It’s not cool to be wounded, is it?
To hold your breath and embrace the vacuous, scalding pain that insists on pulling you further into it.
The world doesn’t care.
It makes them uncomfortable, it shows them what it was like for them, what it’s like for many of them behind the veil of pretence and the anonymity this electronic age affords them.
They don’t need reminding. They’ve hid it so well for so long, they don’t need you unearthing that guttural kind of torture again. It’s not cool to cry out into the heavens while the rhyming rain beats icily against your skin; they don’t want to see that.
It disrupts their lives, their happiness, their facades and chips away at the stoic garments they’ve worn to pretty their lies and mask the hurt they feel.
The world is obsessed. It wants to glitter; to appear smooth, shiny and glamorous and to be beautiful and accepted. So your sadness, your reality and your truth cannot and will not be tolerated. Your pain is not welcome here. That’s what they want you to know, that’s what they need you to understand. Your pain is too close to home, too real to not affirm and too overwhelming to tame, so they don’t want to see it.
You should smile through it.
Laugh the weight away. Smile to hide the cracks and nod obediently to smother the wailing. It’s what’s expected of you, in this world. In this world where so many are lost, so many are hurting and so many are forgotten; united by our shared brokenness, in this world where pain is common currency, you have to hide it because nobody wants to see it.
The world wants life; it wants light, laughter, drunken trysts, wild tales, one night stands, back-alley first times, cocaine binges, dancing on tables, Sunday mornings and memories. The world wants memories, happy ones to tide them over while the septic nightmares threaten to claim penance.
The world wants to drink in the light while their hands claw at the night sky and all eyes are on them while they’re dancing on tables…dancing on tables…because nobody else will dance with them. So the world wants nothing more than for you to keep your raw emotions, your scathing truth and your pain to yourself.
So…did you hear that it’s not cool to be wounded?
We are a continent of riches; bountiful with the breath of existence and the echo of creation burning through our bloodlines, blessings from our ancestors.
We are nations of incomparable strength and enviable diversity and we are a story of triumph and victory. So it’s time we showed it, it’s time we embraced it and owned it.
We. Are. Africa and we are taking it back.
This new Africa, this new strain of consciousness was inherited through decades of suffering, strife and oppression. We inherited inferiority, a standard forced onto us and an unnatural order we were indoctrinated into inhabiting.
The earth we walk on hums with natural riches we have to learn to use for our benefit, for our growth and our success.
The fact that we’re so culturally diverse, so ethnically empowered, should lend sympathy to our interactions with the rest of the world. Our strength will lie in how we accept past mistakes and move away from them, sans bloodshed and hate. The time of war has long since passed and now is the time for accepting our African responsibility.
We’ve learned from our neighbours and now we’re able to tackle African issues our way.
We’re smart enough to do away with divisions; we were once united in times of strife, we can certainly re-imagine that unity in times of consecration; where we celebrate our own vision for the future.
Let’s be the village we were meant to be. Let’s raise the future as one voice instead of the many cries of war, hate and disempowerment we’ve come to accept. African on African war is never the answer.
Let’s begin to tell our stories the way only we can. Let’s raise our children the way we want to; to believe in their home enough to want to fight for it.
To fight isn’t to raise your fist in bloodlust, but to raise your presence in assertion against ways that pull away from the African agenda.
An agenda that values heritage, an agenda that protects our wildlife, an agenda that’s dedicated to preserving our ancestry and an agenda that’s open to the evolution of understanding.
We are never without influence and to demonise the rest of the world would be a grave mistake on our part, but we’re entitled to satisfy an almost carnal desire to treasure what African spirit we have left. Let’s not wake up years later to find that we’ve lost what identity we thought we had.
Let’s occupy Africa.
Sometimes the page is just empty. Sometimes the curser beats a silent, mocking rhythm that taunts my current invalidity.
Nothing is said, nothing can be said, and so the page remains empty.
Sometimes the most charming recesses of your imagination yawn and shiver with stone cold lethargy, while you peel through cobwebs in search of what little inspiration the ether could muster.
Sometimes nothing’s there.
Sometimes there isn’t a single word or language in all of existence that’s enough; enough to rip the raw emotions that bubble, boil, churn and chug beneath the hissing of your skin and singe themselves onto that blank canvass.
No voice strong enough to explain the ache; the gnawing hurt that’s insistent in its presence. No font bold enough to preach the proud moments that burst through the heat of breath and frantic tattoo of an excited heart. There isn’t a word powerful enough to explain the miracle of emotion bleeding through the fabric of your heart; that mechanical and magical fusion of the seen and unseen can’t possibly be quantified and honestly, truthfully, expressed.
So the page remains empty.
Sometimes that blank, white, empty space before you is a mirror. Sometimes you see yourself through it; the real you and it terrifies you. Sometimes the potential that stares back at you frightens you so much that the idea of limiting it, of not living up to it and disappointing it cripples you.
Sometimes the beating of that dreaded curser, the vast emptiness that gleams brilliantly before you and the nothingness that sits comfortably behind that screen, is just what you need to have at that very moment. Maybe life needs to be experienced, stories need to be lived and the right kind of scars need to be dealt before you can find the right words, the right voice and the right language to use.
Until then, this page will remain empty.