A few weeks ago, I posted on social media that rest is a subversive act. I got a few giggles out of my friends and a few folks who agreed to be part of any revolution that involved taking a nap. But the more I think about it, the truer it becomes.
And it turns out, I’m not the only one who thinks so, either. In my brief studies, I came across the works of Rachel Cargle and Tricia Hersey-Patrick. These brilliant women are telling the world (but especially black women) that dismantling the system starts with rest. The system (made up of capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy among other terrible things) is literally built on us breaking our backs to serve others. Stepping away from those roles to just rest throws a monkey wrench in that system. I strongly suggest you check out the works of these two amazing women. Check out http://www.thenapministry.wordpress.com and https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/politics/a29564338/rachel-cargle-women-who-dare/. I also recommend watching the “New Jesus” episode of Trigger Warning with Killer Mike on Netflix.
Speaking of Jesus, in the gospel of Luke I find a subtle commentary on this topic. In Luke 10:38-42, we find a short story. A woman named Martha welcomed the Jesus of Nazareth into her home, and while she was cooking and cleaning, and playing hostess with the mostest, her sister, sat at the Master’s feet. Martha was perturbed and complained, not to her sister, but to the guest of honor. Jesus, my favorite revolutionary, tells Martha that Mary’s decision to chill out and listen was a good one. I can imagine the look on Mary’s face at that moment.
It’s the face every black woman I know makes when someone tells her to sit down. It is not a happy face. We have been conditioned to work: to cook, clean, to serve, to work. Rest is what we are supposed to do between jobs and we are rarely between jobs. Nobody has served the system more than black women. As such, nobody needs rest more, and nobody gets less rest. One of the aforementioned scholars tells black women to imagine what we could be if we weren’t expending so much energy just trying to survive. That’s what I’m working through at the moment.
I realize that I am part of the problem. More than likely, I’ll be at work when you read this. I took no time off for the holidays. Heck, I’ll probably even work some overtime. But I’m easing my way into this new revolution. I invite you to come with me over the next few weeks as I tear down the system, one nap at a time.
In the meantime, consider these questions:
What does rest look like?
Is there such a thing as too much rest?
Do you feel well-rested?
Who do you know who really needs a nap…(besides the toddlers in your life.)
Looking forward to your answers…and mine.