Can I cradle you in the nook of my arms? If you were here, would you let me? Hold you I mean? I don’t just want a hug. I want to hold you so we cry together. Kiss the top of your forehead like a mother would. On the shoulder of comfort, let your tears drench my shirt and I will love you like an infant. Can these words hold your head up? I do not want the soft spot of your pain to blemish the fragile newness of the warrior you are becoming. Your critics will look at what you are, but I see what you can become. But you’ve got to let me do my job. Let me hold you. Cradle you in my arms with these words. Cradle you in my arms with this pen. This is not a blog. Not today. Today this is air. This is breath. This is permission to breathe. These are words wooing lullabies for the exhausted spirits of the broken.
My Soul is a Witness is a title inspired by the Negro Spiritual song, “Witness,” but I did not choose such a title because I think of myself and my people as “Negroes.” I chose such a title because of the powerful messages and influence these songs had on our people as they transitioned from enslavement to freedom. Powerful messages I hope to also convey through my poetry.
There is a great spiritual awakening happening among Black people today as we strive to unlearn the lies they taught us for over 400 years. Whether that is starting and running our own businesses, embracing our natural hair or re-educating our young people on the parts of our history left out of the history books.
And to what am I a witness?
I am a witness to the trials and struggles my people have endured and I am a witness to our power to overcome those struggles. I am a witness also to my own sufferings which I am sure have been experienced by others. In this way, I am a witness to the fight that we all have. And why the fight? It is easy to present an image of healing and wholeness, but I believe it is much more fruitful if people knew of the struggles that got us where we are today.
From a historical perspective, I have not experienced the Middle Passage or enslavement or Jim Crow, but as a descendent of people who did, I am connected to those experiences just as if I had been there with them. In the Black community, we do not say, “when they fought for freedom,” we say, “when we fought for freedom.” The same can be true of the struggles of our own personal lives. If someone says they have been homeless before, I can relate because I have been homeless before too. I am a witness to what that’s like. If someone says they have a family member who is an addict, I can relate. I also have family members who are addicts. The anguish that causes in a family and what it does to that person and their loved ones are not lost to me. I can relate to that. I am a witness to that experience.
I believe epigenetic trauma is real. Epigenetics is the idea that trauma can leave a chemical mark on a person’s genes, which then is passed down to subsequent generations. (C. Benedict, New York Times) This means that a child or grandchild can experience side-effects from the traumatic experience of his/her elders. Since the concept of epigenetics, more and more studies hint to the inheritability of trauma where our own day-to-day health (and perhaps our children too) may have something to do with our inheritance of our parents and grandparents suffering.
One personal example is my own mother’s struggle with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder). Her grandson, my nephew, suffers from asthma badly, though both his parents do not have asthma. Could he have inherited my mother’s affliction to a degree?
Thus, I do not find it far-fetched that Blacks/African Americans could still struggle from the mental and spiritual grief that plagued our forefathers long ago. We are witnesses to this pain on a deeply personal level which makes the Negro Spiritual deeply personal to us. While our ancestors were escaping physical enslavement, I believe we are escaping mental enslavement today.
As it applies to all people from the perspective of suffering and struggle, we all have a fight we are engaged in and when we overcome this fight, we become witnesses to that experience and can help others to overcome those same tribulations.
If trauma can be passed down, then so can healing. My soul is a witness.
Have you read I am Soul yet? Grab it here. My Soul is a Witness is coming this fall.
Keep Yourself Full, my first Non-Fiction spiritual handbook for healing the hurting, lifting the fallen, and restoring the broken is available now on Amazon in ebook. It will be available as a paperback between tonight and tomorrow. Check back to this post. I will edit it to let you know it’s available in paperback. Thanks in advance for your time, attention, and support. (It is still 99cents until the end of today. Hurry before the ebook price rises!)
If you know me for my fiction work, I have some exciting new material coming. However, I do hope you will enjoy this book. It is my first Non-Fiction piece, and I am delighted to share it with you. As always, I hope that you will finish the read feeling full and empowered.
Free with Kindle Unlimited
the fact that everything is a movement now
like the importance of self-love didn’t exist
before Instagram memes
like healing is a status update
like self-care ain’t a journey but a tweet
like healing ain’t a process but words we hang
on our Facebook walls
and pretend we ain’t cover trauma in hashtags
I see healing differently
mistakes are opportunities
failure is strength
and self-love and healing is a process
paths that we aren’t always sure to take
we become masters of ourselves
only to begin again
like a battle we don’t know if we’ve won yet
a journey, healing is
and we master the parts of ourselves
until there are no more apologies
in our throats
until everything we do doesn’t sound like
until we value ourselves like we do
likes on a post
until burden ain’t heavy no more
cause we learned how to carry it
until we no longer carry it
until we’ve struggled so long
we don’t know what quitting is
Listen to The Colors of Poetry below. Be sure to subscribe to this blog by clicking on the button in the sidebar and my YouTube page HERE for notification of new poems.
dip me in chocolate-covered rhyme
like the color of my skin
a young woman once drowning now lives on the shores of truth
sweating similes from her pores
a fresh coat of passion that shines something like melanin
can I scorch you with radiance?
breathing inspiration like oxygen
singing compassion, smoking lyric
and sipping on rhythm slow like the stride of a black man
the crackling compasses beneath his footsteps
clutching couplets like purses confused
by the uncertainty of his smile
the sugarcoated twinkle in their eyes
or the question mark in her walk
her hips sway
like six children, no man, and give up
but I got this mouth full of simile
this fist full of irony
this metaphor-shaped voice in my throat
a delicate coating of poetry to wash away the broken
so let me cocoa butter your heart into the palms of my hands
be Vaseline to your ashy and together
we’ll bind the broken wings of peanut butter,
and milky way,
and dark-covered freedoms
like the colors of poetry
on my skin.
Wow. I miss you guys! Feel like I’ve been gone foreeverrr.
Briefly, I’ve been, admittedly, in a funk. Not all of the time. Being away from social media has definitely been productive for sure work wise. But personally, it’s like this year arrived and I suddenly felt extremely down, lonely and secretly, I wanted someone to reach out to me. I wanted to laugh and talk and hang out. I wanted to confide in someone who would understand and I needed a friend. I was listening to sad songs and everything yall. I mean, “Who can I run to when I need love?” Lol.
As I posted to my IG though, replacing “Why is this happening to me?” with “What is this trying to tell me?” has been a game changer. It’s not like just posting quotes but it is something I’ve actually had to think about and speak and literally put into practice. I had to literally stand there and say, “OK EC. See the purpose, see the purpose.” Only when I did this did I begin to regain my strength and not sweat the small stuff. And because I don’t believe in being this vulnerable publicly unless I have something to share that I learned, I decided to keep silent. Only now that I feel better could I blog about it because I have something to share that I hope will help you as much as it has helped me so here goes:
On Letting Go
Letting go is a process that was never intended for us to do all at once. Even when we have to cut people out of our lives we still hold them in our hearts. It is only little by little that we release them until they are no longer occupying the space in our minds and taking up our energy. So, if you are feeling somewhat discouraged because you are not completely healed I want you to know that you have not failed. You don’t have to get over it in one day because it’s not that simple. Just take it one day at a time. It’s not normal to slice off your arm or your legs and not feel pain. You’ve parted with something that was not just a part of you but that helped the rest of your body to function. To not bleed after this is not to be alive and you are not a zombie. You are human. And as human’s we cannot help but feel.
“Those mountains you are carrying you were only supposed to climb.”
– Najwa Zebian
Now that I am feeling better, I’ve decided my focus this year is on HEALING. Healing spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically, all areas. I no longer have the energy for negative vibes and I won’t fret the small stuff. New beginnings are here and NEW LEVELS are arriving. In short, my focus is on VIBRATING HIGHER and speaking POWER over my life. Some things I’ll be striving to implement:
- Surround myself with those who want to be in my life without worrying about those who don’t want to be in my life. There will ALWAYS be those who are offended by your evolution. How do you respond? Keep growing.
- Only use words that will help me to grow: I CAN. I WILL. I AM. I MUST. This is powerful, uplifting and empowering language. The more I infuse these words into my language and into my life, the more I take back control of how I feel.
- Forgiveness is a personal revolution and breathtakingly liberating when implemented into our lives (because it is connected to love.) My first step in strengthening my levels of forgiveness is learning to forgive myself.
- If people want to leave, I will peacefully let them go without feeling guilty. This means that if I reach out and I don’t feel it is warranted, I will pull back without fighting the vibe. I am not going to push if I feel my gesture isn’t wanted. People don’t have to tell us how they’re feeling, we can feel it if we’re paying attention. I am not talking metaphorically but for real feel it. In our body, in our hearts, and in our souls. And then, when you are no longer held captive to the opinions of men or scratching against the cage of their judgment, that is when you set yourself free.
We CAN heal. We WILL heal. We MUST heal. We ARE healing.