Darice Shatteen-Jones and Evelyn Ihrke

The Galaxy and The Fall by Evelyn Ihrke

Response

 

Our Fated Fall written by Darice Shatteen-Jones

Inspiration Piece

I am a climber
Epicurean by nature
And also by choice

Thick, curvy, thewy biceps
My back is a power source
Height excites the cosmic black road between my left and right brain

And I am well trained in loving the earth that keeps me elevated
Suspended in mid-air

I only know how to hold on
To speak life into the land,
Knowing that everything alive is my early morning lover
Wanting in one fashion or form

We – Living Things are all deeply social
And paradoxically obsessed with freedom from bonds

For me, this base physical effort, using the body I have been gifted
to rise up
While reciting amorous verse into each stone my hands grip
Has been a life calling

And then one day on my climb, I locked eyes with a heartbroken ancestor
Predisposed to fuckery
Battling bitterness in the afterlife
Stewing in pains of a hard, ugly life
where she had suffered unjustly for simply showing up as a baby in that magical Black skin

None of these truths were known to me

She presented herself as a happy fairy floating near a waterfall
It was her way of mocking my unending faith

Who was I to be joyful?
Where was joy when she had died?
She wanted to see me crash
To become something sad
Only then would she be able to love me
To see me as hers

Days on end she advised me to let go
Release my hold on the earth
To “trust life”
I listened intently but kept on my climb
Letting go, in my mind, would bring certain death
I had no interest in joining her on that side of the veil

But she never relented
Coaxing
Encouraging
Even sometimes pleading
And I began to wonder if maybe she knew something I did not
After all, she was my ancestor
She loved me, right?
Maybe there was some detail she could see from over there
That I was too close to notice as I climbed and climbed

On the other hand
I could feel my lungs expanding
My core developing
My view widening
I was close my peak

How could I let go now?
How could I fall without knowing if I was going to die or fly?

Then she reached out and touched me with her old sparkly Spirit dust, opening a hidden chakra, and making me laugh.

Feeling giddy
I let go

As I fell
My lungs seemed to stop to watch me
in shock
I could smell every flower I had ever encountered
I could hear the song of every bird, insect, and new Mother
This was the life that passed before my eyes

I saw the Spirit of my ancestor change, looking hungry for the demise of my breath and my hope
Then I realized my mistake
My body seemed less sturdy when I hit the ground

and i broke into thousands of small pieces like Mahogany sands

Somehow, I realized, I was not dead

My healthy ancestors flew in from all the 6 directions and gathered me together
Careful to protect my lungs
And that happy Black road
Between the hemispheres of my second brain
The one that sits in my gut

My people made themselves into a clay blanket
enfolding me completely
Putting me back together
With the strength of shared history

“This is not how you die Daughter”
I heard them as a mass choir
A collective rocking
An afro-futurist code

We all wept together for the one who had tricked me
And they placed her beside me
To continue our climb.

By Darice Shatteen-Jones
Written Between Realms
Black History Month 2019
@healingtalknow
@griotsoulfilms

 

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