Grab your glass. Take a sip. Savor the story.
Grab your glass. Take a sip. Savor the story.
“Blooming with Cinema”
A fusion of two reading responses for Social Foundations
Reading Response “A” - Bloom Spaces
I MUST open with this quote:
“All the world is a bloom space now. A promissory note. An allure and a threat that shows up in ordinary sensibilities of not knowing what compels, not being able to sit still, being exhausted, being left behind or being ahead of the curve, being in history, being in a predicament, being ready for something—anything—to happen, or orienting yourself to the sole goal of making sure that nothing (more) will happen (Kathleen Stewart, 2010, p.340).”
This quote vibrated at the cellular level! I am in a bloom space with my artist identity! I am in a bloom space with my divine assignment - “to create and hold spaces of self-restoration and healing for Black womxn.” I am blooming!! I truly can’t sit still which is ironic because my whole mission is to invite my fellow Sista Queens to sit and be present with self, others, and nature. This call to action is also echoed in Kathleen’s words because I have come to understand that a lot of Black womxn are feeling exhausted. That metaphorical cape associated with being the Strong Black Womxn is strangling the life from us.
Unlike the authors words of “being ready for something - anything - to happen,” I am making something(s) happen and those things are directed by the Divine. Check out Reading Response B.
Reading Response “B” - Thinking with Cinema
After reading Carol A. Taylor’s article, “Mobile Sections and Flowing Matter in Participant-Generated Video: Exploring a Deleuzian Approach to Visual Sociology,” I immediately thought about how powerful visual storytelling is the the creator AND the audience. It is one thing to be able to communicate with words, but the combination of words and visuals double the impact.
Approximately three years ago, I became more serious about filmmaking. (I’m not at the hardcore level, yet. Just more serious than I had been.) I have always enjoyed public speaking, but I never thought about taking this talent and creating films with it. When I watch these shorts, I return to Kathleen Stewart’s words, “Anything can feel like something you’re in, fully or partially, comfortably or aspirationally, for good or not for long. I want Black womxn across the nation to “FEEL” like they are in these sacred spaces of joy and healing. I want them to “FEEL” like they are not alone. I want them to “FEEL” the strength of our Queendom.
I guess I was actively engaging in Affect Theory before I even knew it was a “thing.” Please check out some of my past and present work:
An Invitation to Sit
>>Submitted for Social Foundations * Revision #2<<
On 9/12/21, I wrote two bullet points:
Both of those statements are accurate nearly 30 days later; however, I am more excited about the inclusion of I-Sis into this storyline for my final project. When I observe I-Sis, I witness a lesson in stillness and presence. I also feel a sense of healing.
I-Sis is the (wo)mannequin that I bonded with during my time at the Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC. She helped to heal my pain from a feeling of inclusionary isolation. Now, when I think about sitting, I think about the act as a form of communication and healing. It is also an invitation to be still.
Revision # 2 w/video supplement
Post-position as of 10/13/21
Post-position as of 9/12/21
Pre- position as of 9/12/21
Walking Away and Walking Towards
It is with great pleasure and divine timing that I write this response to Merri Lisa Johnson and Robert McRuer’s article, “Cripistemologies: Introduction.”
Disability is a term that causes an uneasiness in my soul. It is the first three letters that make it uncomfortable: d-i-s. The definition of this prefix is “the opposite or a sense of.” These three little letters already frame the letters to follow as something less than or dismissive. Well, there’s that d-i-s, again. I personally prefer the language of “differently abled” when it comes to describing people. Additionally, the term disability tends to conjure up feelings related to one’s body. As a person who deals with a different ability, I take up this conversation from my own personal experience - an experience that does not manifest itself in a physical form that others can see.
During the last year of my Master’s program, Fall 2018, I was diagnosed with GAD - Generalized Anxiety Disorder. There’s another d-i-s word. This diagnosis immediately changed my able-bodied status to a differently abled reality. I could still physically walk around classes, sit at my desk, read my coursework, and even communicate with others; but, the pressure to excel took a toll on my mental health and resulted in a new label. A label that reappeared as recently as October 4, 2021.
According to the Social Security Administration, anxiety disorders qualify for disability benefits. I have not applied for the SSA benefits , but it is worth noting that the hoops one must jump through to apply speaks to the difficulty of being diagnosed with something that cannot be seen. To pull from the reading, the author wrote, “Driving or flying long distances hurts (Johnson & McRuer, 2014, p. 136).” The author has scoliosis. The pain related to this “dis”ability cannot be seen outwardly, but she can feel it. The same is true with GAD. I am fairly confident that the author and I are not the only two with something that can be experienced but not seen. With that being so, let’s look at what to do in these spaces.
I choose to take this reflection in the direction of permission granting. I revealed a personal truth that outwardly cannot be seen. You never would have known about my mental health diagnosis that qualifies for disability, if I would not have shared. My sharing is not for YOU to share your truth (unless you want to); rather, it is about creating a space to look at disability differently. It is to grant a permission to be okay with how your mind and body operate rather than trying to conform to a set expectation of being. Or, as the authors wrote, “Sometimes comfort comes from relaxing into debility instead of frantically scrambling away from it (p. 136).”
When I learned to say yes to myself, I learned to minimize the frequency of GAD occurrences. Yes, “minimize” not eliminate. This intentional slowing of life created spaces of great peace and joy; however, when I pushed and was pushed beyond these borders, my differently abled mind reminded my physical body that THIS shit is real. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a label that allows for a conversation about performance and pausing. We MUST “change [our] perceptions of personal responsibility to engage capacity in the service of …(p. 136).” How you fill in the blank is up to you; I choose the following:
I will change my perception of my personal responsibility and intentionally choose to engage capacity in the service of joy.
How would you complete the sentence?
Chris Omni, MPH