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For some time, I have been struggling to get back to my craft. That is, I’ve been struggling to creatively and bluntly get to the heart of the matter of my heart and those around me. Whether through poem or prose, there has been a disconnect. This disconnect is not intellectual or even creative. Put simply; it’s a matter of energy and invasion and a lax practice of home-making, soul protecting and loving me loving us, dear Empath, this is why I’m writing to you.
I know you hate boundaries and artificial borders around the soul and heart but you need them. You need walls, and doors that lock. You need walls. There must be a protective structure around your inner sanctum. The birthplace and threshing floor of your magic, your love, your knowing, your ability to see and touch the great beyond, the space beyond speaking and acting must be protected. It must be shielded. It must be shielded in all its messiness from the foreign foolishness of those calling you “love” for the moment. Consider your ability to feel beyond. It, this power, this magic, is the honey of the earth. Many have come and existed before you to create the conditions for your gift to flourish, Ancestors and forebearers. Your you has been forged with the ruptures and unions of broken hearts, burning truths and the ever-killing practice of surviving for tomorrow. Your gift is not only yours; it is ours and the world, the universe, needs you, thriving.
Create doors. This is not a prison. We were not called to lock ourselves away in a priestly penitentiary. This would be a martyrdom marked by euthanasia. We hate pain. This is not what we do. Create doors. Doors with locks and keys that respond to you and only you; not simply or only or because of the loud and cunning and true and desperate and haunting needs of those around you.
People will need your love; but you need not let them in your home to love them. They may not be yours to love. Recall that love is a practice, not simply a feeling. Love is an ethic. Love is critical. Therefore, when we speak of this thing others call love; what we, as empaths, are speaking of is a politic, a “critical love ethic” that calls us to do more than feel but to consider and change how we act, feel, move, love, fuck and think…we examine the worlds around us and move and bend and mold and break them to encompass the more perfect love practice we deem necessary and liberatory for self and recipient and all those with beating hearts. That is an empath’s love. It is not feeling, simply. It is not doing, only. It is a knowing that feeling and doing must be accompanied by thinking about how love is making and reshaping and breaking the self that came before now and how such love is wrapped and warped by the worlds and ways and traditions we once saw as necessary and natural and/or Godly. It is knowing that love is not only the practice of justice and freedom, the script of life and how we address those who remind of us what it is to feel immortal but also the borderlines for what is permissible and possible for those who are here now and those who come on tomorrow.
This is why you need doors. Doors that can be shut when danger arises or when it is unclear who is sitting in the curtilage of your dwelling place. You need doors Empath, because if you do not have doors; many will come in and devour the most important realms of your Cosmos.
Some people will gain entry. Some will stay for awhile. Otherwise will leave in the still of night; taking your light for the mourning. Let them go. Do not chase them. They are not yours; even when you welcome them. Even when they promise. Even they need you. Even when you want or need or desire them. Even when you introduce them to the best of them. They are not yours. What can a broken flower offer the garden of your heart but more work and a coming death? You are not a prison but a paradise. Yes, they have taken from your garden; perhaps taken gifts, perhaps stolen treasures. It will hurt all the same–a reminder of what has left or been taken but also what remains–you, you are generative and still yet a Genealogy of Remaining. You are a Cosmos. You will refresh. You have just fed the world, again. Take joy that you can do so but remember that you are not without limits. This is why you need walls and doors, doors with locks, Dear Empath. Doors. Doors and walls. Doors that lock with walls that warn and welcome. As Solange says; “Don’t let nobody steal your magic” and I ain’t talking about that Jesse Williams shit. I’m talking about the magic that comes from Ancestors with names your tongue cannot erect but your soul cannot forget.
You are a Cosmos, but no meteorites need land here.
A Universe Healing Their Holes
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Tabias Olajuawon, JD is graduate of Howard Law and PhD Student at UT-Austin; as well as an author, scholar, poet and motivational speaker. They can be reached @blaqueerflow on twitter or firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings. You can find more of their work here on BlaQueerFlow or check their book Godless Circumcisions: A Recollecting & Re-membering of Blackness, Queerness & Flows of Survivance.