healing is a verb

"Maybe love is only here to drown itself in all the wrong places & ruin the film for everyone." (a poem for you)

Thank you all so much for your kind words on Healing is a Verb a few weeks ago, my friends. I am so, so honoured to hear it touched you. I hope you know how much it means to me that you've allowed me into your lives in this capacity. Here's a small tender piece on love & film & sadness, originally published in the summer 2017 issue of the gorgeous journal Rust+MothI had a few really bright & beautiful days between the stormclouds last week, & I will freely admit that this publication was no small part of that—I have admired Rust+Moth for many years, & it is such a joy to see my work between their virtual pages.

This poem was painful to conceive & yet so, so easy to write. Isn't it funny, isn't it odd, isn't it beautiful how sometimes the truest things happen like that, dancing & stumbling into being? I hope you enjoy it. Please do share your thoughts & feedback in the comments—tell me what emotions this poem evoked in you, or what particular scent or sound it reminded you of, or just share a part of your day today that you've been wanting to tell someone but couldn't find the occasion to. I promise I will hold it close.

Have a beautiful rest of your week, friends. All my love. xx

 

I Start Crying During the Best Part of the Film

& you carry me out of the cinema & drive me home
because you’re in love with me & that’s what people
in love are supposed to do even if you’ve been
wanting to see this film for three weeks & you
were really looking forward to getting dinner after.
on the way home it’s raining & you’re humming under
your breath & your hand is on my knee at every red
light. let’s play a game where if we close our eyes loud
enough your hands will dance again & the raindrops will
travel up instead of down the car window & my father
will stop being so angry with me all the time. or let’s
play another where none of that will happen but my
sadness will finally suffocate me so you can drive back
& catch the end of the film. i’m no good at apology or
sleeping in cars but i swear i was just trying to find a way
to protect my collarbones. i always thought that’s what
love was supposed to do but maybe it’s only here to
drown itself in all the wrong places & ruin the film for
everyone. i wonder if you’re mad at me still. i wonder
if the highway is in love with the wheels of this car or
if kissing all the time just makes them tired of each other.
i wonder a lot of things. soon after that i fall asleep &
when i wake up the rain still hasn’t stopped but you’ve
carried me into the apartment & googled the way the
film ends & i’m still sad & looking for answers but this
time i think i know which way to turn to understand.
you give me a fortune cookie from the chinese takeout
you ordered & it says the best things in life are free & that’s
how i know you were never really mad at me in the first
place. your hair smells like rain. you ask me if i’ve taken
my meds today. nothing really hurts except for my chest.
i wish we’d seen the way the film ended, but i guess we’ll
have to settle for everything else instead.

Healing is a Verb

“We cannot do much to escape the pain our illnesses inflict upon us – but with the words, we can tell our stories. We can ask questions, & we can listen with compassion to their answers. We can remind each other of the demons we have beaten over & over again. We can stand in solidarity against our illnesses. We can fight. We can hold each other close.”

Friends, I'm so excited to share with you today a project that you may have heard me speak about in past months & now is finally available for you to watch: my TEDx talk, entitled Healing is a Verb. This talk was very difficult to give (as you may notice by the many mistakes & slip-ups in the video) but I fancy perhaps that only adds to the truth of it.

I gave this talk in May at the TEDxYouth@SAS 2017 event. It centres around narratives of mental disorders, & how we might find community & solace in reaching out to fellow sufferers of often-silenced & stereotyped illnesses. The talk explores my own journey with mental illness & shares the stories of mentally ill readers who have inspired & been inspired by my work; I am honoured beyond expression to have been given this platform to share my story, & I hope you find a bit of light in it.

I encourage you to share this talk with your friends & social media followers (if you'd like, here's a Twitter link to do the latter) - but, more importantly, please send it to your loved ones who suffer from mental disorders. It is wholly, undeniably, before & above all else, for them. If you'd like to do more to support my work, a reminder that I am always accepting tips via Paypal & Patreon; financially backing my art helps more than you know in its creation.

And finally: please do let me know your thoughts on Healing is a Verb. You lovelies already know that this subject is very raw & close to my heart, so any & all comments & feedback are welcome. Thank you for all you have brought & given & shown me through the years, for this gorgeous & unlikely community that has blossomed around something that was so close to bringing me nothing but pain. As I hope this talk begins to illustrate, it means the universe & more. xx