Saturday, December 30, 2006


I don't know what to title this posting because I really don't know, right now, where I am going with it.

For Thanksgiving, my mother cooked most of the food and brought it to my house for dinner. The deal was I was to cook for Christmas. So, I called mom, verified that she was still coming and set of to purchase and cook.

I cooked food for about 8 people, even though I knew there would only be 4 of us eating dinner (holiday meals are no fun without leftovers). I had to be at work at 6 AM Christmas morning, so I cooked a little 2 days before, then most everything else on Christmas Eve. Whatever I did not cook, my daughter finished on Christmas while I was at work.

I called my mom's cell phone at 4:30 PM on my way home from work, got her voice mail and left her a message. "Hi Mommy! Merry Christmas! The food should be ready, I am about 5 minutes away from home so I hope you're on your way. OK, see you in a few minutes, I love you. Bye."

My mother NEVER called me back.

Not only did she not call me back, she did not come over for Christmas dinner.

She did not call the day after Christmas either.

My mother called my house on Wednesday, two days after the holiday and said:

"Hey. How long have you been up?"

"Well, all day."

"Oh, well, I'm gonna come by and drop some stuff off. I will see you later."

When she arrives, she offers no apology (which at 38 years old, I know better than to expect) and no explanation. I still have not even heard the words 'Merry Christmas' from my mother.

She is all grins like nothing happened.

So she puts gifts down.

I give her the gifts that have been under the tree for the past 2 days. I finally manage to calmly say, "We missed you on Christmas."

She says " Oh, I went with Sister to one of her co-worker's. He has a nice house. We had prime rib and duck with orange sauce. But, I didn't try the duck. It was really nice."

I am standing in my living room in front of my mother and daughter and I want to tell her to get out of my house. I want to know what the fuck is wrong with her and I want to ask her why she could not have told me that she really had no intention of coming to my house for dinner.

What did I do to her that spending Christmas with strangers was so appealing?

What the FUCK is that about?

I felt embarrassed. I look stupid looking for my mother to arrive at my home for dinner and she doesn't show up.

No, this is not about how it looked.

It is about how I felt.

For quite some time now I have felt that my mother has no use for me. I mean, yes, she's proud of me and loves me. She knows if something happened I'd be there for her. She knows she can trust me to do any financial transactions and would give her my last. My only purpose for my mother is to be there for her in case she gets sick.
But, she has no real use for me. She could take me or leave me.

Actually, to be perfectly honest with myself, she could leave me.

And has.

I mean, how low on her list could I be if I did not even deserve a phone call.

And, yeah, I know....WAHHH! Right? I am crying like a little baby, but FUCK!

I am talking about my mother.

I am angry.

I think I am fair to be angry.

But it becomes unhealthy because I am angry with myself. How many times will I allow my mother to just do whatever to me and I accept it?

How long am I supposed to remain open to her?

How am I supposed to trust my feelings to her?

How do you only close the gate halfway?

I am kind of an all-or-nothing kind of woman. You're either in or your out. I trust you or I don't.

But with my mother, I love her, but I don't trust her.

I wanted to push the issue and tell her that she hurt our feelings by blowing us off for Christmas, and I did not. I knew that it would just lead to an argument.

But, what did I really avoid? I mean, I am angry with her anyway. I don't want to see her or talk to her. I am just LIVID.

She never apologizes. I have never gotten a straight apology from my mother. Her apologies are always Pyrrhic victories--you win but it costs much more than you would ever gain. What would be the point in that?

I feel like I did as a child, just so frustrated by her and like I belonged to another mother. I just had to belong to someone who had real feelings and empathy.

OK, maybe the name of this posting could be childhood. or depression. or anger. I recall now my first depression. Winter 76/77, we had a tragedy in the family, my uncle died in an apartment fire. We all lived in the same building. We came home from shopping for a Christmas tree to find our building fully involved and no one could get to Uncle Lawrence's apartment. That winter and spring I was withdrawn and sullen.

I was clinically depressed at 8 years old.

When I tried to talk to my dad, my mother would shush me, because he was grieving his brother.

When I tried to talk to her, she would not hear me or I would not be able to find the words.

I felt so very alone. I wondered why no one wanted to know about me. I wondered what was wrong with me.

Some days, like Christmas evening, I wonder, what the fuck is wrong with me that my own mother would rather be anywhere but here?

This has offered some clarity. Maybe there is more to my Seasonal Affective crap than just daylight and chemicals? Maybe I need to figure out how to leave the gate partially closed. Maybe there are reasons for my insecurities and feeling less than.

I won't go all Freudian and blame everything on my mother, but hell, I can see that there are some issues that I used to pass over as 'how she is' or even worse 'i just get a little sad', but there is more to it and I deserve to be honest with myself and see the whole picture.

Whatever it holds I am finally ready to see it all.

And by all means, if my viewpoint is askew(or in any other way: all off*, all wet*, all wrong, amiss, awry, defective, fallacious, false, faulty, flawed, inaccurate, incorrect, inexact, invalid, misguided, mistaken, off, specious, spurious, unfounded, unsound, untrue, way off, wrong number ), please tell me.

I was wished courage for Christmas, I think I could use it already.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

I hope I am the only one at work this beautiful Christmas morning.

Here in Cleveland, it rained yesterday! Not a freezing rain either. I have had a peaceful day.
I am thankful for the blessings I have and for those to come.

Have an incredible day.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 11, 2006

...ok, the truth is I don't care for this season

Truth be told, I cringe when it comes to Christmas.

Hold on! Don't rush to judgement.

I love Christmas. The decorations, food, spending time with family, contemplating what is important and meaningful, and honestly being thankful for Jesus' birth. I love it.

But, I hate shopping and just dealing with people in general. People can be so mean this time of year.

Really, people will push you down and walk on you to get to an Elmo who will laugh!

People are in such a hurry to spend money that they don't recall the reason for the celebrating.

Yes, I guess that is corny. I really love the spirit of the season.

My favorite Christmas carol as a child was The Little Drummer Boy. Still is.

Simple and beautiful. The finest gift we give is of the heart.

Don't get me wrong ,I don't live in a bubble. I am a gadget geek, on a new homeowners budget. I have my own Christmas wish list. I will go and stand in line for those things that my beloveds desire.

But, Christmas shopping leaves me cold.

I understand why we all do it. We love our families and this is that time of year when we say to one another 'Hey, you are loved and deserving just because you are'.

We focus in on getting them the best. That perfect gift.

I understand.

But shopping makes me cringe. Mean people make me sad. Rude people make me very angry!

oh, well, I guess I will just have to make sure to put on my favorite Christmas CD and keep a song in my heart while I try to find that obscure movie or stand in line for the game console that everybody wants but there are only 100 being sold in the country.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Skidded, but No Tailspin

Yesterday, December 3rd would have been my father's 66th Birthday. (It is a birthday he shared with his first granddaughter, my oldest niece, Timika.)

He passed on Wednesday, (Ash Wednesday) March 8th, 2000, but I lost him a few years before that.

I was always, unabashedly, a Daddy's Girl.

There was nothing better than having Daddy's undivided attention.

When I was growing up, we would talk about anything.

A few of the things that I love that are directly linked to him are:
my sense of humor, my sarcasm, golf, football, tennis, Lorna Doone's (shortbread cookies), jazz (the classics; Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald), art, the joy of walking around your home with a song in your heart, dancing, and beautiful lines on a well made auto...

I thought we talked about everything. In my mind, there was only one other person in the world who would accept me without question, and with open arms, my Mama (Mom's mom).

I learned to question everything from my father. There was no such thing as a dumb question or anything out of bounds.

I watched what he did and what he said.

I thought I knew him.

Coming out was difficult for me. I knew I was attracted to girls in grade school. I thought one of my best friends, Karen, was beautiful, and I had the BIGGEST crush on Wonder Woman.

Yeah, really, Wonder Woman. (blushing)

My Big Mama(Dad's Mom) was a "dyke, bulldagger, you know, funny" and two of his brothers were gay. He loved them all unconditionally.

I thought my mother would have a problem with my sexuality. I thought my mother would reject me. I mean I learned all those alternate words for lesbian from overheard conversations on my mom's side of the family.

(I never heard the word 'lesbian', until Jon Lovitz, doing a skit on Saturday Night Live, rhymed it with thespian)

It took forever for me to come to the point where I just could not try to be who I thought others wanted me to be.

Actually, it took a major depression.

My mom had a problem initially, but eventually it was not an issue.

My dad had a big problem and everytime he saw me, made a point of letting me know it.


So, I started avoiding him because we argued all the time.

When he became ill, sick with cancer, he still did not let up.

The day he passed, I was at home painting. I had been in my art room for 2 days, working on a sketch and rough draft. I was listening to Cassandra Wilsons' Traveling Miles.

My mother called to tell me he had passed.

I broke.

I am still mending.

Usually, I am on guard beginning December 1st because I know that his birthday sends me into a tailspin. I feel worthless and useless. I feel like I am of no use to anyone I love. I cry without understanding why.

Last year I was able to celebrate him.

This year it caught me unawares.

On the evening of the 2nd, my daughter began talking about Mama (mom's mother) and the time just before her passing (which happened to be 1 year and 1 week after my father's). The tears blindsided me. I thought it was all about Mama, and pushed it away.

That evening, I felt that I could not do anything right for Myra, felt useless to her. I cried. I could not explain why; I did not know why. (Imagine her confusion.)

Every year I call my sister on Daddy's birthday. Later, I called my niece. She was down, said she doesn't want to celebrate it without him. I told her to celebrate. She was listening half-heartedly to half-hearted words.

The truth is I don't know how to comfort her. There was little anyone vould do to comfort me. I thought of him as soon as I woke up yesterday and then I wondered how Timika would get through the day.

Maybe next year will be better.

Happy Birthday Daddy.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's all about me.

I borrowed this from Mad Hatter,

1. Start Time: 3:45 pm
2. Name: Stormie...
3 Astrology sign: Scorpio
4. Gender: Female
5. Hair color: Dark brown
6. Eye color: Brown
7. Your mood: very good.
8. Favorite color(s): Yellow, blue
9. Glasses : Yes. I need them every day now
10. Tattoos: Not yet, but soon!
11. Best part of your life: I have peace of mind at home
12. Hometown: Cleveland OH
13. Single or taken: taken
14..Sibling's name: Katrina

15. Cut your own hair? I am sure I did as a child, but not a chance now.
16. Did you do something in the past month that you regret? Yes, I hurt someone.
17. Fell in love at first sight? No
18. Skipped school? no
19. Smoked?: yes
20. Bungee jumped?: No
21. Had any kids?: YES
22. Punched someone? Yes, I am ashamed to say.
23. Cheated on a test? Yes, in high school. History ugh. it's why i know nothing now.
24. Been arrested? No!
25. Broken into someone's house? Never
26. Been fired? NO comment
27. Been acussed of something that was not your fault? yes.
28. Been rejected? by a lover, by family, you name it.
29. Been to a funeral? Of course
30. Used a lighter?duh, yah!
31. Been on stage? yes

32. Season: Autumn - I love to feel the leaves crunching under my feet
33. Food: thanksgiving dinner
34. Ice cream flavor: coffee, vanilla bean
35. Fruit: mango, peaches
36. Candy/chocolate: dark chocolate kisses since i got a bag full on my b-day
37. Breakfast: french toast or an omelet
38. Person: my Jada Rose
39. Book: there are so many. Zami! A new spelling of my name by Audre Lorde, all of Audre Lorde's poetry,and anything by Zora Neale Hurston, J. California Cooper, Yusef Komunyakaa (poet), and Alice Walker. That's just off the top of my head.
40. Weather: Sunny, warm or crisp fall days
41. Song: Ravel's Bolero and Not Like Crazy by Jill Scott
42. River: No favourite, all water flowing is beautiful and peaceful to me
43 State/City: sanfran california
44. Place: at the lake sitting in the sun, in bed, anywhere I can be at peace
45. Sport to watch on TV : football, golf, tennis, gymnastics
46. Spot to be kissed: On my neck from behind
47. Computer site: blogspot, overstock
48. Movie: the color purple, it's a wonderful life, wizard of oz
49. Disney movie: good question...the lion king
50. Disney princess: i'm still waiting for one that resembles my beautiful Jada
51. Place(s) to eat out: Winking Lizard, Waterstreet, Diana's
52. Name(s) for a son: Miles, Malcolm, Christopher, William
53. Name(s) for a daughter: Jessica, Charlotte, Zoe

54. Chocolate or vanilla ice-cream? Vanilla, more specifically vanilla bean
55. Alcoholic or non? depends on the moment and whether i'm at work.
56. Long relationships or one-night stands? Long relationships
57. Dogs or cats? i like both but have a soft spot for cats...
58. Scary movies or comedies? Comedies
59. TV or the computer? Computer
60. Croutons or bacon bits? Croutons
61. Books or magazines? both

62. Mexicans: Anasazi and beautiful history of Teotihuacan
63. School: let me out!
64. Car: porche
65. Cows: steak
66. Canadians: molson's ice
67. Mouse: kill it
68. Hand: lover (Freudian huh...)

69. Talked on the phone? everyday
70. Watched a movie? yes on thanksgiving
72. Smoked? yes
73. Drank a glass of water? yes
74. Used drugs? does ibuprofen count
75. Read a book or magazine? yes
76. Watched TV? Yep
77. Looked in the mirror? Yeah
78. Taken a shower? yes
79. Taken a picture? no
80. Listened to music? of course
81.Told someone you love them? absolutely
82.Time: 04.29pm

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Michael Richards apologizes for racist tirade

I watched Michael Richards as if viewing a very bad, old movie. It's shocking that he felt justified and funny, in a twisted sense, to watch him completely reveal himself.

He must have been sipping on some Mel Gibson juice before the show?

What could be worse than his tirade?

Surely you all heard his tired apology. Actually, Tyler Perry's Madea would call it an 'apololie', he doesn't mean it. He is apologizing because he got caught.

He could hear Letterman's audience laughing, but I would be willing to bet he still cannot understand why. This comedic actor, whose career was solidified by understanding the power of timing and the meaning of a well worded phrase, does not have a clue.

See, there was the awkward way 'Afro-Americans' crashed through his tissue-thin apology. If he knows about Johari's Window, someone could explain to him that this is one of those things that others know, but he doesn't.

How long has it been since we were 'Afro-Americans'? Is it just me, or does that smack of someone not accustomed to saying anything more polite than 'blacks'?

There is no way to explain away that sort of tirade. That was not a matter of losing one's temper, it wasn't just a rage. That was hate. That was his heart speaking it's truth.

Comedians deal with hecklers as often as they take the stage. There are ways to handle hecklers. He could have stood there and talked about the guy, his mother, or anything.

What he chose to do was talk about lynching, call him nigger several times, and among other things justified his rage by saying 'that's what happens when you interrupt a white man'.

See, I never knew that.

That is the world according to Michael Richards.


Poor Jerry Seinfeld. Talk about timing. Just as he's promoting the release Seinfeld's season 7, this happens. And, to make it worse, that apology was like something out of the Murphy's Law rule book.

What could Jerry do?

His hands are tied!

No matter how much he wanted to, he could never come out and say "Hey, he's an asshole, and needs to get himself together!"

Season 7, HELLO!!! Time to make more money! You've got to go the apology route. But it seems to me that of the whole cast, Michael is the one most counting on those sales.


If this doesn't work, wait for the rehab spin. That is a last ditch effort.


Happy Belated Birthday to ME!

I love birthdays...especially my own.

I especially love that my birthday is closely followed by Thanksgiving.

My mom and I are cooking...she's doing the bulk of the cooking this year.

This is the only gift I am gonna ask for...count your blessings, and when you think you are done, count them again.

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear Stormie, Happy birthday to ME...and many more!

and, a very special wink to my new love, who made it an absolutely glorious weekend.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


There are times when I have terrible perceptions of myself. I will doubt even the most basic things. I have said this before, but I can cook a meal regularly, but every once in a while will question that I know how to properly feed anyone.

The universe has been moving for me in profound ways; in ways that I cannot say I believed I deserved. I have been attending church for the past month. Nearly every week, I get a message about my artwork. I have only mentioned the messages to two or three people. This past Sunday, as I was getting ready, my daughter told me I should start painting again.

"I miss your artwork" she said.

I nearly cried. I was beyond touched. I understood in that moment that what I had said with my art mattered, and not just to me.

For six (6) years my creativity was silent. I did not write. I did not paint. I felt that I had nothing to say. Nothing that mattered.

This morning, one of my co-workers said that I have fire and passion in my eyes when I talk about my art, and I put that same fire and passion in everything I do. I did not think that this man paid any attention to me other than the occasional conversation. I was blown away. I felt a little more comfortable about sharing it even more.

There is no such thing as chance. There is sychronicity. I went back to church because I needed a few things:a new love with whom I could be safe, secure, and open, to get in touch with my creative voice, and to feel safe in sharing that voice. There is power and grace in prayer. There is power in naming what you want from the universe. There are no accidents. I am being answered in abundance.

I am humbled and I am blessed.


Thursday, November 9, 2006

My homosexual agenda

I was replying to Musing the Mystery and realized as I was responding to her, I do have a Homosexual Agenda.

"Oh, by the way, I really do have a very clear cut Homosexual Agenda; be healthy, happy, love fiercely, and live with dignity.

I bet if that were pushed forward, the 'right' would find something sinister in it.

it's almost funny"

So many times these simple rights have been won over and over, but always after a fight. Always after a struggle. I intend to live with purpose and dignity, to be healthy and happy, and most importantly loving.

I intend to be all that I can be.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

What color heart do you have?

Your Heart Is Red

You're a passionate lover - you always have a huge fire in your heart.
Too bad it's hard for you to be passionate about just one person!

Your flirting style: Outgoing and sexy

Your lucky first date: Drinks and dancing

Your dream lover: Is both stable and intense

What you bring to relationships: Honesty

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Welcome to My Strip Tease or 4 A.M. Ramblings about Honesty

I came across a writing exercise which suggested introducing yourself to a stranger, in writing. You have a rare disease which prohibits you from being dishonest--tell the stranger who you are.

I looked at the words and thought about this exercise. I put the book down, and thought about the exercise some more. I 'slept' on it, then forgot about it. Actually, I did not forget it, I tried to forget it. I wanted to forget. This shit has been bothering me.

I am so very brutal with myself that just thinking of bearing it all for a stranger hurts. The thought of writing out all that I am, and all that I am not, for a stranger seemed terrifying.

I must lay bare all of my stuff. Which includes that which I work hard to make certain that hardly anyone ever sees, or knows. Who the hell wants to do that? Why in the hell would anyone want to do that?

Then, a revelation; I already do this. In this blog, I give a brutally honest, if fractured, self-portrait. I lay myself open to the world, and why? Initially it was loneliness and the need to write, communicate. To be honest, I needed to communicate with myself. After being blocked for over 6 years, it did not matter that anyone else could see it. It only mattered that I spoke my own truths. I needed a release. Writing this blog is my release.

I realize that I label, categorize, define myself more and more with each entry.

It may sound crazy. It may not be enough for someone to actually stick around to read, and I am ok with that. But, on the rare occasions that someone wanders onto this page and reads something by a stranger that they can relate to, then I have accomplished what I set out to do. It would be cool to be able to have coffee across a table, but I will take what I can get for now.

Most days it is enough to be able to put it down and hit the publish button when I am done.

So, strangers, welcome to my exercise. It is an on-going, work.

If I were to compare it to a strip tease then I would have to say each posting is another scintillating article, but really, no one would wait for a stripper to get through so many layers.

Last night I dreamed I decolonized my thighs, would be considered a 'wardrobe malfunction'.

I do own a pair of nipple shields.

How's that for revealing?

What is your personality cluster?

Your Personality Cluster is Extraverted Intuition

You are:

A true wordsmith - a master of words
Original, spontaneous, and a true inspiration
Highly energetic, up for any challenge
Entertaining and engaging, both to friends and strangers

Friday, October 20, 2006

i am not a pretty girl

There are some things that really matter to me.
It is important that I am honest, and trust-worthy. I try to be kind. My relationship with God is important. I cherish my role as a mother. I value my independence, tenacity, and fierce loyalty. I love that I am direct. I even love my sarcasm.

I have never had much respect or use for those women who think of themselves as helpless. It is difficult for me to understand...actually I do not understand it. I am offended when I am treated like some poor, dumb female.

My maternal great-grandmother was Blackfoot. Her daughter, my grandmother, fished, gardened, had a green thumb, cooked, and raised five productive and relatively well adjusted children. My father's mother was an incredible, entrepreneurial, knife wielding, no bull-shit taking, beautiful womyn. I come from HEARTY stock.

I do not fold easily. I do not crumble under small pressures. I am not faint of heart. I own my body. It is mine and I say what is done with and/or to it.

I am smart, witty, curious, and articulate. I may even be attractive, but it is not as important as the rest. I don't want to be the pretty one. I do not want to be catered to, pacified, placed on a pedestal and treated as if I would break. Often, no one else care to help me up if I fell. Who could afford to fall apart? Certainly, I could not.

I used to resent the pretty girls; the women who were sought after. I used to wish I were one of them. Now when I offer prayers of Thanksgiving, of which I have many, I thank God that I could not rely on being less than I am today. I thank God that more was required of me. I thank God that I was challenged and rose to the occasion.

I thank God that I am not a pretty girl.

So, here are the lyrics to one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite womyn:

not a pretty girl by Ani DiFranco

i am not a pretty girl
that is not what i do
i ain't no damsel in distress
and i don't need to be rescued
so put me down punk
maybe you'd prefer a maiden fair
isn't there a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere

i am not an angry girl
but it seems like i've got everyone fooled
every time i say something they find hard to hear
they chalk it up to my anger
and never to their own fear
and imagine you're a girl
just trying to finally come clean
knowing full well they'd prefer you
were dirty and smiling

and i am sorry
i am not a maiden fair
and i am not a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere

and generally my generation
wouldn't be caught dead working for the man
and generally i agree with them
trouble is you gotta have yourself an alternate plan
and i have earned my disillusionment
i have been working all of my life
and i am a patriot
i have been fighting the good fight
and what if there are no damsels in distress
what if i knew that and i called your bluff?
don't you think every kitten figures out how to get down
whether or not you ever show up

i am not a pretty girl
i don't want to be a pretty girl
no i want to be more than a pretty girl

one liners...a few of my favorite lyrics

I'm your sedative. Take a piece of me whenever you can.
Don't Cry....Seal

Whatever displeases your palate, my kisses will wash away.
Mary Magdalene....Me'Shell Ndege'Ocello

I can hardly breath for the trembling in my thighs
You Move Me.....Cassandra Wilson

Sunday, October 15, 2006

WTF, or Why your opinion about my hair matters

It is 2006. October of 2006. Why is a black woman's hair still such an issue?

I carry dreads. My locks are pretty long; they come to the middle of my back. Since they are long now, people compliment them. People stop me to tell me how beautiful they are. They make a point to tell me that MINE look nice and clean.
It is 2006.

I started my locks in 2000. I cut my shoulder length chemically 'relaxed' hair off and started my locks with about 2 inches of hair, which looks like an inch once twisted.

People looked at me like I was crazy. I expected some people to stare, but the worse group, by far, was black women. At first the reaction hurt me.

Sistahs looked at me like I was trying to cut their hair off. They reacted as if I was trying to take away their relaxers and make them go nappy. Brothers tripped too, but most brothers trip when they see a woman with short nappy hair. I could not believe it. THIS IS MY HEAD.



Not that it mattered anyway. I was ready for my locks. I was happy. I did not lock my hair to please anybody but ME.

So now, when I am shopping or walking, and someone stops me to tell me that they approve of my locks I really want to ask them if they hold an opinion on what the president is doing.

I want to know if they talk to their children about things going on in the world.

I want to know if they read.

I want to know what makes them think that I give a care what they think about MY HAIR.

I don't care!

I mean, OK, Thank You for the compliment.

But, I want SOMEBODY to walk up to me and ask me why politicians think black folk are a herd of homogeneous, brainless cattle.

Or, why is it that if a black woman doesn't fit a European margin of beauty she is only worthy of disdain.

I want someone to look at me, see the fire burning in my eyes and know that I am the real deal.

I want SOMEBODY to see the beauty that is me.

I want people who only care about 'dressing to impress' to impress me by shutting up.

Maybe I should walk around singing India.Arie's 'I Am Not My Hair,' even if no one gets it but me.

**The exception to this are those people who are locked, were locked, or whose lover is locked. I bask in their attention. People who have cut their locks often say I make them miss their locks. THAT is a compliment**


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Last night I dreamed I decolonized my thighs.

This post is for grown ups. I make no apologies.
This is a part of an essay I submitted to a proposed book about black women and their sexuality, about how we deal with and/or break free of labels.

Last night I dreamed I decolonized my thighs.
I dreamed I had an hour long orgasm.
I dreamed I was being had from behind by someone I did not care to see.
I walked up to delicious strangers on the street and admitted that I would love to lick them from head to toe.
I pleasured myself with my hands, my toys, my lover and then borrowed your hands, fist, your toys, your lover, you
…I moved on in this fashion until I was quite satisfied!

Unfortunately morning came before I really tested my limits. I awakened with a satisfied smile.

Now, reading this to myself in the daylight, I blush. I surprise myself. I am still surprised by my brashness. I wish I were bolder, but I dare only express these things, bit by juicy bit to a lover. I reveal things slowly, as if each revelation were new, and not fantasies I have dreamed of a million times. It would take me a while, and even so, I'd blush when admitting my desires.

It is not very often that I have made love to someone soon after meeting them. There have been times when I have met someone and instantly thought that our bodies would fit together wonderfully. In the cases where we did make love later, I have always been proven to be correct and we were great together. I have learned to trust that my instincts are fantastic. It's important that I validate those instincts. It used to be that I did not trust myself.

It used to be that I carried shame like it was a prize. As an incest survivor, I realize that I own no shame. It took a long time before I came to the realization that I could not afford to hold onto what other people thought about me. It took even longer to realize that I am not responsible for the decisions of others. I have had to realize that there is nothing more crippling than living half a life, afraid of rejection. I decided to live without the labels others would assign. I take what I want, and I leave what I want. I learned self-acceptance, and learned to love me.

I found myself struggling to fight the Jezebel image, even though most would probably figure me for the Aunt Jemima role. I found I suppressed my desires. Even in my own home, in my own bed, in the dark, with the beautiful women who have loved me. I would backpedal. It would take forever to admit a desire, a fantasy. I was ashamed. Some days I wanted to be Jezebel. I wanted to be brazen, a temptress. I wanted to be easy, and not care. I didn't want to feel horrible whenever I strayed from the missionary position. I clung to the image of a good girl. I was afraid I would scare a lover away. But, I had to think about it , if a lover knocks my socks off it meant she had studied the fine art of lovemaking. She had learned and explored. I don't judge others harshly for that . As a matter of fact, I was very grateful to have found it. So why should I see myself differently. I did not judge others the way I judged myself. I did not think of other women as harshly as I saw myself. I often looked at others with an admiration, and respect for having the courage to be themselves. Slowly, I began to unravel the source of my shame.

And now? Well, now, I am looking for someone with whom I feel safe and secure. Someone with whom I can let down my hair, so that I can explore until we both collapse, sleep, awaken, and then explore more and more and more...


Wednesday, October 4, 2006

In Honor of Masumi Hayashi

The first time I ever saw a panoramic photo collage, I fell in love. I had put photography class on my list of things to do. I wanted to take a class with Masumi Hayashi. The more I saw of her work the more I liked, then loved.

Then I began to learn little things about the artist. Masumi Hayashi was born in the Gila River Relocation camp in Arizona in 1945. She has been a professor of Photography at Cleveland State University for more than twenty years. This past weekend Ms. Hayashi was murdered in her apartment by a mentally disturbed neighbor. This beautiful, talented, amazing woman, and another artist, sculptor, were taken away from the world violently.

No, she is not more worthy of mourning because of her talent. They are worthy of mourning because they were taken violently, and before their time. I think she deserved better than to have come into the world imprisoned, and to have her life taken, violently, and imprisoned--I am certain she did not welcome death. Everyone deserves better than this.

I still have photography on my list of things to do. It is beautiful that we have her powerful work; we have her powerful voice. Her work cannot be silenced.

With a heavy heart, I wish you peace.

Now you see me...oh, no, you don't (being femme)

It is frustrating, being invisible. It is still something that I cannot figure out how to navigate.

Years ago, I had a heated argument with my former partner about black femmes. I told her that we are invisible and that in order to be seen, we must either wear something which identifies us as gay, be in an environment that would identify us as gay, or overtly flirt. Otherwise, how would you spot us? I mean, there is no specific haircut or handshake. We are largely invisible. I mean, if your gay-dar is really, really good you might spot me, but you would question yourself. I challenged her to test it out. When we are out, how many black femmies do you see? Then, when at a gay event, gathering, how many of the femme women there would you walk past and assume to be straight if you were in another environment?

It's frustrating. I do not, generally, flirt. I mean, I have had my moments, but for the most part I like to be approached. Actually, I love to be approached. I make eye contact, to communicate that I am open to some conversation, but that is about it for me. It's subtle, and if you are not looking for subtle you would miss it completely. I really don't like the bar scene, unless I am going out dancing. I like live music, museums, and the theatre. I like to learn things and have wonderful conversations. But I am easy to miss.

I am femme. I cannot walk hard. I do not act hard. I think butch women are sexy. I do not define butch as masculine, or hard. It's hard to define, but so delightful to see. It is not about 'acting like' anything, it's natural, sexy, and real. That is what I like. I assume that a woman who is attracted to me, is attracted to my heels, purses, lipstick, and tight jeans.

So, femmes, be of good cheer. Keep your head up. Making eye contact; you know, the kind that would make a straight woman uncomfortable, but lets a butch woman know exactly where you're coming from.

; )


Originally posted 6-16-06

I have been accused of being judgmental, stubborn, and opinionated. For the most part, I concur. I am very opinionated. I do not try to insist that others agree with my opinions, but I think we all have the right to our voices. So, I try to exercise mine. I am not so stubborn that I cannot listen to what other people have to say. I am even more than willing to admit that I am wrong, when such occasion presents itself.

As for being judgmental, I bristle at that word. It is something that is often misunderstood and seems more harsh than it is. I have learned to sit back, shut up, and WATCH. I do not often find myself at the center of attention. I shy away from that. I watch people. I study them. I watch for the tell-tales. It's like knowing that the car that just passed you is about to cut you off. You can just tell. Now, I do not pre-judge people. I do not assume anything about people because of their address, or skin color, or manner of dress. But, I can usually read a bullshitter. I can usually tell if someone is trying to hide something by being pushy or nasty. I can usually tell a great deal about people by what they don't say, and how they "don't" say it.

I am saying all of this because one of my biggest issues is my self-doubt. There are things that I just KNOW. Often, I am absolutely correct, and if I am incorrect, it is not often by much. This is just a part of who I am. BUT, so very often, I do not trust myself. I do not listen to ME. I had been so upset about a relationship ending that I did not make sure to go back and pay attention to all that had lead up to it. I felt guilty because for a few months, I had been quiet. I had work, my daughter, my house, and 4 classes keeping me busy. I got quiet, but I had forgotten why. I mean, as you can probably imagine, my plate was overflowing. So, I felt bad when I realized wow, it is not right to not talk and just shut down. One word from someone else and I just felt guilty and started beating myself up.

So, we are supposed to start over, start dating. Well, ok.

deep breath.

So, we are in my room and I am excited about the greeting cards I have come up with. I begin to talk about it, but I am interrupted. There is no interest in my fragile, budding, reawakened creativity. It is my best news right now. It is the only thing that I can say I have done for me. I am so happy and proud. I am so glad to be thinking about colors, and composition that I just can't stand it. It is a part of me that I thought I had left out in a storm; I thought it had been blown away and lost forever. I am so happy to have sketched and being ready to paint that the only thing that would have made it better would have been to share it with someone who loves me. So, Ok, we are starting over and I am supposed to be communicating better. Well, what could be better than sharing fantastic news...

Oh Fuck

How stupid can I be. I went through this before. That is why I stopped talking. That is why I shut down. I was not being heard. I needed to be heard. I mean really, I can go anywhere to find someone who will not listen. I can go anywhere to sleep with someone who does not really care to know me. That is not what I wanted. That is not what I was promised. So, ok, I am hearing the words 'I love you', but what the fuck is that getting me if I am just sitting here holding onto what is my best creative news in the past 6 years, 3 months, and 8 days. That is how long it has been since I last felt my creativity really flowing;I has been since Ash Wednesday, 8 March 2000.

So, I have been asking, what do you love about me and what did you miss. I get a bullshit answer that refers to my ass. Well, if I cross the path of someone who enjoys seeing a nice, big, round, ass then they like it too. So what! I have had this ass for a long time, I have not been flattered by people paying attention to it since I was about fifteen.

Today, I feel lonely. I feel that the only way for my truth to get out is if I type it here. Apparently, it is not important enough for my "love" to hear. This is that same loneliness that caused me to hold my tongue for those months. What was the point of talking if no one was listening?

Today my heart is cloudy, with 100% chance of precipitation.

It's a good thing that I saved the good wine for a rainy day.

Peace and Cheers

I dreamed about Billie Holiday

I dreamed about Billie Holiday. It was young Billie. It was thick Billie; signature cigarette in her hand. She was as ripe as her voice. Her face was full. Her demons had not yet won the war.
I did not understand. I was at home relaxing one minute, and on stage in a concert hall the next. I was struggling to sing her song as she watched with a patience and coolness I never imagined she possessed.
In the next moment, I was seated, watching her on stage singing. Her face and that voice flowing over me. Waves of silken sadness envelope me, and soon I am adrift. Surrounded by her bittersweet song, she is in me.
I awakened to the faint smell of cigarette smoke, gardenias and the last lonely notes of a piano solo.
Days later, I am still haunted by whiffs of gardenias and cigarette smoke, and still enveloped in that silken sadness. My voice has become silken sadness, my voice has become bittersweet. Call me Eleanora. Call me Billie.

Take time to meet the flowers

We get so busy trying to get from point A to point B that we do not see each other. Maybe the reason we rush around so much is so that we don't see one another. Maybe the point of it is that we don't want to see others, really see them. Every work day I walk to get coffee. I start work at 6 A.M. and the walk helps me start the day. One of the things I enjoy about my walk down two short blocks on quiet downtown streets is watching people. I have become pretty accurate guessing which people will avoid my gaze, or won't hold the door open. It seems that some people cannot get beyond my chocolate skin or my dread locks. It doesn't matter what I am wearing; dress clothes, uniform, or smile. It doesn't matter that my eyes are twinkling with a smile, or even amusement. Now, we have a problem on W.6th with homeless people begging. But I am in a neat, clean uniform, I am freshly showered, my locks are in a neat ponytail. I don't think I can be mistaken for the homeless, but for my brown skin. It amuses me how many people will avoid my eyes. So few are willing to offer a smile and a good morning. People have their heads buried in the paper, their blackberries, ipods, and laptops. The more productive we are, the less aware we are and we pay attention to fewer things.

Last summer, I noticed, on my walk from the coffeeshop, one flower that was white among a whole bed of purple blooms. It was beautiful and made me smile. The guy walking towards me had to smile back. That made it all the better. It is the little things that matter.

Have you noticed how many singles are saying how hard it is to meet people these days? It seems that we have lost the art of being able to talk to one another. Not every conversation is going to lead to a romance, but isn't it great when you strike up a conversation with a stranger and find out that the two of you have a great deal to talk about, and some things in common. This does not mean that you are 'soulmates'. It does mean that there are plenty of people out there for you to meet, if you take the opportunity.

A couple of weeks ago, I drove to Columbus to see Toshi Reagon. I was alone at a table when a woman, who was also alone, asked if I was with someone and if I'd mind if she sat with me. I told her sit down, we introduced ourselves and talked. Her name was Shawn. She was smart, a little shy, had only been in town for a few months, but had not been out because of long hours at work (the University). She's working on her doctorate and seemed a sweet soul. No, this is not about looking for love. This is about being able to enjoy people. This total stranger was pleasant and I was able to meet a new person and enjoy a wonderful concert as well. How divine! This is a beautiful evening; great music and good company.

So often we don't know how to meet people because we won't even talk to people who we would not consider dating. Life is about more than that. Think of it as practice. Conversation is an art. Besides, if you don't know how to strike up a conversation with a stranger, what will you do when someone you'd like to meet floats by. Meeting people is beautiful. It is a shame that we have all of this technology to help improve the quality of our lives, but all day long beautiful, exotic, intricate, colorful beings walk past us without our ever noticing. We all need to take time to meet the flowers.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006


Originally Posted 11/16/05


my curiosity. I know a little about a lot of things. Just enough, generally to have a conversation with just about anyone about pretty much anything--at least enough to make some connections to steer the conversation once i get to the edge of what i know. I know better than to think i can b*s* someone really knowledgeable in areas.
i like my honesty. i don't like to be complicated by lies. the truth is i am lazy and hate to remember them. and invariably, there is always at least one person who knows the truth, and i hate to kiss ass, for any reason so the truth wins out.
i like my creativity. i like the way my mind makes connections that are not always obvious. i like the fact that i can look around my home and see paintings and ceramics that i have created. i find that my art work satisfies my desire to see particular subject matter, it relaxes me.
i like my cooking.
i like my sense of humor.
i like that i laugh until i cry.
i like that i am fiercely loyal to anyone i call friend.
i like that i love to read.
i like that i am not ashamed to march to a different drummer.
i like my green thumb, my plants are awesome.
i like the life i have built for myself.
i love my dreads. they are beautiful.

i have let my fears define and defeat me.
i hate that i work a job that i no longer feel compelled to do. I know i need to move on, but i am so afraid of not being able to make a living doing what i love. I am afraid of not being able to afford all of my creature comforts. i am rather comfortable with them.
i dislike it when i am moody. but, i am so, ok, i'm over that one already.
i dislike this weight that i have gained. oh, yeah, i'm still sexy, but i still hate it. i am not comfortable with it, so i have to work to get comfortable. but, oh yeah, these curves are hot!
i wish my circumstances were different and i could spend more time with my daughter. just free time, chillin. rather than feeling fried or rushed or being at wit's end because something unexpected has come up and i have to do it all myself.
i dislike that i don't spend time doing the things i love to do for myself. i always put those things last. see, i'm not that bright.
i wish i didn't dislike winter. months of snow and darkness. cold weather and being sick. not wanting to go outside. temperatures in the -10's. I really wish i could get over it. Winter lasts into April here....yes nearly 6 months...give me a break already! i REALLY hate winter!

What do i want to accomplish this year...get back on track to get my degree. Get back to college.


Making Connections

It's been a while, I know. I have been working and tired and parenting and somewhere in the middle of all this trying to unblock my creative juices. It is painful to be in a 'creative holding pattern'. I've been frustrated. I really feel that I am not whole again, and won't be until I get that part of myself back. I know it won't be the same. In my writing and painting, my voice will be different. My hand will be different, my eye, my everything. But, I am different.

The last three years have brought about so very many changes. I am so lucky. My daughter is becoming a beautiful young woman. Of course, at 17 she has MILES to go, but she's on the right course. I have a new home. I am a different woman than I was a few years ago. I love differently. I laugh more frequently. I had never understood before, people who said that it took years to recover from a break-up; but you live and learn. When my relationship ended after nearly 8 years, I thought I had lost myself. There was so much of 'me' wrapped up in 'us', that I did not think I had anything to offer any one else. But then, I met the most incredible, gentle, loving, and sensual woman. She brought a quiet storm into my life and taught me how to be more open to love. And, when it ended, I was ok to let it go; without regret, without losing myself.

It's like moving, it takes a while, sometimes, to feel like you are finally all 'unpacked'. I know I packed my muse in here somewhere, but damn it, I can't find her. I mean, did she break in the move? Did she fall off the truck? A year ago, I thought this was hopeless. I was heart-broken. Right now, I feel hopeful and awake. I feel as if I just woke up and maybe I need a little longer for my coffee to kick in. But, I am thank God that I am awake and able to see the beauty of this world around me. I feel that slowly, but surely, my mind and spirit are making the connections that I need to make. My muse? Ah, she's right here, with me, been here all along-- you know moving can really tire you out, but we are both pretty well rested now. And the coffee's brewing.


I had a dream

I am not trying to be funny, but I did have a dream last night. It is noteworthy for two reasons: First, I have not been remembering my dreams for years now. Second, It was really cool. I dreamed I was swimming underwater with dolphins and people who were apparently friends (though no one I recognized). I went underwater and could see through the beautiful blue water. It was peaceful and calming until my conscious mind reminded me that I cannot swim and am afraid of being underwater. Luther Vandross was also in my dream, I had a private concert. I think he was encouraging me to be creative. As was the trip underwater, it was a subconscious nudge, towards my own creativity.

I have been blocked for years now, and frankly it's gotten to be a burden. I lost my father to cancer, and never forgave myself. We had been locked in a battle. Growing up, I was unashamedly and admittedly, a "Daddy's Girl". We just enjoyed each other, he passed on to me his willingness to question anything under the sun, his love of golf, football, tennis, Lorna Doones and classic jazz. I am certainly my father's child. He did not respect my desire to live my life as I saw fit. I could not understand the hypocrisy of his stance. We allowed this battle to continue for years. And years. I could not see what was in front of me. We were both stubborn. When I found out that Daddy had passed, I was painting. I was so happy and at ease, I hadn't a care in the world at that moment. My painting had me content and fulfilled, I was proud, because I had completed what I had set out to create. I allowed my guilt to literally consume the best of me for years. That was the last time I finished a painting. It was March 8, 2000, Ash Wednesday.

A few months ago, I realized that there are two sides to everything. And, although I do own some blame, I only own half of it. I have been doing myself a disservice to carry around blame for two people. I have denied myself the outlets to heal: writing and painting. The very vehicles I use to work through everything in my life were no longer available to me. And this went on for years. I hope someone out there can understand how completely maddening it is to not create when it has been your saving grace all your life. But, finally, the clouds are lifting and I am finally starting to see again--with my heart and not just the literal things.

I felt refreshed when I got out of the bed today. My spirit was refreshed, as if I had been in cool, clear waters. As if I had danced with my father again.


Thank You, Alice Walker

My mother and grandmother always made sure to let me know that there is a higher power. Their faith in God was, and is, unshakable. They were good church-going women. I enjoyed going to church with them; it was so cheerful, with the singing and everyone praising the Lord. As a teenager, though I still enjoyed church, I knew that my work did not end there. In my mind, church was where you went for community and to hear a sermon which, hopefully, would further you spiritually. After church, it was my job to analyze and internalize that which I felt was in keeping with my beliefs. I did not internalize those things which put one religion over another; I had been raised to believe that if someone has a belief system wherein they respected others and didn't harm/hate, then I had no room to disrespect that which I did not know. I still feel this way.

I would often pray while walking, anywhere. In the park, to the bus, at the mall; it did not matter where, only that I prayed. I thanked God for the smallest things; daisies, trees, rivers, lakes, rocks. I thought all of nature was a sign that God is. Now don't get me wrong. I am no more religious than the next person, as a matter of fact, I have a problem with religion, but not with God. I believe God is bigger than all of the limits man puts on him. I believe God is pure love. But, I never discussed my theories on God, religion, prayer with anyone. I thought myself to be quite strange. That is, until my teenaged eyes read The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

The way that Celie took everything to God: her molestation, pain, sadness, and frustration; it made me know that someone else understood my relationship with God. I never understood the need for an intermediary. I took my lapses directly to the Lord, he knew my heart and it was safe with him. I have never trusted anyone else more.

That book made me weep. I was so grateful to feel less alone. There are lots of times when I feel that I am so far left of center that no one could reach me, or understand. That book made me feel understood, on more than one level. I always knew I marched to a different drummer, but at least someone else heard the same music.

Thank you, Alice Walker.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Tracy Chapman

This is my favorite song by Tracy Chapman.

I'm Ready

I want to wake up and know where I'm going
Say I'm readySay
I'm ready

I want to go where the rivers are overflowing
andI'll be ready
I'll be ready

I'm ready to let the rivers wash over me
I'm ready to let the rivers wash over me

If it's love
flowing freely
I'm ready
I'm ready

If the waters
can redeem me
I'm ready
I'm ready

I'm ready to let the rivers wash over me
I'm ready to let the rivers wash over me Oooooh, Oooooh

I want to wake up
I want to know where I'm going
I want to go where
the rivers are over-flowing

I'm ready to let the rivers wash over me
I'm ready
I'm ready ...

Going Into The Closet

It was not necessarily my intention to discuss my sexuality, because frankly I don't think that it is anyone's business. I am not ashamed of who I am, I just choose my battles. I visited a website that, by it's title, is for gay women of color. It is published and edited by a woman who writes a monthly editorial. Well, this month she decides to say that she is ashamed to be gay and that if there were ever some sort of register, she certainly would not put her name on it. She is ashamed to be considered, because of her sexuality, of the same ilk as pedophiles and rapists. She is more concerned with the plight of 'Afrikans'.

First of all, there are ignorant people everywhere. Just because someone thinks that they already know who you are based on a label does not make them correct. I mean no one is saying that as soon as they hear 'pedophile' that they think 'priest', would that be fair? Most prejudice grows because people who are normal, law abiding, loving, hard-working are afraid to confront the ignorant bigots around them. Most people see it as an uphill battle, but I do not define myself by what other people think. Yes, it hurts to feel that you have to hide yourself, but I refuse to carry shame because other people are prejudiced. It's like any other prejudice, based on ignorance and meant to kill your spirit. I cannot give anyone that much of myself.Rapists are concerned with controlling their victims. Rape is not primarily about the sex. The purpose is humiliation and degradation, the assertion of power and control. There are rapists and pedophiles across every division of the human race; color, class, continent, you name it and you can find some low-life who will prey upon the vulnerabilities of others.

I have found that the only time that black folk will openly discuss anyone molesting children is within the context of talking about gays. They don't know anything about incest; they won't discuss incest. They don't talk about domestic violence or any other cancer plaguing families, unless they can pin the crime on a homosexual. I know this sounds horrible, but I wish The Editor would crawl back into her closet, and I hope there is room for all of the other self-hating homosexuals like her. Next she'll be one of the people in the ex-gay church groups trying to tell everyone else how to live. If you want to get out of the life, then get out. But, this is more than just a phase, it is not a joke. I did not wake up one day and say, I think I want to be harassed, the butt of jokes and talked about at work. This is who I am. I would never, ever harm a child. Children are to be loved and protected. I think The Editor needs to take a good look at herself, is she a pedophile? I would think not. Just like being a black female does not make us all whores or lazy; it does not make us anything except women of color. We are not ALL anything, except individuals.

I hope all of the young gay women who may, mistakenly, see her as some sort of role-model realize that, unfortunately, not all people learn to accept and love themselves. She does not speak for anyone but herself, and is certainly free to do so, but I wish she would be a bit more responsible to those who may be impressionable. We already have enough people spouting hate at our young people, they don't need to hear it from someone who passed herself off as one of our own.