It’s the emotional energy that is required in order to put pen to paper. That is what stops me. Do I really want to see what letters and words my hand forms as it slowly moves from left to right across the page?
My notebook is so pretty. It has elephants and flowers on the front cover. The pattern is embossed. There is yellow and blue stitching creating diamond and half moon shapes. There is a bird with a yellow beak riding on the pink elephants back.
I bought this notebook in San Francisco. Wow what a treat that was to fly alone just me, my camera, my notebook and a backpack. I loved every moment of my freedom. When my friend picked me up at the airport in San Francisco she said “I thought I would have to carry you off because of tiredness.” Having done 7 years of long haul flights with two children, flying alone was a holiday before I had even landed. I slept when I wanted, I drank wine and watched movies that made me laugh out loud and cry into my hood.
Anyway, the elephant notebook called out to me from a Shelf at Green Apple Books. My friend took me there to see some poets being interviewed by her brother. This bookshop is my friends favourite and I could see why. It seems to be enchanted by a creative force that begged people to stop looking at screens and instead wander down a magical avenue where the weight of physical words can be held in your hand.
The poets spoke of Alexander McQueen and Famous Female Black American Singers whom I had never heard of. People who pursued their creative life despite the political and social challenges that had to be dismantled at every step of their journey. I also found it interesting that artists had chosen artists upon which to create their own work.
I only wrote two sentences in my Notebook in San Francisco.
“As if by magic I find myself trying to remember which country I am in. With Jet Lag clouding my vision I struggle to remember which plane I am even on”
I wasn’t brave enough to stop and pour the thick liquid from the bubble, bubble toil and trouble pot. Instead I let my camera do the talking. Its better that way, not as messy. I can brighten the colours, lessen the contrast, edit out the ugly bits.
As I sat alone in a Cafe today, drinking peppermint tea and enjoying every morsel of my chocolate brownie, I listened to a group of older women at the end of my table. They no doubt were of the retired generation. One wore a beautiful black chocker holding a large glistening creamy pearl. She was applying red lipstick while looking in her small hand mirror.
Her friends across from her dressed more plainly discussed how they never bother looking in the mirror anymore. One woman remarked she couldn’t remember the last time she had a good look at herself.
There was both freedom and perhaps fear in their discussion?
When we make an effort to look good it can do wonders for our self esteem.
I am not sure which way we should strive for ?
Should we not be bothered what we look like ?
Or should we take pride in our appearance?
I listened to American Blogger and Activist Glennon Doyle Melton chatting on a podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert in my car on my way to work.
Glennon was discussing how from a very young age women are conditioned into thinking that their self worth is in their body. So they begin a life long battle with trying to achieve and maintain the perfect body. Not to mention the images we are bombarded with of how we should look and which diet and exercise will get us there. You only have to scroll through Instragram to see this perfect self image is being perpetuated by the perfectly posed pouted lips and obsession with fitness and diet in the younger generation. The thing is, us women we live in our heads. Its our emotions that connects us to the world. Because we were allowed cry. We were allowed show our pain. As a result we are emotionally intelligent.
Then we have the men.
We need them to be our best friends. We try and connect to them the way we do our best female friend.
But the men, they were not allowed to cry.
As Glennon said the men are coming at us with their strong and connected bodies but we are coming at them with our wide open minds.
So how the fuck is that supposed to work ??
We have to allow the boys to cry. We need the men to feel safe enough that they can cry without judgement. They feel just as much as we do its just they have never been allowed to let it leak out. We must not get freaked out by their tears.
The women , well we know what we must do.
Continue breaking the moulds. Champion each other, demand change. Applaud all body types. Support each other in the work place, don’t see other women as your competition instead your ally. Show our daughters how to love thy self unconditionally. There is still so much to do in this space. I hope and I believe we are on the cusp of an awakening.
We grow through seeing our mistakes and telling the next generation about them.
It feels good to write in my elephant notebook.
Do more things you find nice.
I’m sitting outside in the sun at a cracked and dried up wooden table . Its in desperate need of some TLC.
I’m avoiding my house and all that needs to be done.
Instead the sun is dappled on my skin and I’m contemplating life and how beautifully complicated it is.
Lots of Love