We are often taught that to be at peace, or to have peace, is to be in the presence of the absence of chaos. Peacefulness, we are taught, is the absence of violence and the presence joy, smiles and blissful certainty that things will indeed turn out the way we wish. Peace is the confidence within our spirit, within our world, within our hearts and homes, that we will get exactly what we deserve and no one will violate that covenant with meritocracy. When we subscribed to this notion of peace, we enlist ourselves in an unrelenting war with reality.
Peace is not the absence of chaos, violence or uncertainty, it a recognition of their integral role in the journey of the living. Peace is the knowing that what can happen, may very well happen, and that is ok. It is knowing that pain is not the end, but simply a recognition that something else, something un-discovered, is bubbling toward the surface and calling our attention. Peace is the calling of uncertainty, clashes, hopes, plans and redemption to the threshing floor. It is the fleshing out of reality from imaginative re/deconstruction. It is a call to live, allowing our feet, our hearts, our minds, our spirits and our collective selves to always move forward.
Today, I find myself yearning for peace and opening my world up to her. We need to speak. There is much to discuss, but perhaps all has already been said and known, and I simply need a reminder. I need to be reminded that vulnerability, uncertainty, fear and even hopelessness are welcome here. They are guests in the home of my soul. They are not looters. They are not criminals and their presence is not a forecast of loss. I need to be reminded that scars are simply unappreciated tattoos, the art of survivors, the marks of existence, the tradecraft of the divine. I need to recall there is no shame in shuddering. Because I do. Sometimes. I get scared of being scarred.
Presently I’m “preparing” for final exams for my first semester of law school. I can hardly bring myself to study. I don’t have anxiety about my ability to excel. I have anxiety about my ability to flourish and be happy with this world of law and (dis)order as a practitioner of the kind. I worry about being admitted to the bar–this background and squeaky clean and I’m far from an assimilationist. I wonder if this is all for not. If I’m not admitted to the bar–that would be a large scar to bare, perhaps to heavy for even my masterpiece of a back. I’ve also two-stepped into love. He lives across the country. I’m an optimistic-cynic. I’m always optimist and confident about my ability to practice, feel and maintain love, acts of love and a commitment to love as an orientation. However I’m generally cynical about other’s ability to receive my love in times of crisis, obstacle or distance. I’m having fun. He’s beautiful and the manifestation of the man I’ve never been able/confident to articulate because…you know…when you speak it, it becomes real, you risk loss and invite chaos…so I thought. With the whole of country between–while facetime, flowers, phone calls, messages and commonality of spirit sustain us–I brace myself for the looters and keep hope at bay. (..or bae?)
So here I sit, staring at my books, listening to the words of Maxwell, alternating between readings of Dionne Brand, bell hooks and Fanon…attempting to get away from that first definition of peace and into communion, an enduring union, a fellowship, with the second. I know that as long as my heart beats, I need to remain in touch with reality and hold peace lest I end up in pieces. That is my prayer. To receive peace. To invite him into my home, as member of my family. To be ok with her flow and recognize it’s survivance. I can do limbo. I can two step. I can krump. Because if and when I fall, I’ll always walk forward, until it is my time to again become one with the divine. When that day comes, I’ll rejoice, re-meet joy, and love love more intimately. So today, this friday, I’m going to commune with my feelings, my fears, my dreams. We are going to kiki to some slow jams as pray and say to Highest of Divines, Aśe. Sélah. Amen.