Lauryn Hill on Bird Poop
A bird just pooped on my shoulder. I believe that’s the first time a bird ever pooped on me. It’s a good thing because as disgusted as I was and as much as my usual reaction to something so gross is freak out, jump up and down and scream–even in the middle of the street–I couldn’t. My daughter was watching.
What does this have to do with Lauryn Hill? I had made up my mind to write my first blog in years about how she re-inspired me today just as she did over ten years ago when I first became a “serious” poet. I had made up my mind and then my daughter arrived and I went outside to get her and a bird pooped on me. At first I hoped and prayed it was a berry or some strange fruit falling out of the tree. Especially since an enemy had just walked by. See birds pooping on you is supposed to be “ominous”. At least I always thought it was bad luck, and counted myself lucky that it had never happened to me. Until today.
Today that I am re-inspired after a long lull of quiet worry. Quiet stress. My writings can get very long, so I’ll try to get to the point. Lauryn Hill is the reason I became a poet. I remember listening to Mis-Education and saying to myself, God this is deep. God this is deep. These words are powerful. I’m going to write poetry like this. But first I have to get an education and expand my vocabulary. And then I’ll write poetry like Lauryn Hill. I knew she was talking about some major stuff, but I didn’t understand that the government was evil or that Christianity existed in Ethiopia before Rome. I learned this after college.
I’m not much of an absolutist so it is possible that some other force may have come and made me a poet if not for Lauryn Hill. Not to mention the effect that 8th grade Drama class had on me in performing “Still I Rise” and “Phenomenal Woman”. Not to mention Langston Hughes and Nikki Giovani, and Wole Soyinka and the list goes on. But indeed Lauryn made it final. So today I went back to listening to her randomly and remembered how much I loved her. And I saw vids of her bringing her children on stage and she looked just like what I wanted to be. A poetic, beautiful, loving mother. Six children. That’s gangsta. Some would call it irresponsible. But if you know you have love to give and can feed six children, do what you’re supposed to do and mother those children. And they look like some happy, mothered children. Beautiful children. My friends make fun of me because I always said I wanted seven children. But then I had one. And I was like, uhhh, uhhh, this child is work! But love. So indeed, when the time and the man is right, there may be those seven children. God knows best.
The point of the story is that timely things are blessings. Like Lauryn Hill’s POWERFUL music, lyric reminding me today that I have no choice but to perform poetry and to mother. She shines the light that was given to her, and I’m being challenged to shine mine. Even on the darkest days, like the day “Market of Dreams” (the poem) was written, the fire burning within fights to shine.
So the bird chose the right day to poop on me, because it was a good, lucky day.
**Join me at Thornhill’s Women’s Tea Party where I’ll be performing ‘Black Woman Salute’, ‘Cross Continental Black Nation’ and a surprise piece this Sunday, June 24, 2012 to raise funds for charity work in Brooklyn**