hoping for the best

well, [my march horoscope looked] good.

i suppose we'll see what happens...


it's complicated

someone posted this on facebook yesterday.

overall, it's beautifully written. i think the sentiment is sincere.

but it also assumes a level of choice that many communities of color do not/did not have in the "creolization" of themselves.

in other words, a modern day jewish woman's decision to marry a hindu man--both of you knowing your extended family histories--is a little different than the hows and whys surrounding the reasons native americans/1st nations, black folks, and latin@s exist in a variety of shades and hair textures.

and by a "little" different, i mean a lot.

it's difficult for me to allow the author to explain that away--however poetically--to solidify her child's multi-ethnic identity, even as i agree that, in her family's case, "no such thing as half" is relatively true.

her daughter can be everything at once because it's now.

born 60, 70--even 20 or 30 years ago, depending--she would have been jewish. period.  and her mormon dad probably would have had an awfully hard way to go.

i'm also assuming that, phenotypically, the author, her husband and daughter present as white/european-descended.  how many people--outside of her spiritual spheres--are going to ask her if she's "half" anything?

see how fuzzy that gets? 

what do y'all think when you read this?


kiddie dreams

i've been watching the olympics--as i'm wont to do when they come around--and all these visa (*blink*) commercials about olympians and their childhood dreams got me thinking: did i have those sorts of huge, grandiose thoughts as a little girl?  could they be a window into my purpose now?

obviously, it was nothing as singularly minded as mastering a sport or hobby.

but i did. 

whenever i watched the oscars, i'd practice/envision my acceptance speech.  for best original screenplay.*  

and i was always pretending to be interviewed about stuff.**   i expected that i would be important/cool/___ enough that folks would want to ask me questions about...something.

so...i should be a screenwriting actress who gives fabulous interviews.

i could live with that.

*in other words, when most little girls are probably dreaming about winning best actress, or at least being the star,  i'm sitting there thinking i'm gonna WRITE the best movie.  however, my mother maintains that i used to declare my desire to be an actress.  so maybe it was a little of both. 

**i still do, kinda (don't tell anyone...).  this is probably why i really like formspring.  somebody with that same childhood-based compulsion probably came up with it.


some thursday navel gazing...

lately i feel like a big ball of "i want" and "i need".  i get sick of the whining in my own head.

i'm doing my level best to fulfill as many of those needs for myself as possible. i do pretty well, if i do say so myself.

but it does get tiring.

i often find myself wishing i could be babied a little. have someone else do some small stuff so i can dream a little longer. get hugs on demand.

this is when i realize how isolating the last few years of my life have been. and it makes me wonder if there is anything worth putting that kind of laser-focus on for more than a few months at a time. when i dive into something important, i dive deep, sometimes to the exclusion of many other things.

am i too multi-faceted for that? should i always keep a certain level of stimulation coming from several different angles?

this is not to suggest regret.  i realize that focus created what was--at the time--a safe space.  and i needed to learn those lessons.  but now that i'm past 30, i would never want to spend that length of time on anything without some semblance of a guarantee that  my efforts were going to come to fruition. 

this is also why finding one thing to be "when i grow up" is so difficult...i see too many angles, too many possibilities. even singular things encompass many aspects...

and why do i always go through this shit right before my birthday?!?!

i think too damn much.

that's probably the answer to everything.


i'm a soldier in the army

every now and then, the perfect song comes out and fits right into your life...

i'm a soldier of love.

the first dozen times i listened, as the words started to emerge from the melody, i was captivated. 

i've been torn up inside / i've been left behind / tall i ride / i have the will to survive...pain. loss. memory. the struggle for sanity in the midst of rejection.

when she soars into i am love's soldier, then dips into i wait for the sound...


sade's given us so many gifts...sweet taboos, bulletproof souls...and now she's channeled an anthem for those of us who didn't have a name until now. 

do we really have to wonder why we forgive her for abandoning us for decades at a time?


the rape tunnel

{trigger warning - source material discusses rape in a dismissive, denying manner}

{addendum: apparently, it's a hoax. but the sentiment still stands.}

art should heal.
promote discussion.

of course, art often depicts pain.

sometimes the artist opts for some level of self-harm. not big on that, but they are the purveyor of their domain.

that said, i would maintain that art should not hurt the observer--unless it is in the context of revealing a stark truth or reality in the interest of unpacking, analyzing, and reevaluating said truth for the betterment of the community/society as a whole.

but since when is deliberately setting out to rape someone art?  and what's with the cavalier attitude?
[Sheila Zareno] But rape is way more extreme than [his last project which involved] a punch to the face. Is your intention to ruin people’s lives?

["artist" Richard Whitehurst] Possibly. I’m not necessarily concerned with the positive or negative effects of this project so long as there is some effect on people’s lives. I’ve merely set up a situation where there is potential to impact people in meaningful ways. Maybe I won’t be able to rape everyone who crawls through the tunnel, but the door is open for all kinds of scenarios; rape, serious injury, maybe even death. I might even get arrested.

Right now the installation isn’t even complete, and I’ve riled up a substantial portion of the local population. The installation as an idea is powerful enough itself.

um, what?

cloaking your misogyny and misanthropy behind "art" is...pretty fking lame, dude.

i tried...

i tried
so many days
so many nights
through so many tears
to say just this...

but when my patience meets self preservation, it's hard to hold on.


an unorthodox valentine

i've heard just about every compliment a woman would want to hear. and they were sincere...

i appreciated them all, whether musings on my intellect, my physical attributes, or something inbetween.

more than just sweet-talked, i have been genuinely loved, admired, sought after.

some stayed a few weeks, others a few years.

i'm grateful for the love i've had.

but, today, i'm longing for the love i've yet to find...


a teaching from dan smoke

from protecting the circle - aboriginal men ending violence against women
an unhealthy man is someone who hangs on to his wayward ways of youth. drinking, violence, machismo, relationship hopping and being a poor role model are some of these ways. they refuse to grow up and walk a man's path--they are still adolescents in a man's body. these 'boys' certainly don't learn from their mistakes as men. to the contrary, they will blame others for their poor behaviour. they become psychologically and morally stuck and are fearful of change and growth. these men are particularly afraid of strong women. they will deliberately seek out a woman who they can control and not a true partner. intimacy will be too scary for them.

on the other hand, an imperfect healthy man will grow up from his wayward ways. he will stop unhealthy behavior that brought him thrills, shame and confusion as a young man... he will cry, say i'm sorry and live life as if his past relatives are always watching... this man...will check in with others and himself to see if his path is a true one.

yes. i want to.


one day, two loves

it wasn't until today that i realized my grandfather and bob marley share a birthday.

they couldn't have less in common. LOL.

but i love them both.

thank you, pop-pop, for your love and your crochety old man-ness. for teaching me patience. and football. and, now, for your unwavering protection and guidance.

thank you, bob, for the music, the message, the love.

adupe ooo egun. iba ara t'orun. ase o.


ain't no half steppin'

{first, let me preface this quasi-rant by saying i do sincerely hope those that transitioned as a result of what appears to be a very unfortunate accident are at peace, and that their families are comforted at this time.}


that's all i could do when i heard about the james arthur ray incident this morning.  somehow i didn't hear about it at all back in october.  i have a love/hate relationship with the news...

aside from the fact that the secret is woefully incomplete in its approach--as noted by imakhu mwt shekemet in her description of her cowrie blessings book--this is an example of what happens when cultural misappropriation and white privilege go terribly wrong.

ray's assertion that he "sought out" these methods does not mean he knew the proper prayers, incantations and ritual items to ensure that everyone involved in the ritual would be safe. not everyone who seeks knowledge is taught.

his website states that a "native american expert" was involved in the construction of the lodge, but...did ray divine and/or note omens to discern an auspicious time? invoke the proper energies? or did he just learn how to build the structure?

also a little interested in how he's drawing folks to a $9,000-a-head retreat but doesn't have bail money.

other than the loss of life and injuries incurred, my concern is that a centuries-old tradition of healing and renewal will now be maligned because of the actions of folks too arrogant to realize they didn't know what the fk they were doing.

or, if you prefer a more legalized statement:

There certainly may be potential criminal exposure for Mr. Ray and others in this case as well. Among the questions on prosecutorial review would be -- whether James A. Ray intentionally and/or knowingly inflicted harm upon retreat members -- and whether he was competent to hold such an event in the first place or fraudulently misrepresented his capabilities for his own personal profit...

Such issues seem to be inherent in the realm of self-appointed spiritual leaders.

In short, one cannot attempt to monetarily benefit from the exploitation of spiritual practices of other cultures without taking reasonable precautions to assure the safety of paying participants. A person such as Mr. Ray cannot self-appoint himself as the guru, adapt his own method of spiritual enlightenment and be insulated from the general laws of negligence that apply to such gatherings. The lack of medical personnel present, as well as the apparent disconnect between reality and what Ray saw as spiritual enlightenment bear this out. Ignorance can result in fatalities or severe injuries when foresight and exercise of due care are lacking. In Sedona, Arizona, thus far it appears the evidence shows that it was.


you cannot rise by standing on my neck. (c) dopegirlfresh

was reminded of this earlier in the week.

some highlights:
1. I don't have to choose my race over my sex in political matters.

7. I can live my life without ever having read black feminist authors, or knowing about black women's history, or black women's issues.

8. I can be a part of a black liberation organization like the Black Panther Party where an "out" rapist Eldridge Cleaver can assume leadership position.

41. I can believe that the success of the black family is dependent on returning men to their historical place within the family, rather than in promoting policies that strengthen black women's independence, or that provide social benefits to black children.

68. I know that the further I go in education the more success I will have with women.

74. I can choose to be emotionally withdrawn and not communicate in a relationships and it be considered unfortunate but normal.

75. I can dismissively refer to another persons grievances as ^*ing.

76. I have the privilege of not knowing what words and concepts like patriarchy, phallocentric, complicity, colluding, and obfuscation mean.

yes, as a black man in america, you DO enjoy some privilege.

i know that's a loaded word, but in an anti-oppression context, privilege deals with how much societal "value" you carry.  for instance: i am a black woman, but i'm also straight, cis-gender, able-bodied, college educated, and from a middle class background. all of those things give me an "advantage" in society over a queer, poor sista--even though much of the {mostly black male} parlance would have you think we're all in this together.

to a degree, we are.

however, black women have often had to swallow some really offensive behavior and attitudes just to stay in the game. to struggle for freedom with our brothas. to be heard. we've also worked on our own terms.

either way: if you're dissing the sistas, you're not fighting the power.

if you need an example of how it's done:

jewel woods
men can stop rape
saul willams (especially his book she)

...to start.

pink at the grammys