So I had an enlightening exchange with a brother on a farm today. He was trying to advise me of a policy change but I guess he was doing too much to slow down and actually tell me what he meant or I was in pain and overly dismissive.
He asked if I could take a picture when I distributed the foods I was picking up. This isn't an odd request for me because I get them all day long. "Aye LaDee, snap a pic for me when you go!"
I'd actually gotten a request from a client to take pictures for his book while on that same farm just hours earlier. With my pain level being where it was I'd denied that customer.
In my mind (in my defense) the guy at the farm whom I met on a video shoot was simply asking a photographer to take pictures. I already had the camera and the book in the car.
I responded truthfully, "I actually JUST decided I wouldn't take pics Brother." And kept it moving. He was like "what?"
So when he caught me later he attempted to elaborate. I sensed his tension and attempt to dominate my energy. I reflected with nonchalance. When I had to ask him why he was raising his voice at me I decided since he was speaking procedure I needed to speak to someone else.
I asked who was in charge. He said he was. I couldn't believe someone with his lack of temperance and communication skills were in charge so I just said okay. Gave him a thumbs up and walked off. He carried the conversation back to the group asking them to tell me he was in charge. I said, "That's fine. Except you're coming at me the total wrong way so I didn't want to speak with you." I again acknowledged his position and the policy changes.
He began asking for cigarettes and then a leaf. I peeped he was stressed except he'd asked me for a ride there that morning and I blew him off yet assumed it was because of that or other things.
This morning went like this. When I got up after his 8am call requesting a ride, I stretched and attempted to set my intention for the day. Something kept bringing me back when I'd wander to thoughts of how my day should go.
I had the a meeting on the farm with someone about a project before volunteering to pass out food. I had a protest after. There was also a video shoot for the kids immediately following. My spirit kept grounding me to that thought, "set your intention."
I hadn't slept but an hour, although I was grateful for the wakeup call. I was stiff and achy. I washed up, dressed and headed that way. Not long after I had to turn around, remembering I had a trunk full of fishing gear and a cooler in the trunk. No room for any food at all. On my way back to the house I got a text from both sisters I was meeting at the farm saying they'll be up there later. After unloading the trunk I took my clothes off and laid down.
As tired as I was I still could not sleep.
I ended up writing that blog I posted this morning. Took me an hour and half because I was distracted by how tired I was. Just needed to write. Last night I was up writing & connecting with artists and entrepreneurs on our plan of action to assist the community. Music, patrol, feeding us, etc.
At this point, without help, I wouldn't have made it to the farm to help anyone else. An awesome sister came to help me. She made me and the kids something to eat then drove my car for me to the farm. Helped me load the items into my car. Drove me around Atlanta to make food drops at transitional, group & individual family's homes, which was greatly appreciated.
After the exchange with the brother at the farm, when I heard him ask for a 'rillo, I asked him to come chop it up with me. He was cursing under his breath talking about things that happened earlier.
He was stressed. Taxed. Taking a great responsibility to the people without taking the greatest advice to himself.
He was me. I was stressed. Had just written and heard from the spirit " let love lead". I would have responded differently, regardless of the pain. I'd have given him a level of respect deserved regardless of his approach. I didn't take my own advice.
When he made it to the car I handed him a blunt and said not another woman needs to be spoken to the way he spoke to me. I'd take that one for the team to show him like it aho4wed me we have to get better at handling the stress of doing community work while lacking assistance from the community.
I've been doing this solo for years. I've shed tears before unloading for a community event by myself wondering where the tribe was. I knew his pain as well as I knew my own. I read the tension all in his face. After he calmly explained the situation and apologized, I told him I'd seen that look before.
I saw it on the faces of those officers before the brutality. I saw it on the face of a husband before domestic violence. I imagined it on my face since I'd brought the youngest kids who decided they would intentionally annoy me yet wouldn't lift a box to assist.
That's why these young boys are being killed. Cops are coming to work possibly stressed about crap happening at home. Stressed by what they may describe as the ignorant behaviors of young black youth. They are failing under the pressure of those guns held to our backs once subdued under the pressure of knees on our necks. We're all taxed and overworked. As parents, community leaders, as people.
It's tres important to take that time necessary to ground and understand yourself. Women and men are battling for dominance as if food pantries be arenas. In the morning over tea before leaving. After an argument with your spouse, after talking to your boss, after receiving orders from authoritative figures. Take a breath!
It's extremely important to take care of yourself and accept help when given and be of help when you can.
Otherwise, we abuse ourselves and each other, unintentionally.
Let Love Lead
Update: This pic is of another brother on another farm with me. All love, much respect. Just didn't have a pic from the farm today. I feel better though. I dropped off food at an urban market downtown and the sister down there gave me some really strong CBD oil.
Universe provides. Do your part. Protect your energy.