The Soul-Sick

This little friend greets me daily on my walks to/from home. I think he stays inside mostly to avoid the roosters that run these streets.

And I will tell you the secret of knowing yourself. It will not be found by perpetual dissociation. Look down – this sidewalk, that creaky floorboard, the smell of Saturday – the thing that made you. This beautiful, terrible thing. I’ll take it, bones and all.” – Cole Arthur Riley, Black Liturgies –

Isn’t that a heartbreaker? Looking around me, there is so much dissociation. People walking through every day numb and numbing every feeling because…

They’ve not been taught how to face them? 

They’ve been punished for them? 

They’ve learned that feelings in their brightest vividness bring euphoria and sometimes pain in equal measure?

Drinkers, the most socially acceptable. Over-eaters, shopaholics, workaholics; look for the drug, and find the one most turned from their hearts. 

Everything is an ecosystem, and our physical bodies are not distinct from our emotional, and spiritual ones. Enough faith traditions teach us just this.

We were discussing how inflammation isn’t just in the physical body. It’s in our emotional one as equally as our spiritual one. We are surrounded by sickness; I can point at the times I’ve been soul-sick, and I can tell you exactly where it’s rooted. I’m grateful that I don’t stay in that space for too long – but the state of soul-sick becomes a habit, and we are creatures of habit.  

And many are incapable of leaving the toxicity of even the soul-sickness. This part of the world pushes people to numb, so the undoing of self from that state is itself a battle. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, and can only hope that people I love have the strength that they need to do what needs to be done.

This week, two beloveds have taken a major step in service of exactly this. They have given up alcohol, and I am so very proud of them both.

This trip has been an oasis. 

My work phone is with me for emergencies only. All of my notifications are off, and not popping up onto my screen. I’m not made for offices – none of us are? – so I’m struggling at the thought of returning.

I’ve been barefoot 10 hours a day here. I’ve been in a state of near complete undress in this heat. It suits me. How do I return to the tightness of high heels and fitted dresses on Wednesday?

I don’t think any of us was made to be bound. Confined? I’m wondering if this is why I never married, though have had some extraordinary love stories, and I look forward to what Allah has in store for me. 

Roberto asked me how I wasn’t married. An older man who has lived and worked in Houston, Louisiana, and Memphis. I was eating at his taco stand; one of the few who had put out seats. He sat with me to discuss the Nestle devil taking Southern Mexico’s water, to tell me not to trust a “Chilango” like him, and how he wished he were younger so he could take me dancing. I told him I’d dance with him at any age, so he handed his tongs to another, and scooped me in for a spin while he sang something in Spanish. The blessings are overwhelming.

“I’ve met the right men at the wrong time, and the wrong men at the right time.” 

There are 8 billion people in this world. When Allah decides. ❤️

May your Monday be abundant in whatever your heart desires.

PS I’m listening to The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers album by Yin Yin. Slow, sexy music. Give it a whirl, loves. Listen with eyes closed.


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