A Reflection on Water

Today we will measure the water; a 1/2 cup for Auntie Lila’s stuffing, 2 quarts to boil the macaroni and 6 cups for Grandma’s lemonade. If Thanksgiving had an official sponsor it would be water. This is true every day but especially holds on days like today where we gather to feast with family and friends.

But when it comes around to you and your little cousin Cam just said she’s thankful for her mom and dad, will you say you’re thankful for water? Will anyone?

This holiday is a bit fraught. Particularly this year it feels down right violent to pile a plate high in commemoration of a meal that never really happened as Indigenous folks and their allies are being attacked by water hoses and flash grenades as they deliver bottled water to folks standing in water they have vowed to protect. The very same water we boil our greens in.

Water protection has to be one of the most divine acts. As 71% of this planet and 50-65% of human bodies are water, when we guard it we are protecting ourselves, our food, our pets, our families and our Earth. It all flows together. It always has.

We must protect the water like our lives depend on it, because they do. And there is so much water to protect. Protect our lakes and rivers from coal ash. Protect Flint, Michigan, which has had contaminated water for 31 months and counting. Protect the water out west as Nestle bottled up water in the middle of a years-long drought. Protect the water that shouldn’t be streaming down the Black faces of the families and friends of #FrankClark AKA Scooter Bug, who was killed by Durham police on Tuesday, #IndiaBeaty, killed by Norfolk police in March as she attempted to break up a fight, and 15-year-old #JamesMeans, who was murdered 3 days ago for bumping into a white man. Protect the water that is home to so many refugees as they drift away from war and death in the hopes of finding lands of peace and rest. And protect the water protectors, who are putting their water-filled bodies on the line because they believe it is their duty to fight for that which can’t fight for itself.

Water has always shown us a version of ourselves. Our ancestors first saw themselves in water. Somewhere along the way, most of us lost that connection. But we must reestablish that relationship. Its for our survival. It’s what we are made of.

Be grateful for water. All of it. All the ways it shows up. Honor it. Dont take it for granted. Drink it straight. Make ripples and waves in it. Dont waste it. Conserve it. Share it. Visit it. Submerge in it. Look at yourself in it. Reuse it. Consider it. And fight like hell to protect it.

Here are some ways you can support the water protectors as they oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline:

https://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/18FR1AGDPWZLC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_ws_9qRnybRQHT9F1

Here are some simple ways to conserve water:

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/20-ways-to-conserve-water-at-home.html

*Featured Image by Jackie Cooper

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Black Girls Be This: a Meditation on Holy Week and HB-2

This week is the holiest of holy weeks in the Christian faith. With Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Resurrection (or Easter) Sunday, it is supposed to be a time of honoring the greatest sacrifice made and a celebration of renewal. Newness. But one cannot bask in the Great Re-Do without first taking ownership and account of what has been done.

Last night, in the moments before the new day, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed HB-2 into law, effectively eliminating anti-discrimination regulations that protect those in the LGBTQ communities and veterans. Many North Carolinians responded with #WeAreNotThis and while I understand the sentiment, the truth is, we are. And we always have been.

#WeAreThat when we ridicule the little boy who likes playing with dolls. #WeAreThat when the little girl mentions a boy from school and we immediately ask if that’s her boyfriend. #IAmThat when both of my examples use gender roles that exist on a socially constructed binary and #YouAreThat if you didn’t even notice until I pointed it out.

So, yes. We are this. Our state is this. The world is this. And just as the people of Golgotha were all #GoJesus on Sunday, I’m sure they would have called you a bald-faced liar if you tried to tell them that they would be #CrucifyHim on Friday. They would have sworn that #WeAreNotThis. And yet…

But as a Christian woman, I have to believe in a God of renewal and resurrection; a God that can empower us to live a life worth hashtagging. Because as Reverend Lisa Yebuah of Edenton Street United Methodist Church says, “what God can do in us, God can do through us.” So we will be the ones that ask and honor folks’ preferred gender pronouns. We will be the ones to let our children grow and develop without shackling them to gender roles. We will be the ones to let everyone cry and everyone get dirty and everyone play sports if they so choose and love who they so choose and pee where they so choose. We are not this yet, but with intentionality, communication, re-education and most importantly, Love, #WeCanBe.

This post was inspired by the sermon preached by Rev. Lisa Yebuah at Edenton Street United Methodist Church on Sunday, March 20th, 2016.

Black Girls Be Having Gun Anxiety

So yesterday, my brother, father and I popped into Gander Mtn, that outdoor/adventure/zombie apocalypse survivalist store. I immediately gravitated to the ugly but really comfortable sandals that my white friends wear.

hiking sandal

Ya’ll know ya’ll got white friends that wear these.

And my 15 year old brother immediately noticed the back wall lined with guns. After walking through the shoe section (Them thangs are EXPENSIVE!) I browsed through the rest of the store until I got to the back. I had never seen so many guns in my whole life. Just rows and rows of guns.

gander guns

 

I didn’t even stop I just kept walking past all of these guns. And as I was walking my heart started beating fast and my breathing quickened. I was having an anxiety attack!

I don’t have a problems with guns, in fact I grew up with one in the house. My dad was NYPD and I distinctly remember the day he brought me into his room and let me hold his emptied gun and reinforced that it was not a toy.  I also remember him coming home every night with his gun on his waist that I felt press against me as I ran to give him a hug. And after 9/11 we went to a WNBA game at Madison Square Garden and there were armed forces in full combat gear. I didnt understand what they were protecting us from. I still dont really.

And then in college, this guy picked me up to watch movies at his house. When he got to his place, he unclipped this pink gun from his waist and sat it on the table in front of me. I was confused because I didn’t know if I was supposed to be impressed, or feel his manliness or if he was trying to say something else that he wasn’t audacious enough to say out loud. We ended up watching I Can Do Bad All By Myself and playing Scrabble. Before he put down his first word he said, “I hope that one day maybe you and I can have this,” and put down L-O-V-E. 14 points. Needless to say I beat him and I never went to his house again.

I really don’t know what it was that upset me by seeing all those guns. Maybe it was thinking about the shootings in my hometown in the last year, or that the white man standing next to my brother and father at the gun counter looked like he would shoot first and ask questions later. I dont know… something just didn’t feel right.

Black Girls be Coming Out

Happy New Year! I know it’s the 17th but I will be the obnoxious one to say Happy New Year til March. Me Nah Care! And what better way to start the new year than to come out!? No I am not talking about my sexuality even though I have some sinfully scrumptious home girls (Lana, Rell I’m lookin at ya’ll :-)). No I am talking about the blogger’s closest.

Today, January 17th, I came out to my friends and family as a blogger.  I was gonna do it at some point but being dubbed a “Fierce Female Blogger” by LC who runs Colored Girl Confidential pushed me to it (You can read the post here.) So I shared the post on Facebook so my FB folks could see and I posted this status:

I have a blog. Most of you dont know about it because I write about things that I may or may not want you to know about. But its 2013, I’m 23 years old and I write my truth. I refuse to apologize for my truth. So enjoy at your own risk 🙂 blackgirlblue.wordpress.com

And then I got scared. Remembering why I chose to blog in secret to begin with. Not wanting to hold my tongue or consider my audience. Wanting to be free to express myself without tarnishing my good girl image. Thinking back on all the posts I wrote about my crushes, my politics, celibacy and sex. Oh shoot, SEX! So I wrote this:

P.S. Mom and Dad this post does not pertain to you. You two are barred from my blog. No really. Im serious.

But they are really not the worst of my fears. I thought of my ex. The one that I am trying to be friends with. And the posts, some rather recent, that I know, if he reads them, he will know are about him.

But I have told no lies here.  And even if that truth was only truth for a moment, it was real to me when I sat down at the computer.  And I refuse to apologize or feel guilty for that.

So to all the new subscribers, readers, visitors… HEY!!! I hope you enjoy yourself but Im not sorry if you dont. Because this is my little safe place on the internet.  So sit back, relax and join me on my journey. Or dont. Its all love either way.

Oh yeah, and one more thing, if you have any issue, complaint or comment please feel free to take it up with me. I’m a big girl. I cant handle it.

~The Management

 

Black Girls Be Dishing on the First Time

When most people talk about their first time they are talking about the first time they laid down with someone and found out what all the fuss was about. But Im talking about another first. The Real First.  The first time you take a dump at your boyfriend’s house.

As little girls we are taught that our bodily functions are nasty and should be kept as quiet and as untraceable as possible (all while our brothers belch and fart for the Olympic gold is gassiness).  So we grow up covering up our little mouths every time we burp and clenching our butt cheeks together so that we are not the culprit of oppressive odors. Except when we shop.  Quiet as its kept, store aisles are specifically designed so that women can release gases that they have been holding in all day and quickly walk away with a box of banana nut oatmeal as if it is on their shopping list even though they know that they are allergic to bananas…. or maybe that’s just me (>_>)….. (<_<)….. (>_>)…..

So when we get older and we start dating, we confuse bubble guts for butterflies because we have been bound up since the 8th grade and the Browns are divas and will only play in the Superbowl on home turf(Get it, Browns…Superbowl! I’m a 12 year old boy on the inside. Forgive me).  So a few things start happening 1) The New Boo is attractive and makes you feel all fuzzy in your nether region just like Steve Urkel did every time he turned into Stephan so your stomach is doing flips  2) The Olympic cross-room dive you do whenever he texts/calls is more calisthenics than you’ve done all year 3) New Boo is taking you out to eat to share great conversation, libations and greasy, cheesy goodness  and 4) Any light to heavy petting is getting your blood moving  which is kicking up the Cupid Shuffle in your intestines.  Needless to say, New Boo is doing a number to your digestion.

So you’re chillin with New Boo, watching movies (or maybe the movie is watching you *winkity wink wink*) and New Boo is rubbing up on your booty (if you’re into that) and you feel that oh too familiar feeling of bubbles on the back end so you clench your cheeks together. New Boo asks if you’re ok cuz he felt your soft sumptuous rump turn into a bag of bricks and you say in your cutest little voice, “I’m fine,” as you hope that those bubbles will travel right on up until you can discreetly release them. But they dont! Those bubbles stay right there like you owe them money and you gone pay what you owe! And what’s even worse you can feel that they brought their bigger, more troublesome enforces and they have no intention of leaving.  So now you are standing at the precipice of the biggest issue you have had to deal with thus far in your relationship with New Boo.  Will you do number 2 at his house?

You excuse yourself as you make your way to the bathroom in slow motion, replaying your entire interaction with New Boo.  The laughs, the stories and all the meals. WHY!?!? WHY LAWD!?!?! WHY DIDNT I ORDER THE SALAD!?!?!? You bemoan as you walk through the bathroom door.  You sit down on the throne, still in disbelief that this is what your life has been reduced to. “Its too soon”, you think.  “I dont even know him that well”. “Im not ready for this” (mind you, you know all about the diamond mole on his behind and that disturbing face he makes when he *clears throat*…yeah) but before you know it has started.  As soon as you hear the ploop! you flush the toilet with the quickness of a Black woman grabbing her slipping Church hat-wig 2 piece combo during a Holy Ghost dance break.  But even with the lightning fast reflexes, smells still linger so you search this bachelor’s bathroom for some spray, incense, candle, matches, AXE… Something!  You find the aerosol under the sink, turn the water on high and do your loudest, raspiest Chaka Khan impression of Tell Me Something Good to hide the sound of spraying.  But the spray gets in your throat as you wash your hands.  So there you are hacking up a lung and praying that no disrespectful scents wafted under the door.

Then you hear it. His footsteps walking towards the door.  Its the moment of truth.  Will he pass the test or diss you for taking a dump and make you take the sh**ty walk of shame? You open the door.  “Are you ok,” he asks with a look of genuine care and concern. “I’m fine,” you reply as you quickly shut the door behind you. You know, just in case.  “I paused the movie. It’s getting good.” Ahh, he’s so cute and oblivious to the major milestone that ya’ll just achieved. Number 2 with the New Boo, excuse me, Boyfriend. Because, whether he knows it or not, yall go to together. And he just might be The One.