Monthly Archives: June 2016

Time Stopping Thursdays: Manzel Bowman

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I started following Manzel Bowman on IG after seeing just one image. When I see something which shreds through my brain, stops time and leaves me gaping in wonder and strange familiarity, there’s no dying it’s connection to something inside me which I never realized someone outside of me was examining with such fearlessness. It’s almost jarring.

I knew the moment I saw the piece above by him the first time that he was locked into something deeply primal, subconscious, ancient and futuristic all at once. And I knew he was Black. His collages beg for exploration and time. It’s weird to see something like that on IG where we kind of glance for half a second, double tap and forget. Manzel’s work just made me stop scrolling and delve. What is happening in these worlds? What is this feeling? I want to know where it comes from.

It was like looking at Earth Wind and Fire Covers  in my dads record collection when I was a girl. But this is not Earth Wind and Fire. This is something else. How he balances the busy elements of night, day, water, cosmos, African and Khemetic symbols and deities and effects a kind of explosive stillness I can only liken to being high, I can’t seem to figure. But each one draws me immediately into an unexpectedly meditative state. I recognize it, not only because of it’s clearly overt representations of Blackness, femininity, Khemet and African culture, but something else. Something…not of this world.

I got my husband to buy me one of his prints for me for our second year anniversary last week. It’s nothing like this image above though. Equally as abstract and surreal but comparatively more tame, it packs a punch with fewer elements. I do want to get one of these more elaborate and grand pieces at some point though. There is a powerful event happening in Manzels art that is beyond what I have seen in modern collage in a long time. I think it deserves to be celebrated.

 

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Goddess Trunk

Goddess Trunk

GT Accessories

In the vein of services like Trunk Club and Stitch Fix I would love for someone to get on creating a monthly clothing and accessories service that is more culturally Black centric for the Black female professional and or office worker.  For example, my monthly selection would look something like this. I only wear pants to work like once a week if at all, so most of the time, I would just love fabulous feminine dresses in bold colors or prints for the Summer and some uniquely designed  separates that I can wear all year round. I want to be able to pick from a selection of clothes and accessories that looks something like what I’ve put together here on this page; clothes that would compliment my shape, accommodate my bust size and curves, remind me of my proud history and ancestry and make me feel amazing all at the time. Yeah, I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.

 

 

What Am I Doing?

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Lately, I’ve had this scary thought running over and over in my head. Aside from how am I going to pay all my bills and student loans and still get those earrings and that new shade of lipstick I love. The question is, “If we’re not living our life purpose then what are we doing?”

What am I doing?

What are you doing?

What are we doing?

I mean besides just getting by, besides just paying rent, besides just living in fear of crushing debt, anxiety, aches and pains and depression, what else are we doing?

Have you ever met anyone who was living their true life purpose?

Have you ever wondered to yourself in a brief moment of seeming wholeness and bliss and wondered, what if I just don’t go back to work? What if I just called out again? What if I ride passed my stop.

If you’ve ever wondered that (and I do all the time) we’re clearly not living our life purpose and the reason why the question is scary to me is because I feel like a large percentage of people feel this way. Sometimes I look around in lunch spots, on the train, standing in the subway or just in meetings at work and it feels like most everyone has sold themselves short, has normalized the slow and insidious grinding down of the spirit and settled for a paycheck that is not worth their time.

And we promote this among one another and to innocent children as if it was normal as if we weren’t sending completely mixed messaged to ourselves about what it really means to be alive.

What are we doing?

What have we done?

What have we traded in our dreams for?

We walk and pace the streets, the halls,  the living room  in a never ending dialogue with ourselves. We’re looking for permission. We’re conditioned. We’re trained like animals.

You ever watch someone do what you wish you could be doing but then get lost in watching and consuming, essentially worshiping that person while still

doing…

nothing?

Why is it so hard to locate our authenticity? Or rather, why are we so scared of our authenticity? It’s literally the reason why I have over a hundred blogs entries in my draft folder right now.

Sigh*

Am I in broken record land yet? Let me know.

In a conversation I had with my good girlfriend recently, someone who, to me, is living more of her life purpose than anyone I know, she said that 2016 has been savage so far.     We’ve seen a lot “dying but no doing.”

Truest thing I’ve heard all month. We’re obsessed with mourning the dead as well, while in the mean time our own lives here on this physical plain, hang in the balance.

Today I found out from a co-worker that someone we used to know who worked here who hated her boss notoriously left without having secured employment elsewhere. Now I know how long she suffered or rather tolerated her time here and I was so happy when I heard last year that she had finally gotten out. But I took that to mean she found work elsewhere. This an intelligent, detailed, hard working young woman. But no, I’m told she didn’t move on to something else right away. She had just had enough.

I know a guy who I worked with years ago when I was a bookseller who literally just walked off the job one day. Just said fuck it. Everyone thought he was crazy.

I thought it was kinda stupid but I totally understood. I secretly envied him for it.

I’m not the type to leave a job without a plan. But I also don’t seem to have a concrete plan at the moment. Just some promises I made to myself that I would like to keep.

I don’t want to die here. And when I say here, I don’t necessarily mean at this job. I mean I don’t want to die never having realized my life’s purpose. There’s a there there and many of us expire there.