prayer, protest & community organizing work!

(link in the blog title)

shaquanda’s freedom is what ppl all over have prayed & worked for
i’m thankful

may her life be nothing short of beautiful from this point on.

gratitude #2

today:

the bomb ass vegetarian recipes

afrobeat

dennis the great

tj’s garlic naan, again

the cookbook stall, which may save my life if i do in fact have celiac disease

the e of e’s passyunk (that’s my BABY!)

lemonade

spring

paule marshall

sleep

lavender & geranium

honey

ginger

tofu

tempeh

saronia body butter from chic afrique

bighead storm

sincerity

baths

houseplant websites

chlorophyll

earrings

speckled cowrie shells

canola oil

nail polish

. . . but on second thought, fuck that.

i read about children like shaquanda cotton & it’s like “man, why should i believe that these women aren’t all the way trifling? why shouldn’t i think they aren’t preying upon black folks & abusing their positions of authority?”

i dunno. i don’t wanna give ppl the benfit of the doubt anymore. fuck that. i’m offended, really, that anyone thinks this sort of shit is okay.

this blows my fucking mind.

okay. basically allenna ward & wendie schweikert have been arrested for (and not just accused of) sleeping w/ students. ward has been charged w/ 5 counts (one for each young teenage boy) & schweikert 1 (one student). i tried, when i first read the blurb on cnn, not to think of it along racial lines. i looked at other articles online, to get different opinions & more information on the cases. i’m really tryin. but i can’t help it.

these pieces from the liberty sphere shed a bit more light on the ward case than some articles have. but, as is the case with all print media, it comes from the perspective of a human being. the only ones who know what happened are the accused, accuser and god. i kinda feel like it’s too easy to write off the accusers as meddling/ angry/ petty teenagers. i also think it’s preposterous to compare this to the duke rape case; the only commonalities are that the accused is white, the backdrop is the southern US, & that the accusers are black. i’m not feeling the idea that these 5 boys are making things up to get back at her; that doesn’t mean that i don’t believe it possible. teenagers can be crafty beings when it comes down to it.

it could be that i, like plenty black folk, have this inclination toward cheering for black folk. like, you hear someone strangles, dismembers, and burns the body of his girlfriend. you pray like hell that they aren’t black folk (or in a LOT of instances, that the perp isn’t black) . . . only to find out just that. it’s disappointing. i want human beings to be better human beings overall . . . & it just hurts me more when i see black folk doing things i consider to be profoundly inhumane. that includes a situation like the allenna ward case. if those boys are lying, i feel so terrible for her. if they aren’t, then i think she’s all the way out of pocket & therefore needs to be reprimanded. she might have mental problems. i don’t fuckin know.

but i do know it bothers me to hear that teachers are sleeping w/ students.

in the wendie schweikert situation, it seems like details are really scarce. i’m itching to find out wtf’s going on there. an 11 year old? ugh. smacks of mary kay letorneau, & the worst thing about it is that this boy’s mother said he’s shaken, that he’s been traumatized . . . that scheweikert got too friendly too soon. attentive, involved parents are lifesavers. literally.

whatever’s really going on, i hope the truth is known.
in the court of public opinion, both these women are looking guilty.
i just hope that when trial time comes, there’s some semblance of fairness.

it’s amazing to me

how many orisa praise songs sound like gospel songs. like, wow. the euphemisms black folk on this continent have for god don’t all come from the bible. it’s almost as if we study religion to find more names for the most high. in ifa, there are plenty names for each orisha. why, oya is the mother of nine (yansa/ yansan/ iansan), she who puts on a beard to go to war, she who fights more fiercely than her man. osun/ ochun/ oxum is laketi (she who always has ears to hear), also known as the owner of the river . . . and literally, osun means “the source.” sango (chango/ shango/ xango is usually called kawo kabiesi or kabiesile, also oba koso (if i’m not mistaken that means “the king did not hang”). euphemisms are ever present in contemporary blk language, as well. how many times have you used the word “jumpoff,” “jawn,” “whatchacallit,” or “yamean” more than one word? see: bernie mac’s “motherfucker” routine for further evidentiary support of my contention that black folk love to subvert language.

so i’m sitting here straight amazed. blk folks in this “new world” context are more african than they wanna be. i mean, i kinda always knew that; look at the many contemporary dance moves of blk americans & how they reflect various african dances. (we are NOT gonna talk about the “crazy in love” booty hop thing. not now.) it makes me wonder, how much of “us” got stripped away, how much did we retain through hiding it . . . & how much never actually left?

makes me think twice about folks looking at me sideways for not being at first tabernacle of the apostle paul holy mt. zion victory church of god in christ jesus. every sunday. in the front pew w/ a ridiculous hat on. i mean, why? call & response? african. “lively” worship services? way african. & most importantly, the idea of feeling the very presence of god in a physically tangible way? it directly mirrors the idea of possession/ trance, which doesn’t apply exclusively to ifa. it’s part of most ancient religions. what i practice predates the very faith that my family raised me to be a part of. i don’t think that makes ifa better, period. that makes ifa better for me.

** i have to finish this blog. i’ll come back to it when i’m less exhausted. thanks.

release is so key.

i’m tired of looking around me and seeing ppl who’re eaten up by their very strong desire to be creative. they want to be better ppl through their art but deny it all day every day. so then you have these attitudinal motherfuckers who hate you because of the dumbest shit . . . all because nobody ever showed them where to draw if not on the walls in the family room. that’s some bullshit.

you know what?

i want everyone over age 25 to go get some finger paints or shrinky dinks or a coloring book & the big crayola 64 pack . . . & get down to it. make a mess without worrying about what the next moment will bring. make a collage. strip and stain some furniture. make a snowflake. do something.

satiate that inner child’s desire

& see if you don’t get better at every fucking thing else.

i should be leaving for work right now

but i’m reading over what i wrote here last night and listening to amy winehouse. great. lol.

the bliss project is still alive, dammit! so go support it, ladies. follow the instructions so you can participate. i’m also creating a google group for it. please please PLEASE support.

i don’t know if the stomach ache is because my stomach is still fucked up or because i don’t wanna go to work. but i don’t have time to figure it out.

b/w

it’s omi’s birthday! yay. that’s my girl. may this be the best year yet.

i’m shaking my head right now

because i don’t know who’s looking.

& that’s why i feel like i don’t know what to write. i’ve been typing & backspacing for the past 10 minutes, halfway worried about reactions to what i might wanna express. the other half of me is concerned that i’ll come off as stupid, shallow, unaware, unfeeling, or any other pejorative. & i’m mad at that. i’m mad that all of a sudden, i care enough to censor myself, even a little bit. writing is my first instinct when there’s something i want to release. & here i am trying to be discreet or polite or cryptic or whatever the fuck just so i can blog in relative peace. me 5 years ago. that’s regressive. i need not be that way with something i value as a tool for maintaining my sanity. my writing is so very important to me. it’s not right for me to modify it for anyone who doesn’t have to spend their time reading it to begin with.

so, let’s start over.

my words are not meant to satisfy anyone but me, as i am the writer. i am a vessel for thought & emotion, not the agent of the wishes of other human beings. it doesn’t work that way. i am a writer not because i choose to be, but because i don’t genuinely know how to be anyone else. i am not trying to be anyone’s novelist, favorite poet, or columnist. i write for myself. if don’t write, i don’t breathe. if i don’t let out what’s in me & on my mind when it should be let out, i run the risk of losing myself. i don’t know how to allow silence to dictate my life. audre said our silences wouldn’t protect us. to me, silence is relative to your actions. as a writer, a failure to scratch it all onto college-ruled paper is tantamount to swallowing a scream. if i don’t sit down and type it out at 65 wpm before it eats me up, then i’ve managed to fail the impetus to create. that impetus is as important as nourishing my body. please believe it. if you don’t know that for yourself, i’m sorry. but i follow it. everywhere it leads me. the spark that causes a smile to spread across my face when i hear a favorite song is the same that makes me creative with what i wear out of my home each day; it’s the same thread that joins all of my creativity. it’s an energy that i don’t know how to ignore.

i will write for the rest of my days, even if i’m the only one who’ll ever see the words.

instead of complaing about the weather

i’m gonna post this week’s gratitude list:

oriki calendars

pretty babies

water

cutty

tj’s garlic naan

my cute-ass barber

big earrings

70-degree days

pretty nail polish

dr. bronner’s

almond milk

generous ppl

ppl showin their asses

celia cruz

outkast

good vinyl

clarity

honey nut cheerios

a good, hearty laugh

ghostface on 30 rock

this garnier shit i bought for my hair

vegetarian recipes

tea

ginger

HONEY

lemon

esthero

gmail

blk folk

sa-ra

sleep

jersey knit linens

electric blankets

my mom

my sisters

my grandfather

my ancestors

tulasi sandalwood

revelations (maferefun oya!)

i can’t name it all.
but every day i’ll try to. i just know that for now, i sit at the seat of bliss. and that’s enough.

i think omi gave me

whatever ass kicking babaluaiye put on her a few weeks back. girl, i love ya, but DAMN. i don’t even wanna drink any tea. i always want tea. always. but now i feel like i can’t (or shouldn’t) sit up straight. the sad thing is that i knew the exact moment when i overdid it. and i kept going. i just couldn’t leave well enough alone.

well, veggies, y’all have won another. lol. send me some recipes so i don’t miss yard bird too much.

if you remember

my replies to the discussion questions from wehavebrains.com, then it might interest you to know i’m planning on a series of essays for perusal. they’ll probably be available on this blog within a few weeks’ time; i have a lot to say on a slew of topics. the first topic will be trauma & human response to it, with at least 3 posts dedicated to it. i’m not tryna be anyone’s psychoanalyst or anything like that, but a conversation i had w/ kenya the other day really made me think about how ppl carry trauma w/ them. this is just a mental exercise for me & maybe i’ll parlay it into something bigger at another time. but for now i’m perfectly content to self-publish to the internet under a creative commons license & possibly assemble an anthology of some sort later w/ my responses to the whb discussion questions.

i forgot how much fun those discussions were, especially because i got to flex my nerdy muscle. it’s high time i fully explored those concepts again, instead of keeping that kind of stuff to myself.