every season a new me, a new you, a new us
Ever since Ava posted about the workshop we are hosting together on friendship, there has been a steady influx of new people to this Substack.
Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!
I’m not used to having a readership that extends beyond my personal circle of friends, acquaintances, people who I send these posts to directly, folks who don’t even need to read the posts because they already know what’s going on for me. All week my heart and my head have undertaken a ritual dance of initiation: how do I want to engage with having new readers?
Let’s start with introductions.
Hi, I’m Rishi!
Labels are rarely ever as important as the qualities they indicate, but nonetheless here are a few: leadership coach, performance artist, recovering alcoholic, gender-sometimes-conforming, Tamil brahmin caste abolitionist, shame activist1, relationship anarchy / ecology enthusiast, heavy feeler, poet.
Think of the above as threads that you might pull when getting to know me. I truly invite you to express your curiosity here. What brought you to this space? What conversation could we uniquely have? What part of you is brought alive when you arrive here? What in you yearns to be expressed?
No, seriously, take 5 and check in with yourself!
I do my best writing and thinking in dialogue with others. Whether you are newly here or you’ve been around for some time — thank you btw — I implore you, please engage! Leave comments! Reply to emails! The thing works way better when we do it together.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my favorite things I’ve written as part of this introduction:
Preta / प्रेत - about the passing of grandmothers and hungry ghosts
Grief - the moment I decided to take having a Substack seriously
keeping the window open - on being anxiously attached to your creativity
principles - probably the closest thing I currently have to a manifesto
There are many, many more things I wish to write.
As part of sitting with myself this week, I started to imagine all the pieces of writing that I haven’t found the energy to write, but really want to.
Here are some ideas. A menu, if you will.
~ working with one’s edge: a growth mentality that’s inclusive of rest
~ honoring and engaging with masculinity under patriarchy
~ performing being a performance artist
~ what is it about coaching, exactly?2
~ repairing my relationship with tech / software engineering
~ being a poet (frankly it has very little to do with writing poetry)
~ juggling a life of travel and a life of groundedness with place
~ respectful disobedience as a life pattern
When you introduce yourself to me in the comments, will you tell me what feels most exciting to you?
If you’ve made it this far, I’d love to encourage you to consider paying for a subscription. There is no archive (currently) of paid posts, but if you become a subscriber, I will get your number and text you poems when I write them. I used to write poetry once every few days. Now I do it roughly once a week. Maybe soon I’ll write a poem every day. Come adventure with me 🙃
Here’s a poem I wrote in the fall about heartbreak!
When I learned that your distance
Was not indifference
But rather an abundance
I was ecstatic
But I was sad, too.
Sad that you had been scared
Put your walls
To avoid the hurt your tender heart
Sad that this act
Caused me to remember hurt.
Tenderized my heart
Sent me spiraling through depths
Wounds forgotten sprung to the
Lotus flowers of grief blooming once again
To release noxious gasses
Vapors of shame
The poison of regret and confusion
Swirling purples of self-hatred
I don’t feel all that anymore.
I just miss the way you held my hand.
Stay a while, friend. We have tea and blankets. Cookies in the oven. I look forward to getting to know you.
we should really be talking about shame much more