“I do not trust people who don’t love themselves and yet tell me, ‘I love you.’ There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt”— MAYA ANGELOU (via shalomandamour)
although sex is great. it’s fantastic even. it isn’t what i want. not right now at least. i just have the desire to be close… to be intimate without being sexual. to be close… to be wanted without being taken. to kiss… to touch. to look at someone & to know that their thoughts belong to you. that everything they desire…want… need… is right in front of them. no looking any further. to be someones fascination… muse… everything…
i don’t know when love became elusive
what i know, is that no one i know has it
my fathers arms around my mothers neck
fruit too ripe to eat, a door half way open
when your name is a just a hand i can never hold
everything i have ever believed in, becomes magic.
i think of lovers as trees, growing to and
from one another searching for the same light,
my mothers laughter in a dark room,
a photograph greying under my touch,
this is all i know how to do, carry loss around until
i begin to resemble every bad memory,
every terrible fear,
every nightmare anyone has ever had.
i ask did you ever love me?
you say of course, of course so quickly
that you sound like someone else
i ask are you made of steel? are you made of iron?
you cry on the phone, my stomach hurts
i let you leave, i need someone who knows how to stay.
I often tell a story about a conversation I observed in a feminist theory seminar that I participated in about a decade ago. A white woman was explaining to a black woman how their common experience of oppression under patriarchy bound them together as sisters. All women, she explained, had the same experience as women, she said.
The black woman demurred from quick agreement. “When you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror,” she asked the white woman, “what do you see?”
“I see a woman,” responded the white woman hopefully.
“That’s the problem,” responded the black woman. “I see a black woman. To me race is visible, because it is how I am not privileged in society. Because you are privileged by race, race is invisible to you. It is a luxury, a privilege not to have to think about race every second of your life.”
I groaned, embarrassed. And, as the only man in the room, all eyes turned to me. “When I wake up and look in the mirror,” I confessed, “I see a human being. The generic person. As a middle class white man, I have no class, no race and no gender. I’m universally generalizable. I am Everyman.”
Lately, I’ve come to think that it was on that day in 1980 that I became a middle class white man, that these categories actually became operative to me. The privilege of privilege is that the terms of privilege are rendered invisible. It is a luxury not to have to think about race, or class, or gender. Only those marginalized by some category understand how powerful that category is when deployed against them.
“Freezing history in amber is dangerous…and what has happened in the past and what is happening now are part of an arc towards the future. It’s virtually impossible to understand or to shape the present without some knowledge of what has come before.”—Toni Morrison
“Loves music. Loves dance. Loves the moon. Loves the Spirit. Loves love and food and roundness. Loves struggle. Loves the folk. Loves herself. Regardless.”—A partial definition of womanism from Alice Walker.
“When Toni Morrison said she writes the kind of books she wants to read she was acknowledging the fact that in a society in which “accepted literature” is so often sexist and racist and otherwise irrelevant or offensive to so many lives she must do the work of two. She must be her own model as well as the artist attending, creating, learning from, realizing the model, which is to say, herself.”—Alice Walker on Toni Morison and the artist’s need for models- from, Saving the Life That Is Your Own.