Friday, January 25, 2008

The ongoing chronicles of the unsociable, truth telling perv...

This story was so tidy, sharp and short, there was no space left to explain that the coming together that had happened behind this scene had not just been intensely dishonest, stupid yet hot, but also extremely, painfully short and emotionally bloody in the end...
2 Bottoms In Lust

Dunno if being the bigger one, the taller one, the one that can pick your sweet self clear up off tha floor, is all that. As in...desirable.

I mean...this here's a femme who does a mean Daddy's little girl and likes to serve while she's at it. So I ain't so sure why tha great one made you so PHYNE, irresistable and a bwoy bottom at that.

Can't banish you from my mind. You give off a glow that I may nevah forget. What's not to like? I've combed the hair on that head times two. Its blue-black 'n shiny curls cling like the miniscule dos of a million ashanti-descended choir boys as seen from above.

And I need to mention the eyes. Big and coercing. Contradicting all that shy shit you profess and confess; they dare me to do all sorts a dirty deeds with no regrets.

Sub meets sub. Gender fuckin' black bwoy meets diasporic femme vixen in tha makin'. Who will finally have her way? Bottom to top. Gyal, ain't you ready to play?

2 bottoms in lust...the universal conundrum. Can't both stay on our backs and get off. Truth is...I like to be taken TAKEN with tenderness or force. But right about now, I'd part my thighs for whatevah you had in mind. Don't you know it? Wouldn't my high heels look fine peddlin' thin air? But why should I have to make the first move?

We sit and talk...watch tv. Sit and talk...drink tea. Sit and talk. I feel worse than the most bad behave butch dog for wanting...NO, needing to stop you mid-sentence for an intense session of tongue-on-tongue tittilation. I try to focus. Getting wetter, wetter, WET. I fail miserably. And concede ungracefully.

With all the skill of a hard-on-crippled jock in back seat with a date, I grasp at tits tipped with skin the colour of roasted coffee beans. Tongue tease them out from under layers of cloth and into full view. Then I direct your mouth to my breast, my neck and hold you tight as you feed on my heat. Till my passion reaction becomes your own.

I want you. Want you on top a me. Want to coax it outta your pants and into my slit. Want your fist, your tongue, your hood. It's ALL good.

Moanin', cussin' you proceed to make my all too willing Black ass your own. One, two, three gloved, slick-lubed fingers slip past my sphincter. A quick intake of my breath. BUT...not...so...fast...

I pull back, take condom to your tool and suck like a good baby girl should. I sense, don't see your eyes roll back in your head. Your muscles tense as latex connects to clit and cortex. Sends signals screaming. A lost limb rejoined? No time to wonder. I take my fill, greedy. Plunge, suck, suck, plunge, suck, plunge. Cover it with my spit as you twitch and ride the inside'a my mouth. A forceful hand to tha back'a my neck makes me gag. Makes you laugh, drunk with the power of my gift.

Then I'm on my back. You're devouring my nipples and there's pain. A myriad of tiny-electric shocks assault my system. Your eyes gazing into mine speak volumes. Molten, they're as vulnerable as I've seen 'em.

You come into me with a shudder. Cock ridin' me. Pelvis grindin' and windin' me. Hitting all the right spots. Using that facsimile tool with more precision, more knowledge than a penis-possessing fool allowed to have one by accident of birth.

And as you're lungin', I'm squealin', beggin', jonesin' for more of what you've got to give. You name me size queen. I laugh and know you're right. Pulling you to me by the cheeks of your sweaty ass I taste your tongue and bite your lips.

Two bottoms in lust. Ain't that tha shit? Who bottomed for who? Who topped between us two? When you fucked my pussy raw and I made you do it?

Ballsy, bad butch boy, you please me. Damn! You pleased me.

©2002 by T. J. Bryan
This one is fairly new. It also ended up in On Our Backs.
Online it's stored here.

At some point I'll get my groove back and sit comfortably with how the me who wrote this fits with the Black conscious queer middle classing dreadlocked feminist partnered to a hetero man emotional depth blogger
mama woman... Just not sure when.

But for tonight, I'd like to at least get off one more time in peace.




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A space of our own...

Loving Pecola has left a new comment on your post "Bonding despite homophobia...":

Mmhm, and I say ditto, but to women. Maybe you had this because of being in queer community? But I have had very little of it. I've come closer to it with men friends I've had, in fact. Those same boys/men who I played dominoes and video games with, were the ones who would stroke my hair, back, and arms as they sat on the couch and watched basketball/football. I was was there only for that connection, I hated watching sports. One of my best male friends was 6'4'' and a year younder than me, and I used to go crawl into bed with him, fully clothed, whenever I was sad or hurt or angry and in need of a place to cry. He'd hold me. But I'm wondering why that couldn't be my mother, my cousins, my girl friends. I used to holdmy male friends' hands, rub their backs, brush their heads (gotta get them waves, ya know ;o) and so many other intimate touch things...very little of this happened with my girlfriends...with the exception of doing each other's hair or make up, but you know what? Even that changed because we used to sit on the floor between whoever's legs to get out hair done, and then all of a sudden it moved to sitting in a chair to get your hair done....virtually no touch, except the scalp...we used to grease our scalps...that's a lost art now, I think...

Yes, men and women, we all need it...as I'm thinking about creating the space for birth and mothering in my life, I am becoming desperate for the closeness of women...

And, if women gave this to each other, how much less would they rely on the heterosexual, monogamous realtionships you were talking about when you were talking about settling for hugs and kisses from men...
Sorry about the massive digression,
In part the reason why I talked about it as related to men is because I'm simultaneously having conversations with Julian and Papster about how wonderful it would be for men, for Black men to get together, not to discuss sports or work or music, but themselves and their emotions.

I think that you're right, I have experienced much connection with wimmin, most of it flawed in a variety of ways but definitely there.

I don't primarily turn to men for touch or emotion or physicality. I think that having children means that I'm inundated with touch. I really try to spend time not being touched or tugged or pulled. :) In terms of emotion... I'm internal and tend to validate my feelings whether or not people understand or are present. Sometimes I do it on this blog so that I can put them outside of me or vent them. In terms of sexualness, I have a trusty vibrator. Eventually I hope to go back to attending and throwing play parties. I'd like to start going to sex parties with primarily queer wimmin.

Hmmm...
I think I tried to co-create the intentional community because I didn't want to be away from intimate connection with wimmin. That didn't work out well at all.

I hear what you're saying about wanting to be intimate with wimmin in a friendship circle. I think tat without an analysis of stuff like competition, indirect communication, passive aggressiveness, external validation and patriarchy...for black wimmin stuff like shade, lookism, fat phobia, lesbophobia...I've noticed that spaces created for wimmin can become strained and full of infighting.

It's such a catch twenty-two. We obviously need spaces of connection, but without a commitment to a particular kind of consciousness, the spaces soon become useless.







if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Then Loving Pecola said...

Loving Pecola has left a new comment on your post "Babe, he's still gotchu...":

There's that bright light again, LMAO.

Everyone told me not to do it/I shouldn't have done it. Don't marry that man. Why get married at all? You don't need to be married! Marriage isn't what it seems. Girrrrrrrl. You too young to get married, to be married. Oh I heard it from all angles AND this was *AFTER* it was over-yeah they said don't do it, after it was done, lol, because I didn't even tell people before I did it. But I didn't give a damn, I was determined that I knew what I was doing. I still think I do. Maybe when I'm old, I will think differently, but for now, this is where it's at. Those women who gave me the advice were married, divorced, never married, young, old, lesbian, single, in common law "marriages" and everything in between. We've definitely been talking about marriage in oppressive terms...the words in the vows, which I tweaked, the likelihood that a husband will just become one of the "other children" in the home...someone for you to take care of, while he still maintains his patriarchal head of household status. There's so much we're taught, but there's also a lot that got discussed among the women that did not make marriage seem like the bite of pineapple upside down cake the culture makes it out to be. I don't think my paternal grandmother was ever married, in fact I think the five children she gave birth to have four different daddies. She was very much a single woman for all of her life, and has an aversion to marriage which is interesting since she is a staunch christian...but she has her moments, too, especially about a woman's respnsibility to bear children once she's married...I've fought that one for the last 7 years. My own mother left my father, divorced him, 2 or 3 years after I was born. "You ain't got to stay with that man." rings in my ears when I think about them. I remember me and the man separated. I moved out, got my own little place and said "Fuck you. You musta forgot who the hell I am." because he wasn't living up to his end of the marriage/relationship/love bargain. I remember when my daddy lived with us for a while when he was trying to get his stuff together and my grandmother, his mother, said to me "your daddy said you're over there raising hell with that man" and I laughed and said, "yeah, that's our life, that's the only way it works" and she said "well you might *give out* but don't you give up" and at first I thought she meant stay married at all costs, but then she started talking about how if a woman doesn't set the tone for what she wants in *her* house for *her* life, she has nothing, and how basically you might die trying to love him and YOU, but that's better than just giving your life over to him. This was profound for me because, like I said she's so religious in most ways. And all of a sudden I realized why she wasn't married, and couldn't (ie:wouldn't) "keep a man." These are random statements I guess, but what I'm getting at is that we talk about this stuff...what pisses me off is how this is the only kind of thing we ever really talk about...try to get them to talk about anything that isn't man-centered...the conversation dries up very quickly...but men, and marriage, and love...what he did to me, when and why, and how I can't stand him, and how he sucks as a daddy, and how he's broke, and how hurt I am, we are, at this relationship shit...that's up for game. What is talked about here on this blog that *isn't* talked about often in my circles is relationships other than heterosexual ones. Even all these women who swear off marriage, which probably half in my family do, no one openly discusses having or trying to have relationships with women. Nor do they discuss having relationships with women without ever having one with a man at all. We also rarely get to the meat of christianity, and how it influences upbringing, especially of our girls. I imagine that this is because everyone's so religious that the conversation is pointless, at least from my standpoint, because they absolutely refuse to hear anything "blasphemous."

Dead on about the music and movies. We are hip hop people, we listen and watch and discuss and sing along. And yes me and the man sing along to all the oppressive songs, too. But we also discuss it. We even discuss how ridiculous it is that after we rip the song to shreds we *still* sing it. That damn beat. But something else we do is burn instumental copies of cds. We have an equal number of cds that only have beats, no words, that we listen to and the man raps to and I listen. He will often talk about me and him and us and stuff that we might not so readily discuss otherwise.

We went bowling last night with classmates, a very religious christian couple, and two women, one of whome belongs to the same church as them. One of the women tried to call me out about my stance on choosing very consciously to love a black man from the same socioeconomic class as myself. She couched it in a way that put my choice on the table for discussion. I thought, WTF?! And right on cue, the other woman who was there, who i had never met before, said "what's up with that?" and made this "I'm so disgusted" face. I was so irritated. I said, "you should find love, however you define that, wherever, with whomever you choose." The reason I'm bringing this up is because this talk about how we don't discuss the hard stuff relates to the next thing I said, which was "I can not come home and not be able to process my life with someone who knows something about my kind of upbringing. This shit [marriage] is hard enough as it is." And then I left it alone. There was so much more I wanted to say to the women. But I knew that religious differences made it nearly impossible to continue the conversation without it becoming very sad, very bad, very soon. The man said he was worried about where the conversation would have went and about my emotional state afterwards had it of continued. As the person who would have to be up with me rehashing it until I got some relief, I understood his point, but that brings up something else in this post that has started a new discussion: were you happy that I didn't say more, that I remained silent, since it made it easier for *you* when we got home?

There's a lot in this little post that triggered memory for me.

LP
Hey, Loving Pecola!
There's a lot here. Tomorrow, I'll be all over this comment. I'm glad you came by and wrote a deluge for me. I'll be writing in response tomorrow.





if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

More about the role of the mother...

sweetness has left a new comment on your post "I was thinking about the role of "mother"...":

thanks as always for the thoughts. i'm just getting a
chance to read this...


i'm just getting a chance to read
this...


There's a belief system, a very liberal one that says
it's fine to be sexual to be free and open as long as there are not children
involved. Linked to patriarchal, monogamous, sexually conservative views of what
it means to parent, but specifically what it means to "mother", the idea, I
believe is that "mothering" is supposed to be a covert state where most things
about who that mother is as an individual remain covered...especially as related
to sex.


If you want to be a slut, a first date fucker and
sucker, polyamorous, a sex worker or porn star, many believe that there should
be no children "involved". You shouldn't have children because "mothers", "good"
"mothers" aren't supposed to do that kind of stuff.


yes, yes, YES!! lol. most
definitely.


your parenting is far more in line with what i want to
do with my own children vs. what my mother did with me. i know that will cause
several different arguments and tensions, but it's ok. i'll work through
them.


like CJ, i feel twinges of guilt for feeling that way,
and i don't even have the little rugrats yet. but my mother knows that i'm not
gonna sequester myself--beyond, perhaps, those initial moments just after
birth--simply because i decide to parent.


my inner child is grateful to her for being the parent
she was, but as an adult i'm always hoping and praying she didn't give up TOO
much for us and/or my father-her marriage. it's a question i'm afraid to ask,
but it's a also a mistake i refuse to make.


Sweetness,
I hear you. It really is up to us to decide to make additional changes that are predicated on the ones people in other generations have already made.

Ophelia referred me to a book I'm really Curious about called Dark Continent Of Our Bodies: Black Feminism And The Politics of Respectability.

I think that this holds quite a few pieces that will help me continue to unpack the compulsory heterosexuality, homophobia, lesbophobia, sexual conservativism, christian dogma and fear I've encountered as a critical Black queer feminist homebirthing lefty mama.





if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

This video clip is from the last election in Barbados...

This man's name is Owen. He is the outgoing prime minister of barbados.

He sounds like my father.

I'm deeply triggered. Deeply, deeply triggered.








if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

I think we're gonna get along just fine...

Maxjulian has left a new comment on your post "Julian, this is Transmission/response writing II.....":
I accidentally deleted my copy/paste notes so I'm just gonna wing it.

I'm loving this process.
And naw, I ain't afraid of you!!! I ain't afraid of what the AfroSpear folks might think. I AM the boss of me (said with my almighty patriarchal swagger intact)
Julian, I haven't had a conversation with a hetero Black man in years...besides Papi. I tend to avoid these as there is usually so much information missing from the picture, combined with ego stuff that doesn't allow most, m/any to acknowledge what's missing from their picture.

It's proven to be downright dangerous to have conversations with people who have privilege who don't realize they have privilege which means that they will most likely utilize that privilege to punish when I bring the truth about their privilege to light.

sigh...

All this to say, this has been a pleasurable conversation for me, too. As I already said, I appreciate you being so out in the open about your various bits and pieces. It's refreshing to see you being honest about who you are even when that honesty makes it clear that you're messy...lumpy...real.
Why am I doing this? Because I'm doing it anyway...violins please with soaring chorus: " ALL BY MYSE-E-EL-F!!!"
I went back last night and started reading your blog from the beginning. I think I've been having moments of discomfort while reading you because...no...let me just sit there for a sec. I've been having discomfort, feelings of fear and anxiety...voices saying to me, "Idiot! He's a mirage. He's too honest. Be careful. Don't trust him."

And I am...being careful. The voices remain because I've seen and experienced some shite with Black folks who don't take kindly to people actually able to conscientize and rebel.

I started out my educational career in Barbados in school designed according to a British educational template handed to the descendants of freed slaves on the island in order to teach us to replicate the power and control introduced to us by the slave master.

Think Harry Potter, with lighter uniforms where the Snape is African descended and speaks with a caribbean accent.

Finger fucking nail checks.
Are they ragged?
A wooden ruler to the palm.
Are they dirty?
A wooden ruler to the palm.
Is your uniform improperly tucked in?
A wooden ruler to the palm.
Is your uniform dirty?
A wooden ruler to the palm.
SMACK!

I have a deep body memory of those rulers and their metal edges. Now, why do I remember the hard, thin metal edges of a wooden ruler, unless it "caressed" my palm at some point before the age of eight?

(So, starchild, I do apologize for not more fully sharing your glee and excitement at your impending journey down to Carnival. It's just that I have a voice that says to me: When people have to party that hard, when the party is bigger than christmas for them and their children, it's clear that there's something big and sad and hard and terrible the party serves to cover. The party isn't a party. The party is a distraction. The party is a mass binge, fill up on all you can because when you're done, it's back to lean, lean times.)

But yeah...
when I talk about mistrust of other Black people, other west indians, it's because of that british colonial template impressed directly onto the brains of so many via that metal edged ruler.
When I write that I'm not really certain whether you're fer real or whether this is just an elaborate game designed to teach me a lesson once and for all, it's because of the simple fact that many of the people I've encountered in this city, Black people, were either raised by people who experienced the ruler and more or were actually sent to schools that beat that brutal message into their skins branding them in ways they act out so willingly: "Do as you're told. ruler to the palm. Make sure you fit in. ruler to the palm. Do not deviate. ruler to the palm. Do not rebel. ruler to the palm. There will be consequences. ruler to the palm!"

But make no mistake, I do understand quite well why the dominated would have anxiety if they should encounter someone attempting to rebel in even the slightest way. ruler to the palm. I understand the discomfort that can arise from witnessing such a revolutionary display. ruler to the palm. I get why they have to laugh and gossip and gesticulate and ostracize...ruler to the palm.

Julian, I have major anxiety because of a series of idiotic disciplinary attempts I experienced as an adult dished out by other Black folks who claim to be intelligent, who claim to be critical, who claim to be wise to those who attempt to bring on our collective demise.

I...am...dealing with my fear of further reprisal even as I realize that there is no way to find something new, to do something new without taking the risk of further punishment coming my way...
Forgive me, where was I...because I've always envisioned doing this work collectively, with sensitive others...I'm a huge jazz fan and one of my favorite groups was Miles Davis' second quintet. Collective improvisation, all the musicians were composers, there was really no leader, though Miles was nominally the one.

There's a quote I think of often about Miles in which Chick Corea said: "he was the greatest listener" he ever knew. (This is Miles the musician I'm talking about, not Miles the man).

I've always wanted to have a secret sharer, someone who wanted to know me, the stories, the struggles, what its like to be my kind of kneegrow. Sharing real, vulnerability is where progress is made. Isolation can offer certain blessings; but being in a creative friendship, or whatever the fuck it is, where honesty rules, where folks are committed to getting butt nekkid, that's the shit.
Collective improvisation. I agree to that. One of my favourite sayings is about the sidewalk, that place where I could walk and know what was ahead, that mind space of surety where I could just move according to various default settings, having ended a long time ago.

My favourite image is of magneto in the x-men where he manages to stage an escape from a plastic cell by having one of his minions smuggle in iron in the blood of a security guard. The iron in the man's blood is drawn out through his pores and magneto starts to walk on a magnetic stream, building flat surfaces for his feet out of the bits of iron as he walks confidently.

So, I'm walking, creating as I go, improvising. I don't mind floating in mid air alongside a few others building places to walk and to stand in front of us as we go.

Really, this is unchartered territory, so improvisation would have to be the order of the day.
That little "problem" with the Racial Realist hurt moreso because I'd made myself a little more vulnerable than I'd planned, and this woman, objectified me, turned me into her pet posterboy, the daddy who did her wrong. It was so twisted on so many levels.

It was like this betrayal; like, how can we be so unforgiving, petty, ignorant, judgemental, colonized?! Here I was putting it out there that I'd been with this woman, that I was looking at it, struggling with it...I was naive, of course.
Julian, I think that vulnerability always hurts. It's a massive risk. I think it's a risk men should be encouraged to take more. I think that because of patriarchal relations it's always a set up for a woman to be the one who shares space with a man who is attempting to risk.

As I wrote up above, the very real threat of being punished by someone with privilege, being relegated to the position of "that woman" who is so out of order, is something many wimmin experience. I think that Racial Realist works in a very specific paradigm. Her understanding of race and racism, for whatever reason, is extremely flat and tidy. Having said that, I think it's important for you to think about what your bring to the mix when you engage with wimmin whether they are feminists or not, whether they are lovers or not, whether they are potential allies or not. Race based oppression definitely, but you're are still a patriarchal male with emotional work ahead, who can also attempt to understand what emotions came up for you when you decided to be vulnerable with a woman. Regardless of how things turned out with Racial Realist, I think it's still possible for you to derive a benefit from the experience as far as continuing to develop emotional intelligence and understanding your own fears and triggers.

[MaxJulian, Seminalson here. How are you? I think fact that you (Freeslave) and I, being patriarchs means that even when we are humiliated, it is done in a world that was designed for our ease of passage, but - not so for women. This means that after a certain amount of time - whether it is 1 week, 4 weeks, 2 months or longer - people will forget / or forgive whatever happened involving men. For a woman, it never goes away - the men will dig, and prick and dig - to make sure the humiliated woman remembers. The women will, much of time - as agents of our patriarchal culture - relentlessly pursue that woman until she is rooted out and killed.
Sad.
True.]

But Julian, I also noticed that you didn't comment on one of the links I gave you to my lovely sticky little blogland situation. Quid pro quo, Sydney. Quid pro quo. :)
However, I don't trust people who cannot and will not come from the personal space, a heart oriented place, a place that holds compassion for humanity.

I feel that you are someone with a similar sensibility, a similiar curiousity, though we come from entirely different backgrounds.
It's been difficult for me to put into words what exactly I've been seeking from people who came and attempted to engage with me. Coming from a heart oriented place works. I think compassion for themselves, very different than letting themselves off the hook in areas where they function as agents of domination, is true. For me, having compassion for myself means not having to lie, not having to create fake pictures of who or what I am so that I can line up with a constructed ideal whether it be a feminist one, a queer one, a black one, a mama one, a lefty one. I don't want to torment myself with what's here because I've been told that some other version of me would look better.

I'm thinking about how many wimmin (I keep going back to wimmin cuz I deal almost exclusively with wimmin, with the exception of Papster), how many wimmin try to present in ways that seem pleasing. They understand being kind and nice as presenting in surface ways that don't disturb.

My inner little girl is a pleaser.
I keep her on a tether because she gets us into trouble.
I don't want to be too pleasing because as soon as I start feeling as if I want to keep a person smiling or comfortable, I stop being me, I start feeling stressed, I start looking over my shoulder.

I want to have compassion for myself as a real, messy, fucked up, learn-ing human being.
When I encounter other people, other bloggers, I look for them to be reckoning with their real, messy, fucked-up, learn-ing selves.
I look for them lying to themselves, trying to hide away bits by not detailing the excruciatingly painful and disturbing parts, trying to make things seem lighter and more pleasant, trying to make their lives seem less messy as they busy themselves bustling here and there, too busy to think...about themselves, their beliefs or about who they fundamentally are...
It's hard to repeatedly invite people to decloak, to de-smoke, to come from a heart place where they meet my risk with their own risks without me having to ask or pull it out of them or interroagate them.
That's not fun. I don't like that.

Julian, I like that your shite sort of hangs out on the outside. I'm sure there's more lurking inside. But really? I've got more. I've always got more.
If you're not asking yourself if you're authentic, if you're real - you probably aren't. We live in a world that creates form fitting, color coded identities. Niggas act this way, red niggas act that way, dark niggas act that way. If you got a degree, you work it this way or that; if you don't have one, then you settle for being hard, bold, wear the sagging diaper.

Where are the real people? Where are the people who see that, while we are taught to compartmentalize ourselves, that we are whole and that we become more whole by being messy as fuck, bringing all out - inappropriately, which is a word I despise.
I think there was a way that this categorization really came crystal clear for me when I entered blogland. I got confused about who I wanted to place where in my sidebar. Where would the feminists go? Where would the anti-racists go...but wait, weren't some of them feminists? Where would the queers go...but wait, weren't some of them anti-war activists? Where would the Black folks go...but wait, weren't some of them mamas?

And even that paragraph was very binary, this or that. Most of the people I've encountered in blogland have been much more layered than just one or two identities.

I keep thinking about Paul Gilroy's term double consciousness and about how it just gets really uncomfortable on the tongue once your start multiplying and incorporating all the different consciousnesses. Do I have quintuple consciousness? Nah. Do I have triskadeca-consciousness? I think there may be more to me than that.

I prefer to just say that me and my consciousness are a multifaceted, integrated whole. Done.
I've seen "The Celebration" and love that scene where the man announces that he was raped by his father. The reaction from the other is priceless. We've been raped, but we want to stake out our turf, defend our questionalble, shaky 'blackness,' by hurling other kinfolk under the bus, further compartmentalizing ourselves.

But this makes perfect sense. To look at so many of us is to see trauma. Its no wonder the black struggle with the brown, the brown with the red, the red with the yellow, the yellow with those who can pass completely.
I need to watch that movie again. I keep waiting for there to be a Black Celebration movie that incorporates the movie Sankofa, in, incorporates what the movie Beloved attempted to do, incorporates Daughters of The Dust and then moves right on over into Waiting to exhale/How Stella Got Her Groove Back/Chapelle's block Party/Madea's family reunion, but sort of fucks them up really badly by injecting the stuff the filmmakers know is there, that they choose to leave out so as to create a tidier image of Blackness that valiumizes us.

Speaking of Madea's Family Reunion...
What a weird little movie. I was flicking the idiot box one afternoon and happened across this film about this Black family's reunion. Neatly contained inside the main plot and completely "resolved" caricature style by the very end of the movie was the tale of two sisters. One sister was "given" by her mother to her affluent new husband as a sex toy so he wouldn't leave her. The other sister raised lighter as the unfucked princess prepared to be "given" to another man, an abuser, in marriage.

By the end of the movie the princess has bashed out the brains of the abuser and called off the wedding. But then, as the wedding planner points out, to the dismay of all the guests, so much money had been spent on the wedding, the reception, the DRESS! Whatever would they do? Oh, they gave the wedding to the sexually abused sister and her man. Everyone, including the mother who gave her into sexual bondage attends the wedding. Sure people glare at the mother, but there is never any open discussion about what happened to the sexually abused woman when she was a child. The white wedding, serves as placebo/bandaid. The plot has crescendoed and can now fade away into a soupy sea of performative wedded bliss.

That was fuk'd up.
Have you seen it?
I've got the color consciousness within me. My mom is from Louisiana; dad is from Virginia. She is yellar, my daddy is dark brown. Women like my mother, her shade, her temperature, her intellectual caliber only more so...has always drawn me. I've been with women of every shade.

I remember being with a super dark woman during my addiction, who was gorgeous. But her hair was permed and she was just a little too dark...
I've mostly gone out with wimmin who were lighter than me. By the time I got to the one who was also older than me, who was certifiably sociopathic and well loved in many lesbian circles, I realized: Holy FUCK! She looks just like my younger sister. The one I grew up with. Holy lesbian incest Batman! I've been dating wimmin who looked like the sister I had lost. (sad smile)

Papster more looks like my mother, small and dark. He triggers me though, cuz he makes this weird clearing the throat man sound in the morning that never ceases to trigger me around my father who made the exact same sound. So, now I'm dating my parents...short form for - that's what's speaking to me from the depths of my stuff in this relationship.

But Julian,
What do you mean that woman you fucked when you where really in the grips of your addiction was "too dark"? (head scratch...)
Are you saying there was some sort of correlation between between your having really been out of it deep despair and being attracted to an extremely dark skinned woman?
And are you saying you had difficulty with her being so dark in comparison to your light skinnedness?
Julian. That doesn't make any sense...unh...lie...I'm not comfortable with the sense it makes. but better in than out I always say. So, can you explain?...Let me try that one again, I'm remembering what I told you about mostly having chosen light skinned lesbian lovers and about how the other Black lesbian couples I knew were all mixed shade...uncomfortable...You're speaking what underlines so many of our relations as Black people who have fully internalized shade as part of our understandings of what is beautiful and worthy of our time and attention. This is more of the stuff that people don't want to get into because it enrages, it upsets. But it also clarifies in a way that brings pain and awareness. The problem isn't the speaking per se. But how do we unpack it?

I remember writing somewhere else on my blog about living in the intentional community I tried to build. We were five wimmin, five Black queer wimmin of different shades. Two were accustomed to drawing heavily from light skinned privilege, one was accustomed to doing so in continental African contexts. The two dark-est were me and another woman who I understood was accustomed to drawing heavily from performing young, cute, thin, sexually promising never actually delivering heterosexually, patriarchally attractive extremely competitive woman who I understood to be of the same complexion as me.

She would do her make-up but would sometimes ask me to do hers like I did mine. One day I obliged and started painting away.

Dab, dab. Brush, brush. Wipe, wipe, wipe...dabdabdabdab...wipe, brush, brush, dabdabdab.

I couldn't figure out why my make-up wasn't "working" wasn't achieving the same effects on her face that it did on mine. I was standing pretty close to her. I took a moment and really looked at her and sort of went: Oh, I am seeing you. I am SEEing you.

I realized that had not been seeing her, or more correctly I had been erasing part of what I saw, sort of smudging it out in a liberal lefty sort of way. I hadn't seen that she was dark-er than I was. I hadn't taken in the information. She told me she had. This was one of the places where she, raised to compete and "win" on all fronts, couldn't compete with me and "win". Sad.
The lost opportunities with some beautiful women; but I was sick. I was like a guided missile. I did what I did. I had a brain, but know heart. this was the height of my compartmentalization. My spirit/soul/feelings were cleaved from body; they were in a colostomy bag on my hip. My free floating brain/ego cavity directed the empty vessel that I was. I could NEVER have appreciated any woman for anything other than an object.
Julian, you really are a straight man. :) I'm thinking more about the lost opportunities with yourself, with other men, to delve and bond and embrace and develop more consciously powerful ways of building community and building a men's movement that can function as a collective ally to Black wimmin, to any wimmin who want to make change.

I think that for you to appreciate any woman as something more than object, you will have to appreciate yourself as more than an object, as more than half a spirit seeking completion through meeting a woman bearing the other half willing to offer entry of your spirit as it rises. :) (Julian, I'm really curious what you look like. Would you consider sending me and Papi a picture? You've become quite the topic of conversation at the dinner table. I won't share it here on 1TBM if you don't want that.)
I was lost and now I'm found. I don't know why I am here, let alone able to feel, able to admit what I've done, who I've been, admit that the poison is in me, too. This process that we are engaged in is like sucking the venom out. I know that the venom around much of my heart is gone. I could not do what we are doing with you.
Oh, julian, your metaphors are killing me! Sucking it out, the venom? Hee, hee, hee! Okay, but seriously. I'm still hoping that you will start talking with Papi on his blog. we've both been really excited about seeing you show up in his mybloglog doohickey in the sidebar. As I've said to both of you, I think the work of unpacking all of what's gone down in your lives as men, the heaping amounts of pain, confusion, self destructiveness, rage, fear. That's stuff another man, another Black man will be able to walk through with you, holding hands...in...a...straight...very straight...non...butt oriented way. Papi's actually really excited about a realization he had this morning that homophobia is a massive barrier to men doing personal political consciousness raising work with each other.

I think the two of you need to suck each other's venom out. :)

But I'd like to stay close at hand and watch and offer encouragement because I'm slightly crushing out on you right now. It's the conversation and the words. Language and mess are always such a massive stimulus, a complete turn on. People who use words and toy with ideas rather than shrink away from them or turn tail and fully run away...until something more easy to wrap their minds around shows up in the form of a post...that's not hot. It's been lonely. This is like frolicking and cavorting for me. So, I'm glad you're enjoying it, too.
I like the metaphor of the autopsy: we have to look at each of our organs, lift them out of the chest cavity, hold them, find the discoloration, the tumors, the cancers cells - but we do this while we are awake(ning).
It's sort of like a conscious rebirth, a new incarnation. Are you going to post your alien autopsy on your blog? When you said up above that you weren't worried about what other Black people might think, I thought about the privilege that comes with being a man. I thought about how much flack I got for "ruining" Papi and that he doesn't get any flack from the proper Black folks for being in a relationship with me, I'm the problem, not him. He's a man, a Black man, an endangered Black man who has space to explore and to live outside the bounds of social convention if he so chooses. People understand that eventually he will reclaim his privileged place in community...maybe even choose a daughter of someone more suitable...I'm still hoping he comes out and goes for a son. But I'll settle for more emotional work and building community with other men.
At this moment: I don't believe in black people. I don't believe in any unity, collective struggle, Promised Land moment some day soon. I believe in people who can see through their programming, people who've reached the place where they "have no technique" by going through all of the changes, identity costume changes required to be themselves.

I believe in people who can be this open, who can practice love, NOT the ones who bemoan how little love is "out there" for the po' black woman, while leading the procession, taking the corkscrew, the hedgeclippers, the Mason jars to the lynching.
I dunno if I'm like that. I'm just coming out of a really hard place. Even as I type this I feel a familiar knot in my back that hasn't loosened in probably over a year. Love would be wonderful. But right now I can offer presence That's what love feels like for me. Emotional presence, risk to show exactly what we are and to not hide behind easily consumed facades...
At the same time, I crave a black woman, a woman wide fucking awake, who gets every fucking thing I say, who can get naked with me and share our zits and fractures and sprains and surgeries. Who can help me learn how NOT to be a patriarch, teach me how not to lead, how not to lead with the dick.

I SOOOO fucking crave her, or perhaps, them; maybe because I know I have had so many thrills, yet so few opportunities to be this Julian with her and help heal all of our wounds....
Oh, Julian. You do realize a woman really can't help you learn not to be a patriarch. Trust. Me. I've been in talks with Papster for seven years. He's got information up the ying-yang and still he really only moves when, if, where, how he chooses...cuz he's patriarchal. We struggle everyday with what it means for him to be in primary relationship with someone who really has no interest in stroking his ego, let alone his genitals on most days.

I can't turn you into an un-patriarch. Only you can do that. I can't heal you. I'm a mess. I've got injuries aplenty. That's why I need to find another bumbakleet therapist. I've said it repeatedly on this blog. I am loosing my mofo mind in here. I'm having a hard time healing myself. I'm looking for other people who are completely self driven who are in the process of healing themselves while they expand their understandings of what it means to be political. I want to be in context. I don't want to be the context. That's not a safe place for me. It's not a healing place for me...though, in the past, my little girl has equated healing herself with caretaking other people. sigh... crash and burn. repeatedly.

The dick thing is a hard one...pun understood but not actually intended.

How to not lead with the dick when that's what's been taught to you all your life?
I don't know. I don't have one. I know that as I've lived with Papi and talked to him about what it means to not put the dick center stage, to not sit as if the dick has need of a room of its own, how to just let it hang rather than jut into the middle of every interaction he has become a different kind of Black male patriarch.

I really hope that you will consider focusing more on engaging with him.
I think the two of you, if you can find a way to override that impulse to seek out powerful wimmin to emotionally engage with, if the two of you can establish trust and agree to share emotions, words, consciousness, questions, you will probably end up coming up with your own really useful and surprising answers.

But I realize that I'm also attempting to step back from what you're saying and from what is coming up for me as I read what you've written here about the craving. I don't think you're gonna find anyone who will automatically get everything you say or think...maybe you'll find a few different people who are into communicating and sharing ideas improvisationally who want to riff off what you do, see, think, say while you riff off what they do, see, think, say.

That's sounds achievable.

...those voices in my head are now telling me that you're writing to me from a detention center somewhere...really, I watch way too much television...he's not white redneck kkk member...he's a Black man living in Portland who speaks occasionally on community radio...

Julian, could you just send me a picture that's not of Malcolm X that hasn't been digitally remastered. (giggles)
A bientot
French. Are you fluent? I think you mentioned going to Paris. Were you there for a bit or for quite some time. My written French is awful. My spoken French is much better.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you, Julian.

Take care. Talk soon.






if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

CJ, stay focussed...

CJ has left a new comment on your post ""Safety" and following the herd...unh, I mean floc...":
Darkdaughta -

Yes. Safe is never as safe as we'd like to be, if at all. In fact, doing what's considered 'safe' can often bring you closest to danger, if only the danger of losing yourself, forgoing your ethics in favor of invisibility that doesn't make you safe, just somewhat more blended in...into a network of sticky webs with poisonous spiders waiting to suck your blood anyway.

I have chosen the 'safe' route too many times...and the result was not safety. The result was torment, often heaping pain upon me far worse than taking the 'unsafe' route.

I have chosen the path least traveled, and that has brought pain too...but a sense of dignity, of clarity, of honesty offsets it, and makes it (somewhat) worthwhile. I won't lie and say taking the high road is ever easy, because it isn't. Even when it has benefits, it takes a lot of courage, it takes a lot of time, and it always fucking hurts, no matter how much you try to avoid it.

More on other posts, but I wanted to say also that it must be hard to feel safe around someone like me, especially coming at it, me, from where you are. I just don't say much, and I am quite worshipful of you.

The truth is, I am afraid to say much, afraid that I will fuck up and showcase what a simpleton I am, how unworthy of your time...in short a massive inferiority complex. This comes into play in all interactions, but especially with those I admire. And it must be quite well known by know that I admire the SHIT out of you.

I have latent (and not so latent) racism, classism, looksism, misogyny, homophobia...it's all there. It mars my analysis a hell of a lot more than I want it to, than I even realize sometimes. That makes me shaky and nervous in dealings with you especially. I am a white girl, alright. I come with all sorts of privileges, some I can't even see. I'm bound to oppress in some way, to take too much space, demand too much time, too much energy. I've done it already.

I'm probably doing it now. I'm not looking for validation, but opening up, being honest, and showing more of myself. More of the limper, heavier, harder parts.

I am no academic. No genius. No great thinker. But I appreciate those who are. You, namely.

In another post you said you didn't need those who tell you how much you rock without also being able to poke around and find things about you they disagree with. Right on. The thing is though, I swear I haven't disagreed with a single thing I've ever read here. Not ONE.

One of the hardest posts for me that you wrote was about elimination fetishes. I was honestly so fucking grossed out by that, really. Never clicked on the thinks and never will. But I also agreed with you...that there are those who for whatever reason find piss and shit erotic, and that this is their choice, period. It's not gross to them. And they shouldn't be looked down on for having an erotic that looks different from those of us who *don't* have those fetishes.

It's been awhile since that post, but I've been wanting to comment on that for some time. Kept 'forgetting' (re: getting uncomfortable and chickening out).

A lot of your posts that deal with Native struggles I skim over, I'm embarrassed to say. Even though I *am* part Indian (very small part, but it's there)...it is sooo hard to read about the state of their community, and soo hard to handle my complicity in all of that. Doubly so because not too many generations back in my family is the Cherokee blood, which ties me into things in a way that I can hardly fathom. I think I just don't want to. It's too big, too ugly, too hard. It hurts too much.

Wouldn't we all rather drown in our tv shows, dinner plans, weekends? It's so shameful...we lose ourselves in the unimportant while the important, the essential, the only thing that actually matters SCREAMS BLOODY FUCKING MURDER IN OUR EARS!

And this relationship I'm in? It's a storm that's brewing. It's a volatile mixture of lots of tired redundant shit and other stuff that intrigues and fascinates me. It's dangerous, draining, and is monopolizing not just my time, but my GROWTH, my ability to see clearly.

Which makes reading your blog harder not just time-wise, but mind-wise. I feel...weakened. Dulled. I cannot grasp things quickly, and when I do, I find myself hiding what I see, what I learn, away in a box where my partner won't see it, won't be 'bothered' by it.

Okay, this is waaaaaay too fucking long, and encompasses pretty much what I've wanted to say for some time.

Will comment more as time and my dumb ass permits.

As always, love, respect, and admiration.

CJ.
CJ,
Thank you for attempting to speak to what happens for you when you read posts that you may not understand or that you understand quite well from your position of privilege but don't want to deal with because you feel uncomfortable.

I think that one of the things I've been trying to say about this concept of rad feminism is that there's a certain amount of ease with which feminists of different locations will speak about certain topics...because the issue at hand is very clear cut.

There's lots of smoke and fire and brimstone brought down from above when certain topics climb up onto the table.

People are certain.They speak with clear tones. Their words are well chosen and crisp.

This is what I'm gonna start calling rad feminism light...because it is light. It mostly has to do with what unites us or with what we can definitively say many of us have issue with...even if we are on different "sides".

The work I've been trying to invite others to get all up in with me is rad feminism, too. But where some issues sit full up on the table, there are many that are more like the tattered and worn edges of the table cloth or like that water stain you try to hide under the table clot. When the other rad fems come to dinner these are not topics you want to put on the table.

There's stuff like white wimmin who firmly believe they are part native. CJ... this one has been going on for quite some time. It's one of the sticky ones because there are Native people who have been forced to pass or who have had to pass to the point where their descendants have forgotten who they are or feel uncomfortable talking about who they are. It's not fucking safe to talk about who they are not out among us their occupiers.

But there's that history, too, of white people like grey owl, who was a white british colonizer completely obsessed with passing as Native. Weirdo.

I'm not the genetic purity police, CJ. I can't check your dna and make a ruling. But I do know that it's a massive feminist cliche for white wimmin in situations where Black wimmin talk about racism or white privilege for this to be the one and only moment where a white woman, if she is so inclined, to drag out evidence of some Native blood.

As witness to your disclosure, I felt uncomfortable and annoyed with you. I was like: CJ, just work on your stuff. You're white. You have white skinned privilege. You were born into a system that supports people with white skinned privilege at the expense of those with more melanin in their skins. You know this. Don't go all white feminist crazy on my ass. I don't have time or energy to process this with you. I'm trying to process myself and continue making links with people who see bits and pieces of what I'm saying while I try not to feel too fragmented by the experience.

sigh...

CJ, there is no avoiding the horror of what you already know, no avoiding the insanity of it.

If I have to fucken live with it, live alongside, watch as it attempts to slowly consume my children, I sure as hell am not going to help you find a way out of your own consciousness

I can't...no, won't process your whiteness and any other alternate claims to pigmentation with you. You might want to try talking to Second Waver or Amy's Brain or some of the other white feminists in Second Waver's sidebar.

You confusion and upset are better dealt with by other white feminists. This is the flip side of what I spoke to starchildwitch about when I said that I can't spend precious yet tension filled time with women of color processing white feminists' racism. I've got self actualizing work to deal with that requires attention.

So, although I know that verbal flagellation might relieve some of the tension in the moment, but I can't oblige you as that would be a non consensual bit of play that would not leave me with any feeling of true release.

And besides, even if I was willing to tongue lash you or pistol whip you over this, really? There will be no release from this any time soon. I'm probably gonna go to my death bed without having any tangible feeling of release from all of what ails me as the dominated.


So buck up bucky. You're still a colonizer, someone I expect to sit alongside the pain, insanity and horror of it all.

For you and for me, consciousness embraced will probably be as good as it gets.










if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Conversation as personal emotional political process...

Maxjulian has left a new comment on your post "Julian, this is Transmission/response writing II.....":
I accidentally deleted my copy/paste notes so I'm just gonna wing it.

I'm loving this process.
And naw, I ain't afraid of you!!! I ain't afraid of what the AfroSpear folks might think. I AM the boss of me (said with my almighty patriarchal swagger intact)

Why am I doing this? Because I'm doing it anyway...violins please with soaring chorus: " ALL BY MYSE-E-EL-F!!!"

Forgive me, where was I...because I've always envisioned doing this work collectively, with sensitive others...I'm a huge jazz fan and one of my favorite groups was Miles Davis' second quintet. Collective improvisation, all the musicians were composers, there was really no leader, though Miles was nominally the one.

There's a quote I think of often about Miles in which Chick Corea said: "he was the greatest listener" he ever knew. (This is Miles the musician I'm talking about, not Miles the man).

I've always wanted to have a secret sharer, someone who wanted to know me, the stories, the struggles, what its like to be my kind of kneegrow. Sharing real, vulnerability is where progress is made. Isolation can offer certain blessings; but being in a creative friendship, or whatever the fuck it is, where honesty rules, where folks are committed to getting butt nekkid, that's the shit.

And where the fuck can we do that? That little "problem" with the Racial Realist hurt moreso because I'd made myself a little more vulnerable than I'd planned, and this woman, objectified me, turned me into her pet posterboy, the daddy who did her wrong. It was so twisted on so many levels.

It was like this betrayal; like, how can we be so unforgiving, petty, ignorant, judgemental, colonized?! Here I was putting it out there that I'd been with this woman, that I was looking at it, struggling with it...I was naive, of course.

However, I don't trust people who cannot and will not come from the personal space, a heart oriented place, a place that holds compassion for humanity.

I feel that you are someone with a similar sensibility, a similiar curiousity, though we come from entirely different backgrounds.

If you're not asking yourself if you're authentic, if you're real - you probably aren't. We live in a world that creates form fitting, color coded identities. Niggas act this way, red niggas act that way, dark niggas act that way. If you got a degree, you work it this way or that; if you don't have one, then you settle for being hard, bold, wear the sagging diaper.

Where are the real people? Where are the people who see that, while we are taught to compartmentalize ourselves, that we are whole and that we become more whole by being messy as fuck, bringing all out - inappropriately, which is a word I despise.

I've seen "The Celebration" and love that scene where the man announces that he was raped by his father. The reaction from the other is priceless. We've been raped, but we want to stake out our turf, defend our questionalble, shaky 'blackness,' by hurling other kinfolk under the bus, further compartmentalizing ourselves.

But this makes perfect sense. To look at so many of us is to see trauma. Its no wonder the black struggle with the brown, the brown with the red, the red with the yellow, the yellow with those who can pass completely.

I've got the color consciousness within me. My mom is from Louisiana; dad is from Virginia. She is yellar, my daddy is dark brown. Women like my mother, her shade, her temperature, her intellectual caliber only more so...has always drawn me. I've been with women of every shade.

I remember being with a super dark woman during my addiction, who was gorgeous. But her hair was permed and she was just a little too dark...

The lost opportunities with some beautiful women; but I was sick. I was like a guided missile. I did what I did. I had a brain, but know heart. this was the height of my compartmentalization. My spirit/soul/feelings were cleaved from body; they were in a colostomy bag on my hip. My free floating brain/ego cavity directed the empty vessel that I was. I could NEVER have appreciated any woman for anything other than an object.

I was lost and now I'm found. I don't know why I am here, let alone able to feel, able to admit what I've done, who I've been, admit that the poison is in me, too. This process that we are engaged in is like sucking the venom out. I know that the venom around much of my heart is gone. I could not do what we are doing with you.

BUT, there is still a long way to go before I am truly authentic.

I like the metaphor of the autopsy: we have to look at each of our organs, lift them out of the chest cavity, hold them, find the discoloration, the tumors, the cancers cells - but we do this while we are awake(ning).

A this moment: I don't believe in black people. I don't believe in any unity, collective struggle, Promised Land moment some day soon. I believe in people who can see through their programming, people who've reached the place where they "have no technique" by going through all of the changes, identity costume changes required to be themselves.

I believe in people who can be this open, who can practice love, NOT the ones who bemoan how little love is "out there" for the po' black woman, while leading the procession, taking the corkscrew, the hedgeclippers, the Mason jars to the lynching.



At the same time, I crave a black woman, a woman wide fucking awake, who gets every fucking thing I say, who can get naked with me and share our zits and fractures and sprains and surgeries. Who can help me learn how NOT to be a patriarch, teach me how not to lead, how not to lead with the dick.

I SOOOO fucking crave her, or perhaps, them; maybe because I know I have had so many thrills, yet so few opportunities to be this Julian with her and help heal all of our wounds....

A bientot
Julian, I've got the Shmolian on my lap half snoozing, half feeding. I need to break my fast and sit for a sec. Stinkapee's morning went really well. I was having a hard time getting out of bed before during and after the Solstice. My body just shut down and went into hibernation mode. Mornings were crazed in our house with Stinkapee sneaking out of her room and down the stairs to watch tv...big no, no...she was having tantrums because we were sluggish and really struggling to function in the grey, sunless weather. The planet turned or did whatever it does and I'm all bright eyed and bushy tailed. Stinkapee is in a new school and I'm continuing to enjoy the new incarnation of my blog as retired attack vessel, now conversational tool. It's a lot more fun and feels more rewarding. Just had to get some stuff that was stuck in my craw outta my mouth. :)

Julian, man...
You've got all this stuff in your post. Some of it I get, other bits I don't get or that was easy, I don't agree with. Hmmm... I have to go eat breakfast. Then I'll come back and get to work. :)





if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Lap time, the legacy of slavery and what tha fuck are we gonna do about it?...

Maxjulian has left a new comment on your post "Stinkapee, meet other kewl Black girls, other kewl...":
My daugter - Norajane Iris - needs some sistas in her life. Now that they new baby is here, I'm pouring the love on thick. I already subscribed to what Dr. Frances Cress Welsing calls "laptime." It is her belief that black folks kick their children out of the parental lap too soon; she believes it creates the yearning that leads to all kinds of dysfunctional behaviors.

I agree wholeheartedly, particularly because my dad was absent for several years doing the school thing out of the country, leaving my mom with five kids.

Nora is in my lap whenever she wants to be and when I think of it, I'm always dragging her over to sit. I know she needs me badly for many reasons.

See, I can already see that we're gonna have to talk about setting up that intentional community.
I haven't read Frances Cress Welsing. I'm not sure but I don't think she identifies as a Black feminist. One thing you'll need to know about me is that the Black wimmin I've read visionaries have all been feminist:
Barbara Smith, Audre Lorde, Cheryl Clark, Pat Parker, Luisah Teish, Alice Walker, bell hooks, Ayoka (yeah...I need some fucking breakfast...Amoja...AMOJA) Three Rivers, Angela Davis, Carole Boyce Davies, Hattie Gossett, Michelle Cliff, Makeda Silvera, Rozena Maart...
They do write about Blackness, but their writings were definitely grounded in posing very specific challenges to patriarchal relations inside Black communities. I think that there are a lot of writings about the general state of Black people and our families, but it's almost impossible for me, as a Black queer woman to sit still long enough to read what's there when a good portion of who I am ends up being ex-d out by authors who try to write about community without incorporating an analysis of heterocentrism, lesbophobia, homophobia and other threats to the Black family.

But I hear you about that yearning...

I remember my mother explaining why my sister was sent back to Barbados and why I was left here with my father and no other family members for the rest of my life up until present day. They figured that at, I think, eleven, I was old enough to not be too much of a burden, I was more able to take care of myself and not require too much in the way of care. :)

I'm struggling with that legacy as I raise Stinkapee. She doesn't want to be out of our laps, whatsoever. She's sociable, extremely so, but she has one foot solidly planted in baby world even at six.

I have to consciously remind myself that she's basically a big, elongated baby person who is still very shaky, rightly shaky about how to proceed out into the world.

That legacy of slavery really has done a number on us. Babies sold away repeatedly became babies, at least in the west indies, who could be left behind in the care of people not their parents, who, truth be told were disconnected anyways, because we've been taught to disconnect from children early so as to not feel the pain of the loss when they were taken away never to be seen again...

I'm thinking about that silence, the disconnect of parents, of Black parents and about those who choose to obsessively remain who don't allow their children to move out into the world...so much links back to us having been profoundly disconnected from what it meant for us to parent as understood by different African peoples.

That was stripped away. Ophelia, Papi's mama, says that Black wimmin aren't even understood (by the white world) as parents. Of course we know the stereotype of the absent Black father, too. It's difficult to reckon with what it even means when our parents' bodies were present without recalling the fact that this was something our ancestors were forced into acting out as part of an economic system completely built on us being bred like animals and separated from kith and kin at the whim of the slave master.

We have tiny little human beings to raise and that time and the behaviours it engendered in us, lodged in our spirits, is as fresh as if it happened yesterday.

Lap time. Definitely more lap time.






if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Starchild, maybe "smoke" was the wrong metaphor...

starchild has left a new comment on your post "The wimmin, like smoke, it's difficult to embrace ...":
happy to solidfy the smoke--I went back and read the comment and I think some of it got erased as I was writing. The "we have somethingin common" thing is the part about not having those hang ups about my partner looking at x,y,z kind of woman because I am looking too--we look together--and also having had sex with women--so the whole "my male partner is looking at x,y,z, woman" interaction plays out differently for us--I generally only notice he looked because we were looking at the exact same person.

May not be the exact same situation as you and s2, but like enough.

On to the rest...
I go pretty back and forth with blogging my life experiences and saying "ooh great song!" I'm working at making it a bit more of both--the time factor gets me most lately. That said, I will challenge some thing more over there--get into the WWWWWH

As for my father--oh god, yes, there's so much going on with that little man, way before ever showed up--my family and all it's stuff could easily be serialized, tolkein or c.s. lewis or octavia butler style. i think my father and his siblings are very much on the "you know what I tell you about, and don't ask me bout anything else, and all you need to really know is who I am while you're alive since that's relevance. Wanna talk about silence--that man is the emperor of silence.

I think some of my early blog may have included the real-time transitions of queer community/male partner stuff. but I'm sure I'd have some different things to say about it now.

And shadeism I can talk bout til I'm blue. And the baby stuff, ah.

A veritable laundry list of the things that roll about in my brain and rarely hit the page--or blogger box, or whatever. In one of my journals--I have borderline obsessively journaled almost every day since age 14--I have a list of things I'd really like to spend time writing on. I add new topics as I go, and these are all on the list. I've spent more time on them in my journals than in my blog, but it'd actually be interesting to get some response from someone other than myself. hmmm.

And I hear you on the part about it being all swell and dandy to cuss together about white feminists but that's not useful as a point of real connection--it still centralizes white feminists, after all, rather than the work that is important to do for ourselves.
Starchild,
I realize that part of the experience we don't share the same access to quiet space for reflection, which I think you illustrated in one of your recent posts where you talk about the amount of things you have on your plate. Quite a lot. For as long as I can remember, I've always preferred things on the more quiet side. Julian was talking about giving himself time to think away from the noise.

I use television as white background noise, the same with music. While the images natter and the sounds soar, my minds is completely freed to run anywhere at will. I spend my days with the Shmolian, these are hours in between sending Stinkapee off with Papi and picking her up. I answer emails, work on proposals, talk about bills with Papi, brainstorm ideas with him, change the Shmolian's diapers, bathe him, feed him, search online...

That stuff isn't rocket science. Even on my busiest days where I am out of the house running errands, negotiating contracts with people who want me to do work for them, blah, blah, blah...I have a large percentage of what's available to me in terms of space to process information, left free.

That's why I blog.

I play with ideas on the regular. Toying with concepts, seeing how they fit together, reorganizing and broadening my understanding of the political as it relates to what I'm struggling to understand and broaden in myself emotionally...that's what I mostly do. The way other people chew gum or drink coffee or pick their noses or flick their hair or glance at their reflections in store windows...? That's how I cavort in my head.

All this to say, as I read your words I felt as if it wasn't smoke I was experiencing with you...more like wind as you breezed quickly by. It was fast. :)

How do you and your partner look at wimmin? Do you cruise wimmin? Are you poly? Monogamous? Do you speak about the glances? Or do are the glances registered but not discussed? Does your partner get attracted to visibly queer, meaning butch, meaning androgynous, meaning gender fluid wimmin? Do your tastes in wimmin seem the same or are there marked differences?

And...
What's "WWWWWH"?

I know I've struggled with my feelings about my family, especially my parents, including my father's absence with his body still alive, still going through the motions...
What always strikes me is that there seems to be such precious little space for us to talk specifically about our feelings. We recount stories. We tell what we've seen, what we've heard. But very rarely, as I go through blogland reading people's stories do I see references to actual emotion. I know I'm using "emotions" and "feelings" interchangeably and that some people understand these as different. I can't help that right now, I'll have to clarify the nuances when I can, but what strikes me is how absent the emotional is from what so many of us present through our blogs, through our words.

Still meaning to write something about patriarchy as an emotional dampening field...another post.

In terms of white wimmin and cussing them about racism. Yeah, I think it's pretty predictable stuff. The terrain is pretty marked out. Audre Lorde pretty much said it all when she wrote that open letter to Mary Daly.

The conversation hasn't morphed much, pretty much because the white wimmin she spoke to did not pass on the necessary changes to their white feminist "daughters" who did not pass them on to their "daughters" right on down to the wimmin I may or may not talk to or engage with in blogland.

sigh...
For the conversation to progress those wimmin would have to want to progress. They would have to want to embrace change. Many of them dont' realize they're not growing into feminists with broad analysis that allows wimmin who approach with broad analysis to engage with them in anything but the most basic ways.

I think it irks me to engage with wimmin who hype themselves as being really in the know who don't know enough about their own racism to make conversations meaningful. I snip out bits and pieces of what they say here and there if what I see serves some part of what I'm trying to build, but they haven't collectively come far enough to make extended communication with the sake of organizing worth my while.

Truth be known I'm not up for doing any sort of organizing or conversations predicated on people's identities being constructed or understood in a particular way. Not queer wimmin organizing, not women of color organizing, not feminist organizing, not Black people organizing, not mama organizing, not caribbean people organizing, not organizing with poly folk...it takes too much work, the conversations would collectively be way too much work.

I prefer to pick out a bit here and there...but I don't see myself getting into any all steamed up conversations about what any white feminist did when I know that any issues that arise among us as women of color will not be addressed in a way that leaves me feeling respected.

I think that there are conversations that I'd like to have in groups of wimmin, groups of queer wimmin, groups of Black wimmin, perhaps even in groups of women of color, but those conversations don't make the grade...
We're too busy calling out white feminists.




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The wimmin, like smoke, it's difficult to embrace and mutually articulate...

starchild has left a new comment on your post "Julian, this is Transmission/response writing II.....":
Oh GOSH gyal...hahaha

ok, let's jump in to what made me chuckle:

"Do I need him to not look at white wimmin? We look together. :) Do I need him to not look at light wimmin? We look together. :) Do I need him to not be interested in having sex with them? I've had sex with them. It's okay. :)"
heeheehee! well, we have SOME things in common DD.
Thanks for commenting Starchildwitch. I'm curious, what speaks to you about what I wrote there. I mean...what do we have in common?

I guess the reason I'm asking is because with very few exceptions, I've experienced engaging with wimmin in blogland about the personal/political as a little bit like trying to embrace smoke. Now you see it, now you don't. There are inferences made that leave me thinking: "Now, we'll get into the meat of it...now she'll share something about who she is..."

But then the smoke comes, it hints at some sort of substance, something solid, but then, when I step in, it evaporates.

Where is it? We're taught to cover and feint so well as wimmin that it's like second nature...we don't even realize when we do it. I realize it's also a seduction technique closely related to the "don't give away the milk for free" approach to dating men.

By this I mean that it's understood that we will offer glimpses of something underneath that will serve as an invitation to move in closer, we'll flash a little bit of something and hope that this will be enough to attract the other like a bee to honey.

I would like to actually see you, see who you are, get all up in who you understand yourself to be, I'd like this with many of the different wimmin who come to this blog. It's been difficult to sit and to keep exposing, keep "giving away my milk for free" in the hopes that something will click and people will agree to do a deep free dive into our realities both collective and individual, that we'll collectively agree to move away from the hints and become solid for each other.

I think that cussing white wimmin, white feminists about their racism is always a comfortable place to bond. It's easy to focus on them and their fuck ups, many as these are. :) I think I'm still hoping for alliances that are grounded in us understanding and focussing on ourselves and on our struggles to self actualize in the face of racism and other forms of oppression.

I understand that I won't get many kudos for requesting this. This is not considered a trendy agenda in most feminist or political circles. :)
"People avoid asking themselves that question: “How does that stuff this person is talking about show up in me?”"

I love this as a starting point for everything else you all are talking about. So much of that question can be lost in ego and insecurity and so on. I think I played around with trying to really answer that in various so-called radical spaces but the place that I have actually been able to REALLY do that in is in my Buddhist practice. There's no seeing wrong and horrible in everyone else without having to absolutely ask yourself "How am I implicated in this? What can I do with this information?" It's not a "blame the victim" kind of thing--it's a place of finding that with you, you are always empowered to develop the thing you can--yourself--and that will impact everything around you.

I think that your question here really is a powerful invitation to move past seeing wrong and horrible and right on into placing yourself as fellow human struggling, exposing, implicated fully and willing to speak and engage from this place.
It can sound hippie dippy and simple at first explanation, but really what I have learned in my short time of practice is that it is complex as hell to have to be real with yourself to the point of not being able to just go an complain about what the other person is doing, not doing, not dealing with. Basically, eventually, you have to see that there's no getting away with the kind of denial and reliance on someone or something else to take care of the problem--you take responsibility for it. And in doing so, you realize there's no compartmentalization and there's no big separation from people because everything impacts everything else and is interconnected.
I think that there should be no compartmentalization. But sadly, this is what everyone is taught. I believe that compartmentalization is not useful and that it is necessary to speak to it, to acknowledge that it exists, to take it apart, limb by limb so as to fully eliminate, to make it socially unacceptable in our struggles for change. I think that by actually speaking to it when we feel the need to do it, when we feel bound to do it, when we are forced to do it, we will support interconnectedness and undermine all that makes us understand ourselves as different and separate. Compartmentalization is a construct that still holds sway over much of what we experience and much of what we do. One day at a time, that's what I can do about my compartments.
I digressed, but only slightly. One of the other concepts we talk about a lot is "human revolution." Basically, you working out your own shit to the best of your ability and beyond what even you think you can do, and that impacting your environment, your environment being your life and everything in it (people, society etc. etc etc.)

So far as I can see, this is the project that to some degree at least, this conversation here is a part of.
This conversation for me functions on a few different levels. One for me, is definitely the virus meme idea. People don't witness difficult conversations that are out in the open. They don't witness hard conversations that are about people attempting to embrace. We know competition. We know attention seeking for the purposes of external validation. We know isolation. Black people aren't supposed to be able to have their own conversations about anything besides race. We're not supposed to be about healing and emotional work. It's the stereotype. We're beasts not beings with layered selves yearning for communion with something besides the rattid christian god,with something besides any god, any religion. We're not supposed to be our own paths to the liberatory divine. We're not supposed to be that smart. We're not supposed to be that emotionally grounded.
There was a lot else in this post--it's dense :)--that spoke to me: the depressed father stuff--I think mine has gotten a lot better in the past decade, and hell, I'd be depressed--oh, and I was as his child anyway--if my wife had committed suicide and left me with two young kids and a lot of debt and I already had a lot of other things going on having been raised in the Jim Crow south...so yes, depressed fathers and all they leave for us.
When I read this section I thought about what he might have looked like to you, might have manifested as before or without what you describe here up above in so few, few words, abbreviated about his lived day to day after the suicide of your mother...there's so much locked away in how our parents were raised, in how they were socialized to express or not express their emotions, in how they were loved by their parents...theres a lot that happened with each of our parents before we entered their pictures. I think that was what I was getting at with Julian. Our relationships to and understandings of our parents are like icebergs where we are raised to only understand the top little peak, where we as their children stubbornly insist on filtering all that they do through that tiny bit at the top. There's so much more to them, as there is to us beyond what most people see or experience of us from day to day.
And the many many words black americans have for shades--I always say I grew up "red" and discovered I was black when I got to college (haha). Louisiana is notorious for that. In my dance company people called me the "dougla girl" for months before they finally caught on to the fact that I was american...I also chuckled at the whole scetion about white women in queer communities and also the mention of light skinned women of color who go on and on about how "dark skinned women just hate them!" barf. That's when people's politics are confused and they don't know how to centralize the right things to understand them. and that's also a place where I have found silence to be sooo not useful. I remember having a conversation with some other black women in a focus group about body image a few years ago. I was the lighter skinned one in the group, and all the other women were talking about the things they go through with people not valuing their beauty, men always going for their friends who are light skinned and have long hair etc. Those friends they have eat that shit up. I started talking about how that exact stuff took me a while to understand growing up but since it clicked has just annyoed the living shit out of me--I am a wonderful person and sure people can want to get to know me, but if the only reason someone approaches me is because of their own internalized b.s. then...go away. And living this long in this body, I can tell the difference. For example, if someone say "hey, light-skinned" as opposed to , "excuse me miss in the green shirt"--it's kind of a tip off.
I would definitely welcome you writing more about your own experiences in queer wimmin's community, especially what brought you to deciding to be in relationship with a man. I'd also definitely welcome reading about your experiences with shadeism as you are positioned very differently. Would you write more about this, too?
Oh, the other thing (I'm jumping around here) the project people have of making babies for the race, or whatever. Hehe. Whatever babies I have, no matter who with, no matter if the other person is black, will be mixed in some way or other--even I say I am black and other black to try to explain myself to people who won't accept that I am not biracial. What's important for me is that my kids understand who they are individually and then what their legacies are in terms of me and my partner--it'll be interesting.
I know you've written about the possibility of getting pregnant on your site. I wonder if you'd break this down some more. I'd like to hear more of your story as it takes shape here or over on your blog. I'm good either way.
And finally, I guess, for both of you and anyone else, since you noted that this can be dangerous:

doesn't the process and the gain from the dangerous sometimes outweigh the risk? eventual safety does not some without some risk. I always tell the kids I work with that, whenever we are talking about "safe space." There is no space that will always be safe for everyone--there's always risk, but the risk we take in establishing community has to some with some commitment to risk. etc.
I wholeheartedly agree...

Here's to fanning away some of the smoke and doling out all the milk for free, Starchild. :)




if what you're reading here grips you, holds you, fascinates you, provokes you, emboldens you, pushes you, galvanizes you, discomfits you, tickles you, enrages you so much that you find yourself returning again and again...then link me.