Thursday, November 27, 2003

a response to wearing locs from here:

I do not loc my hair, instead i wear it natural. clean. bald. like the glitter of my skin, oiled and basked in the womb

of my mothers life. To me, being bald, i walk in step with the women who bathed me. Of women who sung songs of

freedom. Of wangu wamakeri. mbuyu nehanda. me katili. I step in baldness, because in the smoothness,

i am annointed in boldness of the women who have loved unfashionable and in the softness of tenderness.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

i'd like a large dose of common sense, please.

several months ago, i started eating meat again. for two years, i had successfully wanned off the desire to devour flesh. no chicken or eggs. no fish. no meat. no hotdogs. no french toast with baked beans. even no cakes. i was pleased. things were getting on alright. i felt elevated towards higher spiritual truths. so pleased with myself, that i began to be a teeny weeny bit proud and ego driven.

i'm not sure how it began. eating meat again. the first meal was heavenly. stewed chucks of chicken thighs with coconut (mnazi) rice and a hefty amount of sauted vegetables and icy apple juice to match. yumm. after that, as they say, is history.

several weeks ago, i could no longer stand the smell of chicken. beef was never an issue. i never quite liked beef and since my coming to the states, i haven't eaten any fish. my roomates do not like seafood. it was just chicken. so, there i was staring at this piece of thai prepared chicken and i could not eat it. i felt naseous. frozen in my tracks with no where to hide. the ephiphany moment. saul on the way to damscus sort of situation.

food, just like sex, clothes, religion, what to wear in the morning and all the other life like decisions have always been loaded with contradictions and counter-contradictions. food, for food sake that i enjoy. i love preparing food, sharing a meal with loved ones. i love the shared traditions that come with meals. the kitchen hearth is a warm, safe, loving place.

since my coming to the states, i have deliberately stayed away from any food centered functions. it is too painful for me. i miss cooking at home. i miss my brothers laughter. i miss my mothers' warmth. i miss the rituals surrounded in love, coffee and laughter at the javahouse with friends.

more so, its the desire for control. to understand. to relinquish any fear and overall, to be peace centered that i began this vegetarian trip. the past months have illuminated if anything, that control is elusive. things happen. your body falls apart. your lover leaves, never to return. it will rain cats and dogs. the car will refuse to start. loneliness, just like love is part of everything.

during this month of ramadhan, i have been fasting on the days i'm not at work. i listen to how i think about food, respond to the urging to eat and feel after i've eaten. i think about life and love. why as women we struggle about food and body image. how many times, i have not been in my body. haven't caressed myself. made love to myself. and the tragedly of it all, our beautiful bodies bear the blunt of this conflict.

i'm greatly humbled nowadays.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

all in a days work.

so, beloved and i got ourselves on the road and it was wonderful. i was crusing at the speed limit, almost letting myself listen to the classical music blaring on the radio, and, quite wonderfully i can imagine, i saw myself driving on a convertible, a red convertible with my hair blowing in the wind.

though, that is really strange. i'm very bald you see.

i felt like flying. i feel like flying. beloved feels nice. her engine roars quite well. from others observations. and i feel liberated. saw myself like icarus bearing long, strong, proud wings.

in the wings and high pursuit of liberation, i am afraid, i am becoming a plant killer.
i like living things around me and since i do not have a garden, or space to run around, flaunt myself on the green, green grass and be caressed by the sun. i bought a plant.

and now, the plant is dying. the leaves are turning yellow-brown on the tip. so i dashed to the store and pleaded for cpr for the plant. the plant carer, his name is patrick was helpful with plant saving tips, though he laughed. he laughed at my fibble attemps to take care of a japanese - plant thingy. the refusal of the african violet to bloom. and most of all, my great sense of confusion.

i still like him though.

i left there armed to the teeth with plant nutrient and more resolve to take care of the plant. infact, as a show of confidence, i bought yet another plant!

just when winter is coming.

the room of my own is secluded in the green lab·y·rinth of the apartment complex in the dense populus of squirrels. there isn't much light that filters through the room. scratch my head on this one. i so need some living things around me.

the whale rider is such, such a delight. and, to know there is a book out for young readers makes me squeel with joy.

i read this yesterday and i loved it.

the colour of one's skin, is it the colour of the soul.

this guy at work that i know is really black hued. he is not as dark as one from sudan or the shores of lake victoria. but he is dark coloured. when i first made his acquintance, he made referrences, inovertly about his colour. silly me i didn't think it was such a big deal. i was like yeah, you are rather dark and.... and this guy would refer to my skin tone. that my skin was smooth. that i never had problems dealing with my colour or how i looked and stuff like that.

i didn't pick up this self hate until i read this book, skin i'm in that it all made sense.

the way we look is such a big deal to us and how people relate to us. when i was much younger, six or seven, i remember older girls in primary school asking me whether i was [ point 5]. i was much lighter in hue that i am now. point 5 is someone who is bi-racial. the ligher the skin, the more socially mobile one is percieved to be and thus more affluent.

i remember quite vaguely answering i wasn't. and that was when i become conscious on the dynamics of colour. i figured in my head, the lighter you were, the more money you have, or more stuff you have, because, hey, you must have some white blood somewhere.

it has taken me many years and much insight to relinquish this idea.

i perform tonglen for him. for i. and people like us.