Charity.

Recently, ‘ve been pondering on the saying: “charity begins at home”. We are admonished to love and care for those that we have direct relationships with, before thinking to extend the grace of our being and presence to those outside of our immediate caucus. I mean, it only makes sense– being there for those that we are responsible for, those that have always been there for us, those that we would expect to be there for us sometime. This is not to say that we should always ration our acts of kindness and goodness; I think it just means that when the resources are limited, thus resulting in a need to rank or apportion our capabilities in an order of urgency, or priority, we should start from home and then let it flow outwards… apt!

Generosity is beautiful. In fact, for a lot of people, as it should be for everyone, there is joy in giving; and even greater joy, in sharing– however little of what each one has got. Yet, in this art of being there for others and making everyone as happy as we possibly can, a lot of us forget one very obvious detail– ourselves and our own happiness. I won’t use the argument of “you can’t give what you don’t have”, because I already trashed this issue in my previous post, but i’ll call upon the words of a revered IG writer – “G”- here, which read “the full vessel is the one that overflows”.

Simply put, I think that as much as we feel bound to be there for friends and family, we must make ourselves a priority too. We must do for ourselves, at least, just as much as we do for others: pray for, love, care, appreciate, praise, criticise, admonish ourselves as much as we do others. Yes, there is love in sharing; but as “G”, said: “do not forget to share yourself with you”. Charity begins at home, but even better, it starts with you.

“Be kind to yourself. Charity begins with you.”

**

You can find “G” on IG: @powerofspeech

_____

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

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Karen Owusu: On Self Love.

Baby girl,
Don’t wait
For any man to paint
A canvas for you.
Let your heart be on
Your own canvas;
Create.
Hold that paintbrush
With the grip of your hands.
Play some Sade
“You give me,
You give me the sweetest taboo”;
Listen while you
Paint yourself
On this summer day
Keep on loving you.

— Karen Owusu

**

Darling, be the love of your life. Don’t wait. You can dream, but don’t wait for someone to show you what love is. There is no more magic in loving yourself, than there is in him loving you; what’s more, he will love you better if only you’ll show him how to.

Love yourself

Your love is King. You are a Queen. Love yourself with every ounce of soul in you. People are fickle; they will awaken your desires, and run amok with fear; they will take a long time to be sure, and you will doubt them sometimes– but you, you will always have yourself. So nourish the self in you, selflessly; be the magic missing from the love that you seek. And then, it won’t matter if they come, or if they never do; or if they stay or choose to leave– because you, you will be your endless love.

_____

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Power Of Speech: On Pause.

If words just ran together

Leaving punctuation behind

With no commas or periods

Each page would stay undefined

And imagine your favourite song

Denied any intervals of rest

Every note would lose its power

It would be a cacophony at best

Life becomes more breath-taking

When you remember to take

A breath inside each moment

You give yourself a break

And in this serene space

You reconnect to your core

Recovering deeper meaning

You find yourself once more

Oh, how sacred it is to pause

In all the chaos you embrace

To rest your flow of thoughts

Feel the peace within your pace.

-Author: G
Instagram ID: @powerofspeech

**

This is a heartfelt piece, which I got off IG, just for you. Dear Loves, pause. Rent a bathroom, or carve a corner. Take one deep breath, and maybe another one, then another one; stop and stare, just stare deeply– look consciously, admire, understand, see; the details of all you’ve been missing in life’s busy dash. Feel it. Let it touch you and teach you. Let it inspire something, and invoke something. Then do what you must– cry, or break, or tear; but while you do you, pray. Pray with purpose; pray without purpose. Say something, anything. Because God, He understands; even your unspoken sentiments. Pause and pray; through your moments and days. Sometimes, just that one little pause; will help us make sense of a big mess.

Pause

Here’s Me, wishing you all a splufik and astounding week ahead. I love you, like a heartbeat- resoundingly, pause-pose-fully. ❤

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Charlotte Eriksson: On Brokenness.

6 months, 2 weeks, 4 days,
and I still don’t know which month it was then
or what day it is now.
Blurred out lines
from hangovers
to coffee
Another vagabond
lost to love.

4am, alone and on my way;
these are my finest moments.
I scrub my skin
to rid me from
you
and I still don’t know why I cried.
It was just something in the way you
took my heart
and rearranged my
insides
and I couldn’t recognise
the emptiness you left me with when
you were done. Maybe you
thought my insides would fit
better this way, look
better this way,
to you and us and all
the rest.
But then you must have changed your mind
or made a wrong
because, why did you
leave?

6 months, 2 weeks, 4 days,
and I still don’t know which month it was then
or what day it is now.
I replace cafés with crowded bars
and empty roads with broken bottles
and this town is healing me slowly but
still not slow or fast enough because
there’s no right way to do this.
There is no right way to do this.

–Charlotte Eriksson.

**

Everything reminds you of everything. You take out the old photos, and delete the messages; get rid of everything– black, and white, and blue and red. Red, blood red is how you feel, red with rage, and hurt, and longing, and ache and despair. But you don’t want to feel anything anymore– so you take out all the souvenirs and memories and burn them under the stark cold dark of night. And you return home, unfeeling; staring at the bare space and listening in on the echo of silence. And you turn up the radio, and listen to uptown funk, and have some cold beer, and watch some football, and you go to bed. You are fine now. But you turn and toss, and turn and toss; you can’t find your sleep. So you sit up, your heart stretched in apathy. You laugh, very very very loud. Your eyes water, and your throat parches, but you keep laughing. Until slowly, but surely, your laughter trickles into loud grief. You let it. For pain demands to be felt. And you realise, one day you’ll have no more tears to cry, and you’ll be fine. But until then, you no longer try to hold it back.

Until then, you decide– the only way to heal, is to feel.

____

Here’s for everyone breaking, or broken. ❤

PS: “Pain demands to be felt”- Quote culled from John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars.

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Maya Angelou: On Freedom.

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks
of another breeze
and the trade winds soft
through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting
on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands
on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts
on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped
and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

-Maya Angelou.

**

This is dedicated to every writer, searching for truth in their own words; creating hope and belief for themselves and others– even when it seems most bleak.

why i write

Write on, bleed on, spill on– set your thoughts loose, and constantly seek that careless freedom that binds you in quiet peace.

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Beautiful.

Elizabeth Gilbert once said: “I think I deserve something beautiful”,

In all truth, I think that I do too. I think I deserve something so spectacular: on the intricate insides of it, and in its poise, expression and grace. I am not talking of perfect. I am about beautiful imperfection; that imperfect and remarkably un-made thing– that catches my breath, even before it catches my eye. That beautiful I don’t have to understand to love, whose love helps me understand. That joy. That piece of art. That arcane smile. I think I deserve it. And everyday, oh how I am looking like it, feeling like it, searching for it, making it, taking it, owning it…

Pray, I think you deserve something beautiful too. I hope you make it. I hope you find it. 💜💜

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Karen Owusu: On Waiting.

It is still spring

and the flowers

haven’t sprouted quite yet.

Just like you,

they are still healing

from winter

before they bud.

You are not too far

from blooming

but remember that,

you are still healing.

This is your time

to water your roots

to take care of your soul

your time will come.

For now,

keep on planting seeds

in your garden

move your hands and feet

dance to your own rhythm

Learn to be patient.

Honey,

your time will come

at becoming a flower.

-Karen Owusu-

**

I read this beautiful poem yesterday, and I was overwhelmed. It felt like the words were directed to me. Waiting. Patience. And I imagine there ‘re many more people feeling this same way– waiting for miracles, and promises; dreams to come true. That Marriage. The Promotion. The dream job. The freedom… but we must wait; for there is wisdom in waiting. And in time’s time, we will get “there”; and if not “there”, somewhere better. But we must wait; and while waiting, we must pray; and while praying, we must appreciate the be-coming, and work on ourselves– consciously, constantly and faithfully.

waiting

Because guess what honey, your time– our time– will come, at becoming a flower. I can feel it in my bones.

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.