Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Reflection


   
Writing for me is like conjuring a spell or stirring a magic potion intended to heal, change and effect everything around me and within me that may be wrong, harmful or not ideal to my goals, dreams and desires. As of late, it has become more difficult for me to make the time to write. Finances, my children, my personal and professional life and my book Unashamed: a life tainted... has distracted me from my bubbling pot that are words in black on white. But the happenings of my everyday are no excuse.

Since my book has been published, I have become more slack in my writing. As wonderful as my euphoric high from completing my book is, I have two other books in the works that I haven't touched. And until a few weeks ago (thanks to the new love in my life) nothing in my life had evoked a poem. Though everything I just described are valid reasons to not spend hours clicking away at my keyboard, I know for my personal well being, continuously writing is important. 
So I will begin a more consistent schedule of blogging with a sort of reintroduction in the form of literary reflection. 
The poem below is titled "Indigenous", and for those that may be stumbling upon my story for the first time; my name is Aziza Kibibi McGill Ayinde, and I was raped, beaten and impregnated by my father. 

Indigenous 

In this world but not of this world
Unknowingly, known
Seed placed in soil un-toiled
Buried deep, though not sewn 
I am, therefore this is
Freely trapped in a box
Taken from nowhere, but here
Progressing to a stop
Foreign to my native world
Hidden in plain sight
Darkness what’s revealed to me
Blinded by the light
Exposure is my plea in day
Revelation my cry by night
Draw the curtain, raise the shade
Awareness is my fight


Contradiction, irony and improbable notions pave the path that I walk on. And like the crooked man with the crooked stick, walking the crooked path to his crooked house; it’s only fitting that my creative expression is ironic as well.  I am an African American woman of mixed heritage who was birthed and reared in the United States of America. But until about seven years ago, was ignorant to most of my native land’s mores, laws and social customs. I have raised five children; though I am in many ways a child myself. I advise grown men and woman, and have guided developing adolescents; yet I am just attempting things that most of them have been practicing since fourth grade. I am Peter Pan in a Neverland where the lost boys indeed did grow up. The only difference is my Neverland is real life, and what I knew to be reality was a nightmare. 

Though somewhat cryptic, Indigenous is the essence of my experiences, perspective, and struggles in establishing a life for myself and my children. It reflects my interpretation of my place in society, as well as my purpose in this lifetime. Like many adults in  America (and around the world) I am a result of my upbringing. While cultivating a unique awareness, it is this very upbringing that inhibited common interactions with the society that I was a part of. Still, a product of my environment I am not.

Until I was twenty-four I was kept ignorant to the social standards of the most liberated country in the world. Concurrently, I was exposed to things that other children and young adults my age were not. I knew what the internet was before most people even heard of it. I was allowed to investigate how bread rises and manipulate edible science before most kids my age knew how to make 'Peanut Butter and Jelly' sandwiches. Both my paternal and maternal grandparents are Christian Baptists (a religion common to African Americans), yet the spiritual practices that I grew up with included Taoism, Buddhism, Judaism, Yoruba, Kemit, Voodoo, Necromancy and Wicca. At twelve years old I taught myself to cook six different cuisines and had to create a menu detailed enough to maintain the strict vegetarian lifestyle and nutritional integrity of a family of eight. By the time I was sixteen I had been trained to build a house from the ground up, helped deliver eight children, and provided my own prenatal care. I have an unequaled understanding of the way things work, and a peculiar interest in why things are; which I am sure I owe a great deal to the ‘privileges’ my parents provided. Though, despite these ‘privileges’, I didn’t know the purpose of the Constitution of the United States.
 
In America one in four girl children are expected to be sexually abused by the time they are eighteen years of age. I was eight.  I was kept secluded and away from other children, teenagers and young adults that were not my own siblings, or acquaintances of my father who molested, raped, and later impregnated me. Contrary to most who suffer atrocities such as these, I do not drown my pain in alcohol, dissipate my sorrows with drugs, or numb my suffering with self inflicted pain. Antithetically, my father's victimization of me inspires an appreciation for things that most take for granted. For example: the right to copulate with a man of my own choosing, is not something I take lightly. I am overwhelmed with appreciation to the point that I am driven to communicate this experience and others like it, through writing. I do this in a way that the reader feels as if they are touching with my fingertips, looking with my eyes and pumping blood though their veins with my heart. 

The journey on my paradoxical trail started at a young age. At ten years old I wasn’t allowed to watch R rated films, yet I was having sex with adults, and was required to watch X rated films. In an attempt to cope with what was happening to me, imaginary play with my siblings was my favorite past time. We created a world that we lived in where I was an adult, doing positive, responsible adult things. I filled in the blanks of the life I was already living. I had the responsibility of and was forced to participate in acts that only grown woman should be made aware of. So, I included in “fake life” the aspects that I felt were missing in real life. These aspects represented the control over what happened to my by body and mind, that I longed for. In my playtime with my siblings, I would pretend that I was the president of the country that I was in, but not a part of. I was the bread winner, the entrepreneur, the parent and the liberal protecter of my flock. In my writing I revisit that mindset, creating worlds based on "what if" scenarios, and generating rhymes founded on the only thing consistent in my life; my heart beat. 

Being free in a box, lends one plenty of time for analyzation and contemplation. I also focused masses of energy on anything that I did.  I thought about thoughts, that I thought of before thoughts that I think I thought, on a regular basis. Which continues to primarily manifest in my writing, but is also apparent in everything that I do. I look back on the days my parents left me home taking care of three to five other children (the number changed over the years), and it seems as though my "fake life" were prophecies that have fulfilled themselves in my life today. The person that I cast my first vote on is the president of the country that I live in, and now am very much a part of. I am the head of my household, an entrepreneur, a parent, and a very liberal protector and voice to a growing flock. And like the crooked man and Peter Pan, my place in this world is significant and secure. Even if it is only like a tale meant to be told to a child.  



Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Power of Love

A friend of mine text me the other night and urgently told me to watch an ID network Dateline special report about the 'Vampire King' Marcus Wesson. Not knowing about this villain prior, I gullibly watched the report open minded and vulnerable. The late hour allowed the visuals of the incidents and the similarities of them to my own life access my psyche; in turn giving me nightmares for the rest of the night. I tossed and turned, as memories of my own father injected themselves into dream settings from the show. My father's claims of the "evil government" and his "divine status" paralleled those of Marcus Wesson; and the misdirected devotion of the Wesson children aligned with that of my mother, my brothers and sisters, and myself. 

Wesson trained his children to kill each other if any government agency were to ever come knocking on their door (Can anyone say horror movie?). According to my dad, he was the only one who could take any of our lives, but the confusion he instilled in us caused a form of Stockholm Syndrome where we would protect our home and our family (which included him) at almost any cost. The life we lived was all we knew no matter how bad it was, and the longing for moments of better days fueled our ability to weather the bad ones. 
  

When the host of Dateline asked one of the specialists on the Wesson case, why is this kind of brainwashing so effective, the response was "because humans need love...as far as the Wesson kids knew, their father loved them." This statement pricked me like an unsuspected thorn in a bouquet of roses. "Love?" I thought. "How and why would love be the cause of such suffering?" Then I realized that anything as powerful as what we call love, can be used to destroy the very thing that it helped create; life.

I thought about my mother and how she allowed her love for my father to affect the choices she made concerning herself and her children. I thought about how as a child, my love for my parents made me excuse and limit my questioning of what happened to me. I thought about the thousands of women in the world that stay in abusive relationships because they love their abusers, and all the children that endure pain and neglect at the hands of their parents because they know nothing else but love for the people they came through.  All this thinking inspired me to ask my Facebook friends "Why do humans need love?"

Below is a snippet of the feed. 


Why do humans need love or to be loved?
Unlike ·  · 


The ancient Greek used 7 words to define the different states of love
Curtesy of  for the Huffington Post
According to York psychologist, Professor Authur Arun, love is a combination of chemicals and hormones. Backed up by Helen Fisher of Rutgers University, these hormones are released in three stages that ultimately lead to a long happy marriage between two people; a process intended to maintain the survival of the human species
But what about when that backfires? According to the U.S. Justice Department, in the United States, one of the most dangerous places for a woman to be is in her own home. That's crazy! 
Why doesn't the need for survival of self, overpower the survival of the human species? Why when a man beats his pregnant woman so bad she loses her baby, does her instinct to sustain herself and protect her children, not take over? There are many reasons, social and emotional, why a woman stays with her abuser, but one of biggest reasons is because she loves him. Love is so powerful that it has the ability to spark life, sustain it and distinguish it. No wonder God is it's closest association. 

My conclusion is this: humans need love in order to thrive. It is the pure uncontrollable emotional energy sourced from our higher selves that has the ability to span time and space. And like most things on earth, we need some of what we are made of to replenish, maintain, rebuild, heal and function. 

Whether it is a combination of chemical reactions in the brain or a drop of pure divine essence from the Almighty, It is love that compels a mother to feed her newborn; and it is love that inspires great works of art. Love can fuel the building of a wonder of the world and it can also tear down an empire. I guess we just have to take the good with the bad. But like any form of power, love should be used wisely. The unconditional love of a child should be cherished, honored and handled very carefully. The emotional 
adoration of a partner should never be used to control and manipulate them. And like in the cases of the Vampire King and Aswad Ayinde, if your family loves you because they have to, doesn't mean that you should take advantage of it for selfish benefit (I like horror movies when they are only a movie). 

If you are blessed enough to be given the gift such as the ability to wield the power of having someone love you, you must use that power wisely because having that power also means you have the ability to destroy. And we wouldn't want that, now would we?