labels not required

I’m not an illustrator, a graphic designer, or a dancer. I’m not an planner, a writer, or a hiker. I’m not a seeker, a yogi, or a lover. Yes, I like to draw, design and dance. I like to think, write and walk. I like going beyond the edges of my known experience, exploring my mind-body-soul, sharing intimacy with people. I am me. Fully, completely, unabashedly. And when I meet you, I’m not seeing your occupation, your religion, your ethnicity, your gender. I’m seeing your eyes and the way they burn like lanterns on a moonless night. I’m hearing your voice and how it fills the tiny room we’re standing in, or floats up to the tops of the trees and becomes the wind. I’m feeling your energy and noticing how this connection both excites and calms every cell in my body. I’m witnessing your presence, your compassion, your tenderness. I’m aware of your breath, your heartbeat, your electromagnetic field — your aliveness. And I’m delighted by the miracle that is you, no matter what your past or future story is, no matter what you call yourself or what others call you, no matter what fascinates and obsesses you, what repels or engages you. And I hope that, in the same way, you are delighted by the miracle that is me, without naming it or labelling it or squaring it off to make me fit better into the little tick boxes our culture is so fond of.

— heidi kalyani, 2017 
from the *nothing is black and white* project: illustration created out of meditation with a single unbroken line