Aja Monet: “Mobilizing a Movement of the Mind”

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Don’t Come Looking For Me

I will feast away at the splendors of life

Take a big whiff of life and make passionate love to it

Scream in an orgasmic cry and celebrate the pain, the joy, the chaos of it all

I will meditate under the sun’s rays, dance furiously beneath the stars, and melt in the the pages of my poetry

I want to be stroked, to be held, to be caressed, to be kissed dangerously in full submission

I crave the intimate parts of people, the parts that are deeply hidden from public-view, but I’m a hunter seeking to save and be saved

We are too many miles away in our own worlds and its lonely there, isn’t it? 

I know how dark it is in that tunnel of a world you live in

I found myself too many friendships gone and missed 

I found myself too many lovers unexplored

I found myself too unreachable to taste the bliss of true friendships

I will marvel today and in the present

Don’t come looking for me

I’m too far gone looking for what I’ve been missing for too longImage

I Still Remember

He was deliciously simple and delicate
Dangerous and ravenous, the way he loved tenderly
The risk he took in loving me
Clutching me in the arms of his romance
Stroking me earnestly through words of sincerity
Dying in his presence/resurrecting myself in his moments of laughter
He is the glue piecing together the broken parts of me
The erotic part of me that yearns for intimacy
his conversations seduces/ the way his hands settles in between mine’s
and although we’ve traveled away from each other/ I remember the way his smile lights up the darkness
I can remember the secrets in the midst of our alone-ness in our together-ness

In the words of Jennifer Lopez, “I luh ya papi”

The Right to Experiment

“You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you’re not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn’t a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.” – Anais Nin

The Right to Love and Be Loved

One of the things that I admire is the right to love and to be loved. I don’t care who you are, where you come from and where you’ve been, we all want to love and be loved. It is this right to love that compels us to enter into friendships and relationships. It is this right that compels us to forgive those that have created hurt in our lives to move on in loving another person again. It is this right that makes us risk everything to love even after the pain of losing a friend or lover. This choice is one of strength. Yes, if you’ve ever decided to love and be loved after the past drama of a friendship or relationship then just know that you are truly on your way. Fear is created by us. We create fear and we allow it to stop us from doing the things that we want in life.

In seeking to love again, we have to make the choice to love. We decide for ourselves what we want. We decide on who we want to engage with in a relationship, how far it goes, where it ends, what we want, what we dislike and what we need. We hold this much power within our grasp. In reading some lectures by Anais Nin, I remember when she stated that she creates the relationships that she enters into. This startled me. I didn’t really understand this until I reread this. As individuals, we hold friendships with people and relationships. We determine when enough is enough. We determine how far we want to take things. We determine if we will strive in a relationship of love or a relationship of misery. This is how we create the friendships/relationships that we enter into. It doesn’t create itself. The reality is that we can either be active or passive participants in the relationships we choose to engage in. So, in saying all of this, we decide on the right to love and to be loved.

The right to love and to be loved is a choice. We can sulk around in our past and think about all of the the things that could’ve change, but this will not help the present. The present-moment is where we are at. This is where we are. We are not yesterday, five years ago, twenty years ago, or even five minutes ago. We are here. We are in the present moment. In “How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life” by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, it is said that ” under no circumstances should you lose hope. Hopelessness is a real cause of failure. Remember, you can overcome any problem. Be calm, even when the external environment is confused or complicated; it will have little effect if your mind is at peace. On the other hand, if your mind gives way to anger, then even when the world is peaceful and comfortable, peace of mind will elude you”. So, the pain and misfortunes that we have dealt with in the past should remain in the past. We shouldn’t become hopeless in the face of the present moment. We can truly move pass the pain of yesterday or even a few minutes ago. We shouldn’t allow this pain to keep us from functioning. We can and should still love and seek love. This is magnificent. We are able to do this. Not only are we able to do this, but we should demand this of ourselves.

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” – Anais Nin

Tales of a Female Nomad: Being You

For the last month or two, I have found an unrequited interest in living a nomadic-lifestyle. Now, I must give a quick definition of a nomad. According to the online Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, a nomad “is a member of a group of people who move from place to place instead of living in one place all the time”. So, this may sound like a stretch for people that holds onto stability for dear life. However, I guess I have always wanted to experience a feeling of living life in its totality and entirety.

I met a friend a year ago, named Ibrahim and he would tell me about his explorations to Africa and throughout the Middle-East. In his explorations, he told me of his own self-discoveries and revelations. He started to see life in a different lens because of the different lifestyles he was being exposed to throughout his frequent travels. Ironic enough, he is still nomadic and doesn’t stay in one place. He frequently leaves to visit various countries. He describes his adventures as being liberating and refreshing. I would occasionally argue that his nomadic-lifestyle isn’t very nomadic, but he usually disagrees. However, I have found this need or this want of being liberated…common. Many people in my life have told me that they need an outlet, a place to rest their worries, a vacation, or a step away from reality. Now, I am not advocating that people should walk away from their unresolved problems, but I do see the validity in stepping away from our daily-routines.

So, as I was reading this book about the female nomad, I stumbled upon a quote that really stuck out to me. The author, Rita Golden Gelman, is 47 years old and experiencing a failing marriage. So, in seeking to reconcile the marriage, her and her husband agreed to a two-month break-up. However, she only wanted to separate for two weeks. Nonetheless, she thought it would be good to travel a little bit to clear her head. In being an anthropologist, she sought out Mexico. In her adventures within Mexico, she found herself transforming and blooming into someone else. In being independent of her husband, she had found herself one evening looking for a companion to eat dinner with at a restaurant. In feeling self-conscious about being alone, she ate with two men she had met at a hotel. After having dinner with the men, she stayed with one of the men over-night and said, “The next morning, I am confused as I walk back to my hotel. Who was that woman who just spent the night with a stranger? Two days ago I could never have done it. In twenty-four years, it has never happened. Is it possible that leaving the country has turned me into someone else. I try to look at myself from another dimension, detached and nonjudgmental. This person is not wife, other, daughter, writer, anthropology student, L.A. sophisticate. She is, of course, all of these things; but alone, without the attachments, she is a woman in limbo, she is someone she doesn’t know” (11).

In reading this quote early-on in the book, I began thinking to myself about the state of being nomadic. I feel nomadic, but I have never traveled to another place. Well, I did travel to Texas when I was a toddler. However, I never feel as if I fit. I feel like an outcast. As a nomad, you’re always moving. You take what you need and you just go. You are never really grounded. And being a nomad is about going against your typical view of living a stable life. You are constantly uprooting yourself and becoming displaced. So, in the quote by Gelman, she feels displaced. She is caught in limbo, as she called it. She understand the various roles that she plays, but she wants to know herself outside of those conventional roles. I think this is really important and interesting. How do we define ourselves outside of: mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son, aunt, uncle, friend, lover, and etc? Are we comfortable with where we are? Are we satisfied with the life that we are living? Are we existing or are we living?

In asking these questions, I wonder if we should only accept the question that the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary gave us. Sometimes we can be nomads in our own lives without traveling. We can sometimes become so disconnected to our own realities, to our friends, and family-members that we aren’t stable. I’m not really sure where I am going with this, but being a nomad doesn’t always mean traveling. It could mean, simply, that one stops the act of simply existing and move towards living. Maybe it isn’t even about stability or being disconnected from people. Being nomadic can simply mean not weighing one’s self down with unnecessary baggage. It could simply mean…starting to be you. Starting to live life.

To leave you something to think about:
“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”
— May Sarton

Happiness: Living the One Life You Have in the Now

“There are always new sounds to imagine, new feelings to get at. And always, there is the need to keep purifying these feelings and sounds so that we can really see what we’ve discovered in its pure state so that we can see more and more clearly what we are. In that way, we can give to those who listen the essence, the best of what we are. But to do that at each stage, we have to keep on cleaning the mirror” – John Coltrane, On Meditations

Last night, one of my friends called me about this exact issue of ‘seeing things clearly’. The conversation was extensive and definitely necessary . In many of our lives, we may find ourselves experiencing happiness and satisfaction, but we may end up doubting the happiness that we feel. We sometimes try to put up an excuse for why we can’t have the happiness that is currently in our lives. We actually try to rationalize why we aren’t good enough to to have happiness, have pleasure and be content. We always feel as if something will go wrong, as if happiness is always accompanied with bad.

So, I sat back listening to my friend for a good hour about the nature of human-happiness. As individuals, we are always seeking happiness. We are. We are always experiencing new feelings, sounds and smells. There is nothing wrong with this. Why can’t we become thankful individuals and just celebrate what we’re experiencing? There is no need to feel guilty for the pleasure that we feel from:

1. Love
2. Laughter
3. Sex
4. Family
5. Romantic partners
6. Friends
7. Colleagues
8. Animals/Pets
9. Ourselves
10. other….

As I sat through our conversation, I could feel the pain(s) of my friend’s struggle in accepting happiness. There are many things that I have heard from people in my life in regards to happiness. I have heard that one must not ‘please themselves sexually,’ ‘get praised for being a good person,’ ‘ live it up,’ and etc. Why do we set limitations on ourselves? What is the point to all of this? I’m sorry, but if I am not stepping on the toes of the next person then I am going to enjoy life. If someone want to indulge in eating cupcakes all day and night then be my guest. If someone would like to run miles to relieve stress then go at it. If someone enjoy masturbation then have at it.

The simple thought that we must regulate the next person’s life and their happiness is saddening. I’ve seen and experienced this kind of regulation. It’s oppressive and painful. Live and let live. Go out and live the life that you’ve always wanted. You can do it alone, with someone else or just with the universe around you. Take the world by the hand and live. Smile a little bit. Make love to the air. Laugh with a chuckle that extends to far and distant lands. Let the sun kiss you with its rays. Just experience new sounds, feelings, and sensations.

Never hold back from happiness. Never let anyone tell you that you should feel bad about the bliss that you are experiencing because we all know that tough times can drag us down and keep us down. So, when you have found your source of happiness then cling to it for dear life.

Finally, to wrap it all up in a few words: “It’s not that everything will be easy or exactly as you had expected, but you must just choose to be grateful for all that you have, and happy that you got a chance to live this life, no matter how it turns out.”