Mar 5, 2008

And She Said...

I was telling a friend how I like myself better when I'm not in love. Words spoken from a true warrior. Hardly. I've been around long enough to get burned a few times when it comes to love. And being the type that falls hard, I tend to lose light in the aftermath of a beat up heart. But I pull through, and when I do, I lift myself over and beyond to the point where I feel more alive being solid and single than I do clumsy and in love. Or maybe that's the illusion reflecting off this choke-tight shield that's strapped around my heart. The truth is, I am clumsy. Shaky with heart wide open. And when I'm in love, I lose balance, tripping over myself and everything around me. That's how I fall. Hard and awkward.

I was re-reading a book I last looked at a couple of years ago: homegirls & handgrenades. I was stunned. The same words I read a while back were hitting me in a different way. This time the words of Sonia Sanchez were slapping me across the face, like how I needed it. In this book, Sonia's writing is so much about love, and being in it. Even when it isn't so apparent. And this time around, I was open to hearing it. Not just from anyone, but from someone who has lived love clumsy, with a gaping heart that's fierce as revolution.

The excerpt below is from a short piece in her book. This particular story has stayed with me. It's the one I find myself reading over. Each time, soaking up the words. Letting them seep deep into my skin.

As I stood watching them race the morning, Mrs. Johnson got up.
"Don't go," I cried. "You didn't finish your story."
"We'll talk by-and-by. I comes out here almost everyday. I sits here on the same bench everyday. I'll probably die sittin' here one day. As good a place as any I'magine."
"May I hug you, ma'am? You've helped me so much today. You've given me strength to keep on looking."
"No. Don't never go looking for love girl. Just wait. It'll come. Like the rain fallin' from heaven, it'll come. Just don't never give up on love."
We hugged; then she walked her 84-year-old walk down the street. A black woman. Echoing gold. Carrying couplets from the sky to crease the ground.

Echoing gold. Gaping Heart. Fierce Love.

It's time to take this shield off.

3 Comments:

Blogger birdapres said...

Clumsy is the first word that comes to mind when I think of my own experience with that emotion. Glad I'm not the only one.

1:25 PM  
Blogger sophistiphunk said...

& when it rains it POURS!

7:58 PM  
OpenID aichlee said...

hey lady, i found your blog via bianca (@ a daughter's geography)

i lovelovelove homegirls and handgrenades esp. "don't never give up on love." reading it always re-opens my heart.

i also wanted to say that your poems are beautiful!! i hope you don't mind if i link to you =)

many good wishes,
aichlee

1:44 AM  

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