In this moment… 

It’s 1:29a.m: I am putting together a shoebox as a gift to send to Africa… A thing we do at our church at this time of the year so it can get to children less fortunate by Christmas time. In this box I have placed three tiny pairs of shoes and a couple outfits. I’m careful in my selection because I want the contents to be a blessing to whoever the child is that receives it. At the same time it’s a shoebox, and it only has but so much space and want to add BOOKS because it’s good to clothe the body but I also want to clothe a young child’s mind as well…..but it’s a shoebox… And it only has but so much space… 

Simultaneously I’m watching “A Huey P.  Newton Story” directed by Spike Lee and performed by Roger Guenveur Smith…I don’t remember liking ANY character this man has played,  but he has captivated me in this one-man performance. He is playing the hell out of this character. Huey P. Newton… What would he say/do if he were alive today…if he were able to witness what all we’re witnessing as a people…. 

I clothe my mind…in this moment 

I figured out what I’m wearing to church in the morning, I don’t have to iron…my spirit needs to be clothed but I am sure that’s not why I go to church nowadays. I am sure I go because I want my daughters to have that religious foundation…. I clothe my spirit outside of church. Attending church is like…taking my spiritual clothes to the cleaners.  Every now and then I/the clothes need…refreshing.  I am sure I attend church (when I do attend)  to 1. See all my sisters/sistas/sisters -they are actually family, as well as black, as well as in Christ- and 2. to get a new understanding of a section of the Bible. Refreshing. This is my hope. 

In this moment Jodeci is playing softly on the radio -Star94.5- in my bathroom “tell me it’s real,  this feeling that we feel.” …and now Jaheem is singing “and I see us together again, even if only in my heart” …the phases of love. It’s good and it feels good and you don’t want it to end and then….its over and you’re singing that you’ll get them back again “even if only in your heart”… 

I walk back into my room and pack the box and see that it is big enough for all that and a book.  Body, feet, mind; covered. 

Now I can hear Babyface singing “no I’m never keeping secrets and I’m never telling lies…” …love is such a rollercoaster.

“Huey P. Newton” now recollects his moments in solitary confinement and there are tears streaming down his face…and I think ‘who is our Huey P. Newton of our day?....’

I choose the book for the box and get the wrapping paper…

“Huey P.  Newton” ends with “I’m ready for my closeup now” followed by cameras flashing and the sound of the cameras…which turns out to be gunshots…  He died at the age of 47.

It’s now 2:22a.m. and even though the kids are fast asleep and the house is quiet, I have too much going on still.  I realize that I need rest. So I’ll wrap this box in a beautiful paper,  then I’ll wrap myself comfortably in my bed. 

“Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah…got me religious” this is not a gospel song, but who am I to say sex isn’t a religion of some sort….. No,  thought too deep.  I’m turning down the volume on the radio and my mind now. At least until the morning. 

#mymoments

Transformation: …of heart and mind

via Daily Prompt: Transformation

 

He was King in my eyes and heart.  The kids in the neighborhood respected all the adults, but my dad was different.  It seemed like everyone -old and young- looked up to him.  He was King to me. I don’t remember how old I was -maybe 3 or 4- when he brought home my sister. Simple introduction of ‘this is your sister…’ she was older than me, but younger than my big sister…I don’t remember saying much to her.  She looked like us. She was one of us. She cried a lot. I guess it was all too much for her as well. After a few visits -my brothers quit teasing her and we all got used to each other. Transformation began: My King…wasn’t perfect, but he was still King.   One night something popped off with him and one of my brothers.  He didn’t beat him. He boxed.  I guess bro was too old for whoopings, but still needed discipline.  Soooo he boxed with him…with the boys.  Yeah, if it was a beating it’d be one thing. But this was a fight.  You couldn’t fight one and the other just stand and watch.  No matter WHO you were. So he boxed with them both. Smh… Transformation continued…My King was flawed, but he was still King.  What other dad on the block boxed with his son?  The night passed.  The tension remained. Eventually, they got used to each other -again.  Transformation continued when I was in middle school. I always took pride in how I put myself together.  I was taught “Check your last name. You’re NAME-BRAND. When you walk out the house you represent all of us.”  That meant ACT RIGHT and also look right.  Well I brought home a really good report card. King said “must be because you dress nice.”   …broken….  an old song says “It’s not the fall that hurts at all. It’s the sudden stop”.  He lost me in that moment and didn’t even know it.  But funnily enough, if I brought home less than good I’d catch hell. smh… Transformation continued.  I was the still the baby. I was still HIS baby, but now the baby paid attention to the stories the siblings recounted.  “Poppa was a rolling stone” gained meaning to me.   The recounts continued…The history revealed…and I realized daddy wasn’t king.  Mommy was QUEEN. She always was.  Fast forward years later. Third year of college. I’m pregnant. He’s broken. Doesn’t talk to me for weeks.  Then I’m his baby again. He’s calling and checking on me. did you take your prenatal vitamins? you getting your regular check-ups? when’s your next appointment?  On the days my love couldn’t be with me at my appointments, my dad was there.  Yes, he was no longer King in my eyes and heart. But he was the dad I needed.  My baby became the apple of his eye.  I went back to school. finished up my degree and graduated. Remember me? the one who DARED to be.  But the transformation wasn’t over…. Fast forward 10 years later. I realize daddy is an alcoholic. …More truths revealed.  My QUEEN confirms the stories.  It hurts her to say it…it hurt her to reveal to us that he was far from King. I now understand better that he really was never King.  His personality and authority just seemed to stand taller than the other men -in my eyes.  But now I understood WHO this man really was.  …..broken…..all over again.  Disappointment overwhelmed me and I sobbed. Suddenly I’m filled to overflowing with resentment towards him.  Months of thinking….turns into years of deep seated anger. I declared I will never allow any man to put me through what dad put our QUEEN through.  Results into me seeing the hurts before they happened, and exited as soon as they occurred. Also resulted in me possibly sabotaging a few possibilities.  Anything that even looked like what my parents had, I skipped out on.

Suddenly a moment of truth and clarity which led to my Transformation of heart and mind:  he’s my father. my dad. my friend. he produced me.  He never stopped loving me.  If he was rich, I’d be SPOILED ROTTEN.  This is a fact.  I have to love and honor him as my father and allow my mother to deal with him as her husband.  The two roles were and still remain totally different.  It’s not the fall that hurts at all. It’s the sudden stop. This Sudden stop didn’t hurt. This sudden stop was a decision to stop resenting my dad.  This decision probably saved my life.

 

Transformation is change. Change is hard. It can either hurt or heal.  I chose to heal.

Daily Prompt: Tiny: problem sizes

via Daily Prompt: Tiny

Tiny Problems:

  1. There’s a screw in my tire. Tiny.  I have to pay to get it patched. Tiny.  I pray to God I won’t have to purchase a new one, but even though a tire purchase is nowhere in my budget for this week…hell, for this month. if I have to… still tiny.
  2. I get to work a few minutes late, but this is the morning that everyone decided to be off vacation and come into the office…so I have to park far away. Tiny.
  3. I forgot to get lunch money for my teen. Tiny.
  4. My shower head is dripping constantly. Tiny.
  5. The temperature is changing and I need to go shopping for my infant/toddler.  Tiny.
  6. School loan payment is due again. Tiny.
  7. My dad’s sight is getting worse. Tiny.
  8. My mom has aches and pains. Tiny.

Perspectives:

  1. I have a car. I was able to find the problem and come up with solutions before I started my long morning journey with my baby. The kids and I are safe.
  2. have a job.
  3. I have a teen who is in school and not out in the streets.
  4. I have a home. with indoor plumbing.
  5. I’m a mom.
  6. I am college educated
  7. Daddy’s hearing is razor sharp! he’s quick with the comebacks. he’s hilarious
  8. Mom’s still a force to be reckoned with and she can pray the heavens open.

My tiny problems are enormous in the moment because they are all mine.   But when I stop and put them in perspective… in comparison to what other people are dealing with…how dare I become worried?  In the eyes of many and myself, my tiny problems are just that; tiny.

Calm… 

…at night when she’s fast asleep and she’s not needing me… To bathe her and feed her and kiss her boo-boos and walk with and read to and sing with and play with and pick her up and put her down and pray with and say “amen” with a huge grin…I pick her up and hold her in my arms, her open palm on my chest as though she’s feeling the beat of my heart. I listen to her breathe and I look at her peaceful face…and this moment calms me. She calms me.  This same being who keeps me going is the same being that calms me.  

My teenager wasn’t feeling well and I checked on her and tucked her in.  And that simple act,  that brief moment, calmed me.  She keeps me informed about the different aspects of school and friends and social life… and I listen and pay attention and sift through the information and details and hold on to the important parts and I make sure she stays focused on her grades because “barely making it” is not an option.  But it’s the moments where her head is on my shoulder or -the now rare moments- when I’m tucking her in that calms me. 

I need them. Plain and simple.  Probably as much as they need me.  

Daily Prompt: Waiting

via Daily Prompt: Waiting

“You’ll get through this” is usually the encouragement that you’ll receive when going through your ‘thing’…whatever that thing may be.  My response usually is, “I know. but it’s the journey of the “getting through” that wears me down.”  That journey usually requires me waiting for something, and waiting requires patience, and patience is what I am still learning.  Simple example: I have an hour commute to and from work.  The morning commute isn’t as bad, but the evening commute? Sweet baby Jesus! The traffic, the impatience of the other drivers, the child in the car seat who gives up on the commute after the first ten minutes and either cries, throws everything you hand her to play with or calls “momma! momma!” for 10 to 15 minutes. Yes, I know we’re going to get home -hell, she knows we’re going to get home- but getting there… the waiting….it’s difficult.  So we try to make the best of the waiting.  Play music. Sing together. Take my bangles of one at a time so she can put them on her little arms and say “ooooooooo” then toss them. You figure things out to get you through. Because if you don’t, it makes for a very hellish journey.  Apply this to your mental/emotional/physical journeying.  Waiting teaches patience and they say, “Patience is a virtue”.  So, enjoy the wait by making the best of your journey.

Daily Prompt: Underground

via Daily Prompt: Underground

Funny, the first thing I thought of when I saw this word was “slavery”.  Then I wondered if there was anything positive affiliated with the word ‘Underground’ and thought of MUSIC.  Which then brought me back to me thinking of it as something negative when referring to slavery…  Not so. The fact is when I hear or see the word ‘underground’ I know there’s a secret of some sort involved. The “underground railroad” led slaves to freedom. Underground music is what you will not find on mainstream radio/tv.  Underground music allows a form of freedom as well. …no you can’t say that on air.  no you can’t use that word.  no, you can’t refer to that.  Underground music is no limit. You say it how you feel it..how you mean it… no sensor.  “underground” leads you away from something towards something else.  Above ground is “the norm”.  Underground offers a whole other world. A free world.   A parallel universe almost.

parallel-universe

A little politics…

This has got to be the worst political campaign I’ve ever witnessed.  There have been some where I react like I just stubbed my toe…while others make me laugh and say good lord, these are some petty adults.  You see, I expect them to go after each others’ morals and knowledge and actions -or the lack of- in the past and present.  I expect them to dig deep into each other’s past and pull out secrets.  Yes, I expect them to play dirty.  But when they start using the opposing nominee’s health issues to question whether or not they can handle the presidency…. come on.  In the words of Teddy Brukshut from the movie Shottas: “yuh gawn too far now”.

Daily Prompt: Candle

via Daily Prompt: Candle

So hurricane Matthew passed by last week.  In preparation, one of the things I did was I got all the candles out and set them on the counter along with a couple lighters.  If we lost electricity, I was ready.  Well, glory be, my city didn’t suffer like others did and my neighborhood never lost power.  So the next day, I put all my candles away. This time I chose one particular place to host them all. Next time I won’t have to go through all the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen.  However, I left one candle out.  It’s big and pink -my favorite color- and it sits in a huge vase that is shaped like a wine glass.  This one candle now sits waiting…just in case.  This one candle will be my go-to if we ever go through another hurricane and lose power. This one candle will light my way to the other candles.

This one candle….brought me to acknowledge how many “candles” I have in my life.  The people who sit waiting…just in case.  The moment I start to lose power…energy…my candles are there; already lit. I don’t have to search for them. I know exactly where they are and they know exactly what I need.  A “hi!” from any one of my kids at any random moment, followed by a hug and kiss on the face. A phone call from my parents telling me how horrible I am to allow an entire day to go by without calling to say hello LOL.  A quick “hey, I love you.” or “you’ve been on my mind.  what’s going on?”  or as one of my brothers does every now and then “hey, I’m calling cause I don’t want to read your words, I wanna hear you. So talk to me.”  🙂  I love that.  My morning calls with my sister which -no matter where we get in the conversation, once we arrive to our destination the conversation closes in prayer. Monday to Friday. Never fails.  Or a random call from one of my friends “GIRL! just listen!” and then comes a quick story that makes me giggle so hard and ends with “o.k. love you bye!”  My candle comes in different shapes and sizes, genders and emotions.   So when my storms come and I lose power, my candles are there to get me through.  Always.

Victory! 

She sat up, grabbed both socks with both hands,  let out a scream and pulled,  and when she got both socks off simultaneously, she toppled over on the bed, squealing and gigging, which made me giggle because the entire scene was the sweetest thing to see and her sound of victory was the sweetest thing to hear. I knew it would be best to put her socks back on for her, but she was so pleased with herself, her victory,  I figured I would let her be.  Tomorrow night I’ll put on a different pair of socks on her marvelous feet and see what happens.

Daily Prompt: Flattery

via Daily Prompt: Flattery

Flattery….insincere praise.  Here’s the thing: I’ve been lied to before.  As a matter of fact, I’ve been lied to many times for many different reasons.  So why not lie to me in a way that would result in me smiling?  Yep, I don’t mind it.  I may look at you sideways a few times depending on the severity of the flattery. However, if it makes me swing my hips a little deeper when I walk away from you 🙂 then yea, I’ll accept it.

example: you look so good today.  like you’re ready to conquer the world!  = big smile and I step off in my pumps with a little more strength.

or: damn you look good in them sweats = sideways glance, my forehead wrinkles, and in my head I know you’re lying cause my hair is a mess and no real effort was made before I ran out the house, nope, not having sex with you but I walk away with an extra swing cause I know you’re watching  (like Gloria in ‘Waiting to Exhale’).

yep, flatter  me 🙂