So I’ve dropped off.
What I had intended to be a weekly ritual dwindled down to just thinking about it. I have realized that my hesitation in posting here was rooted in my own perfectionism. And, perfection does not have a place in this messy process of recovering tenderness lost. Every time I attempted to post, I found myself wanting to craft a long thought piece that documented every detail of my thought process. This coupled with the fact that I have been in a place of hurt and depression, made me feel overwhelmed by posting at all.
It is time for me to shift.
Blueprints to Tenderness is bigger than me posting here. It is about recognizing that tenderness is an important and divine power in my life through practice (the profane) and ritual (the sacred). That said, I have decided to post here daily and accept when a post is just a word, an image, or a struggle. So…
My first engagement with Tenderness as a daily practice is a nine song playlist. It’s named after the last track on Sade’s album Lover’s Rock. I curated this playlist with my romantic partners in mind. For going on five years, I have been practicing a closed polyamorous relationship with three other people. Our arrangement has at times felt as steady and reassuring as the North Star and as devastating and confusing as a hurricane. This playlist is a result of me being in a place of questioning––what are our next steps in this relationship? Do we work together? Is it still worth it––a questioning that has been scary and painful for all of us but valid. I selected each song because together they reflect many of the emotions that have come up for me. Here you will find: certainty, gratitude, excitement, pleasure, indifference, isolation, regret, longing, resentment, doubt, commitment, obsession, disappointment, hope, and resilience. It’s Only Love That Get’s You Through is a way of me seeing myself and accepting all the ways I have shown up in my partnerships. It ends with Sade’s “All About Our Love,” which to me is about acknowledging hurt, remembering vows of commitment, and moving forward.
- Love Song #2 by Meshell Ndegeocello from her album Comfort Woman
- Prototype by Andre 3000 from Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
- PRIDE. by Kendrick Lamar from DAMN.
- Ex-Factor by Ms. Lauryn Hill from The Miseducation of Lauren Hill
- I Miss You by blink-182 from their self titled album
- Our Love Comes Back by James Blake from his album Overgrown
- Baby, This Love I Have by Minnie Riperton from her album Adventures In Paradise
- Can We Pretend by Bill Withers from ‘Justments
- All About Our Love by Sade from Lover’s Rock