I read through my old journals last night and saw how my life formed itself to the present moment. One page stuck out in my mind, and I decided to make it public via my blog:
Sunday, July 13, 2014@6:45pm
Sometimes, the emotional pain is so deep, the only thing that you can do is cry. The tears help to relieve the pain that is invisible to the naked eye but quite recognizable to the heart.
While you may envision yourself healing, the daily journey will face obstacles. You have to face it by engaging yourself in activities that help you to connect with yourself.
One day, I will be whole again. Until then, the only thing that I have is hope. This song expresses my vision of a happy day when my smile radiates through my entire being.
I do not remember what actually happened to the song but this entry shows my mind set shortly after my father left this life. It was apparent to me that a process was taking place, and time would have to pass before I felt like myself again. As of 5/30/16, smiles cross my face all the time. A cup of coffee is currently the cause.
The first time I ever saw Spoken Word Poetry was on HBO in 2000. The center stage was taken by the Punany Poet herself, Jessica Holter. After seeing and performing in a few shows open mics in Miai, I felt myself rather at home as a captive audience member in the local poetry community. After my friend and well known poet Will Bell was murdered, I vanished from all poetic activity. There was no interest or desire to even lurk in a dark corner to remain captivated by a story as it unfolded in a secy atmosphere surrounded by complete strangers. This year seems to be my poetic re-entry time. Between Thou Art Woman and Girl Talk, poetry has surrounded me once again. Let us not forget how I met the delightful Crystal Chanel the MOC at ArtServe. Poetry was presented there as well and now it seems as if there is a limerick waiting for me every week. Familiar faces now appear at my new haunts. Another favorite of mine, Red Writing Hood has become a regular at my family functions. It is wonderful to see different poets and experience different literary flavors. Some words tickle while others strike a chord. I am happy to say that everything has come full circle and it was wonderful to be back where it all started….admiring my favorite poet, Jessica Holter.
The seats in the back of the room were perfect for me. The big cushions would allow me to sink and simply hide. I signed the guest book and wanted to simply exist for a few minutes. I did not see my new friend but still wanted to be supportive. There I sat listening to the old fashioned hymns that were being piped into the room. Her mother had passed the week before, and I wanted to attend the viewing. Here it is the morning after and all I can think about is how she must feel. I think there is more to it than that.
My mother is my remaining parent in this lifetime. Once Daddy passed away, I realized that one day my mother would join him. That is a thought that causes a pause in me. The two people that created me would one day be amongst the very spirits that communicate with me now. The transition is easy to type but harder to live. You do not simply get over the passing of your father. You do not simply get over the death of your mother. You learn how to handle your grief and continue living your life.
My presence at the viewing was not long. The sight of the grandmother dressed in pink knitting outside was my cue to get to my next engagement; she was not visible to the naked eye. Here it is the morning after and all I can think about is my friend. Tomorrow is not promised to us. We must be thankful for each moment that we have in this lifetime and celebrate it by truly living.
A friend invited me over and showed me a food documentary. I already knew that soda was poison and do not consume it. What I did not know was the alarming amount of sugar that sits in tomato sauce is absolutely ridiculous. After dropping $100.00 in Publix last night, and not having a pleasure once again, my foot came crashing down on the ground. This morning, Publix refunded me $50.00 for the merchandise that I returned. $30.00 went towards my oil change, and I figured that the rest would be complimented by my debit card while shopping at the Farmer’s Market. Imagine my shock when the debit card was not necessary.
Upon entering, the place smelled like Whole Foods. It is a welcoming smell that I am unable to describe. My feet carried be down new aisles as my eyes became acquainted to my new surroundings. After a couple of laps, it was safe to bag some veggies and fruits. The store was small and there were not a lot of policies. The cashier was only aware of a two rules. She told me that meat could be purchased across the street at Aldi.
You have to pay for bags and the use of a cart. However, there was enough cash for me to cover my food and still have change. WHAT?! While my tomato sauce did not come out the way that I thought it would, the new taste of actual hot tomato sauce was a new experience for me. Is my tongue a virgin to tomato sauce without gallons of sugar? Apparently, it was. Instead of drinking fruit juice from Ocean Spray, I juiced the cheap oranges & grapefruits. It tasted fresh and had texture. My goodness, what has been going on all of this time? Convenience? From what, a busy schedule that does not actually encourage a life>
Something this simple deepens my questioning process. Why are we in a rush? What the hell is so damn important where we can not cook a meal from scratch? If the convenience equates to high medical bills, aren’t we defeating the purpose to begin with? This has been a most enlightening experience.
It was 2010 when I hung up my hip scarf. My last hafla performance was in Orlando is a lovely red dress that shimmered from head to toe. Days before, I graced the stage at a holistic conference in Miami Shores. I sat behind a desk in shock at the amount of money I made in 20minutes vs. my regular job. My class at the shelter was given to another instructor. I walked away from it all. The costumes, shimmying, shows, haflas….all of it. It was over for me. The better part of my costumes were sold with the exception of two. My life went in other directions. It was fine. That was five years ago.
Lately, my radio has played the music of the Middle East. My English cousin arrived for a visit, and I planned a dinner in her honor at a Mediterranean restaurant that I used to frequent. The house dancer got me up to perform with her. My scarf, which was bought in Egypt, was wrapped around my waist. That was all she wrote.
Days before my shimmy, an event planner called. Crystal, that bride is having her anniversary party, and it is a Moroccan theme. Can you send me estimates for a bellydance performance? In the blink of an eye, the world that I left so long ago came knocking at my door. The same English cousin wrapped a present for me prior to arriving to America. When I opened it, a book & finger cymbals fell out. It was about bellydance. Finger cymbals. I asked a friend to look for them for me days earlier.
When the universe conspires to take you down a path, if you are aware of the signs, you follow it. In this case, there is a gentle push for me to reconnect with something that brought me a great deal of happiness for a long time. I wonder what it will be like now that I am older. Will I perform again? Has my dance identity changed? What about classes, will I teach? A lot of new questions now lay on my plate.
While en route to my rescheduled spa appointment, I received some information that shocked me into a new realization. There was someone within my midst that would have to be removed. I wasted no time in doing so. The spa was lovely: massage and nails. It had been so long. Before anything else transpired in my life, it dawned on me that there was entirely too much craziness for a simple two week span and that another explanation had to be obvious. A quick calendar check revealed to me that indeed, I was living in the shadow of the infamous Mercury in Retrograde. My head hung in disbelief. The retrogrades were never written into my new calendar; how could I do this to myself.
After conversing with a trusted friend, she made plans for us to attend a comedic movie that night. The laughter and popcorn were exactly what I needed. As Saturday morning found me cuddled with my pillow, my desire for adult activities came to light. While I was calmer about the situation, it was apparent to me that a party was in order. An invite later that night did the trick. Great care was taken in planning an outfit and doing my make up. As my feet crossed the celebration threshold, my introversion was pushed to the side as an effort was made to be social. Hookah and glasses of wine soon followed. My time in this atmosphere was greatly appreciated and very necessary.
The weekend trip was postponed due to the crazy aftermath of my mom being in the hospital. The alternative was a great culmination of fun. Monday began with client errands and the arrival of my laptop bag. Meals have been cooked today instead of purchased. A light cleansing even took place. Such things have been delayed due to the new bathroom. There is finally less dust and more order in my humble sanctuary. Life has improved as the slow cycle creeps closer to us all.
My house turned into a construction site over night. Things are out of place as the workers revamp my bathroom and tend to the water damage in the spare room. Such situations make my tummy flip. Between the insurance and the inflating budget, my home is in a flipped state. The chaos has disturbed my sleep and made me rather irritable. I do not like going home to my now non sanctuary and finding the men still there making a complete mess. Yes, I know I hired them. Yes, I know that I will love it once it is complete. However, the interim is killing me. Dust and machines are everywhere.
The workers have finally learned how to flush but still do not know how to put down the seat. Imagine that I have explained to the female contractor that finding foreign urine in my toilet with the seat up is against my religion. I finally posted a sign that reads: Thank You for putting down the seat. Its not that I want to come off as a rather unfriendly lady, but at what point does being a complete wild creature not disturb a civilized being?
There has been no meditation. There are no gatherings at my home. My harp is living in my kitchen for its own protection which does not encourage any cooking whatsoever. While the ghost that haunted the master bath has probably been scared away, others spirits and creepy crawlies have made themselves known. With wide holes open to the world, underground things that never see the light of day come out to have coffee with me.
I thought it best to make my way to my mother’s home for the evening so that the whole scene would not upset me once again. When I go home, my sanctuary helps me to relax and recharge. My friend keeps telling me that once everything is done, perhaps I can entertain company in the bathroom; a lover of sorts. Perhaps patience is a virtue that should be acquired for this situation. Friday night will find me at the movies. Saturday will find me at the spa. Sunday will find me in the recording studio. Come hell or high water…and just to be clear, I am the hell and the high water- SCANDAL
As I awoke from the bizarre dream, my mind wondered if my father was okay in the afterlife. The content of the dream begged this serious question. I had recently promised him that I would serve him in this new capacity until he came for me and had the chills upon delivery of the words. It bothered me a great deal. It was time for me to grace my ancestral altar with my presence.
Formal prayers were said first. I then followed with my concerns and voiced a request for guidance with the situation. I just wanted to know if my father was okay. Upon completed, my bed greeted me with enthusiasm and joy. While rolling over in the sheer bliss of the sheets, the warmth enveloped me. It was then that the realization of a spirit got my attention. It was with an instant deliberate action. It was soon determined that my grandfather had appeared to communicate with me. He must have heard me praying and wanted to put my fears at ease. My father was doing just fine. Perhaps there was a hidden meaning in the dream that has yet to be revealed.
It was a great comfort to receive confirmation so very quickly. This is the second time this year that my grandfather has made his presence known in such a strong way. The morning that my mother called to tell me that Daddy was being rushed to the hospital because he was in a coma, my grandfather announced that he had come for his son.
There was my distraught moment of complete loss when daddy was removed from life support yet was still alive for days after. It was clear that he was leaving this world. The lengthy process did not sit well with me. The spiritual presences were quite vivid during that time. I said his name aloud and he responded. There wasn’t any waiting or lapse of time. My voice expressed my state of complete shock as to why Daddy was still alive and this needed to be over with. My arms lit up like lights with goose bumps. As my body fell back into the sofa with tears, a request for help sprang from my lungs. It was then that my cell sounded with a text. I ran across the room to grab it. A medium decided at that very instant to check on me. Naturally, she soon heard about what had just happened. My grandfather sent her to help me.
There must be such rejoicing on the other side. Daddy was reunited with his beloved father. I was so sad to see Daddy leave us. However, it made my heart happy to see him waving at me while at his father’s side at the graveyard. It has been relayed to me that he enjoys the music that I play for him. Other people speak about him in the past tense. What helps me a great deal is that I use the present tense.
Lately, I have really been throwing my hat in the ring. Upon my suggestion, I facilitated my first workshop for primary teachers in the area of music at a local elementary school. There was a local womens’ festival that was taking applications for various talents including music. Well, I decided what the hell let me give it a shot; Guess who will be performing as a part of that festival? Yesterday, my artistic statement was created for my amazing brochures that are being developed as we speak. Mission statements, philosophy of education, resume synopsis…..artistic statement has now been added to the list.
When I step out of my house these days, my face is in full make up with a banging outfit. Banging you say? Super banging I respond. My mind settled on the notion that something amazing is about to happen to me, and I have to be ready to accept my new role in life. Why an outstanding interview may fall into my lap as I advocate on behalf of music education. My ultimate in hippie sheik is displayed as I sit in my womens empowerment functions and discuss Mercury going Retro under the light of the full moon. Corporate mama meets flower child has met its medium in me. This world is my oyster, and I plan to consume a full course meal.
As you live your life in the aftermath of a parental transition, you experience a shadow that you can not visually see. You feel it every day. A wide range of emotions occur. You find yourself crying without explanation and extreme joy in random situations. Everyone has to face this experience. When I look at my mother now, my feelings are quite different. It is a blessing that I have her; however, the feeling of the ticking clock is not one that shakes off me easily.
This is my third encounter with death on a personal level. It has been different each time with each man. The murder of my boyfriend was unbearable and left me in a state of shock for approximately six months. It was not long ago that I lost a friend to yet another murder. The transition of my father is bittersweet. My understanding of what happens after the spirit leaves the body is more solid now than it was before. What I am experiencing now is the concept of never speaking to my father in his physical body again in my life. The truth of the matter is that I speak to him every day. When I wake up, I say good morning Daddy. We share a breakfast beverage before my schedule gets underway. We share conversations throughout the day and then a prayer before bed.
Music in all of its forms gets me through the day; Performing, listening, composing, and advising. The radio is on throughout the day. It is switched to my IPHONE at night for meditation music for sleeping purposes. Do I have bad moments? Of course. That is simply the nature of the beast. An amazing thing that has happened is that new people have befriended me during all of this. We chat and make plans for merriment and fun. My heart wants to be happy which is what I shall strive to be.
The physical separation is difficult. My mind eases knowing that one day, I shall be in my father’s arms again. We shall watch a movie and eat popcorn. I will perform songs from Phantom of the Opera. Why, we can even compare our bald heads…