Let’s not hide from each other. Let’s not cover up what we feel is natural. I want to be free with you. I want you to be free with me. I want to talk, laugh, joke, play and stay in our bare skin for the entire day. Why would we cover ourselves? I find you beautiful and you find me the same. From the soles of our feet to the details of our skin that cover our veins. I see no reason to make you wonder because what you want from me is more than physical. I want to see you as you are. Fully with nothing covering your blemishes or scars. Don’t hide from me and I won’t hide from you…
When I was in High School there was a book of short stories and poetry called Erotic Noir that my BF and I were crazy for. It was this large book of beautifully affirming, liberating self-loving, candid, intimate tales of Black sexiness. It was of course the only book of Black Erotica of I found on the bookstore shelves at the time. There was nothing else to compare it to so it was a very special book for me. That was back in the day when I wrote religiously. I never was and still am not very good at writing about graphic intimacy or sexual experiences and so I would read and immerse myself and admire but I remained uncomfortable with actually writing anything like it.
Thanks White Male Patriarchy.
….actually, no thank you.
But thanks to being raised in a household where I was free to run around naked until I learned to be self conscious, I’ve always been pretty comfortable being naked. But as a Black women however (probably as any woman) it doesn’t matter how comfortable you are being naked. In this world, you learn how to become self-conscious even about being un-self conscious.
I’ve never actually seen a Pink Moon in my life but I did receive a rose quartz palm stone yesterday evening on the first day of the Full Pink Moon in Libra which is said to represent focus on the blossoming of new and exciting things to come in the season. It represents a call to action in the spirit to make manifest, those wishes and dreams that have been germinating during the Winter. I felt the energy of the rose quartz very deeply as I held it in my hands and on my heart. It’s a smooth, good sized stone, with a good weight and it’s arrival in my life right now is very timely.
Things have been very intense for my husband and I in the last few weeks. We’re planning a short getaway this weekend for a change of scenery, some peace, quiet, to be closer to nature, to do some spiritual healing work.
Speaking of Spirit, I strongly, deeply, adamantly recommend that everyone, Black people in particular, read “Intimacy of the Spirit” by Sobonfu Some. My partner in the Divine Feminine Movement shared it with me a while ago and it has really been a revelation for me on many levels. It has helped me to reflect on and indicate the ways in which intimacy has worked in my relationships, how much or how little respect I have for it and in which relationships. It has shed so much light on the huge role secrecy, shame and pain have in most all models of relationship here in America and in all Western societies. It’s not easy or fun to dig into the ways in which, perhaps I have taken advantage of, overlooked, dismissed, manipulated or mistreated intimacy in my life but this book is also really confirming for me, so much of the strong underlying feelings I’ve had about the nature of and the power of intimacy to effect, not only those in the a committed relationship with one another but also their family, friends, loved ones, community, society and the world at large.
The spirit of intimacy is the essence of life. Ritualized reverence and honor of that spirit is sadly devoid in most of our lives, which is evident in high rates of divorce, violence, depression, unhappiness, fragmentation, isolation and a general sense of loss. And yet ritualistic behavior is inherent to us as human beings. We just participate in too many of the wrong rituals. Rituals that erode and diminish our health, spirit, self esteem and emotional well being are the ones we know too well. Speaking ill of ourselves, playing it small, not listening to our intuitions, self medication, overeating, mindless media consumption and more. We prioritize all of these things by way of distraction from core issues that would be easier to resolve if we were surrounded by a community, a trusted circle of peers, family, friends with specific roles to play in the maintenance and support of our chosen relationships with them.
My issues with trust, shame, pain and emotional stress are not isolated or unique. I learn that more and more as I become more honest with myself and others over time. There is a collective longing for connection in all of humanity that writhes constantly under the pressure of oppressive dictates and authorities which seeks to pervert and suppress vulnerability and authenticity and truth in exchange for mere power.
The longing for connection always wins out, even if the way in which it is manifested is often disturbing and destructive. In learning about the sacredness of intimacy, the ways in which it requires constant nurturing, I am learning the ways in which this kind of long term suffering may be nipped in the bud, weeded out, eliminated from the process of living out our purpose. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about the far reaching generational trauma of it all, but I know at the very least I need to start with me.
Last week on Monday, June 15th I celebrated one year of marriage to my sweetheart, my best friend, my “Wonderwall”, my “Love Button” my magic man. We’ve been married a year but have been together for over ten years now.
I have to say that no matter how long we’ve been together I’m always amazed when I hear the numbers. Time goes by so quickly these days and the year of marriage literally flew! I feel like we just got married. How could it be a year already? But it has been. And I’ve been learning a lot about the value of marriage, of husbands, and of relationships in general in that period of time.
But the most important thing for me which I will share is being vigilant about sharing quality time, which is one of my top five love languages. Spending time with people I love and care about is one way that I understand and receive love. Last week we went to 67 Orange Street for dinner on our anniversary, had drinks, great food and conversation plus free shots of Hennessy from our kind and generous waiter who made kick ass drinks. The week after that we met up at B-Side, a Pizza Bar which I fully intend on returning to. It’s designer pizza and refreshing drinks in the afternoon! It’s a really chill, laid back spot in Hell’s kitchen with long open landscape windows. I just loved it. This week we went for a walk to the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park which is one of the major parks in our neighborhood. Spending time with my husband keeps me connected to the energy which brought us together all those years ago. Laughing, dancing, sharing our thoughts, being close and still discovering new things together reminds me that it doesn’t really matter what we do together as long as we actively seek to be together, share time and make space for intimacy.
For years I thought I had a full understanding of what intimacy was but I think that I’ve been lending a definition that fell along the lines of the sexual connection between consenting adults. I was “intimate” with that person usually meant to me that you’ve had carnal knowledge of that person. But intimacy is so much more than that. You can share an intimate moment with a complete stranger and never exchange words with them. You can share and intimate moment with a baby in a stroller on the Subway. The relationship I have with nature is intimate. The relationship my husband has with every four legged mammal (he loves animals) he sees in the street is intimate. Listening is intimate. Paying attention and being aware of the other person is intimate. Being vulnerable, surrendering letting down your accumulated routine defenses in order to allow the kind of connection that can occur when mutual trust is present.
I’m not always the best at it. But I am a good listener and when I experience the kind of intimacy I seek with my husband, I never question it. I’m just thankful. I’m thankful to be able to celebrate that bond in our marriage whenever and wherever we please.
As much as I hate to admit it, it does becomes necessary for you to keep a fire burning after the spark has been ignited. Love is everywhere but if you don’t pay attention and create space for it, you can become disconnected from it’s warmth and inspiration and start to believe in a lot of popular illusions about love such as the one which states that love doesn’t last. Not only does love last. It has never absent from existence.
When I first met my husband I was in a very jaded place with regard to relationships. I was dating a little but not really connecting to anyone. The moment I sensed the unique and unavoidable spark between us, it was as if I was waking from a long sleep, one if which I had forgotten that I had the capacity to love deeply. And the biggest issue I had with that was that it happened so quickly, so easily, so drama free! Yeah! That was one of my biggest problems! The ease! LOL!
I was raised in a family that was openly expressive and affectionate with one another, both verbally and demonstratively and I’ve never really believed that love has to be hard but these negative messages about love can get into places inside the mind unconsciously, particularly for women, with all the televised romantic melodramas and films we consume. I myself am shamelessly hooked on “Mistresses” but am fully aware of the formula behind marketing involved in engaging a predominantly female viewership and real life. I am blessed to share my real life with someone who brings me peace, laughter, inspiration, joy, excitement and just a sense of being that I recognize is in blissful alignment with what I seek to reflect to the world. It’s a huge part of who I truly am.