I write about my blackness as a meditative practice. A means of survival and celebration.
To bring the foundational elements of myself, up and out, like water from a lawn sprinkler. A blackness that disappears if you try to possess it, one that sits on your window sill like a quizzical sparrow. A blackness that exists and reveals itself when your heart is deep, reflective, and careful. Come closer now and see…a fragile and strong blackness like the wings of a butterfly.
I write about blackness as if it is a sunrise, and revel in the magnificent properties that help to make up a mauve green blue gold colored sky. Like a song that can only be sung when your heart is pure and longing. At the eventual moment when learning wisdom comes to be, when death becomes life and life becomes death, that slender piece of time that reveals the universe, naked, un-ritualistic, hard and soft.
Like a raindrop that becomes part of the rain; a whole, clean, spontaneous thing with spiritual intent. A blackness that haunts and unites, that forbids and unlocks things in your dreams. The supple knowing that at first feels empty but becomes everything. Holy.
To write in a way that honors the hidden and artistic ways that we as Black people often have to speak. How we have to hide parts of ourselves in order to survive; using clipped sentences, non-verbals, and invoking symbolic ancestral ways. Like song, cadence, and silence.
Life is best understood and savored with our belief in magic, mystery, while slurping drips of pain, compassion, hardness, and love.
- Brian L. Ragsdale, Newport New Hampshire, 2-20-2016
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This was a magnificent read. I complemented it with some Arabic jazz