Say What?

Hair salons as therapy sessions

My birds and bees talk came in the form of hair salon gossip. My mother, Christian woman that she is, never spoke to me about sex. Her advice on the subject consisted of this one instruction, “Don’t sleep with boys, you’ll fall pregnant, and I’ll kick you out of my house.” So sex was pretty much a no go topic at home, but the curiosity that comes with growing up would not let me go through life ignoring this big part of it. I was starting to see boys as more than just people, and pretty soon, if the talks doing the rounds were anything to go by, I’d start having sex with the person I called my boyfriend.

Going to the salon, as much as I hated getting my hair relaxed, was to be my saving grace. This place proved to be a place of learning as much as it was about making me look good. I hated the effects of the relaxer on my hair and how the hairdresser never missed a chance to burn me with the hairdryer, but the stories of these women, the sisterhood forged through the misty air of hair dryers and the smell of hair food is what made the experience worthwhile.

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Writing: The poor man’s job

It all sounds so romantic when they say it, when you read their books and they speak about it, not knowing that that would one day be your dream. Living it is a nightmare, punctuated by anxiety induced hysterics of,”Out of all the potential you have, this is what it has culminated into?”. The pursuit of a dream is an act of dying daily, breathing the only reminder that, nope, you are still alive, and every bit of this hell you’re going through is not the one they preach about in church.

Speaking  of,  you haven’t been to church in a while because, one pain at a time. It is hard enough bearing the pain of disappointing yourself, you don’t wanna look God in the eye and mumble,”I’m still working on it”. He understands, of course He does, but you don’t, neither do your dreams and your best-laid plans. Are you trying hard enough, is the depression giving you enough room to breathe?Do you still know the meaning of a miracle? Continue reading “Writing: The poor man’s job”

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This notion of home

Writing this didn’t feel like it was enough. I have been seeing bits and pieces of talks about xenophobic attacks on social media. I avoided it as much as I could because it’s such a trigger. I cannot even begin to imagine how it must feel to be on the receiving end of this cruelty, the fear and the pain occurring simultaneously. And I don’t even know where to begin empathizing. 

It truly is heartbreaking for me to hear about black on black crime, it is so debilitating to the spirit to hear how we are fighting amongst each other. I have no educational exegesis on the matter, no knowledge of white supremacy and every other academic exposition that seems to be used to get to the root of it. 

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A question of memory

You ever have a memory that you tried so hard to distance yourself from that now it just feels like a figment of your imagination? Is that also silence? 

It comes in bits and pieces, the details all sketchy and so bizarre in some parts that you have convinced yourself it never happened. But the feelings don’t forget, the pain remembers a time when it was there, and it still lingers. That part of you forever engraved in anything you dare to call memory. 

Does the forgetting make it easier? Does it mean forgiveness? Do you look at a man and see him? Is every face a reminder of his? Do you still remember what he looked like, what he smelled like? Do you remember who you were before it happened? Continue reading “A question of memory”

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Lamentations

Black men dying at the hands of the very men who violently removed us from everything we called home before we were weaned from our mother’s breasts. Where can we be black? Because even in the land of our forefathers we are living as strangers, paying for a place to lay our heads with our lives. Paying with our blood, sweat and tears. How many more brothers do we have to bury? How many mothers have to kneel at the graves of their children, feeling each contraction as justice is something that is spoken of in whispers. Continue reading “Lamentations”

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Getting older, and hopefully wiser

Almost forgot that it’s my blog’s birthday month, and its’ turning a year old seems to have brought out some nostalgic feelings, punctuated by moments of clarity, to my neglectful heart. I hope I do right by my 1 year old baby in being more consistent this time around.

The theme of unlearning silence that has been plaguing me is what pushed me to start sharing my writings in the first place. I found that there are stories inside of me I was afraid to tell out of fear, fear of exposing myself, and also that I might be unfair to the people in my stories, but Audre Lorde proved to be my savior in this regard. Continue reading “Getting older, and hopefully wiser”

Say What?

Shoes Found At An Art Exhibition

August House hosted its final exhibition for the year, an art virtuoso, they called it, where we got to witness the painters in action, producing work on the spot, and having the audience participate in the whole thing. My initial plan was to photograph the paintings, the activity, and all the other things one would hope to see at an art exhibition, but it was the shoes that I ended up being drawn to.
What shoes do people wear to exhibitions? A thought that never struck me until I took the first picture, a pair of sneakers with geometric (not sure this is the pattern) shapes that my friend was wearing.a7028745887595-5840404e88b2c
Next was white sneakers, of course you’ll find a guy with crisp white sneakers at an exhibition, usually the guy who had to be convinced by his partner to come. Not that he doesn’t like art, he is more of an observer than one who actively seeks it out. His shoes are too clean, and so are his tastes: precise, logical, but he finds himself here.5f4f0945887595-5840404e82bf6

The person wearing heels is one of three people, the buyer, the seller, the “I’ve had a long day at work but I’ll pop in for five minutes to see what it’s all about” woman, who might also be a buyer, but not today.


Then you have the shoes that suggest that a person is a lover of beauty, they like to look at it, fantasize about owning, but they have no real idea what kind of art they would like, or if the artwork would really go well with their space. So they look and look, love some pieces, but leave without buying because, just like their choices in shoes, they have to find a piece that really speaks to them.
So, what do an art buyer’s shoes look like? They won’t be bright, but they’ll still draw your attention. A collector’s item on their own. I have also noticed something about a buyer’s shoes, they’ll either be shoes you really like, even if it’s not your taste, or shoes that will have you asking what the person was thinking. Art buyers are either really impulsive or very deliberate in the decisions they make.
The painter’s shoes, a beautiful mess. If hard-work and passion had a baby, these shoes would be it.
Then you have shoes belonging to the art whore. The art whore is a person who loves art, but does not commit to anything. They’ll love every single art piece, but won’t buy, because that’s not what they are here for. Your only bet is that they will eventually buy, which, coincidentally, is what they are also hoping for.
Overall, it was an interesting experience, the art just as beautiful as the shoes, if not more.
Images: Jack Nomad