The Souls of Black Folk

It dawned upon me
with certain suddenness
that I was different from the others…
shut out from their world
by a vast veil. ~W.E.B. Du Bois

Lately, I’ve been thinking about “there” and about something else - bringing new to the world.

“There” is where I was always headed. “There” was something I pushed against. “There” was sometimes here and sometimes there. “There” watched me as much as I watched it.

I lived a “work remotely” life long before it was quick and easy. I spent much of my time arranging lodging and homestays long before friendly ads and apps were available to provide support, ideas, companionship and acknowledgement. I wasted way too much of my time explaining myself to those without vision.

But, the world caught up, to some extent. Now, kids think they invented nomadism and Bob Dylan’s ageism doesn’t help. Come mothers and fathers Throughout the land… Your old road is rapidly agin’ Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand For the times they are a-changin’. Not really, Bob. But it is good to know I did it before the “helpful” companies (that capitalize on the spirit of the wandering). And I can just smile when someone tells the social media world how amazing they are because they’ve spent six whole months traveling - woo hoo!

Traveling is not the same as vacationing. Traveling is not a Forbes magazine article. The essence of travel cannot be found in a travel guide.

Traveling is sentimental and innocent, surreal and inspired. But it is also suicidal and bumming. And traveling itself is not a magic formula for these elements. Simply put, one is either born a traveler or not. Of course you can travel, if you must, but you might do just as well staying home and organizing themed parties.

Anyway, I was thinking about this lately. And then there’s this…

In this lifetime, I have taken form as a woman. The other day a man asked me how much money I planned to make that day and then he proceeded to proposition me - he wanted to purchase me. This happened in the United States of America on a day like any other day. I’m not a sex worker. Nothing in our encounter indicated a sale.

This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. I’m nearly fifty and was introduced to this form of purchasing power when I was a small girl. But it hurt me the other day. I hurt for other women. I hurt for the young woman I was once - she who was called a bitch and crazy because I tried to defend myself in those bizarre moments. I hurt for the young girls who may or may not ever realize they have unknowingly agreed to a role in this kind of hostile rapport.

In the USA in 2019, I am not considered equal. Which means, the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee protection of my rights and the Constitution does not protect against sex discrimination. So, this means, I will continually battle for my rights. It means my human rights are subpar.

But, I have a black folk soul, I have within me new beginnings and a new appreciation of joy and desire; I am anew, will to be. And I am not alone.