Sunday, October 3, 2010

Writing on the Wall: A Performance Review/Epiphany

Last night, I photographed the “Why did I get Married Live, Vol. Too” event in downtown Brooklyn. I didn’t know what to expect and I was a little bit afraid that, given the title, the show was going to be covered in Tyler Perry’s stink.

To my surprise, the show was actually quite innovative. It was a fusion of spoken word-smithery, comedy and music with a live panel of married guests to answer questions about…well, marriage. Sustaining a marriage, to be exact. The theme that linked every artist that graced the stage was love. Every aspect of love. Self love, soul love, real love, star-crossed love, lusty a sincere manner. I was impressed with how each artist personalized their experiences with love, through various modes of microphone art, painting pictures of what love means through their own visions and through their individual hearts.

My overall impression was the production was relevant, sexy, relaxed, candid and honest. Above all, it was needed and will be needed to promote its message of love, Black love and marriage, to carry on throughout the community. Brooklyn and beyond.

This isn’t really a review of the show. This is an epiphany. This is a message.

As usual, when the topic of marriage arises, I find myself thinking about my own failed relationship with my ex and thinking about my experience with falling in love with someone else that I could never marry. Guilt, failure, anger…the matrimonial thing often left a bad taste in my mouth. That bad taste, the creeping bile from stomach, curling the walls of my esophagus, choking me, gagging me…leaving my mouth foul and bitter.

With every engagement announcement in the mail, with every conversation with a married couple that speaks only in terms of “we”, with every indication that everyone else in the world is falling in love and being caught…everyone but me, I felt myself shrink smaller and smaller. Bitter and small, I found myself forcing comparisons on married women and me. “I’m hotter, so why not?” or “She’s sooo mean, why did he?” or “Why? Just why?”

At the end of the day, it didn’t matter because at the end of the day, as desirable to an extent as I am, I was still alone.

Not something enough. Not something. Not the marrying kind…I guess.

But last night, after seeing that show…

I woke up this morning renewed from heartache. I mean, I still hurt, but I felt hope after light was revealed to me.

The light revealed this message, “Stop looking at these encounters with love as a failure or as an attack. Start looking at it for what it is: knowing what you want, need and knowing you’re on the road to the right thing. THIS IS A TIME OF SELF DISCOVERY AND HONESTY. Keep your eyes open and see the writing on the wall. It spells love and it is for you.”

Photographing weddings, seeing couples in love and experiencing love for myself has shown me what I want and need out of the right person. I want monogamy, I want to build and share my life with someone that fits. I want to enhance someone and I want him to do the same for me. I want to hold him down and hold my head up in the process. I wanna be held down and feel safe and NOT held down and feel oppressed. I want love at its purest to wash over me and secure me.

I want these things. I deserve them and so do you.

A bad relationship or a bad marriage shouldn’t make you bitter about love forever. Take that experience as an education in self discovery and understanding what it is that you want and deserve. Instead of harping on how foul the person is who broke your heart, be honest with yourself and see how you’ve failed the relationship. After all, you can’t change anyone but yourself. So, why exert the energy mulling over how someone should change...especially when the changes you want that person to make are only a reflection of a damaged you? That person’s issues should be their own battle.  Your only focus should be what you can do to improve yourself. I think all of this heartache from the past is nothing more than preparation for the real thing to come along.

Head up, eyes open…the writing is on the wall. Read it.

I think that’s all I have to say about that.


  1. I love what you've written and it is some of the most beautifully writtten thoughts that I have ever read. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thank you, T. I appreciate it. The first step in knowing what you want is identifying what you DON'T want. The journey begins.