Falling. Akua Naru & Love Jones

EYYYYYY YOOOOOO!!  Told you I was weird. Ok so the topic of today’s entry. I LOVE Akua Naru. If you’ve never listened to her, stop reading this blog, hit up youtube, spotify or soundcloud. Type in A-k-u-a (space) N-a-r-u and then click on Falling. The woman and the song are dope. But really, all her stuff is goose-bump inducing. Now that you’ve heard the song, you know what I’m about to talk about. She opens the song, speaking about one of my FAVORITE movies. Love Jones. (Side note: a black womans’ voice, just talking over a track before the song actually starts is probably the sexiest thing since the invention of essential oils.)

“Y’all runnin around talkin about hoppin and fallin in love. Please somebody just tell me how to stay there.”

She admits to paraphrasing, and I’ll put the vid of the actual moment in the movie down below but it does deserve a post in itself. I realize my last post was pretty deep in depression and I want this blog to be nothing but honest. This one is a bit lighter.

It took me a while to fall in love. I fell in infatuation many a time and then for the first time last year, I fell in love. First, with myself and then with another person. It’s funny, falling in love was surprisingly easy, staying there is another matter entirely. The way I think of infatuation versus love is kinda cray. I think that when I fall in love-and that can be with a friend, family member, significant other, artwork, there are many kinds of love and ways to exist in love-it’s always a subtle promise followed by a big hit of revelation. I slowly and subtely begin to realize that this entity means so much more than I previously thought, deeper than just infatuation. I see them, in more than just a “Oh they give nice hugs or have a cute smile” way. That essence is what is absolutely gorgeous. Falling out of love is just as surprising in reverse. All those things I still recognize, it’s just that they no longer include my existence. Is this to say that love can’t exist over great lengths? Not at all. But why is this? Why is it so easy to fall in love and so rare to stay there? Is that really love?

I remember reading 1 Corinthians 13 one day. I got bored and found a bible laying around.

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Have we as a society forgotten what true love really is? Can true love exist where there is racism, sexism, homophobia, and so many others forms of hatred? In the words of Marvin Gaye, what’s goin on?

Don’t Silence Me, I Need to Get Free

Take time to love the black women around you. Tell us that we are loved, hear our voices ring from various buildings and streets, hug us and keep our sense of self strong, kiss us with sweetness and full hearts, help us to get freedom while we’re here on this earth in a physical body. Too many of us are getting our freedom in other ways and this world needs us, our sisters here need us. Rest in peace to all the black women who get their freedom when the rainbow is too much. Xo

Some tunes to jam to while reading as usual. These last few months have been really interesting. I’ve noticed more recently just how often people, regardless of race or gender seek to silence black women. I say seek because there is a sought out behavior in it. Society very often asks black women to speak or even pushes us the mic to then humiliate, ridicule, and ultimately silence. It is as though what is important in today’s society is the complete dehumanization of the black female vocal expression. What comes out is not an articulate woman who can uplift, but an angry animal that must be put down. Where did this come from? How to we escape? Do we escape? Can we escape?

 

The End & The Beginning

Wow! Hi! I’ve been overdosing on Lemonade (both Beyonce’s album and the beverage) so I thought it’d be cute to have a lil bit of lemonade, but then I realized that lemonade is nowhere on the internet. So Christian Scott came second.

Onto life. I bought my ticket to Los Angeles! One-Way in August. It’s so very strange to be leaving a place in which I’ve spent a good 6 years of my life. I became a young person here, where I am. But, even with sadness, there comes a great joy in asserting my will. In choosing my life in an active way. I read a book that was an introduction to directing and in it, Anne Bogart talks about directing as a violent series of choices. Whether or not I mean it to be, choosing my life is a violent choice. I’m actively choosing to save money, pack up my life as I have arranged it, say goodbye to family and friends and move all the way across the country. Are violent choices necessary for life to truly be lived?

I’m currently reading “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens” by Alice Walker. It’s about the 10th time that I’m reading it. The pages are worn and crinkled and turning brown and the cover lost it’s shine a long time ago. The significance of a well-loved book. I read it so often, mostly because I love hearing a brown woman’s voice. She’s speaking directly to young queer brown women artists. How often do I get that in my life? Mostly never. Anyway, in the book, there is a specific chapter, named after the book, in which, she speaks of black woman and artistry. It’s probably my favorite chapter. “What did it mean for a black woman to be an artist in our grandmothers’ time? In our great grandmothers’ day?” This is a question that has been plaguing my thoughts recently.

I just finished a project called The Doubleback. It was conceived by a dear friend of mine and focused on the very real lives of three women, buried together, enslaved by the same prominent New England family in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Very little is known about these women. With all the archival digging, what was found was relatively simple and short information. Phyllis, Rose and Fanny Chase. I don’t know what they looked like, sounded like, moved like, and yet I feel such a closeness with them. Fictive kinship at work once again. Fictive kinship is the relationship established between people, generally of the same ethnic or racial background, despite age, time and circumstance. These women, through fictive kinship, somehow take the place of ancestors that I can’t name. Even today, I go and sit next to their grave, talk to them, and look for that friendly tell-tale breeze that lets me know that I’m not alone but that I have nothing to fear. In what ways did they make art? Were they allowed to be artists? Were they artists? What did it mean for a black woman to be an artist and yet to not even own her personage?

Now that I carry on in their spirits, how will I use my artistry to pay them homage? It’s so very important to me that I continue to find myself as an artist at the same rate that I find myself as a human being. What does that mean? My tattoos, my hair, my piercings, my clothes, my makeup or lack therof, my sexuality, my heart, and my voice.  My journals, my poems, my pieces, my plays, my songs, my music, my words. I don’t think that artists find ourselves simply, nor do we find ourselves with relationships. Maybe it’s the in-between. The moments that didn’t quite last, although we maybe wish they did.

To loving breeze, Neo-Soul music and wonderful walks,

Cathy Xo

Tattoos

You don’t want to be with me because I have tattoos.

See I find this hard to believe.

I’m now not worthy enough because ink and needle have pierced through ever changing skin and left visible marks that I consented to?

So it has nothing to do with that skin being golden?
it has nothing to do with my thick body structure?
it has nothing to do with my kinky hair or wide lips?

You sure?

It has nothing to do with the fact that I swallow the words of Malcolm and Angela, like the best meal made on a pagan holiday by a single black mother, who made diamonds with pennies.

It has nothing to do with my sharp tone that erects in the presence of white supremacy, like an obelisk rising to symbolize the patriarchy that I daily fight.

It has nothing to do with me making art for women who look like me, learn like me, breathe like me.

No.

It has everything to do with me displaying those realities on my body.

My tattoos are acts of

Revolution

My brown body is a

target

For rape, for death, for ridicule

I choose to mark it. I choose how it is displayed even as I reluctantly play by the unfair rules that capitalism and white supremacy have set for me.

So you won’t be with me because I have tattoos.

I won’t be with you because of your narrow mind. 

 

 

 

Drafts of Him

He was comfort…home.

Six years, and somehow only glazed the surface

of each others’ existence

He was like a good book that she never wanted to finish

Please don’t let it end

There’s still so much I need to know

Important plot points

Character development

There was plenty of conflict and not enough harmonious

How did love become friendship on fire?