Written for the inimitable kuuleimomi’s birthday. Crossposted to IG.
There’s a Tumblr (?) post that goes something like this: staying soft in this world is not a weakness, it is a strength. This is a variation on that. This also draws from all the Chani Nicholas affirmation horoscopes I’ve read over the years.
Keeping your hands open in this world that has brought down rulers upon your palms. Keeping your mouth open, even after your then-best-friend put the black licorice jellybean, your least favorite flavor, on your tongue. Keeping on, even after capitalism squeezes every cent from your blood, the joy from your marrow.
All of this is a skill. One of my favorite quotes (author unknown even with googling) is that the heart is a muscle, and like any muscle it can grow as we use it. Our ability to remain open, receptive, vulnerable, whatever you like to call it, is also one of these muscles. I have practiced unclenching my hands, even as I sleep, so I can catch whatever dreams come my way. Naming what I want, asking for what I want, letting myself have what I want – I have practiced all of these. I still do.
To paraphrase the end of the Utena movie, the world gets that much bigger for the way we live, pushing at the limits of what we are told is possible. Octavia says the only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it’s been done before.
So I believe in wedding rings on all my fingers, vows of commitment to all my relations beneath this sky and maybe even beyond it. I believe in your palm in mine, and another’s in yours, and another’s in theirs going on and on – a whole loving community. I believe in rain on my tongue, and all the fine dining and comfort food I love. Speaking of love, I believe in love running through my veins, that love is a key and a door to a different world. I believe in pleasure that makes me cry out, in joy that pours through every crack and crevice and barrier ever put in place.
On this day and all days, I keep on, I choose to try, I choose to believe.