What They Gave by Ishva Auset

“My mother gave me her smile, thick with stubbornness, quick with wit, the silver tongue that knows how to make people stop and listen.”

My mother’s mother gave to me the soft mounds of flesh that sit between my thighs. She gave to me her mind, a woman before her time. She gave to me a small butterfly, milky white and yellow as it dances behind my eyes. She gave to me this gift that often feels like a curse, to dip into the waters of those around us and feel so deeply what they feel. 

My father’s mother gave me a yellow rose. I run my fingertips across its thorns with the hands she gave to me and watch the blood she gave to me pool beneath the skin. She gave to me the fierceness with which I cling to those I love. 

The Mother gave to me my lover, formed in my image through clay and sand. She placed us in each others arms as she gave to me the kiss of her blessing between my brows. She gave to me the gift of balance, my equal and opposite force which grounds me to the memory of who I am. 

My mother gave me her smile, thick with stubbornness, quick with wit, the silver tongue that knows how to make people stop and listen. She gave me her body, the vessel that kept me safe each and every moment before, during, and after birth. Since then she has rebirthed me thousands of times, each time putting her own needs away in the kitchen drawer, the one that is broken and off the track, stuffed to the brim with moments that she chose to take care of others over herself. 

My father gave me my sense of justice, to demand what is right for those who cannot seek it themselves. He gave me my fury, the fire that stokes the flames of my temper. He gave me my love of music, my appreciation of the way notes can fill a room, and lyrics tug on heartstrings. 

My parents gave me the choice and freedom to be the person I’ve always wanted to be. They’ve gifted me with privileges they never had and lifted me up when I could not stand. 

My father’s father gave me my faith in that which we cannot see. He gave to me my love of salt against my tongue, absorbed into the flesh he fought to protect. He gave to me his hat, stitched with memories of those I’ve never met. 

My mother’s father gave to me a spy glass through which the world around me appears larger and fuller. He gave to me the scent of stickers in a hotel room and endless phone calls to nowhere on a corded phone. 

My lover gave to me the gift of being seen, for all I am, all I ever was, and all I could be. He gave to me a home that never stops moving within the walls of his chest. He gave to me a ring, crafted from the stars that hold space for me in silence. 

So I must wonder what was left to gift myself? 

 

Acceptance.

Forgiveness.

Love.

Grace.

Humility.

Freedom.

Gratitude.

ABOUT ISHVA AUSET

Art allows me to simultaneously lose and find myself. I am a collector of words and images that hold memories of who I authentically am. The creative process has always been the way in which I express my truest energetic form.

In many ways, my art is actually the meditative process of creating and the finished product a vessel that houses my most sacred thoughts. I’ve always had a deep fascination with making something out of nothingness. Art provides the means for me to spin the thoughts that live inside my head into something tangible.

I enjoy exploring emotional experiences, the female body, and intimate relationships through both language and image. I immerse my body, mind, and soul into each piece through the duality of my own nature. I am both student and teacher, painter and subject, sculptor and clay, poet and reader, vessel and stars.

 

 

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