Sunday, July 19, 2009

An Invitation To Pause, Ponder, And Reflect

It feels like we've covered a lot of ground in the past couple of weeks. I see that I've written more than my usual number of blog posts for the month. Much of this was prompted in response to some truly outstanding essays by other bloggers such as Faith and Blue Butterfly.

We've talked about some extremely important matters that deserve further reflection. Let's pause to reflect some more on the things we've recently discussed. I've decided not to write any more new posts for the rest of the month. Let's continue to consider what's already on the table.

I had already planned to study the Quran in search of more guidance regarding the truly unprecedented circumstances that we're facing as African-American women at this point in history. I would ask you to also take some time to read and reflect upon whatever scriptures you rely upon for guidance.

I would also ask you to prepare to turn the page when (inshallah--"God willing") I get back to writing some new posts in August. We've been talking about a lot of dead and dying things lately. This has been necessary in order to warn people about the various tricks and snares used to keep them trapped in the dead zones.

I hope to shift our focus back to our plans to survive, thrive and enjoy a 21st century renaissance in the coming days.

CW, blog host of The CW Experience, has an outstanding post up about the importance of cutting the dead loose. Among other questions worthy of reflection, she makes the following points:

"Probing Question: Can the refusal to break ties with The Dead here on earth cause us the same misery (of not more) as attempting to contact The Dead who are already long buried and gone?

. . . The Bible admonishes us not to communicate with “familiar spirits”…Again this results in death…The living who refuse to heed this commandment are also doomed to be deceived…The above passage refers to someone trying to connect with the dearly departed…I ask the reader to go one step further and consider the outcome of those who consistently remain in the presence of The Dead walking on earth…

-Death only wants access in order to constantly influence the living from the grave…By communicating with The Dead in either case, we are opening doors for confusion and negativity…

. . . There are startling parallels in relation to handling both the physically & mentally dead…In both instances improper handling of The Dead can lead to undesirable results…The implications are clear…In both cases a line of separation needs to be made between the living and The Dead…" http://thecwexperience.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/let-the-dead-bury-the-dead/ (emphasis added).

So, as we depart from the lands of the dead and the dying, let's consider what we're going to take with us on our journey into better days. Let's take the time to reflect on what values, ideas, and things are really important to us. I know that my various Quran translations, my iPod, and a kettlebell are definitely coming with me. I have to sift through the rest of my various types of intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and physical belongings to see what else is really important to me.

What values and ideas really matter to you? What are you going to take with you into the land of the living?

16 comments:

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Taking stock...

What I want to have with me--everything that comprises my "cultural capital", including: the values and perspectives of a sojourner--I just love that metaphor!

These include pride in myself, knowledge of my history, self-respect, and an exceptional moral compass, all of which will enable me to live with dignity.

I want the genuine strengths that enabled generations of black sojourners (including those in my family) to survive and thrive wherever they wound up: hope, faith, discipline, perseverance, and an ability to plan for the future (delay gratification) at the same time they enjoyed the present, plus an ability to understand and negotiate power structures.

My critical race feminist and spiritual lenses are naturally a part of all of this.

Khadija said...

PioneerValleyWoman,

You said, "I want the genuine strengths that enabled generations of black sojourners (including those in my family) to survive and thrive wherever they wound up: hope, faith, discipline, perseverance, and an ability to plan for the future (delay gratification) at the same time they enjoyed the present, plus an ability to understand and negotiate power structures."-

I'm so happy you mentioned this. I've been thinking about my parents a lot lately. And about the specific traits that I admire about them. You've named quite a few of those traits.

Yep, all the things my parents (and grandmother--"Big Mama") taught me are coming with me.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

rainebeaux said...

Let's see...my daughter (goes without saying, right?); the renewed sense of self*; the few books of utmost importance to us both; the usual government documents.

*more/better hope, cleaner mind/body/spirit.

Something tells me we'll be leaving with just one suitcase and the clothes on our backs, and I'm behooved to leave my mom and her dad behind**.

**I knew I was in trouble when he said "Don't you know you're the only one holding this family together [and] keeping us sane?" oh nooo.

cool_splash1 said...

Also learn to listen to the source. I remember reading this book and thinking this guy was harsh on black men. But I also agreed on some things.

The Black Man's Guide to Working in a White Man's World by E. Lemay Lathan

I am learning to listen and reflect on what other black men say on black men, because I learned a lot from many, but didn't want to hear what was being said.

Khadija said...

Rainebeaux,

Yes, as you know, it goes without saying that "baby girl" goes with you. LOL! Although I figure that it's always a good thing to affirm these sorts of things out loud.

I warned my (BM) cousins years ago that I had NO intention of taking over "Big Mama" duties; and that there's NO spare couch in my home for them to sleep on. This was after I saw how they did nothing to assist our older female relatives when they were ill (actually dying). These grown male cousins did nothing even though they had previously spent years laying up on these relatives' couches when they needed to "get back on their feet." I saw that they planned on being permanent care recipients; and NEVER care-givers.

I'm not the one... It's reciprocity or no deal.

I've been reflecting on how even though I physically moved out of the AA dead zones, I've still been more-or-less mentally preoccupied with it. And the goings on within these dead zones.

No more of that.

It occurred to me today that I'll probably donate the vast majority of my books about "Black folks issues" to the public library branch in my childhood neighborhood. There's no need for me to hold onto those books.

There's also no need for me to buy anymore books of that sort. I know what's happening; and what's going to happen. It's like the annual Urban League report about the state of Black America---same "news," different year.

"Black" books that have concrete, practical answers (like Elijah Muhammad's books---How to Eat To Live, etc.; or George Subira's books How to Get Black Folks to Sell, etc.) can come with me. Most nonfiction "Black issue" books don't have answers, so the bulk of them will be donated.
_________________________

Cool_splash1,

You mentioned listening to the source. Yes, that can be helpful if one is actually getting the inside scoop---the things that folks say when talking to each other as opposed to what they say when talking to folks outside their category (which is usually public relations).

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Ensayn1 said...

Khadija, I am taking my Ipod, tennis shoes and the wisdom of my parents and grandparents. My son has carved out a good life for himelf, he's married for over a year now (23 yrs old) and an officer and gentleman in the Coast Guard so he can now create his path. My daughter, still in college, can come with me and my Queen of Heaven, but as a student like myself...LOL

You said
"I warned my (BM) cousins years ago that I had NO intention of taking over "Big Mama" duties; and that there's NO spare couch in my home for them to sleep on. This was after I saw how they did nothing to assist our older female relatives when they were ill (actually dying). These grown male cousins did nothing even though they had previously spent years laying up on these relatives' couches when they needed to "get back on their feet." I saw that they planned on being permanent care recipients; and NEVER care-givers."
This has been my experience with my brothers, they do nothing to step in and be a defender for my mother (they are still in that open air prison called California and I am not) since the passing of my father last year. They all fell on my mother for some sort of comfort financial or advise and now are silent when they should be the man my father was in creating financial and family stability....I will just leave it there. I will NEVER have a couch for them. In solidarity with you on that one.

If you have the opportunity check out this site http://mysticsaint.blogspot.com/ and give me your thoughts if you wish.
ensaynreality@gmail.com

Khadija said...

Ensayn1/Victor,

Congratulations to you and your wife on raising productive children! That's an accomplishment that I'm always delighted to hear about. I have gazillions of cousins with gazillions of children, and the results have been mostly...disappointing... I'll leave it at that.

I'll keep your mother in my prayers. I know the fury of knowing that people are NOT repaying any of the many kindnesses that were bestowed upon them. I had to release a lot of rage about that angle, and just wash my hands of certain biological relatives after my grandmother and aunt passed.

Thanks for mentioning the site. I'm on my way over there now; and I'll get back to you after I've taken a look.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

C4L said...

Hi,

I have not posted in a while due to real life issues that are ongoing, but I am happy to report that a BW has approached me for advice on how to move beyond her current construct and she is taking it so far as to pursue her desire to relocate out of the U.S.

I am advising her based on my experiences as well as referencing many of the great comments/experiences shared here.

Thanks to all...

Khadija said...

C4L,

Please know that I'll keep you in my prayers.

You said, "..I am happy to report that a BW has approached me for advice on how to move beyond her current construct and she is taking it so far as to pursue her desire to relocate out of the U.S.

I am advising her based on my experiences as well as referencing many of the great comments/experiences shared here."
-

That's wonderful news! This is truly the time of separation between The Living and The Dead (as blogger CW has named them). When I return to writing new posts (inshallah), we're going to talk about what our various "promised lands" look and feel like. How things will operate in our personal slices of the promised lands. And how we expect to exercise OUR dominion over OUR lands. No more scrambling, scuffling refugee talk for a while.-

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

ak said...

Ass I pause, reflect, and ponder I have long known that I need to correct the mistakes that I am to blame for in my own life, which has been basically oputting my real life on hold and not becoming as fruitful in life and my finances as I should be by now. It was very silly of me to put so many things off, the best thing about my life is that I have been able to travel from time to time. I will pursue another degree soon, and it will be in Accounting.

I have a mother who is able bodied and not ill at the moment but I am the only one who she could ever turn to for help and right now I can't even do that and that doesn't sit well with me. I do want to be able to help her if she needs it.

Also I need to see a therapist as soon as I reach America again. I can't put that off. I would like to attend church but I want to attend a church that has a pastor of some proven moral fiber. No preacher men who cheat on their wives, who have 'outside children', who hit on women in the congregation, who steal from the collection plate or use money from everybody giving it to buy cars.

I'd prefer to go to a church that has a leader who encourages people to live their lives well encouraging good sensible marriages and as morally as possible without any hypocrisy(like putting down LGBT lifestyles and turning a blind eye to the shacking up syndrome).

I wish I knew where rev. Lisa's church was. I'd like to go to her church service but alas I'm in the UK for now.

cool_splash1 said...

Okay sorry, this is off topic. I'm writing a post about wm other nonbm in all black settings in movies and how magically they never end up with bw. I have some listed, but I know I'm missing some movies can you please email me at blackwomenmakingmovies.blogspot.com

Sorry for hijacking your forum

Enigma said...

Time to do some re-reading of blog entries on this site and others. It is time to put in some serious thinking about what I am going to do to move on. Getting stuck in what others want, what once was, etc. is not going to move me to where I want to go.

Tee said...

Khadija:

This blog is on fire!!!

I just returned from vacation in Ohio. I visited family and close friends.

I am so happy to say that my younger cousin, who is one month away from her MBA, is buying a townhouse, and persuing love in the gobal village!

I haven't yet told her of this blog and the sister blogs because I'm not sure how much her thinking has changed. Thankfully,she's moving in the right direction.

While I did visit family, I purposefully did not see brother's children (two babies by two different women). He is in prison. I love my brother deeply,and wish him well, but I will not join my mother in this circus.

My mother has her own issues, but she allows the interuption of late night calls from these women crying about my brother's broken promises.

I have decided for my journey, that I will surround myself with people who are better than me at everything I do,who have more education,people who understand why I fly below the radar at times in order to maintain my peace.

Khadija, outstanding post!

Khadija said...

AK and Enigma,

Onward and forward! *Smile*
__________________

Cool_spash1,

I dropped by your blog. You've got some interesting resources listed on your side bar (such as a link to a quick guide to viral marketing). I'll have to take the time to check them out in detail.
________________________

Tee,

Thank you for your kind words about the blog; I truly appreciate it. Onward and forward!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

CW said...

Another great entry Khadija...


I mean c'mon...What more needs to be said? We need to be moving forward and onward and NOT looking back...Sojourner nor Harriet Tubman would have sacrificed their own survival for those who didn't want to flee from Egypt (or Sodom)...Unfortunately there will be many who are fast becoming the permanent underclass...And folx are getting sick and tired of given them "The benefit of the doubt..."

(The pool kids in PA is one of many instances that come to mind)

Khadija said...

CW,

Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.

Yep, we're moving forward. This is one of the reasons why I've decided that I'm not going to do any posts about the ever-increasing numbers of atrocities coming out of Black residential areas. Such as the endless parade of Black children murdered by DBRbm.

These horrible news stories coming out of Black residential areas will continue and escalate. What more is there to say in response to them other than "Leave Black residential areas!"? And we've already made that call.

Onward and forward.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.