Monday, July 5, 2010

How Adrienne Rich Helped Me Forgive My Ex.


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via New Model Minority by Renina on 7/5/10

My ex contacted me a month ago. For many of my long time readers, ya'll know that I had a torrid affair with Filthy. When you are  a#blackgirlfromthefuture and you ride with your partner, thirteen hours, while being sick, to meet and kick it with his family who is White, that's Love on both ends.

Well, he contacted me via email a month ago taumbout congratulations on completing your first year of grad school.

We ain't spoke since last year when the relationship ended. So, I was like ummmmm….why is the first point of contact an email? However, I found out from a mutual friend that he was considering calling but he hesitated.

The petty part of me was like the fuck?

The adult part of me was like, well, he doing what he could do at the time, I should go ahead and just let him live.

Last Sunday, looking for an earring underneath my dresser, I found a book,  "On Lies, Secrets, and Silence" by Adrienne Rich, that he gave me last August. I guess it fell back there when I moved. He didn't give me books. He let me hold them, all the time. But his books were his books, and I get that as a scholar. You be needing to go back to your copy to refer to notes in margins and what not and to clarify quotes.

In finding and re-reading this book I realized that I could not be tight with him over our recent communications. Reading this book and understanding that that he gave it to me. This man Loved me. In fact, I think he gave me the copy that he got from a garage sell.  A first edition copy. #ummhmm. #Love.

There are three sections that really get at why this book is special to me.

The first is:

Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence grappling, with hard work….It means insisting that those to whom you give your friendship and love are able to respect your mind. ~from Claiming an Education

The second is:

Women and men do not receive an equal education because outside of the classroom women are not perceived as sovereign beings but as prey…. the capacity to think independently, to take intellectual risks, to assert ourselves mentally is inseparable from our physical way of being in the world, our feelings of personal integrity. If it is dangerous for me to walk home late of an evening from the library because I am a woman and I can be raped then, how self possessed, how exuberant can I feel as I sit and work at the library? How much of my working energy is drained by by the subliminal knowledge that as a woman, I test my physical right to exist every time I go out alone. ~from Taking Women Students Seriously

This line killed it for me, "because outside of the classroom women are not perceived as sovereign beings but as prey."

The third  is:

I think of myself as a teacher of language: that is, as someone for whom language has implied freedom, who is trying to aide others in freeing themselves through the written word, and above all through learning to write it for themselves. I cannot know what it is they need to free, or what words they need to write; I can only try with them to get an approximation of the story that they want to tell. ~from Teaching Language in Open Admissions

"I cannot know what it is they need to free" #ummhmm. Her pedagogy weighs a ton.

Rereading this book, I realized that I was tripping because the communication didn't happen the way that I preferred. HA! Thats life. More than anything, this book helped me to make sense of this last year of school, of my process of claiming my education and my voice in the classroom, on THIS blog and publicly, in real time on Twitter. How can I be tight with a person who helped me do that? #Ummhmm.

When its time for us to chat we will. Until then. God bless him. Change me. #ummhmm.

Besides resentment and Love can't live in the same heart, and if  I'm tight with him I am impacting my ability to see new Love awesomeness on the horizon.

I felt vulnerable writing this. But I posted it anyways.


You forgive anyone lately?

Why or why not?

You know Adrienne Rich's work?

Related posts:

  1. How Zora and Jay Dilla Helped Me Claim My Crush
  2. I'd Rather Be Poor and White than Rich and Black: McCain and the White Vote
  3. What Ha' Happen Was…..


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