i love my own: blessings and affirmations from the free enterprise writers

14 07 2016
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Sitting by the river. Photo by Dannette Sharpley

For the past three days I have had the healing, transforming, invigorating honor of facilitating 9 black and brown femmes (including myself) in a love-filled intensive inspired by our recent ancestor Michelle Cliff and her magical realist historical novel Free Enterprise.   We drew on the militant legacies of Mary Ellen Pleasant and other participants in a plotting to arm enslaved people and create a free black state to clarify our relationships to our own writing lives in these urgent times.   We spun and unraveled the stories of our names, created aliases to live into, cultivated our relationships to necessary refusal, found our concealed weapons,  made bottle tree monuments to our memory and healing and gave ourselves permission to love the communities of accountability, visions of freedom, daily practices and physical tools that make our freedom-seeking and freedom-producing creative lives possible.   The following is one arrangement of our closing blessing and affirmation of the deep love that fuels our work.   I encourage you to repeat the refrain “I love my own,” aloud as you read the poem.

P.S.  If you want to sign up for our next intensive, Breathe Underwater: A Baptismal Intensive for Ancestor Accountable Artists, Activists and Intellectuals click the link for more info.

i love my own

“I don’t hate you and yours.  I love my own.” -attributed to Mary Ellen Pleasant by Michelle Cliff in Free Enterprise: Novel

(by the participants in Free Enterprise: Towards a Sustainable, Autonomous, Accountable Writing Life)

i drink water

i love my own

i listen to whales

i love my own

walking up early to be with the beautiful thoughts that arise with me from dreams

i love my own

visiting ancestors while dreaming

i love my own

remembering my dreams

i love my own

i love my own

bed

all the fabrics

i love my own

watercolor paints

i love my own

things to collage other things with

i love my own

feathers and stones

i love my own

rose quartz, black onyx, lapis

i love my own

sewing machine and old clothes

i love my own

bodily integrity

i love my own

freedom of form

i love my own

reciprocal relations to earth

i love my own

refuse scarcity

i love my own

define accountability

i love my own

Abolition now!

i love my own

sun and moon blessings

i love my own

clean water free healthcare

i love my own

writing while Black

i love my own

beautiful brilliant black

i love my own

concealed weapons

i love my own

making magic

i love my own

we have the tools

i love my own

ancestry

i love my own

abundance

i love my own.

poetry

i love my own

saying what i mean

i love my own

saying i love you

i love my own

what can we do together today

i love my own

what would the Ancestors say

i love my own

the ancestors who mean our freedom

i love my own

space and time to grow food

i love my own

my time in the sunshine with you

i love my own

staying free

i love my own

ancestors, blood and chosen

i love my own

my mentor and teacher

i love my own

my mothers (all of them)

i love my own

black women regardless

i love my own

if she hears you, does she feel your words?

i love my own

poet homies

i love my own

black girls in white spaces

i love my own

children who need to learn their histories

i love my own

youth organizers

i love my own

black and brown femme artist theorists who are unafraid

i love my own

a movement that came from deep within me

i love my own

living with our spiritual gifts in the open, without fear or shame

i love my own

do you want to know the meaning of your name?

i love my own

Swahili names!

i love my own

The African Diaspora

i love my own

choosing to uproot

i love my own

our selves always in relation to others

i love my own

always with intention and integrity

i love my own

we have everything we need to be FREE

i love my own

no police to make me anxious

i love my own

kissing my daughter without fear that it will be the last time

i love my own

black babies, safe here and there, always

i love my own

spirit and goddess manifested in the vulnerable and oppressed of the world

i love my own

sun kissed/ never burnt/ moon held/ always revealed/ glowing expanded lives and spirits/

i love my own

dancing warm bodies alive

i love my own

sing, dance and love our entire, beautiful and difficult selves into fiery existence

i love my own

capacity, agency, space, and discipline to create media and art for the revolution

i love my own

freedom is where each of us gets to be our full selves, always and all ways

i love my own

i love and care for for Earth, my universe home

i love my own

being held and nourished by my own

i love my own

laugh with a cousin every day

i love my own

black music for any mood

i love my own

i love us

i love my own


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