Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How He Moves

How does a black man move? He moves like water. At times like a gentle brook. At times like a forceful rush. At all times like the beautiful and engaging men of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater company.

Last night it was my great privilege and pleasure to enjoy their performance inside the jewel box on the Potomac River as Judith Jamison referred to it.

With each extension, leap, stretch, saunter and breathe filled contraction I witnessed not just masters of modern American dance and ballet whose athletic prowess and agility surpass professional athletes I also saw a natural beat inherit in an entire race of men. An irrepressible rhythm. A constant cadence. In every heart beat. In every bat of the lashes. In every outward expression. In every moment.

That rhythm and cadence live in me. And when I close my eyes we dance together.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

To Hillary with Love

My Dearest Valentine,

In all these years I’ve never sat and taken the time to write you a letter. But this year is so different from any other year or single moment that we have shared together. It is the thing that makes this year and time in our relationship so different that also makes writing this letter so difficult. Valentine’s Day is approaching and while I think that I should be focusing on our love and moving forward together I find myself struggling to understand the dynamics of our relationship and wondering if it is time for you to release me so that I can truly be free. Sometimes your love is so domineering I don’t know if it is because you want to protect me, us or just yourself.

I won’t say that I know everything there is to know about relationships. But there are a few things that I do know about them. I know that in healthy relationships everyone involved is given an opportunity to grow, develop and come into their own. They do it together and by not being stagnant. I know that in good relationships everyone is not just allowed a voice, but everyone is listened to and heard. I know that in relationships where both parties care about each other and not just themselves they make hard decisions, like leaving the relationship rather than holding on to someone who no longer wants to be held on to. I know that in loving relationships the “I” is often replaced with the “we.”

So rarely, does this happen. I am beginning to tear up. Down my left cheek a tear of frustration runs. Down my right cheek there is a tear of disappointment. I never thought a year ago that this day would come. A day that I would feel that you wanted so badly to hold on to me that you would rather let me suffocate in the status quo to say that we are lovers than to let me explore, expand and change my horizons alone or with another. Is this love?

Yours truly,