Sunday, September 16, 2012

Forgive Them Father

A song can change the entire course of how I approach the day.  Happily knitting on the train today and blasting music loudly enough to block the sound of a playful 4yr old (someone else's; not mine), the shuffle brought to me a song I often listen to with deep intensity when I'm prone to anger (see video and lyrics below)...

After a good wallow (5 hours worth), I sat down in my hotel room, to write about my "feelings", but before tackling the keys, I read my New Year's eve post from last year; Best I Can and Viola!  I was cured.
I'm better than that and I had to be reminded of this by none other than myself.  Thanks Self!

The lyrics draw me in...most notably the ones in red below...

[Shelly Thunder]
Forgive us all trespassers as we forgive those that trespass against us
Although them again we will never, never, never trust

Dem noh know weh dem do, dig out yuh yei while dem sticking like glue,
Fling, skin, grin while dem plotting fah you,
True, Ah Who???

[Lauryn Hill]
Forgive them father for they know not what they do
Forgive them father for they know not what they do

Beware the false motives of others
Be careful of those who pretend to be brothers
And you never suppose it's those who are closest to you (to you)
They say all the right things to gain their position
Then use your kindness as their ammunition
To shoot you down in the name of ambition, they do

Forgive them father for they know not what they do
Forgive them father for they know not what they do

[Lauryn Hill - rapping]
Why every Indian wanna be the chief?
Feed a man 'til he full and he still want beef
Give me grief, try to tief off my piece
Why for you to increase, I must decrease?
If I treat you kindly does it mean that I'm weak?
You hear me speak and think I won't take it to the streets
I know enough cats that don't turn the other cheek
But I try to keep it civilized like Menelik
And other African czars observing stars with war scars
Get yours in this capitalistic system
So many caught or got bought you can't list them
How you gonna idolize the missing?
To survive is to stay alive in the face of opposition
Even when they comin' gunnin'
I stand position
L on the mission since conception
Let's free the people from deception
If you looking for the answers
Then you gotta ask the questions
And when I let go, my voice echoes through the ghetto
Sick of men trying to pull strings like Geppetto
Why black people always be the ones to settle
March through these streets like Soweto

[Lauryn Hill]
Like Cain and Abel, Caesar and Brutus, Jesus and Judas,
Backstabbers do this

Forgive them father for they know not what they do
Forgive them father for they know not what they do

It took me a little while to discover
Wolves in sheep coats who pretend to be lovers
Men who lack conscience will even lie to themselves (to themselves)
A friend once said, and I found to be true
That everyday people, they lie to God too
So what makes you think, that they won't lie to you

Forgive them father for they know not what they do
Forgive them, forgive them
Forgive them father for they know not what they do
Forgive them, forgive them

[Shelly Thunder]
Gwan like dem love while dem rip yuh to shreds,
Trample pon yuh heart and lef yuh fi dead,

Dem a yuh fren who yuh depen pon from way back when,
But if yuh gi dem yuh back den yuh mus meet yuh end
Dem noh know wey dem do,
Dem noh know wey dem do,
Dem no know, dem no know, dem no know,
Dem no know, dem no know wey dem do


Monday, January 9, 2012

I Am My Hair

Sorry India Arie...

A few weeks ago, I awoke, quite dramatically, from what seemed to be a dreamless slumber. In my cakey-eyed stupor, however, one wild and desperate message resonated (very loudly) in my head...

You gotta get rid of that hair!!!

So wait, this may need a bit of a back story; just a bit though because I promised myself that this would be a quick post (yeah right).

About 10 years ago, I made a dramatic decision. I decided to cut off my long and beautiful dreadlocks; my "crown and glory" as the old ladies would say. The main reason? Vanity. They were so ridiculously heavy that my roots started thinning and I couldn't take it anymore. My reasoning? was just hair. I never looked back, but after the haircut, I did do something very deliberately yet, so retrospectively telling and... weird. I took the recently chopped locs from my barber, placed them in a plastic bag, carried them to my home in Brooklyn and tucked them away almost ritualistically in my closet.

OK so maybe some of you won't find this weird and I sure didn't up until that very second I was jolted out of my sleep. In fact, I often bragged about the fact that I still had my locs and not once did I feel weird about admitting it. Obviously I still don't, but it was the immediate thought process after receiving the message to "get rid of that hair", that bothered me; no, shamed me the most.

I wanted to kick myself. How could I be so blind and so stupid in fact to store and mentally hold on to something so absolutely dead as hair? Here's an even crazier level than the already psychotic behavior of storing old hair...I actually brought it with me when my girls and I moved from NYC to NJ. Really people!!! I took the time to pack up that dead hair (like some crazy black widow) and bring it right along with us into our new lives eight years

Back to my immediate thought process. "Gurl!" I said to myself. "Do you know what's in that hair??" Actually, I did know.  And the list went something like this:
  • That tumultuous relationship(s) is in that hair!
  • The times when you didn't have food to feed your babies are in that hair!
  • That awful boss is in that hair!
  • Your tears are in that hair!
  • Pounds upon pounds of fat you successfully worked off are in that hair!
  • Poverty is in that hair!
  • Ailments and pain are in that hair!
  • A era of spiritual loss is in that hair.
It was this thought process which prompted me to immediately jump out of my bed, grab the hair out of its eternally, undisturbed and quiet resting place in my closet, throw on my fleece and Uggs and race outta the house to the garbage bin in the garage and dump that damned bag of mess and stress. And how did it feel? It felt amazing! Freeing! And I suddenly felt much "lighter"; much like I did that day so long ago when those heavy tresses hit the ground.

And so for all you non-believers: Yes, maybe it all my mind, and even so...hunny...isn't it the mind that makes everything...a reality?

Thanks for reading and receiving.  Peace Y’all!