As teastained women documenting our journeys and taking notes on the histories we are making and the times we are passing through/ that are passing through us, it’s imperative that we allow ourselves to press into the conviction: our posture as scribes in our respective places in history is powerful.
Our notes are a product of how we process the world based on who we are and what we believe we have to bring to our generations. When we posture ourselves—literally and metaphorically— to take notes on our thoughts’ gaze, our ideas, things the Creator has entrusted to us in revelation, things we are noticing about the times, etc. it’s a stance that takes over the entirety of our lives. We become quieter, more discerning, our hearing gets sharper, our thoughts more critical.
Histories’ violence has largely been rooted in destroying the notetaker’s stance. The notetakers are the ones who become societal pariahs, get burned at the stake, imprisoned, assassinated, poisoned, and persecuted. They are the ones who start movements they first strategized in writing on notepads, journals, and letters. Western culture keeps watchful eye on the notetakers because we notetakers tell times and hold others accountable to not be led astray by lies. We are whistleblowers (even privately) on the ways the culture is seeking to suck the life out of us, control us, taint us; we are those who know what belongs to us and we disclose all the subtle ways sociocultural dynamics are seeking to steal from us.
Thus, our stance becomes a threat. Our poise and posture of note taking sets an alarm to the ones seeking to do the most stealing, the most killing, the most pulling over of the veils over unsuspecting eyes for their own gain. Our presence in any generation is an immediate discomfort to such atrocious folk, a foiling of their plans because they know we hear what the stupored mind cannot, we see what the dimmed eye cannot, we regard what the entertained, narcotic-filled body cannot. Our presence in any era, in any space of time is the elasticity, the resilience of a bloodline.
When we sit in public spaces with our note-taking equipment and posture ourselves to create a space of silence amidst noise, we are demonstrating how we carry ourselves through time. When we hunch to scribble, lean to jot, scrunch our faces to hear that tiny voice of inspiration, or bundle our spine to accommodate epiphany we are speaking to the notetaker’s mantle we carry. And so we are watched carefully, regarded with a little bit of despise and jealousy.
People who despise us want a peek at our notes. Those who want to cannibalize our gifts itch to look at what we are saying to ourselves on paper, want a glimpse into our minds’ invisible being made visible. Our greatest duty is to protect what we have been given and to not reveal anything to anyone to whom such information does not belong. We don’t share our notes capriciously, we don’t offer our journal entries as propitiation, we don’t sell our chapters to the highest bidder. We guard the truths that have been entrusted to us and do not put them up for free or for sale so as to prove we are not threatening to a system set up in violence against our histories and genealogies—set up so our great grandchildren are already disenfranchised and enslaved.
Our stance as notetakers is a stance that gives us away as those who cannot be tricked, cannot be fooled, cannot be lied to or placed in societal hypnosis with miseducation and misinformation. When we carry ourselves in the regality of this posture—as thinking teastained women—we set the example for others to follow, set the vertebrae our daughters’ daughters will have. We also send out a signal that speaks to our unwavering, unshakable presence, sharpness and clarity to discern defects in what’s projected upon us as normal and document strategies of keeping our minds free of lies, fear.
This posture is a peaceful violence. It especially scares white men because how dare we make plans they cannot steal. How dare we strategize for our peoples without letting them in on what will become ancestral secrets. How dare we not pay them with pertinent information about ourselves and our bloodlines like they are our landlords? How dare we not put our works on “platforms” they create (not much unlike the ones made to auction our mothers’ bodies centuries ago) so they can be channels and conduits of our goodness and richness.
Teastained women, guard all you have been given. Hunch over your notes, lean into your journals, bend over as you scratch insights into your pages and stay available to the words and insights your generation, your bloodline will need to be monumental.