Saturday, March 28, 2009

Message From The Universe

Remember the joy you used to feel when you'd find a quarter lying in the street? And how exciting it was when you got older and found a crumpled $20 bill in the pocket of a pair of jeans you hadn't worn in months? Well brace yourself because the day isn't far off when in-between taking naps, swimming laps, and doing the routine happy dance, you'll be busy gathering documents for your tax return preparer and suddenly you'll find a statement to a bank account you don't even remember opening, with more than enough money in it to do whatever it is your heart now longs to do. You do trip us out.

Sure enough,
The Universe

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Miracle of Tears...

As of late... as I've gotten older, I've become a wonder, even to myself, because no matter what the circumstance, I don't seem to cry.

I can remember crying a lot when I was younger. Whenever I was sad or extremely upset, tears would flow to regulate my mood.

And I also remember when I was younger that I was very ticklish. I mean very. Under my arms, my feet, my sides and even near my collar bone... I couldn't stand laughing involuntary and consequently, I learned to control the uncontrollable laughter and furthermore, you can touch me anywhere and I will definitely not laugh.

I can't pinpoint the moment in my life when I seemingly tired of the involuntary tears that would trickle from my eyes. Perhaps it was after a dreadful break up, or maybe it was after losing a loved one... Maybe because society at large confuses tears with weakness and I accepted that and dried up my own tear ducts. I can't say for sure.

Now I cried when we lost our grandmother. However it wasn't the cry that I am used to crying. I now find that a cry will get caught in my chest but I won't heave and stray tears may or may not fall.

The other day I was visiting Sister Kiaya and she was sharing her story about her recent tear drought. I, in turn, shared with her my bout... and honestly I wasn't very concerned about it until I read her story. I figured that I was strong, maybe toughened by my life experiences. Maybe my tears didn't fall so that I wouldn't be blinded, momentarily. Maybe I remained dry eyed so that I can get done what I've got to get done without interference.

After thinking it over, I started researching tears and how beneficial crying is... how crying releases toxins from the body, regulates stress hormones and how almost every function of the body is affected by the discharge of tears.

I still couldn't cry.

I thought about losing my grandmother without saying goodbye to her...

I still didn't cry.

I thought about... my 4 year relationship ending...

... being 33 and unmarried,

... being 33 and not having children of my own,

... meeting a love supreme and seeing it's ending,

... my unmet goals,

And I still did not cry.

But I went to church on Wednesday night. We've been having these Lenten services leading up to Easter Sunday. A Woman of God spoke about how "God's Plan Changed Everything" and something broke in me.

The layers I've carefully placed around myself to protect me from... others... and even my self began to shed and a tear fell. It felt sooo good.

But I wasn't done yet. I started listening to Kirk Franklin's "Without You" and on a public bus I let loose and the floodgates opened.

I thought about my boundless, bountiful, enormous blessings...

And the tears fell.

I thought about relationships ending, the beauty in relationships that exist...

And the tears poured down my face.

I thought about goals I haven't met and those that grace my walls..

And the tears fell.

I thought about my family, my parents and my beautiful friends...

And I smiled through my tears.

I wish I could say that was enough but it wasn't. Apparently I've been holding so much in for so long that when I reached home I threw on Marvin Sapp, Ricky Dillard and Fred Hammond. I cried through I started singing, I started dancing, I started clapping, people were laughing AND Like a ship... without a sail AND more than the air I need to breathe, I need more of you!

And I really cried. I heaved and held myself until my nose was stuffy, my eyes were bloodshot... until my head hurt and my lips swole up... I FELT SOOO GOOD! LOL

Til this moment, I can sit still or get busy... I can call a friend or read quietly... like last night when I watched Grey's Anatomy or while I sit now in front of this pc and tears surface the rims of my eyes and some fall.. some rack my body... but most of all, I am enjoying this season of purification. Truly there is a blessing in a good cry.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Looking Good...

This past weekend I was pleased to have one of my high school friends travel from the south and pay me a visit.

While he gained the post high school 10 pounds, I gained the post high school ___ pounds.

So a part of me was feeling nervous and apprehensive.

Saturday night while I washed and retwisted my Senegalese twists I was silently hoping that he would get on the I-95 and keep heading south but by the time 1am rolled around and I was tucking myself in, I also put my nervousness to bed.

Surely I gained a few pounds and while I can eat less and be more active, there wasn't a thing I could do about it overnight. Of course I could have beat myself up over the many nights I came in from work and didn't exercise or the salad I passed over for the sandwich. However I chose to surrender to the moment and anticipate hooking up with an old friend.

So yesterday as he pulled up in front of my building and I strutted out of the front door adorned in a black dress, black stockings and black five inch heels, I strolled with a confidence that surpassed any other feeling I could have had at that moment.

There was a strength in my stride, a pep in my step and self-love abound. I was looking good... no better than good... on the outside and inside there was a mini-parade going on, I felt absolutely marvelous.

We had such an enjoyful visit, full of reminisces and laughter. We chatted for hours and hours and promised to stay in touch. I walked him back to his car and wished him a safe journey and before he headed off, he turned to me and said, "You really look good, you're sexy, you're strong and still so so beautiful". While I smiled and said thank you in reply, I knew it was more than a compliment but a reflection.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Message From The Universe

Never underestimate, how many friends you have, how close you are, and how much fun you're going to have.

Because, as you've seen throughout your entire amazing life, one usually gets exactly what they've been estimating.

You thrill me,
The Universe

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Daytime Drama...

"A soap opera is an ongoing, episodic work of dramatic fiction..."

When I stay home from work and I remember to, I tune into my soaps. I live in NYC and I watch what I call my channel 7 joints... All My Children, One Life to Live and sometimes General Hospital.

It's not hard to get caught up on the goings on when you miss a couple of shows. The storylines are usually the same... romance, secret romance, attempts to destroy an existing or potential romance...

Also Cablevision, here in New York, has Soapnet so I can always catch missed episodes in the evenings... if I wanted to.

With so much going on... work... church... friends... social life... and my other shows, I hardly think about Soapnet, Erica Kane, Nicky/Vicky, Adam nor Chandler.

But you know... the workplace is the location for many budding, potential romances and just as those filmed and aired on TV daily, they are filled with DRAMA.

A little drama, I believe, is good for the soul. Library work, can be monotonous and there's nothing like a little speculation and love endeavor to shake up the boredom.

For instance there is this intrigue with a couple here at work. A supervisor and a subordinate. You have the supervisor, the female in this story. She's a cougar, crazy in love, head over heels. Then there's the subordinate, the male in this story. The younger, buffed up catch and he's running circles around his supervisor. They are both married to other people and trying to hide their trysts from everyone - their spouses and the fellow staffers - except... everyone knows. Drama.

2 years ago when they would run off with each other and sneak into dark quiet places where there are no cameras, everyone was tuned into their rendezvous. Now it's 2 years later and they're still up to their antics so much so hardly no one is interested anymore.

Except the devoted few.

When I used to go to Dominican salons, their TVs were always channeled to Telenovelas and even with my limited Spanish speaking and hearing, I would get caught up in their sagas.

But you know what? Most Telenovelas have a limited run. After about 120 episodes, the saga ends.

This is how I feel about this daytime drama at the job. My favorite soap opera characters don't even exist to me if I am not tuned in. Like I said before, I have much on my plate than worrying about my Ch. 7 joints or the drama at the job. But those devoted few keep that 120 episodic on-the-job saga going for an extra 400 days! And counting...

"... thus the shows were aimed at and consumed by a predominantly female audience."

My dad worked evenings and nights and I would watch the soaps with him over the summers or when out of school. We never had "Post All My Children" chats or "What do you think will be next with Asa?" talks. Back before judge shows went up against the soaps or Cable TV emerged, all there was to watch was soap operas so it wasn't weird that he watched them. However I do find it weird when men keep daytime drama whirling.

Now my best "girlfriends" have been men and what I mean by that is that my best confidantes and advice givers. But when I want to shoot the crap, men bash and gutter gossip, I head to my catty women friends not the dude who knows the ins and outs of the latest dish. Or better yet, the dude who keeps the drama alive runs to me... OH!

Like I said, perhaps our work drives us to sheer boredom and we all, men and women, crave something so that we're not nodding off at our desks. But in the spirit of telenovelas, can we create another storyline? New characters? And most of all... an ending...?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Shame is on Who?

I remember as a teenager when my mother seemed to threaten me as she told me...

"You get pregnant if you want to and you're not giving it up, there will be no abortions. You will have that baby, raise that baby, right here, in that pink room. You will be a mother, a good mother."

I thought of that on Sunday as I looked at one of my choir members. I'm very observant. Very. And often I look and see what's out of place, what's wrong, flaws. Not in a negative sense because I normally try to correct, straighten up, or at best, address the imperfection.

So with this youth I observed that she's been wearing the same 2 outfits over and over again. She's usually a fly girl and she's got a shape on her. She doesn't shy from showing it.

Except now.

On Sunday, I noticed that her coat was tight, her top was tight and her shapely body is transforming. I could be wrong, I pray I am wrong, but something tells me that I'm not.

My 17 year-old choir member is pregnant.

Now the Black Church can be tough on unwed or young mothers. They choose to ostracize them until the "problem", the "situation", the "issue" is gone. But really, is the problem, situation or issue gone after they give birth to a child? Is pregnancy the problem? Where did we as a Church Family fail?

We as a Church are an extension of the biological family. We can not police this young woman or the other youth from engaging in sexual activities. However I feel that we fail when we "sit down" the expecting mother, shaming her, after the fact. I feel that we fail when we don't talk about sex or about the pressures of the world in our places of worship. We seem to think that just because they show up for church on Sunday or sing on the choir that they are too young to fornicate... as we do... that it's impossible for them to get pregnant... or would it have just been better for her to have an abortion and no one would be the wiser or for her to go through with her term and we see exactly where we failed.

In the case of this young woman I only have a problem with her hiding. What a way to bring a child in the world when you feel you have to hide because of what someone will say or feel? The deed is done, the evidence is apparent and we all know what she's been up to.

But what about when she wore the shortest skirts, the highest heels, the tightest, sheerest blouses? What about how we talked about her pancake make-up and long fake eyelashes? What about when we talked ABOUT her and never spoke TO her.

We could have predicted this moment but never did a thing or said a word to prevent it. The shame is really on us...

A strong Church family would show and tell our youth that they don't have to act out for attention, sex is not equivalent to love, you are beautiful without your make-up and eyelashes and tight clothes, drugs are not the answer, tell us about the abuse at home - we won't just talk about it amongst ourselves, gossip on the hellaphones or roll our eyes - we will do something about it. We would show and tell them that we genuinely love them, we support them, no matter what.

I would have liked to see this young woman come to me or the other youth leaders and explain to us what she's experiencing. She is one of my dedicated choir members, actively serving and always willing. That is hard to find with these youth who prefer the streets to church. I know she knows like everyone else what will happen when the Pastor or the Deacons find out however I know we can work something out so that she won't feel ostracized, put out or sat down.

Nonetheless, there is still LOVE. And lovingly I feel compelled to talk to this young woman and her mother. First to let them know that we know and there is no need to hide. I was not pregnant as a teen nor have I ever been pregnant, but as my mother warned me and threw out her support to me when I was a teen, I will support this young mother-to-be. Her pregnancy is not the end of her world and her baby is not the end of her dreams but it is hard out here and the best that we can do from this moment on is love and support her in every way.