Instagram post by @dbiyounganitafrika D'bi.young Anitafrika

Heading back to London for @kat_francois ‘s Word4Word this evening. Sitting on the train from Paris to London. Sitting in the wrong seat because I read Friday’s ticket instead of today. My heart is beating. Any minute now someone is gonna come and claim their seat. My seat is 7 cars away and I have already packed my luggage. The train is moving now but people are still taking their seats. No one has come, so I’ll stay here for now
Moving around the world, I can’t help but connect with a deep curiosity. These intimate conversations with strangers who are seeking to know. In our exchanges we are both seekers.
Living in the marketplace again after 5 years of abstinence from all ‘vices,’ I am asking myself what is the journey from the mountain to the marketplace & the mountain again. & the multiple points in between those two points on the circle of life. Talking with physicists, philosophers, activists, theologians, artists, academics, working peoples (not that any of these categories are mutually exclusive), I feel the intersections in my body...I feel the seeking of truth...I feel the impact of travel...I feel people’s longing...I feel my own longing...I feel the impact of the marketplace...I feel the impact of vices...on my body, my spirit...I feel the spontaneity of intimacy & the lack of it...I am all up in my feelings...& that feels human.
I can’t feel without contextualizing. I can’t feel without thinking of what has happened herstorically with peoples & the planet. I can’t feel without thinking about what’s going on now, globally...I can’t get away from the cruelty that is our everyday... As I experience being celebrated, considered beautiful, excellent, I can’t help but think of how this life places you, names you, liberates & confines you based on a complex interconnected system of bigotries, hierarchies & beliefs (culture?) including mythologies of what beauty, intelligence, worthiness & respectability are & should be.
Growing up ugly in a Kingston garrison surrounded by genius & violence produced me. Moving to Canada amongst Queer Black feminists produced me. Having a poet mother produced me. Being bullied & ostracized produced me. Integrated?

4 Comments

  • 2w ago stateofsate stateofsate

    🖤✊🏾

  • 2w ago tonojoi tonojoi

    So much encapsulated here. Vivid . Multi-intersectional . Multi-layered. So much to unpack. Feels like it takes so much groundlessness to experience all this or rather, this must be what groundlessness feels like—and— the result is what? It’s never finished is it? Makes me wonder, when it is all over & it’s time to pass over, can we truly say we know ourselves? Is that even the point? Maybe the point is to just try. Maybe it’s about living without borders and definitions—with arms wide opened. Maybe truth is not what you seek dear wanderer. Maybe truth is where you began a long time ago and maybe, without it, none of this would’ve been possible. A little black girl from Kingston roaming places armed only with a disarming smile among those whose Ancestors have spilled so much blood of her ppl? How does this happen? There’s a point here—a very poignant one—for me, who has never embarked on such a journey but wish I could—where fear and fearlessness meet. I’ve been watching from afar for so long. It’s awe-inspiring & yet fear (of what?) restricts. Your journey is well documented: in words, sound, pictures & moving pictures but mostly in the minds & hearts & lives of the ppl who have met you. Wow! This feels like a legacy already & still far from over. I think of your sons & the life lessons they’re getting from all this: the interconnectedness & the physical disconnectedness too & I wonder, when they are grown men, how will they tell your story as they live out their lives. Rich.

  • 2w ago dbiyounganitafrika dbiyounganitafrika

    @tonojoi I just read this standing on the platform of the train station on the London side...my breath short from the impact of your words. Somehow they manage to integrate, make whole, make present (for me) what I am aiming at...and for that I thank you...you know that this ongoing relationship with self and the community sits at the center of my understanding of identity...how we negotiate intimacy, trust, honesty and integrity inside ourselves (inside myself) is a perpetual question for me. Somehow I want to keep measuring growth...how do we measure our growth in the face of capitalism that lies to us about how growth should be measured. And when we encounter each other (particularly if in that moment our trauma is not raw) it gives us (me) a bit of space to realize that what we (I) need is simple...safety, love, space to explore curiosity, to be celebrated by the village...zoom out to all that challenges this simplicity...it’s not simple...it’s not nostalgic...it’s not naive...it’s life

  • 2w ago tonojoi tonojoi

    @dbiyounganitafrika No, thank you. Perhaps you measure growth by the impact you’re having on ppl. Ppl like me. Maya Angelou said we have no idea what our legacy is. This rings evermore true right now.

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