The Internet can be a cruel and unusual abyss of half-cocked opinions and bargain basement analysis, especially when it comes to Black wom...
Shoe Personality of the Week: 3/7/2011
The other evening I marveled at my life. I was in the Steel Magnolia, wedged tightly in slow moving traffic on my way to see my favorite male vocalist. I had my iPod on shuffle, as per usual, & had a great mix of sounds to keep me from being totally verklempt about the traffic. 2 of my closest Sistah-frenz were already posted up at a table, holding me down til I got there for birthday treat #...3 to myself. My outfit was on TEN & all paid for by me. The ticket to the show was at Will Call & paid for by me. I was driving MY car, also paid for by me.
After what didn’t seem like forever because I was feeling good, the highway spat me out onto my exit & I was that much closer to hearing the magical sounds of Rahsaan Patterson. If you don’t know who he is, you need to get on YouTube post haste & handle your ignorance. No excuses. My girlfriends had already ordered their 1st drinks as I prayed against too many red lights. Adina Howard was singing ‘bout being in her t-shirt & panties & I rocked along with her, taking stock that I too can do that when it’s my prerogative, in my own spot--paid for by me.
I finally arrived at my destination, parked my car, & made my way inside to sit between 2 of my favoritest people. 2 Amazonian sistas on opposite ends of the complexion spectrum, beautiful for different reasons. They are the tall pillars that hold me up & make me fall over with laughter. They are intelligent & DOIN IT on their own terms, inspiring me never to listen to naysayers or helping me close out those voices when I get weak. I had to laugh being so tiny sitting between them, but tall enough in personality to hold my own. Making it to the table, being surrounded by love, I marveled at this thing called being grown.
Clearly, there ARE days when this madness just gets hectic & I can’t catch a break [until forced into taking 1]. I have days when the tears flow so readily I start looking for the animals to line up by 2’s. There are times when I’m just too tired to care & everything around me (though rarely about my person) looks like it. There are times when I don’t want to talk to anyone & e’rybody goes to voicemail. Stuff happens. Overall, though, this is an incredible ride. I haven’t jumped out of any planes or glided across the sky [yet] but I canNOT discount the beauty of truly being successful at navigating the world I’ve created for myself.
So, I sat there with my plate of perfectly fried catfish, my hard cider, & disappeared into the musical utopia that Rahsaan Patterson is for me. I was in awe of a stage full of people so deeply engrossed in their God-given talents. This gay man commands the stage in such a way that you can’t help but fall in love with him, even as his orientation clearly ain’t thinkin’ bout you or your Life. Without knowing it, he gave me a gift—the gift of the Phunky Drummer. I was reminded just how sexy confidence in your craft TRULY IS. This man, built like a dumpling, sat at his drum set & tapped, rubbed, titillated, & fangered (yeah, I said it) his instrument. He made love to that drum set when he felt it & blew its back out puttin’ the necessary stank on it. He was playin’ for him self, enamored with his power on the set, & adding the cayenne to the gumbo pot. He was GROWN! & because I was able to be there enjoying him, them, the show, I too was GROWN.
I’on’tknow if this is making any sense.
When I was a little girl, the only concept of being an adult that I had was being someone’s wife & mother. I knew I’d work at something but didn’t understand what it meant to have or follow a calling. I just knew there’d be a man & then there’d be some kids & we’d live somewhere. Of course, I had it better scripted than that, but the depth of it didn’t mean anything to me. I feel so incredibly gifted & thankful to be in my own place listening to the sounds I choose, preparing for the work I have little choice but to do, following incredible shared experiences with people I love. I listened to my inner voice, saw through my 3rd eye (that was for you, B.B.), & sidestepped some B.S. trying to stink up my proverbial porch. I’m grown enough to be able to take heed to the lessons that come my way & feel confident in my decisions. & it all happened so fast. I sat listening to songs of love & heartache/break with the knowledge of experience, singing along with a fibrous connection to the lyrics, to Rahsaan’s vocal bravado & perfection, to the drummer’s phunk because…I CAN. Something about that is so incredible I had to take a moment to acknowledge it.
Don’t get me wrong. Many of us our out here doing our thing. Still, we ride by & walk by people who are less fortunate, who made a wrong turn or a wrong decision & couldn’t get up off of their knees. We’re all 1 wrong decision from being on the mis side of fortune. I could have never recovered from interrupting my collegiate process. I could still be laying on a futon in a catatonic state of depression. I could have let what various Hes have done to me knock me off my block. I could have low self-esteemed my way right into mediocrity--& I’m still not living to my fullest potential; but it’s a path I’m actively walking.
Friday night, I felt like someone had plucked me from the pages of my girlhood diaries & sling shot me right into my wondrous today.
It’s Sunday. I’m in a state of reverence.
Watch me move.