Of understanding loss, grace of the word ‘no’
And also being able to say ‘you are not kind’
The year of humanity/humility
When the whole world couldn’t get out of bed
Everyone I’ve met this year says the same thing
‘You are so easy to be around, how do you do that?’
The year I broke open and dug out all the rot with own hands
The year I learnt small talk
And how to smile at strangers
The year I understood that I am my best when I reach out and ask ‘do you want to be my friend?’
The year of sugar, everywhere
Softness. sweetness. honey honey.
The year of being alone
And learning how much I like it
The year of hugging people I don’t know because I want to know them
The year I made peace and love
right here” —Warsan Shire (via sadexistences)
This quote is from her new book Mom & Me & Mom (exquisite read) and she said this to a Black man who saw her in Europe as she was rising to fame (singing, dancing, working on films…she did most of this before her writing/poetry career) and called her our Shakespeare as he knelt before her. She didn’t want him to view her as anything beyond (or below) human.
Novel concept it seems. Black women being human. Not any controlling image that seeks to marginalize us through deification or dehumanization (though it’s usually the latter, the former is problematic as well).