Sunday, February 05, 2006

PROCESSING:how it became a dirty word in our intentional community

First and foremost, b4 I begin writing this piece, I have to say that I apologize darkdaughta, not for ridicious behaviour - but for not posting in a more timely manner. I for one should and do understand that silence can be and usually is the kiss of death when people are participating in difficult conversations which are not glazed over wtih nicities. The following post is about the community in which I am apart of, Azania. Please read my partner's post called Coming Out, so you have full context.

Azania is still a dream I still believe in. It may not happen in my lifetime - although I like to think that it can because of the movement I have made. I quite agree with darkdaughta's opinion that we may be some of the most dazzling and articulate Black folk you'll (n)ever have the chance to meet. In conversation with my mother I talked with her about Black people's concept of conversation and or processing and/or negoitating. Specifically, I don't come from a family or community culture of conversation around feelings and emotions.

In Azania, an intentional community queer urban matriarchy, where building family/community specifically meant having processing conversations, engaging in peer counselling, being accountable to one's feelings, and being fully present in the day-to-day operations of two large residences, I was like: what the hell? You don't really expect me to do that. I'm a man.

More accurately, I would engage in strategic conversation, make minor movements, but then revert to my learned behaviours of my child/teen/adult years as taught via my parents, family and community. That's another blog entry.

One difference though would have to be that unlike the other members of Azania who had language learned in feminist environments and in women's community, some of who had a history of counselling - I did not. So, I could not word-smith or side-step direct questions from darkdaughta if she challenged me when I didn't do my personal work.

Still, I refused to develop deep/consistant relationship building conversation with the other collective members, even though darkdaughta had demonstrated what this could look like by supporting my relationships and friendships with others including women I introduced to her. She would often, help me choose my clothes, remind me to take some condoms and send me off to socialize on my own. She wasn't worried about me not coming back, I always did - what she didn't like was how surly I was when I didn't go out for a night on the town/ dancing/ attention seeking.

She was clear and I knew that after being out on the town, I was a happy man, and any woman I introduced to her, she gave full support towards. In fact, even when I wasn't coming from a place of being an ethical slut, that is - fully negiotating relationship, darkdaughta and I talked about it. Here, I'm referring to me standing darkdaughta up on New Year's Day...when Tigana was not even a month old...

I need to remember to ground in that one.

In fact, at the beginning of our relationship, we talked, read and inhaled info on polyamory together. But did I really take it in? - I think grazed. By the way, b4 anyone jumps to my defense, [that usually happens to the patriarchally colonized folk who don't question anything around them] I'm once again putting it out there that it's healthy for me to write, and I know my context at the time, when I did what I described here. That is not an excuse.

And what's more? When darkdaughta became envolved with her (now ex-) girlfriend, biafrakrunk I decided to not actively try and build a relationship with her - a sad statement when you think about how committed darkdaughta was to me exploring away from our relationship. God, as I write this, I'm starting to hunch over a little.

I think the truth of the matter is that I ignore, choose to turn off my gut, even when I know what I'm doing is wrong.

No comments: