Jackson, MS

"I have found that Jackson has a lot of silence. And it has a lot of space. Mississippi actually has a lot of space and silence. For me, the way that people speak here…when I think about language and accent… when I first got here I really couldn’t understand what some people were saying, that’s entirely true. However, for me it’s kind of like people are speaking in cursive and the land sings in whale song, that’s how I feel about Mississippi. The land is full of whale song in the earth. When you think about the energy that’s in Mississippi it’s very much the deep delta waves.. the REM sleep. It’s energies that are longer and deeper and wider so you have to listen to them.I was born and raised in Seattle 18 years, went to college in New Orleans. So, I graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana and then I moved back to Seattle in 2014 and then moved to Jackson and it’ll be 3 years in October since I’ve been here. I didn’t come here kicking and screaming, I came here for a really good cause, I came here to do sexual health education and things like that. I have found that Jackson is really liberating for me as a person. I had to do a lot of slowing. I had to do a lot of breathing and dreaming. I have conceptualized that when I came to Jackson it’s like I crash landed. I like hit the earth like a comet, created a crater, and then from there and I know this because…and this is a part of the wanting to recognize that I’m not just a worker of words. I do energy, I see pictures, there’s all these different types of things. And to have this narrative of I landed like a comet in the earth or an asteroid and then there was a hole and then the hole became a lake and then the lake grew trees and then there became a forest and then the forest I walked through and then I found a plot of land and then I made a garden but then I realized the garden wasn’t enough and then I was in nature but then that wasn’t working because I didn’t know how to communicate as a person of nature to people in the city and then I had to go learn. And then I was removed nature and then I built another house and then I left that house went over a river and then went back into the woods and then left and then completely switched paradigms and went off to space and time and existence. And then left that ethereal realm and went somewhere else! All these different places. Being in Seattle as a person of color, as a brown body, as a black person, as any of those things, in Seattle-- what is visible is your color. And then New Orleans, it’s less race and more gender performance in a different kind of way. And then coming to Jackson, it’s more gender performance. One time someone thought I was southern Italian. It was a really interesting life moment."