“Go Tell It On The Mountain”

mountaintop
Courtesy of Neil Rosentech via Unsplash

You pick. You poke. You prod. I have noticed the change in you and I am of sound mind. I am a whole spirit. I still have my good heart and I thought you had yours, but you are unveiling a side to you that I have never known. And then, we have never been what we are now. Open. Honest. We have always walked on eggshells, scared to reveal our true selves to each other. Yet, there was love.

Yet —

There Was

US.

I will admit, there are pieces of me I now feel should have remain caged, but then this bird would not sing. There would not be a tune to share and ears to hear it as it flows melodiously through the cloudsI am slowly moving forward. I am clearing a way for desperate dreams. I will not deny you the deepest parts of me if you will give me your word that you will keep them safe. And I do not think you will give me your word. I do not think you will trust yourself enough to understand what we went through. What I went through while being with you.

I do not need any more egocentric fools racing to bid on my sanity — how long will I have it? When will I break? I thought, because I want to believe in the good in you than evil, that you would fight to remain beautifulAnd not the type of beauty that’s plastered on magazine covers or as subjects of famous paintings, but the beauty that comes from waking up next to someone who spent thirty seconds gently rubbing your forehead and whispering to you until your eyes opened. Or the beauty that comes from watching a toddler take his first steps, giggling at the momentous achievement.

I wanted your beauty to last so that when I looked at you, I would remember what made me love you.

But like all things that need sweeping and clearing, it did not. We did not. And it started long ago when I confessed to sleeping with a woman. I did not take the time to understand how the newness of the news shaped you. Changed you. Cut you open and split you at the seams. From that day, nothing was the same. There was no going back.

You ran after God, sure that if you caught him, the pain that you felt would dissipate. Prayerful that if you caught him, that I would not be who I am versus who I was. You thought that if you could attack God fiercely and dig deep enough to learn all there is to know of him, that I would change. And there would be another woman and another and then you again. Because you had a part of me that no one else could get.

The mountain in me sloped intensely and I knew one day, you would get tired of risking your life to reach the top. I was selfish then. I wanted what I wanted and could get it without much effort. That is the downside to being young, manipulative, and weak. We do not realize the damage done to others until the same begins to happen to us. Someone said they saw you happy, that you asked of me in a way that sounded more like you wondering if I was finally happy too, rather than truly wanting to know of me — of my life.

I was happy to hear that you settled again. That you are still preaching, leading a flock to fields of endless dreams. You are still chasing God. All the while oblivious to the fact that you had Him in you the whole time.

If I ever see you again, years from today, moons from tomorrow, I would tell you to climb the mountain once more and take special care this time.

She’ll probably let you reach the top.


I’ve got a seed in the ground
That he’s blessing
No more stressing.
I’ve got a seed in the ground
And it’s growing
Now it’s showing.

This is my season, for grace for favor.
This is my season to reap what I have sown.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium

An Artist’s Vision

Total Acceptance 

From the mind of an exceptional Writer, Artist, & human being — DHBogucki. A bit of one of my favorite verses in scripture (John 13:34–35), inked on my skin.

Gently, 

the needle glides,

my skin becomes

a perfectionist’s canvas — 

a vision is born.

____________________________________

DHBogucki, who I lovingly call “B” blessed me with the ink you see above. I had an idea of what I wanted, pitched it to B, and he brought it to life. He’s a tattoo apprentice based in Western NC and a darn good one too! Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

The Battles We Create For Ourselves

Are The Ones That Break Us

TreGranny
Left: My paternal grandmother at age 37. Right: Me at age 37.

By design, we are all different yet beautiful. Coming out is teaching me what unconditional love is. What life outside of a box feels like. The more I share with my family and friends, the more I am finding out, “but you know I knew that already, right?” And no, I had no idea my family knew the inner-workings of my heart, of my soul. I am rather private. For the most part, I keep to myself. I am significantly older than all of my siblings, so much of what I experienced growing up, they did not.

They looked up to me, yes, I knew that. But, I did not know how closely they were watching me. According to my brother TJ upon me asking, “When did you think you knew?”

“I don’t mean no disrespect sis, but I knew when I was little. I mean, I ain’t never really seen you with no boyfriends except that one dude that everybody liked. I thought, maybe my sister likes women. And then later, when you started dating that bald-headed guy like three years ago, I thought — oh, my sister still likes men. I see no difference in you, sis. I’m gonna love you anyway.

To this, I laughed. I am nine years older than TJ. He and I are quite close. Most people say, he looks a lot like me and really, I think that as well. Most of us have strong features that link up, however, I am told he and our kid sister looks most like me. I found his comment the best way of his expression. Of how he began thinking his big sister was not heterosexual. He has a big heart too and is sensitive in ways that my other brothers are not. As a toddler, he was one who would cry at the drop of a hat. I knew then that he would sincerely be connected to his emotions, unafraid to share, or one willing to listen when listening is of the utmost importance. I was hoping I would be right.

TjandTre
TJ & I.

I Am Right In My Assessment.

I know there will be hills that I will ache from climbing, someone will voice their opinion, will Bible-thump me with scriptures they have twisted to fit their model of beliefs and display not one modicum of common sense, but I am in a position to not let that keep me from being me. I have no control over the thoughts of others and my journey into this new life is not the responsibility of anyone but my own. I am tired of limiting myself to being with who I want when I want, yet “in the dark,” cut-off from everyone else. I am tired of waving happiness away because of a way of life that most of my religious upbringing planned for me.

I Never Fit Into That Box

So, why was I constantly trying to keep myself there? I created a war within me. The battles I fought needed heavy armor and up against myself, I was not winning. I was only breaking and withering away. A revelation hit me, that caused me to say, “You know what? You want to be happy, be who you are. Do not think about it, Tre, just do it.” And after that moment, I felt an overwhelming sense of FINALLY! My heart slowed down its beating. I could breathe better.

Cousin, I believe this is gonna help you so much in relieving the depression and anxiety you have been dealing with for years. You are learning that it is okay to be you.” ©Akua

And it is okay to fully be me. I have made a pact with myself. A personal declaration that I intend to stand by, to etch into my skin. I will make my life easier by being who I am and nothing more. I looked at myself in the mirror and declared that. I meant it.

I Am Focused.

I carry the strength of powerful women in my bones, women who will cut you with their eyes then tell you to get over it without a trimmer in their voice. Women who have been fighting for me without my knowledge. Women who will look you in your eyes and tell you while they stand on flat feet and shiftless legs, “you’re lying.” A long line of women who have stepped forward and said,

“You better be who you are while you still can.”

I Will.

Just bees and things and flowers
Just bees and things and flowers
Just bees and things and flowers
My life. My Life. My life. My Life
In the sunshine
Everybody loves the sunshine.


Originally published in Other Doors via Medium.

The Blood Of Old Souls

Part VI: Lemuel

Courtesy of Prince Akachi

Lemuel’s eyes are fixed on the broken sky. His big sister Cassie is planning to sneak out again tonight. This will be the fifth night in a row. Lemuel is not a snitch, but he’s been itching to get Cassie into trouble since she ratted him out for eating the last thin crust pizza, their Mom’s favorite. This behavior is not what he expects from Cassie, she’s never jumped ship on a “babysitting” gig before. Although Lemuel was thirteen and could practically fend for himself, he was blind. Their parents depended on Cassie to make sure Lemuel’s well-being was positively maintained.

“I’ll be back. I put some leftover barbecue chicken in the oven for you. The timer is set for thirty minutes. I’ve heated up the mashed potatoes and the spinach only needs two minutes in the microwave. Don’t forget to take the aluminum cover off this time, Lemuel. For God’s sake, just don’t.”

Lemuel nodded in his sister’s direction and did not utter a word. The timer dinged, signifying the sweet morsels of honey-glazed barbecue chicken and Lemuel skirted his way into the kitchen. In the dark, dank, confines of the tiny space, he could hear soft whispers,

“Tattletales go to Hell.”

Lemuel ignored the whispers, surely he needed rest. He devoured his dinner, remembering to remove the aluminum cover on the spinach. Before he could swallow the last bite, he heard the chant once more. This time, it filled the walls and filled the cracks in the floor. Lemuel’s parents came barging in the door, one after the other. Lemuel couldn’t wait to let them know about Cassie leaving every night this week when she was supposed to be overseeing his care.

The voices grew louder and louder. Lemuel’s parents gazed at the boy, finally believing his days were numbered. “Cassie isn’t here. I don’t know where she is. And, she’s been leaving every night this week.” He felt a sense of pride revealing his sister’s secret.

“Tattletales go to Hell.”

Lemuel pointed to nowhere in particular as the voices grew louder and louder. He smiled in his parents’ direction and bit down lightly on his tongue before opening his mouth.

“Cassie, she’s been…”
Thunder roared, the floor in their kitchen shook, and hands erupted from beneath Lemuel and his legs were the first to disappear. The souls pulled Lemuel under while his parents watched him sink in a fiery heap.

At that very moment, Cassie walked in. The only thing she could think to say was,

“Tattletales go to Hell.”