Here’s a short documentary put together by some Humber College students (2013) Special Thanks to Julia Rogers.
Check out this interview with Britta B. and Ryan B. Patrick from Canada Arts Connect Magazine:
URBAN/Intersection: Spoken Word Poet Britta B.
I recently read, “Old stories are like old friends, you must revisit them every now and then…” or something like that. Coincidentally, two days ago, I came across the journal I was writing in while I was in Kenya. I opened to this page and felt everything I felt then all over again. Reminders, man. Enjoy.
July 11, 2010
It’s beginning to get harder to get out of bed now. I’m not quite homesick, however, I feel as though I’ve lost purpose on being on this trip.
I keep thinking about Toronto and all of the feelings I’ll have and the commitments I’ll try to keep. Like spending less time in the shower, turning taps off while washing/brushing, unplugging unused electronics, buying food I need opposed to greed, being more inviting to strangers, being more available to friends, spending more time in Kingston with family, letting frustrations pass with a convenient ease and smile, being more conscious of where the products I buy are coming from, sleeping earlier and long before it’s time to get up. Consume carefully. Write more often. Say Thank You. Take breaks but work hard. Save $$…
All of these things and more.
I’m ready to go home – I feel very confused here. I definitely don’t belong, it’s not my place and it’s all quite disappointing.
Even though I have such negative feelings about all of this, there is one very special thing (person) that keeps me alive here in Kenya. Janat.
The top of her head reaches no higher than my shoulders and her cheerfulness expands eons. She has wide eyes with big black dots in the middle and the most straight, clean teeth out of any child here. I sink into her lanky arms each time we meet. She loves playing hide-and-go-seek, chewing grass, talking about what different words mean in Swahili, asking questions like Where were you?, saying Yes, throwing her handmade ball of rags to play catch, and of course, laughing. A lot of laughing is a must around her.
Every time I see this girl I am instantly happy and calm. All is well with Janat. She is in Standard 5 (or grade 5) and looks like a young Lauryn Hill with a shaved head. She has an older sister and two older brothers but acts as if she’s roamed the ends of the earth and back all on her own. There is a wise soul inside of her that I only hope gives her strength to be everything dreams of and more. More than me.
She is so smart, appreciative, and smiley! While collecting water with a plastic container that once held cooking oil, walking back and forth from a river 20mins away – she did it all with a smile. As if happiness was a state of mind unconditioned, as if smiles could be smacked on faces like lipstick for special occasions and this right here, the moment of now, was a very special occasion. I can’t get over her.
With my impatience
I can build a Ruin in a day
and let it ruin my whole week
Ever since I was born I can remember
I both hated myself and wanted
to make people’s lives better.
I learned very slowly
that these two energies don’t
work together, they work against each other.
Sometimes, I still hate myself
but I know this is a passing feeling or thought
that I am stronger than. That I am loved despite this.
But what will always be a part of me is my
undying urge to make a difference.
To change somebody.
To inspire and encourage.
It’s not true, you’re just crazy
lips and tips,
hot tea sips and flips a table
turn tables; Gladys Knight and the Pips
under a lunar eclipse
saw a rock climber with identity grips
you, me and all these ex relationships
first class trips into
Bloods & Crypts
Goons, tunes and hips
swinging half moons and heavenly
hash chocolate chips
and smooth sailing ships
you, me and all these Jump Rope for Heart beat skips…
You wanted a little more, didn’t you?
Looking out, perched on the corner
of Shuter and Parliament… above Queen Street
looking for somewhere to go
I’m on a quest for
but I can’t tell you what I’m looking for
Sometimes big puffs of black smoke will
I always think my first heartache is the driver;
it takes me a sea of molten lava constructed in under 36 seconds by the
holding of my breath to not run
out into the street, bang on the hood of that car
screaming, “It’s me!! I found you!”
I cry a lot
More often than I exercise
But this crying is exercise, a release
A good hustle to the top of the bottom of something
a hill or hole
depending on the day and how much strength I have in
confronting my weakness
Although, I am not weak just because I cry
I am most certainly alive
For I can feel the two furthest bits of me, kiss
Pain kissing Peace
Peace killing Pain
The sound of crooked kitchen chairs, hands
squeezed shut around necks, and words built on boomerangs
bellowing out from ’bout-to-be-broken jaws
drag themselves up the wall and into my room…
I’ve got a project I’m working on
Fire vs Burning
I’m on fire and burning
on fire and
Ever had a thousand words to describe a picture
only you can see?
in a language only you can speak?
I think we all have our privileges
I think we all got our struggles
we just gotta find that speck of light sometimes, for me
it’s the moon
it reminds me there’s a light at the end of the tunnel
it just means we’re all going through something
we are all going through it
respect the pace
It took my whole life to get here
and I still got a long way to go
places to see
people to meet
a better me to be
I give myself permission
to be whole
despite my holes, I am whole
despite my brokenness,
I am whole
I’ve fallen apart before, haven’t you?
when we fall apart, we fall together
“sometimes when we breakdown it is really a breakthrough”
Imagine a jar,
a beautiful Alabaster jar decorated with delightful designs and colours
the only way to know what’s inside is to break open this jar
Now, imagine yourself as this jar
decorated with delightful designs and colours
In life, sometimes we have to be broken to be opened
we have to be broken to be open
we can keep it all in
or we can choose to let it go
Give yourself permission to go somewhere unknown
we are neither created nor destroyed
but when we are broken, we transform
This feeling’s a little scary (okay, it’s really scary)
but haven’t you already survived a time you once believed
was the scariest part of your life?
maybe you have scars to show
but here you are today -
look how far you’ve come!
look how much you’ve grown
we are all going through something
Trust your struggle and you will grow
you will grow
It won’t be easy, it will take a lot of work (and at times, you’ll feel alone)
trust your struggle anyway
it’s messy and