Why the window seat…

Now that the hype has died down, I am happy to be writing about Erykah’s Badu’s “Window Seat.” In Erykah’s guerilla style video she removed her clothes, layer by layer, until she was bare. The video left many people saying either: “I love it” or “I don’t get it.”

Of course, Erykah Badu had a message, but art is not about “getting it.”  Art is about being present with a piece and letting it reveal itself to you—it will meet you where you are.

I am about to take another long trip. I don’t want to be sandwiched in between people who don’t care what my name is. I don’t want to have to step on someone’s toes just because I can’t hold it. The only food I eat that day will be the meal they give me on the flight, so I don’t want someone carelessly reaching over my food.  The question I really need answered is: “Can I get a window seat?”

The video has gotten so much attention that I just want to focus on the song.  After all, when Erykah says some real stuff, she says some real stuff.

I once had a teacher tell me not to read texts for meaning, but to just let the words wash over you.  For Ms. Badu, I did.

The lines I most connected with were:

I don’t want to time travel no more,
I want to be here.

When she says: “I want to be here,” she is really singing it.  It sounds like Erykah’s quietly screaming; she knows she is missing out on something worth experiencing.

I see time traveling as moving across space and time in your head—thinking about mistakes and problems you cannot undo and dreaming up a future without them.  If you time travel too much, the present doesn’t even feel like “now,” it just feels like limbo.

Erykah’s song reminded me of some lyrics from singer, Ani DiFranco’s “As Is”:

When I look down,
I just miss all the good stuff,
But, when I look up,
I just trip over things.

When you feel like this, it’s good to keep in motion, but it’s also important to pause.  Find a restorative space.

For Live Unchained, we are not waiting to win the lottery—we are at work (and maybe even at war–if only for ourselves).  And, we will succeed.  But, because the journey is so long, because I aint no woman of steel, can I get a window seat?

4 responses to “Why the window seat…

  1. Ok-as an artist and one of african descent let us stop the non-sense. we live in america and can do anything we want. she has been held up as a role model. an icon. we have enough problems in the community with double confusing messages. This is western art at it highest form. drama to get attention which destroys any message she trying to make. if girlfriend wants to take her clothes of fine, but stop the bull. stop the philosophical explainations. it roman behavior in it highest western ar formt. nude is nude and it ain’t never been no more than that. thanks for the view. clearly has a healthy body after several children and that is how i will teach it. you would be surprise how disappointed a lot of our youth are. they do need queen icons who let them know they are powerful and don’t need the drama to make a statement. love ebut this is drama and she go more power than that. check out reneecox. com. she a blk artist and its drama western style art. at least she is honest about it.


  2. western art @ it highest form. nude. e doesn’t need to take her clothes if in imitation of western art to make a statement. the heavens cried and shed a tear for she step off her throne to mix with the ordinary and mundane. check out http://www.reneecox.com. @ least she honest.

  3. Wow, I am impressed by Erykah Badu’s performance. So courageous and womanly. That’s how women should be proud of themselves. It is remarkable how she irradiates herself and her fulfilling presence through her self-affirming attitude.

    “I am human, I am a woman, and I know who I am”. That’s the message which reached me. Great!

  4. Thanks to everyone for your comments.

    You all may be interested in the interview Erykah Badu did with the Dallas News at:


    In this interview Erykah makes some important points concerning freedom, which is why I think “Window Seat” spoke to us at Live Unchained.
    Erykah said: “The song ‘Window Seat’ is about liberating yourself from layers and layers of skin or demons that are a hindrance to your growth or freedom, or evolution.”

    We know what it is like to really really want to get past those layers. Sometimes it feels like those layers are stone stiff, like they won’t peel back. But, you want to. I want to be here, to quote a line she sang.

    I think it’s ironic that she also says the video anticipated the criticism she is now receiving. Erykah explained: “The video is a prediction of what is happening now.”

    I know people still suspect she got bare to get back in the game, but I wanted to show, regardless of Erykah’s intent, you can still connect with the message in the song, if not the video.

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