diary of a renaissance negresse – 04 September 2021

First I’d like to thank my GoFundMe community because that was the avenue I thought of when I was looking for a place to post this. I’ve desperately wanted to write as I always have – but in 2019 had to stop and become much more private for various reasons which hopefully will change at some point. I’ve been having a very difficult time trying to find and use my “voice” again as a writer, but haven’t had an outlet that worked for everyone in my life. GoFundMe occured to me as a place to post updates from time to time.

IN THE STUDIO AGAIN!
Recording studio, that is! I haven’t been in the studio since Feb 2015 for my album “Hope.” This time, I’m working on someone else’s project, an 8-artist, 16 song compilation album. I’m not sure how public they want me to be about it at this stage, so I’ll hold back for now. On the 23rd and 24th I was in the studio, and I go back this week for one day. It’s hard to describe how wonderful this opportunity has been for me as a re-emerging, late bloomer, special needs adult artist. I’m too sleepy to go into it all, but it’s very wonderful and inspiring.

THIS IS WHAT PTSD IS LIKE
So this evening I arrived at the train station closest to my home, after spending some wonderful time I can’t tell you about because of my confidentiality agreement 🙂 As I sat on the bench, relaxing for a while, I saw two young men walking towards me on the platform. One of them was bouncing a basketball. The last time I was approached by two young men with a basketball, I was mugged with a gun pressed into my thigh. Looking at these two kids, I was afraid it might happen again and wasn’t fully at ease until they had walked far past me.
Then I was walking and guy was coming out of his house with a dog that barked at me. I stopped and waited until the dog was leashed, and removed my umbrella from my suitcase, in case he charged at me. (I had read that if you’re attacked by dogs, it helps to have something to give them to bite and latch on to, because if it’s not that, it’ll be some part of your body.) I live in a very white, Republican suburb and this guy was white and wearing an American flag tee shirt (I can’t wait until that flag is friendly again). For whatever reason, they’re not always that careful about keeping their dogs calm and away. I’ve had 2 unleashed dogs run up on me in that neighborhood, plus one pitbull that tried to charge at me but was held back by a leash.
Visiting with friends yesterday I kept requesting that doors be locked. They live somewhere they feel they can leave doors open and not lock the screen doors. I grew up partly in Brooklyn, NYC and I also have PTSD so I can’t even relax unless I know that everything is locked as it should be.
Anyway. my anxiety has been higher than usual lately.
I mention these challenges in part because in the olden days I would share these feelings in song, poems, or my museletters sent to my readers and fans by email. In recent years, I’ve shared them with my therapists and peer support counselors, as well as with my friends. Instead of being creative, as I haven’t’ felt I’ve had an outlet, having no easy way to blog safely nor email (I used to use Yahoo Groups, but I can’t do that anymore), I’ve only kvetched or filled my time with comforting activities such as watching Judge Judy and true crime on YouTube.
But I really need to write so I’m going to try.

PHILLY’S 15 ANNUAL BLACK WOMEN’S ARTS FESTIVAL
…is happening online only this year, as we did last year, on Sat – Sun, September 18 – 19, from 1 PM – 7 PM through our longtime venue The Rotunda’s YouTube channel. I’m excited about the lineup so far and I will keep you posted!

HOME SEARCH
The irony of my confidentiality agreement is that if I had the freedom to express myself as I have in the past and as I would love to as a multi-media and recently also erotic artist, I would likely attract the same kind of support and interest as any of my authentic self-expressions have in the past, thus creating opportunties and resources for me to find a more compatible residence. However, being silenced as I have has blocked that channel of possible revenue. I have a roof over my head and for that I’m very grateful.
I have slept on the ice cold marble floors of Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station during winter. For some reason I thought newspaper would make it warmer. It didn’t help much. The floor was brutally cold, made more intense by how hard the marble is. Whenever I am having a challenge with my residence, I remember that, and somehow getting through another day becomes easier.
However, I had a breakthrough this week which showed me that it takes a lot of energy for me to be somewhat comfortable here, and I was not meant to use my energy this way. How I learned this was that I was doing blissful artwork (music recording), and then realized this was what I was meant to do a lot more of. I realized that I was neglecting some very important creativity in my life by filling my time instead with feelgood activities which helped to compensate my painful existence. It’s time to not suffer so much. I don’t know how that will happen, but having the realization is a step forward. So often we suffer and don’t realize how bad things are, until they either blow up, or we discover we can have an easier time, and/or both.

COACH YOURSELF!
We all give great advice to other people. Not so easy to take our own advice.
I realized that the biggest barrier to my making significant progress in finding a new home was that I wasn’t making it a priority to work on it. It just appeared to be one huge problem that I saw no way to solve.
Then I imagined helping someone else with this problem, if it were theirs instead of mine. Having led workshops and done angel/spiritual counseling for folks, and even done an advice column once or twice, I knew I could easily solve the issue for someone else. Why not me? Well, unlike the time, dedication, focus and scheduling that counseling someone else would take – I didn’t do it for myself. I would rarely think of solving the problem, and instead become overwhelmed and put the problem out of my mind because it hurt too much and I just felt trapped and powerless to change it.
So, what I did was told my therapist that I would like to work on self-coaching with my housing issue. This way, I could make more progress because I have accountability and focus built-in.
Things I would tell someone else would be: Don’t worry about getting from A-Z. Just do A-B for now. And then, we’ll do B-C, and so forth. I would also have them create a support system around this goal. Working with one person isn’t enough.
I would recommend energy work: doing positive affirmations, creative visualization, etc. And so much more.

Well, I’m not sure how much GoFundMe and Facebook will allow me to print here. I think I’ll also create a support team for my getting back to writing to my readers again, because it’s really essential.

I hope you’re doing well, and I thank you for reading 🙂

In art and community,

Cassendre Xavier
renaissance negresse
Multi-Media Healing Artist

About cassendre

aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls “renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur” (musician/writer/actress/fine artist) Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). Visit: http://cassendrexavier.com
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