The sun sets in Ibiza at around 9.57pm, and as the moon comes up so do I, surrounded by a rush and heaving mass of vibrating bass, boom, boom, boom and in my head there, I go, you, me, I, he, all at once. Fuck punctuation, let’s make it rhythm now, listen to your heartbeat, add a counterattack, here we go like Minnie Riperton. The universe closes in and our world becomes an aircraft hangar on an island built with magnetic rock, compelling and drawing a map insistent on desire and the outpouring of expression yearned for as you walk the streets of everyday life.
Here is freedom.
Right now, this is all that matters, the music, the moment, the look in his eyes and the bright red wall peeling on my bare skin as I’m pressed up against it. I don’t care about the world at large, it’s come right down to this, flesh, the feathers that trail down my back, primal and tribal instincts prevail. My joints loosen, sweat pours, lips locked, loins burning, this becomes the epicentre, God I ain’t ready to give this up, this primal need.
This is the wilder side. I walk it not with care, but as though I’m about to breathe my last, feel my final heartbeat, the ending throb of longing in the deepest pit of my belly. But on my terms now, with the Voodoo in my blood, the proud feathers in my hair the lineage of golden-skinned women in my family, fated, complicated, fighting creatures with little to recommend them to history except their myriad adventures and the children they created and haunted, the boys stalwart and conventional, the girls another story altogether.
Restless, artistic, mercurial and whilst not always beautiful, always possessed of an allure and pulchritude that seemed to burst into ripeness around the bodies and souls of the men they chose to love, they followed their hearts come hell or high water and were all handed the protection of the goddess Lemanja, queen of the sea, at the moment of conception. How each of us found her on our travels through life is the subject for a family history in another time and another place. But find her we will, as a sixth sense is passed down from mother to daughter, an unspoken poem, found in dreams and signs, instincts and reactions never forgotten in a world which does not necessarily understand our innate connection to the earth, the sound of the stars, the tides of the sea and the passions that the winds of fate blow our way. Take us away from this lexicon of dreams, our femininity and the dust of home underfoot, we become easily lost, searching for completion in metallic rooms of discontent, trapped.
I am one of these girls, the blood of these women bubbling and firing under the surface, making me the not-quite-a-woman I am now. A strange paradox of an inherited volcanic sexuality with little regard for convention, yet wanting the stability that conformity provides, bucking against it when offered. I rage between passion or cold disinterest, just like my mother before me. I dream in riddles and am subject to deep emotions and wells of feeling I have no idea how to control. I look beyond the physical into eyes that can bring me meaning, I fight with my desire for excess and have turned my love of music into a way of setting the controls to the heart of my sun, a tempering process which sometimes works. My mind constantly requires stimulation, as in my experience boredom leads to a surfeit of something or other to slate the thirst for adventure and sensation which tumbles across me daily. But at least I have learned to channel my urges into a simpler existence.
I am at a crossroads in my life. In Voodoo religion, the crossroads are the entrance to the spirit world, where one can as easily summon the devil as the angels themselves with little more than concentration of power and the help of the spirits always present. It’s time to start asking questions of myself, too long ignored, and summon the instincts that have lain dormant in my senses for so long, and release them finally. Motherhood haunts many of the women in my life; they yearn for it, crave it and suffer many indignities in the relentless pursuit of procreation.
I, who have suffered countless miscarriages and seen my own child breathe his last, wonder.
I may not be able to bear a child again, it may not happen for me, but I will not let this make me feel less of a woman. And motherhood is as much about bearing a child as protecting the family you make for yourself. The spirit of being a mother is just as prevalent when looking after a stranger with a glass of water, a £1 or a hug, a friend in need, compassion to those who frustrate us. It’s not about being a ball-breaking, tough talking, man-baiting feminist, debating the need to bear a man’s child; it’s about accepting who you are as an entity, comfortable with whatever is in the future. Because despite all the heartaches, the loved ones who have left me for other parallels, the ones I have lost along the way and the pain that I have lived with for many years, I know who I am.
I love my life, my friends, my family, and my artistic pursuits. To dance all night at DC10, get messy and listen to dirty house music. Read Vogue at 2am with my thoughts rising like the grey London dawn, misty and lavender. Lock myself into bouts of controlled excess, just enough to let off steam, just enough to keep the edge sharp, clear and exciting. To write all night and sleep all day, to sleep all night and daydream the world into focus and a rhythm that’s right for me.
I owe it to myself.
So, life, take me higher, take me somewhere new and beautiful, because I don’t want to sit dead-eyed on a tube train, with the whisper of discontent scratched on my soul. Wait for painful years and months in an IVF clinic, waiting for a baby who may never grow in my belly. Don’t want to lie next to a man I can’t love. Don’t want to compromise the slightest thing, from my darkest pleasures to the deep cut of my words.
I’d rather fucking die.
So I’ll take this living thing in both hands, embrace it, ride it, feel it, love it, own it and hit the excess upside its head with all that hasn’t killed me yet. I’ll worship the visceral in me until I’ve got it mastered like the eternal game, flip to its B-side spiritualist before they switch on the lights and feel and dance through every little moment of this thing called living, not give up on love and wrap my legs around it tight when it comes. So I’ll never atrophy inside and lose the essence of myself, that one day soon, someone will see for what it is, and, for better or worse, not want to change a thing.