i will own it {revisited}

i will own it. poem by jeanette jeanette leblanc

The creative drive.  ‘Tis life force and relentless demon in equal measure.    We artistic misfits cram ourselves into a culture is usually centered on new, better, different.  What to create that has not yet created?  What to do that is better than what has already been done?  How to dig deeper, reach farther, deliver more?

Sometimes, though, you hit a wall when nothing new comes.  Your wheels are spinning as fast as your head, yet you don’t manage to move an inch.  You feel tender and exposed and so utterly, deeply vulnerable and alone.

What is there to do but give yourself permission to halt that eternal struggle forward?  Call a creative cease fire.  Take a deep breath, center yourself and to look back on what you have done and where you have been.  Dive deep inside and recall a time when creativity flowed, when you lived in a place of personal power.  The answers to our future – indeed to our present – often lie in the lessons already lived and spaces formerly inhabited.

~~~

i will own it {written and posted here:  08.19.07}

i have spent
far too long
standing in the shadow
of my own
perception.

loathing
lip curling
at my own
reflection

in the mirror
in the store window
in the eyes of
satisfied
lovers

disgust
unmet expectation
endlessly comparing
and rejecting
myself

and now?
and now.

and now I will
own it.

posess it.
revel in every
soft/curvy
hard/angular
perfect/imperfect
inch of it

of me.

for my daughters
for my daughters daughters
for my lovers
for the kind-eyed stranger
behind the counter
at my neighbourhood
coffee bar.
who serves me
the perfect chocolate pastries.

for myself

i will own it.

before
i gave it away
threw it away
discarded it in the clouds of a million smoky bars
and on the floors
of unfamiliar rooms
next to dirty socks
and forgotten paperbacks.

did not want it
could not hold it
choked on the weight
and taste
of it.
i spit it out
with
revulsion.

and now?
and now.

i will hold it high
and touch it softly
and kiss it gently
and give it away freely
but
only to those who
deserve it.

i will be solid in my space
and soft
in my space
i will move
with intention in this space
and I will walk with purpose through
this space

with purpose and truth and
with
direction

i will dismantle
the walls
and tear down
these artificial
boundaries
designed to
protect
but serving to
distance

and i will crack myself
wide
open

open

open

open to experience
to pain
to love
to hurt
to the brilliance
that could be
my life,
that will be
my
life.

i will own my physicality
and I will own
my fluid
sexuality.
and I will look you in the eyes
with clarity
with no apology
or inhibition

for myself

and i will get right
to the
point
no more time
to waste

and I will dance with
passion
and I will live with
acceptance
and I will embrace with
abandon
and I will love

and I will love.

because
I will own it with my walk
and with my
talk
and with my body
language

and everyone will watch
because,

i will own it.

~~~

I look back now, at the woman who had the audacity to write such a manifesto.  And she didn’t just write it and keep it safe on a shelf, where no one would ever know she had the nerve to think such thoughts.   No, not that girl, she declared it to the world.  I remember her, who she was and the space she lived in.

She was bold, that woman.  BOLD in all capital letters, and deliciously fierce with the reality of her existence.

She had to be, to step outside of every expectation and to walk away from both history and future.   She didn’t run from the pain, nor was she bowled over by it, not for long.  No, not her.  She experienced it fully, every last little bit.  Pain, Guilt, Esctasy. Confusion. Joy.  She sat with her reality and allowed all it to integrate itself into the woman she was on the verge of becoming.

She was making choices every day.  Big, scary, life-changing choices. They were not always the right choices, but she accepted that they were hers, and hers alone, to make.  She was breaking walls, breaking boundaries, breaking herself, and within the broken pieces she found what she needed to build herself anew.

She was different than she had ever been, and people noticed.

There was brilliance in those moments, genius even.  Though the time was often harsh and unforgiving, she was riding so high on the intensity of stepping into herself that the air around her buzzed with it.  That woman – who had asked permission for everything that had come before – suddenly ceased looking for validation, and she nearly went dizzy with the freedom of it.  It was the first and only time in her life that she had existed fully from a place of personal power.  Saw it, grabbed it and claimed it for her own.

That woman, she stood solid on the shakiest of ground. She threw her head back, flung her arms wide and proclaimed her heart, her soul, her truth.  And when she said ‘take it or leave it’ she actually meant Bring. It. On. Because deep down, even in the darkest moments, she knew she could handle all that was to come.

~~~

I remember her.  Indeed, I remember her with immediacy and longing.  And because she and I are really one, I know she still exists, but I cannot access her.  Cannot seem to make my way back to inhabiting that space that was the cradle of my own personal power.

When I posted that poem, one of my own dear truth tellers wrote to me:

“and out of the shadows rises this you – the graceful poet who boldly owns her spirit and yet knows when to set it free to dance upon those shadows. And somehow, this is the YOU I’ve always known and loved”

And I wonder, when did I go back to fearing the shadows?  When did I begin asking permission again?  When did I stop owning it?

Because I know that in the answer to those questions I will find the key to my creating.

~~~

Take yourself back to a time where you were fiercely alive, entirely present.  Find something you created then.  Soak it in and if you’re willing share it with me, will you?

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