Would you believe me if I told you that this past weekend I completely demolished an old fear I had of drifting off into the ocean? This bad blogger has zero pictorial proof to show for it, but on a whim a friend and I took to the waters down by Brooklyn Bridge Park (Meca for all things free & fun) and hitched a ride on a kayak. I had such an amazing time! Not to mention this fear I’ve had of the open water for some time; I was filled with joy after stepping off that wee boat.
Blogger guru Sarah over at Yes & Yes accomplished a similar feat & wrote about it here!
Fancy a bit of adventure in the coming weeks? Kayaking is free throughout the summer down by Pier 1 & 2 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. & more importantly, it’s FREE!! I’m such a huge advocate when it comes to taking part in local activities, so for my NYC’ers (BK heads included), get to it before these warm months make their exit.
I’d really be remiss if I did not come clean and explain why the latest drop by Chimamanda Adichie has me smiling inwardly (and outwardly) on my train rides to and from work lately. I’m currently midway through & for serious…. so much in love. Between the pages, lessons on identity, culture, acceptance & class are told through the context of our hair. Opinionated, head strong, intelligent, witty, Adichie weaves the story of her main character, Ifemulu and her journey to becoming Americanah – but how she lays the story down is where we find the smarts. From nearly the first few pages of chapter one, we enter an african braiding salon and head down a winding journey that begins in Nigeria, traverses to the States of the US – then back again. But the in-between? Here’s what you’ll find:
On an unremarkable day in early spring – the day was not bronzed with special light. nothing of any significance happened, and it was perhaps merely that time, as it often does, had transfigured her doubts – she looked in the mirror, sank her fingers into her hair, dense and spongy and glorious, and could not imagine it any other way. That simply, she fell in love with her own hair.
Now my list of girl crushes is quite short, but Adichie had my heart after reading these thoughtful interviews where she discusses her journey to natural & the complexities that still exist when choosing to wear your hair natural in Nigeria. Are you guys still reading along? If not, what’s the hold-up, hmmmmm….
This is an awesome video all around, but Lady Ross hit it on the head when she implored us all to really just accept & love the hair that we already have.
That is all you must do to love. Accept all of you.
And if you’re asking that quiet question of, “well, how do I do that?!” The answer is simpler than you thought. You must choose to love.
Now it may not come right away, but it begins with the commitment to follow the journey to exploring & discovering the many facets of your hair. But you have to do the work.
& along the way, what you will discover is something so much more than hair innuendoes and compliments. Eventually, you discover a part of you that was meant to be uncovered & untwisted & revealed for not just the world to admire; but for you to cherish as wholly you. Begin to accept the grime & dirt & good as what they are, a part of you.
In it’s purest form, this is all quite relative – and depending on the conversation, we just may all agree that ‘hair is just hair,’ but over the years I’ve quietly learned to discard that argument. Since putting my heart and the care of my hands into nurturing my FRO, I know that what I have today is a relationship that is rooted in love. No doubts there. And it’s been my experience thus far that there simply is no fairness in limiting my experiences over the years to ‘just‘ moments. I can never ‘just‘ love my hair. I go in.
I do secretly have this great wish that we may, at some point or another – all come to this empathic understanding – a moment where all that our hair is to the world is something that is uniquely a part of us, belongs to us, can only be defined by a sole undeniable truth. A truth that can never falter bend or break when presented with another person’s reproach or dismay at what our hair means, sounds or looks to them.
But until then, I have chosen to love without abandon.
As of today, what I know of my Fro is this: It is ever-changing. Stubborn. Soft-hearted. Has a quiet ego. Loved.
This past weekend a friend and I made a slow trek into the halls of the Brooklyn Museum to view the latest installation by Ghanian born artist, El Anatsui, Gravity & Grace. The show was spectacularly breathtaking & I’m pretty certain the pics below won’t do it justice. But on the off chance you find yourself lingering in BK starting now until the exhibits closing on August 4 of this year – pop in, but don’t touch. Believe me, so much easier said than done. The installation houses over 30 works made of wood & metal (mainly recycled bottle tops and caps) that have been transformed into the most tangible connectors. The brilliant part? Each hanging metal sheet takes on a radically different shape each time it’s hung.
Get familiar with the artist here, El Anatsui in Conversation earlier this year at The Brooklyn Museum.
Oh, hey! Welcome to another week. We’ve made it. But before you decide that it all just may be too much to bear, and you’d much rather abandon the day for the beach or a quiet respite underneath your covers. Don’t forget to do the following….
If you feel overwhelmed, breathe. It will calm you and release the tensions.
If you are worried about something coming up, or caught up in something that already happened, breathe. It will bring you back to the present.
If you are moving too fast, breathe. It will remind you to slow down, and enjoy life more.
Breathe, and enjoy each moment of this life. They’re too fleeting and few to waste.
Hey guys! So have we all gotten used to this crazy weather? Raise your rain soaked hands if you were caught in puddles and downpour this week. The caveat of course is that it’s Friday, and this weekend, apart from mentally decompressing and catching up on errands, I am beyond excited (and anxious) to be taking a dance class at the Alvin Ailey Dance School! A friend and I will be taking a Horton class, which if you take a brief glance at the vid and pics, you know your body is in for something special. Can’t wait. A few links for you before I go…!!
Magic Johnson has my vote for bringing us something this dope & fresh. Catch a sneak peak of new talk show “Exhale” featuring the likes of Issa Rae, Angela Burt Murray, Malinda Williams, Rene Syler & a revolving door of awesome guests
Speaking of awkward, Issa Rae shares sage advice in The Conversation on why she turned down a television show (?!?), figuring out who she was as a person, the best piece of advice she’s ever gotten + more
I’m headed to NOLA in less than a month (eeeekkkk!!) to take part in the ESSENCE Festival & have been mentally shopping for cute pieces. This a winna & I shall be on the hunt for this over the weekend. Oh! & the cuteness!
You've stumbled upon Back To Curly, a blog written & brought to you by me, Chai! I'm a writer, work-body, incessant daydreamer, currently residing in a little nook in Brooklyn. Here you'll find musings on natural hair, beauty tales & so much more. Share a bit here...