Archive for May, 2016

I Believe in Me

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.
-Marcus Garvey

In all those years of walking through the double wide school doors, released from the tedium of institutional learning, to my mother’s car where loud radio music awaited me – I’ll never forget what she always said, “Chile, I don’t know where you get that confident swagger from.”

Last year, when I thought I had truly had enough of what I could handle as a human being, I grappled with my faith. Ellen has asked me to define faith and I had to tell her I meant truly faith in myself, my own divine ability to get up and do it again.

The more the hurdles come, the more my faith soars, and so though I’m but a small part of this vast universe, I feel enormous. Yesterday, a mysterious young man found dead on the road was revealed to be the son of a friend. Another friend with cancer married her partner. Still another friend’s cousin was found dead in the shower. And yet one more time, we were able to fall asleep in the comfort of our own beds with the dogs calm around us and stars up in the sky.

Mom, I whispered to the spirit world, I don’t know where I got this confidence either, because (insert laugh) every day I’m tested and every day I pass.


The story always begins with an ending

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

My life has me once again tossing around like a dinghy in troubled waters. Too much time is spent on work with the project either offering money or meaning, and hardly ever blending the two according to my desires.

Tatjana’s diagnosis of terminal cancer has my whole system on lock down while she handles this news better than me. Another friend’s diagnosis of cancer pounds my already aching heart. And yet there is joy and love in these moments before – before we don’t know what happens next.

My book has been parked while I work on the memoir that everyone wants my book to be. I’ve just returned from a writer’s retreat that I put on my calendar months ago and everyone and everything kept rising up to prevent it, but I stuck like glue and found a place. I stayed at my friend Tommy’s beach house in Bay St. Louis and I wrote and wrote and wrote. Two essays – check. A blog post on Transracial Parenting – check. And the beginnings of another chapter in the memoir/book.

And I also chilled out.

Not one day did I wear lipstick.

Two nights of lounging in a deep bubble bath.

I spent some time mentally rounding up recent persons of interest – one got married to a woman he’s been seeing the last two years (what?). Another puzzle was summed up by a reliable source as flakey and as someone who has always lived pillar to post. Another just had his 60th birthday and remembered mine but the distance is a good thing.

I’ve written down all of my fears in the world, and I keep experiencing them one after another as if some cosmic decision was made a decade ago to plunge me into the whirling blades and watch the bloodletting. Who am I to seek an easier path? This one I’m on now is so profoundly real that I can’t even get to fantasy.

Each morning, I walked the shore from Bay St. Louis to Waveland and dragged my feet through the brownish water of the Gulf. I collected three shells, a feather, one photo, and lots of solitude and meditation along the way. I saw this creature in motion by the waves to the shoreline, and his bulging eyes begged me to look again.

The story always begins with an ending.