Tuesday, May 24, 2016

 
 
"All art is kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomi the anguish up." - James Baldwin

Late last year, I suffered a miscarriage. I know that's a tough way to start a blog. Okay, it's depressing as shit. The thing is, I've barely written here since. I've barely written anywhere since. I have realized that maybe I need to let some of the depressing shit out so I can get back to the good. I have been blogging since 2007. Back then, I was shouting into a dark space and really didn't know if anyone was listening. It was cathartic for me. Validating. It allowed me to process the joyous transitions, the unfathomable pain and my personal growth with clarity and at times, company. Lately, I've been kind of afraid of the blank space. Any blank space. This blank space. I think its because I haven't been honest so here it is... all of it.

I had a miscarriage. Even now, its difficult to write those words without a blush of embarrassment flooding through me. First of all, it's an ugly, fucking word. It sounds more suited to dropping something accidently. That shattered glass on the floor - I miscarried. That milk in Isle 1, miscarriage. It doesn't sound like loss. Like irretrievable, gut-wrenching loss. I didn't tell many people at first. Not just because I hate the word but because my sadness felt so darn silly. Even upon finding out, I kept muttering this is so stupid to my husband. I was embarrassed by the tears rolling uncontrollably down my face. Embarrassed by the tears in his eyes. After all, I didn't know if it was a boy or girl. I didn't give him or her a name. We never even met. However, I was full with her. For a brief space in time, there were so many possibilities. Early morning snuggles and wet kisses. Coos and toothless smiles. We weren't planning to have another child but sitting in the doctor's office, clutching my husband's hand and watching my doctor's mouth as she muttered the words, "I am so sorry" - all I could think about was how badly I wanted to hold him in my arms. How very badly I wanted to smell her and watch her grow. Suddenly, something I hadn't even known I wanted was all I wanted and all I couldn't have.

News of our rainbow came on a Sunday in March. My husband and I had just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and spent four days at the ocean. A month before, we decided we would try again. We didn't want to replace what we had lost but we had learned from our pain. Simply put, we realized that we wanted another child and losing the baby taught us how unfinished our family felt. So when it was safe, we tried again. The test that night was undeniable positive. We were watching The Walking Dead and had guests. I checked in the bathroom on a commercial break and when I returned to the couch, I texted him the news, even though he was right beside me. We were like two kids with a secret, stealing kisses when no one was looking and laughing for absolutely no reason at all. I can only imagine what our guests thought. The new guy is growing at a furious pace, even faster than his two older brothers. He will arrive in November. Almost a year to the date we learned we were carrying the baby we lost.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't afraid. I am so afraid. I am afraid something will happen to rip him away from me. Me away from him. Him away from us. I am afraid to love him so much even though I barely know him. At every doctor's appointment, I hold my breath until I hear his heartbeat. Until I see is little body moving and stretching. I cry every time. Every single time. I just have to keep reminding myself he is here. Now he is here. I have no reason to believe that this time next year, he won't be joining his brothers in driving us absolutely crazy.

Two weeks ago, my husband lost his dad. I'm not mentioning that to win the most depressing post ever award (though, admit it, I'm in the running). I'm mentioning it because with my last son, I lost my older brother and my grandfather. When we got the news, for a moment, I felt ill. Why is it that new life seems to be accentuated by death? Why can't my father in law be here to meet his newest grandson? Why does the joy of this new life have to be marred by the pain of death? I confessed my feelings to a dear friend and all she could see was the beauty. Twice, she said, I have been chosen to be a vehicle of life in the time of death. How lucky was I to give birth to such charmed children? I was reminded of how happy my mom was holding my youngest in the wake of losing her own child. How happy my mother in law, husband and sister in law will be holding this new life in her arms.

I just want to thank everyone for sticking with me on the blog and social media while I worked out the more difficult parts of this year. I'd be a fool to say its behind me because no one know what the future holds. I also imagine the words would be pretty empty if I'd never been forced to survive. I will say this... spilling these words here has felt marvelous and necessary. Hopefully, that means now they won't stop...


Love and Light,
Faye

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I fell in love with him all at once. Devoured him. Gobbled him up. Like you do a meal you’ve been waiting for all day from that one restaurant you never get tired of.  I’d heard him before that day.  I’d listened outside my brothers’ rooms as a child.  Back then, he was the guy singing “Sexy Motherfu#ker” and making my cheeks hot beneath the wallpapered ceiling of my childhood home in Queens. The day I fell in love, I was in a plaid uniform, tugging at my navy tights and sitting in the back of my mother’s Oldsmobile. I’d borrowed my brother’s CD player.  The Hits was in it, B sides.  It had all of the greats from Little Red Corvette to Let’s Go Crazy to If I Was Your Girlfriend to Purple Rain to Pink Cashmere. I was swaying, smiling, blushing and bopping.  Teleported out of my box braids and morning traffic and transported in the melody. The electricity that pulsated from every lyric, every drum beat, every harmony consoled me.  Wrapped me in otherness and released my spirit into the wild.  He was a man of five foot nothing, fluid and ambiguous, unapologetic and free.  A black man.  In heels and eye liner.  He was undefinable and because of that defined so much.  Who I wanted to be. How I wanted to live. Things I wanted to feel.




The news blasted through me like a hollow point bullet today.  Shattering everything it passed and leaving me breathless.  I was so shocked, in fact, I couldn’t help but laugh.  It was silly to feel so deeply, right? To care so much. To shed so many tears for a man I never shared eye contact with or a meal or a private joke.  With a man who never knew my name.  The thing is, I knew his music.  His art.  Art that was creative and inspired, true and raw.  It was never contrived or manufactured or compromised.  I may not have been a part of his life but his art was an inextricable part of mine.  In his art I was fine, “filthy cute,” "soft and..." sexy.  Longing for life altering “just can’t stop writing songs about you,” “love is too weak to define” kind of love.  Had me feeling star-bound, “might not know it now.”  And when I grew up, gazing into my husband’s eyes, I “wondered what they’d look like on a newborn child.” The words. The music.  The liberation.  It was all there. Decades of my life. To a beautiful beat.  I would have broken if I hadn't shed tears.  There will never be another like him and because of that his life, his art, and his music was an immeasurable, unquantifiable, melodious, funky, rhythmic, emotive, eternal gift to this world.  

I am grateful I got to share in his stardust and exist during the ride.

Thank you for leaving the music. Rest in greatness, Prince Rogers Nelson.

Love and Light,
Faye

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Say it with me….

A Dreamer’s Pledge by Faye McCray
© Faye McCray, 2014

I will fight to protect my dreams.
I will keep getting back up.
I will believe in myself when no one else does.
I will keep getting back up.
I will swallow criticism to the extent it makes me better.
I will keep getting back up.
I will improve.
I will keep getting back up.
I will grow.
I will keep getting back up.
I will be everything my children believe I am.
I will keep getting back up.
I will succeed to prove the people who believe in me right, not to prove insignificant people wrong.
I will keep getting back up.
I will be inspired by greatness, not threatened by my own infancy.
I will keep getting back up.
I will act with gratitude, passion and greater purpose.
I will keep getting back up.
I will repel negativity.
I will keep getting back up.
For every step forward, I will reach my hand back.
I will keep getting back up
I will remain humble and kind.
I will keep getting back up.
I will not settle.
I will keep getting back up.
I will be present in my journey, struggle and pain.
I will keep getting back up.
I will stay true to myself.
I will keep getting back up.



Love and light,
Faye 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I am now a regular contributor over at Black Girl Nerds! I am starting off talking about all things The Walking Dead!



Check out my latest now HERE!

Love and Light, 
 Faye

Monday, February 8, 2016

Facebooking is a spectator sport.
We post to elicit laughter, empathy, sympathy and sometimes even envy.  It's the equivalent of taking a microphone into a crowd of semi-familiar faces and saying, "Hey! Look at me! Look at my life! It matters. I matter."  On Facebook, we aren't just someone's obscure memory. In my case, the girl in college with the bad choice in men and questionable shoe game.  And you, you aren't the boy with two left feet who couldn't get a date in high school.  We are reborn and reformed with the click of button into perfect manifestations of what our life could become.  The guy who got the girl.  The girl who got the job.  The couple that got the baby.  We are living, breathing individuals with thoughts and experiences and most importantly lives requiring acknowledgement and validation. Some lives are pristine and brilliant.  They glow and radiate the minute you hit 'enter'.  The career. The family. The house. The money.  The quasi-celebrity born from likes and comments.  While others are messy and tragic, filled with grief, divorce, pain and illness.  But, it's all life, right? The beauty and the mess.
Looking back on the last decade my life has been selectively shadowed by Facebook, I'd say some of my happiest times were spent outside of the blue and white gaze, no 'likes', no 'comments' but some silence, some quiet, and love, locked behind close doors with people I could touch and could touch me back who asked me how I felt despite the punctuation or the camera-ready smiles that polished my most perfect day.



I haven't been on much lately.  At first, the decision came unconsciously.  My public page gets all the social media time I have and before I could even put in my personal account's user name, I was usually half asleep.  Lately, its been more of a choice.  I realized the time it took to tailor a perfectly crafted post, how the best days were punctuated with little lies and half-truths, re-takes and edits, yanking me away from beautiful messy moments just to prove I had them.
I realized the majority of my time spent on my personal page was spent gazing at my own memories, getting so lost in their beauty and the comments that I forgot the truths.  The fall at the ice skating rink.  The poop incident at the zoo.  The mean mommies at the school picnic.  I'm happy.  Perhaps undeservedly so at times.  But I'm also alive.  My heart has been shattered. I've cried.  I've felt pain. I have mourned.  I've been lonely. I've failed. I've been homesick.  I've been misunderstood.
I began to envy that girl who faded away into a memory.  The girl who transferred out of your school in 4th grade.  Who rapped her speech in the Student Council election.  Who stuttered her way through a Political Science presentation in college.  Who left the neighborhood for law school.  Who had the thickest New York accent that girl from Texas ever heard.  I missed her.  She had no audience.  No spectators.  She was no spectator.  Mere existence was its on validation.  In all its tangled glory.
Recently, I was scrolling through my feed and I could only wonder about the half truths, the white lies, and the pain behind what I was reading.  The loneliness behind a 2am post.  How many outtakes it took to get to the perfect picture.  The depth of a wide smile.  I wanted to reach out an touch something and nothing seemed real.  It all seemed crafted and tailored.  Sauteed and sauced. For public consumption.
Buried between these posts would be uncomfortable pain.  The "Why would she put that on Facebook?" posts of a friend nursing a heartbreak. The friend who just buried his father.  The friend who was just diagnosed with a serious illness.  The pain that's too real to hide anymore. The kind that soils old pictures and pleads for prayers.  Laying bloody beneath baby announcements and job promotions.  Dirty humanity that called foul on perpetual-happy.
I wondered what it would look like if instead of posting thoughts on the latest trending topic, someone posted, "I need a friend."  If instead of captioning a baby picture with ruminations on blessings one wrote, "He finally stopped crying." Instead of posting another office selfie, asking "Do you see my beauty?" If instead of posting you only live once, someone said, "I'm afraid to die."
I wondered what raw human moments we miss by trying so damn hard to look our best.
Just some rambling thoughts.  I was supposed to write about a memory.



Love and Light, 
Faye
 
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