Archive for August, 2008

What if melanin is the magic that made the world?

August 19, 2008

What if, contrary to popular belief, black (melanistic, saturated, color) is The Light, The Way, The Truth?

What if that “one drop” is sanctifier, not stain?

What if that truth were known by all humankind, particularly, the artifically labeled, minority/maligned/marginalized “blacks” of this world?

Imagine what could happen?

A tearing off of the veil of inferiority, victimhood, self-hatred, woven and gifted in the name of God – that ever loving, bearded white smiting dude – and fastened tight by the lie of white supremacy?

A diminishment of the potency and power of racism?

A reclamation of the right to Be.

A reclamation of the divine power that overflows within.

A riotous proclamation of “I AM,” sung in rhythm with the clicks of shoulder bones straightening up, of back bones unfurling upright in regal revelry? 

A freeing of minds shackled into dormancy by the his-stories woven insidiously through prayer and education into cerebrums?

A toppling of the thrones of the self-anointed majority, which teeter on the ground built upon the bodies and backs of the melanistic ones?

What if melanin is the magic that made the world?

What Color Are You?

August 19, 2008

All this press about the dilemma for Obama’s campaign team, of how to color him black enough, but not too black as to turn off the white (majority) voter, makes me think of an encounter I had with a little girl at my son’s preschool. This meeting touched me deeply and provided me with the inspiration for my children’s picture book Max and Me.

On this particular day a little girl in his class stood and stared at me, her expression a mix of horror, confusion and curiosity. Finally, realizing I did not, in fact, have moldy spinach, or “horror of horrors,” a bogey, hanging from my left nasal passage, I spoke first. Our conversation went something like this:



“Are you Moses’ mom?”

“Yes I am.”


“Can I touch you?”


The little girl stroked my arm, then she touched her own arm. She closed her eyes and again stroked my arm. She stood very still, mulling things over. Then, with her eyes still closed, she touched her own arm. Abruptly, she skipped away down the hall. Suddenly, she stopped, turning around to look back at me. This little girl was not only smiling at me (a beam of relief and understanding that said “you’re OK.”) she was truly lit up from within – enlightened. 

“Bye.” She said, her ponytail swinging as she skipped away, turning once more at the end of the corridor to wave. And then she was gone. I never again had to suffer her ” equilibrium wrecking” stare and we became friends, known to each other always as “young lady,” and “Moses’ mom.”

I will be honest with you, I hesitated at that little girl’s request, I knew it related to the color of my skin and quite frankly I was tired of educating people as to the humanness, the sameness, of black people, but the Universe whispered to me “Breathe.” So I breathed and said “Yes.” 

I quickly realized that that young lady had not ever had the opportunity to touch dark brown skin and she simply wondered what it felt like. In that open, innocent way children approach life, (until it’s taught, or frightened out of them,) she was going to find out, from me. I, in the fatigue and fallacies implemented by the “isms” of adulthood (especially racism,) came dangerously close to looking a gift horse in the mouth, that is until I released, deciding somewhat involuntarily, to follow her childly lead and open to possibility. Maybe I didn’t in fact really know why she wanted to touch me? 

When that little girl closed her eyes, touched me and herself all over again, it took my breath away. How did she, little more than a toddler, know that what we see with our eyes is so often a distraction, a distortion, not the truth? How did she know that contrary to popular belief, it is in the dark that we truly see? 

Saddened though I was that up until that time, she hadn’t just known that dark brown skin was skin, just like her own pink skin, in that moment I realized we had been gifted. I realized that I, in sharing myself, allowing her to touch me, had handed her a gift that can, I believe, help heal our world – the knowledge that skin-is-skin-is-skin-is-skin, whatever its color. A gift she will carry (in her DNA) and share wherever she wanders in this world. Her gift to me was the reminder to return to innocence every chance I get (no matter how terrible things may seem) for that is where magic happens. I carried my gift home that evening and wrote Max and Me.

During that brief, but profound interaction, it was shown to me that in this era of multiculturalism, one fundamental fact is often forgotten. The fact that people, no matter their color or culture, are inherently the same. Aside from the obvious food and water, we, members of the human race – the only race (the social construct of “Race” was invented for reasons of hierarchy, power and control. There is no scientific evidence supporting the purported different “Races.” In fact, there are far greater differences between a man and a woman than there are between “Races.”) – need hope, truth and love, no matter where we reside on the human color wheel.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if mankind could some day soon be open to receiving the same simple gifts?

What I Know

August 19, 2008

Realizing the truth of my marriage, the lies, the deceit, the distance, the loneliness, the darkness; not understanding why I could not be seen, could not be heard. Realizing that I had predicted this place, this time, this experience. I had seen it coming. I had known it. I had called it. I had captured it all in one fleeting, tearful premonition, in the doorway of where one life had to end -for so many, many reasons – and another life had to begin.

I knew then in my bones that even though I had seen the “writing on the walls,” I had to go. I had to leave the claws of an entity that had no wish for my growth, my goodness, my becoming what I was destined to be. One who knew, too, who and what I was. What I am and shall ever be, for that entity was far more destructive and dangerous than that which I was walking toward. And I knew this (but I didn’t know that I knew it until now) and I wept, and I walked, eyes shut tight and holding my breath, into the wilderness that was to be my world until I woke up, exhaled, and began my return to the Wild – my home, my destiny, me.

And I can be there now, freely, truthfully, because I know the loneliness and fear of being lost in the wilderness, running from my tribe, my truth. Running from the howl of the cats, the cries of the ancestors, that have been calling me all of my life. I needed to live this life, spending time alone in the dark to find my way back through life’s labyrinth, scarred, chipped, flawed, but unbent, unbroken and free. 

I know I can do anything. I can surmount anything. I know that I am on top of the world, wherever I AM if I have the courage.

It Can’t Possibly Be True, Can it?

August 16, 2008

I read a book the other week that I couldn’t put down, even as I could barely see through the tears that were flooding my eyes. The book is Ugly. The true story of a loveless childhood, by Constance Briscoe. My tears flowed in sympathy for the author but honestly mostly for me, because within the pages of her life story were snippets, no, pages, of my own childhood.

This memoir is incredible and oh so true.

Mother’s can be truly cruel.

Tax Day

August 16, 2008

August 15, this used to be the due date for taxes for those who filed extensions back in April. The IRS now grants automatic six month extensions. 

I signed my Divorce Petition today. 

It was interesting sitting there alone (Did you know that alone is a derivative of two words, “all” and “one?”) in the law offices, reading through the dazzlingly bright white papers that were the sum of the last almost sixteen years of my life. As I signed my name (my given and the one I willingly took – it’s a great stage name) there was a moment when I felt a bubble of laughter begin to rise within me. I let is rise and I found myself thinking back on he and I standing together in the Marriage License offices in downtown Portland excitedly signing the document that would give us permission to live together, grow together, breed together, be together. Well we did manage the breeding part quite nicely…

I can’t really say I felt sad, more resolute. It was something I needed to do, it was so long overdue.

I believe people come into our lives (and we into theirs) for a reason, to impart gifts, (bear in mind we don’t always like every gift we are given, but they are gifts nonetheless.)

Some people stay only for a moment, others forever. It is our duty, to ourselves alone, in this human life, to have the courage to receive every gift open heartedly, no strings attached, and to unwrap it in our own truth.

In the pain of my life’s journey so far, from there to here, I have come to meet me, myself, and I, face to face, heart to heart, naked, truthfully, warts, wobbles and all, and I know that while it is all about me, it has, at the same time, absolutely nothing to do with me.

The simplest gift and my most cherished, is knowing and understanding deep in my soul (even when I might act otherwise – remember it is a journey,) I am what I am, and It is what it is.