Inspiration Board: Sarah Kay on Long Distance Love

It’s official. I’m suffering a horrible case of the beginning-of-the-week blues. And in times like these, I can do nothing more than submit to the cycle of life and accept the fact that sometimes, even the “inspirer” needs some inspiring. Looking around my pretty much bland cubicle, I realized two things. 1. I’m in desperate need of redecorating. And 2. I need to start an inspiration board.

Now, the thing about me is, although I love being the source of opening up people’s minds, I can’t help but share the things that motivate me most. So I decided to start a new section on my blog for glum days like these: the Inspiration Board series.

As the morning dragged on and the sad fact of low motivation dawned on me, my quest for inspiration began as I searched high and low for that something that was able to unlock my jammed door of potential.

I have to admit this search actually wasn’t too hard, because, I’ll tell you a little secret. I have a go-to. Sarah Kay, the spoken word poet and co-director of Project Voice, a national movement to inspire youth self-expression. Ever since I saw her perform her poem, “If I Should Have a Daughter” (also known as “Point B”) at a TED conference earlier this year, I had fallen in love.

She has this way of performing phrases and painting pictures that makes you feel like she’s taking the words right out of your heart and pouring them out on stage.

So in a frantic cry to gain some insight from my inspirer, I quickly typed in her name in the YouTube search for SOMETHING I hadn’t heard before. And there it was…the perfect poem that spoke to the very hopeless romantic in me and I’m sure, in so many more of us…Long Distance Love. Listen, enjoy and be inspired.

I have always fallen in love with far too many postage stamps. When you appeared on my doorstep wearing nothing but a postcard province…no, appeared is the wrong word. Is there a word for sucker-punching someone in the heart? Is there a word for when you’re sitting at the bottom of a roller coaster and you realize that the climb’s coming, that you know what the climb means, that you can already feel the flip in your stomach from the fall before you even moved. Is there a word for that? There should be.

You can only fit so many words in a postcard…only so many in a phone call…only so many into space before you forget that words are sometimes used for things other than filling emptiness.

It’s hard to build a body out of words. I have tried. We have both tried.

Instead of holding your head to my chest, I tell you about the boy who lives downstairs from me; who stays up all night long practicing his drum set. The neighbors have complained. They have busy days tomorrow but he keeps on thumping through the night convinced that practice makes perfect.

Instead of holding my hand, you tell me about a sandwich you made for lunch today; how the pickles fit so perfectly with the lettuce.

Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent.

Repeat the same mistakes over and over and you don’t get any closer to Carnegie Hall, even I know that. Repeat the same mistakes over and over and you don’t get any closer. You never get any closer.

Is there a word for the moment you win tug-of-war? When the weight gives in and all that extra rope comes hurdling towards you; how even though you’ve won, you still wind up with muddy knees and burns on your hands. Is there a word for that? I wish there was.

I would have said it when we were finally together on your couch, neither one of us with anything left to say.

Still now, I send letters into space hoping that some mailman somewhere will track you down and recognize you from the description in my poems. That he will place the stack of them in your hands and tell you, there is a girl that still writes to you… she doesn’t know how not to.

: : : There’ll be days like this, my momma said. When you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises; when you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you want to save are the ones standing on your cape; when your boots will fill with rain, and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment : : :

— If I Should Have a Daughter, Sarah Kay —



Filed under Inspiration Board, Mind, Body, Soul

2 responses to “Inspiration Board: Sarah Kay on Long Distance Love

  1. S

    Wow, I just saw this blog, I’m also in love with Sarah Kays poems, and “on long distance love” is one of my favourites..I wanted to know more about YOU, your name made me curious. ANd I’m so surprised that you’re a Muslim. MashaAllah! :) So you’re my sister and that’s why there’s even more to discover about you. Thanks for this blog.
    Much love & Salamu aleykum w.r.w.b :)

    • Hi Selma, I’m so glad that you like the blog! I always love to listen to feedback from my readers so please let me know what you think. And isn’t Sarah Kay just brilliant! I’ve always wanted to tackle spoken word poetry because of her but haven’t gotten a chance to. What would you like to know about me? If you’ve looked around my blog, you’ll see that I basically wear my heart on my sleeve :P! Thank you for your support, and hope to hear from you soon :).
      Hugs and Salam from a million miles away <3

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