“Gil, a student of radical history and politics, knew that if you were charged with the duties of oracle, troubadour, poet, gadfly, muckraker, and grassroots shit-talker, your job was to ride the times (and the Times) like Big rode beats, to provoke the state and the streets, to progress your own radical headspace.”—Greg Tate on Gil Scott Heron. For the win.
In the first place, he was tall and gaunt, with a pronounced and very active Adam’s apple when he spoke. Second, his clothes seemed decidedly to belong to someone else…a tall skinny man dressed in the aparrelof a short, fat man. Perhaps he had shopped at the Salvation Army stores, Goodwill, it rubbish bins- with his eyes shut, we concluded gleefully.
(I hope I haven’t missed my Ossie concentrating on what’s on the outside of a man.)
“And it occurred to me that in this new millennial life of instant and ubiquitous connection, you don’t in fact communicate so much as leave messages for one another, these odd improvisational performances, often sorry bits and samplings of ourselves that can’t help but seem out of context. And then when you do finally reach someone, everyone’s so out of practice or too hopeful or else embittered that you wonder if it would be better not to attempt contact at all.”—Chang-rae Lee (via anemptyspace)
“Your love Should never be offered to the mouth of a Stranger, Only to someone Who has the valor and daring To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife Then weave them into a blanket To protect you.”—Hafiz (via pakkageek)
I’m learning to fly, to levitate myself. No one is teaching me. I’m just learning on my own, little by little, dream lesson by dream lesson. Not a very subtle image, but a persistent one. I’ve had many lessons, and I’m better at flying than I used to be. I trust my ability more now, but I’m still afraid. I can’t quite control my directions yet. - Parable of the Sower.
“But it is impossible not to recognize that the people who are endlessly boasting of their freedom- “we’re the best because we’re free!”- loathe the very suggestion of such a possibility for any-one other than themselves. They are forever stitching flags, making and threatening and dropping bombs, creating instruments of torture and torture chambers and overseers and deputies and detention centers. Their notion of freedom is so strenuously calisthenic, not to say defensive, that freedom becomes a matter of keeping everybody else out of your back-yard. Or bomb shelter: there are none, by no means incidentally, in the ghetto. (If I happen to be wrong about ghetto bomb shelters, would love to be corrected.)”—James Baldwin from “A Letter to Prisoners”
“And of course I am afraid, because the transformation of silence into language and action is an act of self-evaluation, and that always seems fraught with danger.”—Audre Lorde from “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action”
“Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value. Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point - that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you. There is only one alternative - self-value. If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved. You will always think it’s a mistake or luck. Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within. Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences. Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security. Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them. ~Jennifer James”—(via ilijean)