First Interval

Gas, brake, dip, then scrape, is how I move. Sideshows, doughnuts and figure-8s when I’m on top of my game, motherhood has me stunting in ways I never knew could happen after putting me through so much I thought I wouldn’t be again. I don’t think I should rush too far away from my past. Patterns repeat at intervals, addiction compels the repetition.

I miss blogging, the writing-my-thoughts out of it. I haven’t blogged in years, babies and academics using up all of my energy, but I’ve been writing again recently. Research papers, articles, even a short story or three. My energy’s not in my feelings anymore tho.

The transition into parenthood has stopped me looking for home because home is now in the presence of my children, my anchor babies. I had been told throughout my life, by different people in different places, that the only thing that would be able to settle me would be motherhood. I think that’s a weird thing to say. Becoming a mother has made me more desperate for home-identity so I can narrate to my children who I am and where I come from. I use what I can find.

José Eduardo Agualusa’s The Book of Chameleons:

“Out of habit, and out of genetic predisposition (because bright light bothers me), I sleep during the day, all day. Sometimes, however, something will wake me up – a noise, a ray of sunlight – and I’m forced to make my way across the discomfort of the daytime, running along the walls till I find a deeper crack where I can, once again, rest. I don’t know what it was that woke me this morning. I think I was dreaming about something severe (I can never remember faces, only feelings). Perhaps I was dreaming about my father. The moment I awoke, I saw the scorpion.”

Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s Tram 83:

“Two fat tears slid down the face of the man who’d arrived by train in this station whose metal structure… In silence, they crossed the concourse and other fragments of the station, where neglected single-mamas roamed, along with professors selling their lecture notes, intellectuals reeking of salted fish, and Cuban musicians performing salsa, flamenco, and merengue for no reason at all.”

I found home and self in the complex violence and wild beauty of Abderrahmane Sissako’s Tombouctou, slivers of multitudinous hybrid diaspora identities projected onto, embedded in each and every one of the characters, from the Tuareg mother and daughter to the men of religion, the singers killed, everything and everyone split and held by tension. Even time, as Christina Sharpe writes in the brilliant In The Wake: “Time appears here as cracked. Time is cracked like Zabou’s body, like Zabou’s life, and not only her life.” The wondrous Zabou, whose sacred madness is the only space for dance, for survival.

Frankétienne’s Ready to Burst:

“In perfect harmony with the whirlwind of the cosmos, the world of speed in which we evolve, from the greatest of human adventures to struggles for liberation, Spiralism aligns perfectly – in breadth and depth – with an atmosphere of explosive vertigo; it follows the movement that is at the very heart of all living things. It is a shattering of space. An exploding of time.”

Abdoumaliq Simone, his writing soaked in Sun-Ra, from a lecture Simone gave in Toronto in March:

“The spiral was the antithesis of articulation; the gathering up of things in their equilibration between centrifugal and centripetal forces is not an account, not a line of valuation, not a device that places things in a respective or respectable position.”

Seba Azzahir’s Time Dimensions and Community Development: “Time is considered as the interval between cause and effect, though it can be seriously questioned whether such interval really is time.”

Horology and alchemy, where I am more and more. Learning to work time, transmute energies, spin things – words, mainly – into gold. Interval is an honest naming. My intentions are the same as they always have been: write more, read more, travel more, see my people more. And now I’m adding is take care more (of self and others). We’re all so ephemeral. Where is also ephemeral. The internet is forever and here’s something for the archive. “Words matter (become matter).” Saul Williams wrote in The Dead Emcee Scrolls, and so it goes.


xo, n.


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