Love don’t always taste familiar by Theeamazinggrace

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Bare. Vulnerable. I think of the many hands these thighs have touched. How my heart wrapped around a lover and then again. How my body and spirit poured into theirs. Reflecting on many of my past loves. How many seemed to carry that ole “familiar” love language. How our vibrations crashed into each other. Enamored. Wowed. That love could taste so sweet. Comforted knowing we’d been here, together before. How they took bits and pieces of my soul instead of my whole self. How depleted I felt at times. Like the euphoric feeling you get when you know someone you just met. Past lives ain’t always been kind. How that familiar feeling held me hostage, long after each relationship ended. The scars I’m still healing from just staying in it.

I’m learning that familiarity don’t always taste good. It doesn’t always mean lasting love. Healthy love. I realize that what is often familiar in a relationship stems from deep past experiences from our first human examples of what love looked like. Asking, what were some of the first examples of love we witnessed back then. In the grand plan, it might very well be the thing that kept us connected, comfortable, stuck, on edge, bitter, scared, terribly insecure, questioning our gut feelings, staying even when the relationship was killing us. How we didn’t choose to save ourselves the first time we became unrecognizable to ourselves, after the damage had been done.

Given some of my past romantic relationships, I correlated when new lovers reminded me of people, places and things from my past to “red flags” that were bright and bleeding, early on, but how I stayed anyway. I thought I could change them, or wait for them to change themselves. And I do recognize that familiarity or the “soul mate connection” isn’t always a negative thing. However, I think its worth exploring why we feel so strongly toward a person in the first place. Also, how important it is to sort out where that all comes from before diving head first into loves ocean floor. Familiarity don’t always equal happiness or longevity and could very well be a warning sign, pathway to a toxic experience or ending, a breading ground for excuse making, settling, domestic violence, or staying longer than we should, just to say we have someone that we believe we know better than themselves.

However, coming across this new interest is dope because they don’t remind me of anyone else. The irony is wild to me that I don’t recognize anything in them from any of my past loves. And while exciting is damn scary. And maybe that’s the jewel? Maybe that’s something I needed to experience this side of things? I tended to gravitate to familiar traits in people that were clearly toxic because parts of me were toxic too. Maybe it’s what I knew best of all. At any rate returning to the place where I hurt in them delayed my healing. I needed to transform my ability to make better choices for the healing I deserved.

I’m not going to lie, this new energy makes me uneasy, questioning, reserved. I can’t for-see where we’ll go. Could that be the difference? Makes me want to run. Got me searching for ways to count them out like their hands not being the shape I like lol! Yet, my heart knows better. I’ve learned to love with a filter over my heart now. I take my time. I don’t put all of my energy into “good feelings” alone. I feel my way through cautiously. I allow them to show me their power and grace. I allow them to pour into me all the love I give away. Loving this way is a new beginning in my life. A new opportunity to create a healthier frame of reference for my future. A new place to call home.

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

Mamas Nurture Grew My Love

Fully realized 😍! Thankful to the healthy first beginnings I shared with my young mother. How she (begrudgingly breastfed, cuddled, hugged, and sweet talked me) as I developed. The language was love in a less than favorable environment. A language, I translated to cultivate my own love experience. And no matter how the foundation bottomed out, the love she passed along did not. Gace face. Sharing for you mama. Rest well lady.

-TheeAmazingGrace

#afrikanculture #ancestry #girlrillavintage #nurturegrewmylove #nofilter #smilingformama #wcw

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Art Always Finds It’s Way Home

I remember my brotha @phototheft calling my home a mini art museum because of the introspection, the look, the way it felt. He went on to call me Ogeechie, as if there was something special about my past. Made me nostalgic of my college days, the way people seemed enamored and terrified of my freedom all at the same time lol! Made me feel that perhaps I was in fact born fully realized after all lol! Art that is meant for me always finds its way home. Meet mama Kenya and mama Bessie Smith two of my newest. Both wildly vintage. Both starkly beautiful. Timeless. Women crush. Both thrifty in price. Having been a conscious collector for about 25-years, I collect art for the way it makes me feel and for the stories behind it.

BF520EC0-E263-4AB1-A925-681D81E821A1.jpegMama Kenya…

Came to me from an online resource in rural York County PA about a month ago. The person that owned the piece of art spoke of it as an inanimate object that had no meaning or value. Said that it had been in his basement covered in cobwebs & dust for 35-years. He continued to share a story about his girlfriend back then that worked as a missionary in Nairobi Kenya, East Afrika. He described how cool it was when she came back with all these sculptures, the shield and a spear. As you likely can guess the relationship didn’t last and in time the shield aka Mama Kenya was forgotten. I asked him why NOW did he want to get rid of the art piece. He told me that it frankly didn’t go with his current motif, plus he was married with children, LOL!

It’s funny, in a weird way, the way it all happened because he had no way of knowing the cultural significance the “dusty” old shield from Nairobi Kenya meant to me. How, my life’s work is literally to love and liberate my Afrikan cultural identity and those attached to it. How, I had just completed my Afrikan DNA test through africanancestry.com, the day before. How, I was in the process of making Afrikan inspired shields for Imani Edu-Tainers African Dance Company’s 23rd Annual recital coming up in June 2018. When we made the exchange of money and goods I beamed inside and hurried into my car before he could change his mind. I thought, what a gift I was just granted. He thanked me for being the one. I welcomed mama Kenya home!

Mama Bessie…

She appeared to be waiting for me at the corner of Woodland Ave and Chester Ave. My family and I went over to the Uhuru Flea Market in Philadelphia that day, the first one of the year, last month. There she was, a profile, beautiful like the black behind a starry nighttime sky, leaned up against an old dilapidated vendor table. She was the first portrait in a stack of about 10 other portraits and profiles. I fell in love with how she wore Afrika on her skin and in the depths of her eyes.

Interestingly, I remember learning about her in 4th grade at Samuel B. Huey  Elementary School in Philadelphia and again while in undergraduate school at Lincoln University in PA, but never took the time to really know her story, her music, her legacy. That night I submerged myself in her brief bio on Wikipedia. I gleamed at the way she lived such a vibrant and full life. I cried at the way her life ended at age 43. How racial discrimination of the time lead to her death. How racist white doctors and ambulance drivers refused her entry into their white hospital near by. How the image of  her broken body going into shock from the blood loss. How time wasn’t on her side and they left her there to die in route to the black hospital, hours away.

I was moved by ancestors to smudge. I smudged everything. All of the air, her picture, mama Kenya, mama Bessie’s terryfing final moments. I smudged it all away and asked for their permission to uplift their memories. Their vibrant memories. I believe the acceptance came when the wind blew calm and warm.

I’m always grateful  to love my people through all of our stages through life, death and in-between. To hold space for these ancestral artifacts in my home and in my heart is more than art collecting, its my birth right of passage, an honor and a privilege.

In awe of their stories.

-TheeAmazingGrace

 

#afrikanface #africanart #artistsoninstagram #bessiesmith  #girlrillavintage #mycollections #ngunihide #uhurufleamarket #vintage #warriorsheild #wcw

Allium Sativum: the Next Generation

Be garlic. In a world of vampires. Now I understand why my gram wore ropes of it underneath her dresses, cooked with it, and rubbed it on our chests and backs when sick. It’s power.

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7D77469F-3F9B-4587-B048-1BDD9D8D22E9.jpegAncient Kemetian Afrikans were the first to teach us of the sacredness of Allium Sativum (garlic). After all, garlic cloves were found in the tomb of King Tut. Sacred. Is. in. Our. DNA.

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FB14386A-D7D9-419A-90C2-1CEA279ADCCB#afrika #afrikanface #ancientkemet #ancestortones #dna #garlic #girlrillavintage #gelewrap #girlrillavintageofcultchaᙠeforetheboat #healthiswealth #kingtut #mindbodyspirit #protection #sacred #selfiesunday #sarees #tag #theeamazinggrace