Wednesday, October 29, 2003
i hadn't planned it. promise. i was at home. excited and exhilirated after watching amandla practising the toyi-toyi with hillarious results, then i watched this.
i had listened to the current album. liked it. thought of buying it. then i heard the magic word, tantra sex on daytime television. my ears and soon my eyes were glued to the screen. i've been interested in eastern teachings for awhile now. and hearing it on television and spoken with such lack of ownership, or attachment. that love making was a form of worship to another and by and large, an extension of worship towards the benevolent universe. i had to buy the book and the music.
not the F-word
grief and loss has been on my mind, as it would be this time of the year. as i delve into the infinite resources of the universe. reflect on the year that has passed and give thanks for the blessings and lessons. i realise how inadequate i am in expressing grief, anger or a sense of loss. as many of us do, or know someone who does, i internalize things.
when i wept or feel sad. i take it in and swallow it whole. i feel it take a hold of me inside and unsettle that fluidity which had laid serenely and morph into something else. and i become, a creature, a being that no longer recognises her self. langston hughes once asked, what happens when a dream is deferred. nowadays, i see it take the form of physical ailment. of a deflowering of a woman who is on the path of wholeness, but instead takes a detour and sits on the dusty path, with her multi-colored bags and wind blowing through her yellow hat.
it could be that the drawing of the thirties forces me to take a more introspective look.
also, it could be, i am, simply put, tired of b.s.
and, i so sorely with every fiber of my being miss my girlfriends.
i don't know about you, girlfriends are a recent blessing in my life. i was raised with boys. i am the oldest. hence..yada yada yada. never quite close with my cousins. i come from an obsessively private family. all through high school, i was in boarding school, girls were to put it midily, an enigma. i had numerous crashes, i was fat, uncomfortable with my body and liked ralph waldo emerson and eugine pushkin.
i was a late bloomer.
while girls traded stories of sexual exploits and who did what with whom. i sat mesmirized and my heart literally jumping with joy about south africa at that time. i read poetry of old people dead, who couldn't be for the life of them interested in the life of me. and, who happened to be men
at the beginning college looked like a rerun of a bad day time show. i was still kinda fat-ish. liked poetry from dead guys and clamoured around the computer lab fascinated with networks and the internet. i did dawn my bald head look, which was for no radical representation or of aesthetic reason, rather, i was sloopy with my hands, not gifted in styling hair and, didn't have much money to go by.
it all changed one summer. ( even in africa we have summer quarters) i took a gender class and everything changed. this thing that i had carried for years without a name. an invisible form of ideas and ways of being that directly contributed and enhanced my understanding of the world, did infact, have a name. and, whats more, to my pleasent surprise, i was not the only one.
and so, there it was, dear reader, i become a feminist. enter the butch phase. the i dont like men very much. catching up on books and ideas. and being very very pissed with the institution of patriarchy. i realised to my dismay, as a black woman i was an endegeared species. the life of saartje baartman was clear proof. i wanted to live amongst women who thought like me. like maya and johanna. away from peeping, ridiculous men.
along the way, i got convinced that feminism was harmful. that women who called themselves feminists would never be taken seriously or be married. to be a single, not taken seriously african woman living in africa was the greatest taboo.
we all knew sooner or later, a woman needed a man. after all, godforbid if she is thought to be lesbian.
i become to my great disbelief, a closeted feminist. approval is way up there in the scheme of things.
as i write this and hear myself whisper words that take form. i go back to women that i have known. brave women who like my mother even though did mean well, knew that power, ultimate power did rest on women. however, they were afraid, unsure or lacked the words to describe what this was. this power they carried in their hips and swayed to the drum beats that i hear of faintly when i close my eyes and dream in the language of my mother.
the women knew of stiwanism, as explored by molara ogundipe-leslie. where women understand this power and the underlined gender polemics.
i still believe that a community for and by women is possible. thats why girls night out, or lets met for coffee and the long chitchats over the phone is so important. and, thats why i so miss. this physicalness and kindredship of women speaking without fear and in love.
and i grief for that. badly.
sisterhood is global. irrespective of the colour of the sister or where she comes from. i recognise that women from the certain parts of the world share a commonality of experience. i ache with disappointment and moreover, sadness when
a sister isn't there for you. and vice versa. when its a lover, a job, a career or the thought of others sidelines the sisterhood. or, doesn't quite get the big hullabalo about women speaking their truth. i'm not saying, lets go burn our bras out in the public. nah, as my mother once told me while i was crying my eyes out over being ditched by a lover. she said, ' one, as a woman, needs to know herself so well such that a man can literally eat from her hand.' then she pointed her hand to emphaises the point.
the way the world is tilting, the feminine is not meant to survive. be nourished. be given birth to over and over again, over time. one just has to switch on the televison and see the wild fires in california. the earth is pissed and tired of all this b.s
i am tired of this b.s
which comes to my next question, can a woman [ insert i ] be in relations with others that are not self annhiliating and destructive?
Sunday, October 26, 2003
american gov. 101 + the british invasion:
it is my hope, i'll write with more regularity. happy diwali everyone. in memorium, the lives of Paul and Mrs. Wellstone.
Their lives inspired me.
taking introduction to american government is such an eye opener. wow. blows me away. for the most part, i don't fully understand the intricacies of american government although what resides as true is the understanding of citizen's participation in the mechanisms of the government. i now understand why america for many of us, especially immigrants illustrates the principles of life, liberty and pursuit of government.
Break it like Beckaham.. such a cool movie. Sari and soccer balls. Who would have thought. I felt like watching soccer all over again although, i wonder whats the appeal of mr. beckham.
nubiansoul, do you know?
As i kid, i always loved anything Indian. And Muslim and Christianity. It was diversity 101. The neighbourhood that I lived in were filled with different colours of people. And as kids, we took turns in visiting each other's places of worship. The primary schools were not any different. When it was diwali, we all thrilled in watching firework displays. during ramadhan, it was a public holiday. so this week begins the time of ramadhan. i'd love to delve deep and start my fast at dawn to dusk. but, lets be honest it's not going to happen. so, in lieu of present developments, i will fast on days that i am in school and not at work.
i found this cool site also.
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
this is a mosaic of sorts.
in the midst of excruciating boils, crazy work schedule, issues getting to work and from work, never ending bills, my body literally falling apart, the most unexpected of things is happening,i'm falling in love with me.
i didn't see this coming. not while i ached and cried with an illness that wasn't going to be wiped under the carpet. missing my mother terribly, feeling i have to act all grown up. surprised also that it has been two years since i come to the states.
how time flies when ...
i have often wondered, when one finds a good wife, he has found a good thing. besides the usual idea of man and woman, or woman and woman, what about me and me. you know?
i'm a believer in the spiritual truth, that folks reflect to us what we think about ourselves.
so, i'm thinking now, its not a bad idea to be a wife, to myself. so now, i am wifying myself now. i'm looking forward to each day when i learn something new and refreshing and exciting about myself. when i can bathe myself in tenderness and embrace the parts of myself that are sad and afraid with compassion. i think of money constantly, i think of the abundance of the universe more.
i realise also i'm not getting any younger. it frightens me and with the recent, recurring illness, mortality is a stone throw away. so, i'm tentatively making friends with the celluloid, and scabs, the stretchmarks and tiny toes that carry the childbearing hips. i also ask myself the reason why i eat. and the strangeness and mystery of this breath we inhale.
creating psychic space is exhilarating and frightening sometimes. and so very worth it.
i went to the symphony over the weekend with a man friend/acquaintance who was text-messanging while the orchestra as. i loved it . loved it. loved it. needless to say,
thats the last with him.
thanks to smallhand, i checked out homeless bird and was amazed by the funky books out there for kids and young readers. times have certainly changed. eons back, i feasted on noddy, famous five and secret seven, little house on the prairie. the classic, little women and men. sweet dreams and sweet valley high.
mentioning smallhand, reading the lastest entry made me contemplate on the nature of relationships. i watched the movie frida, and i so believe in loyalty above anything else. in the ideal world, it would be wonderful if we all sticked together, never had affairs with others, or fell in love with those considered unsuitable or unfashionable. or keep re-evaluating this path of life.
and yet, this is not the case. so then what do we do. what do i do about this. be extremely honest with myself. beyond and above anything else. met people at the place where they are and yet remember i am that which is divine. because, hey lets face it, we do silly things in the name of love. i have been in un-loving situations, just as i have been unloving to someone else.
i think everyone's story line is different and what works for the goose doesn't work for the chicken. i think frida kahlo and diego rivera finally did get what worked for them. i so liked the bridge that separated both houses. everyone having their own space to inhale/exhale.
a room of my own is moving on steadily. i've decided to stop living out of my suitcase. it's been two years for crying out loud. so last week i ventured into pier one , tj-max and shortly target. if i'd step into a plane, here is where i'd go
novemeber's issue of honey magazine has a feature on the visibility of black, gay women. its cool that women are stepping out and speaking their truth. silence will not protect you. very empowering. i'm not sure what i have a problem with though, maybe i am being very paranoid, there is the backlash to this.
there is a girl inside.
she is randy as a wolf.
she will not walk away
and leave these bones
to an old woman.
she is a green tree
in a forest of kindling.
[ lucile clifton: homage to my hips ]
sexuality and young girls. watching oprah several weeks ago, i realised how young women especially in this day and age
experience challenges navigating through sex and self identity. young women in the states mature much faster physically
then in kenya for example. and sex right there at the finger tips. one just has to turn the knob and its there hit this or that. magic stick. its ridiculous, but that is the reality. young women are no longer protected and given the room and space to safely explore themselves and where they want to go.
in my community as many other indigenous people, young men and women were encouraged to explore themselves and each other in safe, non-fear ridden ways. the village dances were great avenues where they would dance, flirt, kiss and touch within limits. and it was known, that pregnany outside marriage was a taboo. and of course, there were those
communities that saw virgins, especially women as undesirable.
the unfortunate result about this mis-information now, is women, and i have been one of them, have viewed sex and sexuality with distaste, fear and just utter confusion. such decisions can be fatal as enumerated by michelle burford's
writing the play has been illuminating. it was so weird at first. i writing from my head, concerned about what will my classmates think. will my story make sense, i'm i getting the technique right. crafting is quite a challenge. i'm weaning into it slowly and steadily. yesterday in the playwritting class we coloured. it was soo kweel! i also realise i need alot of silence also. mmhh.
in my brief hiatus, i've been reading several blogs. cassandra, as always has interesting discussion on art, spirituality and life. i stumbled quite gracefully into his site which i liked. that lead me to a wonderful site about two daddies and a baby called emma marie. reading the blog just makes me feel giggly, fuzzy and warm. in the land of fuzziness, there is also the republic of t. angel has a new look, cheburashka's mama has a new spot. there are the guitar players, and lets not forget, the talk about diamonds.
nowhere in africa is a brilliant movie. so much better than out of africa. well executed, complex and richely humane. i love hearing swahili spoken on the big screen. not just one word, sentences upon sentences. inshallah, comfort woman is on her way. i didn't thoroughly get into meshell's last cd. i loved bitter though. got hitched onto birdland via bird (the movie). opera is wonderful. renee fleming is on heavy rotation. lynne duke's book is superb. definately better than Keith B. Richburg. i was like yuck!
beloved and i will soon be on the road..hehehe thats going to be interesting. i don't like how the page looks like. change soon. i fell on the bandwagon and began eating meat over the summer. this can partly or hugely explain my aggressive moods eh!. i so want to go back. i did read through queen afua's book, sacred woman. yes, its fine. just doesn't give me goosebumps. you know.
ciao. the last hints of sunshine is calling.
be well. be kind. be love.