I know how cold and warm it is, because I feel it. I know the chill of white supremacy, and the warmth of compassion from those who treasure multicultural people.
To live within, without. To watch, remember, and to know the spirit of colonization and to question if living in a colony is all I will ever know. At once my body moves back in time to my/our enslavement, and then in an instant it moves to today. Connected spaces woven through time. I know it is not the harsh physical enslavement but the psychological pain is heavy.
We keep asking the same multi-centuried question, Why are you killing us? The answer seems to be the same…you should have not provoked it. Caught in an existential mantra, a cycling wheel of violence and regret. And is the only way to cope is to ignore it, smile through it, and to act as if Black Lives don’t matter?
And this feeling will stay with me, and please save me the platitudes of how hopeful I should feel when Sandra Bland’s head is smashed on a sidewalk by the police. After that hung dead in a cell. If you see a bright side to this, then let that brightness carry you away to that bright place.
In solidarity,I will stand as a witness to my people dying.
And I feel these losses deeply probably because I am an artist, one who feels his way through the world, and one who wants to see and feel beauty. For in art I can experience gratitude, express and paint hope. Do I paint the pain and does painting pain make it any better? Or do I paint happy pictures hoping that these attempts will soften the trauma and pain of it all.
I have no answer, and maybe the best thing is to live each moment with as much joy as I can and ‘F” the rest.
Finding a balance when you watch a video of people spewing hatred because a confederate flag has to come down is hard to stomach. Have we no respect for souls who mourn?
How can I get to creating “happy” art when all I see and feel is burning rage.
Art for Art’s sake is what popped into my mind. Just do art for art’s sake. So I became curious as to where this term originated, and that curiosity brought me to Wikipedia.
I found this gem.
“Contemporary postcolonial African writers such as Leopold Senghor and Chinua Achebe have criticised the slogan [Art for Art’s sake] as being a limited and Eurocentric view on art and creation. In “Black African Aesthetics”, Senghor argues that “art is functional” and that “in black Africa, ‘art for art’s sake’ does not exist.” Achebe is more scathing in his collection of essays and criticism entitled Morning Yet on Creation Day, where he asserts that “art for art’s sake is just another piece of deodorised dog shit” (sic).“
That about captures it.
Reclining here in my bath of nihilism and hopelessness, and not feeling rosy at all.
And here is what fuels this rage and sadness. It is the silence of white privilege, the abstracted ways my/our experience is rendered inconsequential, essentially reduced to meaningless. To know that the capitalist machine will do what it does best and that is to commercialize the death of Brown and Black people.
And before you even think it, No, I don’t feel like sitting on a mat and meditating but rather I fancy a deep and cleansing scream.
If my screams are too loud? Do like they do and just excuse yourself from the room, escort us out of rooms when we demand answers about what you plan to do to dismantle structural racism. Come after us, like some do, in social media with rationalizations and why not look at it this way until the white lettering on all of our keyboards dissolve. Reject the intersectionality of our screams as we scream from being silenced for having to justify our multiple identities.
We got business to do, WE BE mourning our dead and making a way out of no way.
Feeling all kind of ways this morning.