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These are my thoughts, yo.

Blood Magic and Red String

jasmine banks

After I survived the worst of it I called my Grandma Annie Pearl and begged for a solution. I never ever wanted to feel the way I felt before. Do you know that kind of pain? It drips down the walls. It thickens the air and chokes out oxygen. It threatens to drown out the light of the sun to keep everything from growing, even your heart. Which, as it turns out, might not be the worst thing. How can a heart grow that is shattered anyway. Love and abuse and sorrow isn’t a biological science. Fragmented.

So I called her and begged and she said she had a solution. She offered one.

I arrived in New Orleans sweating. The small of my back collected the sweat from a 10+ hour drive. I rolled the windows down during the drive and scream-cried-snot-sputtered-sang all of the songs I could. I’m not a natural crier. You can’t cry when you have shit to do. You can’t cry when tears might mean another blow to the face. So you learn not to cry. But when you become a grown ass adult who knows there is purpose and import behind feeling things you gotta find a solution to feeling again. My playlist was loaded with the most fucking sad songs I could think of. I cried on the drive eventual, until I couldn’t anymore. The hot air blew on my face and the sweat collected all over my body and on the leather seats of the white Mercedes my ex-husband purchased as a cover up for how much he abused me and our children, my children. I didn’t know how to cry and feel anymore as a means of survival, but the playlist had worked. It had provoked the levees to release a flood of emotions.

How appropriate then that I turned off the ignition in a neighborhood in New Orleans, a city known for it’s emotions, its floods, it resilience, it’s bloody knuckled will to survive. My was face stained with mascara tears and water was still pouring out of my body. I grabbed the bottom of my top and flapped it back and forth, unsticking it from my body in hopes of wafting air across my nutmeg skin. I exhaled and approached the gate to the front of the house. It didn’t take long for my focus to narrow and my right ear, the one with full range of hearing, to pick up on the sound that slithered along the air. It was BB King. The same song my Grandma loved. I was in the right place.

What kind of ceremony or medicine to you use to help someone believe in love again?