This week has been a lot. I started out by ending messages to friends and contacts with “Happy KBJ Week!” I expected more. I shouldn’t have. There will be a lot written about Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s SCOTUS confirmation hearings this week. Much of it will retell the stories of disrespect, neglect and failure to protect Black women in the United States. Many pieces will also tell the story of how Senator Cory Booker, who once served as mayor of my hometown, gave Judge Jackson a moment of lighthouse shelter during the storm that was those hearings. I loved the moment when Senator Alex Padilla offered his words in Spanish honoring the Spanish speaking folks of the Latinx communities in the U.S. I had to find moments to celebrate. Most of those celebrations came directly from the words of Judge Jackson and her incredible stand for a host of Black women sitting at our desks, in our cars, or other places where we do the work of being a Black woman in this country. Her stand for us will create a lighthouse of its own as new generations of Black women make sense of their fight for equity and shared power. That fight has been tasked to us with gifts of heavy armor. Death stares, poker faces, deference in moments where honey and vinegar trade places create multi-level masks shielding us and our loved ones. My body remembers every doctor, professor, officer who violated me. My body also remembers every intimate violation – the physical ones and the ones in which Black men who were supposed to have my back did some Lindsay Graham mess to me. My body raises itself anyway and I perform the ritual Angelouan rise. Sometimes with my back straight and my feet bouncing – sometimes with my shoulders hunched and my knees crying. Still. I rise. This weekend I am going to make an attempt to put down that armor so incredibly heavy with battle mud and ready weaponry. I am going to soften myself. I am going to work on allowing my eyebrows to fall as they wish. I am going to knead my elbows into long dangling cursive letter ls. I am going to ask myself for a shavasana rest trusting flying ancestors and the breath of the spirit to support me. I will reflect on the many blessings around me and send love and light to those friends and contacts. I will have repose and the armor will wait.
SN: Do you need a yoga mat? I have a peacock one from Gaiam right now. I am eyeing a Midnight Mandala one to take with me on an upcoming retreat of Black book ladies. If you buy at this link, the blog gets a bit of support. Your reading is much appreciated.