A life with/out fear: Strategies for liberation so you can do what you want,
Tell the truth +
live for you ‘cause no one else has your back (except us)
Dear children (including me and especially black girls),
I cannot understate the importance of taking a position that comes from the curiosity of your own dark and generous, expansive heart. Put away your concerns with the perceptions of the outer world—the pearl you seek is not waiting there.
What whispers to you is the magic which lies in your own depths. The truth of you is unruly and unreckonable, lawless and wild. You are that which surged forth, jumping over conventions of taste, appropriateness, decorum, and politics.
If you want to get free (and I do, and I think you do too), you must find a way—more than one—to not give a fuck, transcend your fear, and to do what you want.
Joy lies in the expression of the nastiness, pain, and ecstasy of your sublime and glorious life.
You must not hide.
I have hidden. I have felt the gnawing of my own unworthiness. And after years of trembling in the darkness, I have felt, finally, the innumerable others who trembled beside me.
Making vigorous art calls for vigorous of exposure. It asks to touches all our soft tissues and transgress our permeable skin. For people like me (like us)—people on the margins, people left on the outside, swimming far beyond the shore—telling the truth of our lives is often a violent nakedness. The high stakes of vulnerability are driven higher by our bodies.
Institutions, communities, and even colleagues desire not only our essence, but our legibility—that we be a familiar song in a film they’ve seen before. There is no shame in embracing a visible, accessible practice (especially if it is a genuine embrace and even when it’s not)—we have to survive, and survival for us means being readable, recognizable to power and to money.
But I wonder if, like me, you have another, deeper yearning to unfold the whole misshapenness of your heart.
This unfolding requires the employment of strategies of resistance and imagination to overcome that which might restrain you. To whom do you belong? To you, to you.