Eartha-Ntozake Mashup

“From the Desk of Eartha-Ntozake:

Interesting how that works for a woman—brown-braided and radical

like myself. I can be as fragile as flower

and as submissive as a servant. And yet, it’s always been the ones that said

they want a woman

who has something to offer the world

that leave me abandoned.

So they’ll never get to see me

crumbling from the inside out, tear-stained cheek bones, low and regular as they get sometimes.

Their desire to witness that Tyra never outweighs their contempt

for my need to be a free-thinking woman, radically fragile and totally emotionally attached like I get sometimes.”

||

I wrote this on a whim.

After a long day.

Reflecting on my friendships

and past relationships.

Always been intrigued by

the dualities people have

to (by need or want)

pack into their daily lives.

Always considered the

effort it must take to

unpack those complexities

and in front of another person

at that. Can you imagine being

completely and complexly vulnerable

in front of person? I’m aghast

just thinking about it.

What if it’s thrown back in my face?

What if it warrants a lover to surrender his love to me?!

Ready to find out?

Think I could.

Asked for discernment to choose

the right man as options seem scarce

and plentiful all at once. At once, it was meantful… I mean mindful

to want to be the fun,

yet single, holdin’ it down ass mom.

Bet. Been there, done that one.

Found that was unfavorable

or at least that ONE was unfavored

by God Himself.

He crept into my heart

when I had everything and

carried each piece of me away

like a raccoon

rummaging through a dumpster. No wonder, my ravishingly simple personality

is driven by a slight disenchantment of love. I’m Eartha-Ntozake. I am nonchalant

about it all. All the while knowing,

I have been idolized in past and current lives by men who would remain temporary.

How despairing

is it that I am continent’s worth

of Queen’s pride

and nonetheless romantically deprived because it is so?”

||

(Note: It needs cleaning up, but my hand started cramping. And I’m actually not too sensitive about my work, so you can leave comments or suggestions. I’ll either use it or not. Just don’t steal it or not credit me puh-lease.)

–Sincerely, Tyra

#SincerelyTyra #SlayTheDream #poetry #spokenword #playwright #excerpt #love #poem #relationships #excuses #work

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Eartha-Ntozake Mashup

A Laying of God’s Hand

I really have to thank God every day that I am not who I used to be on so many levels. Any girls/women in messed up/abusive relationships, I feel for you—mostly because I used to be you….

My Joy and I witnessed a domestic situation between two strangers late last night. And she’s talking about how scared she is… and why this and why that…

Eventually, I had to pull over and tell her to never let anyone talk to her like that and how I would not have let him do anything to her and ask her if she wanted me to pray over her so she wouldn’t be scared (My Joy doesnt like to pray yet, but she said yes lol). But I know from experience and witnessing other people’s experiences that it could have been more tragic.

I tell my youth all the time that “leadership is self-control” and I’m thankful that the fool who rolled up on the side of my car last night trying to get to another woman calmed down and displayed an ounce of self-control when I addressed him and had enough sense to at least apologize to my four year old watching him in a terror thinking he was trying to get to her mother.

I’m reflecting on how my own situation could have looked to my family and friends and strangers. Or how it could have looked to a child like my own. And I can only think about how we have to do better in the way of creating stronger families and villages. We have to do better in the way of how we talk and communicate with one another. We have to do better with controlling our anger and not letting it build and fester.

How do we fix this cycle of broken relationships and heal generational curses?

I’m glad I was able to calm My Joy down… but I’m still torn about a solution…

UPDATE: I named this post “A Laying of God’s Hand,” to pay tribute to the Ntozake Shange monologue of similar name from the choreopoem, “For colored girls who have considered suicide/When the rainbow is enuf.” Not only does this piece of art tackle the generational curse of abuse, but it serves as a timeless-albeit fictional-reminder of the oftentimes fatal damage that can result from toxic relationships. Additionally, it pays homage to all the people who may be in abusive relationships and are searching for a laying of peace-bearing hands. Occasionally, our abusers lay this kind of hand after the abuse. So, in essence, the title is also a soft prayer that if our significant others/abusers are not consistently laying this type of life-giving hand on us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually that we find the strength to leave them or the vulnerability to ask for help.

Please share the following resources for helping victims of abuse:

The Hotline

Our advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) in more than 200 languages. All calls are free and confidential. Our advocates offer the same support through our live chat services. Click here for info about the chat or click the “Chat Now” button to start a chat. Your safety is our priority, so all phone calls and chats are completely confidential. Learn more about online privacy and safety.

ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (4453) www.childhelp.org ChildHelp can help connect survivors to counseling; residential treatment services; children’s advocacy centers; therapeutic foster care; group homes; child abuse prevention and education and training.
Image result for suicide hotline

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

A Laying of God’s Hand

#HealitGod: Fear of Love

I read somewhere that God can’t heal what you are unprepared to reveal. This is an interesting concept that requires us to do a bit of work. Mainly, if you are not in the mindset to be self-reflective and confess your flaws and sins to God, they’ll remain thorns in your side.

As my relationship grows stronger with Him, I want to be able bring every flaw to His altar. Prayerfully, my goal is just be a better mom, sister, friend, lover (to my future husband), and person, in general.

Speaking of being a better lover, it takes a certain level of vulnerability to be “in love” and a great partner. But I’m pretty sure my last relationship was ruined by my inability open up to him completely. I was worried of would happen if I became “too in love.” Before my next relationship, I’m praying and carving out time to figure how to overcome this fear.

I used to think vulnerability equaled fear. But I’ve been learning that it’s actually freedom; complete freedom to be all that you are without apology or regret. But because I aligned this concept with fear (and in many ways, weakness), I ended up building walls with someone I really cared about.

So, as God continues to work in and through me, I’ve asked Him to make me more willing to stand in my truth and allow my strength and vulnerability to complement each other. I know it will take some time… and faith… and discernment. I’m re-reading both the New International Version and The Message Bible of 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 to gain more insight.

Is this even an issue or fear within God-centered relationships? Comment below and let me know how you overcame the of fear of loving too deeply.

-Sincerely, Tyra

#HealitGod: Fear of Love

Free Woman

No one wants a free woman.

They want us to be small and contained,

unopinonated and ashamed

of all our own ideas.

When I say, “Stop that. It hurts me.”

They’d rather recall how strong

I was before and parade

my wounds around like a trophy.

I just want to be a free woman,

full of melodies and melanin.

Let me be all that I am

or walk away if you can’t.

Is there a such thing as a free

woman? My womb and

my mind are empty

according to every man.

“Can I be a freed woman?”

is not a question I ever thought

I’d need to ask.

—Sincerely, Tyra

I can’t lie. When I wrote this last night, I wasn’t thinking of it being “in honor of International Women’s Day.” But God planted this poem in my heart last night in relation to some conversations and experiences that I’ve been having with various men in my life over the past week or so. So I see His timing as perfect and pray that as women we continue to grow and walk in our God-given purpose-especially in the face of men who do not recognize our talents, gifts, or authority. So let me know what you think and hit me with some ideas for a title.

–peace + love, Tyra

Free Woman

Bellies & Babies

Sometimes I look at my stomach and cannot believe there used to be a living, breathing being inside of it…

at least until My Joy decides to randomly pat it and says “I used to be in Mommy’s tummy” or “I wanna be in Mommy’s tummy”

or… the most infamous one of all: “its looks like there’s a baby in there.” 🤦🏾‍♀️😩

I’m not sure if the child really thinks my stomach is a teleportation device, a time machine or if she’s trying to tell me she wants a sibling. Do other toddlers do stuff like this?

I’m so confused and can literally only take suggestions for the teleportation device idea. I rebuke any ideas of siblings in the near future. Two versions of me under the age of five—in the same house PLUS myself? …Yeah, I’ll pass. 😅

—Sincerely, Tyra

#SlayTheDream

Bellies & Babies

My Joy the Mastermind

After tub time, My Joy likes for me to pick her up and stand in the mirror and hug her—like I did when she wasn’t half my size. Last night—

My Joy: Pick me up, please.

Me: I did pick you up (literally sitting on the side of the tub with her wrapped in her towel and in my arms)

My Joy: No, you didn’t because you didn’t stand up.

Me: 🙄 and TF (in my head, of course)

I stand up.

Me: Are you a baby or a big girl?

My Joy: (looks at me in the mirror) I just wanna be ‘Mommy’s baby.’

This is mastermind-style manipulation from a four-year old, bruh. I was about to put her down and apparently she knew, hitting me dead in the heart with that line. I coo-ed and oo-ed and ahhh-ed while holding her heavy butt in my arms for at least another full minute.

#JustSharing

—Sincerely, Tyra

My Joy the Mastermind

I talked to God in Public.

I think I’ve just now decided to call this what it is. I’m not a preacher, not an evangelist or a even a great intercessor. But I am consistent. And I’ve been consistently praying over us. Yes, even you–who I may not know. But you’re reading this right now–so yes, definitely you, too.

There’s a funny, gif-ed out Twitter thread or stream of consciousness that explains why this prayer in this moment: https://twitter.com/tyrashange/status/1085861255871647744?s=21

If you read it, share a comment down below.

So hear’s today’s prayer:

May we all gain more peace in this year.

May we be vulnerable enough to not allow the chaos of our daily lives disrupt our inner peace.

Sincerely,

Tyra

I talked to God in Public.