re-thinking out loud

“this piece is inspired by a conversation that I had with my dear friend Mordecai

I’m probably picking and choosing and paraphrasing for poetic purposes, but he said that I make more sense when I’m on stage than I do in my day to day life

in my defense, I was very tired, so most of my mind was on the nap I was gonna take the next day

but what he said got me thinking

and I already think a lot

I seem really calm and collected right now because I sat down at 1:54 am monday morning (which should count as sunday night, in my opinion), and dumped a bunch of my thoughts on paper where I could see them

me being on stage is just me re-thinking out loud, which is why it used to be so scary

around this time last year, I was up here for the first time, re-thinking my thoughts

one of the pieces I performed was about what I do when my thoughts get too loud, which is poet for “what I do when I have a panic attack”

and now I’m back, feeling calm and collected because I have my thoughts written out

but I don’t really know what this piece is about

well, I do, I’m just trying to put the puzzle together as I go

lots of pieces that have to come together to make one big masterpiece

you could call me a painter, of sorts

I can paint really well, in my head

I can dance too… you definitely wouldn’t call me Baby Groot

and I’m not awkward in my head, at all

which is why I guess Mordecai was pretty right when he essentially said that I make more sense on paper

that piece I did last year, when I said my thoughts get too loud?

that “trains of thought are like sentences, run-on sentences that collide” and whatever else, I can’t remember

my memory’s really bad because my thoughts are actuallyyyyyyy too fast

and then they’re also really abstract

like if you look at that painting up on the wall, with all the dots and loops and stuff

it’s like focusing on the whole collection and simultaneously trying to describe the kettle to your grandma

isn’t that meta?

so anyway, what I re-learned from Mordecai is that I need to be present

I have another piece where I say,  “you are the present

you are present, in this moment

take it all in

it is a gift

a gift I call, a letter to myself”

and that piece is great for when I need enough peace to pick up the pieces of myself post-panic, but at 2:11 am monday morning (sunday night?), I figured, why not share it?

I gave myself that gift back in April, and April was rough

so I figured, why not use another one of your gifts to rewrap your piece as peace for those who need it?

it’s November now, and it still gets rough

I cried three times last week

in front of people

I’m so much more awkward (is awkwarder a word? being awkward usually isn’t a contest. back to peace)

but yeah, three times

that may be a lot, may be a little

maybe you haven’t cried since you were little

since you realized that the tears couldn’t wash away the pain

maybe you cried this morning, because you found an old picture of you and your bestfriend and all the happy memories ran up and hugged you and you felt so safe that you cried in their arms

I promise this piece isn’t supposed to make you cry, but sometimes, that’s what peace does

it’s 2:18 am on a monday morning (sunday night) and I feel so peaceful that I could cry

because April was rough

and this time last year, that was tough, being up here

if only I knew what I was getting myself into

but I didn’t, I never do

all I know is that I have igbagbo mi, my faith, my Foundation

I found peace just standing there, even as my thoughts rushed by

even when they were too loud

and thanks to that peace, I was able to piece together this piece to present to you as a gift

because I don’t know if you’re in April, or you’re little, or it’s this time last year and you’re sobbing in the arms of your memories, but I just wanted to voice my perspective and say that I see you

even though my thoughts get loud, I hear you

I see myself in you, I hear my thoughts coming out of your mouth more eloquently than I could ever put them

all of this is just my way of giving you a gift and telling you to be present

this time, I’m not writing a letter to myself

 

p(ie/ea)ce be with you”

 

written 10.29.18

performed 11.3.18

Author: Iyaniwura Olarewaju

† | naija | nj | Cornell

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