Sundai Johnson

March 2017

Street light, yelling at me through split blinds, lighting up car wash across the street like amusement park. Purple haze dancing over freeway. It is hilarity with its bossy red sign and free vacuums that don't suction--that don't clean. Tires crank on black street without sleep. I remember that I am here, and scratch months and moments off a calendar I never look at. I spend most time alone because settling into a new place requires that. I rejected this solitude for a long time. I did not want to confront the ridges in my own soul. I am leaning into it now, and pruning and seeding and sprouting. So much of this “soul-scaping” is me discovering who I am in relation to new space and new folks. It is a spiritual outbursting and I am pouring outside of myself.

What it means to claim myself as artist, as writer, as educator, in this time, is a daily consumption in which I latch these titles to my skin. A tumultuous marriage of advocacy and self-preservation, I am cutting loose the formalities of “what I should be doing right now”. I am being guided by my deep down and reveling in revelations of my newly formed malleability. I have prior been consumed with pushing my work, allowing it’s public-ness to be a validation of its value. In this season, my core is pulling me inward to grapple with both my stillness and movement. This too is where my “work”, my writing, my craft, will live.

When I began my work with suhnde it was intended as a platform for my work—a catch-all for how I navigate through my worlds. While it will continue to exist in this way to some extent, it will function primarily as a portfolio of sorts, occasionally presenting some new, but primarily formerly written work, as well as poetic sound bites from time to time.

My outward and daily existence functions as active resistance. And thus, right now, I need for my writing to be my catharsis as I build, not only a body of work, but a body of a deepened understanding of my own thrivings. The purpose of my writing began to get lost in its nature as public and making space for that rediscovery, is a present necessity.

I live my life in stories and am preparing them for the telling.