whole (TAT LAB Prompt)

Writing from the weekend retreat i just did.

– When was a time you felt fully alive and whole as an educator who happens to be BBIA?

– When was a time you felt fully alive and whole as an artist who happens to be BBIA?

– When was a time you felt fully alive and whole as a student who happens to be BBIA?

the question posed had three parts; i could not get past the first.
“When was a time you felt fully alive and whole…”
is that not why i am here?
i can be an artist, an educator, a student.

i can be indigenous.
i can be red.
no i do not have a sunburn.
the other day as i sat in the sun
it shone all the way through my hair
it no longer looked black nor even dark brown
it glowed burgundy
like the madrona

pigment dots my skin
some call them freckles
but now they merge and blend together
they become complexion

do you pass?
it depends on the time of the year
in the summer the sun tastes me skin
bringing me to life

in the winter
we here get no sun
no light
no energy to ignite the skin
i become vampire
dark hair, pale skin

this day
the sun’s beloved
defines my skin
satisfying my vitamin d fix

i am about to put on my skates
i can feel my heart beating

i am alone
in my solace
my solitude
my soledad
to differentiate from the soledad that was never truly mine

this is loneliness is the closest i have known to
i am unsure if i am actually whole
or if i have given up on completing myself

we, humans,
maybe just western society
has this idea that we are not whole
without the other
without the archetype of other mate
are we man who must find women
are we women who must find man
are we gay and
just substitute
masculine and femme for man and women

maybe it is my ambivalence that distorts my desirability
maybe i should care if you are a men or women; if you are masculine or femme
but i don’t

i care if you are a good kind person
but not in a white supremacist domineering way
i care if we have similar beliefs and ethos
but not if we have the same religion
i care if we can share time together
iow that we have interests in common
but i don’t need to spend every moment of every day with you
but maybe we do because we can and we enjoy each other that much

maybe you are not an artist but enjoy my art
maybe you are an artist and enjoy making art with me
maybe you are not me

some say consciousness is the act of a greater being
discovering itself
that as we humans transcend
we add to this self awareness

it is a self that had to fracture in order to be able to reflect on its own existence
this is the best theory on god i have heard yet

if we are as said made in god’s self image
do we need the other to
reflect ourselves

do we exist without light
to refract
define our

without light everything would be
empty space
not the blackness of a
black hole
but the blackness of nothingness

we have this idea that only light is good
that darkness
that blackness
is bad

yet light, whiteness
can only be defined in contrast to
the other

is only defined in contrast to
the other

i still crave the you
that is not me
the self realized

the you that also knows we are one
but can also express the self knowing through

i made the analogy recently of being an absence of light
surrounded by empty space
that light bounced off everything else in the room
this is how i came to define myself
where there was no light, no refraction
just emptiness

mourning nothing in particular
friends who ended their lives at some point
but more mourning hope
mourning humanitarianism
mourning altruism

i can look at myself now
because i know that i am also god
and that i too can break

now that i am broken
i can see the pieces of self

self-acceptance coming in the form of
giving up
giving up control
giving up
this need
this need to be whole
this idea that
there is only one way to be

this idea that my way of being human is
because it is not your way

this idea that i can only be one way
diamonds are unique
crystals, gemostones
transparent and yet
refract light
they are not white, opaque
they are not black, the absence of light
they are not opaque color refracting only certain light
they are translucent
they shift and change in the light

we hold these as sacred
as they hold some meaning beyond our understanding
we attribute them value

as with our ideas about being human
as i strap my skates onto my feet
i am a simple human
i recognize my nothingness
i am humble in the face of the universe
in the face of nature
big beautiful beyond my compare

the sun kisses my skin
the salish sings me a song
the birds tell me their stories
the wind carries our truth
the ground holds my strength

here and now
i am simple
i am god
i am the sun
the water
the wind
the earth
away from humans
i am loved


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