Thursday, January 31, 2013

THIS



Every Single Day



Did you know?



So do I

I don't know my birth family, but this is true of them

True



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Recipe for life

“The river is constantly turning and bending and you never know where it’s going to go and where you’ll wind up. Following the bend in the river and staying on your own path means that you are on the right track. Don’t let anyone deter you from that.”
My recipe for life is not being afraid of myself, afraid of what I think or of my opinions.”

--Eartha Kitt

Please



Here I am again asking questions,
Waiting to be moved.
I am so unsure of my perception,
What I thought I knew I don't seem to
Where is the turn so I can get back to what I believe in?
Back to the old me and

[Chorus]

God, please hear my call.
I am afraid for me.
Love has burned me raw
I need your healing
Please, please, please.



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sankofa


Would you believe me that none of these people are from the continent of Africa? If I were to tell you that these people are not any African tribe, you would probably think I was telling you a lie. Actually, there are many different tribes of the African diaspora located in all different parts of the world. The people photographed above, in particular, are of the Fiji tribe and Batek tribe located in Southern Asia and are New Guinean natives of Australia. When I came across this myself, I was surprised, but then thought why isn’t this displayed by the mass media on television? When one commonly thinks of Asia, this would be the last possible image of Asian people one would think of. If African people are located all over the world, why are we the least represented in the media?
                ---Dreaded_InnerG

29 days in

Keeping hope alive


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Easier said than done


              
          Someone recently told me to forget people if it becomes obvious that they forgot about you. Those words are profound  but they didn't tell me how to go about forgetting those certain people. So for the time being, I'll pretend we hardly knew each other, and maybe in time, they really will be a stranger.

So far though, it's been over a year. They forgot I existed but I haven't forgotten they existed.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday, Thank G-D

I feel like a party






(i
     miss

     wisconsin)

Truth

You know, it's not the world that was my oppressor, because what the world does to you, if the world does it to you long enough and effectively enough, you begin to do to yourself.-- James Baldwin




History expects you

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The possibilities are endless



I love black women. And I love them even more when they love themselves. We black folk have potential to be really great.    It's time that we all realize it.


Peace and love all

The Fact is



I can teach him how to walk and stand
but he needs you to help him be a man.
             _jill scott



Listening to this song, I'm reminded of my nephew. He's graduating from high school in a May. He's my sister's only biological child from a previous relationship. The other children are from her marriage. They don't really know their father; when he married my sister,the kid's moms thought he had come in to some money and she decided he should take care of them. Everyone of them have been in and out and in and out of jail. The boys are all currently in jail. Even the father, my brother in law, is in jail. None completed high school or even got their GEDs.
But my nephew? I was the first to hold him when he was born. The second was his father. We both have been in his life ever since. He has never spent a minute in jail and he has never caused his mother a minute of heartbreak.

His father and I helped him to be a man.   I can't tell him enough how proud I am of him, how happy I am he's so good and that he's unlike his siblings.    I once asked him why he wasn't like all the other kids in the house, and he said to me "They made my mom cry many times, and I never want to make her cry. I want her to be happy."

Those words warm my heart everytime I think about that conversation.



Jesus be a fence

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

All I can do is shake my head.



      Just in case the person I need to vent about comes across this blog, I'll make this blog entry so vague that they won't know they were the reason for it. I've stated in a previous entry about how the bus and train that I take to and from work can be  crowded and yet the only empty seat would be the one next to me. This happens even to this day. It doesn't bother me. I like the space. Suffice it to say, white women ( who don't know me) find my presence to be intimidating. They even find what I say to be confrontational. Apparently it's wrong to have an opinion or to ask questions. I'm supposed to be kind and quiet in response to the rudeness that they extend to me because if I respond to them appropriately I could be misunderstood, and be considered confrontational.  This is about white women who don't know me. The white women who do know me will attest that I'm a teddy bear and that I don't have a mean bone in my body.
    When I worked at Humana, about 20 yrs ago, I was an Underwriting Clerical and I distributed the mail to the Underwriters. One woman in particular was very rude to me on a daily basis. My job at the time was to deliver the mail and file and retrieve lab results. This woman would breathe hard everytime I gave her her mail and she would snap at me constantly about the status of mail not received. I had mentioned this to my boss numerous times. She did nothing. She said she would look into it. I believe she was intimidated because the underwriter had been at the company about 10 years longer and had a medical background and the boss had only been there a few years and only had a GED. Then that boss at the time went on maternity leave and never returned.  A few weeks later that underwriter snatched a lab report out of my hand, causing the staple to scrape my thumb, and it began to bleed. I had had enough, and without thinking,  I told her,  'I'm just doing my job. Do not ever snatch anything out of my hands again.' Her eyes got so big, She looked at me suddenly, looking scared .Then her eyes began to fill with water. and she went straight to the new boss to tell him how I scared her, and that it came from out of nowhere, and that she's always been so nice to me.  Luckily, the boss asked the other Underwriting Clericals ( all of whom were white). She was rude to all of them. I'm glad that they spoke up. She got in trouble instead of me.

Something happened yesterday that pissed me off. To reiterate, I'll be vague in case she, or someone she works for or with, reads this blog.

This is to whom it may concern
 Dear White women,
Short of being the type that agrees with everything you do or say is there any way to get you  to stop being so scared  of me? I'm harmless and I'm as kind as I can possibly be without being an Uncle Tom. Am I not entitled to have an opinion?  Why do you find it so hard to  accept the fact that if you come at me with rude bullshit that I have every right to defend myself against your bullshit? And if you treat me with kindness and respect, you will get the same in return?

I can't be any nicer than I am now without making other black people roll their eyes.

But she didn't have any cash

Last night a woman at the grocery store, trying to carry three full grocery bags, dropped her purse as she exited the store.I picked it up and put it in one of the bags she was carrying. Did she say thank you? No. She looked at me with the look of horror in her big eyes, and she said:


"I don't have any cash. Just credit cards."

Her response infuriated me, but I said nothing before walking away.

Pic of the week


Wednesday Flashback



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

One Minute

Every time I look at the clock and the time is 11:11 am and/or pm,   I have a ritual where I make wishes and I repeat words until the digital display says 11:12.  The same thing. It's, not necessarily in this order, but words to this effect;
love love love love writing success baking success home in paris love love love good health happiness love love love love love love weight loss family peace love biological mom biological siblings love happiness house of my own love my own kids love love love love love love love love--


Ok

BE / basement elevation




                Sometimes you miss somebody that you shouldn't miss.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Song in my head

Note to self



Friday Flashback

All of us


We're vulnerable

We're sensitive

And we're complicated people, too

So many people rolled into one

We contain so much

So much creativity

So much energy

So many contradictions

So much confusion

So much clarity

So many moments of faith and fear

So many different characters live within us

All looking for love



Thursday, January 17, 2013

No deposit,no return



I have a friend named Kenan. Correction- I thought I had a friend named Kenan.  I've known him for 4 years,and 2 years into our friendship, he lost his engineering job and his fiance. Because he lived beyond his means when he was employed his huge beautiful home was foreclosed, and since his parents disowned him for not dating an arab muslim woman, he was forced to sell his furniture and his pieces of art work to be able to afford to live in a one-bedroom apartment. Within 2 months his life had drastically changed.when  I found out that one of my friends David, was not only a civil engineer (as Kenan was), but he owned the company. So I told him about my friend Kenan. Though he had no openings, but because he is big on diversity, he was intrigued by the fact that Kenan is from Saudi Arabia. So, he asked me to have him submit a resume.  I was excited about being able to help someone get back on their feet, or the possibility of doing so, and when I told Kenan, he was excited as well. I told him there were no vacancies but that David wanted to meet him and perhaps get him interviewed should something become available in the near future. Kenan was so very thankful and appreciative of my looking out for him. While unemployed hehad gotten a new girlfriend. He knew she'd be a keeper because she was interested in him when he was unemployed. The three of us hung out alot. He was annoyed because his other friends dropped him when he needed them the most. Everyone but me.
Anyway, three months later a position became available, and Kenan had become part of the working class again. David gave him a senior civil engineering job.  I didn't hear this from Kenan. I heard it from David, the next time we got together to watch a Packer game. David said that the position was posted internally and then externally as company procedure dictated even though he knew he would offer the job to Kenan.  Two weeks had past and Kenan never let me know he was working again.  I called him. He never responded to me. He never even emailed me or texted.
A month passed and I was leaving work and saw Kenan's girlfriend waiting for the train. She asked me why I didn't go to Kenan's-celebration party. She told me he was able to get his house out of foreclosure. When I told her I didn't know about it, she was furious. Every friend who dropped him when he was unemployed was there.I should have been the main person there since I was responsible for him getting  the job. And she called him and told him off right then and there in front of me.

God is good.

Three months ago, Human Resources was informed that Kenan's Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering was not only a fake, but the paper it was written on was from a company that sells certificates online. He was fired on the spot.  Now he works as a cashier at Walmart. And lives in a studio apartment ( a small room with a bathroom and small kitchenette).  His girlfriend dumped him, and he texts me all the time now, to hang out.

I don't even respond.

Maybe Tomorrow


every morning I go to work with the expectation that today I will meet someone who made getting out of bed worth it. i'm hopeful somethng will happen up until the minute I put my key in my door at night.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013



I'm learning not to accept but to ignore comments that make no sense, because if I questioned each stupid comment, I'd be questioning them all day, every day.

The Act of Living



          















    Sometimes I pretend to be happy because people are drawn to those who look happy.

Back in the day

When things were cool...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sunday, January 6, 2013

True


Children in
Osasco, Sao Paulo, Brazil
One should take good care not to grow too wise for so great a pleasure of life as laughter.
Joseph Addison, 1672-1719, British Poet and Statesman

-Chante Moore


Saturday, January 5, 2013

A badge of honor

So, I went to my job this morning to print my poetry manuscript so that I could spend the weekend proof reading it and making changes prior to my sending to publishers this week (keep your fingers crossed) and I was on the train.  Behind me, there was a woman commiserating to the man sitting next to her about how her husband ran off with their newborn infant and how his boyfriend is helping to raise the baby and how her unemployment was about to run out and that her former pimp wants her back but she lost respect for him since he recruited her 17-yr old daughter. The man said that his unemployment ran out 2 weeks ago and that he has a criminal history which prevents him from getting a job. He was telling her no one wants to give an ex-con a chance.
I was really feeling for the both of them until the woman said;

"Well, at least I'm not black."
He said:  "I know that's right."

Like that's the worst thing one can possibly be?

I didn't know if they were saying that to provoke a response me, as I was seated in front of them. I was speechless for a minute after realizing that I really did hear what I thought I heard. I'm not confrontational at all, but I will  speak up when I think the truth needs to be told, and yet I still sat there for another minute wondering if I should even open my mouth.   Then I wondered what my sister would have done if she heard that. Then I thought about my mother. Then I thought about my grandfather. Then I thought about any and all of my black friends, and I realized that they would not have  allowed  anyone to get away with dishonoring their heritage out in public without saying anything. That gave me the strength to inform the two racists that  " my being black is a badge of honor, that God doesn't make mistakes, and  that no matter how they feel about me and no matter what race I was, at least I'm not about a million levels below pond scum."    I had mentioned this situation to a friend  who said that I made their racism my responsibility, but I don't care. I had to say something. I know it wasn't classy, but I was pissed and I had one opportunity to say something before it was too late to respond. 
And they didn't say anything back. They sat there, quiet, for the duration of their trip.

And when that day comes

and I'll get on my knees  to ask her what she's doing for the rest of her life, I'll ask her if she wants to spend it with me as my wife, my partner in life, I plan to have this playing in the background-

Afrodisia

Where a woman rules, even rivers flow upstream.
                    --Ethiopian Proverb

Friday, January 4, 2013

-Baby it's me

You got the shakin', I got the shimmy
You got the takin', I got the gimme
And I don't want to go but baby you send me
You want it all and I wanna give it
You are the dream and I wanna live it
And I don't want to go but baby you send me

Baby it's me, I'm the same as you
A dreamer who dreams that's a dream come true
And all my life all I've wanted to meet someone just like you
Someone just like you who wants to love me, too
Someone just like you



Thursday, January 3, 2013

You saved me


- Diana Ross

Like a star up in the sky
Burning brightly, you and I
Time will tell if love survives
For we only have today
And today love is alive

Your love is so good for me
Your love is so good for me




- Georgia

Grow, etc.,




The Darkest Ones




the darkest ones don’t get no weapons
they got shit to prove
revolutions to lay at the foot of the quote unquote massuh
the man the man the man
the myth they allowed to be spread as truth
spread as thin as the melanin in said myth
she gets no guns machetes pens or papers
tell her to prove her citizenship in the nudes she tacks to the walls of garvey’s vessel
never give the victims weapons
they tend to use them 


by

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

note to self................. This!


South Carolina’s first African-American female photographer.

In the fall of 1919, on the eve of the Harlem Renaissance, a young woman traveled alone by train from South Carolina to New York City to enroll in photography school.  Elise Beatrice Forrest was studying the craft at the urging of her fiancĂ©, artist Edwin Augustus Harleston.
The plan was for them to marry, then establish a portrait and photography studio in Charleston, an audacious dream for African-Americans living in the segregated South at the dawn of the 20th century.

“Find out for me, please, every fine point about photographing a drawing and a painting for patent reasons – we may need it someday,” Edwin wrote Elise.
Portrait of Elise Forrest Harleston, painted by Edwin Harleston.
 
            Elise Forrest Harleston enjoys the distinction of being South Carolina’s first African-American female photographer.  She and her husband owned and operated the Harleston Studio at 118 Calhoun Street in Charleston from 1922 until 1931.  Unlike other women who worked in photo studios, she was not merely a lab assistant, office manager or cashier but the person behind the camera.  For a decade, Elise worked as a portraiture photographer, a field dominated by white men in Northern cities.  And though the work she did was unusual, she was overshadowed by her husband in his lifetime and she gave up professional photography after his death.

            Edwin Harleston was not only “one of the most popular and influential black painters of his day,” he also was involved in the Charleston branch of the NAACP, the Atlanta University alumni association, the Charleston Civic League, the National Negro Business League and other endeavors.  Still, he was primarily known as “the foremost painter of the Race,” in the words of his mentor and former AU professor W.E.B. DuBois.  He won the NAACP’s Amy Spingarn medal for art and the Harmon Foundation’s Alain Locke Prize for portraiture.  His work has been in several major exhibitions and numerous books. 
Elise’s work, on the other hand, has rarely been exhibited,and it has garnered mention in only a few books. “Like most women, she really sacrificed her own career for her husband’s career and desires,” said art historian M. Akua McDaniel of Spelman College.  “In many ways, they were a team.  And while he recognized her contribution, her contribution was rarely known to the public.”

courtesy, google.com 

Word


Better Days

I'm about to change my vibe
Today the sun's gonna shine
'Cause I made up my mind
That today will be the start of better days
Leaving old shit behind
And move on with my life
The blindfolds off my eyes
And now all I see for me is better days



My manifesto



One thing I've learned


Make your own happy.


I wanted to wait for love before I went to the most romantic city in the world, but I decided I didn't want to wait until then to be happy. Whoever my soulmate will be, she might not want to go to Paris. I always wanted to go, so I went.

Other than the birth of my nephew, or being asked to be the GodFather to my friend Brian's daughter, I cannot remember a time when I was happier than the 12 days I had spent in Paris.

I resolve from now on, to making my own happy.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

iResolve

to not just say that I will love myself but to realize the things that have kept me from loving myself, and getting rid of them.  I also resolve to continue committing random acts of kindness but to realize when I'm being taken for granted.  I also resolve to accept that some people are in my life for a season, for a reason, or for a lifetime, and to discern which of three categories each of my friends belong in.  I'm 50. While I have maintained friendships that had existed since junior high school and are still strong today, I have had friendships that have suddenly ended in 3 years or less.  For the past year I have been agonizing over the fact that if I don't initiate communication with certain people, I will never hear from them again, or certain people that I don't hear from (even if I do leave voicemails or text them) unless our mutual friends come to town, but for 2013 I resolve to appreciate my real friends and not the fairweather ones. I have to realize, like I said above, some people are in my life for a season, for a reason, or for a lifetime, and for that I resolve to not try so hard to maintain friendships. I have a friend of 20 years that I send emails or voicemails two or three times a year but I hear from once every 10 or more years. When I lived in Silver Spring we were close and I heard from him all the time. When I moved away, the communication practically ended. Obviously this friendship was for a season. I have another friend that I haven't seen in 35 years, and no matter where I am in this world, a month has not gone by where I have not heard from him. Obviously this friendship was for a lifetime.
My mother always says that everyone who smiles in your face is not your friend. I've learned this the hard way. I resolve to treat myself better,  and pardon my french, to not give a fuck about people who obviously don't give a fuck about me, because that's how it's supposed to be. 

I know it sounds like I'm venting. I just have an issue with people who act like friends then seem to drop off the face of the earth for no reason. 
Anyway,  goodbye 2012. Hello 2013, I'm ready for you, God willing.   Let's do this.