I’m up writing this at almost 3 AM (jet-lag and insomnia make a fairly wicked union when heading east), thinking back on my walk along the Seine today. Usually I avoid large crowds at any cost. I love to wander but really only do so while walking because running everywhere isn’t socially acceptable and honestly, too many people stress me out. Today though I let myself get caught in the amble, the flow of the crowd — like the rest of Paris I needed to see her with my own eyes. .
Strangely, I found Notre-Dame wasn't the only spectacle — the Parisians were sitting, standing, lining every bridge and bank. It wasn’t a particularly nice day, nor was it sunny, but we felt the need to be there on the banks of the Seine as if there was nowhere else to be. And really, there wasn’t. Notre-Dame was abruptly so much more than a I’ll-go-up-next-time or a look-at-that-line, so much more than a must-show-cousin-Dani or the requisite post-prefecture Instagram of expats city-wide. Sitting across the still water from us today was triumph and sadness laid bare, stunned, scalped, but somehow #stillstanding . .
In that moment I realized we were #stillstanding too, in a sense — we’d gathered along the banks across from her, still half holding our breath in a spontaneous standing ovation of sorts: an ode to her perseverance, each and every one of us silently applauding, awed by the stark juxtaposition of strength and vulnerability, the shocking fragility of History, and above all, her steadfast will to survive, to rise anew. The language says it all: Renaissance, to be reborn; Revolution, from the Latin revolvere, meaning to ‘roll back’ or come full circle. I think of the etymology of these words and I know that nothing could be more appropriate, nothing more needed at this particular moment in time. And fleetingly, for the first time in the three years since I moved here permanently, the 15+ years studying this culture and language, the hundreds of pages written in pursuit of my French literature PhD... for the first time in my life thus far, I felt I understood what it meant to be French. ❤️
1,5679617 April, 2019
Not how she looks right now, but still standing and how she will look again one day.
3,3807716 April, 2019
“We neither dedicate nor raise a capitol or pyramid to the pride of man, but rear a holy temple in his mind, on the model of the universe, which model therefore we imitate.” 💔
Freedom hit different when you’re no longer bound by fear, control and manipulation!!!!! Operative words: THEIR. LIFE 🎯
❌When people are being used by the spirit of manipulation you can feel compelled as a victim to protect your perpetrator(s)!!
Ask. Me. How. I. Know.
I was manipulated by this type of fear and control—too afraid to say out loud what happened.
So, I was tortured in silence...until one day I decided I can’t live in shame and secrecy anymore.
I’ll fight for my freedom....and a FIGHT it was, but it was also sooooooooooooo WORTH IT!
Ain’t no feeling like being free!!
🎯FREE people can’t be bought or manipulated!!!
🎯FREE people have overcome fear and control
I pray for anyone struggling in silence and protecting predators and abusers...may you find the strength in your voice to speak and get free, in Jesus Name. 🗣ALEXA PLAY: My Life by Mary J. Blige #ImSoWorthIt#Freedom#Fear#Control#Manipulation#JezebelSpirit#JasmineJewelz#SoulTies#DemonicWarfare#BreakEveryChain
2,4604414 March, 2019
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#tbt with the homies @crypticwisdom & @sgescalante in Cleveland on the Butcher Knife music tour. My very first tour. Learned alot about who I was as an artist & how much I still needed to grow. Awesome experience.
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Even the weather couldn't stop us from bringing the PROM campaign to the home of the Hernando High School Tigers. The students and staff were simply amazing. Help me send prayers out to each member of Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, Families First For Mississippi, and Mississippi Highway Patrol that happen to be driving back home to their families in this nasty weather. As for me, I'm thankful I made it to a hotel. PROM (Please Return On Monday) keeps rolling! #PROM2K19#StillStanding#DisabilityAwareness#Safety#MDRS#FamiliesFirst#MHP#YouthPower#NoDisInMyAbility
The first thing I remember about Notre Dame is a girl, dancing & spinning on the imaginary “center” of Paris. The second: seeing the original Kings of Israel statue heads at the Cluny Museum - revolutionaries tore them down 200 years ago believing them kings of France. The reconstructions are above my head in the picture. Third: feeling haunted in 9th grade by a novel about a hunchback & gypsy - a story that also brought fresh eyes to see, in a peculiar old-fashioned church, the “courageous heart beneath a grotesque exterior.” Imagination can remake the world and ourselves in it. In daily life we imagine a thousand little things: conversations, smiles, ideas that never take root. Now and then one launches: into a book, an arch, a dance.