married to myself*

today i read this from brotha kefentse on facebook:
African people don't play the dating game. We marry with the foundation of spirit and responsibility. We procreate with the idea of generational progress and nation building. We love with the actions of nurturing & protection. Either you are in it to win, or you are playing games with not only your "girlfriend" but yourself as well.

a powerful statement, and a worthy ideal.    

for most of my teens (yes, teens) and twenties, i was a serial monogamist. not so much because i was encouraged to be...that's just the way life went. in my mid-twenties, i entered a relationship that lasted for most of the next six years. one i thought would lead to marriage, kids, the whole deal.

obviously, it didn't.

as i approach my mid-thirties, i wonder almost daily if i'll marry at all.

it's not a desperate wondering. i am not lonely, nor do i feel unloved. i've enjoyed the experiences i've had since my relationship ended. but there are times when i consider the positive aspects of our situation--our common ideas, the way we dreamt about building some kind of community center or gathering place where youth and elders could come to learn and teach--and wonder if i'll share those kinds of visions with another.

since then, i have come to relearn the sort of effortless, nurturing, protective love that he often was unable to provide. but i am also far less interested in bearing children.

when i think about kefentse's statement, i also consider that the major issue i've come across has not been a lack of love/loving or even commitment, but an inability to see, name, and heal the traumas that keep us from sustaining whole, nurturing relationships with one another.  

to my knowledge, my ex's fidelity was never in question. he constantly and consistently told me he wanted a life with me, that he loved and cherished me. but there were some key elements missing in making that a reality--much of which had to do with an unexamined, unhealed past.  these are the things that are hamstringing quite a few "good brothas" out here.

it took me quite some time to see and learn the patterns he exhibited and to understand what was happening. and it took a little longer to realize that that was not the kind of foundational work i wanted to do in order for our love to live. he was not ready. i had to go.

now, i've reclaimed my dreams. i'm putting things back together, slowly, but deliberately. i am measuring my steps.

i have also learned that love will always, inevitably, find me.  but it remains to be seen whether or not i will have the kind of partnership kefentse talks about.  gaining it would require a level of focus and attention that, frankly, i'm putting into myself, my destiny, and my evolution--and, for me, that feels right.

if there is someone meant to fit into that picture, whose energies align with my own, so be it.  

*for now, anyway.


kevin powell's open letter to chris brown

yes, it's long.

but it's on point.

i'm only about 1/3 through it, but knew i had to share.

i've known so many men who could have written this...some are still in the process of writing it.

either way, it's worth a look.

thank you, kevin, for saying what so many brothas need to hear. even if chris doesn't take it to heart, someone will.


workinonit (c) dilla

i'm in the midst of reading peace from broken pieces, and there are some interesting insights coming from reading iya iyanla's work...

last night i journaled about my "personal lie". i'm aware of it, and i've been working on dispelling it for awhile. however, i'm also aware of the near-constant breakthroughs i'm having around it.

and i know i'll need to stand in those understandings to get some work done.

that's humbling, terrifying, and empowering all at the same time.

but i can do it. i am doing it.

all will be well.

tiger, tiger, burning bright... (c) wm blake

tiger paid me a visit…

i may never adequately put into words how much i love the spirit and form of this animal.

again, i say: thank you for walking with me.


merlin stone has passed on...

i remember when i was first coming into a new consciousness around god/dess and someone told me i should read when god was a woman, not now but right now.

i never looked back.

whatever scholastic errors she may have made along the way, she opened a door that could never be shut again.

may we continue to discover the Divine in our own images. and may we love Her fiercely.

thank you.


woman, unapologetically

it is my hope that, one day, my sistas will stop spitting out "feminism" as if it's a dirty word.

first and foremost: the mainstream feminist movement was never "ours" anyway.  black folks seem to have developed a gross misconception of what the feminist movement entailed both during its inception, in the mid to late 20th century, and now.*

the labels womanist/womanism do better to explain the struggle of women of color for dignity, life and freedom within the kryarchic oppression imposed by their respective men--but even that might not be enough.  and that's ok.  wikipedia attempts to sum up some of the complexities:
Black feminism argues that sexism, class oppression, and racism are inextricably bound together.  Chicana feminism focuses on Mexican American, Chicana, and Hispanic women in the United States. Multiracial or "women of colour" feminism is related. Standpoint feminists argue that feminism should examine how women's experience of inequality relates to that of racism, homophobia, classism, and colonization.  Postcolonial feminists argue that colonial oppression and Western feminism marginalized postcolonial women but did not turn them passive or voiceless. Third-world feminism is closely related. These discourses are related to African feminism, motherism, Stiwanism, negofeminism, femalism, transnational feminism, and Africana womanism.
that's a lot, right?

for me, the bottom line is this:

i deserve to be able to stand up for myself and my humanity--from my seat as a woman and in solidarity with other women. if that somehow screws with the worst manifestations of the black man's ego, i don't see that as my problem.  or, more sweetly said, that is an opportunity for healing amongst the community of brothas, just as we have healing to do amongst ourselves.

being down for some of "our men" at the expense of ourselves is killing us, not to mention forcing us to shoulder the blame for systemic problems that harm us all.  somehow, our collective consciousness around those systemic issues has been reduced--in many circles--to a perceived inability to have "respectable" heterosexual relationships.**  in my humble opinion, that loss of consciousness is both unfortunate and dangerous. 

expanding that thought: if "feminism" is the root of the black man/woman problem, then maybe it got that way when black men achieved a measure of male privilege in the general society.

yes, you heard me.

in that historical window between the end of segregation and the beginning of urban decay--including the rise of the prison industrial complex--it seems that black men learned a lot and forgot a lot.  then, when sistas got wise and started looking out for ourselves, the response from the brothas wasn't, "whoa...maybe we should check ourselves."  black women were simply wrong, acting counter to our original culture, trying to be "white" and all that. or lesbians.

the forgetting was deep and complex.

black women have always worked.
black women have always been spiritual leaders.
black women have always made, kept, and used their own money.
black women have always been strong.

it'd be lovely if we could recall the concept of ubuntu, coming to understand that all our oppressions under white supremacy are linked. i can't get free without you, you can't get free without me, and the basis of all that is that we also have to let ourselves be ourselves--man, woman, human.

it is my belief that when you are following your purpose--the things you agreed to do before you incarnated--then you are assisting the community. but so many sistas are being taken off their square so they can fit in, be down, please a brotha or at least remain "attractive" to one...

warrior goddesses pushed into to being handmaids for the consciousness movement du jour. mama goddesses forced to settle for mediocre mates as they fulfill their calling to raise the beautiful babies that will someday move us all forward. love goddesses pushed into the ever changing vortex of the madonna/whore complex when they could be transforming the energy of whole communities--while enjoying deeper, higher love in more powerfully intimate spaces.***

we are so much more than the boxes we've been given. if we're going to decide to embrace afrika, we need to look at her fully, and that includes understanding the true depth and complexity of the afrikan woman.

"feminism" doesn't have a whole lot to do with that.  being truthful with ourselves does.

*anybody remember that little rift between elizabeth cady stanton and susan b. anthony around whether or not to give black women their due? remember mama audre's constant calling out of white feminists? no? see what i mean?

**despite who might be left out of that equation--not to mention the centering of the gender binary.  and who defines respectable? but that's another blog...

***and please note just how white that madonna/whore thing is