19 November 2016
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06 November 2016
04 November 2016
03 November 2016
I've got a kitchen to clean and maybe some clothes to wash and a baby (toddler) not to wake up with my typing, but today I am actually sitting at the computer to write something instead of tapping something out on my phone because I almost forgot at the end of the day. I mean, it's still the end of the day, but baby didn't take a nap today…and also I read a lot of books today. But today I actually have an idea to blog about!
I pre-ordered Ronnie Dunn's new CD today. I saw the tweet about the Hamilton mixtape—and I was excited about it—and Roy was excited about some of the names I read out to him of the artists on it. And then NPR had an early-listen to Ronnie Dunn's CD Tattooed Heart. And I listened to it, and…it was my music, and fortunately, thanks to my book buying habits back when we weren't um, downwardly mobile, we have Apple credits, so I could just get it.
When I started therapy back in college, one of the things I had the hardest time learning was that people could be different than me and I could still love them and they would still love me. I wanted my relationships to be all about affinities, and the right choices, together. (In theory, at least.) I'll never forget the look my campus minister gave me when I made a "yuck" face at …I think it was his choice of bagel. Obviously, there's like a novel's worth of backstory there, but thank God for therapy. Growing up is hard, y'all.
But what I'm trying to come around to is that when this rural-raised southern white girl started dating a urban-raised black man, there's a lot of stuff we didn't have in common. While we were dating, I think I watched almost every Spike Lee movie ever, because I hadn't seen a single one. Roy made me mix cds, and I listened to them over and over, trying to absorb the rhythm of the hip-hop he loves. (It's socially conscious hip hop [mostly]; don't worry mom.) I made him cds and introduced him to a few artists he now loves (including Sufjan Stevens of course). But I spent time immersing myself into his genres and not expecting him to listen to all my music, including of course, the country music I listened to on the radio during the two hour rides to see him [cough and full disclosure, also go to therapy]. I enjoyed his music and was fed by it but my music kinda twisted his soul. Not to mention that one song on Charlie Daniel's Greatest Hits I had to skip because it had the n-word in it, and all the nostalgic songs about better times back in the day.
I'm thirty-two years old now. I have four kids, six or seven clean baskets of laundry, and more gray hairs than I'm emotionally prepared to deal with. Our life is pretty stressful right now, and there's a lot of things out there stressing me out that I have no control over. The best I can do is to ask Jesus to step in on my behalf. (Which yes, is no small thing.) I'm getting pared down to essentials. And y'all, I'm a white girl from rural Mississippi. I may appreciate hiphop and even love some of the songs, but my mouth doesn't move fast enough to rap along with it. I need those plaintive melodies and the steel guitars and old dudes whose voices have so many things going on that even singing along to the melody sounds like harmony. I am who I am.
It's likely I'd be addicted to Twitter anyway, but a large part of my twitter experience has been following black voices, listening and learning. I'm raising four members of the black community, and I don't want my ignorance to impede their being able to fully enter into it. I can't model black womanhood for my girls, but I can sure as hell know what it looks like, sounds like, and what hair products to use. I think of it as a room full of people that really isn't for me, but I'm saving seats for these precious lives I'm raising. So I cared that Beyonce had a new album out even though I've never listened to it, but I saw the reactions of the black women and could see that it's significant. (Roy, as an actual black person, doesn't really care about Beyonce and didn't know. My life is weird.)
When I started dating Roy, I threw out my book of confederate poetry (even though I accidentally still have some bits memorized) and my dumb Canon Press apologia for slavery (that one I actually ripped up). I don't know what happened to the confederate flag I had on my wall in high school, but here's hoping someone burned it. Fighting white supremacy is easy, right? Just reject everything pre, oh say 1968? Later depending on where in the South you live.
I'm kinda jealous of the people who can wear those shirts that say "I love my blackness and yours." I know there's that white lady don't wanna feel left out struggle going on. I want to be in the same club as my husband kids, even though I know I have all this privilege they don't…when I'm all by myself. The other day I described our family as "a black family." And I don't know what our kids are gonna do with their identities when they get old and interact more with the outside world. We'll see. But I'm hoping I'm making space for them to be whoever they want to be, but with a solid understanding of how the world usually sees people that look like them, and of course also who they are in Christ.
We're definitely gonna get the Hamilton Mixtape, because it took months but my kids finally love Hamilton, but I'm too tired to be anything more than the white lady God made me to be, and so with great joy and delight I'm going to be wallowing in that Ronnie Dunn album as soon as it releases.