pRovocaTions letter oNe
I have been watching many romance things lately: heartstopper season 2, queen charlotte, rewatching bridgerton season 2, red white and royal blue. It is the summer of love, baby. Of desire. Some much better than others. heartstopper being so heartwarming, I need a looooooong hug. bridgerton anthony and kate’s love being so warm, so desirious, so obsessed. I tend to question if love like this is what we should strive for, I mean complete and utter obsession is sexy, but its more the complete devotion and loyalty that enthralls me, that vexes me. How might we find devotion to one another when our feelings, hearts, time, energies are taken from us, so sucked away?
I am reminded of midsommar. I am not sure what it is about it. the breathing. the moment. the grass on one’s fingertips. the bear. the white. white whiteness. the grass.
I wanted to know know the “mourn.” The moment of transformation from that who is mourning, to that who has mourned. Who has lived the loss and is something different. I wanted “this pain to make me,” to make me strong, resilient, to be the person who takes something traumatic and looks forward to a new life that does not duplicate it. I wanted this pain engrained. Etched into the fabric of who I will be, so that it is no longer something I am experiencing, but something I am, by nature, made up of. Something that holds me. That is living side by side with tenderness, love, desire. I want to be held.
What is heartbreaking, and from which I cannot escape, is that how we occupy this world is so unkind, so inhumane. Our humanity, the ontology of how we be and become is so harsh and unloving and uncaring. Our practices emanate from that ontology: the ways we love and engage tenderness.
I mean climate desecration, the hoarding of wealth, working and working and working down to your bone, the panama papers, pedophilia and sexual trafficking rings, donald trump and joe biden, missing and murdered indigenous women in canada, the monarchy, doug ford, covid-19, celebrities and their jets and their money, the world cup finding its footing on slave labour and death, ukraine, the military growing, people sleeping outside in deadly storms, pharmacy and insulin prices, tiktok comment sections, shootings, people killing themselves because living is unfathomable and unlivable, nestle, forced birth, religion, no more flu medicines, chatgpt, twitter’s end, fox news, police budget increases. These are the currencies of unkindness. How might I love in this—in all of this?
We, our Love must be reimagined, the World must be reimagined—because damn, I am tired of this one.
Some provocations I would like to share:
“The less you eat, drink and read books; the less you go to the theatre, the dance hall, the public-house; the less you think, love, theorize, paint, sing, fence, etc., the more you save—the greater becomes your treasure which neither moths nor dust will devour—your capital. The less you are, the more you have; the less you express your own life, the greater is your alienated life—the greater is the store of your estranged being.”—Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
I came to you one rainless August night.
You taught me how to live without the rain.
You are thirst and thirst is all I know.
You are sand, wind, sun, and burning sky,
The hottest blue. You blow a breeze and brand
Your breath into my mouth. You reach—then bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
You wrap your name tight around my ribs
And keep me warm. I was born for you.
Above, below, by you, by you surrounded.
I wake to you at dawn. Never break your
Knot. Reach, rise, blow, Sálvame, mi dios,
Trágame, mi tierra. Salva, traga, Break me,
I am bread. I will be the water for your thirst.
—Benjamin Alire Sáenz
On my lips like thunder
A land where all lovers are mute.
Why are you weeping
Your hands on my doorway like rainbows
Why are you weeping?
I am come home.