Half Man Half Noodle

Hold Your Own

Today, I want to point you towards the incredible spoken word / rap of Kate Tempest and her piece “Hold Your Own“. (I would recommend listening to it as you read.) Her album “The Book Of Traps And Lessons” is an incredible way to spend 45 minutes.

In Hold Your Own, she talks about how we don’t stay true to ourselves and own our flaws, how we expect material possessions to fill a void in ourselves and that our demons are the obstacles that will show us the way to a better future. Incredibly poignant.

But, when time pulls lives apart
Hold your own
When everything is fluid, nothing can be known with any certainty
Hold your own
Hold it till you feel it there
As dark and dense and wet as earth
As vast and bright and sweet as air
When all there is is knowing that you feel what you are feeling
Hold your own
Ask your hands to know the things they hold
I know, the days are reeling past in such squealing blasts
But stop for breath and you will know it’s yours
Swaying like an open door when storms are coming
Time is an onslaught, love is a mission
We work for vocations until, in remission
We wish we’d had patience and given more time to our children
Feel each decision that you make
Make it, hold it
Hold your own
Hold your lovers
Hold their hands
Hold their breasts in your hands like your hands were their bra
Hold their face in your palms like a prayer
Hold them all night, feel them hold back
Don’t hold back
Hold your own
Every pain
Every grievance
Every stab of shame
Every day spent with a demon in your brain giving chase
Hold it
Know the wolves that hunt you
In time, they will be the dogs that bring your slippers
Love them right and you will feel them kiss you when they come to bite
Hot snouts digging out your cuddles with their bloody muzzles
Nothing you can buy will ever make you more whole
This whole thing thrives on us feeling always incomplete
And it is why we will search for happiness in whatever thing it is we crave in the moment
And it is why we can never really find it there
It is why you will sit there with the lover that you fought for
In the car you sweated years to buy
Wearing the ring you dreamed of all your life
And some part of you will still be unsure that this is what you really want
Stop craving
Hold your own
But if you’re satisfied with where you’re at, with who you are
You won’t need to buy new make-up or new outfits or new pots and pans
To cook new exciting recipes for new exciting people
To make yourself feel like the new exciting person you think you’re supposed to be
Happiness, the brand, is not happiness
We are smarter than they think we are
They take us all for idiots, but that’s their problem
When we behave like idiots, it becomes our problem
So, hold your own
Breathe deep on a freezing beach
Taste the salt of friendship
Notice the movement of a stranger
Hold your own
And let it be

Kate Tempest “Hold Your Own”