Brand You

Would you wear me like a medal?

Let me brand my mouth onto your skin.

Let me draw blood from your pores;

Let me design a different shade of melanin.

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My Dad, Pt.1

The funniest memory I have of my dad is from when I was about 13 years old. My sister and I were in our bedroom, our conversation had been interrupted by the gradually escalating aggressive tone in my dad’s voice who kept repeating his surname over and over again…

“Didov!”

30 seconds pause

“Didov!!”

“Didov!!!”

My sister was the braver of us and she went into the living room to see what was happening.

It turned out that he was trying to set up his voicemail (this was back in 2003 when a businessman absolutely needed to have a set up voice mail)…

He was annoyed because the lady on the phone kept asking him to insert his password and then press #. My dad, being who he was, skipped forward a few years and he expected that his password would be voice recognized and saved that way.

“Who the hell does she think she is, telling me whether my password is correct or not? How would she know anyway?! ”

We all laughed a while when we eventually managed to explain to him how voice-mail set-up works.

The decision to start writing this series of blogs is because as a flawed human, I’m bound to forget some things, and I really do not want to. We’ve moved around so much and lost so many things in the process that I really have no way of remembering him apart from the photos I have.

He had the most infectious laughter, and just like me he went into hysteria if he laughed long enough… to the point where you can’t figure out whether that’s laughter or tears or pain or death. And like me he was imperfect. He had a short temper and he was a little too sensitive sometimes, he cried during most movies and always reminded me that real men cry sometimes whenever he’d realize I was watching him. In a nutshell, he was the biggest softy I had ever met… but also the toughest softy I’d ever met.

My dad didn’t believe in toughening me up physically or emotionally, but rather – mentally.

I had a friend named Iva back in the day… our friendship was special because we had so many things in common. We shared the same name, we were born in the same month 1 year apart, both Bulgarian, both with parents who had the same age gap… our dads had military background and we lived in the same block of flats. We were on the 3rd floor, they were on the 4th. So naturally, we were inseparable. My grown ups did not appreciate this friendship, I was very innocent and naive, easily swayed and influenced… so it was no surprise when shortly after that I started going out to clubs and smoking, drinking and skipping school. My dad never said anything about it, but at the end of that school year when I was supposed to have the most fun with my friend, I was taken away to Rietspruit which is somewhere in Mpumalanga. My dad was in charge of a  farming and self-sustainability community project over there. For 4 weeks my day started at 04:30 am, we would have breakfast then head over to the fields. I would plant potatoes and work the land, water the land, tie up the tomato stems to supporting rods and sometimes when I’d tie something too tight, my dad would cut off all the strings I had tied and I’d have to start all over again. This was possibly the toughest he’s ever been. We wouldn’t speak. Not at the field and not at home. When I wasn’t at the field, I was making food, washing, cleaning or reading. So by 8pm every evening I’d be out.

I was supposed to work with him for 6 weeks, he gave me 2 weeks off because he was proud of me for not complaining or throwing tantrums or crying. What he didn’t realize is that Iva had nothing to do with my bad choices, they were mine and I was willing to take responsibility for them. That month for me was a lesson in consequence and owning up to my mistakes. I didn’t see it as punishment and I knew that in the end I’d come out stronger, wiser and with a little farming knowledge (just in case I ever need it).

Sometimes when realizing I’ve messed up and begin to panic about the consequences, I imagine being back there with the tomato plans. The pain in my back, my calves, my arms, my neck, my thighs and I remember wanting to break down and freak out… but with every tied string, I stepped past the frantic tantrums of knowing you can’t undo what’s already been done.

So I breathe, furrow my brow a little and hope that the universe would cut me some slack if I work hard enough at owning up to my mistakes.

One of which is… not recording memories with him while I still had the chance.

The Inner Bell

Some people like to call this instrument your intuition.

It’s all good and well that we attempt to be as intuitive as possible. Some authors even offer up a good few ways to sharpen this instinct, but here’s where I have a problem with this;

When your survival is based off of fight or flight, and the experiences you have had trigger specific reactions – how accurate is the inner bell?

For example;

a friend of mine is currently battling with trust when it comes to a new interest in her life. She says that he’s predominantly different from most people she’s been with thus far in his character, but there are a number of behavioral patterns which set off the alarm in her.

‘He’s excruciatingly honest some days,” she says with this playful sparkle in her eyes, ” and on other days I don’t know whether or not he even wants me to speak to him at all. He’s short tempered and secretive. Before I can confront him though he goes right back to being charming and interested, he calls, he shows interest, he shares. I on the other hand feel like I’m losing my mind from all the back and forth.”

Funny, I know how that feels and the best advice I had was to trust until she has reason not to… but, I’m concerned about having said this. The attitude of the all-forgiving, easy going, trusting saint has shattered me more times than I can count. The most infuriating part is knowing that you could have walked away earlier, you saw this unfold and yet; you chose to stay. Masochism at its  finest.

This is where this “inner bell” could be useful… if it looks rotten and smells rotten – don’t eat it!

What if it isn’t rotten though?

Ever smelled some of the pre-basted meat you buy at some stores? It’s nauseating!

Does that mean you just chuck the bulk away and never set foot in that particular store again? Maybe… but there is a way to fix that. There is also a way to find out whether someone is worth the effort or not – get to know them.

The urge at first is to word vomit about all the strange and scary yet wonderful feelings your chosen other heart-beat evokes in you. Don’t do it. It’s scary for the person and most times unnecessary.  Besides there’s all the time in the world to be romantic and silly. Rushing it might trigger the behavior you fear most them.

Ever considered that they too might have this so called “inner bell”? What if they too were hurt, by the exact opposite of who they are? Just because someone spends more time on the phone with you or is good at creating habits in order to keep you from questioning does not mean that they are not hiding anything.

Then there are the people who hide temporarily. The people who want to expose themselves but need to be coaxed out of their shells…

The possibilities are endless and people are different… our experiences (although shared in the collective) differ. Our fears, doubts and triggers are all different. As a younger me, I was all about the intuition thing. To an extent I still am, but here’s the difference; if I doubt I ask… in other words, if it looks rotten and it smells rotten then taste it. Not saying eat the whole thing – just try it out.

Many of the worst situations I ended up in were because I FELT that I was being messed about. Work wise, with friendships and love… and in all the other ways in which our triggers warn us. Fear tends to be the most powerful emotion. Yeah, we all like to think that love conquers all but in most cases fear trumps love.

I’ve also been at the receiving end of someone else’s “inner bell” .  It is absolutely the most frustrating battle I’ve ever had to fight, and lose. You don’t FEEL like you can trust me? Why? Have I done something wrong? No, your fears are greater than your feelings and there isn’t a damn thing I can do or say to change that. I was angry for the longest of time until I saw the hypocrite in me.

Tasting is so much better. Firstly because there is never the ongoing “what if” scenario. Secondly … you might be surprised where you end up if you just force your brain to just keep quiet or at least whisper. I definitely don’t have all the answers, nor am I saying you should leap off every cliff without even checking for depth…

Just stop allowing your fears to dictate how you live your life.

We have politicians doing that for us already.

There is nothing sweeter than the elevated feeling you get when you can’t get someone off your mind. It takes over and suddenly, you see colors you couldn’t see before, taste things differently. Random heart palpitations happen and dreams become a constant state of being. Enjoy that. Revel in it. Be a kid…

And if it doesn’t taste rotten… soak it in vinegar for a few minutes.

Tattooed Everything

‘Sheets of empty canvas
Untouched sheets of clay
Were laid spread out before me
As her body once did’

Sometime in the future…

“Poets are liars.”

Jennifer walked out on me today, because I called her Abby… but really I think it’s cause she got sick of my inability to give. Orgasms are one thing I guess, but most people want to feel some sort of “connection”, some scorching in the throat to convince themselves they’re feeling. No judgement will be passed from my side, plus I wish her all the best; after all… I used to be someone who felt things and loved people.

Used to…’

‘All five horizons
Revolved around her soul
As the earth to the sun
Now the air I tasted and breathed
Has taken a turn’

Sometime in the past

“Poets are liars.”

I experienced love  in my dreams. Perhaps it has something to do with all the dreaming about her . My long haired, pale-skinned dream. The first time it happened I cried in my sleep and I felt the burn of her lips on mine for years thereafter… I still do. To stare into nothingness, or the most picturesque landscape was to be thrown back into that snapshot moment of forever, and she had no idea I was reaching for her, but then neither did I.

Oh but she found me, and everything changed in my knowing I’d be temporary, and she would be the end.

It’s only fair to end off where one began.

‘ and all I taught her was everything
Oh I know she gave me all that she wore
And now my bitter hands
Chafe beneath the clouds
Of what was everything’

We were aimless at first. Just two souls dancing and clashing and sometimes, meeting perfectly in semblance. Almost choreographed in awkward bumpy, rhythm-less touches of one to the other. She taught me that to create was to give everything away, not expecting anything in return. I could only teach her how to survive, to pretend, and never to trust poets.

I’ve stopped being a poet since… now I draw the fantasies of silly little Abbys, Jennifers and generally girls who romanticize the permanence of ink on their gullible, sapped skins.

I remember her every kind word…that permanence will be mine.

‘Oh the pictures have
All been washed in black
Tattooed everything’

Sometime or other

“poets are liars.”

I wake-up drenched and shivering with my arm outstretched towards that side of my bed that was once occupied. That’s when the itch begins. It starts behind my vocal chords and I can’t even scream. My eyes are next, but I can’t cry so the shaking and drenching only worsens.

So I lift the machine, I tare off my shirt and distribute just enough ink to cover my “heart”. Not that I believe I still own one.

This is a madman meditating to the sound of a needle and not to stop until the itching subsides, or at least until I am able to cry.

I take a walk outside
I’m surrounded by
Some kids at play
I can feel their laughter
So why do I sear

Present time

“poets are liars.”

I chose this repetitive phrase, because it is true, which is why I can’t poem anymore. I’ve been learning the value of honesty… truth…transparency…fighting for the woman I love. This is a forward to a time where I might be alone, but maybe I won’t. There are no givens, no certainties, but I can’t help but give myself away for what I hope is the last time. The itch is ever present and it reminds me it is there as I trip over my shoe laces, though in the park; no one cares about embarrassment.

I hope.

‘Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin
Round my head
I’m spinning
Oh, I’m spinning
How quick the sun can, drop away’

Sometime or other

“poets are liars.”

I can feel my hand pressing way harder than is recommended for proper ink work… but it makes no difference now. Let me be the embryo of ugly grey scar-tissue. Let it bleed and tare and scream in its muted expression, how much it feels like being abandoned or worse, being lied to. I’m no longer a poet…

My drawing lines thicken.

‘And now my bitter hands
Cradle broken glass
Of what was everything
All the pictures had
All been washed in black
Tattooed everything’

…and thicken…

All the love gone bad
Turned my world to black
Tattooed all I see
All that I am
All I’ll be

…and thicken…

‘I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life
I know you’ll be a star
In somebody else’s sky
But why
Why
Why can’t it be
Why can’t it be mine’

But I am not a poet, and grammatically this sentence is incorrect because of the first word. Also… I don’t own a tattoo machine (yet) and I’m only still learning to draw, as I am learning to love, to interact… to live and not feel guilty for it. And if you are to be someone else’s star, my love I’d look up to you while my lines thicken. But until that day comes, I refuse to be a poet, I refuse to think back or forward or sideways. Promise me to look here and I will lock gazes with you and we can paint and laugh and love and fight… do all the things I’d miss, while you’re still mine.

I love you.

Traditional Witchcraft for Woods and Forests; A review.

Traditional Witchcraft for the Woods & Forests by Melusine Draco is a wonderful read for anyone who feels the need to get away from the pressures of the city for a moment or few.

One of the very first books I read from Moon Books had to do with spirit animals and animal magic, and as a wolf I definitely need the comfort of the forest. This book isn’t just an instruction manual (like so many of these type of books are) it cuddles you up in forest and that for me is priceless.

I am lucky enough to have the follow up books to this first gem, and I am excited to start on my next adventure with lady Draco. I strongly recommend this book and probably will ( I’m pretty sure) the rest of her books. I also found her page Traditional Witchcraft so go have a look at that too.

 

In terms of style I enjoy that she is more of a story teller like I mentioned earlier. It also makes me happy that old lore is a recurring topic and that we get to learn and bathe in the wonders of things that we will possibly never be able to fully comprehend.

I think I have exhausted my thesaurus and just writing this review makes the hairs on my body stand up in excitement and admiration.

 

Definitely worth the time it took to get to this book.twwf

What Is?

‘She asked me if I enjoyed listening to poetry’…

I could not reply,

Instead I turned and ran away.

Not noticing that the sky had begun to paint a landscape filled with neon

halfheartedly I passed by each section of this little world and stumbled,

evidently unaware of how deeply her unanswered question moved me

– haha – literally

To the point of falling –

over a little pit of nothingness ,

a picturesque silence of stories yet to be created, and after all what is poetry?

 

Is it not the symphony of breaths paired in passion?

Could one find poetry in hands trembling in fear of touching…

The uncertainty of possibly losing control if those palms were to connect?

How poetic is that look?

You know?

The one…

 

When knees and veins react to it as though that stranger’s stare is everything your life has been preparing you for.

If such sights induce poetic thoughts then :

how do we hear them?

Unless you press your ear hard to her chest in a rested attempt to caress the nestled bit of love in her arms.

She asked me whether I liked hearing poetry –

Well I’d sure like to find out about the sounds of her heart…

Until then I will keep walking, stumbling as I convince myself that the question was merely a passing of time in an exchange of casual conversation…

After all – What is poetry?