27 December 2015


From the Nguzo Saba, day two of Kwanzaa celebrates
to define ourselves,
name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.

Seven ways I write to define myself, name myself, create for myself, and speak for myself:
Akan throne

1.  Poetry: from my earliest remembrance I wrote poetry.  I see life in poetry. I unintentionally speak  and purposefully preach poetically.  I purpose to publish three volumes of poetry this year.

2.  Sermons:  from around six years old I loved playing church -- only if I was the preacher.  But that was unheard of. In the denomination of my youth and young adult life, only the men got to preach. So I wrote my own sermons, preached myself to sleep as a lullaby, and write sermons for a living now. I love translating texts, seeking non-canonical texts, and creating viable interpretations of ancient texts.  I am excited to begin next year with two preaching/teaching opportunities.

3.  Prayers:  There is power in praying for someone in person.  Yet, there are people for whom I pray which distance prohibits actually touching them.  I like to write prayers for the people-- we who meet with common faith and on the occasion s of human tragedies. Lord, hear my written prayers. I purpose to publish a book of prayers.

4.  Blog:  Blogging for me is the social media of essay writing.  The freedom to choose a topic, explore it in very personal terms, and share it with the world opens me up to conversation with others of like mind.  Not that we have to agree; we are just thinking about the same things. I grow. I purpose to post less on social media and blog daily instead.

5.  Letters:  handwritten in note cards and longer writ typed.  I like the form and the content. I like imagining how the recipient will respond. I like creative salutations and signatures. I like writing love letters and letters of activism-- these are somehow the same although the latter is steeped in pain. I purpose to handwrite letters to my paramour. 

6.  Status updates:  I particularly like the Facebook format over other social media.  I can tell a good story, pen a pithy anecdotes, or reflect on a moral dilemma.  I like LIKEs; affirmations that the post resonated with a reader even more than agreement. I welcome REPLYs; whether affirming or adversarial.  My FBF are a brilliant lot and the conversations we have define, refine, and create stronger community.  I purpose to transition my longer posts into populating my blog instead. 

7.  Reflections:  I often examine my motives, actions, and outcomes by writing out encounters and exchanges with others.  In doing so, I relive moments of being present, flesh out regrets, and capture joys of life. I learn most about myself and how I want to be in the world-- loving, giving, forgiving, joy-filled, and hopeful. I purpose to use my reflections as poetry fodder.

Through writing I define myself as a woman being of God; I name myself as mother, queer, preacher, poet, theologian, scholar, artist; I create for myself truth, history, and legacy; I speak for myself as disabled, aging,
African in American diaspora, and global citizen.

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