Archive for November, 2014

Thank God For You

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

My mom died five years ago today (Nov 30), she would have been 79 years old on December 28th, but she did not make it to her 74th birthday. When she was the age I am now, my father had been dead for five years and she was still adjusting to an unmarried life and empty nest. She was a natural beauty both inside and out, but fear had held her back most of her life. Like a lot of us in my family, she had anxiety issues, she hadn’t learned to meditate, and she didn’t know how to be. I inherited all this restless person syndrome from her – the pacing in your own house, the inability to go anywhere without the pressing feeling that you had to go back to where you came from and so you couldn’t relax and be where you went to – it’s this insanity that I have tried to overcome.

When my mother was dying in the hospital – a process that took six long months – she had a tube in every orifice and she called me over and barely able to breathe, much less speak, she whispered to me, “I thank God for you every day.”

Mothering is a bitch – because no matter what you do your child is going to hold you accountable for just about everything that goes wrong in her life. She’s going to hold you to task, she’s going to check you from the time you get up to till the time you go to sleep, and there is nothing that can be done about it. And then one day you are going to die and your child is going to miss you as if a vital organ had been removed from her body.

My mother is responsible for my son’s presence in my life. She died and he appeared. There are no coincidences in life. And I thank God for him every day. This mothering stuff is not for pussies; it is the feeling as one person put it of having your heart outside of your body walking around independent of you. It will bring you to your knees.

And here I find myself on this fifth anniversary of your passing Mom, on my knees, thanking God every day for you.


Big Man Moves Into the Spirit House

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

This year marks a turning point for me, although there is still a lot to clean up from the last two years of thinness. I celebrated recently by driving to Lafayette and buying an old cypress pew from an old church there. The pew is nearly 12 feet long and it barely fit across my truck. But I drove there, bought it, and drove it home. It fit perfectly in the dining room and what could be more appropriate for the Spirit House than a church pew?



Feeling content with my new pew, I set off today to gallery hop with a friend – we were boycotting any post-Thanksgiving Black Friday shopping in protest against the recent decision in Ferguson. I was checking out some paintings by Willie Birch in Arthur Roger’s gallery and stumbled upon an old colored lithograph of his, that had been in the drawer for some time, and when I casually asked the price, not only was I surprised, but so were all the people working at the gallery – one said if I didn’t buy it, she would. I snapped it up and now it will hang above the pew in the dining room. Birch painted BIG MAN in 2000. This work of art stretched my budget, but I was walking on air when I left the gallery because when I saw BIG MAN, I knew he was for me.


Wordless Thanksgiving

Friday, November 28th, 2014








Saying Goodbye to a Lover is Never Easy

Monday, November 24th, 2014

I dreamed last night about Sty and I woke this morning with a groggy clarity that was colored in orange and red hues of sadness. Sty 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

Sunday, 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.





The McKenna – Gomela performance

The World and Everything In It

Saturday, 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.

Sty 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:


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:


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.


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


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


There are pies to bake:


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

Thursday, 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

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 …

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Love is an Infinite Victory

Another message on love brought to you by …

Monday, November 17th, 2014


The Love Tree

Sunday, 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.


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.