Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What a blessing...

to have shared the stage with this man just shortly before he passed. I didn't get to meet him that day but still...God is good...

Monday, August 4, 2008

half loved...

I guess what it boils down to my friends, I am kind of tired of being half loved in my relationships with people. And I don't just mean that in terms of romantic relationships but in all of them. How do you love someone half way, when you feel like it, at your convenience? I just never understood that. It really sucks. I just don't know how to do that. I am not sure really how to articulate how that makes me feel but I just had to get that off my chest because it's after 4AM and I am up feeling down. Just trying to figure out how to work with that, ya know? Goodnight for now...

Friday, June 20, 2008


I am so tired of hearing that I am a lot to deal with. What the hell do people want me to do? I am 30 something years old...this aint the time to tone down my personality and fall in line with the parade. I have always been marching to my own beat so what the hell can I possibly do about it now? As long as I love strongly and build my faith in God and show integrity in my dealings with folks and keep growing in the best "me" fashion that I can...what the hell more can I do? What really pisses me off is that the "too much" aspect of my character is usually what attracts people to me but then want me to tone it down when it doesn't suit there current mindstate. How about you get the skates and roll your behind to the infirmary and come back my way once you've figured out that the good stuff don't come easy?

All this crap about good love should be easy is hogwash to me. People are complicated, messy, and multi-layered beings and nine times out ten...if they don't give you a little hell every once and awhile you aint really seeing the full show honey...you are still at the overture. With me, at least you know you getting to see the entire drama unfold on and off stage. I give the kids a little backstage tour of my hurts, pain, frustrations, fears and disappointments along with the joys, triumphs, happy moments and victories without dumping it on them...I just leave the curtain pulled back. You don't need that from everyone because you don't have a vested interest in everyone's life (though we all should to a degree...we are in this humanity thing together, right?) but if you do have that type of relationship with someone (whether it be on plutonic, romantic, or familial terms), you need to appreciate it when they show themselves to you. At the end of the day, you know what you are getting so either love them or leave them alone. Everyone can grow and become a better human being and should do so everyday...myself included. But can't nobody change you to what suits their whims, fears, insecurities, preferences, etc. and if they love you...why should you have to? Love me as I grow into my best self and I will do the same for you.

There's nothing wrong with sharing an honest opinion or giving constructive criticism to a friend. But "you know you can be a lot to deal with" for me is a cop out. I don't have anybody in my life that isn't a lot to deal with in someway. I find that if this is not the case, either the individual is not really in my inner circle or probably shouldn't be because they are only showing or giving a very small portion of themselves to the relationship.

Aint nobody EASY TO LOVE....perhaps some folks MAKE it easier but as soon as the "honeymoon" dance is over we all got some stuff with us. Don't knock my way just because my voice projects a little louder, eyes roll a little harder, mind moves a little quicker, and behind switches a little crazier than others. Je suis moi!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

i aint claimin y'all's recession...

my God, my Art, my Love, my Purpose, my Life, my Truth, my Hope, my Peace, my Dreams, my Future, my Music, my Dance, my Words, my Canvas, my Blues, my Ups, my Downs, my Family, my Friends, my Brooklyn, my Work, my Turn...

y'all's Recession, y'all's Economy, y'all's President, y'all's War, y'all's Downturn, y'all's Bull Market, y'all's Foreclosure, y'all's Capitalism, y'all's Gouging, y'all's $5 gas, y'all's Corruption....

We people's and all...but I aint claimin all of that...

Our America, Our World, Our Brother, Our Sister, Our Peace, Our Love, Our Art (it's so necessary!), Our Future...


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

eternally single?

i am so disappointed in adult relationships and behavior, y'all... i can't do it...so don't ask. i've made my own mistakes so i know what that's about but i can't afford any real setbacks right now. check back with me when i get to the point where it may be worth it. not there right now. it may be too late when i am but i have to take that chance. too much at stake...

just be honest with yourselves, ok? that's where i am trying to start and i know people have a problem with that. but i gotta be true to myself first before i can worry about the next man or woman. i think that if we had more self-integrity we would be able to avoid a lot of conflict with others. we portray ourselves in a manner which we think will aid us in getting what or who we want. this can be dangerous. on the other hand, where i am in this whole thing can be dangerous too. i can wake-up one day 20 years from now with a bunch of "worldly" success and no one to share it with but my four cats: Paul, John, Ringo and George. GOD willing i will get somewhere closer to the middle before it gets that extreme. for now, i am focused on this one important truism:

passion costs so make it count...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Love...when it's done right...

I had a conversation about love and relationships yesterday with a lovely older couple that I know who have been married for over 46 years. We were initially talking about something completely unrelated but they looked at me and obviously thought, "this girl needs some talking to about love because she looks like she might be a little confused!" And they would be correct! I just don't see it for myself but to that they said, "God has someone just for you and when you meet him you'll know." Ok...but I just don't trust it...nothing seems to last...
"Do you know how long we've been married?"
"Sure. I think you told me in the past. 46 years?"
"Right and do you know how long it was between the time we met and the time we were engaged?"
"...uh...4 years?"
"6 months!"
"Wow...you weren't playing!"
"Nope. I knew she was the one."
"But take your time sweetie...don't feel the need to rush. Do what's right for you."
"And don't believe everything you hear."
"I was in the cafeteria at school...and I saw this girl smiling at me....i turned around, looked back and she was still smiling at me...after awhile I figured she wanted me to talk to her."
"Can you imagine what would have happened if I didn't smile at him?"
No. I don't know but I am happy you did. I suppose there's hope for me. :-)

Affirmation: do what u love and the money will come...

I have had random older black women say this to me several times over the past few weeks. I believe that these women, in these moments, are angels sent from heaven because their sentiments are always right on time. One woman told me, "Believe me...you are better off doing what you love. Don't worry about the money right now. You're young and you'll manage. Just don't do like me and wait til you are old to start doing what you love."
This is perhaps contrary to popular belief, but I love lots of things: Music...dancing...performing...travelling...reading...writing...laying on the beach in the carribbean...hanging with my peoples...fine dining...stimulating conversation...
I wish I could make a career of it all!
The truth is I don't mind working hard at what I love to do or even what I have to do, sometimes its just hard knowing you are doing it on your own. Sure people offer their support and martyr themselves to you in order to help push you towards your goal. BUT it seems to always come with a price...like a date. Even if they mean well...that's not what I need. I need to find a person who finds value in and respects what I do and vice versa so that our exchange is balanced. Anything else that may come into the picture if timed correctly is gravy. Feel me? Cool. So you got me?
Help me, help you and vice versa so that we can "do what we have to do so that we can do what we want to do."

"The best career advice given to the young is: 'Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it." - Katherine Dunham

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

six years...

I have been in the same corporate job for 6 years and I am frightened! Nothing scares me more than the thought of a ten years of service plaque from this joint! It takes courage to be a thirty-something emerging artist during a recession. BUT...I've got to find a way to push past the fear and step into my purpose boldly. I find myself getting caught up in these drawn out moments of self-doubt and lethargy and it is getting harder and harder to snap out of it. However, I have to remember that I am in control and I've gotta keep the faith. My life depends on it. I've devoted my entire life to art...I've sacrified love for art...I've gotta come out with something from the deal!

My prayer:
God grant me the courage to be ALL that you've given me the gifts and desire to be. Amen.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Is inadequate the right word?

...I am asking because sometimes I THINK I feel inadequate as an artist but this may be an issue of semantics. What I do know for sure is that sometimes I feel like running away to a foreign land so that I can crawl up into a ball and have a big old pity party with no interruptions ONLY to rise up again like a phoenix from my pain and anguish and create the greatest cross-genre artistic masterpiece EVER! Why I can't find a way to do this on American soil...I don't know. BUT the market being what it is here...a FORCE...not that it is not like that globally at this point...I sometimes feel like anywhere else would be better for me as an artist.

Don't get me wrong...history, dysfunction, and other instances of hot mess aside, I am a committed, proud American. I've been a few places in the world and have come to the conclusion that nothing suits my lifestyle, in general, better than residing in Brooklyn USA. HOWEVER...I think I need to get away for a bit to a place where I am more of an anomaly and am not made to feel like I am washed up at 32! I know, I know...no one can MAKE me feel like a has been...it's a choice...and sometimes I make it! I sometimes feel like my ship has sailed and other times I feel like I am just not good enough. ON THE OTHER HAND...sometimes I feel like y'all have no idea what you're missing...you know, "phenomenal woman...that's me!"

Like many other artists around the world, I have an undiagnosed case of artistic schizophrenia!

I am with Sheryl Crow...I think "a change would do me good".
Stay tuned for my pending flight.... :-)

Monday, May 5, 2008

I'm a Mess...


To all of you out there in cyberland who think that I have it together...(I don't know who of you thinks this, but)....you are most sadly mistaken. I am a mess...no, I am a hot mess!
I really don't know whether I am coming or going right now. I just want to run away...for real. I feel like I am stuck in the purgatory of life on earth. You know...nothing too great happening but way too blessed to be complaining! This is the worst. Why am I never satisfied? Am I greedy? ambitious? too cerebral? Why have I always expected so much from life...what have I done to deserve anything more than the status quo? How dare I think that there's more to life than disappointment?

Bottom line: I don't want to work just to work or have a man just to keep the lonely hours from ticking away. I want to live with intention and purpose but sometimes the world makes you feel like crap for wanting fulfillment on your own terms.

Sometimes I want to ask God, "Lord, why would you give me this strong, independent mind? It only makes me crazier!"

My brain won't stop...this is literally an actual stream of my consciousness in the present moment:

Am I going to go back to school? How? MFA? PhD?
When am I going to get started on the next album?
How am I going to finish paying off the debt from my first album?
How am I going to make my way out of corporate America before I am trapped and bitter like the rest of the lot?
Why am I so disillusioned with male/female romantic relationships?
Why do I keep entertaining this idea that it may be better for me to be single for the rest of my life?
Why am I so easily annoyed when men try to help me do things that I can do myself?
I gotta remember to send Nikki her box (though I've been saying this same thing for 7+ years!)
France, Brazil, Senegal, Across the Country
This debt is oppressive
I wonder how all of my grandparents are doing...it's such a blessing to have them all still here...I need to honor and cherish that...for real.
Why do people make babies with people that they don't really like?
What am I doing wrong?
I wonder how all of my family members are doing?
Why am I such a B@$#h sometimes?
I am over the soul music thing...i just want to do me...why would I resist one big click just to join another less affluent one? Sort of counter-intuitive, aint it?
Am I clinically nuts? Should I be on the couch talking to "Paul" or something?
Why have we made SEX such a big deal on the positive and negative sides of things?
How do you reconcile your faith with your intellect and your individuality with your fellowship?
Why do I get so affected by other people's "stuff"?
How do I stay in the race when I feel unworthy?
Is In Treatment going to come back for another season? I'll gag if it doesn't!
I'm 32...how the hell did I get here?
I can't believe it's freakin May already! What have I been doing all year!!?@!@?!@?!

This has got to stop...everyone who reads this is going to think I am crazy for sure...but dang it felt good to get it out! I'm going to bed!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Living with Courage...

I was listening to NPR this morning and heard exactly what I needed to hear to get me through this day.

They were running an interview between a journalist and her grandfather who talked about what it was like to live for over 90 years. The grandfather spoke about how he was the black sheep of the family because he didn't want to become a farmer like his father who said, "a man that needs a vacation needs to get a new job." According to the grandfather, his father loved the fields he toiled more than anything in the world. What I like most about the story is that the grandfather did not receive his father's sentiments negatively or in a way that would suggest he should just shut up and do what was expected of him. Instead he took his father's words as an affirmation and applied them to his own life by leaving that farm as soon as he could to embark on an exciting life that has already lasted over 90 years.

The last thing the journalist asked her grandfather was, "Do you have any regrets?" His reply: "No. My life has been beautiful because I decided a long time ago to live with courage." Yes Grandpa! I took those words to heart as if they came from the mouth of my own grandfather. Today I am going to start living my life with a little more courage.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Revenge of the BeBes...

Robin Harris (God rest his soul) told us along time ago that BeBe's kids wouldn't die and were sho nuff gonna multiply and baby...he aint never lied!

The BeBe's who used to be babies are now out of control teenagers and they are trying to divide and conquer the world! If I go out to lunch one more time and encounter the sheer stupidity that these BeBes display in public (no shame!), I am going to start randomly beating people's kids in the streets! Hey...it might land me in the big house but at least I'd be going down for a good cause.
I know I was once young (not too long ago in fact) but I've never seen so much concentrated, public display of foolishness in one space...these kids really just don't give a hot damn about anybody...including themselves!
Where did all this begin and where and when will it end...or at least level off?
If we don't start reaching out to these young people early on and keep them in our grip..."be afraid (people)...be very afraid".

Finding Beauty in Density and Complexity

Density and Complexity...two words to consider when dealing with a woman like me. I am learning more and more that a woman with resolve is a force that many rather not deal with. Truth be told, sometimes I have a hard time dealing with me and all my complexity. My brain literally moves at the speed of light... so much so that the rest of my body and soul sometimes can't catch up. Knowing that I am still trying to figure me all out, I pity the rest of you poor mortals.

I'm going to keep working on it and this is the space where a lot of the work will get done. Keep reading and learning more about me along with me. Cool? :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm Not Dead...

As obvious and slightly morbid as this phrase may seem, it's slowly becoming my newest daily mantra.

One thing I've realized about becoming a 30-something is that you start to think about all the things in life that you've always wanted to do and hadn't gotten around to doing so. It's a reality that we all face at some point in our lives as we grow older and take on more responsibilities. Just yesterday I sat with a group of my closest girlfriends and had a long discussion about what we are versus what we thought we would be at this age. We all agreed that there was so much that we wanted to do that we either abandoned out of fear or just never got around to doing. In the middle of one the girls "I wish I would have" statements I interrupted her and blurted out, "But you're not dead! I'm not dead!" Sure we are getting older and the starving artist thing is sort of played out like a CD player but there's still hope!

I know that this may be a little easier for me to say being a single woman, with no children and a descent income, but trust me when I tell you I have my responsibilities (i.e. education debt, shoe habit debt, etc.), fears (i.e. job loss, eviction, growing into an old maid, etc.) and hang-ups (too numerous to list) like everyone else. Still, everyone has to be able to identify one person, place or thing that they've always wanted to see, try, do, or visit (you figure out what or who goes with what or whom) and admit that there's no good reason why they have not gone down that road except for the fact that they just haven't; plain and simple.

A big one for me was that I've wanted to take Frenchlessons for years. Last week I thought to myself, "so why aren't you in a French class doe-doe head?" Soooooo....two days ago I started a new French class and it was tres magnifique! I have a looooooooooong way to go but I am proud of the fact that I didn't break out into the "woe is me" song and dance and gave it the ole college try. Now hopefully this baby step will get me closer to my big grown up steps into my dream life...more on that later... :-)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Stepford Lives in Cyberspace

Is technology causing society to regress intellectually and spiritually?
Does anyone think or feel for themselves? Why should they with Wikipedia, spellcheck, and PS3 always close at hand?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My new favorite bible verse...

He has showed you, O man, what is good.

And what does the LORD require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8 [New International Version]

This is probably the most simple and concise prescription for Judeo-Christian living that I have ever read in my life. How did so many of us miss this one? Why have we made things so complicated and downright ugly when Micah had this whole thing figured out ages ago?

I am an independent-minded, critically thinking Christian woman. A lot of people find this self-description to be a bit oxymoronic and honestly, at times I've almost agreed with them. I have been in the "church" my entire life but I am just beginning to understand what CHURCH really means. This little verse near the end of the Old testament has become the framework for my personal theology.

I never really understood why people went to a big ole intimidating building week after week with people that they may or may not like without really understanding why they were even there. By the time I was old enough to decide whether I wanted to keep going to church I knew that I had to do it for the right reasons or I would be torn and confused. Well, I am still kind of torn and confused from time to time but my faith is always restored.

The more I study the Bible the more I find that the reason why so many church folks can't seem to think for themselves is that the "church" has complicated what the Word makes plain and oversimplified those matters which require further examination and reflection. Like every other human dilemma, there must be a lot at work in this issue, historically speaking. I am not sure what is all involved at this point but I am going to keep looking into it. My heart won't let me quit.

More on this great verse later...