A Real Mother For Yah

When I experience Mother’s Day as an aging adult with a disability, it is daunting. Daunting is the closest word I can think of without sounding like a miserable bigot. When I envisioned Mother’s Day in my mind, I believed it would be fun to remember and revisit the connecting moments that bond mother and son, grandmother and grandson, daughter and mother, aunt and niece, nephew and aunt. But it would be too right for things to go according to my plan. 

Mothers are women. And women are queens on their holiday. And their holiday is an expression of sisterhood. Forget my dream that has mothers regaling us about the connectedness, warmth, trauma, stress, joy and worry of their collective parenthoods. We instead get hastily planned events.  Events in which mothers don’t talk about their experiences with their children from a past perspective. No. 

Mother’s Day resides strangely in the contemporary realm. Most mothers don’t want to think about who they were when they had their children. And if they did. We have to coax them into telling us this.  But I understand the idea. Most mothers are simply happy their children are living and thriving. If you’re a black mother, you’re glad that your child hasn’t been killed while sitting at a traffic light. 

  As l gathered with two conjoined families (my sisters and aunts cavalcade of mother, children, and relatives) I internalized the stories about family drama, mutual friends, and savored the laughs I shared with sisters, cousins, and other outliers. 

God told me to zero in on the mothers who were there with us. And it was only then that I understood that our lives are feeble collections of meaningless tasks. Most of us are exceedingly boring. We rely on events and exceptions to make us feel worthy. But we are all just people trying to make sense and purpose out of experiences that are mundane as hell. 

When I looked critically at the women I was surrounded by, I realized that mothers, especially my beautiful black mothers are worried about staying alive, giving life and lessons to all those around. 

There is no DISNEY rated G way for a black mother to tell her black child that everything is going to be alright. But it is that mother’s job to do everything to instill hope in the heart of her babies, who grow into adults … who hopefully go out in the world with something moral and unique to share with the world. 

I thank my mother for not sugar-coating this world for me. I thank her and all black women for showing me how to take a torpedo and turn it into a rain cloud. 

Maybe I didn’t get the Hallmark greeting card version of Mother’s Day I wanted. But I did get the privilege to say that many of the women who shaped me into the man I am are still alive making change, making sacrifices, and fighting battles. 

There are those that have lost their mothers. For those such a day is filled with sadness. But having a living mother is far better than having to visit a mother that sits lonely in a mausoleum or graveyard as God’s withering earth becomes shelter. 

A mother is hope, compassion, and also pain. But your mother is also a expression of you. So love her while you’ve got her… because you don’t know when her time might be up. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truthful Hyperbole

It is “truthful hyperbole” if you’re a man that doesn’t acknowledge that you have (or have had) some enmity toward the opposite sex. Hyperbole is to over-shoot, over throw, or over complicate a reason, conversation, or idea. It’s a real exaggeration to ignore this bias completely if you’re determined to see women as only sensory, pathological people who you only regard with subservience. If we examine the Creation story in the King James Bible, Eve doesn’t get a great deal.

The “mother of creation” is painted as a scapegoat for the real error that Adam made. A loose interpreter could state that Adam “blamed his wife” because he “valued her” as an extension of himself… to be his “fail safe”. We could suppose that because Adam loved God he believed he should say: “You’re my wife… protect me. ”

We could feel that Adam should have pressed harder against Eve’s conclusion about the “forbidden fruit” because Adam knew better. But he just said: This wife you gave me… I believed her.

And of course, God (although he had mercy) was like:

Too bad, Adam.

From that simple story in Genesis, we should conceive in our minds how men and women are known for their own unique brand of “truthful hyperbole”. We all tell partial and incomplete stories about many things. We all have been victims to our egos.

So, Eve curved her enthusiasm about that forbidden fruit. And Adam might have exaggerated his role in the tragedy.

He blamed God. He blamed the beauty of Eve. But he never really blamed himself.

No. Not really.

If I’m not wrong, Adam’s entire human generation was later obliterated. Since Christians are supposedly descended from Abraham through a new covenant… I just think that…

We can’t expect women to protect men from their own stupidity unceasingly, because women are people too. And women get vulnerable, tired and fed up with how much stupidity the people around them tolerate. And women naturally care until you’ve hurt them so much that they cannot stand to care completely.

So what is truthful hyperbole? It’s a bridge between truth and facts. It’s a social behavior that CNN’s Don Lemon spoke about from “The Art of the Deal” when he critiqued our current U.S. president.

Either you appreciate the exaggeration POTUS encourages, or you think he’s quite a sociopath. But he is culpable and he’s the President of us all… whether we like it or loathe it.

“Truthful hyperbole” is NOT all that new, though. It happens when a person shares with you exaggerated ideas that sound factual. These ideas sound like the greatest song you’ll ever hear. Unbeknownst to you, many parts of that song are missing. But the song soothes your soul so wonderfully, that you’ll move on and ignore the subtle cloak thrown over the music. It’s like when someone tells you you’re gonna stay at an excellent hotel that has “a room with a view”.

But reality answers later and you observe that the room with a view… was a room overlooking a sewer plant. The view of the sewer plant connected to an over-sized linen closet with a Murphy bed. That’s how exaggeration works. You expect something like class and you actually receive misery.

My truthful hyperbole was something like: I don’t have a disability because Sam told me that “disability” was an affliction that white men gave me because they “hated” Sam.

Now, I really admired Sam. Sam and I were like blood brothers.

(Note: Sam is not a real person. He’s a fictional character that I’m using to make a point.)

Because I like Sam… I believe Sam. And for a few years, I threw common sense out and borrowed Sam’s theory that my arthritis and back pain was this spiritual affliction that I had allowed myself to believe. I looked up to Sam. Surely, Sam wasn’t committing “truthful hyperbole.”

I manufactured in my head a story that said: Sam was right and whites were not to be trusted. Isn’t that just ignorant? But that’s how an exaggeration works. All we need is a small batch of fake or loosely edited information to propagate a lie. But I had to learn from experience how to discern facts from fiction. I had to ask more questions and keep silent before I understood just how to spot when situations were exaggerated.

I had to realize through experience that we do not judge one group based on one person’s pain, or one community’s dead skeletons. Another person’s experience may not reveal every piece of the narrative. You have to engage your own curiosity . You must excise your own thoughts about the conduct of another person. You can’t really stand on hearsay and gossip especially when it comes to hyperbole. It is possible to exaggerate so much of one’s life… that the sum of it all becomes more FICTION than fact.

See, I don’t hate the president. I can’t hate him because there are people with the same complexion the president has—minus the orange bronzer—who don’t ridicule my disability. These people are Caucasian. Hating the President would be turning my back on my religious faith and the many non-African American people that have been fair to me.

But I do hate the idea of “truthful hyperbole”.

I hate that it’s possible for people to pepper their conversation with rigorous amounts of “best and greatest” just so they fool a bunch of angry, hurting people.

Ok. Maybe, I hated when 45 won the election. Perhaps, I wanted to see a woman win because the women I’ve known have always had to bail us men out. Many of them didn’t have the luxury of “truthful hyperbole.”

And I hate the American trepidation toward powerful women who are business minded.

I admit even I have exaggerated many things in my life at one point in time to pretend to be “formidable”. The thing about exaggeration we have to admonish is:

Some curve-balls boomerang and hit you in your face. We’ve got to be careful at the stones we throw, the bridges we burn… the vengeance we exact… because one never knows how one curve to the left or right veers us off into destruction or perdition.

When we use our feelings to make all our decisions, It’s easier to practice self-deception. I cannot let anger be my decision-maker anymore. Anger and hate lead to sleepless nights, fractured relationships, brittle bones, substance abusers, complicit betrayers, and self-aggrandized leeches.

And one person will not stop me… from hoping for accountability. Adam and Eve also had Cain and Abel…which eventually flooded us over to Abraham. But we all (the faithful and hopeful) had to work, weep, watch and wait.

And those words are no exaggeration.

What I Actually Thought of Beyonce’s Homecoming

I pulled up Netflix keenly aware that there is no wisdom found in building opinions about anything, using a mix of random reactions generated by an edited and clearly biased, Facebook feed.

About six minutes into my viewing of what was essentially a “documentary concert”, I realized that much of “Homecoming’s” success hinged itself on a whirlwind concoction of hip gyrating, daisy duke wearing, yet African-American marching band culture.

There is much to be gleaned from the sheer longevity of the high-hat section in siren songs like Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”.

If you’ve ever listened to the song you know what I mean. You’re sitting down just daydreaming about something cool and suddenly you’re snapped in half by a thud of drums, bass, and sax. From there, you just want to get up and dance. Or in my case, you want to step lightly and jiggle your baby fat. While I was reminiscing about how much fun that song is, I got sad.

I flashed back to the time my now deceased uncle questioned me about attending the “Greek Show”. Then, I was a student at my family’s alma mater, Southern University. That’s not to say that all my relatives chose that school. But SU is so crucial to our family’s identity, that there was a time when I had planned to avoid that school like the plague I thought it was. Just when I thought I had completed my mission, I was admitted there in 2015.

So when my uncle asked about that Greek Show—-this thing where black men and women in frats and sororities step dance and clap—-I got scared.

Was he expecting me to swoon over this just because I loved music and was reasonably competent with a few chord progressions on a keyboard? I don’t know. But I was like: Nah, I’ll pass.

So as I’m watching Homecoming… that is what I’m re-imagining. It’s a glorified step-show band experiment. But also, it’s a long-standing cultural homage to the long career that Beyonce has, will have, and is still having.

I’m trying to swoon over just the idea that these beautiful black men and women are having a “HOMECOMING” on a massive black, Baptist church-hats with grandma, scale. And all I can do as I watch is wonder about how ironic my own situation is.

Beyonce’ launched into “Freedom” and I recalled the grimy set that she and Kendrick Lamar did at an awards show a few years ago. A set that was a like seeing the face of Grendel herself. Her performance was no less of a spectacle on Netflix.

Imagine an MTV production and then magnify that times 100. The viewer sees several horn sections, metallic silver-plated risers, and hand-picked authentic band majors from at least one black college.

I couldn’t analyze the show without comparing it to Madonna. Because Madonna and Beyonce’ have virtually the same stage presence and colloquial signature points. Although they both are very different performers, they mimic each other with very detailed expectations for how a performance’s aesthetic should be delivered to an audience.

So, I wasn’t surprised when Mrs. Carter shared with us that she used more than one sound stage to capture “Homecoming”.

Every pattern, weave, costume, and rendition was timed and tested several times over. I reminisced about Southern’s “Pretty Wednesday” afternoons as I watched Beyonce’ and Big Freedia re-hash “Formation”.

I still don’t get the bang about Big Freedia. Of course, “he, she, or they” are an epic part of New Orleans bounce culture.

But “they” confuse me and some might get upset when learning that I’m a lifelong Louisiana native that truly understands the “Power of New Orleans”. It’s a fragrance. “Power of New Orleans” is my name for the social, cultural, pathological love of the French, Creole, Cajun, black, Parisian melting pot that exists well past the French Quarter and the CBD. No festival can name or bottle how New Orleans just changes people. When people are passionate about a city and have built their lives in it, that city isn’t a place anymore. A city becomes a spirit that transcends location and demography.

“Homecoming” is nearly syncretism when considering its cinematic production. The show celebrates an African-American ideal that is extremely hard to codify. The idea is: Black people (also and especially Black gay men, women) are capable and strong. The show then goes on to say in its own way that “we” (black kings and queens) are also tragically complicated… but full of potential. Such a wonderful message struggles to be seen when it gets lost in rushing waves of messaging by foregone black leaders like Maya Angelou and Nina Simone.

(Yes, there were voiceovers in weird places in the documentary.)

The message gets lost when Beyonce’ has to prove her personhood by performing at Coachella… a mostly white, rich, and very elitist music festival. I am aware of how I sound. How rude of me to be a black disabled guy whose last album purchase wasn’t explicitly black!

Yeah, I bought Hoobastank’s “Push Pull” and not the “Homecoming” music album. I understand how weird that is for some people. Yeah, take my black card away. But all this effort by her has me wondering why she needed to prove that her music should be there, in that space.

Isn’t her husband a business owner? Doesn’t he own TIDAL music service and a slew of other comparable assets? Are we ignoring that red herring? I don’t necessarily see her as someone totally reflecting me. She reflects people that look like me. At times, she comes achingly close to empathizing with my own experience.

After all, I’m black and Creole. I just don’t travel with “hot sauce in my bag.” When she finally did convict me, she was performing “I Care” from her “4” album. The total image she projected here finally let me acknowledge: Oh, she’s a human being.

And truth is: Beyonce’ is best when she’s her most vulnerable. When she asks herself about her flaws, we see her real complexity. She’s a person when she’s sharing her tragedies on the stage delivering lyrics with some shred of real remorse.

I’ve never seen BEYONCE’ live. For me, the questions about the messaging in her art never truly stop. And therein lays my issue. There is depth…so much depth in  Beyonce’s story that accessibility becomes this awkward myth. And how accessible Beyonce’ is matters because I’m a black man that went to an HBCU to study words, art, and ultimately…the stories of other people.

I never find a middle when I come home to Beyonce’. The purpose of her work only lands when I force it. The truth is: I can’t digest it altogether like the legions of people in her beehive. Maybe, the problem is that I read too much. Maybe, I ask more questions than can be answered.

But when “Homecoming” came home to me, I had to force it through a misshapen hole and drive it down the stream of my consciousness with sugar-water. You could say it’s because I’m a man. Or maybe I expected to arrive at a place of finality that doesn’t really exist. But Beyonce’s “Homecoming” earns its “MA” rating and while it’s a blinding force of black culture, it will regrettably send a very esoteric message to people who aren’t “bout dat life”.

To Write, To Produce, To Sing: Inside The Art Mind

Someone told me that writing music isn’t as difficult as writing fiction and nonfiction. I do not believe the processes are as different as they look to the casual observer. When producing a song, you need a beat. You need several different vocal lines. You’re often playing the same vocal line over and over, mulling over the slightest imperfection. When you finally have all the parts in place, something is not going to sound the right way.

After the production is recorded, maybe you decide that the song sounds better in a different key. Maybe, you recorded it in E-flat minor and it needs to be in A-flat major. After six minutes of hearing it, you’re sure the change matters enough.

You’re the performer and you want it your way. Perhaps, you should speed something up. When the lyrics are finally written in, they have to balance the song’s feel and production adequately. It finally seems to sound like what you want. But you’ve been awake for 14 hours and you need to sleep.You hope to yourself that the several tracks you’ve played with are on par with the content creators in your profession. The fear is that you’ll decide that all but one (of your 25 songs) is good enough for the album. That one mistake will breed an obsession.

If all this goes decently, there is the HELL of choosing the appropriate single. After all, this is your “they don’t know me yet” song. That’s considerably worse than the “I haven’t recorded in a while” song.
It is a surreal, therapeutic experience to create from the heart, to build with the mind, to compose from our inner selves. Writing is just that freaking hard, too.

Writing takes several early drafts, sentence changes, paragraph deletions, word substitutions, and peer reviews. There are times when the writer experiences depression from crafting words. He or she is tempted to give up because after six hours, just twelve words were written.

And yet a writer at heart cannot stop writing. The art of rhetoric and language is an addiction. You worry about pleasing your editor, if you have one. You, like a musician, are always “marketing yourself”.
Writing is at once the greatest pleasure and the harshest defeat. The rejected stories and vitriolic criticisms levied at writers for their pursuit is inconvenient truth.

Writing is that same haphazard rollercoaster of trial and error that a musician rides. The delivery method just changes form. An idea forms from a single line of text. And that line of text never alerts the writer about when or why. The “voice” only starts talking and you–the writer—–must let it come. The purpose for a text is not always readily available. Often, the value of a poem, an essay, or a reading takes focus after an experiment is over.

Simply put… the ceiling appears before the foundation is secure.

Well into two decades of writing, I must accept constant ridicule by all who fail at grasping that I did not choose writing. Writing chose me. Writing is the song in my life that is caught in pre-production. Writing is the deep well that cements my complicated existence. Writing is the insect that weaves my identity far beyond Louisiana.

It is the glue of poems, pain, progress, and passions. I can’t quit it like a singer cannot stop singing. The musician and writer know the pain of refusal. They know the details of the creative path they chose. And it takes faith, persistence and position to continue making art while understanding that ART —-music, poetry, writing, or drama—is still creative currency.

So dream forward…because ART matters when something you sang, performed, or wrote changed the life of ONE hopeless, destitute person.

Dark Matter / The Mirror

It is not a coincidence that the darkness that hinders my growth shows up as a misplaced car in some uneven driveway, or a marijuana-fueled person needing me to distract them from some self-inflicted circumstance. It tests us to be emotionally available for people who act like they are their own worst enemy. Pink sang it well when she said:  “I’m a hazard to myself/ so irritating / don’t wanna be my friend no more/” (Austin, Moore 2001)

Why was “Don’t Let Me Get Me” on repeat in my past life? Why did I want to be someone else? Probably, I was confronting darkness, demons of a doubt, as a black man. Those lyrics were a balm on my wounded soul. And I needed to feel less like some Cerebral Palsy-having weirdo who attended a mostly white school, in a white-ish neighborhood feeling like an Uncle Tom who betrayed his own black community by having different connections.

We’ve all faced the pain of rejection when we feel a case of mistaken identity.  Fear becomes the reason for why we don’t want to love ourselves.

When we are scared to peel back the veil, tragic people become our “strength persons”. We choose the idiot still looking for his or her self, because we cannot admit that we are doing the same search.   

 We tell ourselves someone is good for us when they are all we have.

In my past struggles I’ve tolerated men and women, who strong-armed me into believing they knew what was best for me.

And in that period of heartbreak, shame, criticism, and dependency, I could not see the spiritual abuse that those toxic persons left inside me.  I’d give myself to people and once people received from me had what they wanted, I was left to rot in my own misery.

Loving a person, no matter how patient and kind… does not force them to treat you deservingly. When the person you love fails at changing… the job is yours to detach as best you can.

Love plays an ironic role in black, darker times. It is the anti-dote to the pain and also the reason pain happens. We don’t begin a relationship seeing the painful scars of love until we are totally alone. We don’t start healing our own trauma until we get quiet.  You must get quiet and listen to yourself.

That quiet comes when the TV is off… when the phone is dead… when the internet loses connection and when all you have is just YOU.

Quiet is when the television is powered off.  Quiet is when the phone is dead or when the internet’s lost its signal. Quiet is when you realize that you are all that’s left.  When you still yourself in the quiet, you then get past the blackness, the confusion and the mistaken parts of yourself that were once “hazardous”.

How do you know when you’re facing trauma?  Trauma is the negative voice in your head that says you’ll never be quite as capable as your brother and yet you’re staring at a Master’s Degree.

Trauma is the elder mother whose words rendered you unlovable even after you’ve accepted God in your life. Trauma is inviting a known drug addict back into your life after you’ve completed two years and twelve steps. Trauma is having a driver’s license and being deathly afraid to drive because “a voice still tells you when the traffic gets heavy you’ll cave.”

Trauma is the face of a clinically depressed person, waiting for a restock, because the store is just too overrun with people.  Trauma is the protest and yelling in your voice when you know a caring person is telling you something it hurts to hear. Trauma takes baby steps to grow on. Healing from trauma is allowing fractured words to collide with one another knowing that both are equally important to you.

We all have dealt with past mistakes. Don’t let your pride make you believe that you cannot heal your dark, broken pieces. You can become a whole person. But it’s going to take a new kind of awareness. Trauma’s a weird genie, but if you can work hard to hide it…it’s just as hard to reveal and deal with it.

Kindness

Selena Gomez sings a song called “Kill em’ with Kindness”. She released it in 2015, the same year “Hands to Myself” became popular. The song was a manifesto for me when I went through a creative slump. Ironically, 2015 is also the year I started working on my bachelor’s degree to the ire of an estranged bunch of idiotic naysayers that allowed their fear that I would embarrass them to outweigh their actual joy that I had made the decision to be kind to myself and further my education.

See, I have always been the man turning the other cheek, supporting others never quite counting the cost that “support” actually requires. If you need a word to describe my impression of what I’ve done, the word would be fervent—which basically means with fierce passion. I like my role as the passionate advocate. That’s my impression of true kindness. A kind person is fervently there for others.

When there is a death, I’m accepting calls and instructions from bygone relatives who were, when I needed them most, too self-absorbed to truly aid me. I’d get last minute requests that were not truly requests. People demanded my input, my man-power, my money, my counsel, my prayers, even my computer. I kindly obliged because “obedience is better than sacrifice”.

I didn’t want to be the one that gave anyone a stone when they truly wanted bread. Although there are some willful lies I’ve told for fear of being a doormat, I have always delivered some form of patient kindness whenever necessary.

When someone is too pained with mourning to say the words they know to say, I have offered words up, because I know words are not meant to be scattered upon the waters of tumult without grace or purpose. I, in kindness, without much plan, have pulled sentences and exhortations, praises, and tributes out of my rear end. I’ve done this in season and out of season, never minding the HOT MESSES I’ve witnessed.

I remember birthdays, and although I am occasionally late with gifts, I come through. I act even when I have to be the same one that plans my own celebration, treated as though I was the narcissist that has not taken care of anyone, in any way.

Because I believe in kindness, I have given time to men and women who seem determined to plot disrespect toward me. But that is me. I believe love is patient, kind, and forgiving. But the kind question I ask often as I get older is: Who is going to be kind to me and give back when I lose the strength I have. The fact is: NOTHING lasts forever.

People are not meant to be martyrs; they are meant to share, but sharing is done with the promise that one day God will repay it back. Kindness should never have to be a point of scolding rebuke. No one should have tell a person that actually cares…to care.

I’m in 30s now. And I’m glad that I see kindness as something that is not concerned with narcissistic things like bank accounts, career aspirations, and new automobiles.

Do you know what a narcissist is? Derived from Greek myth, it’s any human that is so in love with their reflection that it is the very end and beginning of who they are.

Truly selfish people, (narcs) often tell those edging toward better self-care that they are inherently selfish. Narcs shame people for saying no to hurtful relationships, damaging experiences, careless engagements. The view is that the person making the “new” decision to avoid a situation that took advantage of them is “too needy”. But show me a professional that spared no expense when the quality of work was immaculate, and I’ll show you a jerk that has swindled so many, that he or she cannot help but believe that what has been done is “kind”.

But this twisted shaming mechanism designed to incite fear in broken people is nothing more than jealousy. If kindness truly starts within, then why would not the patient kindness of a lover reveal itself on the path toward healing. The conversation toward better thoughts and feelings starts with you.

And either you are happy because you work at it, or you’ll never know the difference between someone who loves you, or someone only willing to love what they believe you should be. There is something I’ve learned about the struggling self-absorbed person.

That person believes that the only kindness they ever need is the kind is that of fawning, fearful pedestal worship.

Some people believe kindness is limited to one deed every year. I believe kindness a daily, monthly, weekly commitment. You don’t have to put your friends or family on pedestals… but you must learn to listen with your heart. Because some kind acts are all about your actual presence, your time, your listening ability. There are no perfect people. When I was young, I went through a painful narc faze. I believed that the world was entitled to feel sorry for me because I was born with a disability. But all false misconceptions lead to dead-end dreams. I don’t have that air of self-important arrogance any more. I’m looking for my kindness to connect boundaries, to shatter roadblocks, to motivate brokeness, to liberate prisoners, and to alleviate anxieties.

To be kind, is to be willingly present.

Even If No One Reads This

I stepped outside today and greeted the Amazon Prime delivery van. I had not ordered anything from Amazon Prime and although I pay for Amazon Music Unlimited, the idea that Amazon has fleets of distribution vehicles ready to move along my small town streets evoked a inner sentimentality. I snapped a picture of the van and asked the driver had she found the right address. She replied swiftly and obliged my joy about the “prime” moniker and how I enjoyed Amazon products. Momentarily, it seemed like I had left Louisiana and was not in a backyard crossing the street.

I snapped this photograph:

I remember the first time I accepted my call to artistry and realized the scorn and hatred I might face.

With the live action version of Johnathan Larson’s “RENT” coming to network television soon, I recalled the impoverished African-American woman who asked “Mark” (Anthony Rapp) , a struggling New York artist for a dollar. When he could not deliver it and gazed upon her with sorrow, I thought about how artists are like the homeless. We’re looking for home among citizens who have branded us as a strange and peculiar people. A “starving artist” is truly a living organism, and not just an expression levied by non-artists for comedic purposes.

We, artists are almost self-flagellating in our creative pursuit. People do not need to explain to us that the entertainment, journalism, and media avenues are over-run with facsimiles of the same vision. We search for the same destination: acknowledgement, acceptance and above all compensation for our gifts.

I was captivated by Amazon. You could almost say I had imagined that I saw a blinding bit of sun. Surely, the van and the person are just accomplishing a goal. The van is being used to transport objects. The woman is earning her pay.

Maybe my face was happy for a wonderful day or the idea of feeling accomplished… or was it just feeling connected to someone or something.

I write to connect. And maybe I need that small moment in time to remind me that being a writer is a brave, honest pursuit even if nobody bothers to see what words can do.

Artists like me are often fearful of their crafts because words have power. And often that power is spat on, thrown out, and ultimately silenced.

I’m a starving artist hoping that someone in the crowd sees my truth. If I don’t have money, my art is still viable or important.

As a black artist, I’m mindful not to let my race or more prominently…. my culture limit that long-term vision. It just needs tweaking, and the community near me needs refreshing… needs updating.

But to not write… because we fear the reflection must be conquered. I will keep being inspired even if no one reads this.