New Color : Red

The two people who matter already know.
And so it has become real, the insemination, the smell of sperm inside of my panties when at work, the wondering if it took this month, the void that rests inside of me until it does.

RiversFlyerJan2013A new year, marks a new beginning, a new color.  That’s what we’ve themed the next Rivers of Honey show, and it’s permeating inside of every place that I know.

I’ve switched rooms this week, and will have a new roommate. She arrives today, and so my sunny freedom of a bedroom is now shadowed by art on my walls, a new positioning of my bed, and a calming place to write, by the window and the unnecessarily large heater.

2012 has marked a transitional year.  I’ve had an entire relationship that has shifted my relationship to sex and white lovers.  My boss offered me an extended stay at my job, and now, a huge promotion is on the rise.  I’ve journeyed to Asia and took from it the powerful mastery of home.  Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich’s death permeated through me for twelve hours with their words and through the voices of lesbians across New York.  Then there were the dozens upon dozens of women that I’ve connected with, hearing their stories, and learning that we are all on this massive journey together, that none of us is alone; I am right there beside you, holding your hand, until you are ready to let go.

I am grateful.  And feel a need to thank everyone.  Tara, Olivia, oh man, what have I done to afford friends like you? -thank the goddess for you, for being my writing muses, for the tight hugs, for the encouragement and the cigarette sessions by the kitchen window.  Jaz, thank you for simultaneously being my rock and my cushion. Hanifah, thank you for documenting our stories.  Serena, thank you for sending me images of your belly, for the bag of syringes that enter my vagina, for the chanting ideas on how to keep it all together.  Donna (HOT DONNA), thank you for being an awesome burst of energy, supplying perspective and making life look good -I want your story.  Zahra Patterson, thank you for being honest.  Amy Stretten, thank you for being vulnerable.  Rivers of Honey, thank you for showing me what hard work and resilience means, that folks will boycott and critique, but in the end, like my daddy taught me, those who do the work are those who have a say.  WOW Cafe Theater, thank you for defining collective action, for the retreat in July that nurtured my soul and revealed to me an apology that I realize was never needed.  Lesbian Herstory Archives, thank you for the opportunity to open your doors every month, for helping me to remember our past, how powerful our herstories are, how we are just here but for a moment, and it is our job to tell our stories.  My family, thank you for having two salads this Christmas.  To my little sister Sakinah, thank you for singing and acting, and lighting my life.  Shanique, thank you for making me an auntie.  To the women who have interviewed with me for Her Saturn Returns blog this year: Jasmine Rae Powers -thank you for becoming my friend and for the lovely birthday gift for which I’ve still kept the box of glitter, the candle still burns. Ge Ge Chamblee -thank you for keeping me updated on your continual transition; I know you will find your way, and almost there to an MLS! Dominic Bradley, thank you for submitting to the anthology; your words are so powerful, your transition recognized.  Erica Cardwell, your post will appear as the first for 2013, and so it is.  The women of Phili, I have been listening to your voices over and over, and I can’t wait for others to bear witness.  And I have a million more thank yous…I am grateful.

As for this project, 2013 will merge this blog with a new image for the book project.  I’ve already gotten an efficient transcriber, about 50 interviews, many submissions (still plowing through with a reader, so soon we’ll be done), hours of video and audio that will be archived and transcribed, and photographs to present.  What a whirlwind it all has been, and an amazing journey filled with unmet deadlines and unexpected expenses, all of which have made me understand the concept of Journey – Passage – Travel – Place.  Humbled, I am committed to this process, just as I am charting my menses, I am creating space for this project which has changed my life, and has the potential to alter yours.

The last year of my twenties was filled with period blood, cleansing the past month’s worries into a new possibility.  I’m ready to start 30; I never knew I would be, but here I am, ecstatic and proud.  This Saturnista has done so much since starting this blog –a project that began out of fear of getting older, and now, is at the beginning of its end, in flight.


Rivers of Honey at Kwanzaa 2012 – Seventh Principle -Imani
Do you know what Faith feels like?

When conducting the interviews for Her Saturn Returns, LadiSasha Jones, one of the documentarians asked, “What is your knowing?  What do you know about yourself, in this journey? HOW do you know?”
And I presented this question to a room filled with spiritualists at the Center’s Kwanza celebration this past Saturday, December 29th, 2012.  Amidst the preachers and drummers, in front of Edwina Lee Tyler, our living ancestor whom everyone hovered and paid homage, I presented this question, with an answer.
It’s in the listening.  That’s HOW I know.
I’ve discovered the power of voice, the ones inside of me, my guides, my Garinagu grandmother, my ancestors.

Right now, there is a small spirit, hovering over me, the way that we did over Edwina.  She’s waiting to come free.  Her name is Red Iris Lambey Smith-Cruz, and she will be here soon, when the insemination takes. I hear her calling to me, telling me when left is better than right, when a decision to take the job, close on the house in Jersey, marry the girl I love is all the center of my path, this journey.

When we listen, when we embrace silence, the earth, she speaks to us.  She creates a moon as full as our open eyes, and forms words that create a chilling short story.  I am writing.  I am giving life, and I am forming a new version of my own.

This 2012 is over, but now we enter a new color.
When you get there, who will be your guide? Who will you listen to?  How will you know?

Happy New Year all.


This entry was posted in 29, 30, Dominic, Ge Ge Chamblee, Jasmine Rae Powers, Jaz, Journey - Location -Travel - Place, Journey - Passage - Travel - Place, Lesbian Herstory Archives, Personal Reflection, RIvers of Honey, Saturnista Love and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to New Color : Red

  1. Giselle says:

    Thank you for doing this Shawn.
    here’s to |Love&Togetherness| in 2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s