Quincy Howard

I Knew Love…

In Conversation and Movement with the soil from whence I came.

I knew Love. I knew Love before I knew what it meant to Love. It became quite clear to me in a dream. An out-of-body experience of such. I can recall it as if it was yesterday…

I met with her, where I always meet with her; the in-between space. There she was, in all of her cold, redness. It was there that she existed, purely for herself and herself only. I began to ask her a series of questions, which became a call and response of, “who, what, when, where, how, and why”. Ending with, “How did I get here and what will happen when you’re gone?”

She spoke to me lightly, but with the heaviest empathy.

Yet, in all of her coolness, I felt the warmth of many wombs and the brightness of a thousand Suns…

“Listen here child. I couldn’t die if I wanted to. My body will always keep the score. Seeds will always find my most fertile ground and they will yield occasional answers which will eventually send more questions into the Ethers. Water will always be carried along the rivers in which I’ve laid … it will also find its way to said seeds. And as the quilt that I am continues to unfold, at the center of it all, Love will begin — and begin, and begin. This Love will take root, take-hold, and expand to the collective. You see child, it is not I that you have to worry about, I’m gonna be alright. The real question is, will you? Without me, will you sustain? Will you continue to nurture, shelter, feed, and heal? Will the water flow to your seeds? And will you make space for them? Will you hold? Will you allow? Will you have grace? And empathy? Will Love begin in your deepest of deep? Will it begin, begin, and begin some more? And will your future harvest be abundant? These are the questions I ask of you. After all… you do reap what you sow.”

I knew Love. I knew Love before I knew what it meant to Love. And I now know too, that it was the dirt that kept Us. This soil, blood-red clay, has served as a portal and the vessel. A safekeeping of Rememory, an ancestral heirloom that continues to give, that continues to hold and heal, tenderly. A container for the heart-space. We owe it all to this soil, to this blood-red clay, that showed us Love before we knew Love.

Quincy Howard is a visual documentarian and ethnographer, dedicated to the preservation of culture, tradition, and story-keeping within the Black diaspora. A descendant of agricultural alchemists from South Georgia, Quincy pays homage to his roots through ritual, re-memory, community work, and the utilization of ancestral and spiritual technologies. With the help of his ethnographic research, collective memories, anthropological concepts, and lived experiences, Quincy uses his body as a vessel and his camera as a portal for many stories to travel through. Quincy shares his lived experiences and stories at his website.