Hiking While Black
Happy New Year!!!
Alright. Here goes.
So here's the thing. I loved being outside as a child. We played down by the creek. We made mud pies (I pretended I was the host of a cooking show... Martha Stewart of the red clay). We climbed trees. I didn't mind getting dirty. I didn't mind the wild. I think...I'm not sure...I think...I loved the wild. I don’t know when that ended but at some point I started thinking that the wild was something I shouldn't do. Something that Black Folks didn't do. Be wild. Live wild. LOOK wild.
I write about things that are lost or that I can’t find anymore. The wild seems like the thing I need right now and that I’m hungry for. Connection to the earth and the water and the plants. There is this Stevie Wonder album, Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants. I have always loved this album because it’s not at all what I expect from this artist. It’s subversive in its charm. It’s big and messy which I think we need more of. It is not self conscious.
What’s the point of this? Right. Okay so...I’m writing a play that lives in a world of the magical but the magic in this world is tied to nature. To people who choose to live inside of nature. The young woman at the center of this play (I learned from Tennessee Williams that it's okay to put yourself in a play as long as it's in the form of a young woman...but I digress) has to choose whether she will stay in nature and abandon the people she loves or will she return home to her family and lose this new found freedom in the wild. I'm not sure what she will decide at this point. Maybe I'll let her be brave and stay among the wild people she meets in this magical forest. (Quick side bar: I'm also writing this cause...I mean...Can't the black people go to Narnia too? Can't we be spirited away by ancestors and magic talking animals and unicorns. I mean...damn! I wanna see that. Any who) Maybe she will come home and share the way to transformation to her friends and family. I just don't know.