And she’s beautiful, the girl in the Instagram posts. All perfect smile and perfect tan and perfect proportions. You wonder what it would take to look like her.
If he would notice you more if you did.
In your head, you begin to calculate how many less calories you would need to become that thin. The amount of sit-ups it would take to get abs that defined. The cost of laser hair removal and breast enhancements and anti-wrinkle injections and teeth whitening.
Filled with inadequacy, your heart sinks. You know how much it would take to even come close to comparison; how much it would take to grasp a standard of beauty you know you’ll never measure up to. One you’re not sure you even want to try and measure up to.
Dear woman, you forget.
You forget she may be all those things.
But she isn’t you.
She isn’t the strength of your body that has brought forth life and risen above death; battle-scarred and weary but held together with the resilience and determination of the warrior spirit that blazes beneath your bones.
She isn’t the complexity of your mind, the paint strokes of colour and swirl like the starry night of Van Gogh’s imagination; the intelligence, the creativity, the emotion, but also the tangled knots of questions and doubts and fears; the blisters on your fingers from how much it has taken to unravel the distorted lies of your foundation to uncover the truth that now radiates from your existence.
She isn’t the beads of light behind your eyes that glimmer with the hidden mysteries of your soul. The quick wit you carry inside the cadence of your laughter. The words of courage you fearlessly speak to those who need them. The helpless tears that overflow from your heart for those who suffer around you.
She isn’t the love that rushes through your blood or the passion that douses your veins; the untamed wildfire that aches to be set alight by the strike of his fingers against your skin.
She isn’t vulnerability disguised as bravery.
She isn’t the taste of hope mingled with quiet apprehension as she learns to lean on trust once more.
She isn’t you.
And maybe he’ll never see that. Maybe he’ll never see beyond the surface of a woman’s skin; beyond an image on a screen, beyond a superficial ideal, beyond an unrealistic standard.
But maybe you deserve better anyway.
Because she might be beautiful.
But she will never compare to you.
And the only person who needs to see that, is you.
– ©️ Kathy Parker 2018 –
But still, he does not know the sound of my name upon his tongue and my heart becomes a wasteland as vacant as the hollows of my cheeks but I tell myself this. is. love. because even though his laces are tied he has not yet left…
New spoken word uploaded to my YouTube channel, full clip at the link below x
The more I begin to heal the less I find myself apologising for it.
It would be easy to say sorry.
Sorry for the ways I have pulled away.
Sorry for the ways I have let you down.
Sorry for the messages I have not replied to.
Sorry for the calls I have not answered.
Sorry for my absence.
Sorry for my silence.
Sorry I can no longer meet your expectations.
Sorry I can no longer meet your needs.
Sorry I can no longer put your needs above my own.
Except, I’m not sorry.
Because, the thing is, it isn’t me that needs to heal.
It’s the little girl within me; the wounded child that nobody protected. Or stood up for. Or put first. Or made to feel mattered.
The girl who was not heard, or seen.
The girl who grew up believing the needs of others were more important than her own.
That her body was not her own.
That her voice would never be heard.
That she wasn’t worth the respect of others.
That love was something to be earned.
That boundaries could be crossed by whoever so pleased.
That her value was not in what she could give, but only in what others could take.
I am fighting for her, because no one else ever did.
I am putting her first, because no one else ever did.
I am standing between her and the world; honouring her, protecting her, nurturing her, allowing her the time and space to mend the brokenness without more being taken when there is nothing left to give; without more of the world pulling her in every direction with its demands and expectations.
Because she matters. Because I matter.
I am choosing to heal the way I need to; my time, my way.
I am choosing me.
And I will no longer apologise for that.
– ©️ Kathy Parker 2018 –
Because so afraid to break the silence, we become it #WhyDidntIReport
Spoken Word Poem © Kathy Parker 2018
Hey lovely people!
So, I’m very excited to finally have created my own YouTube channel for my spoken word poems! I’ve uploaded my first poem today, with more to come over the next while. Check out the link below and don’t forget to subscribe to my page while you’re there!
Much love x
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt.
I am not interested in fast love
in this world which moves at the speed
of alarm clocks and bullet trains.
I desire to be unhurried;
idle summer and vinyl reminiscence,
where the only measure of time is
the count of your pulse; my breath.
Love me not with haste, but
make me wane with anticipation
until my skin is parched, then
soak red-wine kisses
into every pore,
so I am still drunk when the dawn arrives.
Unearth me with deliberate fingers;
count every rib, memorise every slope
work your hands through the dark soil
of my body, leave nowhere unturned.
Tell me stories of days before we met
while I fall in love with the sound
of your voice whispered against my neck.
Love me with the music of Sunday morning lovers,
carve symphonies of desire into my bones
before time takes from us once more.
Love me with the illusion of forever
pressed between our mouths,
for I have grown so distant of this life
filled with fast promise and pretence,
that all I desire is to be loved
to feel it.
~ ©️ Kathy Parker ~
And sometimes healing is oceans upon shorelines; tides that crash upon the thirst of empty sands, replenishing all the midday sun has scorched from our dry bones, made full once more until the moon calls the tide back again and suddenly we, too, feel pulled back to where we once came from. We clench our toes into sand that crumbles beneath our feet, powerless to fight against the grip of the tide; once again at the mercy of waves we can no longer find the strength to keep our head above anymore.
But here’s the thing about the ocean. She is forever a contradiction; wild yet gentle, fierce yet calm, rising yet falling, taking; yet always giving back. A coming together and pulling apart; the universe as it dances to the music of the night sky.
This, too, is how we heal; forward, then back again.
Such is the ebb and flow of our existence.
There is no right way to heal. We will rise, and fall. We will triumph, and fail. One day we will stand on shorelines, soaking saltwater healing into our pores; the next, we will find ourselves pulled below by our pain once more.
We must allow ourselves these undulations; forgive ourselves for the frailty of which we cling to at times. For it’s when we resist these laws of nature we struggle the most; yet is this not what the ocean comes to teach us, whispering her secrets to our parched souls: healing comes the moment we surrender to grace.
~ ©️ Kathy Parker ~
I am learning how to be lonely.
How to not reach for another to lessen this ache in my ribs when I have known no other way.
I am learning how to not fear the silence; to be still with this hollow chest and no longer fill the space you once belonged with shallow distraction.
I am learning things I should already know, but was not taught; instead raised to hold a man’s sovereignty before my own.
I am learning I am more than what I was taught.
I am learning what I am worth.
I am learning I am worth these hard things.