Tag Archives: life

“Jesus, she’s my mother.”

I’ve been looking for God again. My sisters keep asking me to pray for them and my mother says the two of us should be praying together, holding hands at night and speaking assuredly to what we know is there; really what she knows is there that I no longer seem to be able to find. When I was a kid I remember the eldest of my sisters believed my prayers always went to the front of the line. Now in the wake of disconnect my other sister is convinced much of our progress is spent on my unbelief. I’m just exploring ways to curl my dreadlocks.

FullSizeRender.jpeg

Today is Mother’s Day and for most of my adult life I have resolved that I am merely living off the words my mother speaks to God, a principle that has not yet lost credence with me. I often wonder where this view comes from. Whether I paid myself in wishes to think that the one who has loved me most consistently can somehow save me from this world. That her knowing when I was a child what to feed me so I would grow, where to nurse me so I would heal, what to tell me so I would believe—that all of this made her super, extraordinary, so much bigger than the world she fought to keep at bay. But the sad and slow approach of circumstance and choice exposed her mortality. And so I came to the edge of the earth where my mother is only human. I think this is where it all began, the point at which she was no longer the closest thing Jesus had to an equal. Blood and water flesh and bone fighting her own demons, crying to the tune of lamentation and so unsure of this life, although hopeful it will ultimately be good. So determined to be here when brighter meets the day. It has taken me much of my adult life to accept her humanness, to know that she too cries in her lonely hours. That I have the power to break her spirit and her heart though she has refused the thought that either will ever be reason enough to unlove me. For all the power she surrendered to love so unconditionally those she has sacrificed for, I wonder why she is blind to mounting regret.

FullSizeRender-1.jpeg

For my mother, I wish you the better half of joy and an easier life ahead. I will never be you because we were never meant to be the same people, but I hope what good I am capable of (that I live long enough to realize) you can see yourself in. I also don’t ever want to love like you love because I’m not sure I can endure the heartache of being mistreated as you have been by us all. I hope you keep praying because for now, yours are the only prayers that are said where we dwell.

IMG_0066.jpeg

As for my unbelief. Well.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

.

I wanna go home.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Body Smile

Now that you know
You were better than I was ready for
It’s not like before, no
Tonight I’m making up for it all
For every time I let you cry
I will make your whole body smile

Timing’s a funny thing. We get it wrong and the encounter—the words, the fumbling, the flavors, the weather—the whole exchange is tragedy written and assembled for lamentation. All this when regret doesn’t offer much of a beat to dance or even stomp to. This song says otherwise, it sings into existence a man who voluntarily offers a parable of his shortcomings and yet goes on to imagine a love that has waited patiently for his decency. I wonder how many people would be persuaded by a dry plea. How many women would find favor with a man of no lyrical capacity, one who has simply and finally grown up but does not possess the ability communicate this so it sounds like candy? That’s the thing about music, the entire story wraps up in under five minutes. Real life is so messy, so horribly maintained. It’s just not as beautiful or as easily mended.

I hope you like the song, I’ve been playing it constantly for the past few weeks since DVSN’s new album dropped. It is quite simply a fantastic euphoria!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Feel Good Drag

Instagram: @she_her_and_them

When I don’t workout at night something happens to me. I manage to reduce my entire existence to bad moments and poor remarks. I see the faces of people I wish I’d never met and I notice the tangible and intangible scarring inflicted on my person. I see my demons a little clearer and the color of their eyes isn’t black like my hair but it’s a color I’ve seen before in people I know—in people I love. It’s like an awkward paranoia that arrests me, I suddenly wonder what side the bullet will come from and whether I’ll recognize the scent of my own demise, or if perhaps I will know instead the sound of God’s gavel.

I yelled at someone tonight. He fucked up and I ended up having to monetarily pay for his fuck-up. It didn’t make me feel better though. I didn’t feel more powerful having admonished him while he stood feebly. I felt wicked as I looked into his sorry eyes and still refused to relent before driving off infuriated. Everything and everyone got in the way today, and by the time life and all its mishaps had finished obstructing my path, not enough time remained for me to go workout and not enough strength was left for me to survive it anyway.

It isn’t so much the physical activity I’m addicted to, it’s the feel good drag. The idea that running nowhere at all is still running. Friendship is fleeting, love is a choice and happiness is a myth. Running—running is real. I get to go beyond the prison walls. Moving away from that which is torturous and consuming for an hour or so where the only pain I feel I have chosen to inflict on myself.

I hate this air, this life that is nothing but a series of humans hurting humans to forget what it’s like to be hurt. This projection of wasted feeling staining the walls of regret. The rough road pickled with menacing nails puncturing tires.

I think God is playing a cruel game and I can’t quite seem to find the edge of the board.

One day.

One fine day.

Leave a comment

Filed under Political Views

President Obama- Thank you.

IMG_5740.jpg

A lot of people seem to forget that Martin Luther King Jr died not only an enemy of the State but also largely unsupported by the black middle class, allegedly because of his stance against Lyndon B Johnson’s Vietnam war. A war several black revolutionaries opposed, including Muhammad Ali. Nelson Mandela was also strongly criticized for not doing enough for black South Africans during his presidency. President Obama continues to face criticism from members of the black community for not being more attentive to black needs. People like Cornel West have gone as far as to call him: “a Rockefeller republican in blackface”. When I look at history, something tells me Obama’s legacy’s gonna be just fine. He had the audacity to believe he could do what was once impossible- and boy did he! I pray God gives him the world he has meant to this one.

1 Comment

Filed under Politics

Another Year: Reflections

gendo.jpg

I wrote this version of me (above) out of my life because she was not strong enough to survive my circumstances. Her nails were too long to write novels and her soul too weak to take rejection. Her hair was chemically relaxed and tangled up in string and synthetic tracks; she was ruining her edges and conforming to the wrong standards of beauty. There is too much make-up on her face hiding her skin. She was struggling to maintain her individuality- her obedient stare exemplary of this. She was so young, so broken and so unsure of who she wanted to be.

1h74br

This girl (above) is not much better, but she is at least sure of who she is not. She is not the girl with the silky, soft flowing hair and she will never comb chemicals through her locs to make them straight. She detests long nails and is strong enough to face rejection because she is desperate enough to chase freedom. She is still insecure but not about her Africanity, not about the texture of her hair or her individuality. She is scared of many things but she’s also a lot stronger. She is still broken, a little older and not convinced the path she has chosen is one that has been paved for her.

IMG_5623.JPG

I don’t know exactly who I am or what I’m becoming but I know I’ve never been a banana. Always plantain. Never white rice, always jollof.

That’s something anyway.

1 Comment

Filed under African Arts

Breakup Blues

1fjqev

My favorite Instagram couple broke up. They were literally #blacklove #couplegoals; cute pictures together on each others profiles; names next to heart emojis in their bios; and endless declarations of love in the comment sections of one another’s posts. It was all perfectly adorable. Well, until it ended. No more pictures. No more I love you, baby’s. No more, never let me go’s. No more you are my forever’s. No more dancing in the dark. No more loving in the light. When I noticed the absence of their affection I felt oddly concerned, like somehow I needed closure too. What happened? Did he cheat? Did she quit? Did she cheat? Did he move? Did they grow apart or stop trying. Are they broken now? Is the damage irreparable? Of course this led me to twitter, where a medley of subliminal messages wrapped in genuine pain found room to nest.

I said forever.
She messed up.
I don’t want to see him with someone else.
I give people way too many chances.

They both seem so hurt, and so tragically in love. I am devastated for them- these strangers I have no business feeling anything for, whose love I seem to have irresponsibly admired.

It made me realize how unwittingly reckless we can be with our hearts. I remember writing subliminal messages two and a half years ago as I second-guessed my decision to end my last relationship. I remember missing our friendship more than anything, and wanting so desperately to cry on his shoulder about our breakup. I remember making a video, writing blog posts and reading self-help books all in effort to heal and let him go. I remember deleting him on Facebook in anticipation of the day his status would change from single to in a relationship. I remember running to 90s R&B breakup tracks, and clutching at my side deceptively as tears welled in my eyes, when really it was my heart that was hurting. We’d been together for years and I fell out of love and I thought I’d be okay. When it came down to it, when the words were said, it suddenly dawned on me that this person was in my system and it didn’t matter how prepared I thought I was, he still rented rooms in my being. I couldn’t see myself marrying him and simultaneously, I didn’t know how to unlove us for the longest time.

Two and a half years on, I don’t miss him, I don’t love him and I want him to be happy. I want him to be loved. I want someone to see him the way I did when we met and I want their narrative to end in promises they intend to keep. Should my favorite Instagram couple not find a way to reconcile, I hope they heal enough to only ever want good things for each other.

Someone asked me a few months ago what type of men I attract, and I said: “I don’t really know”, when I should have said: “all the wrong ones”. The ones that want more than I can give, or the ones that want parts of me I’m not ready to give, or the ones that don’t really want me at all. The ones that still think it’s cool to hurt people’s feelings and keep a count of the number of women they’ve slept with. Anyway, I think love is meant to hurt sometimes. Not so much that it breaks you, just enough that you feel like there’s something to lose. I can’t love right now because I’m not strong enough to overcome the inevitable hurt. The same someone made me realize that a couple months ago and reiterated it again today. So to that someone, at 26, I don’t need to hurt you or play any games. I just want you to be happy. I’m old enough to know that’s all I should really want for you. I’m wise enough to know she might be the one to give it to you.

So I hope you are.

Happy.

Take care.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized