there’s a story to be told. i believe. about where we are and how we got here,to this very spot on the map, on this block.
i came here following my father.
he, a captive, moved here because he was forced. it was discipline, they called it. my father’s ingenuity and unruly wit landed him in the south, far away from family, in a box.
he sent me a letter. i hope this note finds you in good health and high spirits.
in his letter, i’m reminded of our conversation, just a few years before, where we spoke on the outside. i hadn’t seen him in many months but i still pictured the conversation vividly. i asked him if he had any regrets. the many years he was gone. he said none. he was a man of deed, understood consequences and couldn’t shake the feeling — a feeling i sometimes have — there’s more than this. with no regrets, still, he said, he wished things could be different.
i imagine to him different means free. or more free than now.
i was already feeling restless where i was, ready to be elsewhere, to find new teachers, when i found an invitation. i took the letter as invitation to follow my father, to perhaps reach him and sit with him, if only for a moment, and so i came here.
but, even before that, we got here somehow. i mean somewhere before his decision to find a way, whatever way, toward that dream-daze, we landed here. and there, i think, is the story to be told.
i was reading a story yesterday about haitian refugees in mexico. it was about food. after the catastrophe of Matthew, which left hundreds dead, and many without home, the borders of mexico were flooded with folks, accumulated need and neglect, coming north from brazil, where many landed in 2010 after the earthquake. the story was about a taco truck. five haitian women wanted their folks, unsettled and searching, to have a taste of home and began serving traditional haitian chicken.
i got lost in the thought of how home travels and changes and, if not careful, is itself lost. and again given hope seeing how cleverly my people, Black people, carry home everywhere, across this globe.
as thousands sit at the border, seeking new refuge, where the passing of the olympics has sent many away and in search, and Matthew more in its wake, amerika has devised another scheme. they’ve denied Haitians humanitarian relief. they’ve refused to acknowledge the weight of human suffering because, well, the numbers, they say.
nomadic blackness. how we move and are moved. this decadent empire. this cage we stand against, within and without.
i want to write a story about this place and movement. a story about how we move — despite and because — this place, this dying empire.
how did we learn to carry home so lightly? what teacher has necessity and change offered us, taught us about magic and miracles and movement.
it’s always a dance. the story. how we get here and stay here. a dream. how we do different.