Sunday, August 28, 2016

Edges



Edges? The term that mainly Black, African American women use when their baby hair isin't laying flat against their head after setting their hair in a style. For some its brushed down and some manner of styling gel is placed there to keep it from flying away. The term "my edges are tight"  or "my edges are layed "comes from that.   Edges isin't an issue for me personally. I wear my hair in its natural state most of the time. Its either in an afro or two strand twists.. That's all I need to be happy with my hair, just straightforward no fuss. I can watch hair styles on the net all day though.  Articles of late, regarding Olympic gold medalist, Gabby Douglas' brutal social media attack on her hair and others, have prompted me to write a post/poem about Black women's obsession with edges and hair in general.
Here goes:

 

Edges

 

 I'm all edges baby and its fine by me.  Don't test me! You're gonna get hurt on this here sharp HAIR...its called an #AFRO, it comes in countless varieties and its texture can be described as kinks, twists , curls,  naps, coils and bends...darting in and out dazzling the senses..mind body and Soul II Soul blaring out my window...Keep On Moving..no wait keep it moving!!!! How Forward thinking the Funky Dreads were back in the day! Their Afrocentric flair made it all seem ok to be just ME.The Funky Dreads knew the way the truth and the...Lifestyle of  living with kinks, growing their hair in what was considered to be unconventional hairstyles, dealing with stares, rejection and comments...good or ill.

Why do people choose to live their life.. this way?  Our colonized elders meandered down the Nile in denial of their esoteric aesthetically pleasing locs in all its delightful array...along Golden Coasts.... Mama Africa!!! Heh!!!

Edges...Stop you play too much!...have you forgotten your roots? Fussing bout those edges allowing it to stomp on your pride....your head was held high  a spring in your gait , strong hips, intimidate.. all who gazed upon your lush frame, drenched with kinks sending seismic pangs throughout, hills and plains.

Edges...It's just hair....they say. Why this obsession with hair? We've been told by those in the days of old to .. "Fix that hair!!!"
"yuh poppy show!" " yuh favor likkle pickney with yuh hair a jut out so!!"
...Regressing...reminiscing...getting those edges done with the hot comb before church...wincing  at the scorching heat by my hairlne... Praying ill have at least one ear left to hear Soldier of
Love.....the smell of my tightly coiled burning DNA, perhaps only to be comforted by the chatter of the Mamas at the salon .... All with kinks embedded in their melanin core.
....flipping through Mama's collection of glossy Bible stories...relating to images of Lot's wife yearning for the good life, that good fruit, That GOOD HAIR,  though it always puzzling me. I liked my own hair growing at the root and why did I have to kill it? The sadistic process of burning, tingling, waiting and touching my dissolving thickness till... my beautiful waves were all gone.
Don't look now you'll turn to a pillar of salt!!!

Edges...*flashback* catching my breath now sitting on a hard church pew...my pink foam roller set airborne and rising....looking like cotton candy...Shame flushes over me.. "it is finished!" Head hung low refusing to make eye contact with that cute boy across the hall Ive been crushing on since birth.

Edges...It's NOT presentable!..panic stricken..sifting through the collection of Yaki 1,2,3XYZ in search of On fleek!!!.....pressured cooked and pasted down to perfection to appease the masses...the masses "Yes Massa...." Frantically reaching for you head covering ..covering.. covering ...hips sway to an invisible drum.... Mama Africa!! What was once a source of pride has become a burden ... Hair wasn't covered to hide our beauty but to enhance and dress it up for fetes , ceremonies and celebrations. Across the great divide our pride had to be broken, piece by piece  Used against us so we would then turn against each other... Fed lies "its ugly", "its nappy" "its dirty" "it shouldn't be seen" "cover that up!", "how dare you go out like that?  *drumming faster* "Now we do the same... "How dare wear your afro to work, cornrows at school, beads to daycare, locs on the beat..." Drowning ourselves in self hate.

Yet one little stray coil Wading through the Waters...

Offends
Offends
Offends

Once our ancestors laughing, dancing, rejoicing with wiry bent strands which now transcend through our thick skulls... What have we done???
While we kill it so we can Kill it!!!! ...No, you're killing with the edges you have Layed!! *drums beating* Killing it when you don't allow yourselves to mentor a Sister who needs a kind word and upliftment. ..which will allow her natural beauty to flow free, her achievements given honour to and value placed beyond her exterior. We are more important than just a 'bad hair day'.

Have we progressed through this process to where kinks flowing free is considered a mess and now our EDGES repressed is a measure of success?!?

Edges...How Dare We Be Who We Are?????
Mama Africa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*drumming stops*
We are adorned with glorious crowns which give praise through the UV rays directly to our Maker...singing to the treetops, reverberating to the mountaintops.... Non-stop...

Thank you Mama Africa!!
Thank you for my edges!



August 28, 2016
Gail Jordan (Cammydoll)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

This is the face...



This is the face of chronic pain, autoimmune conditions and invisible illness... Its the face in a crowd. 
When you're not watching us, we are hurting, sleepless, aching, itching, fighting, screaming, crying, limping, researching, self medicating(and many more descriptive words which ill add later) on... lemon juice, turmeric, nuts, berries, fancy salts, workouts, fads, fruits, veggies, organic products, overpriced water and everything under the sun to make ourselves feel...alive. We're infusing and purifying our environment, with oils, aroma, ions. Were downing, chlorophyll, magnesium,  vitamin C..XYZ.. sleeping on fancy pillows and mattresses, testing experiment therapie$....Alkaline, ionized charcoal, tar, ointments, eucalyptus, coconut, topical treatments, syringes, drips are part of everyday language. Our bathrooms are filled with bandages, blood, hair, skin flakes, chunks of skin, scales. Our beds, and clothing are soaked with concoctions, prescribed and DIY from watching countless youtube videos and scanning support groups.  

 We're bombarded with trial offers, oils, diet plans and quick fixes almost daily by well meaning friends and family and unsolicited emails. 
We don't want to bother you with how we really feel.... because were 'whining', 'attention seeking', or 'making things up'...

When were asked how were doing were "Ok"  "Fine,  or "Doing great!" because were are tired of being shot down, tired of being talked down to, tired of fighting, and spending a fortune just to feel 'normal again' We know the 'Why don't they just get over it?' look all too well. We are mocked, ridiculed, belittled and not believed by the medical community until there is hard measurable evidence. Yet we continue on sometimes barely... Often forced to hide like a hermit,  internalize our pain, and how bad it really can be because after all life goes on and someone always has it worse than us

Perspective
Perspective
Perspective.... *sighs*

Next time you see a smiling face... Think about the effort it may have taken them to smile at you and send some goodness back.You never know whats behind a bright and shiny smile.. I hope you take a moment to think about that person next to you. If that person is you, as much as you may feel alone and isolated in this world, there are others just like you, just wishing they are believed and their pain is validated.  Your pain is real.
Happiness is a choice...and to many, it's a choice we make... once we walk out that door..if we are fortunate enough to get that far.

To the warriors out there I salute you, I stand for you. As I continue to search for my own answers.... The battle wages on, keep your armor up!!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Imperfectly Perfect by God's Design

Feeling not so perfect?  Been put because of how you look? You aren't alone and the problem isint you, its the perception of beauty we have been fed all our lives...the perception that we have to fit into an unrealistic standard of beauty that only few will ever achieve, not only that they will achieve it for a limited amount of time, unless aided by cosmetic procedures.

We werent meant to be perfect by society's standards. We are meant to shine as individuals. No one in the world is exactly like you.. even if you are a multiple there will be differences. Ive always had an affinity for those who are different, act different and look different. I much rather striking then the norm, but thats just me.

The other day, something as simple as a friend, touching my arm and asking  "Why is your skin so soft!?!" drew me deeper in gratitude for my maker. My friend didn't know she was speaking into my life....

 If you knew how God healed my broken body and spirit... During my battle with autoimmune illness and Psoriasis (which isin't just bad skin by the way, its affects the inside of the body as well as the outside.. what you don't see is the persons discomfort, aches and pain) I couldn't sleep or relax for barely a moment: duration 3 years straight, suddenly out of the blue. I never had a skin problem in my entire life before this! My skin was what some may call perfect, but I always had it and took it for granted.
They say there is no testimony without a test! That was only part of mine."We have this treasure in jars of clay..." is my favourite Bible verse and is tattooed on my upper back. Since it's not always visible, God gave me an outward sign, my hair, a sign in which, I can't ever run from or deny anymore. Through my ordeal I've became hypersensitive to specific foreign substances on my body, but especially on my scalp. Ive been advised to by the medical profession to abstain from hair dyes. I refuse to dye my hair any longer, please don't give me any solutions or natural remedies, I love my hair!! Not realizing the God given pattern or stripe covered all these years, It was blatantly apparent when I was forced to cease the use of dyes. It was split exactly down the middle, black and white hair!! I firmly believe because of the trauma I underwent the stripe became more intense. Where it's brightest is where I had the most suffering. So when others see it', it's something that makes them, stare, question, wonder and call it a miracle. Some say I'm touched by an angel... but to me it's a reminder of all Ive been through and my deliverance. I know that God is with me, was always with me in my isolation the tears, pain and has carried me though to this peaceful season. Not only did I heal on my scalp and total body but Ive healed in my spirit. So this skin which now appears perfect and baby soft is only token of what has happened to me on the inside. This jar of clay is only temporary... the soul is eternal! My joy comes from the Lord!
I am hoping that you who are feeling down and like a misfit will cast your doubts aside and learn to embrace all that you are, you are impefectly perfect...remember that.. There's no one like you because there is no one meant to be you, but you.


Signed,

 Imperfectly perfect by God's Design.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summertime

They say there's two seasons in Canada.. Winter and Construction! Ha well that's sorta true. When we do Summer we definitely do it up in style. Here's a bit of my Summer 2016. Halfway there. I'll be adding to this pictoral as the Summer progresses...Im ready for August now, lets go!!

Some lovely flowers in Cobourg
Playing with my new Camera

Another pic from my new camera
Finally unwound myself on my vacation enough to do some jewelry with beach glass.

Im happiest by the water. Lake Ontario, Cobourg side


Doesnt need a caption does it??? Just say Ahhhhh..

If you havent tried poutine you need to....


Friday, July 15, 2016

God is Love


Coming from my heart because I love you all.
We throw God out of our lives, say he doesn't exist and wonder where he is when it's too much!
We say there is too much evil in this world, but insist on being free to indulge in it!
We embrace the carnal, the spiritual, the intellectual, but ignore the Creator and the creation we are surrounded by every day! "Oh fairy tales they say!" "How can those small-minded people believe in those myths?"
My heart is in pain as much for the senseless tragedies which people will undoubtedly blame on the same God that supposedly doesn't exist, as much as for what is to come...
God didn't do this, our sin, our greed our selfishness, our hate our arrogance, our pride and apathy did because WE know better than our Daddy!

Figure out this love thing now while you still have the time. Stop fighting against him he's on your side.
God is Love!
GJ.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Toronto So Much To Offer

If you know me I absoutely love Summer! Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities on the planet..if you're looking for Culture you've got to come up here even just to visit. The international cuisine and cultural experiences are unmatched. The summer festivals are in full swing , there's so many I can't get to them all. Here's a glimpse of my Summer so far, Enjoy!








Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Plus Girl In My Heart

Im way ahead of schedule a whole year actually.  I am now wearing size 1X  down from 3X less than a year l and my new size is loose. Don't bother tell me its only a number and it doesn't matter, I've been plus size my whole adult life when clothes were boxy, ugly and no fun at all! I been in the trenches, I heard it all" if you just don't eat", " you eat too much" " you can't get a man at that size"  all was untrue, I wasn't eating enough, Guess what? Im eating more now and honey, finding a man as a plus size girl is way easier than you think! We have to beat them off with a stick! ( and a prayer)
This is a very emotional moment for me. I've struggled since age 13 and tried everything under the sun to get my weight under control. I've learned to love the skin I'm in years ago. Proudly eat my food in front of people in the malls without wondering if they are judging me. Why was it everyone's business? Why all this unsolicited advice on my struggle, and would they just shut up and let me be me?
When people think we don't have it together when you are fat, it's something considered to be a flaw in society, a flaw that shows outwardly , they take license to point it out and judge. I wouldn't say to someone, "oh your skin is so bad it's must be your diet!"  I wouldn't take their food from them in the food court and throw it in the garbage, I wouldn't shame them. We have a long way to go in society.

As I am enjoying my weight loss Im doing much reflection. I will always be a plus girl at heart. Its molds me, it forced me to go beyond the superficial, to build my character,  to have a personality becauae looks wasnt always going to cut it!  These days girls can be big and proud but when I was growing up we were hidden and shamed. Not that fat shaming doesn't exist, it's still a problem, the big girls just aren't taking it anymore. We had to do our own thing, make our own parties, shops and magazines. We had to celebrate ourselves unapologetically to be taken seriously.  I had to find my confidence my own way and I surely did. It made me a rebel at heart. Meaning I didn't rely on the affirmation of others. I didnt do things for their approval. I didnt apologize for my size. If you didnt like me you could step off and I'd still be strutting. Its the same with my grey hair. Dont like it see ya! Seems like when I finally got this loving myself thing down pat, the new journey began!

To the plus size hotties out there keep showing em how beautiful you are, I love you all!!  Look out regular size world here I come to invade your world and teach you a thing or to about being happy at any size! Don't worry I'm keeping my curves :)