012// Missing Season

I should have known it when I felt it first –
when the colours on the leaves started changing 
and the air became real crisp in the morning- 
It’s in the glimmer of rays that shine onto windows
and reflect through condensation on a glass of water-
the one that I held to my lips right before I smelled it-
right before it filled me up and I sighed it out.
Then I wished I could have it back again. 
It lingers in the mist and rests among the leaves-
only to let its presence be known by the soft crunches that sound so familiar. 

She told me her heart
always aches this time of year 
and I said “listen, I get it.
Autumn is missing people season.
At least it’s poetic.”

With a sentimental heart,

Kolina

10.21.17

The Things I’m not Sorry for Anymore

Today is International Women’s Day and I am thankful. Thankful for the women I am surrounded by, for of the women that I look up too, that I am able to call myself a woman.

As I get older, I become more aware of the impact that strong, mindful, and powerfully independent women have had over my ‘becoming’. These influences have washed over me in ways that I am still realizing as I reflect on the people in my life.

In this noticing, I am starting to see all of the ‘sorry’s’. All of the things that were part of growing up as a girl that I was ashamed of or uncomfortable with.  All of the times I have slouched my shoulders, stood in the back, because maybe then I would be a little smaller, a little less bold. A little less stepping on someone’s toes, a little more status quo.

So last year I wrote this: 

I really wanted to whisper that I was sorry.
I swear it was burning against my lips
as I fought to bite it back and swallow it whole.
Why couldn’t I say it this time?
Because I swear I’m trying to change my thinking.
With every neuron in my weary brain I’m trying
to retrain the part of me
that as a woman
was taught that vulnerability is a burden.

So as a result of the woman in my life, what am I no longer apologizing for?
(This should probably read: what am I working towards not apologizing for. Big (baby) steps.)

A multitude of thanks to my closest friends, who are deeply in tune with themselves:

  • I am learning to not be sorry for having deep emotion. I am not sorry that my tears make you uncomfortable or that my past experiences have made me intolerant to ignorance or that I find your joke offensive.
  • I won’t apologize for pursuing my passions, even if they don’t take me on a direct path or an easy route. This journey is mine and I will live it boldly.

Thanks to the women I met at the Women’s March & the feminists around me who are fighting the good fight:

  • They have taught me that I am not sorry for being loud. For stating my opinion. I will unapologetically argue why misogynist views are incorrect. I will not apologize for why I am angry, or frustrated or heartbroken by the way that things still are.
  • On the other hand I will not apologize for celebrating. For over- emphasizing the importance of recognizing the strong women around us. I’m not sorry if you’re tired of hearing it.

To the poets, the fearless writers who bare their souls for the world to see, and for my friends who have led by example:

  • I’m not going to apologize that the statement, “are there any men here who can lift something for me?” makes me angry.
  • Never again will I apologize for not giving my body to someone just because they asked.. or didn’t. It is mine and no one else’s and I owe a lot to the women who have taught me this invaluable lesson.
  • I will be wild. I will be messy. I will be raw.
  • I will grow my body hair if I want to because if it grows there, that is where it belongs. (This is hard. Society please stop making this such a vulnerable thing.)
  • I will not be ashamed of my body. Clothed or naked: it is my home.

To my Mother and Grandmother, for showing me what it means to be a woman:

  • I will not apologize for demanding respect or to be heard.
  • I will not apologize for the biological factors that make me woman. I’m not sorry for the way hormones effect my emotions, or that I’m in pain because I have a period or that one day I will expect the utmost respect for the body that has birthed a child.
  • I will not apologize that I am a leader and that, unfortunately, parts of the world and certain demographics within it do not see a woman occupying that role. I was fortunate enough to be raised by strong women who taught me this is what I could be.

I don’t think I can finish off this blog without mentioning that I can fearlessly type all of these words because of my privilege. Feminism, point blank, is easier (and safer!) for the cis- white- heterosexual female, for the woman who was born into a safe socio-economical space, and for the ones with access to education and the foundation to succeed. (I’m talking food, and water and the ability to not have to work 3 jobs while supporting a family, access to health care, support networks etc.)  There are women around me and in all parts of the world who are doing feminism and living unapologetically far better than I, with 700 systemically embedded obstacles in their way. I am at a loss for words for their courage and stamina. For their strength and perseverance.

Remember:

“If your feminism doesn’t include women of colour, queer women, trans women, fat women, poor women, elderly women, disabled women, homeless women, sex workers, etc. then who is it even for?”

With love for of my beautiful- dazzling – courageous -strong- sisters,

Kolina

007// Finding Home

I wrote the first few lines of this poem in a grocery store parking lot in the notes section of my phone. The idea of home is something I’ve turned over in my mind for quiet a few years now and I’ve never really been sure what to make of it. However, in a hotel bed of all ironic places, I think I finally found the words…

And so that makes me think you really can’t make homes out of human beings.
Because they take things with them when they go.
Like the smell of their baking
or the sound of their voice when you call them on the phone.
They take their laugh
and their cologne
and the way they touch you.
They take the comfort
and the reassurance
and every answer
to every question they leave behind.
We settle like dust into the spaces between their bones
and when they go,
the parts of us that we moved in go with.

Humans are not your home.
you are.

Root into yourself. Dig lower.
Plant love so deep within yourself.
Tuck happiness into the safest corners of your rib cage
so that you always have some where only you know to look
Run your hands over every inch of your body
until you know it as well as the walls of the house you grew up in-
And know that you are home.
Say it as you feel yourself breathing-
One hand on your chest
another entwined in your sweet smelling hair,

“I am home,
this body is home,
my soul is so beautifully safe in this home.”

|k.tavares

When Someone dies, You lose them twice.

If you have lost someone close to you, you already know what I am about to say. If you have not, I am so happy for you- because it means that you have not experienced what I’m about to talk about and this is good. This is safe and warm and wonderful and I hope that you do not understand what I’m typing about anytime soon.

Someone close to you dies- physically they are gone. You will look for their face in every crowded room. And you will chase after strangers that look like them until they turn around you realize their eyes aren’t the same. And you will wake up in the middle of the night and cry their name. They will not answer like they have 700 times before. And there will be a hole in your chest where they used to be. You will have thousands of questions. Most of them will not get answered- but you will gain understanding. Losing someone has an odd way of humbling you.

But you lose them a second time when you begin to forget. When memories start to blur together and you aren’t sure if it was their birthday where they said something stupid and everyone laughed or if it was christmas. You can’t remember if that piece of advice is something they actually told you, or if you think that’s what they would have said if they were still here. You start to forget what it feels like to hug them and you’re unsure of what their laugh sounded like. This whole forgetting thing really gets me because it is so damn cruel and unfair. It will feel like it’s your fault, but it’s not. It is so unbelievable human and uncontrollable but that doesn’t mean it won’t drive you crazy because how could your brain betray you like that.  It will catch you so off guard because all of a sudden you can’t remember what they smell like anymore; and you’re lying in their clothing on the floor but you can’t find it and that’s when it hits you that you’ve lost them once again.

That second time will hit you so much harder than any bullet.

004// The Artist

 

It’s that weird feeling you know

when you feel like you get someone’s heart but you just don’t.

you know you have painted waves under their collar bones and the trees on their inner

thighs

 but you didn’t stick around to help them tread water or grow in the sunlight.

How can you take comfort knowing their limbs are withering, and dying and breaking

while you kiss the life right out of them.

you completely missed her soul didn’t you?

Eyes glittering though sheets that kept out light and therefor there was no real need to feel.

she will believe you.

She will think that through cracked lips and vulnerable sighs that she should care.

but it was you wasn’t it?

You , who with half closed eyes scratched a half moon spectacle into her lower back

you that burned so painfully sweet.

She was not your canvas to paint.

No one asked you to brush your eyelashes down her hip bones, and never once did she offer sugar to tame your demons.

You who chose to drown in her waters anyways. You filled your cup until you were drunk on her scent at which point you decided she was no longer your drug of choice

You who tried to glue the pieces back together into security and safeness

but pieces of a painting never fit back the way they used too after their canvas is broken

You should have realized that I am my own work of art and destruction

it never had anything to do with you.

02.04.15