It’s about 3 pm on a lovely fall day. I’m walking along the bay and finally decided it is time to write. This is a mash up of two of three pieces tarted simultaneously October 20, 2022 and completed November 8, 2022 in bed - all on iPhone.
Have you seen one? Hint… they do not exist.
Here are a few things that might have led you to believe that they do:
A demeanor that gives you comfort (and maybe a little dis-ease)
A depth and breadth of understanding about a subject matter/context that surprises you
The ability to ‘carry’ an amount of work beyond your capacity
A creativity that acknowledges context yet is not limited by it
An emotional intelligence that is apparent yet subtle
What you are experiencing is the existence and resistance of a creature forced to behave as a warrior who simply wants to live free in a world actively designed to not let that be - past, present and seemingly the future.
“Here she is…
the magical negress, in her natural habitat.”
There is something about seeing a Black woman moving freely among white folks that unsettles them.
Wait, let me put that in context.
That has been my experience living in the Bay Area for 15 years and for the last five years in Marin County.
My husband notices it more than I do at this point – otherwise I would not be able to move as I do. But every once in a while I am very much aware of the curiosity that not just my presence but my comfort seems to elucidate.
I can remember us being at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and I seemed as mysterious a creature as the jellyfish. Seriously, eyes wide open and mouths partially agape as I walked by – as if somehow I had found my way outside my exhibit.
We walk amongst you now because there is only we, not us and them.
So if you come across what you believe to be a magical negress, a few tips:
do not apologize,
do not overly defer,
do not lay your emotional insecurities and unrealistic expectations for a relationship at their feet,
offer the same grace you expect (often demand), and
release yourself from the fear of getting it wrong, as there is no right.
There is only being in right relationship with authenticity, humility and an understanding of your positionality and theirs.
When you acknowledge and/or carry your own weight they will more often than not meet you as a compassionate human and together you might craft paths with shared aims and values.
And if not,
that is their choice.