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For When Your Lights Go Low

Diriye Osman

Beloved reader,

It's been an intense but beautiful week. The days feel fat with potential, and keeping the spirit planted deep enough to bear kaleidoscopic fruit is no longer a speculative fantasy, but a reality born of heavy-duty emotional and psychical tilling.

I'm here.

I'm alive.

I'm thriving.

This is a reminder to both you and me, beloved reader, that everything - every experiential disturbance and dazzle - is cyclical. Well, everything but technology, as Liz Lemon once quipped. I wanted to share with you something I've learned during some of these cycles in the hopes that you'll weather each and every disaster with your sense of joy intact.

Grief is the most natural thing in the world because all of us will experience it at some point in our short lives. We will grieve over small and large hurts; we will grieve the loss of relationships and loved ones; we will grieve leaving behind our homes for foreign soil; we will grieve everything/ everything/ everything, because we must.

To grieve is to be alive. To feel all your pain, to feel every injustice and anger and resentment, inconsequential or vast, is to be alive. To be purposive in how you choose to navigate said grief is also to be alive. Because grief is a madness we must all navigate in order to try to ground ourselves amidst the cyclone of our sorrow, so that it does not swallow us all the way into a locked psych ward.

Yet while we grieve there will always be shimmers of pleasure: light-suffused moments that jolt us back earthside: a loving message from a friend or family member; a cheery wave from an acquaintance; a melody buried in the bowels of your memory bubbling irresistibly to the surface; the sound of the neighbours dancing to Rapper's Delight; the smell of rain on your skin in summer.

These unassuming fragments accrue to add sinew and definition to one's perceptual development.

So make space for pleasure even when it hurts. Make space for silly jokes until you're laughing through your tears. Make space for dancing until your body is tired and your heart is wide open as endorphins more potent than opioids course through your system. Make space for deep rest.

I believe in you, beloved reader.

I believe in you now, and I will believe in you tomorrow.

With love,



Song for the moment: 'Live Out Your Love' by KEM (featuring TONI BRAXTON).


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