Open Mic at a yoga studio? #JustBringIt

We asked you all…nah, we DARED you all to #JustBringIt to our debut open mic last Friday.

WOW.

We had about 40 people come to the studio to enjoy an evening of talent, sharing, emotions, laughter and fun. This event showed me not only how much talent is out there but how much it is DESPERATE for a venue. Poets, instrumentalists, vocalists….many who had never come to the studio for a “yoga class.” But you know what? They still did yoga on Friday with us. They came together with us to share and connect with one another.

I can’t wait to see how next month’s event unfolds.

But for now I leave you with some sharing from the evening – some video (poor but we’ll get better) and a copy of a poem I wrote and spoke.

Will Metz on Saxophone

Linda Flanagan gets her flow on

THE Rina Risper.

“My Skin” – Belinda Thurston

Don’t tell me how to wear my skin

How loose it is

How tight it is

How pretty (or not) it is

How dark or light it is

It is mine to wear and care for

It is mine to find myself in

It is not yours to define me by

 

Don’t tell me how to wear my skin

Don’t tell me what it means to you

Don’t tell me what it reminds you of

Mexican?

Asian?

Filipino?

You got some black in you?

 

Don’t tell me how to wear my skin

How it tells you how I should talk

How much money I should make

The way I should walk

How smart I should be

The music I like

Who I should be hanging with

 

Don’t tell me how to wear my skin

What you think about the history behind it

The races that came together to make it

Whether you call it mixed

Mulatto

Blasian…Mutt

It’s not your skin, not your business

So shut the fuck up

 

Don’t tell me how to wear my skin

How one group will love me or hate me

Because history told you or it’s just your dime-store opinion

How I will be shunned, envied, cursed

Favored, Rejected, Accepted

How can the skin God gave me be bad?

This is my jacket to try on

To fit into

To make look good.

 

Don’t tell me how to wear my skin

How proud or ashamed I should be

What loyalties you think it makes me owe

To a movement a struggle

To a people, a tribe or clan

 

Maybe there’s something in my reflection you think reminds you of you

A feature in the face – eyes, mouth, cheekbones

Maybe we’re a shade away from one another

The hints of the Himalayas,

echoes of West Coast of Africa,

A memory of the Mayans

A drop of the Caribbean?

Maybe we are akin to one another

 

But that akin-ness gives you no hold on me

To dictate or Discriminate

It gives you no hold on me

To trick me and hold me hostage

With false promises of oneness and unity

Of “I got you”

 

Cause once the non-you in the reflection surfaces, I’m less to you

I’m foreign to you

I’m separate, isolated

 

That thing in my skin that reminds you of you

Can it not help you love you? Can it help you love us?

In an appreciation and acceptance of the We-ness? Of us?

Why does it have to be something to change in me?

Why does that little bit of you  you see make me less me?

 

Don’t tell me how to wear my skin

How loose it is

How tight it is

How pretty (or not) it is

How dark or light it is

It is mine to wear and care for

It is mine to find myself in

It is not yours to define me by

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