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.
In this world but not of this worldUnknowingly, known
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.
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.