light, laughter, with the sound of a ragged sigh next to my ear, with the way you look by moonlight, with lines of prose and poetry and laughter and rainstorms. My work requires a heart and body wide open to the all and the everything.
If you think you can love me and somehow limit this, you have fooled yourself entirely.
I belong to myself. And to the wild mysterious unknown. And to the muse.
This is how it has always been and how it will always be.
My job here isn’t to make you happy, keep you placated, or lead you to believe that you’ll ever know or own all of me.
My job here on this earth is to create that which will make you come undone, that which will bring you closer and closer to standing in your truth, that which will shake your foundations so you can build something better from the rubble. That which will bring you to your knees as you meet the force of your own desire for the first time. That which will bring the echo of your true name back to you, as if you had always known.
I would guess that few have ever imagined me a woman of simplicity. I would guess that most, if they are paying the slightest attention, do indeed detect the simmering volcano within. But somehow, they still expected the experience of loving me to be simple, a woman who can be made to fit in a mold of their own design.
To those people, I lift a line from this quote. You are not it. You never were.
It has always been me.