I chose, and my world was shaken—
The choice may have been mistaken;
the choosing was not.
- stephen sondheim (via thismakesmeanxious)
But you can have the fig tree and its fat leaves like clown hands
gloved with green. You can have the touch of a single eleven-year-old finger
on your cheek, waking you at one a.m. to say the hamster is back.
You can have the purr of the cat and the soulful look
of the black dog, the look that says, If I could I would bite
every sorrow until it fled, and when it is August,
you can have it August and abundantly so. You can have love,
though often it will be mysterious, like the white foam
that bubbles up at the top of the bean pot over the red kidneys
until you realize foam’s twin is blood.
You can have the skin at the center between a man’s legs,
so solid, so doll-like. You can have the life of the mind,
glowing occasionally in priestly vestments, never admitting pettiness,
never stooping to bribe the sullen guard who’ll tell you
all roads narrow at the border.
You can speak a foreign language, sometimes,
and it can mean something. You can visit the marker on the grave
where your father wept openly. You can’t bring back the dead,
but you can have the words forgive and forget hold hands
as if they meant to spend a lifetime together. And you can be grateful
for makeup, the way it kisses your face, half spice, half amnesia, grateful
for Mozart, his many notes racing one another towards joy, for towels
sucking up the drops on your clean skin, and for deeper thirsts,
for passion fruit, for saliva. You can have the dream,
the dream of Egypt, the horses of Egypt and you riding in the hot sand.
You can have your grandfather sitting on the side of your bed,
at least for a while, you can have clouds and letters, the leaping
of distances, and Indian food with yellow sauce like sunrise.
You can’t count on grace to pick you out of a crowd
but here is your friend to teach you how to high jump,
how to throw yourself over the bar, backwards,
until you learn about love, about sweet surrender,
and here are periwinkles, buses that kneel, farms in the mind
as real as Africa. And when adulthood fails you,
you can still summon the memory of the black swan on the pond
of your childhood, the rye bread with peanut butter and bananas
your grandmother gave you while the rest of the family slept.
There is the voice you can still summon at will, like your mother’s,
it will always whisper, you can’t have it all,
but there is this.
“Maybe you just have to live for the small things, like being called pretty or someone picking up the pen you dropped or laughing so hard that your stomach hurts. Maybe that’s all that really matters at the end of the day.” -Tianna Kavanagh
For me, queer means radiant darkness, radical love, and a million and one ways to resist and decolonize. Queer is imbued with deep spirituality and sweetness.
- Edward Ndopu
Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.
- Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven
What is your favorite word?”
“And. it is so hopeful.
- Margaret Atwood
I used to be a hopeless romantic. I am still a hopeless romantic. I used to believe that love was the highest value. I still believe that love is the highest value. I don’t expect to be happy. I don’t imagine that I will find love, whatever that means, or that if I do find it, it will make me happy. I don’t think of love as the answer or the solution. I think of love as a force of nature - as strong as the sun, as necessary, as impersonal, as gigantic, as impossible, as scorching as it is warming, as drought-making as it is live-giving. And when it burns out, the planet dies. My little orbit of life circles love. I dare not get any closer. I’m not a mystic seeking final communion. I don’t go out without SPF 15. I protect myself. But today, when the sun is everywhere, and everything solid is nothing but its own shadow, I know that the real things in life, the things I remember, the things I turn over in my hands, are not houses, bank accounts, prizes or promotions. What I remember is love - all love - love of this dirt road, this sunrise, a day by the river, the stranger I met in a café. Myself, even, which is the hardest thing of all to love, because love and selfishness are not the same thing. It is easy to be selfish. It is hard to love who I am. No wonder I am surprised if you do.
- Jeanette Winterson, Lighthousekeeping
Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk’s flight
on the empty sky.
- Ursula K. LeGuin, A Wizard of Earthsea
Diaspora is simultaneously a state of being and a process of becoming, a kind of voyage that encompasses the possibility of never arriving or returning, a navigation of multiple belongings.
- Paul Tiyambe Zeleza
Stay close to any sounds that make you glad you are alive.