Tuesday, October 24, 2006

comfort and perception

what's interesting is that over time, years pass and i have changed and grown...

yet i use the same things for comfort. i have a sweater that my grandmother gave me years before she died. i wear it for warmth, physically and spiritually. then there's fred hammond's pages of life double disk cd. that always does it for me. i have favorite tracks that i can just play on repeat for hours on end, just letting it feed and strengthen my countenance and my spirit. making my mommy's sweet potato pie does the trick, too. or her macaroni and cheese. or, believe it or not, my dad's peanut butter sammiches. he made me one when i was sick, and i fell in love instantly. it's just a big glob of peanut butter between two pieces of warm toast... honey is optional. but whenever i want to feel satisfied quickly, it's always there for me. there have been times when my teddy bear, which has been mine since my birth, was the only available hug - one i gladly took, over and over again, whenever i needed it.

i'm still trying to figure out how i worked two or more jobs, kept my scholarship, made it to step practices and still managed to eat home cooked food (most of the time) and wear clean clothes in college. i'm in a bit of a whirlwind now, but with increasing effort, things are starting to settle into some kind of rhythm. i haven't been writing, which is unfortunate, because this is probably a time when i especially need to be writing. but my spirit is encouraged. especially since i'm wearing my grandma's sweater, listening to fred hammond, and digesting a peanut butter sammich.

i miss blogging.

one day, i was on the bus on the way home from work, and this young teenage couple got on. the guy sat down, and his love sat in his lap. this girl had to have been the loudest, most tactless person i've seen on the bus thus far. there was also a woman about my parents' age sitting about two rows directly ahead of me. the girl was talking to her boyfriend like there was no one else privy to her mix of profanity, petty sarcasm, and general wasteful words. you know the stereotype, right? well, of course, i didn't say anything to her. and of course, no one else did, either. but of course, the woman in front of me kept cutting sideways glances at the child, shaking her head in disdain, probably for the generation she'll never understand.

in my head, i was writing a poem about the girl, which i've since lost, since i never wrote it down. but in my imagination, i took the girl off the bus, out of philly, out of america... off to africa, in some rural society, where girls walk straight and tall and oblivious to their own beauty, balancing baskets on their heads, toting water over their shoulders, sporting beads and scarification and braids... 'cause the girl from the bus looked like one of those african girls - she was absolutely beautiful. i wonder if she was even aware of her beauty. i wonder if she knew her actions were completely incongruous with the nobility in her features. in any case, i imagined her as eloquent, full of the folk wisdom and the pride it takes to be humble. i imagined her dancing joyfully with other girls, barefoot, kicking up dust with abandon. i admired that image of her, and in that moment, i wanted to be like her - the version of her that i'd created.

and then the thought occurred to me - if she knew that i thought better of her as an african country girl than as a hardened inner city stereotype, would she have hated me? did liking her better as someone else mean that i hated who she was? was she even really being herself? is anyone truly distasteful and rude by any means other than their personal choice? i refuse to believe that folks of a certain age don't know any better. of course, i hate when i'm honest enough to ask questions like these, 'cause it sounds really judgmental, and even classist - never mind that her neighborhood probably isn't much different from the one i grew up in. in any case, i thought about the blog when i found myself mulling over my role in how i perceived her.

as i get back to balance, i hope to continue sharing these things here...

thanks for clicking here to see if i had anything new up. i know i've been inconsistent. and as always, i appreciate your reading.