you walk like love | ishani jasmin

a collection of sunsets - from home to here

I think so much about growing up these days, and I am trying my hardest to throw away tired metaphors of blooming, of being a tree, of finding my roots, of stretching out towards the sky. People call me a poet, and I know my place when I say that metaphors won’t do it this time.
‘When I grow up’ was an essay I wrote in baby talk in front of a class that didn’t care. At four years old, I wanted to be a dermatologist, and help the people who experienced the welts and rashes that manifested on their skin like poison ivy - like mine. Most were just impressed that I could spell ‘dermatologist’, and people that weren’t were wowed by a concrete life plan to rival those of teenagers everywhere.
Here’s the thing, though: I just started skipping in the street again. I jumped a puddle and I grinned quietly to myself when the edge of it splashed my foot. Ten minutes ago I got home and washed my underwear in the sink. I spun around in the kitchen and it reminded me that I am so happy to be alive.
And then I think: maybe this is what growing up is. Maybe growing up is learning to be happy to be alive. Maybe it’s making things easier for myself, trimming the fat from my phone contacts, discovering things I enjoy. Maybe it’s to have good sex and buy good underwear and read good books and surround myself with good people.
Maybe growing is doing the best you can with what you have, or learning to be happy with your own company, or being comforted by the idea that no one has a fucking clue what they’re really doing and that makes it okay that you don’t know how to balance your books or put your bedsheets on straight because really, what is a tax return?
Maybe growing up is thinking about growing up enough to realise that everything is growing, from the hairs on my head to the hunger in my heart.
Maybe growing up is getting tired earlier in the evening some days, or understanding that it is okay to get tired.
The more I think about growing up, the clearer it becomes that I am where I was as a child - talking to people that are too focused on their own futures to busy themselves with mine.
And we are all inching, inching, inching our winding ways towards the ceiling.

inches | ishani jasmin

I fell in love as autumn came, and it’s interesting to warm up as the world cools around you: to see trees dry up as you are just beginning to sprout, and birds flock away from your sky as you are starting to feel like you can sing.
If loving is learning I’ll always be lost between library shelves and I have come to terms with that. I have come to terms with never seeing daylight again.
I love now and I will love exponentially more in ten years - I don’t know how to cope with that yet, but I know that’s growing up and growing outwards to accommodate my ever-expanding heart, and I know it hurts.

People will tell you that you’re naive, and it will hurt you to your guts. You will want to explode in a loud burst of red all over them and the pavement and scream,
‘THIS IS VALID, AND THIS IS MINE.’
And so you should!

The choice to lie quiet and unwary - especially in the face of a world telling you that your life is going to plummet down around your ankles one day - is painstakingly overthought and delicate. You will know exactly what you are doing, and you will think, ‘I’m not like the others.’ And you aren’t, because you know exactly what you are doing. That doesn’t guarantee you anything, of course. You know that. Everything is temporary.
Your heart will be broken, whether it is for the first time or for the last. But you will recover, you will rise, and you will love again, and you will love just as hard.
I take comfort in my so-called innocence - it is huge and overwhelming, but it is a Friday night in, not a safety net, and I wouldn’t trade a broken-in living room and a hand to hold for anything.


stop calling it ‘naive’ | ishani jasmin

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