After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises …
After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
Hello, my name is Taylor Munson. I dream in daylight often, in darkness little. I spend way too much time wondering who I’ll become instead of trying to become her. Too often I’m a one-woman show. I don’t apologize enough for this. I’m selfish with my thoughts, because I don’t want to poison anyone else. Sometimes I’m a poet. Sometimes I’m the poem. I haven’t figured out which I like better or, more importantly, which is better for me. I don’t know if it’s better to be the story or the storyteller. I worry a lot. About bills I don’t pay. About burdens that are borrowed and some that are not. About being beautiful…consistently. About accepting that my beauty is my own. About knowing that’s not all the way true. About money…and how I never seem to have enough. About always feeling like I’m in the business of catching up. I’ve spent most of my life wishing I was somewhere else…or someone else. Wishing I was better. Wishing I was enough. I post quotes I don’t believe in although I desperately want to. I’m trying to be more honest with myself…as ugly as my reflection has the potential of becoming. Lately, I’ve disliked more than I’ve loved. I write in short sentences when I can. As an English major this is unacceptable, well unless it’s already been critically acclaimed. Then, it’s genius and revolutionary and blah blah blah. I’ve realized your work isn’t important until x amount believe it is. If they don’t think so it’s just ink. I’m just ink, and right now, I’m a story you’d put down and easily forget to come back to. I apologize a lot. If you made it this far into this post, sorry it never really went anywhere.
PS- I guess you can be both, the story and the storyteller
10 Things A Black Woman Writer Must Do:
1) Do not be a black woman writer.
2) If you come from an island in the Caribbean, that’s a mistake. The islands are not a proper place. People from places like the islands can’t write about being alienated, because how can you feel alienated in a place where people like to wear bikinis? Be a writer from England. Do not mention you are black.
3) You mustn’t write long sentences.
4) You mustn’t write about yourself.
5) Do not be abstract.
6) Do not write about race. Everyone will say you only write about race.
7) Write about race. If you don’t, they will point out that you haven’t written about race.
8) Do not be a black woman writer.
9) Do not be a black woman.
10) Do not be black.
There is a daunting sense of loneliness that visits fairly often these days. I always invite her in, and we share cups of tea over the familiar soundtrack of fear and yesteryears. We know each other very well, an old friend if you will. She reminds me that love is a contradiction… an equally pulsing and pathetic, passionate and painful experience.
I suppose it is safe to say that I am afraid of love. It is much easier to hold conversation with loneliness; there are no expectations and the talking points are simple. Besides, who could love the whole of me? For my scars do not mull over but keloid. Reminders of burdens someone must be brave enough to accept when I have yet to even name. If I could only share my decent parts I would, but love is an all-encompassing encounter. And for the girl that too often exists in black and white, love operates too much in the grey. I have seen how it can break you and black women do not have the luxury of being weak.
But there are times like these, with an unsettled stomach and an inevitable outpouring of tears, that I find myself at the mercy of love’s immensity. And for just a second, for the smallest moment of time, I begin to believe in its’ beauty again. Like a memory of something that I’ve never really known. But who wants love to feel like a memory? Who wants love to feel endlessly fleeting? To carry that weight in your chest is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It’s like falling when there’s no ground.
And there was a girl who knew no limits. Who dreamed in certainty and danced in sandstorms. Who knew little of defeat and lot of self. She was no ordinary girl. She was no lioness but lion. Mane of loyalty and love that never quite fit boy. There was a poetry to her walk, a sonnet in her smile. She was fierce, unapogetically.
There was a girl who traveled to slave castles to understand freedom. Who wanted a castle without being princess. Wanted to be king because there were castles that made her understand freedom. She practiced love to understand sacrifice. Learned that love is a sacrifice. Learned that life is a gift and sacrifice looks different to every girl and boy who wants to be man. Who wants to have mane. Learned that all boys cant love girl with mane. Learned to love love less. She was hardened by this. Hurt by this. Hurt made her woman.
There was a woman who’s mane had turned silver. Who eventually found a man who understood castles. Who found a man who understood freedom. Who learned to love man without feeling need to lose mane. Loved man until he became dust. Until he became sand. She did not dance in this sandstorm.
There is a woman who walks like poetry and has a sonnet in her smile. Who learned long ago that love was a sacrifice and life was a gift. Who’s learned that life without love is not living. Who’s learned that love is a gift. Who’s learned that love has no limits. And this made her girl.