Monthly Archives: February 2016

Can The Revolution be Irresistible?

God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water but fire next time.

Irresistible: too powerful or convincing to be resisted.

I was looking at The Very Black Project feed on IG this week and they had this image up which I can’t really remember because for once I was more impressed by the caption.

“Make the revolution irresistible”It said.

It made me pause and think, is it possible? What would that look like? What would that feel like, sound like? Have we already begun to experience it? I know that for me, The Very Black Project makes the revolution irresistible all the time. I love how unapologetically Very Black they are. I love how  unapologetically  Black Beyonce’s “Formation” video is. I love how unapologetically Black For Harriet, The Black Divine Feminine Reawakened, Nubiamancy, and many more  Black movement activists/artists/educators/intellectuals I follow are.  And then last night my sis, soulsistah4real alerted me to “Kendrick Lamar’s” Grammy performance last night. If you haven’t seen it, just stop reading now and go watch. Watch it a few times. I had to watch it at least three times. It was one of those moments like  the one in which I first saw the Apple commercial with Mary J Blige, Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson that I had to sort of pinch myself, like what is happening right now? White people are not going to swoop in and ruin this with their…existence?

This was performance art. This was “his” story making. This was raw, hard, brutal, vulnerable, beautiful, real, healing, strong. This was the Blackest shit I have seen since the “Formation” video dropped before  the super bowl. It is packed, layered, choreographed, written, laid out, ghetto, hood, chockfull of ugly truths and divine origins. And the roaring high flame fire in the back was like was a unmistakably primal and prophetic backdrop. I still have yet to fully unpack it. For now, I just want to feel it’s meaning reverberate inside me. I just want to let it wash over me, the fact of it.

I haven’t watched the Grammys in years. Not since it was truly honoring Black people who invented the popular genres which began to be vastly appropriated by Whites in the industry. But I do wish I had caught Kendrik’s performance live. I would have been stunned. But I am thankful to be seeing it at all and all I want to do is hear the critiques of it by people and programs of color that I respect. Since “Formation” dropped I have so little interest in what white people think about unapologetically Black expression. They cannot participate in a conversation whose language they cannot comprehend.

I am just so blessed to be living in a time where it is possible for revolution to be truly irresistible, where the truth being released is so compelling, so powerful, that there is no question where our place is, what our role is.

Every race start from the Black. Just remember that.

 

 

 

 

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Morning Ritual Report

I drag myself out of bed between 5:00 and 5:30am Every weekday morning. If my alarm is not going off, my cat is meowing like his life depends on getting inside the bedroom. That’s actually helpful.

I grab my yoga mat, yoga block, phone and laptop. I open the door, blocking Jet’s way in. I lay my laptop on the table next to my journal, my yoga mat and block on a chair for later and I put a pot ff water on the stove. My morning ritual begins.

Black woman yoga

The quiet at that time of the morning is palpable. There is a stillness that I revel in no matter how I’m feeling emotionally. It’s my time and my choice to get done what I need for myself and myself alone. To stretch, pray, meditate, reflect and drink something warm while I journal. One of my favorite morning yoga positions is supported fish pose because it opens your chest and allows you to breath deeper. Deep, full breaths that get all down in the bottom of you and flow out slowly feel so good. Any yoga pose that requires you to open your chest is also great for your heart chakra.

I haven’t been keeping track of how log I’ve been doing this for fear that keeping track this early might trigger laziness. I’d say I’ve been at it consistently for a few weeks, three at the most. It takes a lot for me to get myself up out my cozy bed but I think the reason I continue to do it is because of the way I feel at the end. I feel like I’m able to get my head together enough to not feel unprepared by the time I leave the apt, to feel like I’m not rushing, to feel calm, energized and ready to face the world. That’s worth a lot to me. It means I can relax a bit. It means that I can detach from the mounting illusion of resentment, pessimism and nay saying I confront both from outside and inner voices and confront the world more balanced, more closely connected to love, however small or significant that may appear to be to others.

My morning ritual is steadily becoming a space I’ve created that allows me to return to a level of conscious center. I invite myself in and accept my own invitation. It’s like the way I feel in nature. I can always find myself there. And it’s important to have a place or space where you can find yourself no matter what is going on.

Be blessed.

Jet Baby

Bop bops, love bunch, schwoopy poopy…I call my cat a lot of cutesy names. Sometimes I just call him noises. Like I just make noises at him and cuddle him against his will, though I’ve been trying to back off lately. I don’t think anyone really truly understands cats the way they do dogs. Because they evolved as solitary hunters, they don’t express a need for companionship or affection in the same way as canines do. And I think I like this because I have a bit aversion to overly clingy beings. So I get to be the clingy one with him because, well, I’m human and bigger and in charge. I think we have our ideas about what cats want, and why and we’re usually way off base. But here’s what I can tell you so far about the cat we’ve named Jet who has been living with us since August 2015.

When I first picked him up at the YMCA shelter and put him on my shoulder, he was purring like a loud motor. He was curious, cautious and easily distracted. And my heart did a million unrecognizable flips. He hid under the bed for like a day when we got home with him which didn’t surprise me. Cats are not fans of change. My family had one when I was a girl and when we moved from Brooklyn to the Bronx she hid in the ceiling of the basement (don’t ask how) for days. She came out when she was ready to.

Jet is six months old and still social at this point. People come over and he wants to be around. Anyone, friends, meter reader, superintendent. He wants to sniff around them and walk around them, be around. He has a nerve as all cats do to want to be in my space but not necessarily engage with me. In fact the only time I really know that he actually wants to engage with me is when he meows. Meowing is something I have learned that cats only do to communicate with humans. Cats don’t meow among themselves. So when Jet meows, I know he either wants to get into a room I’ve locked, wants to be picked up so he can knead his paws and claws into my flesh or is frustrated because he can’t get some mysterious piece of something out from under a piece of furniture or the ball in his box is being audaciously non-cooperative .

His favorite toy (he has a collection) is the feather teaser and I have a lot of fun using it to play with him. I enjoy seeing how agile he is, how improvisational and energetic. I like to see what choices he makes in the way he moves and how long it takes to tire him out as he grows bigger.

When he sleeps, he sleeps like a log. A cat’s sleep schedule(16-20 hours a day), particularly when it feels safe, is pretty serious. Last night he went under the bed, sat in one of my shoe boxes and slept for like 3 hours straight. But I have never ever in my life, except in online photos, seen a cat sleep with such sprawling abandon. My husband and I laugh at him all the time and send one another pictures of him during the day if the other happens to be home with him. His sleeping positions range from the hilarious to the poetic.

Jet hates taking pictures. This I know. When he knows I’m focused on him, he looks away. He doesn’t give care at all about messing up my shots Cats are the best at throwing you shady looks when they don’t want to be bothered. I take a bunch of great pictures of him regardless, more than I would ever admit. It’s what I do.

Jet also doesn’t care about television, though I think he is marginally aware when it’s on that it contributes to the general buzz of the apartment when my husband and I are both home. He was mildly obsessed with my laptop for a bit. Whenever I played iTunes he would walk on my keyboard, try to pull off the protector, bite the edges of the screen. I like to think it’s because he hated Drake because that was all I was playing at the time. LOL!

If we lived in a bigger space and had more money, (feeding a pet is not cheap) I would definitely want another cat. Cats are just really calming for me. Cats, doing my nails….walking in 12 inches of freshly fallen snow, all calming. LOL! There is nothing nicer than knowing at the end of my work day, that I’m coming home to my husband and our cat. It’s so corny, I know but I feel like my blood pressure is that much lower because of this cozy routine. And Jet is by no means a cat that is even mildly obsessed with cuddling with either one of us for more than like a few minutes. He’s very deliberate about when he employs touch or the old brush against the leg. But it’s obvious he’s very relaxed around us, he’s bonded to us. He likes us. But I think if he could talk, he would be hard pressed to admit it. Liking us is besides the point. Play time, the next nap and meal time are bigger priorities.