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​Joy Unspeakable

is not silent, it moans, hums, and bends to the rhythm of a dancing universe. It is a fractal of transcendent hope, a hologram of God’s heart, a black hole of unknowing. For our free African ancestors, joy unspeakable is drum talk that invites the spirits to dance with us, and tell tall tales by the fire. For the desert Mothers and Fathers, joy unspeakable is respite from the maddening crowds, And freedom from “church” as usual. For enslaved Africans during the Middle Passage, joy unspeakable is the surprise of living one more day, and the freeing embrace of death chosen and imposed. For Africans in bondage in the Americas, joy unspeakable is that moment of mystical encounter when God tiptoes into the hush arbor, testifies about Divine suffering, and whispers in our ears, “Don’t forget, I taught you how to fly on a wing and a prayer, when you’re ready let’s go!” Joy Unspeakable is humming “how I got over” after swimming safely to the other shore of a swollen Ohio river when you know that you can’t swim. It is the blessed assurance that Canada is far, but not that far. For Africana members of the “invisible institution,” the emerging black church, joy unspeakable is practicing freedom while chains still chafe, singing deliverance while Jim Crow stalks, trusting God’s healing and home remedies, prayers, kerosene, and cow patty tea. For the tap dancing, boogie woogie, rap/rock/blues griots who also hear God, joy unspeakable is that space/time/joy continuum thing that dares us to play and pray in the interstices of life, it is the belief that the phrase “the art of living” means exactly what it says. Joy Unspeakable is both FIRE AND CLOUD, the unlikely merger of trance and high tech lives ecstatic songs and a jazz repertoire Joy unspeakable is a symphony of incongruities of faces aglow and hearts on fire and the wonder of surviving together. [1]

~ From Joy Unspeakable

©2018 by Barbara A. Holmes