As anxious soles, touch down in Seoul, South Korea, I realize a dream has been realized. Three years of labor and my soul has birthed seeds that have been expanding in my cerebrum.
A mahogany sister with uninhibited curls, a warm voice, but cool demeanor. My nostrils swell as I perch over new territory contemplating what aspect of culture I should consume first. Yet, I hesitate.
As if kin to Quasimodo my physical form has pierced holes into my awareness of my identity. I am black. And while nature produces beauty that can be poetically described… Although the color of my skin can be subscribed to classes of delicacies and the soil in which all living things are birthed… I still hesitate.
You see I gaze from a cage that has been created. I glare at high ceilings above me and immaculate depictions of reality float within its frames. I see panes of color that bleed light and reflect new revelations of life I have yet to appreciate. But there is however, a single pane. A pane that projects a single pain that is clouded and I have yet to relinquish it.
I lay prostrate my life on an antiquated faith that often is hated. Yet, I am nailed to it because the blood that has seeped from it is timeless. I am a lover and this new land excites me. But before I explore I must not ignore the clouded pane that deplores me. Why? I have smudged the light that is fighting to be projected into my life. Fearful fingers purposefully dragging oils from follicles unrelated to truth. Staining stained windows with filth. I am black. So what’s the use of…
I have been reminded of this ‘fact’ for 30 years 10 of which I can not recall and 20 for which I have fallen victim to the false hierarchies of society. Compacting life and beauty into palatable categories that demean all who have a heart that beats. My experiences can not and will not change even in a new land if I cannot see beyond this pane permanently. It was never supposed to exist. In fact it only exists because I accepted it and used it against myself. Instead of celebrating my blackness and scoffing at those who demean its existence I used it as a weapon to destroy the value of my identity.
So as windows open and new light reflects from new dimensions and new seeds arrive in spiraling breezes that dust the floor I will remember to see beauty. I will remember to look up at hope. I will never forget my flaws, but I will remember the stained stained glass window is not one of them.