i am inspired by my parents' 30+ year marriage. i am inspired by my friend's work
it helps me
growing a bit
i am inspired by my parents' 30+ year marriage. i am inspired by my friend's work
it helps me
growing a bit
i was gonna put a disclaimer on here, but that's not like me to be apologetic for the way i feel. and since i got some years in learning how to love myself despite what people think about what i think, i might as well sit up straight and tall at this keyboard and get my word on.
my word today is about a certain preference of mine when it comes to who i decide to allow to court me. date me. spend time with me. et cetera and ditto.
the setup: i am with my best friend and her sister among others at a public event. i'm chilling minding my own business, and this young man approaches me. he seems about my age. and even though this was some time ago (as in not yesterday) i can see his face as i type this. it's making me smile as i imagine it. he was quite handsome. bright beautiful eyes, proportionate facial features, welcoming smile, cool demeanor, reliable job. we talked for some time about some general matters and a little bit about ourselves. i got the sense that he was intelligent, friendly, energetic - all good stuff, right? he was drawing me in a little. so i pulled back - excused myself to break the momentum, and found something to do somewhere else. when i came back, my best friend and sista friend had a sidebar with me. eyebrows raised, nods of approval, they encouraged me to take advantage of the full court press the young man was giving me...
naw, that's aight.
no, seriously - he's cute!
yeah, i know, he really is... but come on, i don't go that way.
awww, glory that's not right. you could at least get to know him. it's just dating.
like i said... i don't go that way. i don't see the point.
ain't nothing wrong with it - i've done it before.
yeah, okay but that's you. i don't get down like that.
you could be missing out on something special.
that's a chance that i'm willing to take.
i stuck to my guns. the rest of the afternoon passed uneventfully. he and i spoke again here and there, but i gave him none of the my-number-is-yours-if-you-want-it vibes. i told this story to my homeboy later. he is disappointed in me. he is frustrated that, knowing how ready i am for showtime, i would take the chance on passing up what could wind up being good lovin, just because a guy is white.
now for everybody else on this planet, i am cool with saying go for what you know. if you like it, i love it. people are people, love is love. i have several cousins in interracial relationships that i have not challenged. i have several mixed family members. my dad dated interracially before meeting and marrying my mom. but when it comes to me... i'own know... i just have this kneejerk "no" reaction to it. i don't see the point in dating interracially knowing full well that i have absolutely no intention to marry interracially.
i have always pictured the man i marry being black and nothing else. black features.
like some shade of coffee
i need a man who can
relate to who i am
i'm not too ashamed to admit that at times (most times) i lack direction. life seemed a little simpler when my only job was to aim for being the head of the class and qualify for college scholarships. to use my spare time to entertain myself (reading, tv, watercolors, music, double dutch) and/or learn how to function like an adult (minimum wage jobs and first bank accounts). happiness then meant staying out of trouble and being allowed to do increasingly more grown-up things. i had so much time to entertain myself and was so busy learning and discovering that, barring some minor crisis, happiness wasn't something i questioned.
but now it's different. school is behind me now. little love letters show up once a month, reminding me that i am an indentured servant to the government (chris rock says uncle sam is like the one who sent me to college... but molested me.
i want out
before i get too deep in...
i love myself. because when all else fails, i am here to love myself. sing to myself. dance with myself. write for my own pleasure. play music and sing for myself. cook good food to eat myself. affirm myself. counsel myself. celebrate myself. congratulate myself. teach myself. learn myself. i wonder if being an only child was to prepare me for now? no (wo)man is an island. but i think if i was, i'd be a'ight.
for a while, anyway.
the thought of this, stretching on, month after year after decade after phase of life, is stark. conjuring images of a melancholy me, an apparition of myself, more like the watermark than the real deal.
i love myself.
so i keep the faith. choosing to be upbeat and anticipatory. and loving.
in the face of phantom kisses. the memories of decadent embraces, joys and the stomach flutters of nervous anticipation. under the memory of unparalleled friendship. carrying the phantom limbs around my waist or over my shoulders or intertwined with my own. confronting the images of familiar countenances on the back of closed eyelids struggling to shade out the world to seek the peace within. finding only sentimentality that may not be uttered and tears that aren't allowed to form over time that cannot be salvaged, words that cannot be rescinded. feelings that can be recalled, but not felt with the poignancy of times past. sharing that will never be duplicated. optimism that will never have its original shape, fuzzy and stretched and faded like an old sweater, appreciated, but worn faithfully to the point of trial. discarded foolish wishes, lurking, not for serious import but as reminders of tender injuries and surgically precise cuts, just painful enough to build fear and the occasional apathy. and finally, restraint that refuses to take these bricks and mortar and create the wall that has no real chance of protecting that most valuable tenderness or benefiting that most valuable hope. as madness threatens, the temptation for frenzy succumbs to faith and so
i patiently love myself. actively, and not only in cliched utterance. choosing to be upbeat and to look forward. away from the haunting memories. ahead to the ones i want to make someday.
Posted by glory at 2:09 AM
i don't want to feel like
i'm not supposed to
say that... am i?
i am not about to say anything novel or groundbreaking. this is some very matter-of-fact common sense stuff i'm about to talk about. but it needs to be talked about. cause too often we find ourselves in situations that we could/would/should, but simply don't, avoid. this post is inspired by some conversations i've had with some loved ones that i wish i could make decisions for...
i am not on prozac or paxil or zoloft or anything like that. no offense to those who are. believe me, i think i understand to some extent what you're going through. sometimes it's all just too much. i don't mean a little blue. i mean stop this ride and let me get off. i mean the hell with everything. because sometimes it's all just too much. that's why prohibition didn't work. why weed is probably as popular now as it's ever been, if not more. why smack is back. why some people, despite what they know, still try that first hit of crack, why people share their bodies with no discretion on how it may affect their spirit, why people stay in relationships that drain them more than enrich their lives, or why people become stagnant and bitter.
ask my friends. i am strange. often strangely optimistic. strangely upbeat. peculiarly silly or happy. certainly not all the time. but enough for people to sometimes earnestly ask me, what you been smoking? what you been drinking? ok, no. that's not it.
i simply make a concerted effort to be this way. i must be this way. i must find the small joys where ever i can. i must create joy in the spaces where it is needed. i must play the peacemaker between myself and this complicated and often harsh world i live in. because if i don't, i might as well start looking for my crack pipe. i might as well come up with some bs injury to start my oxycontin habit with. i must find things to have faith in
have you ever played monday morning quarterback on your weekend? or felt like it went by too quickly - so quick you can't imagine what you got out of it?
this weekend i managed to get lost.
which made me late.
for two separate meetings.
i think i need gps in my car. it's a shame i'm too paranoid to get it. if i ever need to get away, they can track me... (says the genius who would probably forget to throw the cell phone, a.k.a. homing device, out the window while on the getaway mission...)
i actually like getting lost while i'm driving. that's how i learn new stuff like shortcuts and where that place is that i've heard of but have never seen before. forgetting for a moment that being late was embarrassing both times, forgetting that i was disappointed in myself for having been late, and forgetting for a moment that the second time was especially annoying because i was simultaneously hungry and running out of gas, getting lost was cool. i have a good sense of direction, as in which direction i was coming from before i got lost, and a decent sense of north, south, east, and west. but city blocks have slants that go north north east, or west south west for example. or you can follow a number street in a grid system that won't let you go from a to b without some twists and turns.
Posted by glory at 9:55 PM
i missed him yesterday. (the intended beneficiary of my "honey i'm home" letter.) i had good news to share yesterday, and i couldn't share it with him because he just isn't here for me to share it with.
i miss him at moments just like that. when i want to share my joy and i scroll through the phone book in my janky cell phone looking for people to share it with. and after i've called my parents and best friends and homies, and even exes i'm still cool with, and shared the good news... i still wind up feeling like the celebration is incomplete, because... sheesh, i don't know why i have this need to share such a moment with that special someone, but i do. that someone who would truly know and understand why my joy is such a joy to me. someone who'd know what it took for me to get there. someone who would congratulate me with a kiss. someone who might even sweep me off my feet into the hug that you can't get from parent or homegirl or homey or ex.
now that i look at what i've just typed, i have got to be the most melodramatic woman on this planet. it's really not like my joys are less joyful just because i don't have him to share them with.
shoot, i am doing the damn thang. self-sufficient. independent. surrounded by friends and family. leading a lifestyle that i like. making friends, having fun, enjoying my youth. truly autonomous and free in this my adult life. i don't need him to make me happy. i know this for sure. if i have to go it alone, that doesn't take away from this beautiful life i'm living.
of course not.
... of course not.
glory picks her nose when no one is looking. she uses profanity. sometimes she uses profanity a lot. she's not a virgin either. she really really likes sex a lot. don't let her discretion fool you. she wouldn't ever want to be called a freak or disrespected based on her healthy appetite, but um, yeah... glory doesn't go to church every sunday. as a matter of fact, she only goes to church when she feels like it. and get this: it's not because she isn't a faithful person. she just likes sleeping in on sundays. and she likes staying out late on saturday nights. glory often wears clothes more than once before putting them in the hamper. and sometimes she goes weeks without doing laundry. she is the worst procrastinator that she knows.
and glory is a hypocrite because she will dance to music that goes against everything she claims to stand for. she always sounds like she's all down for uplifting the black race and ever
Posted by glory at 11:06 PM
my mobile phone is a worthless piece of excrement from the most dismal and smoking pit of hades and i rue the day the resources were ever wasted on its manufacture, especially in light of the fact that it hasn't worked properly since some distant day last week.
and to paraphrase a comedian i often detest, my wireless company can kiss the darkest part of my posterior. you offspring of unwed parents, to the molten banks of the river styx i condemn you, donning drawls doused in the most flammable of rocket fuels. may your eternal torture give you at the very least a small hint of the inconvenience and frustration that i feel dealing with your incompetent, inconsiderate lack of both service and utility.
Posted by glory at 10:33 PM
if i was given the opportunity to say something to other black people in this country, and i was somehow guaranteed that my words would be heard and heeded by all, based on what i am feeling today, this is what i would say:
it's okay to love yourself. maybe your surroundings or circumstances don't tell you what you want to hear. but that's okay because within you lies the ability to tell yourself love, tell yourself strength, tell yourself potential, tell yourself power, tell yourself happiness, tell yourself safety, tell yourself to dream.
it's okay to dream. it's okay to love your neighbor. it's okay to open the door to trusting other people. close it if need be, but nothing beats a failure but a try. try to forgive those brothers and sisters who have hurt you. try to forgive yourself for hurting others. try to believe that the way things are now haven't always been this bleak (because they haven't - once upon a time, we spoke to each other when we passed in the streets, and once upon a time, we checked in on our neighbors, and once upon a time we pooled our resources so that not one of us would fall by the wayside).
Posted by glory at 8:27 AM
i love james evans, sr. been loving him for years. one of the realest black men on t.v. of all time. now there are some good images of black men in the media, to be sure. but when you talk about who's my favorite, it's james evans, hands down, no hesitation. james was a proud man. he worked when given the chance. he loved the mess out of his wife, and communicated that to her regularly and lovingly without embarrassment or prodding.
Posted by glory at 8:15 AM
my hero... my best friend... she dropped what she was doing cause she heard the foreboding tone in my voice. she listened to my subdued, sullen words as they grew harder and angrier and then pained and choked with liquid sorrow. my issue, an issue that she is only one of a select group of trusted few to know about, had managed in its characteristic fashion to unexpectedly intrude uninvited upon what was otherwise a peaceful day. i needed some ears to absorb the blow of all the emotion which was sure to follow. i needed someone to witness the sound of my tears streaming down this forlorn face, to witness the sound of my sniffles, the sound of my futile attempts to control the mucus and salt water that made me grieve for the woman who produced them.
it makes for great poetry
the ability to be selfish at will
autumn leaves are a simple pleasure, the way they pop out against the backdrop of a blue sky that lacks the heavy humidity of summer. the brisk chill of morning - just enough to make your fingers nippy, but with a hint of warmth because the sun hasn't started lying to us yet - is a simple pleasure. blogging is a simple pleasure. the satisfaction of eating a homemade sweet potato pie slice after lunch is a simple pleasure. getting emails from friends is a simple pleasure. having time to spend with friends is a simple pleasure. add to this list having clean drawls because the laundry is done, potting a plant cutting because the roots have come in, hearing an expectant mother fawn over her child, and having a friend do something nice for you just because she knows she can.
Posted by glory at 1:58 PM
woke up to sunlight and the sounds of steve sparrow under the softest covers on a mattress of satiny peace, remembering the feeling i felt leaving jus words last night after sharing the best part of myself with people i respect and admire. offering them my most sincere smiles and hugs and applause and encouragement and sisterly concern and advice and willing laughs and listening ears. i give in earnest - i offer out of love. but i'm selfish. cause i offer the love i look to receive. when i'm on that stage, karma brings all that positive energy i give right back to me, giving me the courage to try new things with my poetry, giving me the confidence to read what's in my heart, knowing that i'm amongst my people. it's not often that you receive what you give in equal or ample measure from people. from the Creator, it's to be expected. but sometimes His creation is so self-absorbed that they have no true interest in giving of themselves. so as most folks come to eventually find out, there's no point in expecting to be offered love - if you're going to pour love out of yourself, you need to be surprised to see it fly home to you like birds in spring. except where i went last night, i've gotten spoiled. i've been respected like the queen they call out in their poetry, like the sista they care about in songs, like one who is loved just because that's what we're supposed to do for each other. and never in my life have i seen black men and women loving each other like they do when we watch each other on the mic and share each other with our words - you don't get that at the grocery store or in school or at work. and no offense to our churches - but sinners feel comfortable in our presence, and still leave with positivity to chew on and inspire them. i know God is present when we gather. and i keep wondering if this is what it was like in africa, before there came people to hate us and confuse our love. i wonder if the ancestors watch us and smile and feel solace when we sow our knowledge and humor and spirits into each other. so no wonder i leave feeling beloved and cozy the mornings after. no wonder i find myself drawn to the scene like people are drawn to the light in the eyes of that special someone. there is love there. and it makes me cozy.
Posted by glory at 8:31 AM
there is a time for everything,
a season for every activity under heaven.
a time to be born and a time to die.
a time to plant and a time to harvest,
a time to kill and a time to heal.
a time to tear down and a time to rebuild.
something in me felt a little uncomfortable about putting this issue out on front street, which is exactly why i know i have to blog about it - flying by the seat of your pants to keep confessionals real but just removed enough from the core of your being is challenging and fun and requires creativity - all the stuff that i LOVE about writing. so here goes...
from what may become a classic movie for my generation, amy heck.erl.ing's c.lue.less:
TAI : Do you think she's pretty?
CHER :No, she's a full on Monet.
TAI : What's a Monet?
CHER : It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess.
sometimes i wonder if i am a monet. i don't mean physically. i think i have a healthy balance of self-esteem, realism, and modesty. there are some women that look good to everybody, some that don't look good to most, and then there are the rest of us that clean up nice and generally do alright, which is pretty much where i land. so that's not what i'm talking about.
i am talking about the substance of who i am. i have lived enough life and experienced enough relationships to know that unless i am purposely being opaque (which happens sometimes out of shyness or distrust), i tend to leave a good first impression on people. as in when they first meet me, they generally get along with me, can chat freely with me, and aren't offended by any major vices or assaulted by scathing character flaws. and this generally serves its purpose in superficial relationships with those people who are most likely to be called "acquaintance" or "associate" or casual "friend." but with the exception of close, long time friends or family members, who are apt to sincerely tell you how wonderful they think you are, relationships are tricky, and more specifically, new relationships with the less fair sex are tricky.
why do men show interest in you and then over time, the interest wanes? i mean, of course, meeting people is an exploratory process, and flirting and dating are ways to explore new people to see if you like them. in any case, people will be drawn together or will drift apart after a certain amount of discovery. but in light of the ephemeral nature of the initial attraction, the thing is, why all the enthusiasm at the outset?
every friday morning i was eager to get to school to laugh with my friends about what we saw on the cosby show the night before. the show was funny and it had black people on it and one was a doctor and another was a lawyer and their kids went to college... wow, college... like my parents wanted me to go to college. if i wanted, i could grow up to go to college like sondra and denise and become a doctor that delivered little babies like cliff. and i could live in a house with expensive artwork and go on homecoming trips with my family to a historically black college and have my own room like clair with french doors - "inside... outside!!!"
Posted by glory at 11:29 AM