every river i've ever lived near was dried up. every lap i've ever sat on was never a man who had a face where i can find my own. the hands of my mother never knew how to tame my hair; she just knew how to brush things under the rug.
and people ask why my darkness takes over the sky.
church on sundays never felt like a union with god. it felt like chess to me, having to fight through all of these pons and figures to have the privilege of capturing the most important piece. (why did i feel like i had to prove myself worthy to be in the presence of a presence?) the ballroom down the hallway from my Jido's service reminded my younger aunt and i of the Disney movie, Anastasia. there's a part in the scene where Anastasia walks into the abandoned ballroom and "sees" ghosts, of her unknown past, dancing in unison. for some reason we wanted there to be ghosts inside the same room as us. we often found more comfort in the idea of apparitions than in the human counterparts we lived with. for me, there was always a presence - a million eyes, a coldness. and i didn't have to fight for its attention. darkness has an inviting cologne, a cologne that leads you to sit on its lap and find your face in His. the angel on shift would land on my shoulder and remind me ghosts weren't real, so i'd wipe the memory with sticky Laffy Taffy hands. in two adjacent rooms, danced two different tribes of spirits: a childlike fellowship with the comfort of imagination and a fellowship that anchored itself into desperation and need, a way of survival. kalie, my aunt, and my laughter continued to echo in the grandiose ballroom. Jido was too busy with his god to hear us.
i think everyone has their own hues of darkness, the reasons that bring them to their knees - to pray, to cry, to surrender, to bleed in silence. abandonment, neglect, and rejection have always been the footnote of my darkness. where a flower of desire goes unwatered, there is a wilted child in the womb of the bud. as i got older, those ghosts lingered with me everywhere, and i constantly felt a million eyes, the coldness, the laughter in the ballroom that separated me from god. was i not worthy to be able to feel the same warmth that others felt in life? what did i do in a past life that separated me from the sun that everyone else seemed to live under?
moonchild became a nickname for me from a friend who seemed to understand my dark nature, my ability to shapeshift into a new person under a blanket of stars, who felt that my truth illuminated against the night sky, in pieces, in fragments, that sometimes fell elusive to the ordinary eye.
in the long breath of darkness, i came to understand myself. it taught me about depth and about how pain brings us to consciousness. being on the brink of death with your own hands teaches you about the preciousness of life and the heaviness of the human condition. many times i found myself cursing the sky and still received rain. writing suicide notes just made me a better creative writer. the idea of dying made my life around me fuller with people, because you'd be surprised at how many others have the same battle wounds as you. in the absence of my father i filled myself with knowledge; in the absence of my mother i made room for nurturing; in the absence of the love i wanted from my family, i expanded my deep devotion to friendship. darkness is only the absence of visible light, it doesn't, however, mean that it does not exist. moons rise in my darkness and i can give birth to the sun in the morning.
the ballroom of the sky and the stars as echoes of laughter, dancing and waltzing across the vast darkness, twinkling to remind me of the sensation of aloneness but still being accompanied by a presence.
we are often separated by the ones we love, isolated from their own self-sanctuaries, to cultivate a deeper relationship with our own life. we are not meant to live through someone else. we were given our own skin for a reason. i had to be separated from the sun that everyone lived under to understand my own light. our darkness is unique to us, but light is what keeps us connected to others. one cannot exist without the other. when i swallow this truth, i bask in the milk that lingers: moons rise in my darkness and i can give birth to the sun in the morning.