Beautiful Ebony Queen, with eyes bright and skin shea-butter soft.What have you done to me?I am taking you in with every breath and I don’t want to exhale.You take my breath while you give me fresh air. Breathe for me.I call upon the ancestors, the Queenly Mothers from a long line of Feminine Royalty.Hear me.Hear us.As we go … Continue reading Beautiful Ebony Queen
There is an emoji on my phone that has emoji Kuukua holding her nose from the stench of the thrash that is 2019. I am not quite sure I'd bag the whole 2019 and hold my nose on my way to the dumpster, but it was a rough year for a good chunk of the year. The year did have its moments of reprieve when something wonderful happened and I was just so thankful to have been witness to it, recipient of it, or the benefactor. Those are the moments I wish to focus on and give thanks for.
I operate from a place of lack. I said that a couple weeks ago but I didn't develop the thought. I think articulating it to myself the first time it popped out of my mouth surprised me. I operate from a place of lack. There! I said it! Now it doesn't seem to control me. … Continue reading The Curious Case Of Lack
I've missed two months worth of blogs. The first week I did, I thought I'll catch up next week and then it happened again, and very soon, there was no catching up to be done. I just had to let it go. Too many weeks had gone by and I really didn't know where to … Continue reading #52essays: Grown Up Love
I don’t want to apologize for existing or interrupting your existence. My Beloved said something to this effect a few days ago. I was telling her how that afternoon a student in my Wellness class had sat folded in on herself the entire length of the class, her long weave shading her slouched body and … Continue reading #52essays: Woman Thou Art Loosed!
I wanted to participate in the 10 year Aging Challenge that is making its rounds on SM. I recalled that I came to FB in 2007, so I went searching for the first photos I posted. I found some but every single one of them was with others. I'm sure I opened the account with … Continue reading #52essays: Look What the Aging Challenge Dredged Up!
My North Wind came calling a few days before the New Year, and it's been blowing wildly about, clouding my vision. I think I am a perpetual nomad at heart, a restless spirit, and any attempts to lay down roots are going against my grain. The price of belonging is high to us nomads. It … Continue reading #52essays: Eternal Nomad Resolution
The song, "So this is Christmas" keeps making its rounds on my playlist and every time it comes on, I really pause and think: "what have [I ] done? Another year over, a new one just begun." I begun this year joining the #52essays challenge and even though I didn't do it justice, it gave me something to strive for. I begun this year with a lot of disappointment and upset over the business struggles and I end with a new clientele that has welcomed me. I am nowhere near where I started out this year and for the most part it's been needed and welcomed changes.
For as long as she could remember she had been dancing to the rhythm of her demons. Sometimes they'd grant her respite and she would feel the illusion of control so much so that she could almost taste normality. Sometimes she would forcibly take her own respite and with wanton abandon refuse to follow her … Continue reading #52essays: Demons
I think of you often throughout the day But it’s when I sit at my dining table that I think of you the most To say that I love food and feeding people is to speak a half-truth You eat, and you relish in whatever I place in front of you I don’t pray often, … Continue reading #52essays: #Foodie
I was 26. I had never been to a Protestant Church before. I didn't even know they were Christians. After the event, I knew they were more Christian than us Catholics would ever become. They said Jesus' name more times in the four-hour service than I had ever heard in a few dozen Catholic masses. … Continue reading #52essays: Protestant
Do I dare dream beyond the now Beyond this chilly Fall day That Spring will indeed meet us here And Summer will follow And we will be in love And want to be in each other’s lives still? Do I dare dream that Perhaps at an age like ours We should go into it … Continue reading #52essays Daydream
I hosted one of my former students this past weekend and while she was here I realized how much I miss intellectual banter. That first evening, I struggled to respond to her probing and her agitating. Not in a bad way, but she was pushing me to be my old self which I'd hung up … Continue reading #52essays: A Life of the Mind
I was my parents’ little girl for about 3 years and 8 months. After my sister was born I was nobody's little girl. There is more to this story but suffice it to say for all intents and purposes I didn’t belong to anyone. My parents both left the country to go and work overseas … Continue reading Bring on the Juju!
7 years ago, I moved home to Ghana under the pretense of going to teach English. I use the word pretense because I got a job within days of arriving (whom you know!) I knew I couldn't handle Ghana just on my own; a job would create for me that ready-made community of friends. What … Continue reading I Dream of Ghana
I ready myself because I know you will leave eventually. I don't usually sit still and do nothing because the demons, they haunt me then. So a couple times, I jump up and suggest we do an activity, but you are content with talking, being with me, just taking it all in. You tell me … Continue reading #52essays: You Are Not Mine to Keep
I've been diagnosed with a debilitating disease that is progressive and chronic and has no cure as of yet. I am in Week 2 of when the symptoms first appeared although at this point after going through my medical history, other symptoms have been manifesting all along; this was just a defining one. I posted … Continue reading I DON’T GOT THIS!
My sister got married today. She asked me to pour the ceremonial libation which is an integral part of any auspicious gathering in our culture, at the reception dinner. I positioned myself and steadied the plant that would be the recipient, my voice and hands shook as I juggled the mic and calabash. As I … Continue reading #52essays: The Scabs
A refrain of my own thoughts has been ricocheting around my brain for some time now but I haven't been able to put words to it until now. I belong to me and for right now, that's all there is. Me. And I (me) should be worth it to stay alive for. The past 8 … Continue reading #52essays: Peut-être, peut-être, peut-être
"Even when I'm happy, there is a something between me and whatever good news comes my way. It's like eating a butterscotch still sealed in the wrapper."
This one, made me take a pen to write it down. It seemed to describe the ravages of mental illness very well. There is almost always a fear about being and feeling completely at ease in a happy thought or in something pleasant that happens to you. It's even worse when you are caught in the throes of a particularly bad stroke of luck and life seems to be playing a sick joke on you. You are staring at a bowl of butterscotch candy and when you touch one, you find out they are all just wrappers. At this moment I can't see the forest for the trees.
The depression came late this year. For the last two weeks I've been battling to stay alive. There are lots of good things happening all around me but the really shitty thing about the sickness is that it brings with it myopia and the only thing you can see are all the negative things happening … Continue reading #52essays: Sometimes there is only Silence
"Money comes and goes but you live through food." Fetlework Tefferi says to Carolyn Jung in Spice Genius, an article in Eating Well (jan/feb 2018 edition). I was sitting in my chiropractor's office waiting to be called when I picked up the magazine.
I went to Passover last night with a chosen family. I'm going to an Easter lunch with my other chosen family. A friend wished me a "happy day of resurrection" and this friend is a practicing Buddhist. What do you say back to that? My biological sister who hasn't spoken to me in a year … Continue reading #52essays:Resurrection Sunday
Maybe these are thoughts that happen as one gets older and starts to take stock of what’s important. Or maybe these are just thoughts of someone who has been challenged by reflecting because of the absence of my native language in my life this week. Whatever it is, I am here at the paper, writing and that’s a feat accomplished not for any colonizer, despite the fact that I have written all this in English.
I've been dragging my feet about the essay for this week. I haven't particularly written anything this week. Usually, I write here and there during the week. There have been moments of brilliant recognition of a great line to start with but I have been either too sleepy or tired or take the pen and … Continue reading #52essays: Scattered Thoughts Determined to Breathe
I've been around the block a few times in my 25 years of dating that I know to leave well enough alone based on a few quick evaluations. So remember the story the other day: the man who is making mad money, drives gas for a living, and has only read one book? Well, there … Continue reading #52essays: Another One Bites the Dust!
To the other Black woman in the room with my diagnosis. To shedding the "strong Black woman" image for 20 minutes to be real with each other. To everyone in the daily fight to live or (if desired) die with dignity. To surviving. To dying. To us who walk that fine line everyday. To those who truly get it and support us. #mentalhealth #invisibledisabilities
When someone dies a public death the interpretation is left to too many people. There is no control over what happens. Last night Ghana lost a very talented and very young (in age and career) artist to a car accident. I woke up to news of her death all over FB with people asking others … Continue reading The Impromptu/Accidental Essay
Why do I share this encounter? Because it made me sad. Sure education doesn't help you climb out of poverty immediately, and looking at me, folks would say I am silly for getting all these degrees, but the critical writing and thinking skills can.
That was about 700,800 minutes ago. Rent is my favorite musical of all time and this particular song: "525600 minutes...how do you measure a year?" rings true for me tonight more than ever as I write my fourth essay of the year. I've written several variations of #4thessay but somehow this one feels right to outdoor.
How do I measure 700, 800 minutes?
What is it that makes people unable to or unwilling to part from a coupledom if only for one night? I think to myself this morning. Maybe that's why I'm still single and for the most part I'm happiest living alone to come and go as I please without seeking another's permission to spend a night with a bff or my sister.
When you are sitting in your car and contemplating whether you have the ovaries to show up at a Food Pantry, you know things are really bad. Why do I need ovaries, you ask? Because for some of us, pride stands in the way of hunger. And worse yet, I am a chef. I don't … Continue reading #52essays: Where It’s At
2017 ended a week ago. We are a week into 2018. I have been avoiding writing like the plague. I have not blogged in months, and every time I contemplated it or even showed up to the page, I found lots of excuses and reasons why I shouldn't, needn't, couldn't write, but tonight something shifted. … Continue reading #52essays lit a fire under my proverbial B
Sometimes when there's a break in my disposition and I turn from crying a few times every hour to have supreme bursts of energy, I worry. You see with Bipolar Disorder, being too happy is often a sign of hypomania which could turn into full blown mania. The tricky thing is that there is such … Continue reading Clearing the Cobwebs of 10 Years
I've beaten myself up for not writing. I've thought about writing...a lot! I've told others I quit writing. That there's not enough time in the world these days. The reality is, I was so scared of everything that was going on inside, I didn't dare write. Most of you who know me in person and … Continue reading Thoughts Collecting Dust
When we choose to love, really let someone in our lives, we open ourselves up for a lot of things aside from love. These are often by-products we don't think about as we fall in love. I've been steeping in one such by-product:shame, for 4 months, and the shame led to fear, which led to … Continue reading Telling My Truth
As I am surrounded by my language less and less the longer I stay in the U.S., keeping my radio dial on this CD is all I can do to stay comforted that there is some method to this madness called life.
I've been gone from the blogosphere for exactly 6 months and 6 days. I've done little writing in the time since I wrote A Pronouncement. It's not that I haven't thought of writing; I have. When my writer friends were making NY resolutions about writing more, I was praying the winter wouldn't be so bad … Continue reading At The Crossroads of Life in North Country
https://youtu.be/J5t78ygF_Jc My first performance in my little North Country village.
"So what would you like to do ultimately?" I was asked this question a few weeks ago by a colleague and without thinking too hard, I said: "Get married!" And then I said: "But don't tell my Beloved." "Then, finally be a Campus Minister and use my degree." And then doubt possessed me and I … Continue reading A Pronouncement
So when I left Ghana the last time I left angry and broken-hearted. I had arrived with high hopes of attempting to settle down a second time by looking for work and starting some writing projects. My second attempt went horribly wrong and I returned to the U.S. emotionally bankrupt nine months later. So even … Continue reading On Makala and Jazz; The Hermeneutics of Memory
Reach out and touch someone today.
"Come on girl! You can do this." She heard her other self say to her. The question though was not whether she could. She knew she could. She'd proven against most odds, despite hospitalization, despite debillitating medications, despite...never mind, you get the point. The question now was whether she would make it without losing herself. … Continue reading Come On Girl, You Got This!
"Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and are glad you came." "Cheers" theme song by Gary Portnoy & Judy Hart Angelo On Sunday my Beloved and I went to service at a UU church in another town about 10 miles away. I had heard from a coworker, that they were a … Continue reading Grace was my “Cheers”
Being given a pregnancy test EVERY time I go to see a doctor, no matter the complaint Being sent home with tylenol when I was passing kidney stones Being told the manager needed to be called Being told not everything is about race Being told as an educated Black woman I had nothing in common … Continue reading Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired
Hi Blog Family! It's been about 3 months since I blogged. Basically since I was hospitalized in March-April, I haven't written much. I've had two publications come out: Writing Fire: An Anthology Celebrating the Power of Women's Words and Berkshire Mosaic, both of which were fun pieces to write. The former celebrated a fictionalized version of … Continue reading Update on Life as I Have Known It
Back in October (2014) I took on two writing assignments that Gwen of Multicultural Bridge brought my way. Somehow in all the busyness of a midsemester and the ever present illness, I managed to get it done. It helped that she and Kate of The Berkshire Eagle were supportive. Horse and Carriage-Rotondos Italian Traditions-Sonsinis
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the … Continue reading Being Vulnerable is Key to Living Courageously
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVV8QwZ658I The students I worked with for Berkshire Festival of Women Writers during Women's History Month 2015.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzpxGp6BvJI&feature=share As part of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, I facilitated several workshops with female writers of color. This is the culmination of our project.
I accepted a position at a college in another remote location. My 5th move to a small white village/town. My cousin says, "as for you, you love you some white people or maybe it's the cold..." I don't answer her with much because I can't really defend myself. All my adult life I've never been … Continue reading #52essays: Manifest (Black) Destiny!
You ask me to sit awhile with you. Instead I open your windows; talk about the rustling plantain trees; about doing your laundry; ask what you would like to eat for dinner. All the while standing. I don’t know how to visit with you. I sat rubbing your legs that one evening when you had that severe gas bubble … Continue reading SKIN