Rebellious Breathing

Black joy. 
I only say black joy 
because well black and joy 
often don’t find themselves together 
I have often tried to remember it...

For I too am tired 
that the world thinks  
sorrow and blackness 
ought to be synonymous
I too am tired of crying

So, I decided to banish sorrow
 or at least all those stupid tears
I refused to cry 
 I am supposed to be happy
To be black 
isn’t to mourn life but to live it

 Yet my tears formed an army of their own
 They battled against my eyelids 
And soon began a quick march down my face
 Those tears had forgotten how to obey
 I told them tears only belong 
at sad movies and funerals 
Yet they marched anyway

In the morning as the sun began to rise
 although laughter was suited for the sun
those tears practiced that same march 
from eyelids to cheeks

 In the afternoon,
they would attempt a secret one 
as I walked back from class 

 At night,
although I shut my eyes 
as tight as I could
 those tears pushed and pulled 
on first the lashes 
then the lids 
and slid down like spies
 
Finally, I gave in
I bargained with them
My swollen eyes for time
 They promised 
To only do their battle cry 
when we were alone

The world was wrong

I was black 
and I laughed too. 
I was strong. 
I was black and strong. 
I was black and smart. 
I learned to replace 
those pesky tears with laughter. 

So what if...
 my laughter is a little too loud, 
and not always quite on time 
I have black laughter as my tool
 Laughter is the key to joy 
So let’s laugh
and remind the world of black joy. 
 
                   ~ Jamie (that's me)

Hey all… welcome back to my pink room!

Grab a seat, get comfortable… we might be here for a little while.

Okay I tried to write the post I promised to write but it just was starting to feel unauthentic on a day where my head is in a million places. So we will hold off on our investigation to take a brief moment.

If you look like me then you know each deep breath you take is resistance and revolutionary. So if you have been holding your breath, like most of us have been… right now just take a deep breath. And another one. Do you feel the oxygen as it pours in through your nose, down your throat and into your lungs? Each breath you take means you are alive. You are alive and that too is revolutionary in a country that has made its mission to kill you.

WARNING: this post is raw and might be a little too honest for some of you, so you might want to hedge your bets now… before you are in too deep.

I am tired.

Tired. Right, yes… tired. I think that’s the only adjective that just might be able to describe the millions of thoughts and emotions racing through my head and my body. It’s a kind of existential exhaustion. A kind of tired that sleep cannot overcome. A kind of tired that infects even moments of silence, of apparent calm and perhaps even peace. I am not sure if you are familiar with this kind of exhaustion but I have been feeling it for weeks now. I have tried my best to ward it off with… Books. Anger. Sometimes even fear. But I can’t seem to shake it. And today, as many of us await results that all year we have been waiting for and dreading at the same time, all I really feel is tired. Just so tired.

I am tired of fear. I am tired of anger. I am tired of tears. And honestly I am tired of hope. I am tired of faith. I am tired of love. It’s just exhausting to be human sometimes. I think that’s why so many people have tried their best to deny the very things that make them human.

It is tiring, actually exhausting to have empathy. To hope without reason. To mourn until you feel weak. To fear until your stomach is rotten. To hold on with eyes closed to a God invisible to the world. To love those who are killing you. To create. To destroy. To resist. To give in. To be fully human is tiring.

I wonder if God ever felt tired. I wonder if he is familiar with a kind of exhaustion that just wants it all to stop. I wonder if that’s why He rested on that 7th day. If He ever gets tired of relentlessly loving, the same creature that killed Him. The one who is so much like Him that he has decided to make it his mission to put the death his sculptor.

Either way I guess its why Jesus said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He must have known that weariness and humanity seem to go hand in hand. Right now though, all I can feel and think is deep kind of tired. And I am so tired of being tired.

So for now I will just take another rebellious breath in and then out.

In and out…

Okay, there is no good way to end our time together but unfortunately our time has indeed come to a close. Next time, we will hopefully jump right back into our investigation of the roots of my school district here at home. Hope to see you back here in the pink room real soon!

One thought on “Rebellious Breathing

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