Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Daily Bread: Sustainable Nourishing Practices for Community Accountable Scholars

(images by Mekhi Baldwin)

Audre Lorde’s contemporary and interlocuter James Baldwin talked about the passion of making love and breaking bread as equal versions of presence and purpose.  Last night during the LAST (sniffle) session of the first every Brilliance Remastered Webinar on a Sustainable Erotics of Community Accountable Scholarship we talked about how to make passionate and connected work our everyday practice and how to put spaces, places, times and reminders in our lives to bring us back to passionate purpose whenever we feel disconnected from the source of our transformative brilliance.
This may look like a group poem, but it is really a spell, blessing everyday forward and binding our love-filled Brilliance Remastered crew together forever!!!!!!!

Daily Bread
By the Sustainable Erotics Crew

connected to purpose like daily bread
giving thanks like daily bread
poetry like daily bread.
forgiveness like daily bread.
laughter like daily bread.
creating is my daily bread

loving like daily bread
making love like daily bread
loving my muscles like daily bread
(especially especially my heart)
smiling from the inside out like dailybread
celebrating me like daily bread
celebrating us like daily bread

embracing the now like daily bread
moving the body like daily bread, making new shapes
living in my body like daily bread

claiming my breathing like daily bread
shining my light like daily bread
affirming my being like daily bread

dancing like daily bread
sitting in silence like daily bread
listening like daily bread
listening to hear like daily bread
profound connection like daily bread.
sharing truth like daily bread

drinking water like daily bread
eating fruit like daily bread
good food like daily bread
deep breaths like daily bread
bubble baths and candles like daily bread

books on the bedside like daily bread.
feet on the ground like daily bread
walking with loved ones like bread (daily)
thanking my ancestors like daily bread

reaching out with love like daily bread.
showing affection like daily bread
touching things lightly like daily bread
being accountable like daily bread
being aware of surroundings like daily bread
immersing in the process like daily bread

questions rising like the bubbles of yeast in daily bread
speaking my mind even when my voice shakes like daily bread

thankful for another day’s daily bread

Video Recap of the Broken Beautiful Conference

Check out this recap video of the inspiring amazing Broken Beautiful Conference. I'm so affirmed and honored that the legacy of BrokenBeautiful Press is growing in such healing ways and led by brilliant young women of color!!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This is What it Feels Like: Cultivating Our Measure of Passionate Purpose

Last night was the third session of Beyond the Feel-Good, our Brilliance Remastered webinar on cultivating a sustainable erotics of community accountable scholarship.  We are right in the midst of it, using Lorde's definition of the erotic to create new standards of brilliance for our work as love-fueled intellectuals.   Helped along by Lorde and also by Aretha Franklin's Dr. Feelgood we created this group poem to affirm that we KNOW what it feels like when it is right and we do not need to "sit and chit chat and smile" i.e. waste our time with anything less than profound, passionate, purposeful, presence in our work!  Feel free to feel it!!!!

This is What it Feels Like

“It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire.  For having experienced the fullness of this depth of feeling and recognizing its power, in honor and self-respect we can require no less of ourselves. “
-Audre Lorde  Uses of the Erotic

When it’s right it feels like a note Aretha just sang.
When it’s right it feels like dancing in warm rain.
When it’s right it feels like the ocean, ever deep, ever lifting me up.
When it’s right it feels like still waters rushing nowhere, knowing its source is the same place it must return.
When it’s right it feels like a “first” experience.
When it’s right it feels like a longing for something true, true feeling.
When it’s right it feels like a yearning, like intimacy without physical contact, a yearning of the spirit.
When it’s right it feels soft.
When it’s right it feels like fresh air.
When it’s right it feels like air gently bristling in the hairs on the back of my neck.
When it’s right it feels complicated sweet, freshing sweet, like lemonade.
When it’s right it feels abundant and free.
When it’s right it feels limitless.
When it’s right it feels timeless.
When it’s right it feels deep and endless.
When it’s right it feels like a way out of no way.
When it’s right it feels like something out of anything.
When it’s right it feels like gospel choirs singing!
When it’s right it feels like Nina and Jill and E. Badu and Ella getting together for a jam session.
When it’s right it feels like the music of the heart.
When  it’s right it feels like lovers.
When it’s right it feels like a mother’s hug.
When it’s right it feels like everyone is there, ancestors, future beings, everyone I love.
When it’s right it feels like a prepared-perfected-my-craft-ready-to-serve orgasm!
When it’s right it feels like the word “YES!” bursting in my chest.
When it’s right it feels unstoppable.
When it’s right it feels like I was meant to be no other place in the universe.
When it’s right it feels like Audre whispered this to June once, full of hope.
When it’s right it feels like a dream I had that must have never ended.
When it’s right it feels.
This is what it feels like!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Here: Remastering Our Presence in Academic Spaces-from the Brilliance Remastered Webinar Participants

Audre Lorde and students at Hunter College
Last night was the second session of our Brilliance Remastered Webinar Beyond the Feel-Good: A Sustainable Erotics of Community Accountable Scholarship.   Amazingness.  Last night we worked with Audre Lorde's clarity that "the erotic offers a well of replenishing and provocative force to the [person] who does not fear its revelation, nor succumb to the belief that sensation is enough."  And for those of us remastering our presence in academic spaces it is important for us to clarify that within an economy that wants to tokenize our brilliance, BEING a sensation, a shining exception, a validated symbol is not enough.  We are doing the intellectual work we are doing for much bigger reasons.  Betta recognize!   


I am not just a sensation
I am inspiration
I am here to ignite a flame
I am here to change the world

I am not just a sensation
I am inspiration
I am here to sow seeds of magic
I am here to love
I am not here to settle
I am here to set the tone

I am not just a sensation
I am inspiration
I am knowing as an act
I am here to expand the limits
of what counts
as knowledge

I am not just a sensation
I am inspiration
I am here to unshackle brilliance
wherever it grows
I am here to make manifest
the dreams of my ancestors

I am not just a sensation
I am inspiration
I am here to imagine
I am here to create
I am here to dance
I am here to laugh to sing to share

I am not just a sensation
I am inspiration
I am here to be myself
I am here to be connected
I am here to engender vulnerability
and to make it possible
for those in the room to do the same

I am not just a sensation
I am inspiration
I am here to find a path to reconciliation

I am not just a sensation
I am inspiration
I am here to be accountable
I am here to hold others accountable

I am not just a sensation
I am inspiration
I am here to humanize
I am here to become more human
I am here to make meaning
I am here to be love

I am not just a sensation
I am inspiration
I am here to glow
I am here to know and to share
that to be young gifted and black AND queer
is a MARVELOUS thing to be

I am here to steal back the goodies

I am not just a sensation
I am inspiration
I am here to interrupt injustice
Yes I’m here to demand answers
and to ask more questions
and to ask and ask and ask and ask

I am inspiration
I am here to be like water
nourishing, remembering what you chose to forget
reflecting back to you your own image

I am inspiration
I am here to be a question mark
I am here to be an x that marks a spot
where love will outlive everything
I am here to make fertile the soil of our dreams
planting for a harvest I won’t ever reap in my lifetime

I am inspiration
I am not just a sensation, a temptation a distraction
I am unstoppable love in action.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Reclaiming YES!: Opening Affirmations from the Brilliance Remastered Crew!

Last night was the first session of the Beyond the Feel-Good Webinar on Sustainable Erotics of Community Accountable Scholarship.  And oh my goodness did we go beyond!  The Brilliance Remastered process never ceases to amaze and reawaken me!
As Audre Lorde says in her essay Uses of the Erotic: Power of the Erotic, "We have been raised to fear the yes within ourselves..."  Not at all coincidentally when we are out of touch with that YES within ourselves we are also more easily manipulated, bamboozled and led astray by the external maybes of capitalism, especially within the academic marketplace.   Our first step as a community in touch with our collective erotic power, our passionate purposefulness and our deep love for our communities is to reclaim YES and affirm YES in each other.  Here is our group poem. Feel free to read along (best articulated through grunts and screams).
Reclaiming Yes
YES!!! to acting on the impulse inside
YES!!! to defining the erotic as strength
YES!!! to claiming what we know deepest inside us as KNOWLEDGE
YES!!! brilliance remastered means brilliance unchained visible everywhere NOW!

YES!!! to our deepest desires
YES!!! to our power
YES!!! to being love
YES!!! to being me and not caring
YES!!! to being embodied in our classrooms and not being ashamed of that eros
YES!!! i tell my story. a black girl story without apology
YES!!! YESSSS to not apologizing!
YES!!! to facing fears
YES!!! to living in the moment and embracing all it brings
YES!!! to feeling even if it hurts
YESSS!!! to feeling
YES!!! i will create
YES!!! i will write. i am an author.
YES!!! my body knows and share its magic in my dance
YES!!! music and poetry, I will write and sing, play and work and dream a new world with you
YES!!! i will find the language to write within my community and not simply at my community
YES!!! to flying free and teaching others to soar
YES!!! to knowing that i don't know if ya'll don't know
YES!!! to creating together!
YES!!! to blurring and even better erasing boundaries
YES!!! to you in me and me in you and US!
YES!!! to learning and teaching!
YES!!!! i don't know if y’all dont know!!!
YES!!! to the communities to which we are called!
YES!!! to creating community wherever we are
YES!!! to love that circulates!

YES!!! to risking to love without guarantee or compromise
YES!!! i will love me even when I am pushed not to
YES!!! i love her even when its dangerous
YES!!! i will love the work even when it is difficult!
YES!!! i will embody my faith, even in the face of institutional judgment
YES!!! to knowing we were never meant to survive BUT thrive we must!
YES!!! love is lifeforce and I am meant to LIVE!
YES!!! to growing
YES!!! to conflict
and YES!!! to being angry
YES!!! to kicking ass :)
YES!!! to entering the room as a full being and when the door is too small for that, to break it down

YES!!! to bleeding....a cleanse
and bless the blood that has already been shed! YES!!!
YES!!! to new soil not stained in blood

YES!!! to imagining
YES!!! to exploding the closed circulation of capitalism with love that circulates
YES!!! to open not closed economies, yes to there being ENOUGH for everyone
YES!!! To knowing that there is NO ZERO SUM GAME, you are not required to die so I might live
YES!!! to loving and being loved :)

YES!! to FAITH in YES!