A Letter to the Complicated Women Still Afraid of Their Contradiction.
You came to me broken, fearing parts of you that you were yet to know. You came to me after your storm of fate that cut you like a thousand razor blades.
It was the storm that Murakami described, the metaphysical storm that had you holding your own blood in your hands. I saw the blood, and even though the storm was metaphysical, the blood was warm and real. You did not know how you made it out of the storm, you were not even sure that you had made it out at all.
But I had noticed that ever since you experienced the storm, you haven’t been able to breathe in your own skin.
You said that you were suffocating, that your skin did not fit you anymore. Your skin you said felt two sizes too small like a hand-me-down, too old and too torn. You said that you, like all women, are stagnant, you sin the same, and are judged by the sins of other women. You asked me difficult questions, you wanted to know why the woman grows but the skin does not stretch.
You didn’t want to be trapped in the understanding that others have of you, you said that more than anything you longed to be water — flowing, expanding, changing shape, having no color, being neither right or wrong, but just being. At the least you wanted to be a snake, shedding skin once in a while, completely open to the idea that a woman can be new when she chooses.
You said that you needed to grow new skin for the woman who came out of the storm expanded.
I have been many things.
Once I was beautiful and held the burden of beauty fearing that maybe that is all I ever will be, something that others will like not as a real thing but a flower that will wither and die. How boring it must be to be flower, something of no utilitarian beauty. Another time I was clever, the way women who have no aesthetic beauty but plenty of personality are. There were times when my spirituality defined everything that I was, so celibate was I, so austere.
What skins have I not inhabited, who have I not been?
Yet, you ask me for permission to fall apart, to take off your skin and birth a new you. I am afraid, so I try to fix you. I am too ashamed to tell you that women like us who feel the need to shed their skin as they please, to flow like water, do not fit in anywhere.
The world has a box for the beautiful women, the clever women, the interesting women, the vixens, but you say you want to be all this women, while you shun the labels. Who will claim you? A woman who is contradiction: night and day, here and there, everything and nothing?
You do not want the boxes, you say yes, others will love themselves in your nearness when you are sitting pretty in a box, but as an expanding woman free to shed her own skin, you will always love you for yourself.
No one wants to live in old dead skins, you say, full of parasites, diseased, aged and filled with the burden of the expanding human inside.
I wanted to fix you. A temptress woman like a snake desiring to belong to no one but herself, wanting too much, expanding too much, and flowing freely like water to places high and low. Who will claim you? But you say that you will always want you, own you, and belong to you, and that you say, for you that’s okay. It took me a long time to know, but now that I know, you do not need to be fixed and you will not be fixed.
You are not complicated, you are not a problem, you are life and expansion. You, like everything that follows the true Tao, are a living contradiction. You are yin and you are yang.
Reference made to Haruki Murakami’s “Kafka on the shore”, Kahlil Gibran’s “Jesus, the Son of Man” and the “Tao Te Ching.”
Khutsafalo Kasale is a service yogini, a writer, an activist, an African patriot from Botswana, and a lover of all things Art and Culture. As a service yogini, she dedicates her time teaching Yoga to those who desperately need it but cannot afford it, at orphanages, psychiatric hospitals and community centers. She dreams of writing a manual for the dead some day. You can connect with Khutsafalo via her website or Twitter.