Fruit in Bloom!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Say I Won't.

~ they say that confession is good for the soul.  So here I go.  (Cue theme song to "Young and the Restless" as I take the

As I surf from site to site and chat with one Naturalista after the next, I find that there is an unwritten cardinal rule that should never be broken.  There is a line that is drawn in the sand of infinity that should never be crossed.  There is a cardinal sin that is so debasing and unforgivable that it may bring into question the very validity of Naturalista membership:

If they ask, say "No."  Apparently there are many techniques to execute this shut down:
1) You can give the polite Bougie Babe, "I'd rather you didn't, THA-ANKS!"(Complete with frenemy smile.)
2) You can pull the Sistah-Gurl Sarcasm with, "Girl, what? (Open throat laugh) Nah, Boo...BYE!"(Complete with side eye.)
3) You can deliver with laser focus the Naturalista X speech in which you enlighten the poor, ignorant one on the social ramifications and historical mis-teachings behind their ludicrous request. "For 400 years the Black race has endured their personal boundaries becoming the play ground for the White Establishment......" (Complete with concerned stare of disappointment and disapproval)
4) Or you can simply do the NBA Manuever and block the shot toward your loc! (Jackie Chan style speed!)
Either way, the Sisterhood has made it clear to all who would enter into the not let these people ask you dumb questions about your hair and for the love of all that is righteous do not let them  touch your hair.  Period.

You know where this is going, don't you?  Maybe you haven't known me long enough to guess... 
I've done it many times, your Honor!  And I will probably do it again! (cue my utter collapse on the witness stand.)  
 I have answered some truly silly questions about my hair and my regimen.  I have answered some really great questions, too!  I have held some really intelligent, philosophical conversations about hair and femininity and race and how all of that ties the female gender together...and sets us apart...and sometimes sets us against each other.  I would say that I have had the Forbidden Request issued to me EQUALLY from Whites and Blacks!  YES..BLACK GIRLS WANNA TOUCH MY HAIR!! You should have seen me sweat as I frantically searched my mental index for the subsections to this rule book to see if it did not apply if another one of my own race asked!  Where the heck were the amendments??  Who is editing this rule book anyway??  
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or last; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoings, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV

Listen, I don't judge anyone for having their personal boundaries.  Do what makes you comfortable and gives your soul peace.  All I am asking is that you do not judge me for doing what gives my soul peace.  Sometimes we can choose to exercise a little bit of patience and understanding and it can go a long way to build bridges between females.  I have White sisters who have bi-racial children and White sisters who have adopted Black children and White sisters who have Black adopted/step siblings.  Can't they catch a pass on this unwritten rule?  They have bridges to build!  I have White sisters who want to know better so they can say and do and believe better! I applaud you if you genuinely want to understand the complexities of textured, ethnic hair.   And if a 10 second moment (I think longer than that should come with dinner and a movie) during which I demystify this one physical feature that has been such a point of social and sexual contention for hundreds of years can assist them toward understanding...I will consent.  

In that moment you will connect with a part of my soul.  You will connect with an inanimate object that somehow conveys life.  I will forgive you if your purposes are self serving for asking and touching because the only thing that changed is that now I know how you think whereas before I could only postulate.  But the opportunity to show the patience of love and the hope of love in believing you really want to educate yourself will most times be under my heavy consideration.  I don't like leaving the awkward moment knowing that may have been a moment of enlightenment and reconciliation for both of us.  Don't get me wrong, I am not open to being a 24/7 petting zoo! It's not that serious and it is a judgement call.  I don't always say, "Yes." .... But don't say I won't.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New Growth

I love looking at postings of women who have chronicled their hair growth by taking photos of their hair from one month to the next.  "The Natural Hair Journey" seems to make for really good reading as long as you can see them locks hitting a new goal post!  TWA, Chin Length, Shoulder Length, Arm Pit Length, Bra Strap Length.....git it gurl!  Mark those milestones!  It can get a bit obsessive in some cases, but I'm no hater...if that is what keeps you motivated to care for the Crown, then do so.  My hair type doesn't grow down, it grows OUT!  So, the call to mark my progress isn't really that strong. Besides, my "Blonde Ambitions" keep me in my color new growth is easy to see without a full stretch out.  Dark roots = yep, she's still growing...back to twisting!  But, there is a Spiritual Stretch Out that I do like to chronicle. No photos...but I definitely take a picture in my heart.
Ah, yes.  YAAAASSSS!!  There comes that moment when you stretch it out.  You know what I mean?  Just breathe for a second and take a quick look around you to assess where you are.  It's kind of a second of living in the "Hyper-Present".  I call it that because it seems as if I am completely receptive to all that is happing around me in that moment.  I can actually feel my life flowing through me rather than happening to me! It doesn't happen often enough with me because I am usually doing battle with all of the mental beasts that keep me either analyzing the past or designing the future.  Nevertheless, the moments do come when I clear my headspace and allow for the Hyper-Present.  And in that moment I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude and resolution.  I am complete.  I am whole.  I am at rest with all that was and all that will be.  I am fully aware.  
"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." 
 Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV
I love how this little passage makes it so obvious how pleasant it is to dwell in your Hyper-Present.  God Himself is saying to His people, "HEY! Don't waste time on that old stuff..and don't worry about what's ahead...I've got that.  Open up your mind and heart to see what I am doing around you right now!  Don't you feel it?!"   I dig that.  I completely dig a God who is big enough to suspend the before and after photos so that we can completely focus on the new growth of NOW.  Breathing it in with joy and thankfulness.  Spilling it over to infect those in our circle of influence.  Surely, the time spent alone with Him is designed to do just that: Hyper-Present us into His Hyper-Presence.  Yes....I can fee the growth.  No selfie necessary.