I know a woman who doesn’t want to know herself. I’ve been wanting to write about her for a while now, but never really got the full grasp of her, never felt I could use her reality to dress my fiction. It always felt too personal, I always felt as if I were cheating her, revealing part of her life without giving HER the opportunity to do so.
And yet the thought of writing about her, the force that drives me to write these very words is so overwhelming that I simply can’t resist.
Forgive me, my sister from the shadows, for I know not what I do.
Here you sit all day, your hands on your lap and your eyelids semi closed, labouring on, carrying on, a composed smile on your beautiful face, your kindness and serenity shields to prevent people from guessing about the turmoil within, those voices that won’t leave you alone.
It’s while watching you that I’ve come to realise that your struggle is every woman’s struggle, for how many of us just sit there a smile on our faces and a laugh in our eyes to prevent people from digging deeper into our wounds? I’m Not Crying, Therefore I’m OK.
You’re always there for everyone, my sister from the shadows, you’re always humming a tune whose rythm only you know, engrossed in your own frequency, oblivious to the dirtiness of the world around you, your integrity the backbone of all your actions and words.
You sit there, your hands on your lap on your eyelids semi closed, and you thank all your Gods for the relief of friends to whom only sometimes you confide in, for the utter relief you feel when you open up and share the tightly knit knot of woes and worries you carry with you everywhere you go.
There is so much more to you than what you let on, so much more to you than apparent peace of mind and carelessness, so much more to you than your daily work, your daily routine, the same actions repeated ad nauseam while you try to fight the evils and intolerance preventing you to break free.
Within you I know there’s freedom and pride and love and joy waiting to burst out. Within you I know there are questions waiting to be answered, questions you don’t want to look at, questions you can’t live without answering. I sometimes wonder how long you’ll be able to keep it together, until how long you’ll carry on with the act.
Few people know you’re a poet, few people know your history, few people know the only times you truly can be yourself is when you’re completely alone, or when the vapours of alcohol take you to realms unknown to us where you can stop pretending.
Sometimes I look at you, your hands on your lap and your eyelids semi closed, and I see the despair of generations of women and men who have been violated in their very soul by societies who bestowed their loves only to those who abide by their laws and played by the rules tyrants made for fools.
Sometimes I look at you, your hands on your lap and your eyelids semi closed, and I wonder, you see, my beautiful sister, I wonder who you could be if only you’d allow yourself.