Unapologetic Lazarusing: The Sacred Work of Beyoncé and Lizzo

You know how sometimes you feel like there’s no hope left, and then you are brought back to life?

Perhaps you’ve felt as down in the dirt as Lazarus, beyond death four days, and a miracle floods through your body and suddenly you are twerking through Bethany?

Or you’re a modern human with awareness of the world, so you are just grief- and change- weary and already tired of the 2020 election and ready for the post nationalist, post capitalist world.

Or things are good but you’re hella jetlagged and need to be inspired to soul twerk and self-love swag as often as possible.

Or maybe that’s just me.

This post is about two people who bring you back to life. They are resilience bearers, hands and lips offering up blessings of breath, song, affirmation, encouragement to continue.

Beloveds, today I am testifying to the respiring powers of two incredible divas from Houston, TX: Supreme Beyoncé and Cosmic Extravaganza Lizzo.

Our Beyoncé released Homecoming, her HBCU-infused Coachella performances, yellow and pink, edited together into one seamless event. And then, because she is generous beyond measure, our Deliverance deepened with the story of how she managed to reclaim her husband (implied and documented in a high percentage of her text), have surprise twins via unexpected c-section, and then recover to deliver what cultural history books will teach as the Blackest, most bombastic performance of any music festival ever. “Ain’t that bout a bitch?”

She also released the live album, and it’s astonishing to hear both how excellent she and her background vocalists sound (knowing from memory that she’s also dancing basically the whole time – those lungs are blessed and trained!), as well as seeing how incredible her intimate songbook is in the multitudinous realm of adaptations.

Plus, the video and album both feature Blue Ivy serving us young diva, well loved. And Rumi and Sir, gifted to us exactly as Beyoncé wants us to see them – in her arms and with her permission.

With this work, Beyoncé shows us the pleasure of hard work well done, of having no ceiling, of reclaiming Black life and culture as a central story that can and should be celebrated by any and every one, be it thousands of white people in flower crowns on drugs at a music festival, or the millions of humans around the earth who’ve never considered the healing powers of HBCUs. Or, most especially, Black Americans who see ourselves and our loved ones swagging all over that stage.

The emergent strategist in me is very excited by the skillful unveiling of the process of such an incredible offering, the sweat and hunger and iteration. As usual, she does something even better than satisfying our expectations. Beyoncé says there is no force in the world that can keep her from her excellence. Witnessing this, we are invited, compelled, to show up for our own excellence with more precision, sacrifice, gratitude, calling and celebration.

And then there’s Lizzo, who just tore it up at this year’s Coachella. I may have mentioned somewhere that I was sitting behind her on an airplane when the Coachella announcement went live and I was so touched by her authentic glee. She was gracious when I stanned a tiny bit. She has been on my radar for a few years because she is a throw-it-down badass singer who is also carving out new ground for what thick big juicy yummy humans can dress, act and twerk like.

She just dropped her new album Cuz I Love You and from the first note Lizzo is demanding that you feel her. And yourself, your preciousness and power. It’s one self-love anthem after another, none of them corny or trite.

Lizzo has been working so hard, showing up everywhere, blowing up, twerk and fluting her way around the world. The album is unapologetic! It’s full to overflowing with Lizzo’s irresistible badassery, her love force, her humor – she shows the range we need to develop in order to clock what’s going on and realize that self-adoration is the key, central survival strategy.

While it may be hyperbolic to use the word bombastic twice in one post, Lizzo lives into the word too. Perhaps that’s the common thread between these two teachers of liberation through the body and voice…they are both unapologetic in every aspect of their power and talent.

And me? I’m just grateful to be alive again on 4/20 with all of this glorious work to listen to, my own dreams to pursue, and a Saturday to revel in Black femme feminist witchery and boss shit. It’s a double miracle for the weekend in a weekend of miracles and I’m bowing in deep (verbose) reverence.

in depth, outside of time

people often reflect to me that i am so busy these days. i do have a full life but i don’t experience my life as busy…i think what people are running up against is the challenge of living intentionally deep lives.

i was just out of the country for two weeks, and the trip was very different than i expected. i expected two weeks of beach and baby time. instead it was mostly deep time, which included times of transition, listening, growth, change…with a day of beaching at the end.

my life is mostly deep time. i am not interested in quick, light, surface encounters. when i travel, i look to return to places of depth, family, deep friendships…and then to actually give us enough time to really laugh and cry about how life is unfolding.

depth is more.

when i say no these days, it is usually in favor of deep time. it’s not that i am doing so much, or at least not too much, but rather that i am doing things deeply. this distinction feels important to me because i have been very busy before, but i wasn’t happy in it – felt like i couldn’t catch my breath, like i had no time to integrate all the humanity i was exposed to, no time to learn the lessons.

now i might say no because i need a day to integrate between things, or i need some time alone on the road, or time to write, edit, record, create, grieve, pray.

or i might say no because i am a morning sloth and am a better person if i don’t rush to meet others’ pace of a day.

i am writing this from deep inside of return trip jetlag, where i actually can’t track what time it even is now – there’s a time on the clock, a time in my body, a time in the place i call home, and times along the journey. in most places, i’d be asleep, and my body wants to sleep…but wasn’t i just asleep?

so. solo dance parties to keep my body moving, stretching, opening. photo shoots to see if i look as groggy as i feel. catching up on high speed wifi content i missed while on my journey. grieving for all the sacred spaces burning, under attack, changing. feeling so much. and more.

it’s a deep, deep time.

jiggy jetlag jaguar

jetlag is interesting to me in a similar way to being unintentionally high: if you just relax, the whole self wanders off of its usual pathways and there’s an incredible realm of unexpected synapses, emotional congruency and integration, and a multitude of possible pleasures.

there’s small awkward moments in jetlag communication, particularly mid afternoon or in the dark hours – when your mind wanders off midsentence…or when you dive into a text conversation feeling energized and then fall asleep mid-sentence. or worse, sign off too quickly and then don’t quite sleep and end up writing a blog entry.

(sorry – really did think i was at the brink of dreams)

there’s also massive spiritual opening and life observation available. for instance i can testify that:

– the dark moon is as vocal as her brighter more obvious self
– sometimes the thing we must forgive is too big to even contemplate, so we pick at the small and close by…
– being able to feel a rhythm is essential, even when you’re alone
– i’m going to record my books as audio books. i have been planning to. and people i want to have the books have asked. but tonight i realized a way to get closer to realizing the process…emergently and in a most pleasurable way. (when combined, my work is basically mary poppins ((holding down flying brits in the lineage of power Virgos))
– my body has decided shifting to a 3-11am sleep schedule is as far as i can go towards aligning with time here…roughly half the shift i need to enjoy daytime. i can see it on the clock and imagine sleeping six hours earlier, but i can’t go and get it.
– i just spent three days using a flushing toilet built into the floor. i can squat more than i thought.
– georgetown penang malaysia is delicious and stunning and i’m looking forward to my next trip. yes, stay in the tile museum. get all the handmade joss sticks and batiks. taste everything. go up penang hill and out on the clan jetties. everything. we’re all there.
– my friend larisa is reminding-me-of-how/teaching-me to walk again. it’s monumental.
– Aries season feels good this year.

j to the g. that’s all really. goodnight!