you can’t stop my go!

so, i love mos def’s “casa bey” to pieces. in this clip below, mos breaks down the meaning of the song to him:

& here’s the song itself, probably one of my top 5 mos songs ever.

full moon gratitude.

free concert tickets
mediterranean food
cuties who give great hugs
quality couch time w/ good friends
yuengling lager
old friends
new friends
the healing properties of tears
revolutionary love
free laundry
purple nail polish
gold nail polish
sugar scrub
anti-histamines
& the music of fertile ground.

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.

erzulie.

(cross posted from my tumblr blog)

“Erzulie continues to articulate and embody a memory of slavery, intimacy, and revenge.”–Joan Dayan, “Erzulie: A Women’s History of Haiti” (2005) (via kismetfour)

working with this imagery of erzulie (either freda or dantor), i am inclined to take this quote as a reminder. no matter what happens, yeye will not be silenced or ignored. the premature celebration of some of philly’s residents around the potential disappearance of odunde is not gonna change much. the city’s lack of funds (screw what that article says, they didn’t give the st. patty’s day or mummers’ day parades this much of a hassle) does not mean there will be an erasure of the traditions of black folks. it’s not just about fried fish sandwiches, earrings & performances. odunde started as a procession to the schuylkill river to venerate orisha oshun. to say “modupe-o, yeye” (thank you, sweet mother) & make ebo (sacrifice or offering) to her, followed by a chance to fellowship. for brown faces to join in a setting that was not about a funeral, a trial, or a wedding. & the very second there’s something reminding some folks about where we come from & who we are, there’s a problem.

well, that’s too fucking bad. we may migrate to new neighborhoods & let y’all pretty things up — that’s fine. that’s a blessing to all involved, as each city needs is revenue. but there will be no erasing us. some of us are generations deep in this city.

oshun is the source. she is honey, she is beauty, she is creativity, she is the honey bee, she is the one who sprouts honey, she is the one with ears to hear. oshun is love. there is no stopping the river.

mbe mbe ma yeye (exist, exist always mother)
mbe mbe l’oro (exist, exist always in our tradition)

oshun isn’t going anywhere. we aren’t going anywhere. things may shift and change, but when we leave something behind it’s to get to something better, bigger & greater. this is something the colonizers never understood, something i daresay is still part of modern western consciousness: destroying something in the physical world very rarely means that there’s an end to it in the other realm.

spirit is not to be played with.

fronting: an undoing.

peeling off, peeling out, laying the dumb shit to the side.
seeing myself, wholly, in bright light
not allowing myself to be lost in the crevices between what he says, what she says
slipping through cracks that seem more like caverns
i am no longer willing to be held hostage by image or ego, whether mine or someone else’s
coming undone has never been so dope, and i love how it feels
i have started to embrace la loba within.
and for the first time, in a long time, i don’t feel the overwhelming urge to tattoo or pierce, to cut my hair or get my eyebrows waxed.
i’m fine how i am, where i am
because i’m meant to just do what i do
there’s nothing to stop me
no one to slow me down

the only one in the way of this is me. and i’ve decided to move on over.

be bold, be red: october 30.

mil gracias a nezua for posting this on umx, and reminding me to begin with!

Be Bold Be Red Goes Viral Loco Visual

Beloved Survivors, Warriors, Allies, Activists, Organizers, Artists, Healers, Visionaries, Sisters and Friends,

In October 2007 people all over the United States gathered physically and in spirit to speak out against violence against women of color. Some of us wore red all day and explained that we were reclaiming and reframing our bodies as a challenge to the widespread acceptance of violence against women of color. Some of us wrote powerful essays about why we were wearing red and posted them on the internet. Some of us gathered with bold and like-minded folks and took pictures, shared poetry and expressed solidarity.

This year, on the first anniversary of the Be Bold Be Red Campaign, we invite you to make your bold stance against the violence enacted on women and girls of color in our society visible. In D.C., Chicago, Durham, Atlanta and Detroit women of color will be gathering to renew our commitment to creating a world free from racialized and gendered violence, and this time, we’ll be using a new technology called CyberQuilting to connect all of these gatherings in real time. To learn more about CyberQuilting, which is a women of color led project to stitch movements together using new web technologies and old traditions of love and nurturing, visit www.cyberquilt.wordpress.com.

This letter is an invitation for you and yours to participate in a gathering in your city on Thursday, October 30th that will be webcast to similar gatherings in other cities. We are calling on you because we recognize and appreciate the work that you and the organizations you work with are doing everyday to make this a more loving and less violent world for women and girls in oppressed communities. Please join us on October 30th so that other warriors in this struggle can be strengthened and affirmed by the energy of our collective ferocity!

If you are not located in D.C., Chicago, Durham, Atlanta and Detroit for the webcast, you can still participate by wearing Red on October 30, 2008 and send us your pictures to beboldbered@gmail.com

Also we are asking once again that people wear Red on October 30, 2008 and send us your pictures to beboldbered@gmail.com

As we receive them we will upload your pictures under “Red Pictures Today.”

Also, as well as to share your stories of Red on this website under “Why are you wearing Red on October 30, 2008.”

So, are you ready?!

what irks me the most about western religion

(christianity in particular)

is the idea that we (humans) do not deserve god’s favor. that we should be breaking our necks to ‘do the right thing’ and hope extra hard that it’s enough. i hate the idea that i could be doing everything i’ve been told to, and i could still manage to end up in hell just on the strength that i never deserved god’s favor in the first place. i never felt like that made sense, even as a little girl repeating gospel lyrics or sharing dogma with my classmates in christian school. deep down inside, i never ever ever believed that hell was real. i never understood — if we never deserved god’s favor in the first place, then why would god create humankind so we could scramble around trying to earn said undeserved favor? it made no sense to me, especially when there are constantly examples (fictionalized) of people who everyone thinks of as holy or as ‘good folk’ who end up in hell. i mean, when i was a kid we used to have a play every year at church called heaven or hell, where at the end we found out who got to see god’s face and who didn’t. at least once there was an upset, like someone who was the perfect portrait of holiness . . . but (as we’d be reminded at the time of her demise) played lottery with her tithe money. or something like that. something exaggerated and fucked up. leave it to the evangelicals to frighten you into salvation, right?

so i ignored that side of faith. the ‘please don’t smite me for the minor infractons, PLEASE’ side of it. it felt unnatural, like i wasn’t ever gonna win for all my attempts at holiness & righteousness. (i sense that this realization is that point at which most people become agnostics and/ or atheists, which i totally understand) and i knew i felt a presence (physically felt it) generated by the gathering of the faithful. i could not deny that feeling, that energy, that thread that seemed to tie me to complete strangers in that sanctuary. simply put, it was an overwhelming feeling of love. it’s the same feeling i get at a concert where everyone’s hype to see the performer(s) and the artist gives every bit of that energy back. it’s something that is very hard to explain, yet it’s unmistakable when you experience it. i always recognized that feeling as what people called the holy spirit, which in christianity is the energy/ force/ asé of the almighty.

so, if god can fill a room with her/ his presence, and can be witnessed by/ summoned by humans, how could we not deserve the favor of the very being which becomes most tangible/ palpable by our very doing? i never understood that. how could we not deserve love?

i suppose, though, that if you never really believed that god is love (all the time. that doesn’t change. the verse does not say “god is love on every third tuesday”) then you might see fit to proclaim yourself unworthy.

i never did. i never will. the very idea of it, to me, is preposterous. i don’t say this to suggest that ifá doesn’t encourage its practitioners to work at righteousness or maintaining good character. but, nowhere in any odu does it say anything to suggest that we’re just here to scramble and hope really hard that we make it to heaven. it’s where you go when you die. that’s it. when you take your last breath, your body remains here until decomposition and the part of you that came from orun goes back.

i actually don’t know how i ever could have fathomed anything else.

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