The sting of betrayal

I think the easiest thing after a betrayal by someone we love is to question the validity and worth of ourselves in comparison to the betrayal. When in reality our worth isn’t tied up into anyone, but ourselves. That the betrayal likely started long before these moments. The betrayal might’ve been why we left in the first place. I found out on social media that a person I was recently romantically involved is getting married.

I’m sharing this because my heart is hurt. My heart is not hurt because they’re getting married. My heart is not hurt because I’m not happy for them. My heart is not hurt because I want to be in a relationship with them. My heart is hurt because I didn’t hear it from them. My heart is hurt because I thought so highly of this person. My heart is hurt because of the nature of our friendship, how intentional we were to remain. My heart is hurt because we respected each other. My heart is hurt because they didn’t grant me the opportunity to celebrate them. My heart is hurt because up until now we’ve been gently and lovingly transparent about EVERYTHING, even when it hurt.

For anyone feeling the sting of betrayal today, know that it has nothing to do with you. Know that our lives will go on, will thrive just as they always have. Know that we are enough during this transformative time. I recall my umi’s words, “We can wallow in self-pity for a little while, just don’t stay there”. We’re responsible to forgive the betrayal of ourselves for this person. We gotta create the closure we need. Take time and space.

In love and kindness, wishing them all the best.

—Grace

Rest in power Stanlee Allyn Holbrook

Stanlee’s death affects me deeply because so many black women and mothers aren’t given any love, support or breaks in this cruel world. We are left to our own everything. I think of my mother who had died an emotional death that she never recovered from long before she died physically.

My heart is broken today. A young mother of three completed suicide in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania two days ago. We all have a painful tune we carry. No one is exempt from a pain like this, the thought, a memory.

I took a mental health first aid course earlier this year. Most of the people in the class including myself used the term ‘committed suicide’ when recalling stories. However, as the instructor described that using the verb ‘commit’ when followed by an act is generally reserved for actions that many people may view as sinful or immoral. Someone commits burglary or murder or rape or perjury or adultery or crime or something else bad.  Suicide is sad, for those left behind yes, but the person who completes suicide is not committing a crime or sin. Rather the act of suicide almost always is the product of mental illness, intolerable stress, or trauma.

Though taboo we need more love in this world. More love. ❤️

#afrikanface #blacklivesmatter #blackmothersmatter #mentalhealthisreal #noshameinmentalillness #ripstanleeallynholbrook #weneedmorelove

Calm is a whole new vibe when you ‘buy black’

Calm is a whole vibe when you #buyblack. ⁣😍

As a black Afrikan entrepreneur myself 🙏🏾 @odundefestival for the abundance and having us all in one space! We need more.⁣ 🖤

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Black Afrikans. We are the miracle! @odundefestival always fruitful and reminiscent of home.⁣

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Shout out @thecarterbrand_ & @dohanyc for some of the dopest, quality black T-shirts I purchased in a minute! And the customer service is something to write home about. 🙌🏾

And to the beautiful energy the river walk is. Spiritual white for ancestors. Intentions. Manifestation of love. All that love in one space. Shared.

—TheeAmazingGrace

⁣#afrikanface #ancestors #ancestortones #blacklove  #blackjoy #blackeconomics   #blackownedbusiness #blackwealthmatters #buyblackowned #calmingcorner #community #culture #culturevibes #girlrillavintage #happynewyear #healblack #mende #myson #odundefestival #odende2019 #orishas #oshun #philadelphia #offering #riverwalk #roothealer #sierraleone #theeamazinggrace #three #tree #westafrican #yoruba

Cheers to Masturbation!

Since it’s National Masturbation Month and WCW, decided to love on myself a lil extra. Here are a few of my favorite looks from 2018 that made me feel sexy & self-assured. Cheers to a healthy dose of vanity and sexual self-care! 🍯✊🏾❤️ ⁣

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#afrikanface #blackjoy #fuckyourself #girlrillavintage #makelovetoyourmind #masturbationnation #nationalmasturbationmonth #nofilter #noshame #selflove #sexualityisfluid #theeamazinggrace #TheeAmazingGrace

I’m Sunflowers Sista By TheeAmazingGrace

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Imagine pullin’ into an empty parking space 

and totalin’ your car

Well das Me… 

Wrecked. Totaled. 

This elephant, remembers everything in its room. 

Feels more like I been beaten. Mercilessly., 

Wit’ wooden bats. By vengeful 

spirits from my ancestors past lives. 

I’m aging. 

So my bones done become more rigid. 

I fracture more easily. 

Bruise more easily. 

Tears well up. 

I cry out more easily. 

Smells. Sounds. Buck toothed smiles. Flamboyant death drops. 

All ignite my senses. 

And my soul becomes clean when I cry. 

‘Cause crying is one of my healing rituals. 

Yet, ain’t no healing this shit. 

I’m exactly where my brother left me. 

On that uncommonly, cold, November 26th, dark street. 

Had just spent all day working,  

only to get home to cook food for a tortured friend. 

Dished out larger slices of homemade sweet potato pie. 

How bitter the taste.

I remember, as we sipped apple cider along side it. 

How? 

How bout the scene was loose with change. 

And

Fresh newspapers strewn about the floor. 

I can still smell the dead trees, 

the moment they told me my baby brother had died. 

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Ran ALL out of myself. 

Slid cross the floor on coupon adds. 

Jumpin’ out of my skin wasn’t far enough 

to get away from this. 

The silence was so DAMN loud. 

Louder than my screams and desperate PLEASE. 

PLEASE! DON’T SAY THIS IS TRUE.

And the silence played tricks. 

The silence was so heartless. 

The silence acted like a fuck boy. 

And wailing. 

Wailing that hard only made my nose bleed. 

Snot, mixed with blood m, and tears, froze to my face. 

The mood was below 20 degrees. 

No comfort. No crab legs. No fried wings. 

No whisky. No heating pads. No yams. No deep dick. 

No coochie grinds. No meditation. No cunnilingus. 

No flailing arm dances. No deep talks. No nothing. 

Not even self-soothing. No selfies. No usies.  

No god. No nothing could prepare me for losing my brother. 

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My baby brother.

Second born. 

My sunflower. 

Smile as big as a sunflower. 

And he loved to eat the seeds. 

And I love him beyond forever. 

Sunflowers senseless loss of life. 

Bullet to head while he sat in the

comfort of his own bed. 

And I remember the blood on his pillow. 

And how I clinched it. 

And tho’ he’s right here. 

And won’t leave from right here. 

I still feel pain right here. 

Hard to breathe sometimes. 

Replaying his last words 

as he looked to the edge of his bed, “Mama.” “Mama?“

Thank you mama, for waiting. 

And tastin’ his ashes pushed me to the edge of space. 

Made us feel close again. 

And I don’t wish for time y’all. 

I wish for the world to love as hard as we loved 

with no healthy examples of how to love.  

How our love language STRETCHED. 

IS etched into my skin, over deep contusions LEFT BEHIND.

Embedded beneath my bare breast bone, on the left side. 

How I cant tell our scars apart or our sleepless melodies. 

However, the wind grows me just a little, each day. 

My big sunshine face, travels in the wind. 

My Phoenix arose from the dust. 

My baby brother flows in my DNA. 

He is in the water too. 

Mama Oshun. Bless baby brother with your rivers honey. 

Mama Yemayah. Please nestle us both, in the safety of your oceans back bone. 

Thank you for your sanctity. 

For being a home. 

Always.

—TheeAmazingGrace

I’m Sunflowers Sista shareable audio with music by The Nest Collective’s Walk to Tawaret. Thank you for listening.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1v1Jho0Vm5x3B6sWqUgdJsMUMdEYHs4KL/view?usp=sharing

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Culturally Rich Things To Do In Lancaster PA This Summer That I’m Involved!

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The Cite Aka Mic Bleed

For the community and spectators who seek an enriching experience “lyrics appreciation” #micbleed aims to provide a safe space for thorough entertainment complete with cultural purpose and vibrant energy.

For the artist/ performers cultivating their crafts the cite’ #micbleed aims to provide a safe space for thorough performance where artists are encouraged and inspired to present their finest visuals, truest audios and most pure spirituals. #ayeg #lyricsappreciation #micbleed #openmic #pavaartists #pavaagallery

Follow @pavaagallery @travelingfam on Instagram                                                    Visit their website for more: pavaagallery.com

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Imani Edu-Tainers African Dance Company

Imani and featured invited guests present an evening reflecting traditional West African culture. Two exciting 45-minutes segments rely on traditional drum, dance, and song to represent significant contributions of West African culture to American society

Visit their website for more: http://www.imaniafricandance.org

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Music Friday

Pavaa Gallery will be one of the “Music Friday” locations for summer 2018. Starting each 3rd Friday in June, DJ Gerri will be spinning the best in afro/world beat/drum/dance from 7 to 10 PM. No cover! 21+ BYOB. #artgallery #culture #dance #gerrimccritty #music #musicfriday #musicforeveryone #pavaartists #pavaagallery #shoplocal #thingstodoinlancaster #632nchristianstlancasterpa

Follow @pavaagallery on Instagram                          Visit their website for more: pavaagallery.com

Follow my personal pages @girlrillavintage and @girlrillavintagewears on Instagram

Absolute Elswhere: A Creative Collaboration with Gail Gray

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Absolute Elsewhere by Gail Gray

Had the honor of being one of 12 local artists asked to represent the great mosaic of our community by offering five-minute presentations of our work that woul ultimately build on a single theme captured in each of Gail’s paintings. 

I was assigned the painting, Absolute Elsewhere. I was to interpret it. Here is my word interpretation.

“Come here! Hot! The dusk is asleep on our breast bones. Sweat. Heat. Warmth, like a mothers incubation. Safe. Touch. Sounds. Bells. Hear the bells and the drums. The drums are the sweetest heartbeat. Home sweet home. Echoes in the deep, blood-orange. Feel the sun, see it bright. The scene is set. We journey back, to where my friends live, in remote, Dellol Ethiopia, in Northeast Afrika, one of the hottest places on earth. Behold the mountains. Witness the mountains. Behold the sculpted, asymmetrical mountains. The sun is the backdrop to the mountains. The shadows climb. Journey home, to wildly staccato rhythms of Afrikan drums by Archie Shepp.”