Friday, June 26, 2009

The Former or the Latter {Thoughts on Love}

Those that take a chance on love, get hurt more often.
And those with hearts similiar to Stonehenge, are able to preserve themselves.

Their paths to Love are quite different...but if that Love is strong enough, in the end both are able to partake of it. Both hearts are precious; equally desiring of Love.

But fear is always present. One is running from it; the other possessed by it. One would imagine that choosing the former is the best route to finding Love.

However...hearts tend to get weary.
And weary hearts that stop; often are finally subdued by the very fear that they were running from. Oddly enough, giving in to fear isn't tumultuous at first. It's sense of self-preservation is numbing in a blessed sort of way. You're able to take inventory of just how exhausting pursuing something, that seemingly didn't want to be caught, made you.

So, you rest.
Until, that is, you are disrupted by your own desires. Coupled with the bright-eyed hope that made you want Love in the beginning.
Then fear contests.
And a dilemma ensues, once again....
...leaving you with a decision to make:

What sort of person am I going to be?
The Former or the Latter?...

I choose the Former.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” --CS Lewis

Trial by Fire.

I've had many things test my faith over the past few years:
Financial need.
Family schisms.
However, none of of these has managed to scorch my heart cleaner than my current friendship...with a man that I love.

It has been almost 5 months since we agreed to go on a "break", and I have missed him more during these months than I did when we were separated for other extended periods of time. We were close friends with a unique bond before we started dating, and we wanted to maintain that even after the "break" started. Needless to say, there have been rough moments; with the potential to turn into drama. However, the stability of our friendship outweighs the emotional wear-and-tear.

And things got somewhat complicated, involving a mutual friend (a woman) that he shares complex feelings for.

I, being new to this whole situation, stood still. Wanting to continue to be a dependable friend/partner in the Art...even though it was a daily struggle. I was so uncertain about the future, despite our shared desire to get back together. And even when I completely Let Go of my hope for the future, something comes to my attention that makes me question even the validity of our friendship. I want very much to trust him as much as I did, but this just doesn't involve him and I [anymore], and his unsure heart makes me wonder if this is worth fighting for.

...and I feel something flinch deep inside of me when I ponder on that fear. Because I love him more than I thought I would, and it has grown in these past 5 months. I've tried to picture a happiness without him, but didn't want to. And being "just friends" with him has scorched me; hard and tender places, alike.

The lyrics from Maxwell's "Pretty Wings" comes to mind....

"Your face will be the reason I smile
But I will not see what I cannot have forever
I'll always love ya
I hope you feel the same. "

At the end of the day, he's my closest friend. And I love him.
It's all I know.
Nothing else survived in the fire...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rest In Peace...

to Michael Jackson.
Forever the King of Pop.

And One Thing Will Lead to Another...

God help me...It just dawned on me that the summer is half-way over.
Meaning August is fast approaching.
Which is when he and I will return to Liberty for our first year of graduate school...where we will be in the same classes, roll in the same circles, and see each other quite often.
He may have a car this year, so there will probably be more opportunities to hang out alone.
Meaning that we will have more adventures together.
We'll share more inside jokes and discover newness everyday.
And he will make me laugh until tears and will grow closer to my heart.
We will write more & perform poetry together...and talk about writing our book.
Meaning that we will begin to do the things that we've always pictured ourselves doing...together.
And I will grow up next to him.
Meaning that I will focus my heart on no one but him. The smiles and eyes of others will become eternally dead to me.
My hopes will fly higher. My love for him will mature and grow more stubborn.
And one thing will lead to another...
And it will be harder to let him go, if I ever have to...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wise Words.

"Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day."

Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, June 22, 2009

Random Thoughts about Hip Hop.

Call me a hard-core Hip Hop preservationist, because the music is still precious to me. I have a standard for Hip Hop because I know what she can do in the right hands. Those with artistic integrity are swept underneath the rug, while the legions of gimmicky acts make all of the money. And those who well manipulate the industry are dubbed as legendary; their fans quoting lyrics that enslave rather than emancipate the mind.

...but they can keep their money. The gimmicks can keep their radio play and their ringtone royalties. Because in 20 years, no one will remember them. Never earning a column in Hip Hop's history book. Let them have their temporary fame, because real Hip Hop will always stand the test of time. It's original voice/message transcends from one generation to the next; weighted on the shoulders of chosen Renaissance men/women. Listener and Emcee alike...we all have a part to play.

And I, for one, intend on passing on the tradition.

My Heart Beats for Soul Music.

Saw this on Vh1 the other afternoon. Her albums do not do her justice...she is a must-see live. I was speechless @ around 5:36.

God bless.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I'm experiencing an itch
on that part of my back that I can't reach...

I'm especially affectionate at the moment.
I want to snuggle next to another's mind.
Lay naked next to someone's thoughts that are just as bare.
However, I'm not afforded this luxury.
Taking deep breaths,
I remember that I cannot be led by it.
Though I could intentionally seek out a man of whom to spend all of this pent up emotional energy on... would be unfair.
An injustice committed to all involved.

...because none of them...are him.
The him that I really want.
The mind that I desire.
The warmth that I miss.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness.

I love the irony in this picture.

People will spend millions of dollars this year on self-help rituals, religious/spiritual aides, psychic/astrology resources, and psychiatric care trying to figure out "the secret of happiness".

It's a path we are all on; collectively. Together. Stumbling around and bumping into each other.
Every one of us; searching.
Whenever a claim towards the answer is found, the new insight is shared.
Duplicated and sold to the masses.
Many follow the trend. Many rebel/ or scoff at the newest fad.
[Whether it be a New Age religion, Prosperity Gospel, or a "Yes I Can!" seminar]
And those left on the path continue to search.
Religious and Non-religious alike.
Democrat and Republican.
Black and White.
We all have the same pursuit.

Isn't that funny?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Hope Above All Hope

What an uncertain, faulty world we live in.
It's like the things that we should be able to depend on, prove to be as undependable as the things we EXPECT to disappoint us.

Our jobs aren't secure. Our relationships can fail tomorrow by one lie, too many.
Our homes can be wiped out by hurricanes. The stock market can falter and leave even the wealthiest man destitute.
How can hope abound in a world like this?

Yet, I have a hope. An expectant hope. A hope that seems so untrustworthy, but has stood the test of time.
Many call me insane. Many say it is merely a crutch.
But I know that without this Great Hope, I would have nothing to focus on; past what this world appears to be. The sorrow would have completely overshadowed my soul. Taking me to a place so dark and hopeless, that no amount of familial love or material numbing technique could bring me to contentment.

It took forever to believe in Him. Every time the night was darker than the previous time, I looked to Him, questioning if He would come through for me like He did the time before. And He did. He was there, even when I thought He'd been long gone.

Hebrews 13:5 . . . God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

The Damsel Rescued Herself.

I remember vividly what it was like...
...waiting on someone to realize that I am worth more than the treatment I settled for. Anxious for the day to come when he'd look me in eyes and realize that I could do so much better than he. I deserved more.

To be awakened to the fact that Love is more than being an ornament on his arm. More than the cost of dinner, movies, and a new dress. More than the physical spasms and shivers that he felt was crucial to a shared happiness with me.

I slowly felt less and less beautiful, and he didn't seem to notice. I knew because he began to interrupt me more during conversations. I guess he really didn't care what I had to say. I was no longer the mysterious and beautiful young woman who he knew very little about. Now that we'd covered the important issues: religion, family, music, and politics...there was no need to pursue my mind. And now that he could count on me to greet him happily at the door, there was no need for him to linger when he held me.

So I waited.
Stood next to him and dug deeper into his heart.
Always finding something different and something more to love.
...yet he waded in the shallow ends of my soul, content...and possibly, bored.

Soon. The lazy, lukewarm feeling of his touch pushed me away.
And, in the end, his infidelity didn't seem to break my heart, really...

I had freed it some time before.

Friday, June 12, 2009

How I Feel...

R. E. S. P. E. C. T

I've read two posts by two extremely wise & witty women today [Honesty and Lionness].
They really got me thinking about men and women relations, and both had a common theme:

Women's Self-Respect.

It's been in short supply lately, and [unmarried] women are going to desperate measures to get and keep a man. This is not, in any shape or form, my way of wagging a finger, but I would like to set a couple of things straight that may help any woman secretly struggling.

I've been there. And it's a trap that I skillfully dodge.
I wrote a piece back in 2007 called "Performance Oriented"...

he swore to me
that he loved me.

i would have gone to the four corners of
the world
...and the four corners of
his bed
if he'd ask it of me.

i would have reformed my style to his liking
suitable to please his palette.
Corporate Sophisticate.
Slick-tongued ghetto chick.
Subservient Housewife.
[or all of the above.]

I carry around my box of hats
from the last man to him...
...and now to the next.

I am. SICK. of packing.

There are many things that are wonderful about having a man in your life. His mere presence provides a strange sense of social security. And we are built to withstand physical and emotional suffering (Praise Jesus...). But an occupational hazard that comes with being a woman is that we don't know how to say "You know what? It's either me or you...Enough is enough."

Including me. Instead I'd say,

"We can work this through."

"Things will get better. I just know it."

"He's just ___________. I just need to ______________ him more/less."

Sound familiar?

Compromise is essential in any successful relationship, but we need to establish BEFORE-HAND what treatment we will and will not be subjected to. We've gotten so used to fighting for gender independance and social liberties, that we've thrown away the basic chivalry that women are owed. And the lack of respect is a huge causualty.

It's funny to me that single women sometimes walk into clubs, malls, and restaurants with an air that demands respect. We play the game very well. However, once we lock down one particular man, suddenly we become 1/2 a person. Where did the other half of you go?

I have met many men who are strikingly similiar to peacocks, because they will always [eventually] show their true colors. Men and women alike live their lives like this; in a constant stage of "first impressions". Sally's Beauty Supply and Covergirl will make millions this year because women are afraid to be who they really are [Note: I am NOT speaking negatively of cosmetics.]. Why?

Because they do not want to scare away a man.

But somewhere between 21 and 22 I made a heart choice. I was going to be myself everywhere I went, and not be afraid of that. No more hoops. Because I am Beautiful. Corny. Clumsy. Wise. Kind. Sexy. Fly. Moody. Sophisticated. Street. Brilliant. BOSS. (smile)

And I can say that without an ounce of arrogance; consciously bowing my heart to God for being my Creator. And He does not make anything slopply.

So, I can't continue to sacrifice for a man who doesn't know the meaning of selflessness. If he is dead set on looking out for himself, then it would be an injustice to him to give him something he isn't ready for.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I just finished watching the movie Blindness, and it drove me to the point of tears.

A sudden "white blindness" disease spread across the US, and those infected were forcibly confined to a quarrantined community. The conditions were seemingly adequate at first, but as more and more people were incarcerated there, the worse the conditions became. Eventually, the people were divided into smaller communities, "wards". Each one established its own leader, with their own by-laws.

Outside the wards were men with guns; heavily guarding the surroundig perimeter so that no one could escape to infect anyone from the outside. They provide no aide (save the large bulk of food that they dropped off at the back of the community grounds) and supplied only brutality.

One leader of the wards (Ward 12) soon took over the food distrubition; requiring everyone to give their valuable possessions in order to recieve food. Soon...there were no more valuables left. So, he then required uninhibited sexual use of the wards' women.

[I won't give away too many details for those of you who want to see it.]

Watching this made me angry.

Blindness (and other movies such as Stephen King's The Mist) successfully reveals the most animalistic and hedonistic attributes of man that occur in the most debase situations. I recognized that even though we are all suffering from the same basic needs (they were ALL blind -- except one, actually), goods/services within their community were not given based on what was needed, but based on who owned/controlled the use of the goods/services. The men leaders of Ward 12 took the goods by force, but were not wise with them. They took advantage of the people at their mercy. At first, the women of Ward 1 were unwilling to be currency, but they did what was "best" for the good of the community.

However, anarcy lead to war...which lead to chaos.

This is what happens when the mindset of a community/country/nation is based on what is deserved, and not on what is just. Giving the wicked ample room to prey on the weak. Centuries ago, people's land could be taken from, or people could be taken/sold from their own land (slavery)...simply by force. What is sad to me is that in a nation where opportunity is preached, little is said about humanitarianism. Competitiveness over the depreciating dollar and the declining business arena drift us further away from the notion that we are meant to take care of each other.

And in the face of crisis or death, we are all flesh and bone. And it won't matter how much money you have in your account, or what corner office you hold uptown.
We are all the same. We are all humans. All blind.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To My Sis-stars (Original Piece by N.Steven)

The Underground: To My Sis-stars

Location: Liberty University (My Alma Mater)
Poet: N.Steven (My Homie/Partner in Rhymes -- haha)

Click here if you would like to read more from N.Steven. (Quick plug -- He's got three books out, including "Just Some Stuff I Wrote Down", which debuted this past spring.)

Shout out to N.Steven. Much Love.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Black Man Invented Music...and I Bet He's Turning Over in His Grave.

June is Black Music Month.

Proclaimed [ironically] during Bush's administration back in 2002, Black Music Month is meant to establish that Black Americans, more than any other race, have made the most innovative contributions to Music. The very notion of rhythm can be traced back to ancient tribal practices of the early people; largely Africans.

During the slavery period, music kept the slaves' spirits high above their current mistreatment. If you are knowledgable about the Negro Spirituals, though we may sing them today in memorandum, you'd know that most were actually code (I bet you remember that fact from an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, right?). Slave music was actually the foundation for what became known as "American Music": blues, jazz, and [yes] rock n' roll.

However, the invention of American Music was attributed to Whites once it was formulated, packaged, and sold to the consumers of mainstream. Though many Blacks were recognized [solely] for their talent in these genres, they were never given the props that was certaintly deserved.

Example: The supposed King of Rock n' Roll is none other than the late, great Elvis Pressley. However, he had a predecessor and pioneer: the grandaddy of rock n' roll, Chuck Berry. But when you think early Rock n' Roll, the mind automatically goes to Elvis.

Blacks continued to stir up their creative juices by breaking new ground, with the creation of three new genres of music:


Other sub-genres were created by combining genres: (Ex: Soul is combined gospel and R&B -- i.e. Ray Charles). Pop music (a lighter form of rock) even has a Black man as its top contributor: Michael Jackson -- and his 42,537,000 albums sold makes him the highest selling artist OF ALL TIME.

Blacks used to use music ONLY as a way to escape oppression. However, the current state of Black music is attempting to undo what has been accomplished since the late 1800's. I'll target Hip Hop music, specifically....Here are a few personal reasons why:

1. Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is currently one of the most savvy, highest paid music moguls in the music industry, but is secretly thought of as a JOKE.

2. In 2007, 50 Cent became the highest selling hip hop artist ever.

3. Hip Hop is referenced as being a "business".

4. The Source [Awards & the magazine] (They lost my complete respect when both the Roots & Juvenile got 4 mics in the same issue.)

5. B.E.T. (period)

6. People will illegally download Lupe Fiasco's The Cool, but will spend $5.99 a month on a "Stanky Leg" ringtone.

7. The formula for selling records is based on invisible gimmicks. (I.e. Swagga)

8. Rap artists, who claim to have great free-styling skills, having ghostwriters.

9. Too much sampling, which leads to an decrease of innovation.

10. My nephew can quote the lyrics of Soldja Boy, but couldn't tell you who Pharoahe Monch or Little Brother are.

I'm not naive. It's up to the people to make Black Music as productive as it once was.The cliche awards show speech holds true:
"I'd like to thank the fans, because without you, we wouldn't be here."

...Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, and Ella Fitzgerald knew one thing for certain: Black music reflects the people. Our people. Somewhere along the line, we've forgotten that.

Thank you to those who've paved the way.

Happy Black Music Month

Friday, June 5, 2009

My Jam for the Moment...

Mos Def - "Casa Bey" - The Ecstatic - 6.9.09

My heart beats to this man's lyrics. I'm so excited for the album's drop on the 9th.

Since When?...(June Edition)

Since when are females, especially white females, excluding from having beat-boxing skills? Watch and be amazed. (Not sure how old this is, but I stumbled upon this a few minutes ago...)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gay Rights vs. Civil Rights Movement

It confuses me when advocates of Gay Rights try and use the credibility of the Civil Rights Movement. The mistreatment of Blacks for centuries still continues to be a sore spot for citizens in America; as well it should be. However, the struggle for Gays (I.e. currently with Prop 8) is completely different.
I will sadly admit that Gays undergo severe scrutiny and prejudice. A blog I frequent expressed that the Rodney King beating and the Matthew Shepard beating are both hate crimes. I whole-heartedly agree. However, there are many other types of people that recieve horrible mistreatment because of one thing or the other (I.e. the obese). A hate crime is a hate crime. But staying on topic, Gays did not have to fight for voting rights, or educational rights. No one has ever denied them the right to read or pee in a clean bathroom with heterosexuals.
I would never compare Slavery to the Holocaust; referencing it to make Slavery seem more horrendous. It is irrelevant and disrespectful. So, as a Black woman, I would respectfully appreciate it if those advocating for Gay Rights would cease using my history as a way to bend the arms and pull on the heart strings of the citizens of this country.
I symphatize, but I do not agree. My allegiance is not automatically applied because we may or may not face the same enemy.

The #s List (2009 Version)

10 Things you wish you could say to ten different people:
1. "You know what? Man up, already..."
2. "You may be good at a lot of things, but there is one thing that you do extremely well...and that's hurt my feelings."
3. "What did I do to make you feel like you had to delete me out of your life?"
4. "Thank you. I appreciate you and your wife more than you'll ever know."
5. "I know he's your close friend...but remember...I still love him...and he loves me. So, please do not give me a reason to dislike you."
6. "Thank you for always being my best friend...on top of everything else. I love you."
7. "You are growing into a beautiful young woman that I love more and more. I hope you're in my life always."
8. "Thank you for just being there. You're my best friend, no matter how far a part we are."
9. "You have issues. And you need to deal with your anger...because you're hurting her, and it's hurting me."
10. "I love you more than I was prepared for. But I hope that time and space doesn't push me further from you. I hope it doesn't hurt us more than it helps us. I'm not afraid of what we represent. Just be here. Don't leave me."

9 Things about yourself:
1. I like plastic flowers.
2. I enjoy giving things away.
3. Purses are my new secret fetish.
4. I want to paint just one original piece of art.
5. I love connecting with people.
6. I enjoy rummaging through old bookstores.
7. Scrapbooking = <3
8. If I had no choice...I wouldn't mind going without make-up for the rest of my life.
9. I could be a movie critic...and be good at it.

8 Ways to win my heart:
1. Genuinely love children.
2. Possess people-smarts.
3. Know your 90s trivia.
4. Love taking pictures (and being in them).
5. Blog
6. Regularly read others' blogs.
7. Say something politically incorrect with conviction.
8. Give others hope.

7 Things that cross my mind a lot:
1. My parent's health.
2. My relationship/friendship with him.
3. My walk with God.
4. Poetry/writing (what could I write next)
5. Money
6. Grad school
7. The Future

6 Things I do before I go to sleep:
1. Eat a snack.
2. Bathe/change into pjs.
3. Talk to parents.
4. Check email/FB/Myspace/Blogs
5. Text/call him.
6. Listen to music.

5 People I couldn’t live without (Other than God):
1. My mom
2. My step-dad
3. My father
4. My nephew
5. My papa

4 Things I am wearing right now:
1. shorts
2. gray wifebeater
3. underwear
4. silk hair scarf

3 Songs that fit my life perfectly(right now):
1. "Surrender Saved My Life" by The Beautiful Republic
2. "Falling in Love in a Coffee Shop" by Landon Pigg
3. "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" by Lauryn Hill

2 Things I want to do before I die:
1. Have a family.
2. Write a best-seller.

1 Confession:
He loves me....but I'm afraid that my best friend and I won't ever get back together. I have no basis for this fear...but that's where it is.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Be.Still. (Part Five -- Disappointment)

I'd never been on a real date before.

The Senior Prom doesn't count, because EVERYONE has a date for the Prom. If I'd gone with my older cousin, I wouldn't count that as a date, right?

It was the summer after high school. I'd just gotten back from Mexico, where I'd done street ministry to some of the poorest children in the small town of Morelia. My friend of 12 years had become my boyfriend by the time we took our final exams. I had gone out of the country for the first time in my I figured I was ready to go on a date.

At the time, I was enrolled in this year-long church program for post high-school grads. I'd moved out of my parents' home, and into a host house with the pastor's older, single daughter. I was under rules and regulations, but dating was not one of them. I was very, very excited to be able to hang out with my guy alone. He'd come to church events, and my parents knew him, for the most part.

I remember that Sunday very well. I invited him to a church event that was held at a school in my hometown. There was entertainment put on by some of the members, and PLENTY of food. The plan was, that he and I were going to go to the movies after the event was over. I'd cleared it with the pastor and his wife two weeks before.

Coming out of the bathroom at the school (I'd changed into jeans and a tshirt), my guy stood near the front doors waiting for me. I suddenly remembered to go say bye to my parents before I left for my date. They replied that I couldn't go on the date, because no one knew about it before hand. I said that my pastor and his wife knew. Clearly upset, my parents confronted them.

And much to my surprise, they replied (with me standing there) that they knew nothing about me going out on a any time...and especially not that day. My head started to spin. With all eyes on me, I simply stood there; speechless. I didn't know what I was more disappointed in: my parents' anger or my church leaders' dishonesty. I turned to look back at the guy...and signaled for him to go on without me.

My mind swam with confusion and hurt. After proving to be an responsible, well-rounded young adult, I was still unafforded the basic pleasure of hanging out with a friend. And I was a 17 year old high school graduate.

This disappointment swelled in the pit of my gut. And it only grew.

This occurance flooded into an array of conversations and lectures. My parents were furious at me for my lack of sound judgement. My pastors declared that I was being drawn down the wrong path, and that I was too carnal for wanting to go out on my very first date.
Finally, a conference was scheduled between my pastors, my parents, and I...

...where I was strongly advised to stop dating this boy. And there was a unified voice in that room, and it spoke that I was going down the wrong path. What I felt was wrong.

There is a vivid memory that continues to haunt my dreams.

And it happened as soon as the meeting was over...

I remember going into the empty bathroom of my church and crying my eyes out. I held my hands tightly across my mouth and weeped sour, broken tears into the floor. I asked God for clarity. I wanted to know why this was happening to me, and why I did not see it coming. I could physically feel a battle going on inside of me. It wasn't that I felt I could not live without this guy. That wasn't it at all. It was that I had absolutely no clue what is truly righteous and good. Somehow, I'd lacked the spiritual fortitude to see the darkness (or the light, for that matter) inside of my own soul. I wanted to possess my own faith. Have it to be MINE.

But it didn't belong to me, it belonged to those who felt they knew better than I did.

And that belief was lorded over me. Making me dizzy with disappointment.

I was in an unsound place. A place where a hope was dangled in front of my eyes, but then snatched away...where I am then told that this hope wasn't really mine to begin with.

The notion of hope deferred still tends to trip me up. My mind immediately goes back to a picture of me: confused and decieved. But I shake that lie out of my mind...remembering that I contain the potential to grasp growth, beauty, wisdom, and true grace, as well as the evidence that points towards my own personal relationship with God. I should only be still and tap into it...

So, disappointment teaches me this:
Fear no man, only God. Because He is the only one who can change the direction of the wind. Trust Him.