Saying Goodbye to a Lover is Never Easy

November 24th, 2014

I dreamed last night about Stanley and I woke this morning with a groggy clarity that was colored in orange and red hues of sadness. Stanley so sweet – so sexy – so present and giving – and yet I cannot give him what he wants from me. Not now maybe not ever. And so he has answered the siren’s call to head out to another gig, in another town, and I am moving on. How sweet these past weeks have been in the large, strong arms of desire.

But what my friends have seen from all of this is how much I have grown. Me. So now I will take my victory lap. Who doesn’t want to be desired by someone they desire? Who doesn’t want lips so sweet to kiss yours? Who doesn’t want love to lift you off your feet?

My intuition has been strong. My knowledge in what I am prepared to give has been a knowing deep in my bones. My hesitation has proven prudent. My love of self has come to the forefront. I battled me.

We all must meet in a space where we feel protected. I have stood sentry over my temple (with a little help from my friends).

I am sad and yet my clarity is like a beacon of light into my now and tomorrow.

Tonight, I will light a candle for my struggles – I battled the old me, and the new me won. I will call out to my ancestors again for giving me wisdom and a heart that is fearless. I will thank God for my friends and their support.

I will say to my sexy friend, thank you for you, you helped me be me without fear.

And I will tell the world in a hush, bring me another lover, with a sweet smile on my lips.

her name

ExhibitBE – Let Me Be

November 23rd, 2014

I saw two things yesterday that taught me about the human spirit. Brandan Odums Prospect 3 installation ExhibitBE where graffiti artists have turned an abandoned project on the West Bank into an urban wonderland complete with feeling – people gathered in music and awe to gaze at the talents of street artists’ handiwork. The next was Gomela, a Junebug production that helped us “return with movement to our mother tongue” – a masterpiece of theater, dance, rhythm, spoken word and song all shown at the McKenna African American museum.

This is why I love people.

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The McKenna – Gomela performance
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The World and Everything In It

November 22nd, 2014

I was thinking today as I sat in Breads on Oak with Tin having a coffee and a sweet that life goes by in the blink of an eye. I’ve fractured myself into a million pieces of late and knew this only when I finished writing the newsletter for NOLA Aikido, the popcorn post for Morris Jeff Community School and realized I’m writing a lot for others and very little for myself. I’m not sure if that’s bad, or good, or what.

It’s interesting how I let myself get carved up, and then I talked to my sistas who are just like me, one calls and says she signed up for one more thing and doesn’t know why she does it to herself, the next takes on one more grant to get written at midnight before the deadline, and all while the world is spinning round. Makes you wonder.

My life is sweet and full.

Stanley gave me a beautiful kimono he bought in Milan and I hung it on my bedroom wall – as my artist friend said, it’s alive, elegant, with energy:

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He lives his life in simple terms in a nearby town, while my busy life devolves into complicated twists and turns right here in the Crescent City. Don’t enter my world, you might get caught in the vortex, let me go to your place, the land of dreams and forgetting.

Where does my time go?

There is Tin’s school and the healthy feast being prepared and me having to rush home to prepare roasted asparagus and the whole time I’m wondering if I can even squeeze this in, then I get there and his classmate is all welled up because she wants her mom to be there so next thing you know I have two children on my lap:

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There’s taking a fellow volunteer out for her birthday because she spends an inordinate amount of time volunteering for our kids and the school.

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There’s going to see ExhibitBE and walking around in the on-the-cusp-of-desolation graffiti landscape:

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There are meals to consume – a slice of daily life – with friends:

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There are pies to bake:

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If someone said what did you do today? my head might explode. I did it ALL, I say, just like Tony Montoya in Scarface when asked what do you want, Tony? – he responded, I want the world and everything in it!

Nothing less.

Driving to Lutcher

November 20th, 2014

Driving to Lutcher has become code for – well you know what it is code for. Today, on my way to Lutcher, my horoscope says, only it’s his horoscope too – double whammy:

Nov 20, 2014

Taurus 
Your renewed passion is making life a lot more interesting — so get to it! Today is perfect for jumping back into a project or relationship that you were iffy on until you woke up this morning.

A message on love …

November 18th, 2014

Love is an Infinite Victory

Another message on love brought to you by …

November 17th, 2014

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The Love Tree

November 16th, 2014

I saw this drawing and it made me think of the money tree that mysteriously appeared in the LaLa nine years ago when it was under construction. I kept pinning money all over that tree – from Russia, Poland, China, Croatia, Budapest, and everywhere I went I added another bill to the tree. All of those bills weathered storms, heat, and neglect in the garden until they disintegrated.

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I’ve changed my mind about the fruits I want my tree to bear – I want a love tree. So I trimmed the money tree back, took off the rusted safety pins, and whispered sweet nothings to it. And love started flourishing there.

Sure, sexy Stanley has something to do with the new growth on my love tree, but my heart is bursting with love for much more than what he brings – and (um) he brings a lot – it is for all in my life who I love and who love me. Love, it’s everywhere these days. I even see it in Stella’s eyes.

L O V E

The Healing Room

November 9th, 2014

I was introduced to this Merton piece last week and it could not have come at a more appropriate time in my life:

“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence. The frenzy of the activist…destroys his own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.” This was written by Thomas Merton over half a century ago, imagine.

In other words: quality dissipates when spread thin.

The quality of my recent days have been long and the nights short and the weeks are burning up across the calendar humping their way to the end of the year. I’ve overcommitted. Juggling the projects that have come in for work that are welcome, and a relief, having a roommate who brings his own chaos into the Spirit House, being the board member of an organization that just held its second annual fundraiser last night, belonging to a community group that had not one but a total of two full day meetings last week, volunteering at Tin’s school, parenting a young child, and what? What about relationships – friendships pared down to speed dating type conversations, dating that succumbs to a reprioritization of everything, minutes, seconds. What’s left at the end of one violent day – not me. I can assure you.

You’ll find me dazed and confused.

Today, Sunday School was cancelled because of a wedding, so Tin and I had a welcomed respite to go meet a friend and her son in Annunciation park. A beautiful fall day with its slanted sunlight and fall chill that offered just enough chill to desire the warmth of a New Orleans sun. The boys – old friends – had a rare day of no conflict, just utter joy in being together. And I got to catch up with a friend. I need this time, to sit and reflect, to catch up, to enjoy – and how has this time become so rare?

The house bordering my yard was sold to a man who will convert it into apartments – I can check this off my pending list. The gala was absolutely wonderful – Michaela Harrison sang in The Healing Room as if the world stood still (listen to it here), Germaine Bazzle dazzled us in a revelry, her voice many instruments, Asia Rainey spoke her heart to Maya Angelou, while lit up in warm hues of purple and reds on stage.

The violence we do to others is unfathomable but the daily violence we commit on our own self is head shaking tragic. Is opening yourself up to love an act of healing? In the schedule of your day, who gets 86′d and who gets minutes of your time to the exclusion of another? Is work all there is time for? As I parent Tin and train Stella, my job seems more and more about the elimination of play, where’s the joy in it?

In the violence of doing too much, I confess to fear about standing still, about opening completely, about letting my guard down: come inside, come inside, come inside The Healing Room.

The Power of Love

November 3rd, 2014

Che Guevara said, “All great revolutionaries are motivated by love.”

The “I” of the storm

November 3rd, 2014

Hank Williams said, “I’m the only hell my mama ever raised.”

I cannot say the same – my mom raised some hell.