When you have picked the shards of glass out of your bloodstream, carefully, and packed away your sorrows in their boxes, one by one, don’t hide them in the attic. They will grow cobwebs there. They will take up space. Sooner or later you will trip over them. Give them to the bonfire or the junk sale, because their usefulness is done.

Your pain is the consequence of being human. It is a sign you have reached some limit in yourself you must respect. When you run too far, it is the ache in your legs that will tell you to stop. When you are too tired, or too lost or you are hurting, it is the ache in your heart which tells you that it is too much.

Rest.

Give yourself sustenance in whatever form you need it. Find peace in music and books, or in kisses and laughter and in other people. Eat good food, and drink more water than tea, but hopefully still enough of the second. Sleep if you can. Grow something: A cactus or a flower or a project. Be kind to who you are.

If something you need is missing, close your eyes and picture it. Imagine it for yourself, because you are a joyful painter with the finest paint palette that ever was, and the whole canvas of your mind is waiting.

Let yourself cry. Tears do not waste themselves. They are like tree sap; a consequence of pressure building up and they flow out of injuries, of all kinds. They release the pressure, a little, and they aid in your healing.

You may be afraid but that is just the part of you that wants to protect you reminding you that it is there. It is guarding you well. You may feel small but you are bound to sometimes, because you dream in ways that would seem vast to any giant.

Don’t be too disheartened. Ants can recognise their own faces in a mirror. An Octopus can unscrew the lid of a jar, from the inside, if you let it. There are people making centrifuges out of paper. The ozone layer is repairing itself. There are nearly a thousand different types of cheeses in existence. The world is worthwhile, even though it contains some terrible things. Life is, too.

You are so lovely, even when you don’t believe it.

Sarah-Louise Jordan

 

Sarah-Louise Jordan
Ink in Strange Places

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Now That We Have Tasted Hope

Now that we have come out of hiding,
Why would we live again in the tombs we’d made out of our souls?

And the sundered bodies that we’ve reassembled
With prayers and consolations,
What would their torn parts be, other than flesh?

Now that we have tasted hope
And dressed each other’s wounds with the legends of our
oneness
Would we not prefer to close our mouths forever shut
On the wine that swilled inside them?

Having dreamed the same dream,
Having found the water behind a thousand mirages,
Why would we hide from the sun again
Or fear the night sky after we’ve reached the ends of
darkness,
Live in death again after all the life our dead have given us?

Listen to me Zow’ya, Beida, Ajdabya, Tobruk, Nalut,
Listen to me Derna, Musrata, Benghazi, Zintan,
Listen to me houses, alleys, courtyards, and streets that
throng my veins,
Some day soon, in your freed light, in the shade of your
proud trees,
Your excavated heroes will return to their thrones in your
martyrs’ squares,
Lovers will hold each other’s hands.

I need not look far to imagine the nerves dying,
Rejecting the life that blood sends them.
I need not look deep into my past to seek a thousand hopeless vistas.
But now that I have tasted hope
I have fallen into the embrace of my own rugged innocence.

How long were my ancient days?
I no longer care to count.
I no longer care to measure.
How bitter was the bread of bitterness?
I no longer care to recall.

Now that we have tasted hope, this hard-earned crust,
We would sooner die than seek any other taste to life,
Any other way of being human.
~Khaled Mattawa