by Raven Writes
Dear Nola Darling,
If your Brooklyn was my Memphis, surely we would be friends. Nevertheless, I am sure it was the mid 90s when I met you. During your original debut in 1986, I was only nine years old, with no context for the monumental statement of womanly boldness and power you personify. However in the year of 2016, standing in the brilliant doorway of 40, my Moses year, I celebrate you, Nola Darling, because you gotta have it, and me too. So baby, let’s tell them what “It” is. Clearly, the Marses, Jamies, and Greers of this world fail to realize what the movement, the magnificent storm, and the calm afterwards, It, really is. Nola, I will give these naysayers benefit of the doubt. I too, and like many of those who misunderstand you, was introduced to “It” as the facade for the actual word “sex” because we were given so much shame and many unspoken rules about “It” that do not serve us well. Here is the part that requires a unified front and effort. “It” does not have a cotton picking thing to do with sex when we gather the sum total of all things. “It” is the freedom to pick and choose in absolution all the things that we as women want to be. No one else gets to outline, define, shrinkwrap, or prepackage what freedom and womanhood looks like for women. Surprisingly, Opal understood all too well, especially when she asked you Nola 2016 not to change for anyone because she gets you, unlike the three headed monster. Opal gets it in 2016, but I am unsure about Opal circa 1986.
The new “It” which becomes more immense and massive with each revisit of what Freedom needs to encompass. I saw “It” all over the boundaries you set and not venturing far from “The Loving Bed”. I saw your vulnerability and need to be safe, so what better place than where you lay to rest all things that embody you. I honor and celebrate your honesty no matter what it may look like to another.I feel so all over the place in the things I want to say to you, Nola! I giggle with you when Mars called and begged, more so with Mars 2016. “Nola did I ever tell you about the time…” “Can I smell it, Nola?” A person who can make another laugh and shine on their freedom is heavenly, hence his name, Mars the god of War. But when he came out his face and had the nerve to call you freak, I think you should have hit his ass harder! It pissed me off because you did not deserve that after being honest and upfront with him.If my daughters should ever ask what women I admire the most, Harriet, Maya, Zora, and Nola Darling! Yes, the stars! You know how to live your truth, you were unafraid to venture into the taboos of the culture.
The world would be more peaceful if more sisters held other sisters by the hand and encouraged therapy. Everybody needs someone like your Clorinda, Honey. Shameka surely could have used Clorinda’s advice for you. I am not blaming you for anything, but we have to be honest with one another. And I still think you are amazing.That little black dress was amazing, Nola. And often as women we have to do out of the box things to call our power back to our center. I was feeling you at the concert with your FOBs. You remembered your true self and your purpose when you wore it. I think all women should have those items that make them remember their magical powers with the ability to bring a lover to its knees. You are bold and brilliant, Nola Darling. You will continue to do great things. If our paths shall never cross again, the takeaway is magnificent. Never lose ‘It”, because it sets you apart from the rest.
Your Sister and Friend, Raven Writes
Raven Writes (Raven D. Fields) is a Poet, Novelist, Village Mama, Conjurer from Memphis, TN. Find her here.