a few quick notes about no wedding, no womb

i wrote it on tumblr, but for those of you who don’t read me there, i thought it’d be a good idea to share my beliefs on this quote-unquote movement here. (google the whole thing, i’m not giving them any linkage)

because i tweeted it but didn’t blog it:

the whole quote-unquote movement is gender essentialist. point blank. period.

the finger wagging and shaming aside, this initiative seeks to push all MAAB (male assigned at birth) and FAAB (female assigned at birth) persons to marry one another, regardless of being self-identified as trans, or being gay or lesbian self-identified.

because of the illegality, in most states, of what’s called same-sex marriage, this initiative cannot include cisgender gay, lesbian, or bisexual (or pan or omnisexual) ppl or any trans-identified people. by its own definition, no less.

monogamy is not the default setting for all humans. it is a choice. compulsory monogamy and heterosexuality encroach on the rights of an individual to do what they wish with their bodies.

furthermore, there has been little to no discussion by the NWNW folks regarding causations of single parenthood & correlations between single motherhood & the catastrophic outcomes they seem to think are rampant in the black community.

encouraging anyone to marry for the sake of a child is dangerous. ask any one of my friends who has lived through a domestic violence situation, either as the scarred child or as the abused spouse.

& if i say shit else about this, it’ll be because someone on team finger wag has come at my neck w/ some bullshit.

zomg i’m single!

so the fuck what?

this is all the discussion y’all are getting out of me. thanks to this piece from the crunk feminist collective, i don’t have to go too deep.  i’m including links from a twitter rant i went on regarding this very subject, for good measure.

first, i wanted to know if anyone had introduced to this larger conversation the idea that monogamy is not the default setting for our lives, but a choice.   as in, we choose to be monogamous, or we don’t.  & if you don’t realize that you choose monogamy, this is where you should find another blog post of mine to read (like the one about tina knowles).   we do not have to couple.  some of us are polyamorous, some of us never partner — even when we decide that we wish to parent.

nobody that i know of, with the exception of the ladies at crunk feminist collective, has mentioned that queer (by queer i mean lesbians, bisexual, pan/ omnisexual, trans, intersex)  self-identified black women aren’t considered in this conversation. again: we are not a monolith. you can’t have this conversation without considering the fact that the women being discussed are hetero, cisgender (not trans women — trans ppl are invisible in virtually every conversation about marriage, and just about everything else), & at the very least hold bachelor’s degrees. because ppl who don’t finish college don’t matter in this conversation, no matter what they’re doing w/ themselves, unless it’s to count them as undesirables.  further, who’s to say that marriage is everyone’s goal or ideal? it could be argued that “we aren’t talking about those people,” but if that’s the case then it must be stated so from the onset of each conversation regarding unmarried black women of certain income levels and sexual orientations.  period. know your audience.

if the root of the “problem” of unmarried black hetero cis women is that there aren’t enough desirable black men to go around & we’re looking at that strictly in terms of education, then who’s to blame? parents? schools? both? neither? high school dropout rates are nothing to sneeze at. the prison industrial complex, fueled by some rather draconian laws, also removes men who might otherwise be “good catches” from the dating pool.  does this mean that some of those “lost ones” were never marriageable to begin with, as their parents/ support systems failed them long before they got outta high school? okay. i’ll take that. but that isn’t the case w/ everyone. i feel like too much of this conversation is based on simplistic ideas of what a “good black man” is, and what a “good black woman” needs.  also: folks get married later in general, because they’re doing more than their parents’ generations did w/ their lives. the need for a college education has increased — even to get administrative assistant gigs. so if we have to take more time between high school and college to fill up these lives of ours (with greater expectancies, even for black men & women), maybe it’s not even as deep as the media panic suggests. ::gasp:: maybe we’re doing so much that holding ourselves to standards based on folks who lived life differently (slower, w/ less autonomy as children/ young adults, w/ different or less education) is a waste of fucking time! i’m just sayin.

& really, if marrying someone is about loving them until your last breath exits your body, can we consider one thing: the purported crisis of unmarried black women suggests that there is not enough love for us. that we are not lovable. that there is scarcity in the black community, so we must either take what we can get from black men or marry white men if we want to be married at all. this is wrong. love is infinite. there is no reason to think, for one minute, that any one of us is not lovable. that we are not desirable — to anyone, whether they be white, asian, latino, man, woman, gender non-conforming, cisgender, transgender, disabled, blue collar, white collar, no collar, or anything fucking else. if we marry because we want to spend the rest of our lives surrounded by the love, care, and support of another person then why on earth would we let fear run us off our paths? no, i’m not saying that there aren’t rough patches. heaven knows that i’ve lived through my shit and may continue to go through things before i find a good lover (i don’t necessarily seek to marry). but under no circumstances is being single a detriment. it’s never wrong. it’s not a bad thing. we’re not born partnered. we choose to partner — some of us because of conditioning, some of us because we find that wonderful person to be with. & it’s all good. it’s about intent, y’all. if your intent for seeking a mate is because that shit is on your checklist of successful shit to do w/ your life, you might be setting yourself up for what we call the okey-doke.   ultimately, the lens through which our romantic situations are being examined is flawed, to say the least.   & to say the most: it’s fucked up, limited, & doesn’t actually apply to as many folks as these “experts” (like finesse “my best jokes are about my teen mother” mitchell, jimi izrael & steve harvey) would have you believe.

this rant’s over. i’m dropping the mic like randy watson. but if you wanna read more juicy commentary:

visit the sugar shack

read this op-ed via the philadelphia inquirer

& another dope post from the crunk feminist collective

this piece from the nation, featuring the words of the fabulous melissa harris-lacewell & courtney young is made of pure unadulterated win.

i’m off to go be single and cook for myself, feed myself, bathe myself, & sing my face off at karaoke. cuz that’s what manless almost-30-year-olds do, apparently.

train wreck!

soooo i was on twitter mindin my own beeswax, being the benevolent servant of the god/dess that i am. & i tweeted that i wasn’t even finna read jill scott’s essence column on interracial dating & why it hurts her feelings.  (because they are her feelings. & what’s my reading gonna do?) shortly thereafter, i was @ replied by @Interracial_Mag with a link to a blog post about their (i’m guessing the guy in the profile picture, who IDs as the primary writer of the blog, a white hetero cisgender man) view on jill’s essence column.  now, i was gonna sit down and do a well-thought-out comment on this man’s blog. but i realized after some back-and-forth w/ him on twitter that it may be better for me to go paragraph-by-paragraph and really express what it is i think/ feel about this. and maybe i’ll put all my little comments into a neat package and send them to the writer of the interracial love magazine blog… or not. either way, i had to say something. cuz i’m a bigmouth.  my notes are in italics and bracketed. i call this the lazy blogging method.

Jill Scott, Interracial Dating, and Interracial Love Magazine!

“Not a day goes by that the question of “What do you think of interracial dating?” is not asked somewhere in social media land. It continues to be one of the hottest, highly debated, and most controversial topics of our time.” – Interracial Love Magazine, 2010

Due to the response of Jill Scott’s recent celebrity contribution to Essence Magazine, we decided to write our response.

But first, an introduction is on order. We are Interracial Love Magazine. We blog on topics that primarily support interracial love, sex, and dating between white men and black women. Unlike many blogs within our niche/category, Interracial Love Magazine is written primarily by a white male. [my first question: why is it called interracial love magazine, instead of black women dating white men magazine? race isn’t just about black & white folks, is it?]

As the site has grown, as well as the topic of interracial dating, we have felt the need to expand our content to discuss issues of white and black culture, race, and even celebrity news.

In Jill Scott’s case, you get all of the above!

We used to think that any attention to the subject of interracial dating was a good thing. But, Jill Scott dispelled that theory with one fell swoop.

For black women, there are internal mechanisms within themselves and their culture that prevent them from pursuing interracial relationships. Part of our work here on Interracial Love Magazine is to overcome these barriers. [what are the internal mechanisms within black women? name them specifically. can’t it be argued that those mechanisms are directly related to larger societal conditions/ norms that impact all ppl within US society, not just mechanisms within the culture of US black women only? if the primary writer of this blog is a white man and the writer of this post is that same white man, why is it his job to overcome barriers that aren’t his, unless those barriers serve specifically to keep him from dating black women? this implies that black women need saving from themselves. no good.]

In our view, nothing defies the social stigma of racism, prejudice, discrimination, oppression, and hate than interracial union. Jill Scott’s impulse to “wince” when she discovers her friend has a white wife defies this principle. [how so? maybe racism, prejudice, discrimination, oppression and hate are present in her life as a black woman in this world. this suggests a “sweep it under the rug” stance.  or, “it’s not a problem for me (white cis man in the US), so why/ how is it a problem for you?” not okay. how is this helping anyone, again, except the writer?]

In her article from Essence Magazine, she goes on to give a graphic account on the treatment of black people and how the white woman was revered and regarded in American society. She also mentions how black men and women stood together and shared a common struggle. This is true. And it’s important that we remember this part of American history. It should never be forgotten. [forgotten? possibly. depends on whose history you’re telling/ reading. often ignored & dismissed as an antiquated stance that has not evolved to conceal itself or withstood a shift in larger social consciousness? absolutely.]

“If a Black man even looked at a White woman, he would have been lynched, beaten, jailed or shot to death” – Jill Scott

Fortunately, since the days of slavery, and the beginning of what would be the Jim Crow era, things have changed in this country.

We are surrounded with many examples of interracial relationships connected to iconic beauty within white culture like Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush… and Heidi Klum and Seal… just to point out a couple of the more recognized celebrities. [now, look. things have changed. but i don’t know how much they’ve changed w/ the very obvious lynching threats of the jena 6, and the noose found in the library (among other assorted madness) at UCSD this past february.  with these things — and what i imagine to be more incidents of racist fuckery, subtle as well as obvious — meeting black folks all over on the regular i can’t say that things have changed so much. i really can’t.]

Neither Seal nor Reggie Bush look fearful of retribution for their involvement with their white partners, do they? Do you think they look over their shoulder and wonder if a lyching [sic] rope (innit called a noose? shouldn’t you just call it that?) has been tied around the closest tree for them? …Please…  [reggie bush and seal, first off, have the luxury of being able to hire people to protect them from threats for being involved w/ non-black women. they have the luxury of having people read their mail for them, so they may never see any threats against them or their partners.  furthermore, reggie and kim k have breakup rumors swirling around them like flies around shit. why use them as an example at all? oh. wait.  nothing in your statement of intent says that your blog supports healthy relationships btwn black women and white men. never fucking mind.  (the argument that the person behind the twitter account said the kim & reggie example was used ‘for familiarity.’ plausible, but unwise in my opinion.  celebrities are usually not more familiar to us than people we actually engage with on the regular. are they? i mean, wait, does that mean i’m BFFs with erykah badu cuz i play her music a whole lot?)  also: that “…Please…” implies that jill’s calling to mind the jim crow era is exaggerated, or otherwise wrong. if that’s where her mind goes when she thinks of black men and white women, so be it. don’t be so dismissive.]

Also, Ms. Scott says: “Most of us end up doing this important work alone, with no fathers or like representatives, limited financial support (often court-enforced) and, on top of everything else, an empty bed. It’s frustrating and it hurts!”

I’m not quite sure what the message is here, do you? [aside from the grammatical error in this question: ask jill. or ask the essence editors. i’m sure someone will get back to you.  essence magazine has a great track record of engaging ppl in all kinds of discussion. for real.  also: this quote speaks to something that a white hetero man could never understand, because he’s never experienced it. the treatment of black folk as a monolith has fucked up repercussions. & i’ll leave it at that. but don’t start popping shit about something you’ve never experienced.  you don’t know what the message is because it really, really, really isn’t for you.  this is what privilege does: it lets you think everything is for or about you, even if/ when someone says ‘this isn’t for or about you.’]

If you read the statement, it implies that black men are shirking their paternal and financial responsibilities to their offspring and will only comply based on a judge’s order. Is that the case?  [in the context of the piece, it could definitely be suggested that she feels this way. again: ask. & ask some black men you know.]

If we said that here, every African-American reader would be leaving sharp biting comments to the effect we were “generalizing” or “miscategorizing” or “marketing negative stereotypes.” [you have no way of knowing what all of your black readership would say/ do.  but it’s quite possible that someone would take you to task for suggesting this. absolutely. the messenger, for some folks, has a lot to do w/ how the message is received.]

Yet, Jill Scott is free to slander black men at will. Is anyone offended here? Is she…”entitled?” [funny that entitlement would be mentioned here.  cuz you’re talking about something that wasn’t even pointed at you in the first place. i’m just saying, remember that you’re likely coming at this from a place of relative privilege. white privilege. male privilege. hetero privilege. cisgender privilege. mind your manners.]

It also suggests that the black woman feels abandoned and should be worthy of our concern and sympathy. [any human being is worthy of concern and sympathy, if you roll like that. i most certainly do.  and maybe some black women do feel abandoned! it’s valid if they’ve been abandoned, or told something along the lines of ‘you aren’t worthy of love’?  don’t you think? also, if you think that jill scott’s words paint black women as a group in need of rescue then kindly remove that fucked up and condescending tone from your line about the “internal mechanisms” of black women and our culture. again, mind your manners.]

We all are saddened by the plight and struggle of single mothers. [i don’t look at single parenthood as a pitiable plight. the writer of this blog post should speak for themselves. and i feel a “but…” coming on!]

But, that’s not Jill Scott’s agenda. Her goal is to “strike a nerve” among black men. [THERE’S THE “BUT”! where did she say that? if the writer of this post and i are reading the same piece, i sure as shit don’t see that. she said there’s a sting that has yet to stop burning.  & it’s true. because it ties into the idea that black women are not worthy of love. because emancipation was legal only, and did not make it so we received love and care. it did not stop the rapes, the mistreatment, the brutality, the distorted images.]

The reality is that black men have chosen to date outside their race for quite a while now. Black women could learn something from their male counterparts in this aspect. [shut the fuck up. black women could also benefit from an analysis of our situations as individual. especially when jill’s talking about us. to us. about black men. everyone isn’t dating the person they’re dating for the same reason. because we’re not a monolith. jill’s speaking from personal experience and possibly from conversations w/ other black women. you, if you are indeed the white man who’s primary writer of this blog, are speaking from what exactly? oh. your own personal experience? like i thought. back that train on up and remember that black women don’t owe an opening of their hearts to white men. the social stigma alone, which still exists ON ALL SIDES is a motherfucker.  nobody can undo years of conditioning by reading a blog post, or even through intense dialogue. leave individuals to their individual choices.]

Look, the bottom line is that black men do not owe anyone an explanation. Even Jill Scott. They are free to date anyone and any race of their choice. The same tactic is used on black women every day in blogs and social media to target them for “hating on their own race” or “emasculating their black men.” [that’s another generalization on the writer’s part. and what does “even jill scott” mean? did she say she wanted an explanation? does this writer know something that i don’t? what does an explanation have to do with the targeting of black women for emasculating black men? especially on twitter or facebook? this is not clear to me as a reader. honestly.]

Why is it that writers / bloggers are so selective and precise in their descriptions? [because they wanna be? creative license?]

Listen to how she delivers her “anonymous friend” to you in her piece: “handsome, African-American, intelligent and seemingly wealthy…”

Could you assume that if the gentleman that Jill Scott referred to in her article was some hardened thug, this article would have never been written?[it could be assumed. but if she was asked to write about interracial dating — black men w/ white women in particular — and the anonymous friend wasn’t part of a particular class standing, would the piece mean any less to certain folks? maybe. maybe not. we don’t know, cuz that isn’t what was published.]

In Summary

With Jill Scott’s influence and celebrity status in the black community, she could have set an enormous example by electing to throw her support behind equality, mutual respect and hope between black and white people in this country. [the path to mutual respect and equality begin and end w/ individuals. and i’m sorry, but why put that on her? and why this treatment of black women as a monolith who’ll listen to one person or go to one place for enlightenment? did jill say she hates white ppl? did she say any of that? i really don’t think that’s what was published… ]

Instead she added more confusion and dissention to an already complex issue. [dissent. not dissention. also: dissent implies that everyone was of one accord to begin with. probably not true. no group of people is a monolith.]

This is a blog. The advantage of a blog over a static website is that you have the opportunity to make a permanent impact with others simply by commenting on the articles here on Interracial Love Magazine. This is an important article. Leave your comments below.

Interracial Love Magazine is a monster on Twitter. We are very active and just as controversial. Follow us on Twitter here @Interracial_Mag.

Think about it. Want to be a leader? Follow Interracial Love Magazine.

**

my summary: jill scott isn’t the key to unlocking the imaginary ‘coloreds only’ chastity belts being worn by hetero black women in the states.  don’t put any of this on her. also: privilege is a motherfucker. i am choosing not to go into further discussion of this site, especially not its questionable (to me) sponsorship or overall tone of racial fetishizing, which slapped me in the face from the first time i clicked the link from twitter.

couldn’t have said it better myself!

my big sister omi just laid it allllllll the way out in this blog post.  (i’ve italicized it for clarity between it and my own words.)

12.12.2009
an exercise in restraint
i’ve done a bit of meeting and greeting lately. feels good. i am grateful for the confidence and clarity it’s brought. plus, i haven’t done deep visualization in a long time, so it’s been catalyzing.

it’s also reminded me how impatient i can be in the “will he/won’t he call” stage.

typically, i don’t mind doing a little legwork if i think the guy’s worth it. if you want something, go get it, right?

since i’m nearly always operating from my intuitive, heart-self and not my head, i often see and am attracted to said potential. therefore, my natural inclination is to give them what they need without deep regard as to whether or not they are able to return the favor. i always get the basic, “decent guy” packaging, so they are at least willing to try to reciprocate.

unfortunately, where i can get ocean-deep, they often flounder. and that’s when things fall apart. so i’ve decided it’s probably better to step back and let them show themselves first.

now more than ever, i am totally focused on cultivating intentionality in my relationships–even in the beginning stages.

love can come and will be reciprocated as applicable. i’m open to that. and i’m still gonna get mine when i want it. however, there will be no commitment without real, tangible outcomes, and i have no problem stating that very clearly.

you want me? that’s sweet. prove it.

over the last thirteen years, i’ve learned three big lessons: first, there’s a thin line between mysterious, creative depths and the masking of unearthed and unacknowledged pain. second, if i need a crowbar and forceps to approach your psyche, it’s not gonna work. third–and probably most important–a well-rehearsed melange of coping and defense mechanisms is not a personality.

lots of really “nice guys” have all that going. in spades.

so, yeah. i’m ready to hop back on the merry-go-round.

…just understand that i am heavily armed.

this goes, for friends, too. shit.

after much contemplation, i’ve realized:

i’m everything i could ever want in a mate. & i’m not mad at that. not one bit.

i’ll be marrying myselves sometime between my 30th birthday & the day i die. invitations pending, i suppose.

dulled my senses & blurried my sight.

& i used to love HIM . . . meaning god. as a man. because i was raised christian, and therefore any idea of a woman in the bible (from what i was taught in 2 years of christian day school) was never really positive. the first woman mentioned in the bible is eve. and eve instituted the downfall of mankind by eating the apple, etc. i was never taught, in my schooling (or my home discussions, or in church) about positive women in the bible, aside from the virgin mary — who was really just a vehicle for the christ. she was insignificant. she did not matter. and, it was implicit that she did not matter. i’m sure that in some situations, it was plainly stated that since she didn’t ‘save anyone’ that she wasn’t of any import. and mary magdalene was a whore — she couldn’t have possibly been an actual apostle or jesus’ wife. and so on, and so on.

so, being the me i was at 14-18, i had to think twice about all of that. every time i went to church and was told that i should feel the presence of god the father, i would feel numb. i would feel like i wasn’t getting everything i should have from that spirit. if it makes any sense at all to anyone besides me: i felt like i was getting an abridged version of god. like there was more to the whole experience, something people weren’t talking about or even thinking of in their own ruminations on the creator.

so, i strayed from that path i’d been told to follow. i went to a quaker school, participated in a guided meditation group (complete w/ chakra cleansing!) led by a former nun who worked as a teacher at my school, and read about religions that were not anything like christianity. i wasn’t particularly moved, but definitely intrigued. and i noted that i only felt connected to any higher power when singing or surrounded by music — secular or religious. i was concerned. because of the teachings i’d had as a little kid, i thought something was wrong with me. that something was broken. that god could not reach me because i was not right or pure.

per anyone i’d ask, or any research i’d done (by reviewing sermons) the alternative to feeling the way i did was throwing myself fully into a faith practice that never felt 100% right. that didn’t make sense to me, either. so, i drifted.

and then i read it: i found god in myself/ & i loved her/ i loved her fiercely

it meant everything all of a sudden. it meant freedom. it meant i needed to learn about oshun, i needed to research ishtar, and that maybe lilith wasn’t just the name of some music fair.

& then i learned that god isn’t male or female, necessarily. something a christian minister once told me was that the god of your own understanding is the god you serve. purely. truthfully. honestly.

& through orisha worship, through ancestor reverence, through living my life in a way that makes me feel full and right?

i saw the divine. she, the divine feminine. he, the father. the holy spirit. i touched it. it filled me up. i saw the balance, i saw both sides.

(this is likely going to be fleshed out later, to tie back into the title. but gimme some time, my laptop ain’t shit and i’m moving!)

full moon gratitude

i’m in a very serious state of flux right now, and struggling to remain focused on my silver linings. this is an attempt to count the things that are present in my life.

transformation
cheerleaders
jarritos sodas
quorn turk’y loaf
serendipitous mercury retrograde happenings
food items properly smothered in bbq sauce
gold eye shadow
bronzer
bacon
water
honey
killa (word to la voz latina)
fertile ground
quirky black girls
west philly

full moon gratitude.

new beginnings
silence
willful isolation
sundresses
florida water
abundant change
random phonecalls
cumin
onion powder
babies
chosen family
pink dresses
libraries
vinegar
bloggity goodness
raspberry sorbet
cheap wine
pink eye shadow

continually, i sit at the seat of bliss.

self love. self preservation.

there is no way on earth i’ll ever go back to letting someone else tell me how to love myself.

there are examples that we give one another. how to love strong. how to love from within first, so that the outside parts match the inside. so that i may tell new people in my life precisely how i receive and give love. it’s important. it’s valuable. it’s not a trifle. i think that it’s apparent to most of us, what happens when we aren’t protecting/ preserving/ healing/ caring for ourselves. it’s ridiculous to me, at this point in my life, to act like i don’t. when i neglect myself, i become reckless. that is not healthy. recklessness can mean anything for anyone, but i presume it’s usually characterized by destructive behaviors & an unwillingness to slow the fuck down. but i can only speculate on what it’s like for anyone but myself.
but like i said, other folks can’t tell me how.
cuz this is my shit.
& in that space of loving oneself, there is that awakening of the fiercest instinct to protect oneself. to be honest with yourself because there’s no space or time for lies & bullshit, no willingness to allow farces to be the order of the day. we remove the mask. we, little by little, get back to our inner children & allow them to kind of run the show. not the inner child who couldn’t drive or cook a meal. but the inner child who used to snap out if mommy passed us to the wrong person. that person is the one who, through lots of anti self-love programming (that’s what i call it), learned to hide. polite & respectful are not the same. politeness smacks of fakeness. respectfulness implies an allegiance to one’s whole & full self. (for example: no apologies. respectfully disagreeing & agreeing to do so without name calling, taunting, or other shenanigans.)
preserving your core. looking out for your star motherfucking player, like katt williams said. making sure you have yourself to get around with, like the lady in green. acts of self love are likely to keep you from needing to be rescued.
it’s a thought. you don’t have to believe it yourself. but i know i do. nothing feels quite like me, to me.

dear young strappin’:

it’s over. it’s been over. i liked you, a lot, for a long time. you are tall, dark, handsome, you have a strong back & you’re pretty damn smart.  we had some good times, you know?  late night pancakes, the time you lifted me over your head, the time you drove from new england in the rain just to see me for my birthday . . . & the sex was great. it was. i really enjoyed you.  you seemed to really enjoy me.  you were the perfect casual sex partner. conversation was good enough. you weren’t old enough to drink legally when we me but initially, that gap in age really didn’t mean a whole lot to me. because i wanted some no-strings-attached fun.  you provided that.  i was so grateful, especially that night you came out in a snowstorm just to look at me . . .

but then you got comfortable. i’m not saying i didn’t get comfortable as well, but damn.  you knew i had a kind heart & a soft spot for broke college kids & their elderly grannies. so, i let some shit slide that i wouldn’t have. it was the usual: i allowed my understanding of your situation become an excuse for allowing dumb shit. that’s not okay under any circumstances.  it implied that you were not responsible, on some level, for yourself.  you needed gloves and a hat for late season football practice and i broke my neck to get them to you. you still have them 5 years later (presumably a testament to how appreciative you were and most likely still are, no doubt), but the first time sets the precedent.   cuz my dumb ass shoved $50 in one of the gloves as a show of kindness, affection, and “you know this pussy will be waiting for you when you come home” type feelings. oh, how foolish i was! because you were gonna come get it anyway — the culture shock of all those beckies in one place was too much for you that first semester. you had to get used to your surroundings before attempting to fall off in the sorority houses, etc. & you didn’t like me nearly as much as you were fascinated and intrigued by me. the feeling was mutual, as much as we both sought to hide it.

and i carried a torch of sorts. you were that bridge between the rapper and whatever was next. i said good night to him & met you not even 5 minutes later. you served a purpose and represented something. i don’t resent or regret one moment of the time we spent together. i really did enjoy it for what it was. but things started to shift.  there was the time you took a call from another woman in my presence and told her the same shit you always used to tell me: you were hanging w/ your boys.  that didn’t sit well with me. because you were fucking me, but sleeping in her house. you were lying to both of us in some way. & since i’d taken the time to make our interactions about forthrightness (as much as possible), i was insulted. you asked me not to take that shit personally, but it’s kinda hard when you’re fucking someone and they’re complicating a relatively simple situation with half-truths.   but i stuck it out, cuz i figured you were young & didn’t know any better.  i presumed that you really didn’t know how to articulate your needs in a way that was comfortable for you. & though that was probably the case, i had no idea.  i tried to anticipate you. i tried to meet you three-fourths of the way because it made me feel like i was doing the right thing.  oh, young strappin’, what a fool i was.

when i moved to my new apartment in north philly, you had my back! you helped me move some stuff in.  you helped me hang curtains.  you fucked me on my new bed & scared the living shit out of my then-roommate’s piece of trash boyfriend. i appreciated you even more.  we were still functioning in that same fuck buddy space, but there was a new element. you could easily use my space as an overnight crash spot. i was okay with that. you distracted me from my situation with someone whom i’d met in the interim. you were competition for the dope boy over on jefferson street.  you gave me status, so to speak, when i was still learning that another person’s attraction to/ desire for me had nothing to do with the number of admirers i had.  oh, young strappin’, the things i’ve learned!

by the time i was settled into my routine and apartment in west philly, some things had changed. i was studying the yoruba tradition almost exclusively and contemplating taking the steps toward initiation.  i had cut my locks and gotten a tattoo.  i was beginning to explore my craftiness, my activism, and my sexuality in new ways.  i had new friends, i was finding community, and loving myself more.  that evolution marked the beginning of the end of our thing, this long & somewhat drawn out series of encounters that really should have been meeting over coffee or a random phone convo. but, when folks genitals are involved, it’s not always like that.

now, it’s been five years. we’ve both had some major changes in our lives. tats, piercings, haircuts, passing fancies, deaths in the family, graduations, trips abroad, championships . . . if i’d had to guess, i never would have imagined my relationship to you would be impactful.  i never would have thought that you’d be the only person i’d fucked in this bed. in this third, bigger, more expensive apartment.  & i would have never, ever, ever imagined that we wouldn’t be at least friendly any longer. i don’t know how that even happened. our last encounter wasn’t even good. i was in a new headspace then.  it was one of self affirmation, of self love, of making sure i was getting what i needed/ wanted out of every situation i entered.  & you couldn’t give me what i needed. it just wasn’t the right situation for me anymore.  & it still is not.  your stresses about the health & well being of your grandmother and younger siblings had you distracted. you really needed someone who was more open to soothing you. that wasn’t me at that point. & it quite possibly isn’t me now. i’m sorry we couldn’t do more for each other, yet thankful that it was what it was. 

so, i’ll keep your number and you’ll keep mine.  maybe we’ll cross paths somewhere in the city.  maybe i’ll reactivate my facebook account and send you a message one day, and we can do drinks or pancakes. we can catch up. you can show me your girlfriend or wife, your kids, your goddaughter . . . whatever. but, for right now i’m not answering any late night text messages. nobody wants to just say hi to me at 1:34 in the morning.  i’m not wasting my time responding to anything that isn’t an emergency.  so, i pray you’re safe. i hope you’ve found your dream job.  i wish you nothing but the best & brightest.  heaven knows you deserve it. you should be blessed infitely for your hard work. love & happiness are your birthright.

indulgence.

lately, i feel like giving into my inner child as much as possible.  she wants to dress up, she wants to play with new kids, she wants to dance and sing and eat whatever she wants to. she wants cake at 3 in the morning. she wants fun, and music, and a trail of butterflies to follow her everywhere she goes.

and dammit, i am determined to make it happen for her. she deserves it. i owe it to her.  she deserves to live without fear, she deserves to live without being bullied, without feeling like she isn’t free to be herself.  

i don’t think anybody ever told me that it’s okay to acknowledge my inner child.  i don’t think anyone ever said to me, “sparkle, the inner child is the purest version of you,” so that i’d embrace her. my inner little girl is attention-starved, a bit expression-deprived, and still trying to make sense of the chaos that one day swallowed her up.  i suppose that reaching that far into my personal herstory is the one thing missing from my process. i know what damaged me three years ago, six months ago, two days ago. but the first break is foreign to me.  

the little girl wants to delve. she wants to hold this grown woman’s hand and take that walk down that slope, through that valley, around that bend and follow that creek to the source. the pool of water where i swam before entering this realm will hold everything. the reflections, the things i cast off in an attempt to forget me.

i must indulge her, i must indulge me. for the sake of my own journey.

the plight of the fucking year:

how am i gonna be loved and sustained when everyone’s either trying to fuck me because it’s cute, or make me their healer?
i am fetishized
i am othered
i am dismissed
i am misunderstood
i am desired, yes
i am sexy, absolutely
but what of it when you’re trying to get me to explain to you what sex with a woman feels/ looks/ smells/ tastes/ sounds like when it’s not about that to begin with?
what of it when you’re whispering behind my back to other women that i “just don’t know what [i] want,” that i’m greedy or confused?
that’s the same thing as telling me i’m being picky while i’m in the middle of an allergic reaction to fish.

fuck.
how do i deal with the isolation that seems to come from being dedicated to being myself?
what do i do when all i want is to be held, and to trust, to kiss & touch & build without being put on stage (or on blast)?

year-end random stuff:

didn’t have any mind blowing sex in 2008. that trend will not follow me into 2009.

made some power moves to reclaim my body. gonna keep at it.

got a nose piercing & love it. one time for body adornment!

remembering that sometimes you have to let ppl think they’re the bigger btwn you two, just to save your sanity.

realizing (again) that silence is no safer than speaking up in most situations.

lost a wallet (don’t i do that every year?)

got a new apartment

almost cursed my mom out for being ignorant, which felt great (i turned it into a no-cuss-word explanation in a calm tone)

made some wonderful new friends

got hooked on twitter

fell all the way in love w/ peach bacardi

stopped believing in the myth of “he’ll catch up to me”

learned that womanism can involve heterosexual men of color

realized that i’m a damn good dancer

took some artfully smutty pics of myself & loved them

took some regularly smutty pics of myself & loved (and shared!) them

accumulated some crushes

had a dream interaction w/ someone very special & gave thanks for it

came to the conclusion that the holiday season is, for me, better suited for reflection & remembrance

vowed to put the activity back into my activism

& most importantly

made a lot of good sangria.

here’s to next year.

things are moving around

more rapidly than i could have requested or imagined

& i’m going along with the change, instead of fighting it tooth & nail
because this is what i asked for.

here i am, on the edge of bliss.

some words on the winter solstice.

This Is a Unique Solstice
by Patricia Diane Cota-Robles

The Winter Solstice is considered one of the most powerful times of the year by many cultures around the world. In the Northern Hemisphere this celestial event usually occurs on December 21st. The timing of the solstice this year will be Sunday, December 21, at 7:04 a.m. EST, 4:04 a.m. PST, or 12:04 p.m. Universal Time.

The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, and it heralds the initial impulse of the annual return of the Sun, the Light, to the Earth. This year the spiritual effects of the solstice will be more powerful than ever before. This is due to the incredible influx of Light that is pouring into the planet through the heartfelt pleas of people everywhere.

Humanity is experiencing the most intensified purging of the economic system, and the various other social structures that do not operate with a consciousness of the highest good for all concerned, that we have ever endured. This is a necessary cleansing that is paving the way for the physical manifestation of the patterns of perfection for the New Earth. The difficult part of this process is that the masses of Humanity do not see the bigger picture. Millions of people see only the painful situations that are happening in their lives. As a result of this limited perception, they feel overwhelmed and hopeless. This is very hard to observe, but it is not all bad.

After our fall from Grace aeons ago, we became so numb to the discord in our lives that we just muddled through our Earthly experiences accepting mediocrity as a natural state of being. We fell into the terrible habit of using pain as our motivator. Unless we were writhing in agony, we did not feel that it would help to take action or to ask for assistance from our Father-Mother God. For millions of people on Earth, prayer and an invocation for Light from our God Parents occurs only when they are brought to their knees by their life situations. This is exactly what is happening at this time for millions of people all over the world.

The Company of Heaven is revealing to us now that more people than ever before are reaching a critical moment in their life experiences. Consequently, millions of people are asking God for Divine Intervention. Many of them are praying for the very first time. This powerful event, in unison with the millions of Lightworkers who daily invoke the Light of God, has created the greatest influx of Light the Earth has ever experienced during a Winter Solstice. This Heavenly assistance will greatly empower the patterns of perfection for the New Earth, and it will accelerate our individual hopes and dreams by leaps and bounds.

Beginning now, and continuing for the next 72 hours, focus intently on the vision of what you want to manifest in your life and the lives of your loved ones. Focus on your visions for the New Earth and the harmony and balance you wish for all Humanity. This is a rare opportunity, and we are being called to action by our God Selves—our I AM Presence—and the Company of Heaven. Be sure your visions and your intentions always reflect our Oneness and the Reverence of ALL Life.

This event will pave the way for a God Victorious New Year. 2009 is going to be a year of miraculous changes. These changes have been in the works for quite some time, and now we are going to experience them tangibly in the world of form. These changes will not happen by chance. They will occur through the unified efforts of Lightworkers all over the world and the Company of Heaven.

I know there are a lot of dire predictions regarding the global economy and the challenges Humanity is going through, but we are not the victims of circumstance. We are the cocreators of our Earthly experiences. If we do not like the way things are going in our lives, we have the ability to change our circumstances. This is what we have been preparing for aeons to accomplish—and now is the time.

As the Hopi prophecy states: “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”

2009 numerically is an 11 year. Eleven is the master number that reflects the transformation of the physical into the Divine. The archetypes for the patterns of perfection for the New Earth were securely anchored into the physical plane in August 2008. In 2009, through our creative faculties of thought and feeling, we will expand these patterns into our daily experiences.

The purging and cleansing of the obsolete behavior patterns that have caused the maladies existing in Humanity’s lives will continue. But the wonderful news is, as these old archetypes crumble away, the expansion of the patterns of perfection for the New Earth will begin to manifest in ways that will bring joy, fulfillment and great expectations into the hearts and minds of people everywhere.

There is a new sense of hope flooding through the hearts of people around the world. Humanity’s hope is magnetizing Legions of Light from the Realms of Perfection into the atmosphere of Earth in ways we have never experienced. The Divine Intent of these Messengers of God is to assist Humanity to move quickly through the cleansing process so that the bliss of the New Earth will manifest in the twinkling of an eye.

2009 is going to be whatever we cocreate together. Do not let this opportunity pass you by.

i’ve been journaling a bit.

so i’m kind of on blog hiatus.

getting back into crochet, maybe so i can do something other than scarves. (word to butta.fly wears, i may finally learn to make a crown!)

working on other stuff that will allow a pared down version of that imaginary resignation letter to stand as an official, all-the-way-live kiss off.

relaunched the bliss project, & damn happy about it.

basically lining the ducks up so that when i go into winter, i’m free to really work with my own rhythms.

i’m right where i need to be.

i don’t like people.

that is, i love people.
i do.
i love friends & family, twitter ppl, blog commenters, strangers on the bus . . . I LOVE PEOPLE.

but when it comes to personal space?
i like my space
to be my space. exclusively.

all me
all the time.
yes, i’m broke cuz i’m paying bills & working for a pittance.
but i’m in here BY MYSELF.
woo
i love space
i love walking around in various states of undress
i love listening to whatever music i want, at whatever volumes i want, with the same song on repeat for hours if i want to
& i can look at pictures of yul brenner’s penis if i wanna
shit.

this post has been brought to you by procrastination, thanksgiving mayhem, & that dastardly bfp.

moving forward with thanks.

i know that i am in a position of privilege. i have a job that i can choose to quit in order to pursue my dreams; i have the time to dedicate my energy to those dreams & map out a way to make them happen. i am privileged, even by comparison to my mother and many of my peers. even when i’m so flat broke that all i can do is pray that i can stay afloat until payday, i am still privileged & living a blessed life. because people sacrificed, people died, people worked so that i wouldn’t have to put myself through more shit to earn less.

i am thankful. i can’t articulate it all. i don’t even have full knowledge of all of the things that add up to my being here, afloat, & capable. there are ancestors, there are strangers, there are secret acts of support by people who know me . . . in short, my life is a blessing. i’m grateful. i know for a fact that i could be a lot worse off (that’s all relative to my own life experiences), but i’m not! i’m here. i’m blessed.

i give thanks for so much, so often. anyone who reads this blog or talks to me with any regularity knows that giving thanks is just the norm for me. even in my blind rage or worry, i seem to find at least one thing (big or small) to be thankful for. so, every thanksgiving when people give their lists of what they are thankful for, i have to ask: what is it about all this food & family drama that pushes you to a point where you feel comfortable giving thanks? is there not something to be thankful for every day? or, are you so caught up in the day-to-day bullshit that is your life that a pause is necessary in order for you to examine gratitude?

whatever it is, i want folks to remember that each day we are here we can give thanks, and should give thanks. venerate your ancestors, if you’d like. hug your mom every chance you get. reminisce with siblings, cousins, aunts & uncles. call your best friend & say “you’re an asshole sometimes, but i’m SO glad you’re my friend.” do something. be thankful, don’t just say you are.

the celebration of thanksgiving is actually based on a celebration by early colonizers who celebrated the slaughter of pequot men, women & children in what’s now called new england. all this talk of popcorn and cranberries and fun and love is a crock of bullshit. that doesn’t mean that we can’t be thankful. that means that we need to share truth with one another and inform honestly what the roots of thanksgiving are. we need to move past the lies & bullshit, the misinformation & passing on of untruths. (i strongly recommend that, if you don’t already know, you click the links i just put up.) who wants to live a lie? haven’t you, if you had the santa thing, ever wished that your folks had just told the truth from the beginning? lying to kids because they’re kids isn’t any different than lying to adults. it’s still stupid and a waste of time. yes, it’s a good idea to find a way to express truth in ways that meet someone on their comprehension level. but, be for real: simplifying the truth and flat out lying with glittery distractions are not the same thing.

so, be thankful. say yes to gratitude. appreciate the beauty & purity of the good things bestowed upon you, the things you’ve drawn to yourself. growing toward all of that beauty & wonder does open you up to the polar opposite. no, baby, you cannot escape the potential of hurt, pain, anguish and ugliness. it’s the balance of the universe.

i choose it willingly, thankfully, becoming more grateful with each step.

i feel like i have to protect what’s mine

the sanity
the peace
the sanctuary
everything.

i’m less open to the bullshit. every day, my tolerance is less.
that does not bode well for the following:
assholes
abusers
know-it-all judgmental dickheads
haters
naysayers
& general ne’er-do-wells.

i won’t be laying with you, cosigning your shit, sitting idly by while you wreak havoc on the rest of humanity, or running interference for you.
your time is quickly drawing to a close.
i hope you got all your jabs in, because it’s just about over.
tip your bartender.

he had a wife. & a girlfriend.

me.

well, they weren’t legally wed, as far as i knew. but they had a baby on the way. they shared a lease. that was enough for me. i’m the product of a roaming dick of a father, and as such i’ve always felt like i had to respect others’ exclusivity, even if they didn’t. because that meant i respected myself. i prided myself on holding myself above and beyond all of that talk show shit. he said he did, too. but that began to unravel before long. he looked at me too longingly, was too quick to ask me out for drinks after work. he was entirely too quick, with the baby due any day, to ask me flat out, “when’s the last time you had some good dick, girl?” i felt like it had to be the booze talking, we had been hanging out in a group setting, and he offered to drive me home clear on the opposite side of the city from where he lived, and we did decide to go cut a rug, and we both worked crazy ass hours, so why not take some time to ourselves to blow off steam? he’d just had too much to drink, and i needed a ride home . . . it was late. taking the bus home in january in philly . . . i wasn’t really dressed for night time temperatures, just my work clothes . . .
but i knew he was wrong. he was wrong. he knew better. i knew better. at the time, i was a believer that anyone with 3 years of age on me and the vast life experience he had should have behaved like the mature one. above all, i felt like i had to remind him that he still had something/ someone to go home to. he had a reason not to be out with me at 3 in the morning, and it wasn’t either of our obligations to work the next day. there was a baby that they had already named and prepared for. it was her possible entry into active labor. and what did i do?

nothing. let it progress. because i wanted, very badly, to feel admired. i am a sensation junkie. he stimulated my mind more than anything else, did a damn good job of it. most importantly, he represented an impossibly pleasant distraction (oh, the text messages, the myspace wall posts, the crazy ass emails!) from the madness surrounding me. at work. transitioning from my mom’s (probably for the last time) to cohabitation with a girlfriend of mine. drama at work. there was so much to process, so much to ignore . . . the endless drinks (and nutritionally deficient “meals” at the bar) impeded the flood of madness that threatened to drown me. i had to move out of the old apartment in north philly and high-tail it to the land of trolleys and ethiopian restaurants. i was having what some may call a spiritual awakening in regard to my study of the yoruba faith. i was learning, growing, changing . . . and still shaking off the vestiges of old beliefs about myself. i don’t say this to say that i didn’t know what i was doing. i knew, but had no way of gaging the impact on myself. getting to know him was getting old, fast. but i wasn’t quite finished. i have this thing where i always have to double and triple check even when i know i’m right in the first place (conversely, i never double-check the possible missteps or bad fucking ideas). so as i double checked and triple checked, it got uglier. things deteriorated.

i learned the hard way that a mutual friend (trust, i now use that phrase lightly) took my confidence in her and turned it into something it wasn’t. all of a sudden i, the fiercely independent, perpetually single one was that bitch. hungry, needy, trying to get in anywhere i could for the sake of validation. it was a play upon fears and a major exaggeration of words that, in context, were more consistent with my real self than this skewed portrait she’d painted of me. at the time i wasn’t even aware of the weight of it. but i became more clear on it after a while. a bunch of shit she was into, which is completely inconsequential to me at this point, had her acting like she had zero home training.
but, back to me. cuz this is my blog & it’s about me.
i was in the early stages of picking the whole mess apart. i didn’t wanna fuck him anymore. the one time we messed around left me feeling like anything further would be less than satisfying to me. i had already moved into my new place. i didn’t need to vent to anyone anymore about the bobby & whitney ass shit my roommate was into. i didn’t need him for the distraction anymore. just as i was figuring out exactly what purpose he served in my life, we had this mindblowingly unilateral conversation (i let it be that way, i know when to shut my mouth) & that was that, for the most part. some other shit popped off months down the line that is not even worthy of note here.
years removed, i’ve gained a lot of clarity. i’ve lost contact w/ most of the folks associated with that mess. and i rather enjoy the distance. i have no regrets. i know now: the first time should be the last when it comes to being offended. you can’t trust anyone who’s afraid of the hair that grows out of her own scalp (at least, i can’t). if he’s dumb enough to bring you up in his house after the fact, you need to make that the last interaction. follow your gut instinct; call a spade a spade.
above all: no matter what they say or do, they are only human & therefore no more important or special or favored or loved by the most high than you are.

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