“They called me a crybaby, mama,” the young girl wiped her eyes with a sniffle, a forlorn expression adorning her face.
“Oh baby,” said the woman, crouching down beside her darling daughter, “weak boys see tears and think they’ve won. Can I tell you a story?”
The daughter nodded and crawled into her mother’s lap.
Arms wrapped around her baby, the woman pressed a kiss to her fine hair. “Once upon a time there was a man who said horrible things to his partner. He said these horrible things and left her crying alone on the boardwalk by their house. The woman’s tears fell freely but she did not try to stop them. Instead she had a beautiful thought.”
“What was that, mama?” asked the young girl, her tears forgotten.
“She thought to herself, my tears are like this ocean I walk past every day. Salt water that can mean beauty and also pain. Soft enough to nurture and powerful enough to destroy. I am like this ocean I walk past every day. The woman realized how beautiful it is, to hold a balance of softness and power, and realized you cannot have one without the other. Do you know what that means about the man?” When her daughter shook her head, she continued, “this man believes he has power but shows no softness. He was a lost soul who hadn’t yet found balance. He thought she was just a–”
“Crybaby,” the daughter whispered, a slow smile on her face. “But she wasn’t just that mama, was she?”
Mama shook her head with a smile, “She learned to love her tears because they showed her softness. And in that moment she realized she held power, too. Just like you, baby. You are soft and you are powerful. You are like the ocean we go to every summer. And those boys have no idea the force that they reckoned with today.”
Life is loud.
It is the rumbling drum of people walking through,
the screeches of unrealized potential,
the incessant whispering of shoulds and coulds.
Life is messy.
It is the spilt milk of mistakes,
the crash of unexpected reality,
the splatter of insecurity that
follows us like an old friend.
Life is chaotic.
at the end of the day
this is just noise.
I tune it out and
all I can see is
for being here, for
even when it was hard.
Even when you didn’t have to.
Life is loud,
are the headphones that help me through it.
I am the sunset on the horizon
glorious and spectacular
I am the sahara desert
hot as fuck yet cold at night
deadly yet welcoming.
I am the Irish rolling hills
hiding secrets in their valleys
full of life and darkness too.
I am the sum of these parts
the collector of stories
the worldly introvert
that packs light and suffers heavy.
You’re going to need a map.
I want to
All over this world.
(Photos taken in Morocco 2017)