Stasis is a death of the imagination - or, at least, a truncation of daring. As I write this, I think of all the loved ones lost to Covid. I think of the millions of people who have been relegated to the roles of day players in the stories of their own lives, mere statistics in support of the day's ceaseless doomsday theorising and doublespeak working triple time. I think of the online memorials — the tweets and dms sent to the accounts of the recently deceased: the performative nature of such grief, and how it means everything and nothing to those left behind. I was raised to embrace death as naturally as one embraces life, which is to say, I was raised to accept grief as the most natural part of being alive/ alive/ alive. A relative once reminded me that to grieve is to know your pulse still beats. Each day calls for a radical reimagining of ourselves, of each other, and of what we owe this earth. Sometimes grief opens the vocal cords wide/ wide/ wide, and a song you had forgotten how to sing emerges from the cave of your throat. Gratitude begins to colour your voice, and you remember why you're here. Gratitude is the stubborn seedling that resists taking root, until it does.
And you remember why you're here. And you learn to master your losses like a language not designed to comprehend the syntax of submission. You remember, and you believe. Gratitude is a mourning prayer rescued from the pit of you. Gratitude is why you're here. You remember, and you believe you'll survive the effort, the strength it takes to sing this song. You're here, and so am I. Let us harmonize the hurt away. With love, Diriye
DIRIYE OSMAN is photographed by ROBBIE EWING.
Song of the moment: 'Get It Together' by INDIA ARIE.