I have been glum for about two weeks. This weekend, I decided to take matters into my own hands and de-stress. Bae was out at a cabin in the woods. She invited me, but y’all know how I feel about the outdoors, grass and woods. I politely declined and wished her the best on her retreat. After a listening session with my job, I had had enough. I felt muzzled and unable to share the fear I was feeling. I had started to get paranoid, putting items behind doors and covering all windows because there were rumors flying all over the place. There were people planted to cause harm so it could be blamed on the protesters. There was a heavy presence of the Klan in Syracuse and I ought to leave a light on at all times. There was a curfew and I had to be home before it. Some Black folx were being roughed up in town close to curfew. It didn’t help that FB had become my minute by minute news and I was practically hyperventilating from fear, pain, anger, and confusion. So after that listening session, I decided that I would take some time off. I had wanted to go to a rally on the weekend but I decided that taking care of myself so I would live to see another rally was more important.
I signed up for the Womxn of Color Weekend Virtual Vibrations line up of rejuvenating activities and I read in preparation for a class I was taking with one of the VONA greats, Elmaz Abinader. So let me tell you. I had the best sleep I have had in the past two weeks. I went to bed at a decent hour because I wasn’t worried about falling asleep. I joined in the Virtual Vibrations line-up of events when I felt the urge. To see the faces of all these queer WOC from all over the world staring back at me was simply cathartic. We were alive. We were here and we weren’t going anywhere. We deserved to love ourselves if no one else would acknowledge our humanity. I joined in a meditation by Reverend Akosua McCray this morning and did some writing with a poet, Kay Ulanday Barrett.
Halfway through Saturday I was able to do some generative writing with the class led by Elmaz, which was also attended by people from all over the world. I got a few starts that might be seed for something to come. I haven’t blogged in months. Perhaps one of the best things COVID has done for us is help us to think outside of our programming boxes. More and more people have been generous with their time, sometimes offering things for free or a very small donation. I have been able to attend events that I used to dream of in the past because they were cost prohibitive. Throughout this weekend, I also took a long look at my memoir which I have picked back up after 8 years of dormancy. I think it is time, but I find myself stuck unable to generate much new writing so I am here blogging and re-reading old blogs for inspiration.
My blog is about to turn 10 and I have blogged the least amount this year. I know this and I am trying not to be harsh or chastising. The truth is, living, hell, breathing itself has been hard so articulating words into coherent sentences have failed me. I have had false starts on many occasions or not had my journal so I haven’t been prepared in those moments when inspiration struck. I remember the blog being the outlet. I got things published as the blog started going and then I went silent. Sometimes the news of another death left me stunned for a while. Sometimes my struggle with mental illness took its toll. Through it all the blog has been a place for me to write my heart out and I am thankful that I have this sphere.
George Floyd’s death is just a recent addition to a slew of murders that have become public in the last 8 years, or at least have received the most attention. With Travonn I stopped wearing hoodies. With Sandra I started paying attention with paranoid frequency to using my indicator. With Breonna I am not sure how to protect myself besides using my door guard. Black bodies everywhere you turn, including at a higher rate our trans family, strewn across the landscape of living. Breaths stolen. Lights extinguished. Stamped out for being Black. For walking. For standing up for ourselves.
Y’all, we just want to live and be treated in humane ways. People of the diaspora were not brought here by their own will. Many tried to run away. Some succeeded. Some even made it back to the continent to live. Those that remain have been begging, pleading, now demanding the same thing they have been for 400 years. Why is that so difficult for people to join in? Why is it hard for you to see the humanity in Black folx and fight for us? When we say we are tired, people think we are being lazy. This shit is exhausting. Day in Day out, and we are expected to rise each morning and put on a fresh face and go to work. Assure our children that everything will be okay, when in reality, we don’t know that, and all things point to the contrary. I have lost some friends in the past two weeks because they say they care only with their mouths and notes, but they are not challenging the narrative that their friends and family are spewing on their FB pages, and probably at their dinner tables. I have nothing left to say. If you truly believe deep down that I am every bit as human as you are and I deserve the same treatment as you, then I don’t need to hear from you in frantic texts (those are appreciated, don’t get me wrong). I need you to talk to your wypipo. I need you to march, call, donate, write, defund, just f’ing show up for me in whatever stage and platform you have at your disposal.
Here’s to another 10 years of using my blog and voice to speak my truth. o y3 ho
Black Lives Matter