Saturday, May 31, 2014

I Give My Hands Permission


I saw this quote yesterday.  I saw it and thought about all of the instances in which I have deleted or thrown away something I have written as a means to protect.  I mulled over all of the times that I have muted myself or allowed others to censor me so that they could burrow and hide.  Changing the phrasing...changing word choice...changing the tone...changing the names of people and places was not enough.  They were discomforted.  And I did not want to offend.   

But this quote allowed me to ask myself...rather than who am I protecting, what am I am protecting?  Why am I abetting, fearing the grime and grit?  We isolate and negate our own experiences for the benefit of ego and image yet to the detriment of our own spirit.  I perceive that this kind silence blasphemes against our Highest Good.  I've learned that fallibility is not damning, hubris is.

Why do we give shelter to destructive behavior...whether our own, someone else's or even generational and communal patterns?  I believe the greater question may be...why are we afraid to speak the truth?  Why are we afraid of our own voice? 

They could have behaved better but they made the conscious choice not to do so.  I recognize that I have often been culpable of the same.  In the way of a newly initiated Ancestor, Maya Angelou, my goal is not perfect living but rather honest living.  My song is mine to sing, not yours to cage.  And well, my hands were made for writing...




Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Acacia's Tree


*An excerpt from a draft of a story I was working on a couple of years ago.  I decided to let it go.  My heart wasn't fully in it.  Nonetheless, I thought it would make a nice post.  

Those kind of churches remind me of cults is the sentence that would giveaway to the eventual tilt in Acacia’s posture.   But for now she was content.  She was content wearing her rose tinted shades as her left and right foot created syncopated clicks against the gravel mix pavement.  She allowed the sound to calm her, to lull her as she walked the length of the parking lot to the stairs of the church.  When she reached the stair she hesitated as one does when they sense the wiling away of instinct - a kind of rolling pause to fight and flight. She raised each leg with care, taking notice of how each time her foot landed it wobbled.  She brushed her unsteadiness off as an inconsequential side-effect of wearing stilettos even though she had glided in this same pair like a blade across butter a week prior.  Once she reached the top of her short climb she looked up in an attempt to take in the light of the day only to find that the roofing did not allow.  With a sigh, she lowered her head and fixed her gaze on the stained glass window of the church door...wrapped her hand around its gold plated handle and pulled it to. 

With her shades on, the lighting was reminiscent of dinner theater ambiance...dimmed for the illusion of intimacy.  With her shades off, the difference was marginal...revealing the quasi brightness of improper wattage.  ‘Why does it feel dim in here?’  She quickly dissolved the cohesiveness of her first mind ‘Uh, uh,’ shaking her head from side to side not wanting it to stir self.  She didn’t want to pay heed to unifying thoughts like, ‘I feel a little off in some way…I don’t know.’  ‘Maybe this is a little too soon to meet his church family.’  ‘What exactly does “spirit unification church” mean anyway?’  The latter a much needed follow-up to the quickly composed and unrelated addendum to a phone conversation about movies six days ago. 

“Oh, yea…about your visit this coming Sunday…my church is a spirit unification church.  It’s not a big thing but I just wanted to mention it.  And too, I really like that light green dress you wore to class the other day.  You don’t wear dresses that much and I enjoyed seeing you in it.  Seeing you in a dress…I don’t know…it just does something to me.”  She could hear Bret’s smile - a brew of charm and latent conceit.  Acacia had happily agreed without noticing how Bret had slid a sheet of paper dotted with fine print under the door of their conversation...flattered her into signing away her love of kicks and jeans.  Acacia had agreed and, in turn, could feel the hem of her thin cotton dress ebb across her ankles like a low tide as she walked the center aisle and placed herself in the third pew from the right with credulous ease.

The beginning of the service was like small vignettes leading up to the principal act - choir sings, prayer, choir sings, responsive reading and then the choir sings.  It was a standard show of order, tradition heavily salted with spirited hand claps and amens.  Church was not an inherited habit for Acacia.  She had grown up with parents who treated church like a whim act of going out for pizza.  They only went when they had a taste for its greasy cheese.  So church was more of an affinity, a doe-eyed fondness bred in hot, sticky-air Savannah summers with her Baptist Grandmother.  She enjoyed it, admired it as a girl does a Barbie – wishing her skin was smooth, wishing her hair was silky-long, wishing the rotundity of her form would morph into those curve-less dimensions.  Church and beauty - sanctioned worthiness.  Presence without scorn.  She enjoyed it, allowing all the preliminaries to erect framework within her void.   She began to believe that the pomp of this foreign land would build her, make her whole.  She enjoyed the idea of it all, the notion that she was blessed to receive what thus saith the Lord...