October 14, 2009
You are strong. You are complicated. You were fierce before anyone knew what it meant. And you are my last....were my last GRAND-parent on this side. Everyone always said I look just like you. Loved the pic of you and grandpa in the "Cotton Club" days....sharp as ever. Young and vibrant. Years ahead of you. Hard years.
I remember the visits when it was just you and I....lounging in our jammies all day...talking and eating and laughing and fussing. I remember you visiting me in college. Still got one or two of those towels you bought ...and the small Native American purse (that's seen better days)....and the nail kit....and the....memories. I remember when I finally got to hear you sing. Remember the surprise solo in church....the operatic voice that came out of you! I was shocked. You had told me over and over again the stories, the regrets, the missed chances of your younger days, usually due to some "evil" person that was holding you back. Maybe I didn't think they were true. I remember out of all the rooms and beds in your house, I always wanted to sleep with you. And we would talk way past our bedtime. And I felt safe.
I'll miss your laugh. The way you held out your few choice cuss words (Shiiiiiitttttttt). I smile. Even as the tears come and the regret for missing that one last opportunity to say "I love you Grandma"...and to actually hear you say it back. I will never forget our days. I am grateful that I had you to myself..a lot back then. But now, I can force myself to be happy that you no longer suffer under doctors practicing, probing machines....and a body that just couldn't hold you anymore.
I love you deeply. You are free.
bite of the day ~ NEVER ignore that small still inner voice. God may be giving you a chance that will only come once.
October 13, 2009
Ever since love and I went to see Chris Rock's documentary on black hair this past weekend, I have been ultra sensitive to the subject. Not in a defensive way, but I'm very aware of my surroundings. I'm already naturally analytical, so the film just kicked me into overdrive. We stopped at the grocery store right after seeing it and we both were checking out heads. "That's hers." "Nah...that's a weave. A bad one." "Is that Malaysian like Viviva Foxx wears?" Of course WE don't know what Foxx wears but the dude with the flowing perm in the film seemed to be familiar with the details of her head.
The most disturbing scene was when Rock tried to sell "black" i.e. NAPPY hair to the very Asian shops that thrive in African-American communities. NEWS FLASH!!!: No one wanted the nappy hair. Including the young black woman with the braided extensions that worked in one of the shops. She actually looked like she was proud to "school" Chris on why the black hair was undesirable.
What I wished the film would have dealt a bit more with was the underlying psychological and spiritual reasons why Black women would pay boatloads of money that many of them don't have to attach someone elses hair to their head. And why a good majority of black women, starting at a very early age, hate their own hair so much that they turn to extremely harmful and dangerous chemicals to straighten it...in the name of style and the big one...MANAGEABILITY. But who defines what's stylish or manageable?
For the majority of my life, I was one of these women. I never did the weave...except the piece I added to my fingerwaved jheri curl in the 11th grade for prom....but that's a whole other story. sigh.
It has been almost 2 years since I had a relaxer and I feel FREE! I have FINALLY accepted my natural beauty. I wanted to transition years ago, but I was still too concerned about what others would think. Concerned that I wouldn't be "cute" anymore. I wasn't ready. When I finally was, people told me I was "brave". Wow.
I discovered my hair is as versatile as ever! If I want to wear it bone straight, I still can. If I want a fro, twists, waves...I can do anything!
But still...I have to admit, on Monday morning (a wash n go afro day) when the construction guys, who usually vie for my attention just to get a flash of this big smile and a wave, COMPLETELY overlooked me for the weaved-up sista walking a few steps ahead of me, I felt a brief burn in my chest...mourning for my long relaxed locks and the attention they used to bring me. And mine were "real". This society is jacked...and it jacked me. Sigh.
bite of the day ~ If you find your worth in anything that is not naturally you, take a peek inside and seek to rid yourself of the lies that challenge your value and unique beauty. You are a Queen, not BECAUSE OF your hair but REGARDLESS of it. Selah.
October 9, 2009
A brotherNfriend of mine was "jumped" by 20+ guys outside of a nightclub this week. Why? liquor. women. misunderstanding. foolishness. pride.
The high of a watching crowd. Devils. Demons. They don't call the strong stuff "spirits" for nothin'. And this was no hole in the wall. Supposed to be civilized folks far removed from the hood.
What makes a man...a grown man... angry enough to put his hands, his fists, his foot on another? Losing your temper to this point is a sign of weakness. Bringing your boys along for the ride....COWARD should be tattooed across the eyelids. Fake punkS.
I went to see my brotherNfriend today....knowing he wasn't 100% in the right, but definitely didn't deserve to have to defend himself against a gang of angry men. Had to lay eyes on him to make sure the aloe vera and vitamin E I brought was strong enough medicine. Had to make sure he wasn't torn to pieces...guts bursting at the seams....head smashed in like the baby from Fenger High. When I got off the elevator...I heard a door opening...and there he stood. Gauze on half of his forehead, a fixin' on one broke finger....scratches...puffy...but ALIVE. And strong. Talking, walking, seeing, hearing. A miracle.
The angels had to block the majority of those blows. sigh.
bite of the day ~ GOD LIVES. Now live for Him.
October 1, 2009
I remember when I first saw him. I was a teenager, watching some cheesy gospel awards show... when a man hit the stage to a tight beat, wearing a feather-lined jacket...and omg "is that make-up!?!" I didn't know what to think....don't know what he sang...but I never forgot his face. Years later, I was a dancer for a gospel group and they were opening up a "show" for tonex and his band. A sister was walking down the hall carrying a tray of food and asked me to help her out by opening a door. I opened the door to a sea of faces who stopped all conversation and stared at me...the intruder. MRS. tonex said a playful, "Ooooo! You gone get it!" Of course she had her curvy hips and designer jeans nestled comfortably in tonex's lap. He just stared, gave me a quick smirk and went on with his business. Little did I know that encounter preceded one of the most awesome, spirit-filled "concerts" that I'd ever witnessed. He was excellent, real and...different. From that moment on, I was in love with tonex...the gospel Prince, I called him. I followed his music, his ministry and his happenings. I used a tonex song in my wedding (on loan from my big bro and original sis-n-law...r.i.p.). I was in complete shock when he and MRS. tonex divorced and had many jaw-dropping moments reading his raging blogs on myspace. Yet, my love would not die or be denied. Now I have been informed...from tonex's own mouth, that he is "attracted to men". As everyone knows I love tonex, as soon as the news hit, so was my inbox. It wasn't a COMPLETE shocker as the feathers, weaves and make-up over the years was suspect, but I had to watch the 3 part interview for myself anyway. I had to look into the whites of his eyes and listen to every word....every syllable.
Now I do not agree with the homosexual lifestyle and no amount of tonex lovin' will change that. Yet, I leave the judging to God. He sincerely believes what he feels. I don't know how he feels. I know what the word says. This situation has challenged me to dig deeper and TRULY "know for myself". Religion has no place in the true God and His Kingdom. As tonex admits he's still on a journey of soul-searching, praying and seeking....so am I. This is way beyond a few cuss words on youtube. Nevertheless, love you still. sigh.
bite of the day ~ our job is to love and pray. as hard as it is, leave the judging to God.