I haven’t got the words lately.
Or the itch to grab my camera.
Or even the desire to Instagram.
I haven’t crocheted lately. Or embroidered. Or even doodled.
I bought myself a planner that has coloring pages within it. I colored one picture the day I brought it home. Since then it has remained colorless. Void of creativity.
Everything weighs so heavily on me. And I know a lot of that has to do with depression. But more so it has to do with the world and the ways in which it keeps closing in on me.
Every day, people talk about my body as if it isn’t real to them. As if there isn’t a heart that beats or arms that hug or eyes that cry when their proclamations spill down in toxic waves of cold detachment.
My body is regulated.
My healthcare choices. My birth control choices. My medication choices.
It can be grabbed and groped and leered at and then debated. People can decide if I deserved what I got and if I should wear what I choose.
What it looks like is for the benefit of others. Never for the benefit of me. I buy into notions of beauty and poise and aesthetics without even recognizing what I am doing. Another woman comes along and points out the absurdity of women being made to believe they have to have no body hair and I bite my lip. I lose what she says after that because my brain begins calculating the hours I’ve lost to shaving beneath hot streams of water, from ankle to armpit and everything in between, for years of my life.
And still to this day.
I won’t give up on it because of her comment.
There’s still a part of me that wants to have some semblance of control over my self. That wants to believe that a choice I made was really ever mine to make.
I want to feel connected to it. To have some type of ownership over it. I want to believe that I’m the only one who makes decisions about this body that I feel I know so intimately, yet view through lenses that someone else has fitted over my eyes.
I know it’s not just me. It isn’t just about my body.
Even more than mine, it’s happening to the bodies of women of color, trans bodies, the bodies of young black men.
And so there are no words or pictures. The well of creativity has run dry.
All the water it held is being used to put out fires.
Relentless, widespread fires.
Stoked by the anger of men desperate for power and fed by the bodies of anyone who challenges them.