|Kara Walker, Cut, 1998|
Another thing that has been kicking it up, so to speak, is that one of the articles I'm writing explores the concept of loss, (my own) Black womanhood, hip-hop, and woman of color feminisms. Right now, I'm focusing on specific moments related to my teenage years but that loss continues on, cellularly. The amount of loss during that time, some of which has been ongoing, is too much to work out, too much to fathom and, it's like my young mind got stuck there somewhere and it sneaks up on me in the current moment. It could be any number of things related to that time: loss of viriginity, loss of love, loss of friends and friendships, loss of 'innocence' (whatever that means, as that discussion often excludes Black women), and loss of community.
Strangely, this talk about community brings me to another moment of loss, which is also quite joyful: Joan and I are in the early stages of adoption, mostly paperwork, which I'm totally thrilled about and feel really anxious about. Not the part about becoming a parent: that I'm totally excited about and ready for at 42 :). No, I'm anxious about how much we have to put out there about ourselves as women, as a couple, as two women who have been thinking about and working towards this kind of family for several years. You know, having a social worker come to and search our house to see if we're fit/smart enough to be parents. Incidentally, if you don't already know, this would've happened had one of us given birth: the other would've had to legally adopt our child--if the state allowed--EVEN if, which is often the case, we planned to have the child together. That's right folks, even if lesbians have been committed for 15 years, decide to have a child, one gets pregnant because they decided that's what they wanted to do together, the state still has the legal fucking right to come into their house prior to the adoption. And this is not a personal shift to my support of the current campaign of gay marriage but, it. makes. my. blood. boil. what fucking bullshit that is. This means that if you are a heterosexual couple and you accidentally get pregnant before you're ready, whether or not you're married, no one comes to your fucking house.
So maybe there is a little anger mixed in with this sense of loss.
While expanding family makes me feel super glorious as this is something I've wanted to do, specifically, with Joan for a while, I do feel a sense of loss. I've been trying to write a post about trying to get pregnant (me) for a couple of years, with no success. I don't know what to say about it. And, frankly, I don't know that I can say anything better than what Crunklife said about it here (no really, click on that link now). I'm not sure if it's because I tried something and it didn't happen--which often happens out of sheer will or because I don't have a history of taking on things that I can't achieve. Or, because it was not something that I grew up longing for. I didn't even really think about having a kid until I met Joan. I've never had that urge or desire that I've heard other folks, my friends, lesbians, describe. It wasn't for me. I hadn't met someone I wanted to do it with. I hadn't thought about it as a queer feminist. In fact, I kind of reveled in being a queer feminist who wasn't going to reproduce. There was something mythical and simultaneously real about it: surrounding myself in a community of women, a sense of purpose as a woman that wasn't connected to being or wanting to be a mother, finding out what it's like to be a woman outside of those societal expectations. Some of that has changed in this last period. Not those longings, per se, but the decision to become a parent. To do that with Joan, specifically because of our relationship, and because of where I am in my life.
And, there's still a lot to grieve there.
A sense of loss that gets thrown in with whole heaps of excitement about the possibilities: meeting a new person, building a life with them, changing the way our lives are now, etc. As well as the excitement that I'm now feeling about finishing all of my papers (graduate and undergraduate), having my schedule change in a few weeks, writing, producing, and challenging myself. I actually didn't know how this post was going to end when I sat down to write it, but as I finish this, I'm a little more excited about this heaviness that I carry. Using it. What it means for and about me, what it says about my life, my communities, and the people I build with. To feel even when I can't feel it, that this sense of heavy doesn't weigh me down, but is a deep reflection--once again--of the loss that structures Black, queer, and feminist (women's) communities, the ones I feel most at home in.
The joy and pain (are like sunshine and rain) of it. Always.