September 17, 2020

Mich Atagana’s book journeys into emotions we’re feeling during lockdown, with love

Mich Atagana’s book ‘Moments – Thoughts, feelings, poems and the truths that make us human’ journeys into emotions we’re feeling during lockdown, with love.

Mich Atagana's book

In a world where we’re navigating a virus that has constrained our movements, a new book from travel junkie Mich Atagana invites us to open ourselves up, to feel, to love, to think, and to celebrate the truths that make us human. All without leaving our homes.

Atagana’s second book Moments – Thoughts, feelings, poems and the truths that make us human was inspired by a chance conversation during lockdown with her best friend.

Seperated, they had been sharing their daily routines and doing things “together” while apart, using technology to keep in touch. Everything, that is, except exercise, which is not Atagana’s favourite pastime.

The response to her fear that she would be judged for not exercising resulted in the first piece in the book:

I want to do everything together
a point so close
i don’t know where you end
and i start
they call it strange
i call it love

Drawing on traditional descriptions of romantic love to portray a platonic relationship, Mich Atagana captures the intensity of our yearning for contact with others during lockdown.

Mich Atagana’s book ‘Moments – Thoughts, feelings, poems and the truths that make us human’

The book is a collection that extends to advice and hopes for her friends and loved ones, using juxtapositions like the above to describe moments, feelings and thoughts.

It includes pieces written as early as 2008, although the vast majority of the book was composed as a cathartic relief during South Africa’s lockdown.

Atagana refuses to call the book an anthology, since none of the writings rhyme although all have undeniable rhythm, yet the hand of a poet is clearly visible in the four sections – love, loss, the magic of women, and faith.

Broader themes arc across the narrative to draw together a book that is easy to dip into and a perfect counter to the restlessness that seems to have made it hard for any of us to sit down for long with a book.

Atagana believes the book contains something for everyone. She explains:

“It is about the love that we all share, the pain that we carry, the joy that fills us and the hope that lifts us up.

And when you read this, I hope that you read it with that lens. That our lives are a collection of moments that make us who we are.

I wanted people to go beyond reading it, to feeling it, so it is deliberately accessible, to allow people to see themselves in the book, and find expression for emotions that they may not be able to find words for.”

Moments is available now on Amazon in softcover and Kindle formats.

About Mich Atagana:

Mich Atagana is a digital native who loves books, travel and food — in that order. Previously the Editor of Burn Media, a multimedia digital publishing house where she ran Memeburn and Ventureburn, Mich has travelled extensively around the world and particularly through Africa, learning about tech and startups on the continent. She holds a Masters in New Media and Journalism and Moments is her second book.

Selected pieces from Moments

did you come with your head
in pursuit of my heart

I didn’t know the broken pieces
i didn’t know the broken pieces
of my life were up for display
you didn’t say that our love
was a tool of profit

She waited for you
she waited for you
with every breath
all the strength she could muster
she waited
and when she saw you
finally she could rest in peace

So here we are
so here we are
in a country that does not want us
our souls scarred
by the curse of its hate

I walk in lightness
i walk in lightness
carried on the wings of my mother’s prayers
darkness, i dare you to fight this warrior
that has prayed for me since before my birth

I feel a scar so old it’s ancient
i feel a scar so old it’s ancient
why are black people so claustrophobic
we feel the fears of our ancestors
bound in cages and packed in ships
pressed together in small places with no light
the ghosts and the demons in the dark are real

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