Thursday, November 15, 2012

this mic still on?

i just thought about my old blog and how many memories are in it, and wondered if it still existed.  somehow i remembered the address and typed it in.  what do you know?  it's still here.  it's still beautiful.

i'm still here, trying to live beautifully.

married homeowner with a child.  yes, a beautiful daughter.  my life is a whole nother something now.  it's so different.  i'm tempted to read through it, to get to know the me that i was seven years ago when i started this thing.  but i don't have time to reacquaint myself with who i was, when who i am now is primary teacher to an inquisitive and spunky infant.

i don't know if i'm coming back here, but some wistful part of me wants to pick up where i left off, talking about my politics, my spirituality, my new adventures as a mama.

we'll see.

either way, it's nice to know my words are still here like graffiti on a wall.  glory was here.  i write (wrote), therefore i am (was).

Friday, June 26, 2009

fare thee well mj

I loved Michael Jackson from the time I was two years old. Thriller was my favorite video. I have several of his albums. The brother had soul. There are plenty of things about his life that I didn't understand from his perspective, but I know he had an extraordinary life and an extraordinary talent. It still hasn't sunk in yet, I think. I think it'll take me a couple of days. But here's a prime example:

Live your best life, and maximize every moment that you can.

Monday, May 25, 2009


I just ain't had time to blog lately. Shoot, I can barely keep up with reading the blogs I like to read, let alone trying to figure out what I want to blog about. My life is so full right now. I'm working. I'm keeping my house clean. I'm going to church. I'm trying to connect with the things that have made me happy in the past, like spending more time with my friends. My beloved and I need time together. And I'm trying to get enough sleep. So by the time I get to picking up my laptop, it's already late and at most, all I can do is read a few blogs before crashing into sleep. Shoot, I can barely keep up with the news, which is something, 'cause I'd been kind of a news junkie. There ain't enough hours in the day for me to be blogging regularly, though.

I don't mind.

I really don't mind, 'cause I'm glad my life is full. The things I've wanted most are mine - God is continually blessing me. I got love, and a place to call home, and a means with which to make money and pay off these student loans. I got family and friends and I'm making new friends at work and at church. This is what I wanted.

All those years I spent wandering in my twenties, that's the stuff I was searching for. I would lay alone in my bed at night wondering about a man. I was going out as often as I could, looking for community and a place to be myself. I found it, but I was distracted by being sick and tired of being broke and having bills and hating my jobs and knowing I could do more. I was pulling all nighters trying to get a degree. Shutting down my social life trying to get my credentials straight. Worrying about my car breaking down. Scrimping and saving to get myself some financial security. Worrying about when or if it would all come together. Praying for patience. Praying for sustenance, and breakthroughs, and reprieves. Praying for more patience. And one day, after regular spells of unemployment, renting several U-Haul trucks, dealing with jerks wooing me and then deciding not to call me anymore, living in walk-up apartment after walk-up apartment with no air conditioning and raggedy heat, battling back and forth over whether or not I wanted to try a new church, again...

I looked up and I was where I wanted to be. Not long out of the day's church heels. Drinking sweet tea on my own porch. Clean, reliable car in the garage. Dishwasher running. Trees out front giving just enough sun and shade. Just enjoying myself. I'm not lonely. I'm not worried. I'm just blessed. Savings in the bank. Food in the fridge. Central air. Oh, I'm working for it. And praying for it. Praying that God keeps me afloat, and that I don't get the big head - thinking I'm entitled to this much contentment, forgetting how far I've come and how much worse it could be. This Universe don't owe me nothing. I'm thankful. And what's more, I'm not in this alone anymore. I don't have to do everything by myself no more. I'm not carrying my groceries into the house all by myself no more.

It's still a humble life. I could have done better in school, taken a more ambitious career path, and made more money sooner. Or I could have coupled for money instead of love, and dealt with one of those obnoxious types of brothers who just wanted an accessory wife/co-wage-earner he could brag about, instead of a friend and lover who makes me soar and inspires me to be better and likes me the way I am all at the same time. I could have done a lot of things differently. But this is what I wanted. And I feel so wealthy and rich... I mean really wealthy and rich.

I want to travel, and be a mother. I want to go into business for myself. I want to finally get that doggone book published. Learn new things. Make myself useful to someone besides myself and my own household. I feel like as blessed as I am, the world is open to me to grow and explore. It's such an encouraging feeling...

Thursday, April 23, 2009


In a way I think the elders had it better. No TV, no internet. No hyperstimulation. You can reflect on a lot while shelling peas, or snapping beans, or shucking ears of corn. Maybe too much convenience is a bad thing. I'm not saying I won't ever pop something in the microwave or send a text message again. I'm just saying maybe I need to slow down on conveniences more often.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

anybody understand the bailouts?

I'm no economist, and my thinking on such matters is largely uninformed and simplistic. That said, I'm not blogging here as an expert but a citizen who's trying to figure out what is going on. But you know what I think that this government bailout is? Trickle down economics, or as the link I've provided later calls it, the "horse-and-sparrow theory" - feed enough oats to the horse, and eventually enough will pass through so the birdies will have something to eat too. Let the companies that are "too big to fail" not fail by propping them up with government money, so that they don't go out of business, so that "regular people" won't lose jobs and their life savings due to a soured stock market. Except instead of tax breaks being given out like candy to the businesses, as people usually think of when they think of the trickle down economics theory, this time it's accountability breaks. The businesses are supposed to use the money to do better work and stay working. That's supposed to keep the economy from kicking the bucket and kicking our butts.

When I first heard about it, it sounded like a necessary evil to me, you know? My understanding is that the government, especially a Republican administration - and when this bailout stuff started, it started under President Bush (though I believe Senator and Presidential Candidate Obama agreed with the plan) - wouldn't want to participate so directly in the marketplace by giving companies money by buying stock in them. My understanding was that capitalism is all about the best competitors excelling in the marketplace, while the inadequate competitors fall by the wayside, encouraging excellence in competition. So, I figured, if the government, first under Bush and then under Obama, was going to participate in the marketplace by basically "betting" on certain struggling businesses that would hurt the public good if they crashed... well then, this must have been really necessary and our only option. It was all gloom and doom in the news. The stock market had people wigging out. At the time, I wasn't thinking, "This sounds like trickle down economics."

But as time passes, and the money has been given out in amounts much larger than I can even fathom, I am hearing that unemployment is still on the rise, that people are still losing big chunks of their life savings, and that the Congressional Oversight Panel isn't quite sure what's really happening to all this money - only some of it is accounted for and we're still not sure whether the equity the country purchased in these floundering companies will turn a profit, according to Elizabeth Warren of the Congressional Oversight Panel, which is in charge of watching what happens to the money.

I believe we were told that this was the best thing the government could come up with at the time to avoid worse consequences, but that no one knew for sure whether or not it would work. I wonder, would the unemployment gains and personal net worth erosions be even worse if we hadn't done this? Or are the problems we're seeing indicating that this plan isn't working? Is it too soon to tell? Either way, we already know that the businesses have benefited - they got the money. But what about the economy for the rest of us who are trying to hold on to jobs and retirement savings? See, that's been one of the criticisms of trickle down economics. We never know quite exactly when the horse isht produces food for the birds.

Monday, April 20, 2009

don't have to wait

You don't have to wait to thank God for things that you have asked Him to do for you. He is timeless. Go church! for reminding me of that.

You don't have to wait until something scary happens to tell people that you love them.

You don't have to wait for something to change in your life in order to enjoy it for what it is.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

communal brain damage

The Field Negro featured a story last night about a young sixth grade boy who was teased in his new school for being active in sports, the boy scouts, volunteering and going to church. It went on for months - calling him gay and teasing his clothes - and it didn't end until he committed suicide. His mother complained to the school. His school hardly did anything. The bullies were relentless. It really hit home for me because my sixth grade bullying experience was so similar. Here is my two cents on the matter, which I originally posted in the Field Negro's comments.

"that wasn't just homophobia. that was communal hatred of the pursuit of excellence. i relate to this boy's story - i went through the merciless teasing that happens when you're the new kid in a school and you stand out for the pursuit of excellence. if i had been a boy, they would have called me gay, too.

the teachers knew i was being teased because of how they fawned over me, but they didn't care, and they continued to do it. i was depressed. i tried to hate myself because everyone else did. i was 10/11 years old. my only resources were my parents. there were no counselors at my private school. and i imagine that this boy begged his mother NOT to come to the school, just like i did, knowing it would only have made the situation worse with the other kids.

he knew the school wasn't going to do anything about the teasing - adults don't take child teasing seriously. they don't see a line between friendly teasing and the chronic kind between enemies that makes you depressed and suicidal. they don't even think kids would get depressed like i did, or suicidal, like this young man. they think eventually the bullies will tire of the game, and that the victim will get over it with the resiliency adults think all children have. i can tell you that is not how it works. it took me years to get over what happened to me in the sixth grade. years.

and part of the problem is that black people, in fact low-income people of any race (whether or not they have pastors) often don't take mental illness seriously. it may not have occurred to this boy's mom that a shrink was necessary. she probably had no suspicion that he was so far gone that he would ever be tempted to kill himself. and her son probably covered it well by continuing to put on a front that nothing within him was changing. that's what i did. sometimes i would cry or complain, but when i realized nothing could be or would be done by adults, like when i was molested by another child, or when i was teased mercilessly at school, i got real stoic, and covered my inner turmoil as best i could.

some of our children are suffering in silence because they don't see any other way.

and too many adults don't think of bullying as life-or-death, wellness-or-illness dangerous to the well being of a victim. especially in low income black communities, where hazing is done both within the home and in the neighborhood from early ages, to harden children and make them tough enough for a world seen as inherently hostile. nobody wants their kid to be the soft one, and in the minds of parents like these, whoever their kid is picking on could probably use the toughening up, anyway, since the victim's parents obviously didn't do a good enough job of it. i have a friend whose three year old son is being targeted - not by strangers but by his own grandmother and father - as needing to toughen up. they don't want him to cry or ever act like his feelings are hurt. at three.

homophobia is part of the problem, yes, because of the 'gay' label, which children aren't just using for labeling homosexuals, but for any behavior they see as out of the stereotypes of what it means to be black, or appropriately hard - sometimes it doesn't have anything to do with gayness, but the fact that it connotes gayness is an added emphasis or bonus to the slur. 'not only are you acting like a soft white boy, but you like boys, too.'

this is a multifaceted problem that can't be solved by a lawsuit, or prayer without action, or a bunch of shrinks. it is a societal and cultural problem."

I survived my situation by the grace of God. I suppose I was resilient enough to keep taking it everyday without losing myself in the process. I got a into a fight with one of the popular girls, and afterwards, they respected me a little more, even though they still didn't like me. I shouldn't have had to physically fight and get in trouble to get respect - I was lucky it was one on one and that I didn't get jumped. I managed to make a few friends, which made avoiding the bullies easier. After a year, the worst of it passed. The next two years weren't as bad as the first. Mercifully, I then made it to high school where the teasing wasn't nearly as bad, since everyone there was reaching for good grades and college. But I was affected by distrust of my peers, insecurity, low self-esteem, and unsolicited hostility as a preemptive measure at least for the next four or five years after that. And looking at this young man's situation, I guess I got off easy.