Dear Racism

Dear Racism,

I lost my voice when it came to talking about you. In fact, each time I approached your swirling hate, I ran. Always running. Tucking you away, I put you in the junk filled closet, labeled “places I don’t want to face.”  Yet you lingered there. Sometimes a small voice in the background, lately, you’ve been screaming at the top of your lungs. And in the convoluted confusion that is our society, we refuse to talk about you. Yet we continue to act out your hate.

The day I learned about you, my voice became silent to call you out. I became mute upon the awareness that my skin color put me in a category many in this world deem undesirable.  As a timid eleven year old, moving to a new town, I learned about your accomplice in crime. The word nigger; a word created to slice through the heart and soul of countless humans. It’s funny how a single word could evoke so much horror, so much pain. Is it really hard to understand why so many have tried  to redirect the dagger of your two syllable side kick? Can you not comprehend why people would make it their own, rounding off the edges to avoid deeper hurt?

I remember the moment I decided to succeed in life. When I decided to work hard, strive for excellence, functioning to overcome your perceived stereotypes and limits. I also remember when I stopped trying so desperately hard.  Still, with rose-colored hope I silently ran around your hamster wheel, thinking once enough generations cycled through our society, your powers would dissipate. And do you know what that did? It continued your cycle of abuse. It took the responsibility off of myself to create change and instead load it onto the backs of others. And many of those backs still have gaping wounds.  What I didn’t realize is that silencing voices has been your super power all along. Because by keeping people silent, your hate could fester and grow, duplicating more gremlins. And that cycle stops here.

You see, I realized I’d given you all my power by fearing your perceived strength. I closed up my heart, shut off emotions, hid my own self and gifts away in fear of your confined walls. Your systematic boxes. Boxes of illusion that shape who you say I’m supposed to be. Truth is, the only one who determines who I am is me.

This is the year of the sheep, and what I’ve learned by taking you out, staring into your eyes is that I was not made to be among your flock. To blend, huddled in the ring of mediocre conformity. No, at the core, that is not me. Because when I’m not a turtle, strategically living in a nurturing shell, I am a lion. Courageously roaring, unabashedly shaking out my untamed mane.

I will not allow you to poach my human spirit.

I will not burn my scalp to have straightened hair. I have learned that my curls spiral into infinity, like waves rolling in an endless sea of beauty.

I will not live within your boundaries, as I will not live within houses built with glass ceilings and walls.  I have a hammer, skillfully swinging, unafraid to shatter your impermanent structures. Your systematic division.

I will no longer fear the division between my blackness and my whiteness. They are both my DNA,  forever woven together in my soul. Pieces of me, united. Not opposing forces.

I will no longer accept your claims of acting too “white” or  “not black enough”.  Those are your stereotypes, not mine. They hold no meaning in the world view I live by.

I will not allow you to silence me. For too long your tight grip left me scared to be myself,  afraid of not belonging, afraid of being unloved. By giving you that power, I left myself powerless. And I am. You are. Powerless no more.

You’ll notice, racism, that I speak in terms of myself. Because while there is a we the people, it all starts at looking within. And when I look at you, eyes wide open and unafraid, I can share that freedom with others.

And I am yours no longer.

Unapologetically,

Sabrina

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IMG_8961 Today is your day to dance lightly with life,

sing wild songs of adventure,

soar your spirit,

unfurl your joy.

– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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“All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the earth
Befalls the sons and daughters of the earth.
Man and Woman did not weave the web of life,
They are merely a strand in it.
Whatever they do to the web,
They does to himself.
All things are bound together. All things connect.”
― Chief Seattle

photo and gender edit by Sabrina Allard.

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we howl

we howled

we howled. at the sun, moon and stars. for new life. change and transformation. peace and calm. for love. for the return of innocence. we still howl.

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I Woke up Like This

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I woke up like this.

Tired of walls. Of perfectly painted pictures. Unapologetically myself. Feeling unashamed of that image. Feeling audacious. Tired of fitting a version of what I thought people wanted me to be.

I woke up like this.

Flawless in my flaws. Human in this skin. Unapologetically black, white, and fifty thousand shades of other colors. Not accepting the limits others will place on that skin. Or my body.

I woke up like this.

Seeking truth. Feeling playful. Fearless, like the chickadee. Finding humor in the non-comical unraveling of life. A woman. A lover of spirit and fire and compassion. Unafraid of my desires.

I woke up like this.

Not knowing, but willing to learn. Bending, yet finding firm ground in my broad birthing stance. Falling in love with the ebb and flow of our mutual existence.

Tomorrow may be different.  I may want to fall back asleep. Angry at the world’s misguided love of power and lack of trust. But today, I woke up like this. In this moment, I feel everlasting joy in the sweet relief that we are all connected by invisible strings of hope and humanity. And if I succumb to any doubt, I shall look back and remember that there was that moment, when I woke up.

So here is my wish. A true desire. May we let the guarded walls fall down a bit. May we understand each other more. And may we learn to love ourselves. Just one small act, creates a ripple affect.

Love on,

Sabrina

 

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winter’s thaw

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“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”

-Albert Camus

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Love Your Body

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artist- Elizabeth Moss

As we move out of this long winter, our bodies are longing to be loved. To be nourished with kind thoughts and gentle movement. I have to be honest. I haven’t been dancing much this winter. Yet, after a night out dancing with friends, my body started to wake up again, after what felt like a deep slumber. “Remember me,” she says. “It’s ok to love me. I will help carry you through this life. Just be good to me.”

Be good to you, lovelies. You are amazing.

 

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Amethyst || Corey Lynn Tucker Photography

When Corey Tucker reached out and said she wanted to do a photo shoot inspired by Jimi Hendrix and Prince, I said, “I’m in!” Firstly, because I love working   Corey and her artistic viewpoint. Secondly, because I grew up in a house where Purple Rain was a favorite album and Jimi Hendrix was an iconic legend to both my mom and dad. As Corey continued to walk me through her vision, I saw a landscape of healing purples and wild prints of the 60’s. My excitement surged through the roof.  My heart sung when I learned she was submitting the photos to a fashion magazine for publication.
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Enter make-up artist, Jennifer Giuliani-Colonero of All Dolled Up , jewelry designer, Marian Gaydos, a killer wardrobe, Corey’s new studio space and the shoot was complete.  Corey put together three stylized looks, each showcasing a Marion Gaydos piece. Jennifer’s patience with my makeup rebellious eyes and her spunky humor allowed us all to forget that outside, it was a very cold and blustery February day. A powerful day it was indeed, as the full moon was in Leo, the stars  aligned and the photos were posted in the February edition of Guseppina Magazine.
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One of the things I love most about working with Corey is that I still feel like myself when I see the final product. She edits beautifully, yet doesn’t take away things that feel most authentic. My nose is still my nose. Thank goodness, because it’s one of my favorite features. And that beautiful piece of silver hair, something I’ve become quite fond of, still remained. Simply put, she just makes you feel beautiful, with or without makeup. Corey also helps people live out their passions through her photography. Many times, I’ve pictured myself as a glam rocker, shredding on an acoustic guitar. That day, I got to live out a bit of that dream. And who knows what else the universe has in store. Maybe that particular vision will become a reality in real life. Anything is possible with a strong vision.

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Corey and Jennifer, thanks for dolling me up, surrounding me in purple majesty and allowing some of my inner bad ass to come out.

XO

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A Beautiful Mess

I believe that life is beautiful amidst all the ugly we encounter. I believe you don’t always know your true strength, courage and character until you are tested and that we are not given more than we can take on. I believe we tend to bury our heads in the sand because it feels safer and more secure to live without being exposed. We are taught to numb the pain when in essence true healing begins in both feeling and honoring the emotion itself. Feel and ride the emotion, then let go and let flow.

I believe we cannot love one another enough. And while the whole of life’s problems cannot be solved with a simple hug, it’s a great place to start. Compassion is underrated and could  be used more effectively at the beginning of a story, not just the end. I believe that each of us have been scared by some kind of ghost, goblin or monster but know ALL of us are warriors who can overcome them.

InstagramCapture_c228d12c-5478-45f3-9f7b-6351c7279360Most of all I believe we can be far greater than our circumstance if we choose to be. If you are not giving your best to someone, start. If you feel unloved or uncared for, give some love and care to yourself.  If you are uncertain of which path to choose, at least make a choice instead of standing in the intersection, watching the seasons go by. Life is happening and it’s happening now.

If you are really living, it will be messy. There will be failure, loss and grief. And that’s ok. It’s a beautiful mess to truly live. That kind of life takes on shapes, colors and new form. Like a painting. It’s all about how we choose to look at it.

 


*I wrote most of this back in December of 2011, at a time when life truly tested every belief I had in humanity.

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