The creativity with which spiritual lessons are introduced into my life never fails to amaze me. Last week, I was offered understanding in the form of a reading assigment for class which consisted of (among other, less exciting readings) an excerpt of "for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow was enuf: a choreopoem" by Ntozake Shange. Essentionally, this genre of literature has been created by the authoress and employs theater, poetry, dance, and music to describe the diversity and interconnectedness of Black women's experiences. Each woman is represented by the color in which she is dressed and ironically enuf; I strongly idenitified with The Lady in Purple (my favorite color). The passage affected me to such a degree that I had to stop reading halfway through it to keep myself from crying openly in the library. The Lady in Purple's story references misguided love, depression, and a understanding and acceptance of personal flaws and weakness. My first attempt at a blog in response to Shange was purely psychological in content to the point that my interpretation seemed sterile and unaffected. I believe this blog is a truer representation of my reading of the poem. Below you will find an original poem written by me as a response to Shange but deeply personal in nature.
Disclaimer 1. I am not a poet.
Disclaimer 2. I don't pretend to place myself on the same level of Shange.
Disclaimer 3. The last line is excerpted from the original passage.
lady in violet
my interactions with men have been tainted/ early perversions of trust & understanding/coupled with unrealistic expectations discovered in fairy tales/depicting blondehairblueeyed princesses/& princes who love them more than..../willing to risk their lives/ to prove it
happy endings & unconditional love don’t exist in my world/instead i/give give give/until i’m empty/or i/ run run run/until i’m tired/fight or flight is all i know/hold on too tight/ or let it go to quickly/can’t trust my own emotions anymore so i/wait for reflections in men’s eyes/am I worthy?/ I ask u over & over & over/ until u answer/& tell me no
maybe if i/weaved/straightened/colored/locked/braided my hair
maybe if i wore/short skirts/tight jeans/suits/pumps/glasses/revolutionary clothing with Black fists on the chest
maybe if I looked/less African/more African/more European/prettier
maybe if i/made u feel real good/empowered u as a man at the expense of my womanhood/didn’t question ur inconsistencies
maybe then i’d be worthy/to u/ but who would i be to me?
but maybe/ just maybe ill try something new/ill love ME more than.../look like me/think like me/hurt like me/ feel emotion like me/BE like me....
"a colored girl/I’m finally bein real/no longer symmetrical & impervious to pain”
[from Ntozake Shange's for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf: a choreopoem, Macmillan, 1977]
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
We have been apart far too long. Much has changed since our last conversation even as much has stayed the same. Prior to our separation, you gave me the strength to undertake one of the greatest challenges I have committed myself to thus far. And with your wisdom and guidance; I successfully adjusted to my new life. The transition was relatively smooth. The fear and uncertainty that seemed to overcome me only a few short months before, a thing of the past. It's as if time and space have aligned themselves in such a way that has made being here, at this particular moment, the only thing that ever was meant to be. Everyday I wake up with renewed anticipation and excitement. I am never disappointed. But, even with the newness of everything around me, I will never forget you, friend. For you are the one who keeps me spiritually connected and reminds me to learn, understand, and apply the lessons of life. You are as much a part of this journey as I, and together we grow into something beautiful.