Poetry Collection Available, Surfing Lessons in Costa Rica:
A Digital Pass the Hat Campaign for Reza Rites
November 4-11, 2021
I’m selling a short, #3mblackpoetry collection as part of a mini-crowdsourcing campaign I’ve designed to help fund surfing lessons* in Costa Rica for my November 7 birthday.
Yes, you heard that right: I’m conducting a limited-time only, “digital pass the hat” to support a birthday trip centered around Surfing Lessons in Costa Rica.
Now to be clear, all of this makes me nervous. No, not the part about traveling outside of the US alone, as a single woman. No, not the part about realizing that my Spanish proficiency levels vary depending on the topic of conversation. And no, not the part about the different ways that Covid 19 has affected international travel and reentry to the US.
Instead, I’m nervous about this part: sharing a post about my unbridled attempts at seeking joy, and the vulnerability behind asking for help. “People do GoFund Me’s all the time” some have reminded me. And for two decades I’ve tried to examine and spotlight the pursuit of joy in the face of communities with narratives and historical truths that could live in misery and oppression for it not the active choice of embodying, broadcasting and disseminating stories highlighting #BlackGirlMagic, #BlackBoyJoy and the #CarefreeBlackGirl. Why is this different? In fact it’s not.
If I may also borrow from The Nap Ministry, and the hashtags noted above: I booked a trip to Costa Rica because I’m tired, and I’m sick of bottling up my joy, or hindering it out of fear of the unknown, and due to dripping and overflowing levels of sensitivity toward others at a time when I need some, too. I am exhausted from walking with the weight of Black womanhood on my shoulders. I am sick from constantly having to choose between humanity vs paycheck, integrity vs isolation, duty vs imagination, compassion vs validation. And I am ready to reactivate nuclei of joy that lay dormant in my soul.
Know this: the flight, the lodging, the airport transportation – all of these items are booked. At a time when my nervousness was low, I booked these items before my skepticism could reach fever-pitch volumes, although I ensured everything was refundable. And even now, I have my doubts concerning whether this part plea-part essay will yield any results. But one thing I learned over Covid is that people need to see examples of unburdened self-love and devotion to joy. It was a message that rang loud and clear with every dance video I posted through stay-at-home orders, and the feedback I continue to receive when sharing moments of movement and culinary experimentation through my social media stories. It is also the warmth and pride I feel when catching glimpses of friends and complete strangers brave enough to venture into the waters of happiness. I, too, am ready to swim again. (I am Salt Water. Praise Gaia Gallactica)
So as nervous as I am, I come here to share my truth, and to ask for your assistance in this endeavor. However, I don’t come empty-handed; as I shared above, I have produced a special, limited-time only book/zine/collection of poems to share with anyone who gives 10 bucks or higher; one prize, no matter the donation (at or above ten). If you give 50 or above, I will share an additional collection of poems and/or write an exclusive one just for you or a loved one. Funds not applied toward Costa Rica will be put toward the cost of repairing the typewriter I use for writing poems in community settings, toward printing copies of the limited edition zine, and/or as seed money toward programming and publishing I have planned for National Poetry Month 2022.
As far as today’s offer: “I’ve Come to Find It Lovely: Poems Inspired by Color and Art” is a collection that inspires a certain sense of whimsy and sweet nostalgia – the same feelings many of us reach or aim for when seeking joy. I hope some of you will make a donation because you’ve consumed some #3amblackpoetry previously and care very little about how funds collected are used; that is, you just want to read more. And I hope, for those who see your own joy reflected when I share mine, you will reach into this same place as you imagine me surfing, with the added bonus of a few poems that you’ll also get in the process. Give if you want or can. Keep scrolling if you can’t or won’t.
My trip may be refundable, but time spent worrying, instead of pursuing restoration, joy and la pura vida is not. Thank you for your support, positive vibes, and/or collaborative energy.
Sunshine, laughter, and rolling coastlines,
Paypal Link: https://bit.ly/3jUfcOY
Direct Message me across Social Media platforms for the Venmo and/or CashApp links
* Ok, ok – maybe towards an excursion or different activity, or maybe toward a meal