Friday, April 22, 2011

To: these parts of speech.

There is a young Haitian girl in the pew kneeling next to me, belting the Pange Lingua between her Kreyol pronouncements. Because of the three language groups that find themselves in this Flatbush community, I notice how the Latin songs and chants are sometimes used as a unifying element. The one thing everybody (over 30) recognizes and can celebrate as 'original' Catholic heritage. It upsets me though. I cannot engage in something that I cannot begin to understand.

Because of the English version we keep in Trinidad, I know what the words mean. I know the solemness that it invokes, the centered focus of the adoration, the way it could call your pores to their feet. I felt so disconnected in mass tonight. I missed home soooooo much. I don't understand for the life of me how a heavily West-Indian group of black people could sedate music and rhythm so much. The English choir here amazes me into disbelief every time.

I went with my colleague to help facilitate a workshop today in Brooklyn that was eventually cancelled, but in preparing we'd spent some time looking more closely at Haiti and stigma and I think even in my own personal self, how my all-embracing perception when I just came here was somewhat altered by the attitudes of some of the women around me. From "them old niggers" at the laundromat to "them Haitian people" next door, and for absolutely no reason I unconsciously began to distance myself. Today I recognized what a terrible mistake I was making and re-grounded myself in the idea that more Haitian blood floods me than I know, and much more than we as a people care to think.

In my own tongue, Kelby stopped me mid-conversation a few weeks ago to ask me what happened and why do I have a tinge of an accent grabbing at my sentences. I barely even noticed how it's been creeping. It's the wanting to be understood at the first go. The nuisance of repeating myself five times over. I feel like every time I talk to a west-indian now, I've begun to overcompensate for the creole I lose to conversations I keep with Americans. Uncool.

I need to learn Shona though. I want to go to Zim next year.

Monday, April 18, 2011

To: Newness and Naissance.

Despite how many people question my convictions, my reasonings and my way of worshiping the God I serve, there is no possible way for me to ignore the magnitude of blessings he has given to me and my family. The last week has been one of faith testing and spiritual endurance, and joy came in the morning. All that I needed to learn to do was to surrender. That the battle is not mine, and it never has been. Give thanks.

I feel like this spring is all about birthing my passions. I have already spoken about the changes in my life context over the past few months in relation to my craft, and I have finally decided on a way forward from here. Workshops, new work, new stages, new concepts to be developed. I'm looking at bnv in July, not sure just yet though, but it's a thought.

21 for me has been the year of becoming. 22 I want to be the year of emergence. The trees are beginning again in their cycle, back home there is no heavily marked process of shedding and learning to grow back in place. I miss my grandmother's backyard. The rain from last night on the cherry tree flicking water drops on my face. I miss the stone sink, the back shed, the damp of the mud climbing my rubber slippers, the lime tree trail, my aunt's chive plant pot, the dry coconut heap under the step. Eden was outside and waiting.

The sun is closer to us now, but it's still taking really long to get warmer. It constantly feels like Sunday morning weather where the sun would be out, but I'd be cold in church. I never liked Sunday morning church. Even the choirs are frigid at that time. I've now taken to midday church. I am more awake, aware and focused by then.

Time for me to get my Monday started.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

To: this particular shade of blue.

After a long day of classes, I'm sitting in the student building, having fast food for dinner and waiting for one of my students to meet with me for a few minutes to discuss a project. This spring twilight begs for a colour, any colour; and there are streaks like dried up tears on the outside of the large glass pane. There is a couple behind me thinking themselves out of my peripheral sightline and heavily making out on a couch. Outside looks like darkness slamming down on brakes, the trees are years-old paint brushes, unused for some time now. I don't know why the seasonal chimes on the main campus clock have suddenly become more-than-a-minute-long love songs.

I've lost some weight, but seem to have lately lunged into a less healthy approach to my eating habits. My fasting seems to be more of a custom of not eating, a tradition that is occurring without me having much to do with it all. My prayer has been much more consistent after having gotten confession yesterday, but I feel disconnected from the entire practice of fasting. It may take some time to get back into that space.

I have confronted myself with my lack of thinking and writing creatively since I've been here, and really challenging myself from this month to change that. to change my approach, my attitude, my resistance and hesitation towards self.

I'm about to turn numbers soon, and very much in a place of transition. a time to critically look at my life, the changes that have taken place in the last year, and to decide on how do i treat with these things. I planned on going out with a group of people, but I think it be best if I just take the day to myself. To think. to write. to plan. I'm usually not a people person around this time either. There is a greyness of April that I've known.

By now the street lights are on, my student is more than half hour late, and three men have assembled on my left to discuss what it means to be 'revolutionary' and where does it cross with ones' ego. The couple have resorted to sleeping in each others arms, and the crepe-paper sky has wrapped away the trees away in its creases. wish it would me too.