Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Five Most Important Words: According to Lhea J. Love


ONE. Liturgical.
I am more than a liturgical dancer; I am liturgical. My history is liturgy.

I am not going to tell you that you are going to hell. I am not going to demand that you believe what I believe.
My goal is to be a living testimony that you might see just how good God has been to me.

The son of the Black Madonna said, “the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.” (John 14:12) If Christ says that I can do greater things than he, who am I to argue?

I’ll never be perfect. Like a curve approaching the asymptote of Christ, I will strive all the more earnestly to reach the goal.

TWO. Existentialist.
I am a Black existentialist, a Christian existentialist, a Black nihilist, an absurdist. I probably don’t have to define absurdism for you to agree: the world we live in is absurd.

Between police officers killing innocent Black men and the same officers getting away with murder, there seems a conflict between the quest to find and prove the value of Black life and the inability to find it, the inability for it to be accepted by others. That’s absurdism. The only meaning in our lives is the meaning we put there. That’s existentialism.

What about God? Well even God gave us a choice.  This freedom, leading to dread-angst and despair, is completely within our control. Didn’t He say I am the city and ye are the city? Didn’t he say that you could do greater things than Christ? Paul tried to tell us that we could do all things through Christ.

All. No one ever said that we could only do the things that we could afford, or the things allowed by our genetics; no one ever said we were limited by our IQ. We can do all things.

I am an existentialist, a Christian existentialist, because even though I am an other in American society, I believe in my own authenticity. I determine my life, my future, my experience. I know that even in Black nihilism, Black existentialism when there is no intrinsic purpose or value that doesn’t mean that there is no purpose or value at all.

I create myself, through the power of Christ; condemned to be free.

THREE. Oppressed.
I am oppressed. My great-great-grandparents were enslaved and my great-grandparents not much better; my grandmother was a domestic and my own father was the same age as Emmett Till when he was lynched, living not too far away. In Mississippi-goddamn, that tree could have been for my father.

And I wouldn’t be here.

It is no accident that many of my favorite books have the word oppressed in the title: Pedagogy of the Oppressed; God of the Oppressed.

Most Christians overlook the scripture, “Envy not the oppressor and choose none of his ways.” Perhaps, because it does not apply to them. But no one knows how hard it is not to envy your slave master, your tyrant or your rapist, your country -- no one knows but the downtrodden, the oppressed.

FOUR. Fortitudinous.
I am Lady Fortitude. Or at least, I am Lady Fortitude waiting to awake into her own power. I am Lucy -- Dinkinish; I am Nefertiti -- Neferneferuaten; I am Mary -- Madonna. I am mother nature.

There is nothing that I cannot survive. I can survive drought and plagues, wars and occupation, slavery and colonialism and imperialism; I can survive exploitative capitalism, racist democracy. I can survive rape and theft and violence and rape and illiteracy and miseducation and rape and rape and rape. I can. I have. I will.

Yet, even though I can survive oppression and repression and depression, I remember I am worth the best. I am worth of the best this world can offer, perhaps better.

FIVE. Genius.
I  am a genius.

I am not a genius because I am smarter than you or better educated, because I am more talented than you or better trained; I am a genius because I have decided to claim my essence. I am a genius because I have created a life of genius. I am a genius because I’ve finally decided to stop settling for anything else.

My being a genius does not prevent you, too, from being a genius. There is no limit on the number of geniuses this Earth can hold.

I am a genius because I figured out how to succeed after failure; I discovered the knack in not giving up, not giving in. I am a genius because I figured out how to be fought against without becoming a fighter; I figured out how to be a fighter without resorting to violence. I am a genius because I discovered when, rarely, violence is necessary.

I am a genius because I have survived what has killed others. I have survived suicidal tendencies, and physical abuse and anal rape. I am a genius because I have survived poverty and homelessness. I am a genius because I know that my my degree and my diploma, my publications and my accomplishments, my personality and my beauty do not make me any better than you. I am a genius because I see your genius. I see your intelligence; I see your talent; I see your depth; I see your spirit.

I am a genius because I see God every time I see you.

Walter Mosley once wrote: “The decision to use the term ‘genius’ was not to isolate our thinkers… We understand genius to be that quality that crystallizes the hopes and talents and character of a people. This kind of genius is something we all share. It is a presence where absence one reigned. It is the possibility for a people to look into their hearts and to see a life worth living.”

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Not Quite a Writing Mother

Everyday I wake up at 5:30 in the morning. I try to write a page or two. Sometimes I only write a scene.  Now that I have a computer, I type what I have written.

Nothing in my day to day activities has to do with being a mother. Unless I am of course reminiscine about my mother who has been dead for almost 20 years.

The day before yesterday, I found milk in my right breast. Last night I found milk in my breast.

I called my child's father because he is the only man I have sex with. I do not know what to think. I expect to have a period. But if I do, I will probably cry. I always cry at the start of my periods. I was happiest while pregnant and breast feeding.

Writing is a close second. It is the happiest I can be without a child.

Friday, October 14, 2011

First Birthday... Anniversary of Mommyhood

ONE.
I have been a mother for a year now. It's nothing like I expected. I do everything wrong. Or at least, not nearly as well as I expected.

Somewhere along the line... I lost my mommy-momentum. When my child was first born... I used to read everyday, do cloth diapers and breastfeed. I stopped reading months ago. And as much as cloth diapers made me love laundry, I've stopped that to. Breastfeeding? I only survived 7 months.

I need to step it up during year two. I need to go back to reading daily. (Maybe find a few spanish and german books.) Try to go back to cloth diapers (they are a lot less wasteful... and less expensive.) And, try to make all of my babyfood organic.

TWO.
I thought of going to an Apple Orchard as a first birthday celebration. I think that might have to wait until year two...

Even if I can't afford anything fancy, maybe I can do something... Something.

I don't think mothers can afford to be tired, or lazy. So, I need to get off my bum... and make the best of everything.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Awaiting Harper

Anyone who has ever met me realizes that I love books much more than people. And, I do love people. I love intimate moments shared with someone who loves you despite your flaws. I live for hugs, embraces that whisper I know you (all of you) and I am still here.

But, while people cannot be perfect... books can be.

I stopped reading. Okay, I occassionally skim magazine articles... and glance at the new titles in local bookstores. But for the most part. I stopped reading.

The truth is I am pregnant and I do not know anything about children.

The truth is, that I found something that I love more than fiction, more than poetry... more than the uttered truth, and that is Harper.

Harper what? people ask. Probably Harper Giovanni or Harper Evette. That is still to be determined.

I am in my nineth month of pregnancy. Sometimes the only thing that makes me smile, is my daughter moving, searching and growing in my abdomen.

I am not pregnant. I have never been loved by a man. Oh sure, I have loved -- but I have never been in love. I have never been courted.

I do not expect to be.

This is not how babies are supposed to be born into the world.

I finally have a place of my own. Simply, a room of my own. Some would argue it is all I need. Three white walls, one red. A red desk, red chair and red shelf. Two Pink and two red picture frames, all empty, awaiting Harper's smile. A moses basket from my sister in law. A bed thanks to my housemates. A place of my own.

I am very excited about being a mother. I never thought I would actually be. I never wanted or expected to have a child out of wedlock. And, I never expected that any man would actually love me enough to have a child with me. Honestly, I never thought any man would be able stand me enough to have sex more than once. Because my sex life is scattered, random, adventurous and rare -- I figured the chances of me getting pregnant, ever, before menopause was highly unlikely.

And so, since here I am. And as I type, Harper adjusts herself to her own comfort. Since we are here, both mother and daughter, sharing this room. I figure this is meant to be. I figure, Harper is meant to be here. I figure she has a few things that she would like to teach me.

I am excited and eager to meet Miss Harper. While I am glad that my mother has not witnessed my downfall, I truly with my mother was here to see her first granddaughter being born.

It's amazing how much you can love someone who you have never seen.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What's Your Dangerous Idea?

In the 21st century, the three largest threats to individual autonomy are braintapping, blacklisting and blackmail.

I am not certain how to prevent any of the circumstances.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Miracles


I am in awe of the cells dividing within me. I am amazed by the independence and codependence of life weaving within my wound a new existence that is both whole and separate from me.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Since it is a cliche, I laugh now.

Lately, I have been going for days without doing much of anything. I eat, sleep, read, write and shit. I have stopped bathing regularly and I ran out of deoderant about a month ago. I have stopped changing clothes.

I occassionally steal dimes, nickels and quarters from my father. He notices without mention. I use the money to fund my eating habits.

Each day, I search for something to look forward to. I know I am searching for reasons to live.

I find it rather pathetic that my greatest goal in life is to move out of my father's house. I am afraid it may take me five years to simply get a job. I have never been unemployed before. Now, I read reluctantly and I write - mostly blogging - out of habit.

My perspective on life used to change depending on my location. California was the only place that made me believe, at least on the surface, in multiculturalism. New York taught me that money and class was more important than race. Living in Detroit reminds me of the issues that are uniquely African American.

The most pathetic thing about my condition is that I do not know what happened. That is the most pathetic part.

It is cliche to think, 'one day I will look back on these days and laugh.' Since it is a cliche, I laugh now. Devils sit in corners, too. Perhaps devils blog, too. Perhaps devils read, too. I laugh anyway. I never believed in devils, anyhow. Only a God attempting to explain the limits of freewill to a mass of unique individuals. Pain is inevitable.

I am growing used to being hated without hating. I understand the harm and necessity of Christianity. Both fitted together in an unknown history from illegible stories, to chattel inhumanity, to beleaguered beauty racing against stereotypes and statistics.

I used to embarrass easily; now, I do not know what shame is.

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