She Is Everything.

She is a woman of God and stature, weaving through the cobblestone streets with her brightly colored scarf prominent amongst the crowd. Grace and humility cling to her like a luxurious fragrance, turning heads in silent awe. Her eyes are a mystery, fierce and determined. She is a rose among thorns, a beauty to behold.

She is thick, unruly hair and dark skin as smooth as velvet. Her eyes carry the pain of those before her, but she remains poised in spite of it. Her back holds the weight of a thousand cries she uses to fuel her strength. She is utterly indestructible, a mountain holding the ends of the earth together.

She is curves and sharp features, steady hands revealing stories of courage in trying times. Her voice is a haunting melody, her words like songs and prayers the world longs to hear. She is the permanent crease in her forehead, a symbol of all that she has endured. She is all the broken, cracked pieces she assembled herself, a warrior and a queen.

She is poetry in itself, endless lines and stanzas of pain and joy and hope and survival. She is the heart that plants flowers in desolate fields, the heart that battles against its oppressors, the heart that allows tears to flow freely just as abundantly as it allows laughter. She is the heart that feels deeply, that gives freely, that loves fiercely.

Her bright and beautiful soul shines like a torch, lighting the path of everyone she touches with it. She is ethereal and exquisite, made of silver and gold. She is everything and she will apologize for nothing.

{S.M.}

*Artwork by: Vicki (https://twitter.com/vickisigh)

Shipwrecked.

I had lain awake countless nights wondering why my heart felt numb.

Why the four walls of my room suffocated me; why I could not bear to look at myself in the mirror too long without my stomach clenching and my throat tightening — pain that was impossible to swallow, pain I could not hide. Why my happiness was only short lived before exhaustion crept its way in, snuffing out the last of the golden embers.

I became an expert in pretending to be okay; while the walls inside me crumbled, leaving an open gateway for the ashes drifting into my home.

I could barely recognize that place anymore. My safe haven became a torture chamber, and my silent cries drowned out the rest of the world.

I am lost. For the first time I let myself believe it. I let my unshed tears fall freely as I cupped my hands together and raised them towards You.

And I spoke. With everything I had left in me, I spoke to You. I have nothing. I put all my faith in this world and now I am drowning. 

I stood at Your door broken and battered for the thousandth time, the guilt of one too many second-chances circling around me like a terrible storm. And yet. And yet you opened it.

I am lost. I have been lost for longer than I am afraid to say. I have been wandering this shipwreck searching for my freedom, but the ruins all look the same and the exits lead nowhere. Save me. Save me. Save me.

~

At last, my limbs began to move. I thrust against the current and fought to make it to shore. That first breath of air became my salvation.

I no longer stood with my hands on my knees, bent before a false throne; but before Yours. And You planted a garden in my heart. In the place of thorns and weeds grew wildflowers.

I came to You a broken servant, having failed you a thousand times…

but Your Mercy sent me home cleansed of my scars and purged of my darkness.

{S.M}

 

Labels.

We live in a world that teaches us to diminish ourselves to nothing

A world of deadly connotations

That devastate the human body of the very thing it needs to be whole —

h u m a n i t y.

We live in a world where “girl” is a synonym for “incompetent”

Where “Muslim” and “woman” used in the same sentence is a symbol of oppression

Where “black” is equivalent to “inferior” and “white” is equivalent to “prestigious”

A world in which the word “menstruation” itself is repulsive enough to make some faces scrunch up in disgust

But “rape” gets a less shocking response

A world where “beauty” means “superficial”,

Where “money” means “power”,

Where “Islam” means “terrorism”,

Where “love” means “weakness”,

And “society” means “them”…

We blame the world for these deadly connotations and yet

We fail to realize that we make up the world.

Labels only exist if you let them

Sometimes blinding even the best of men and women

The true test is discovering this weakness in ourselves

And embracing the fact that equality is not selective.

Whoever said “knowledge is power” was wiser than they probably realized

Because knowledge…

Knowledge is what leads to redemption

To realization

To acceptance

To hope.

*Image Credit: Humans of New York

Echoes.

Fleeting visions of a world long passed

Remembered only when the last drop of liquid scorches our tongues

In between blurred outlines of faces and bodies and stars

And a ringing drowning out the beat uniting us all

Do we remember

Happiness. The sand between our toes as our hands brought dreams to life, sculpting castles and kingdoms

Our mother’s laugh before she knelt to place a tender kiss upon our forehead: joy before we even knew what joy meant

The golden sun engulfing us in its wake, our faces turned toward the sky, eyes closed in silent contemplation

Love. Endless, breathless nights spent entwined; a mess of limbs and soft whispers

Fingers and foreheads touching, promises left unsaid but understood

Brilliant emerald eyes reflecting the sun and the stars and the moon and the ocean;

everything, all at once

Freedom. Hearts devoid of pain, as light as the feather of a hummingbird

A breeze caressing our chins with the gentleness of a mother embracing her child

The blue sky beckoning to us, claiming that we too belong among the clouds

Now…

We exist without existing

Numbness and exhaustion creeping up our every bone and crevice

Surrounded by humans, we search for distractions and comfort

But find no humanity

We survive on bottles of champagne

And nights spent gazing up at the stars, connecting constellations and wondering when we’ll be a part of them

We were once mountains, untouchable and free

But we remain rocks, for the world to do with us as it pleases

…We remain echoes,

Forever cursed to live our lives chasing time

Losing ourselves in the memories of who we once were and what our life once was, clutching to them with a grip so tight, too tight

Waiting and waiting for the inevitable to take us by the hand and free us of this devastation

And all we have left of the world that was stripped from us

A world of certainty, possibility, hope and peace…

Are echoes.

“Echoes”

{S.M.}

Expiration Date.

EXPIRATION DATE

February. She lies wide awake, listening to the steady beat of the alarm clock, willing herself to concentrate on the sound long enough for it to drown out the other noise

The explosions in her head
The earthquakes that threaten to split her apart

tick tock tick tock tick tock

April. I am drowning. My lungs are not my lungs anymore. Darkness, my old friend, where are you? Come back to me.

May. She dreams of the woods where they once used to play
The days of her youth that now seem so far away
She hears his laugh, so beautiful, so innocent, so alive
And relishes once again in the world where forever meant always

They run hand-in-hand to the field of dandelions
Their silhouettes vivid against the setting sun

And he turns to her and whispers — wake up. Wake up! Wake up!

She opens her journal and begins to write, I fear this pain will never end.

June. The pain hits her again as it always does. It comes in waves, washing over her like a tsunami; leaving her breathless in its wake.

She traces trembling fingers over the picture that was taken
Just 5 hours before the crash, barely recognizing herself, the girl with the bright eyes and an even brighter smile.

Dear God. She pleads, as she always does. I need you. Please help me.

September. The signs are there. They are evident in the rustling of the leaves above her, and the pitter patter of the rain against her window as she sleeps

They are evident in the faces of the strangers she passes on the bustling streets, a melting pot of lines and colors and shapes

They are evident in the eyes of lovers as they gaze at one another, their body language a kind of poetry of its own

They are evident in the way the sun rises and sets every day, in the way she wakes up each morning with the scars of the past slowly fading, making room for
rebirth and life and hope

January. She opens her journal…

I fear this pain will never end.

{S.M.}

Time.

To kick off the start to a hopefully amazing 2016, I decided to write a little something for you guys. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

Every year comes and goes and each year, we grow a little more as the time passes. We change a little more as the time passes, and these changes are inevitable. We don’t seem to acknowledge these changes as much as we’d like, until we really let our minds drift to those faded memories of who we once were and who we are today.
The then and the now.

The differences we see within ourselves, in our lives, and the world around us are often not blatantly obvious. They require time: a remedy for nearly everything, be it a broken heart or a mending soul. Time… this free spirited creature with outstretched wings, flying and flying but never landing. Igniting a flame inside us all, filling us with hope and a burning desire for the future — the steadfast faith in the idea of destiny, that someday we’ll end up exactly where we’re supposed to be.

Do not let your flame go out, replaced by the hopeless, empty and dangerous darkness of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the fighter — the warrior deep within your soul — perish in frustration for the life you know you deserve and have not yet been able to attain. The life you desire — the world and the people that you want — they’re yours. They exist. They can be won. Your dreams are rushing, rushing as fast as they can to get to you. To take you by the hand and say, “I’m here, I’m here.”

Live for the now, but also live for the future. For the exciting and the magnificent; for the terrifying and the heartbreaking. This time that you have… it’s all yours; to grow, to heal, to mend and to be mended.

This journey is yours.

3 Winters Ago.

3 winters ago
All I can remember is being
Anchored to my bed, unable to move
Unable to do anything but lie there and stare up at the ceiling
As if staring at it long enough would help me forget
Everything

I let myself drown in sadness
Longing to be held, touched, loved
To be noticed, cherished, appreciated
Days turned into nights and nights into days
And I feared I would succumb to the warmth
My own misery gave me

Now, I crave the touch of the sun
Its long fingers reaching out to stroke my cheek tenderly,
Whispering that it’s time to wake up
I daydream about surviving
On three hours of sleep
Watching the sun set, and waiting for it to rise again

I crave the exhilaration one gets from laughing,
And I crave euphoria, passion, pleasure
All that makes me human

My heart sinks when it’s time to sleep
When just 3 winters ago,
I would’ve given anything to be left alone.

I have fallen in love with breathing and the sound of my heart beating.
I have fallen in love with being alive.

“3 Winters Ago”
{S.M.}

Stories.

If you’re reading this
If you’re still alive, still breathing
Then there’s hope for you
Your story is not finished
It’s nowhere close to being done
So, my dear, pick up your pen again, and keep writing
For you have so much waiting ahead of you
You have yet to experience

And maybe there are things our stories have in common
Perhaps the both of us can relate to pain, or to fear, or to loss
And perhaps we all deserve second chances
Our stories are all so many things: heavy and light, beautiful and difficult
Hopeful and uncertain

But our story isn’t finished yet
There is still time
So why waste it? Why wait for it to end?

There is still time for things to change
For things to heal, to grow
There is still time for you to recover, to mend and to be mended
There is still time to be surprised, to laugh, to smile

You and I, we were given a gift
Time
We are still going
We are both stories, unfinished.

“Stories”
{S.M.}