Most of this was a response note to a friend that turned into my blog...I'd been struggling with what I wanted to talk about for the past few days. It was a little too long winded to be on a facebook comment.
I got an unexpected windfall last week...
my first thought was OOO! buy a car but then I said no, if I buy a car then the project won't have any money to go to Ghana this summer
I've been doing this project for 7 yrs. The Black Bottom Blues Project has been sitting on the back burner so long I think its starting to stick to the pan.
People are actually counting on me to finish this.
I've talked about it and prayed about it, I've hyped people up about it. One poet friend of mine has been with me since the very beginning...I remember being on the phone with her all excited about this thought that came to my mind and how I'd just gotten off the phone with Mr. Yankah of the Panafest festival in Ghana and he had just invited me to perform the piece that I'd wrote at one of the events.
I remember how devastated I was a year later when I had to tell her I wasn't going to go to Ghana because there was no money and all she said was spirit had told her I would be the one to take her to Africa. That was a heavy load to carry for me and I didn't have a plan to make it happen but she stuck with me and believed me even when I was seconds from tears as I tried not to form the words again several years later and tell her we might not be going again this summer.
I told her how difficult raising the money had been, how I had to come out of my own pocket because funding was not looking promising. She simply said send the information on the project I'll take it to a friend of mine and see what we can do.
She has been there with me like my kids have, she has never once said "well maybe you should give this up" she always encouraged me to go on and gave me hope peppered with a little truth.
I swear I could hear my godmother tell me I should take care of spiritual work for my son,
I heard myself break down my astronomical heating bill, but then I heard myself say... I keep saying "if I can just buy the plane tickets everything else will come"...they gave me the money for the plane tickets and what did I do...I thought of fifty thousand things that needed it more than I did.
This project has no legs nothing for people to get behind other than a concept...I need to get the footage, ask questions, talk to people and get their understanding of who they think Black Americans really are, get on the ground then people will be able to see what I'm talking about and then we'll be able to move forward.
It was a hard decision not because of what I wanted or had to do but because if I didn't do the "responsible" thing then what kind of parent am I, what would people think.
Once again my old self kept beating me over the head with what other peoples' idea of what my life should look like. Just when you think you've outgrown that thought process it comes back at you like a heavy ass slingshot with a 200lb boulder attached to it. POW!
But then.....I thought about it,
I talk so much about living spiritually free, honoring your true self, allowing the universe in and being happy from the inside out but here I am bound to a concept that I've been raised with by people who have ALWAYS done the responsible thing and I don't mean no harm but its what they want for their lives, they're happy with how its moving but my spirit wants something more which is a combo of all these things. Financial, spiritual,emotional, mental freedom to be who I'm supposed to be.
I can work out my bills if I sacrifice over the summer, pay off the smaller one and let my kid know there will be no extras for about two months or so but my bills will be okay but my life will be better because I'm not talking bullshit to myself and other people I'm living my spirit.
I spent the better part of Wednesday paying bills, $200 here, $85 there, $20 here... my son got my atm card and went shopping for underwear and school pants and shoes (please tell me he will NOT have another growth spurt before July...my pocketbook can't take it). I brought me a netbook, to take to Ghana it'll be mine in 3 easy payments (YAY!), I started making calls about our schedule and I unloaded my ideas onto my daughter who NOW wants to go on the trip too...($1500 cha ching) but she's coming and she's paying part of her way (thank god for grown kids).
But as I was sitting there paying a little bit on this one and paying a little bit on that one I realized I felt good about it, I had worked it out, I may not have extra money for a little while but by September I'll be the happiest SOB on the planet because after 7 years I'll have The Black Bottom Blues on film and I'll have the experience of knowing sacrifice comes in many forms and the universe....the universe knows when you're ready to move forward and move up and take over the reins in your own life. Its us that keep leaving them on the floor for someone else to pick up.
I hate riding the bus, walking to the market but if I hold out a little longer I'll have everything I want including a car...You have to let go of something in order to get something. You can't receive if your hands are full and right now my hands are full with a project that needs to breathe out loud and form itself into something I don't know yet but the universe obviously does. So I'm just gonna follow the trail of bread crumbs they keep leaving for me.
One of my girlfriends is starting JetSchemes this summer, she can taste the graphic arts fumes in her nostrils as she prepares to make her life more vibrant than before.
One of my girlfriends is putting the finishing touches on her first manuscript, she said her spirit hasn't let her down yet so she's going for it.
My brother in law started his own business, he sold his car to make it happen and give his new wife and unborn child something he'd been dreaming of since he came to this country...a fresh start, a business, a future
One of my cousins fought through a fear of engaging in conversations with people she didn't know very well, she found her peace and she found a way to make it work for her.
One of my cousins is about to give birth to twins and she's so excited and happy and living her life in the way which her spirit is so tranquil that nothing else can move her off her square.
We all have different paths, different lives, different dreams, different wants but we all know that if we don't follow it something is missing. I don't want to miss anything anymore.
Yes, Diarra, I am the Aerosmith song and proud of it!
My cousin paid me a great compliment the other day she said "yes I have always admired and revered first and foremost Aunt Demp...and you...you guys are just cut from a different cloth....beautiful, intricate cloth ! That's why its so important to be you and be yourself no matter how off beat or different you may be....because best believe someone is watching !!"
I've never thought of it that way,
For a very long time I thought I was insignificant, just a little special but not very much. I've always tried to fit in and be someone who was wanted by everybody and everything else but I never thought of being someone to myself. Now I feel it like a warm blanket covering me, it doesn't mean I don't have bouts of insecurity or that I don't doubt myself but it does mean that I don't let my fears and my doubts overcome my passion for being better than I was before.
I can withstand anything, I've had lots of practice but withstanding doesn't mean you really survive it just means you maintain. You work with what you have and you don't reach for anything other than what is around you. I've been reaching for whats around me for so long I don't have anything left to reach for.
I chose to live a life that means something entirely different from what I was taught and accustomed to...
now I have to believe I'm entitled to it too
When I land in Ghana this August it won't just be liberating and the culmination of some prayers and blessings it'll be the beginning of a whole new way of life because I'll finally be moving forward instead of taking two steps back.
I'm soooo very tired of doing the Cha Cha
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