When Can We Talk About The Fall (1)
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About the Event
The blessing of having a strong presence is that it can automatically shield womyn like me from the impulses of others. The downside is that it seems to be a magnet for abuse and neglect.
Around December 6th 2020, for the first time in my life I could not leave my bed for fear of my death. I laid still in the dark, sobbing and afraid that if I’d gotten up – even just to go the bathroom there was a chance I’d hurt myself. I called my sister, figuring if I exposed my thoughts they’d have less power. My sister picked up the phone and before I could get a word in she began venting to me about her current problems. I listened, encouraged, got off of the phone with her and decided to call my othersister. When she answered she seemed upset about something but still asked me how I was doing. I told her I wasn’t doing so great and asked if she had time to listen. She said she didn’t want to and seemed to be consumed with her own situation. I acquiesced and listened to her problems, encouraged her, got off of the phone and simply decided not to leave my bed that day. Not even to go to the bathroom.
My two older sisters are my best friends. They care about me more than anyone but like most people in my life, they are only used to seeing me strong. I am the fighter, sage, refuge and cheerleader among us three. I have always been “the strong one” but my life seems to be calling for more of a balance. I now require encouragement in order to continue encouraging, because it’s impossible to get water from a stone. I sometimes feel like I live in a world that is beating me over the head as I am carrying it on my shoulders and it HURTS.
The next morning, I face-timed with a client for a private writing workshop. I was still in my bed, still hanging on for dear life. As I gave my client instructions, silent tears streamed down my face. My conversation never broke concentration, tone or pace. My client was so shocked at my tears “What’s wrong?!” they pried. “I’ll be ok. I just want to die.” Immediately, my client tried to make me smile, but I wasn’t open to being “fixed” more than heard and seen. I needed someone (outside of my own voice) to tell me that I was important and safe but I exist in a world that often demands me to show my fangs and claws first, so folks often see my ability and forget that I too am flesh and blood and have needs.
Mahaghony L. Browne is one of the fiercest and most accomplished womyn I know. I’ve seen her carry multiple generations on her shoulders with a smile and an open heart. I want to know where she goes to fall apart. Is there a refuge for The Refuge? Who fights for us Fighters?
Mahogany L. Browne is a writer, organizer & educator. Executive Director of Bowery Poetry Club & Artistic Director of Urban Word NYC & Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, Mellon Research & Rauschenberg. She is the author of most recent works: Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice & Chlorine Sky. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.When can we be who we are.Excellence for other people?!?!?! Do what the fuck you wanna do for you for once. Mo Browne on PBS!!! <<< Check this out! :-)
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