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.