bell hooks Urges Us To Return To Love

Reading All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks

“love’s in need of love today

don’t delay, send yours in right away…”

(Love’s In Need of Love Today, Stevie Wonder)

Neighbour, remember when Stevie and George did that back in 1985? This was the song that played in my head while reading bell hooks’s All About Love: New Visions.

The book is a call for love, in our personal lives and in society as a whole. Love is needed as the thread that runs through the garment we dress the world in. bell hooks lays out 13 chapters of how and why we should redefine love, where we learn how to love and be loved, the benefits of a society that runs on a fuel of love, and so much more.

My favourite chapter was on how childhood is the original school of love. She dives into the way the patterns of love in our childhood affect us as adults. She challenges the idea of placing abuse and love in the same room and explains how the two cannot co-exist.

It made me think of how some of us in our childhoods, getting a beating for punishment was a way our elders showed us they loved and cared, doing it to steer us in the right direction. hooks offers an alternative, a method of discipline that is loving in its nature.

She also discusses lying in its different forms and how it is used as a form of power, and that it falls outside of the practice of love. She encourages us to commit to living by a love ethic, detailing the benefits of doing so and how that can transform our lives for the good.

The book is packed with so many ways that love reaches into so many spaces of our lives, and how we do things that get in its way. She talks about community, forgiveness, racism, sexism, and how love can be such a transformative force.

With all that we witness around us, there were parts of the book that sounded like unreachable tasks, or rather things we can only hope for. However, hooks is confident that by making certain changes, we can return to love and in these thirteen chapters she tells us how we can love again.

Happy reading, Neighbour. 😊

Poetry Prescription: Ijeoma, Rupi and Billy

Poetry is more than a few lines that rhyme, or throwing around big words trying to sound lyrical and esoteric. It’s an art and a form of communication. It exists in all languages, written or oral, and has always its uses in teaching, entertaining and beautifying the way we communicate with each other. There are poems that have made personal changes in people’s lives and poems that have made dramatic changes in the world and in history.

This year I have been consuming three poetry books throughout my personal journey, and these have helped me heal, put me in a good mood and changed my perspective on certain issues. They are;

milk and honey – Rupi Kaur

Questions for Ada – Ijeoma Umebinyuo

Chameleon Aura – Billy Chapata

These three books are filled with beautiful and simple poetry of love, pain, healing, inspiration, self-love, forgiveness, injustice, feminism and more. A lot of them are empowering, you read two lines and your whole mood for the day can stay on sunshine-mode.

I’d like to share some of my favourite poems from each book and I recommend that you get at least one of them. You’ll thank me later.

Questions for Ada – Ijeoma Umebinyuo

Before creating you

The Universe washed her hands

“This will take time,”

she said

as she closed her days.

*

Forgive your mother

for all the miracles she

couldn’t perform.

*

I am too full of life

to be half-loved

*

The way women are

told to carry pain in their bones

frightens me.


milk and honey – Rupi Kaur

you

have been

taught your legs

are a pit stop for men

that need a place to rest

a vacant body empty enough

for guests but no one

ever comes and is

willing to

stay

*

other women’s bodies

are not our battleground

*

don’t mistake

salt for sugar

if he wants to

be with you

he will

it’s that simple

*

i will not have you

build me into your life

when

what i want is to

build a life with you

-the difference


Chameleon Aura – Billy Chapata

*security*

let no one silence the loudness of your love. if they can’t handle

the intensity of the music, gently escort them out of the room.

*

darling

you’re not a burden. your past was never too heavy. their shoulders

are just not broad enough to carry a woman like you.

*

(don’t interrupt her)

and when you see her glowing

dripping gold from her pores

turning wounds into flowers

loving herself unconditionally – let her be

*

never

i have no interest in being for everyone

sometimes my truth will taste like whiskey

and sometimes my truth will taste like nectar

but i will never dilute myself for anyone.

I hope this poetry, and if you get a copy of any one of them, becomes your friend and therapist. It is one of the benefits of reading, to find a great companion in the pages. You’ll find yourself in one or more of the poems, and it will take a while before you return them to the shelf.