Tuesday, October 24, 2006

comfort and perception

what's interesting is that over time, years pass and i have changed and grown...

yet i use the same things for comfort. i have a sweater that my grandmother gave me years before she died. i wear it for warmth, physically and spiritually. then there's fred hammond's pages of life double disk cd. that always does it for me. i have favorite tracks that i can just play on repeat for hours on end, just letting it feed and strengthen my countenance and my spirit. making my mommy's sweet potato pie does the trick, too. or her macaroni and cheese. or, believe it or not, my dad's peanut butter sammiches. he made me one when i was sick, and i fell in love instantly. it's just a big glob of peanut butter between two pieces of warm toast... honey is optional. but whenever i want to feel satisfied quickly, it's always there for me. there have been times when my teddy bear, which has been mine since my birth, was the only available hug - one i gladly took, over and over again, whenever i needed it.

i'm still trying to figure out how i worked two or more jobs, kept my scholarship, made it to step practices and still managed to eat home cooked food (most of the time) and wear clean clothes in college. i'm in a bit of a whirlwind now, but with increasing effort, things are starting to settle into some kind of rhythm. i haven't been writing, which is unfortunate, because this is probably a time when i especially need to be writing. but my spirit is encouraged. especially since i'm wearing my grandma's sweater, listening to fred hammond, and digesting a peanut butter sammich.

i miss blogging.

one day, i was on the bus on the way home from work, and this young teenage couple got on. the guy sat down, and his love sat in his lap. this girl had to have been the loudest, most tactless person i've seen on the bus thus far. there was also a woman about my parents' age sitting about two rows directly ahead of me. the girl was talking to her boyfriend like there was no one else privy to her mix of profanity, petty sarcasm, and general wasteful words. you know the stereotype, right? well, of course, i didn't say anything to her. and of course, no one else did, either. but of course, the woman in front of me kept cutting sideways glances at the child, shaking her head in disdain, probably for the generation she'll never understand.

in my head, i was writing a poem about the girl, which i've since lost, since i never wrote it down. but in my imagination, i took the girl off the bus, out of philly, out of america... off to africa, in some rural society, where girls walk straight and tall and oblivious to their own beauty, balancing baskets on their heads, toting water over their shoulders, sporting beads and scarification and braids... 'cause the girl from the bus looked like one of those african girls - she was absolutely beautiful. i wonder if she was even aware of her beauty. i wonder if she knew her actions were completely incongruous with the nobility in her features. in any case, i imagined her as eloquent, full of the folk wisdom and the pride it takes to be humble. i imagined her dancing joyfully with other girls, barefoot, kicking up dust with abandon. i admired that image of her, and in that moment, i wanted to be like her - the version of her that i'd created.

and then the thought occurred to me - if she knew that i thought better of her as an african country girl than as a hardened inner city stereotype, would she have hated me? did liking her better as someone else mean that i hated who she was? was she even really being herself? is anyone truly distasteful and rude by any means other than their personal choice? i refuse to believe that folks of a certain age don't know any better. of course, i hate when i'm honest enough to ask questions like these, 'cause it sounds really judgmental, and even classist - never mind that her neighborhood probably isn't much different from the one i grew up in. in any case, i thought about the blog when i found myself mulling over my role in how i perceived her.

as i get back to balance, i hope to continue sharing these things here...

thanks for clicking here to see if i had anything new up. i know i've been inconsistent. and as always, i appreciate your reading.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


i'm sorry - i'm working. hard. my schedule is crazy. but i'm not finished yet (though i did consider it briefly)...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

falling down

i want to dance under wilting leaves and inhale the crispness of the air while touching his fingers gingerly. i want to appreciate the slight chill that will lead me to seek his body heat. in this time before our breaths can be seen, pushing impetuously against the air, i want to have him feel the moist heat of my breath as i whisper my happiness into his ear, softly like the falling of the leaves. because he deserves the leaves - the varied wonders of all their lovely colors that mimic the palette of emotions that he stirs within me. there is a special repose now, after the frenzy of summer's heat, and before the melancholy of the barrenness that shall come with winter. here, we find that last day for a long walk left to us. the last day that jackets are optional. the last few hours before an early retreat of the sun. and in the waning light, we turn towards the horizon and savor the final oranges, mauves, and lavender that the sky allows. we watch helplessly as moments pass and seasons take their turns, not distraught, but happy. because throughout this dance, we are unruffled by perspiration and undisturbed by shivering. steadily, as the world changes around us, we change. every mutual glance reveals more growth, more happiness, more affection... what a perfect day this would be. what a perfect autumn this would be.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

i'ma do it









i did get a chance to take that walk at lunch. and i'm glad for it. but it's been harder to find the time to exercise. and i don't wanna lose the momentum i got started, or lose the progress i've made. i will look the way i want to look. i will make it a priority to be as healthy as i can be. i will not compromise. if working moms and oprah can find time in their day... if once upon a time i used to have three jobs and classes... if i could improve my grades while pledging... then i can certainly find the time to do the things that matter most to my quality of life. i might sound like i'm trying to convince myself as much as anyone else, and maybe i am, but it's all about the attitude, right? right!

Monday, October 09, 2006

car pay

it's so easy to fall into a routine.

my schedule has changed, and it's affecting everything from exercise to blogging to cooking to my energy level. i gotta find a way to rearrange my body's clock to make it all fall into place or i'm going to lose my mind with guilt over the things i should be doing, or should have done, or ought to do... bla bla bla.

i guess we're just like the rest of creation. the ocean gets pulled by cycles of the moon. women are women with the cycles of the moon. folks do their living in the day and their sleeping in the night (for the most part). birdies migrate. salmon swim upstream. people get lazy in the winter, just like bears. i suppose it all works out some way or another. i know i need to get my moons/tides/swimming together before i pass out in the midst of the day.

anyway, tomorrow is one of the last beautiful days i may see before next april. we've been having a lot of those lately, and i've been missing them all because of one reason or another. but no more. i have to frolic in the sun, go take walks in my beloved city and hang out people watching. even though i have a poetry event tomorrow. even though my laundry STILL needs to be done. even though i'll probably be exhausted by the time i get a chance to go out and play. i don't care. i'm going to make it happen. soak up some sun rays shouting their brightness on my face. i need it. i deserve it.

here's to making time for the things that matter. making routine take a backseat to my will. seizing the day...

Friday, October 06, 2006

on stuff

on the capitol hill page flirtation scandal: i just want the powers that be on the hill and in the media to know that i am not stupid. they know which congressman was on the internet flirting with a minor, but i all i hear is clamoring for the resignation of the speaker of the house, because he supposedly knew about it. he won't step down.

that is beside the point.

the point is that the pages have been preyed on by at least this one powerful person in washington, and that this congressman should be treated like any other sexual predator.

instead of dealing with the fact that internet and face-to-face flirting with our youth seems to be constantly occurring, i'm supposed to get diverted by political posturing. i'm supposed to worry more about whether this will get the republicans out of congress in the upcoming elections. i'm supposed to argue vehemently for or against congressman hastert's resignation. and in the meantime, skeevy congressman foley is supposed to chill in rehab, out of the reach of the media (who are still bothering the amish), and out of the reach of my judgment. from recent reports, i have no idea whether or not he'll even be charged with a crime. can you not arrest people if they go into rehab? is that something i suggest the brothers do when they get caught committing a crime? just say you're a weedhead and admit yourself to rehab and the cops will stay off your back? or is it that old yucky white guys in congress are allowed such shelter from the law? no wait - i'm wrong. 'cause if the case of debra la fave is applicable, if foley was a woman, he might only get a slap on the wrist and some chuckles for giving a minor a hard-on.

i should just stop watching and reading the news.

on this weather: a nor'easter? in early october? this is so not cool. i'd wanted another weekend at the beach... *pout* guess i better start saving for that "i gotta get outta here" miami flight.

on last night's feature that i ain't even tell y'all about: you know things are changing with me when i neglect to even blog about an upcoming feature. it went alright. i was a little nervous for some reason, and i rushed some of my enunciation, and that wasn't good. but i got through it. i had a good rapport with the audience. and i held my own after one of the best poets i know, so i feel like i'm growing into my own. it feels good.

on health: y'all i am very proud of myself. i've been working out almost daily and i already feel like i look more healthy (whether or not i actually do, the feeling is enough encouragement to keep going). my poor little thighs are sore, and so are my poor little abs. but hey, that's how you know it's working, right? but this is the thing - what am i eating that's making my tummy ache with extra air? i'ma google it, 'cause this air is painful. i been dealing with it all day. any suggestions, dear blog family? help!

Thursday, October 05, 2006


i can't turn anywhere without hearing something about the tragedy that has happened in pennsylvania with those amish schoolgirls. i suppose i understand why this is such a big news story. either the mass popular media believes that we are a country of sick, depraved people... or we actually are.

i say this because i think that the story is huge because it involves a compelling combination of some of the worst, most offensive acts that could occur all at once. in this one tragedy, there's child molestation, lust for innocent virgins, and unforgiving gun violence. the more details are divulged, the more we hear about the story: the victims were shot execution style, the murderer was on some desperate-housewives-jekyll-and-hyde kick - taking his beloved children to school before participating in a heinous murder-suicide... leaving a cryptic note where he speaks from the grave, offering excuses for his planned mayhem...

i shouldn't be surprised after all. everytime innocents (most especially white innocents) are slaughtered by the sick, you can't get away from it in the news - think jon benet ramsey or natalie holloway. but don't mistake this as a diatribe against racism in the media. this is, instead, a commentary against a media that seems intent on feeding the public the creepiest, most disgusting stories it can find.

this particular situation involving the amish school incident bothers me for a few reasons. first of all, the amish are a simple and rather private people by choice, based on their beliefs. i've seen images of the surrounding community gathered to grieve that have been taken by helicopter news photographers. for a moment, please imagine yourself standing at the last funeral procession or prayer service you've been to, and then superimpose the sound and wind of a hovering helicopter and the glaring presence of camera crews and news reporters buzzing on the side of the road, gawking at you in the face of your grief. that is callously insensitive and unnecessary. i find that the amish are being extremely tolerant of the media in light of the fact that they have to deal with their priceless losses. a lesser people might have railed against the intrusive media presence by now.

another reason i am bothered by this amount of coverage is because we are approaching the deadlines for voter registration and we are approaching important midterm congressional and important local elections. there are many political developments happening now. if we leave it to the media, the only education we'll get about the candidates is the one we'll get from the mud slinging ads in commercial breaks. folks need to be informed in an impartial way about where they can get information about the candidates, so that they can be informed voters, hold incumbents accountable, and make challengers work for the opportunity to serve their constituencies. we have a war going on. the violence in our own communities is alarming. the classes are clashing, the middle class is losing ground, the elderly are struggling, the schools are incompetent...

but for the first few minutes of a given news hour lately, if you switch from news broadcast to news broadcast - local or national - all you see are images of the amish people and responding officers in the wake of the schoolhouse tragedy. all the other news takes a backseat to the shocking. this way, the advertisers who pay for airtime during the news can sell their cars, their political propaganda, and their insanely expensive prescription medications.

for shame.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

pushing through

i must be slow. got to be. funny how i have to be reminded by the Lord every single time about the futility of worry. i keep saying it, because it's true. faith is like a muscle - it needs to be exercised for strength and flexibility, or it will atrophy, and you will catch hayle trying to get it back in shape.

i took a long walk this morning. i'm not the one for a whole lot of walking or running. but it was good time for thinking, most especially about my faith muscle. i been spending time working on my own fitness in general, trying to strengthen and tone my body, and the analogy has really been vibrant for me lately.

getting a muscle to get stronger is not easy. it hurts. HURTS, i said. it's downright unpleasant, and the only thing that really keeps me going is the knowledge that the exercise will be beneficial, but only if i push through the pain and keep trying. gotta keep my energy up so i can keep pushing. gotta keep rehearsing the reasoning for the work in my head so i'll want to keep pushing. gotta keep from polluting myself with food that ain't bad for me. and when i'm facing an obstacle, i have to do just that for my faith.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

april did it.

Three Things Meme

1. Three people who make me laugh:


2. Three things I can do:

-Hula Hoop
-Make up songs in my head

3. Three things I can't do:

-Swim the length of the pool
-a man's push up

4. Three things I'm doing right now:

-this meme (that was easy)
-waiting for some phone calls
-procrastinating (as usual)

5. Three things I want to do before I die:

-visit outside this country
-publish my written stuff
-work for myself

6. Three things I hate the most:

-not giving my best to the people i love
-when i limit myself

7. Three things that scare me:

-being scared out of action
-bees that won't go away when you ask them to
-messing everything up

8. Three things I don't understand:

-how some people don't try their best for their children
-how they re-elected the president - oops, i mean elected him at all. you got to have a first election for there to be a re-election.
-foot fetishes

9. Three skills I'd like to learn:

-how to run my own business

10. Three ways to describe my personality:


11. Three things I think you should listen to:

(besides whatever makes you feel good)
-your gut instinct
-your mama
-people with good sense

12. Three things you should never listen to:

-stupid people
-propaganda (without an understanding of the whos and whys)
-jealous people

13. Three favorite foods:

-warm apple pie
-baked macaroni and cheese

14. Three beverages I drink regularly:

-fruit juice
-water as a last resort

15. Three shows I watched as a kid:

-the cosby show
-duck tales
-golden girls

16. Three people I'm tagging to do this:

-them, them, and that other one

expatriate (not quite)

whenever i truly write from my heart, i get the best responses.

i had a post here about my reaction to the spike lee documentary about hurricane katrina. however, i got a my.space message from a friend, advising me to yank it off the internet and submit it as an article for publishing. she was really impressed with it, and since she's a published freelancer, i figured i'd take her advice. so here i am, yanking it. sorry.

but it does feel good to have someone telling me to actually do something with my writing, encouraging me to try to get paid - or at least published. there's some measure of validation that comes from that, and i really appreciate it.

on second thought:
you know, if you want to read it, you can leave me a comment, and i'll email it to you...

Monday, October 02, 2006


i like cinnamon raisin bread.
i really like brownies with ice cream and chocolate syrup.
helping friends move can be rewarding.
eating breakfast in the afternoon can be quite blissful, actually.
calling home is worthwhile, every single time.
simple things are often good.
i'm glad my teddy bear from childhood is still with me and in one piece.
philly has a poetry renaissance going on and it's exciting to be in the fray.
marriage also means finding out how to reconcile two people's stuff upon move-in.
no, i am not married - i'm talking about my friends.
change is inevitable.
dealing with unpredictable change takes patience and faith.
God is in control of all of this.
you never know what folks are capable of.
sometimes, you don't even know what you're capable of yourself.
i'm thankful for my six senses.
i refuse to live in fear just because my city is approaching its 300th homicide.
i'm really happy for this life.
i'm really hopeful about my future.
he makes me happy.
He makes me happy.
writing makes me... balanced.