Wednesday, April 12, 2006


i rock myself. i don't know where i got it from, but i rock myself. when i'd be in church, listening to a good sermon or a good testimony, or after a good good praise... or sometimes when i'm alone in prayer or meditation or whatever you wanna call it. and you know another time i rock? when i'm at an open mic, and somebody's words are stirring up spirit inside of me. it's an old lady rock, like a metronome or a pendulum - back and forth, back and forth. sometimes i try to stop, but apparently that's just how i do, 'cause before i realize that i'm doing it, i'm rocking again on a rhythm. on a roll.

some folks might not be able to relate to this. there are different ways that people express what's going on in their spirit, and some ways are more verbal while others are more physical. i wasn't raised in the church. my parents talked to me about God and let me discover what was meant for me to discover about christianity on my own. my mom comes from a baptist kind of tradition. my dad's family is pentecostal. you know, apostolic holiness - the no makeup, doilie on the head, no pants wearing women, who shouldn't watch movies, and should be in church every night of the week and eighteen hours on sunday - the holy rollers who speak in tongues and catch fire with the holy ghost and get laid out under white sheets when they fall out near the altar. those folks who look at you as if you're the devil's spawn if you don't exhibit what they feel is evidence of the baptism of the holy ghost.

mm hmm. not for me. however, neither am i much for quiet churches, the ones where the only people who speak are the announcements lady, the choir, and the pastor, and everyone sings ancient songs from hymnals that don't speak to the soul. churches where everyone looks at you strange if you want to make a joyful noise or even dance like david danced. not for me.

i've been in and visited different kinds of churches. catholic ones, methodist ones, baptist churches, pentecostal churches, and my favorites :) the non-denominational churches (those are the evangelical pentecostal folks who don't like being called pentecostals and wind up being looked at as holy rollers anyway).

i don't know where i picked up this rocking thing, but it's a part of who i am. it's like when you hear someone saying something and you nod to affirm it. it's actually the same thing, it's just that when something really moves me, it literally moves me, and i nod with my whole body.

last night was a rough night for me. actually this week has been a rough week for me thus far. i have a lot on my mind. a lot of competing thoughts and pressing obligations and serious decisions... and my time is pressed, and i'm feeling a little stressed, and my evasion techniques that i usually use to manage my stress aren't really working, and there i was sitting at one of my favorite open mics, trying to chill and relax and not really feeling it. i flipped through my ratty marble notebook for something to read and hated everything i saw because it was all inadequate to express anything i was feeling. and i haven't had time to really write lately - and i didn't have time to write in the middle of this open mic. i got up to read a couple of my poems and i wasn't feeling either of them.

then i sat down. and this sista came up, who hadn't performed in some time, and she was so beautiful to me. the way God crafted her face - wide open, like sunrise over a panoramic horizon. the way her soft accent and the lilt of her voice carried her words like the first spring rain bringing nourishment to fledgling flowers... and what she was saying!!! y'all, i started to rock. tears slipped out from the corners of my eyes... kinda like how they're rising to brim my eyelids as i type this, and i just kept on rocking, looking at her, urging her with no words to continue to feed me, to rescue me from my contrary mood - if only for those few moments. and i just kept rocking. what comfort i found in her words! what safety and familiarity i felt in that rocking. i got through the night because she helped to break the negative energy i was struggling with - it was a pivotal moment that i'm thankful for.

this morning is a better morning. i've had some sleep. i was brave enough to not call out of work, like i seriously considered. 'cause i got to keep moving, right?