You Belong To The Night, A Love Letter To Black Folk

There is much in the spectrum of the unwanted. In the things we do not want to feel, see or experience. Knowing this, it is still okay to turn away from things. To breakdown. To come to the end of ourselves - and stop/fall. The darkness, though resisted, is catalysing. It is the birthplace of a different relationship to our power: fire and water, fire in water, water through fire.  It's an alchemical process we are learning like chemistry students. It is how we temper ourselves. To take the so-called good with the renounced bad. And maybe there is so much more bad than we would want in the mix of our lives. Much more than we would ever think to include in a hopeful collective vision for a world lived-well together. And maybe without that darkness - without the crystallising cold grip, the halt of winter - there would not be enough staying power. No base note. Nothing to bind in time and squeeze into form our ephemeral ideals. 

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Coming to Terms: The Use of Gender in Spiritual & Esoteric Communities

When we say male/female or man/woman there are ideas and behaviours that we associate with those words, and those ideas don’t disappear in spiritual, religious or esoteric communities. The framework of woman-man is meaningful in our culture and I make no pretence about doing away with those concepts; but rather I seek to deepen our understanding of how we shape our lives by making some important contrasts: most pertinent to this conversation, and what informs my existential philosophy, is that to say feminine and masculine is not the same as to say man or woman.

I first started thinking seriously about gender when I was introduced to Black feminist thought in my late teens. Prolific intellectuals and theorists bell hooks and Patricia Hill Collins inspired me to pay attention to the things I had assumed were an ordinary part of being a Black girl becoming a woman. Things I had unconsciously associated with my sense of place and value in the world; namely, to give as much of myself as possible in service of others. There is some virtue in that belief, but Black feminism showed me how fragile and undeveloped my sense of self was. As well as the deep debt of love I was accumulating in a culture that had nothing to say about how Black girls could care for themselves. (more…)

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