Friday, May 23, 2008




Not strep?

No. It's probably mono. The blood test will be back in a few days. You have to take it easy. I can write you an excuse for work, you need to rest for three or four days.

This was a portion of my conversation with my doctor last week. I got sick on mother's day. Chills, then a fever, and then in the morning a swollen throat. Well, the nurse and I, and later the Dr., were shocked when the rapid strep test came back negative. They tested me twice.

Now, back in February it also came back negative. But then we assumed it was strep and I was treated as such.

For the past 6 months I have been running myself ragged. I have been existing on 2-4 hours of sleep, working full time, and taking care of my granddaughter. I have been exhausted. I thought that I was so run down because I haven't been taking care of myself--not sleeping, not eating properly. I just figured that I needed to catch up on my sleep.

But it was mono.

OK, no big deal. It's a virus. Get your rest and take it easy while your body gets stronger.
But the issue is that I ignored myself.

If my mother, granddaughter, love....anyone around me had been as wiped out as I was, I would have bugged them about going to the Doctor. I would have nagged about an appointment or kept asking to the point of being a headache. But for myself, I blew it off. I blew off the fact that I was just miserable and couldn't seem to shake it.

I never thought of myself as one of those 'superwoman' types. I never thought I would be one of those women who did not sit down, or go to the doctor because I was just too busy. So many women die too early of heart disease, cancer, hypertension, complications from diabetes, etc. because they don't take care of themselves. I don't want to be one of those women.

I won't be one of those women.

Not again.

Ne me quitte pas - Nina Simone

Nina Simone is one of my absolute favorite singers. Her phrasing, the passion. She was incomparable. Even Jacque Brel's own version is not as incredible as hers.

This is roughly a translation of the lyrics, in all the years I have listened to this song this is the first time that I have bothered to look at the words. Just listen to her voice.

Don't leave me.

We must forget, all that can be forgotten. It is already gone. Forget the times, the misunderstandings, and the time wasted, trying to understand how. Forget those hours, that sometimes kill, the reasons why, the heart of joy.

Don't leave me. Don't leave me. Don't leave me. Don't leave me.

Me, I'll offer to you, pearls of rain, from a country, where it doesn't rain. I will mine the earth, until after my death, to cover your body, with gold and light. I will make a land, where love will be king, where love will be law, where you will be queen.

Don't leave me. Don't leave me. Don't leave me. Don't leave me.

Don't leave me. I will make for you, foolish words, that you will understand. I will speak to you, of these lovers, who twice saw, their hearts blaze up. I will tell to you the history of a king, who died without, without meeting you.

Don't leave me. Don't leave me. Don't leave me. Don't leave me.

It is often seen, fire flashes anew, from an ancient volcano, that one believed too old. When all is done, the burned grounds, gives more corn, better than an April sun. And when the evening comes, so that the sky is aflame, with red and black, are they not married together.

Don't leave me. Don't leave me. Don't leave me. Don't leave me.

Don't leave me. I will cry no more, I will speak no more, I will hide myself there. And look at you, dance and smile. And listen to you, sing and then laugh. Let me become to you, a shadow of your shadow, a shadow of your hand, a shadow of your dog.

Don't leave me. Don't leave me. Don't leave me. Don't leave me.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pat Parker

Pat Parker (USA) Poet
Sunrise: January 20, 1944
Sunset: June 1989

“If I could take all my parts with me when I go
somewhere, and not have to say to one of them, ‘No, you stay home tonight, you won't be welcome,’ because I'm going to an all-white party where I can be gay, but not Black. Or I'm going to a Black poetry reading, and half the poets are anti-homosexual, or thousands of situations where something of what I am cannot come with me. The day all the different parts of me can come along, we would have what I would call a revolution”

I used to think that there was never going to be a place and time when ALL of my parts would be welcome anywhere. Actually, I still think it, but now it doesn't matter. I take all of me almost everywhere. I realized very early on that I was not who/what people expected. The setting did not matter; I was a misfit. My style, appetite, sexuality, music, everything was just wrong. It seems that there was always something suspect about me.

I say was not because anything has changed but because it no longer matters. I know that I have to honor all that I am. I have to 'tend that inward fire' (to quote Van Gogh). It is ok that others scratch their heads or do a double take, I can embrace myself. I celebrate those seemingly opposing sides of me.