It was blackened pizza with a side of cookies that should have been reported. After finishing a chastising email to Publix, a post about the local Farmer’s Market popped onto the screen. I plan to go there this week to check it out as I have never been to one. Why do I eat the food that appears in front of me? Why do I wear the clothes that are in my closet? How exactly did I get to the point in my life where basic things are being questioned?
There was an event on FB that got my attention, and I plan to attend. There is an expert that will discuss the importance of an African centered education for children of African descent. This piqued my interest even though I do not have children. I have seen how public education works firsthand and in my opinion it is a complete disaster. It can work though there are many needless obstacles. As the news becomes more bizarre as time drags on, there is an obvious breakdown in community. Where is the community? Our society is extremely violent to the point that it is glorified by the reality series industry. Forgive me but I do not find rich beautiful women punching each other in the face interesting. It is a said state of affairs and should be considered shameful. Instead it is considered to be a requirement for ratings.
In order to be a member of a community, one must have a proper sense of self. A proper sense of self could take an entire lifetime, but a certain standing can be attained before that. While this is not the responsibility of a school, it would be nice if there was a foundation in place to assist children in understanding who the hell they are. A place that is already enriched with the knowledge of their culture and practices; a place where traditions are a way of life. I believe that I would pay money for a place where my child could learn academics and meditate first thing in the morning, and eat food that is grown on the farm.
I see the public school as a factory warehouse that is based on standardized tests that stress out teachers and restrict students from becoming the critical thinking individuals that that they truly are. It is not designed to nurture the whole child but to house the masses. A parent has to be overly involved in order for a child to be a success. Such a discussion is perhaps surprising from someone that isn’t planning a pregnancy and is single.
Life is different. Certain aspects have a new weight. There is someone for everyone because no one can do it alone. Do what? Face this thing we call life. It can be a great joy and unbearable all in the same year. There are highs and lows much like the river. A natural flow demands such action. My immediate family has begun its sunset with the passing of my father last year. While the idea of having kids of my own is rather terrifying, I think that I am at least ready to entertain the thought. Before such entertainment, a loving relationship with another fascinating human being should be explored. Perhaps, I shall start there.
I am introverted. It was about two years ago when I realized that social situations make me nervous. I intentionally avoid them and only attend when I know a lot of people. Well, such social anxiety has contributed to singledom amongst other things. When I started to understand my behavior and took steps to change it, a romantic association landed in my lap; so no used to that. Why? I am normally at my house reviewing my very busy schedule that includes everything in the world except true social interaction that is beyond my control.
When I received an invitation to a pool party this evening, I graciously accepted. Why? Well, I only knew one person, it was close to me, and I was thankful for the invitation. It was a chance for me to get out of the house and be around people.
My time was well spent swimming in the pool and contributing to decent conversation. The dancing and dessert were not bad either.
My work played a huge part in making me a shy person. I am used to people coming up to me and talking. When placed in a social situation that requires that I talk to complete strangers, I get extremely nervous. My comfort box is completely taken from me, and I used to avoid it at all costs. Since taking baby steps to try it out, I even explained my situation to people. The responses were very encouraging. I found out that I am not the only one that feels like that, and sometimes, I am even able to help other people join the fun as well.
It was a Friday. After spending large amounts of time inside the house, I was dying to escape and rejoin the world outside. However, I find myself in my typical situation: I am single, most of my friends are in relationships….who is available? It has been an effort of mine not to spend so much time alone as it is very easy for me to do. A friend and I decided to rendezvous at a local museum. Pictures and laughter were followed by a late lunch. Text messages and phone calls reminded us that other people wanted to escape the house as well. We ended up on the beach looking at the full moon. Many thoughts entered my mind.
If I wanted to get out of the house, and my friend wanted to get out of the house, and both of us received other notifications from others that wanted to get out, what is going on where we are so disconnected? Has FB lost its allure? Did the new season on NETFLIX wear thin? Are we finally seeking meaningful conversations and actual connections with other human beings that sustain beyond a five minute textversation? When did we get to the point that our lives were so busy that a basic human connection got lost in the mix?
A few months ago, I made it a point of calling people instead of texting them. Friends immediately answered the phone and the reactions ran the gamut: What happened? What a pleasant surprise. Is this something that I need to do again? These reactions happened because I used to be a talking person and then fell into the habit of texting everything. Why? It is easier to do, and you do not have to interrupt anything; you do not actually have to speak to anyone and can continue liking posts on FB. While I do snail mail actual cards, and write letters in pen, perhaps there are other ways that people would love to remember that we do need each other.
It was the night before my cousin was due to fly home to England. She had come to the U.S. to visit my mother, and had spent a good three weeks of fun and merriment. My mother called to ask what time I was stopping by to say good bye. Before we knew it, we had planned a farewell gathering. Since I am always interested in entertainment, I suggested that I hire a spoken word poet. There was a particular word artist that I had in mind. It had been a long time since I had first watched her work in a poetry house. She made a life long fan that evening with her poem about a particular work experience.
After contacting her, she informed me that she was available to perform much to my delight. She entered my family home and made everyone smile. Her poetry told stories of healing and domestic violence. Her faith in Christ was evident as was her incredible stage presence. My mother demanded an encore presentation and she graciously bestowed us with one more piece. The guests had several questions for her regarding her career, and everyone hugged her before she left.
When you make a connection with an artist of any genre, there is a magical spark that takes place. I told her that the first time that I watched her perform, she made me feel as if she was reading the pages of my journal aloud, and that I was the only person in the room. In reality, she was talking about one of her experiences in a very public forum. Imagine how her sharing such a tale made the world a smaller place. Her awesome stage presence commands a stage and brings the audience just a bit closer to her words. I was so very happy to be able to share something so special with my family and friends.
Life changed before my very eyes. My mother was devastated as she buried the love of her life. That was a year ago this last week. I wondered how I wanted to spend the day. Would I have a graveyard picnic? Would I hang around my mom for no apparent reason? What would I do? As the day began at midnight, the music of Cesora Evora streamed from my laptop while I danced. It was my decision to spend the day celebrating the life that my father had and the life that he now has; music, dance, and general merriment were all in order. However, I did not know if his widow would feel the same way. After my little dance party with my father that morning, I drove to a flower shop and spoke to the owner.
She made the most beautiful bouquet of lovely baby pink roses complete with Queen Anne’s Lace. Upon entering the house, my feet carried me to my father’s office where my mother had stashed herself going through papers. I entered with a big smile on my face and handed her the flowers. She was so happy that she jumped out of her chair and hugged me. She said that I knew how to make her day. I placed the roses in a giant vase and placed them in the living room. It soon crossed my mind that I could drive to South Miami and get Henna. It was a day of celebration and the lovely art would take it to the next level. I invited my mom and my English cousin to go with me. While my hand was painted, the ladies enjoyed a cup or two at the local Starbucks. Everyone was smiling as we walked through the streets littered with boutiques and eateries.
I received so many compliments on my hand that by Friday, I decided that the other hand should be painted too. It just so happened that the same artist would be present at the Wynwood ArtWalk. As the stage lit up with lights, she free handed a completely different design on my right hand. My family ate lamb while the art was executed. We soon crossed the street to gaze at the contemporary artwork in the galleries. The crowded streets soon proved to be too much, and my family bid me adieu.
The excitement of the crowd coupled with art and music felt decadent to me as my feet sauntered me down yet another pathway.
There were bracelets everywhere. All sorts of jewelry, clothing, art, bath salts. Business cards were exchanged in the hopes that people would attend future events. Just as the thought of my bed crossed my mind, a friend informed me of her presence on the scene. We walked through the galleries which had suddenly become night clubs with paintings, and admired the jewelry which was entirely too overpriced. The jazz trio was super cool in a back lot, and we talked about the finer things in life.
The invite popped up on Facebook. There was a lot of time on my hands and it looked so very interesting. It was a spoken word night at a local fashion house that I had never heard of. Prior to the death of a dear friend, I used to attend spoken word events at a special poetry house. One Erotic Poetry Night turned fatal as I put my head to slumber. Upon waking I learned that the kind hearted owner had been shot on the premises. With his departure, I left that world for other things without ever looking back. Saturday nights used to catch me in his poetry house simply admiring the poets. This invite inspired me to do it all over again.
Upon entry into the fashion house, I knew that my feet were taking me back to a place that felt so comfortable. My presence had been made for less than five minutes, and I already knew that I would return in the near future. The smell of the incense carried me to a place of familiarity. The hostess gave me the grand tour and introduced me to the owner of the house. The kind DJ bought me a drink. The night started off on an awesome foot. As the show got started, my custom made ear plugs came in rather handy. I wanted to enjoy the show without being disgruntled by the loudness of it.
The world music began with an ancestral drumming. I had never seen such a performance in a secular setting before. It was a pleasant surprise. A vocalist began crooning over the guitar, and she looked oh so vocal. She had the body of what would be considered a true queen: she was a big girl and sang like it. Her performance was the highlight of the night. Suddenly, the strong smell of alcohol interrupted me as did the now skunk scent of the incense. A feeling of escape soon overwhelmed me. I rushed into the arms of the hostess as I saw myself out.
When I entered my sanctuary, incense was burned and an alternative radio station was found. It was my desire to recreate my previous experience. What a lovely evening. There is another poetry night that is closer to my home tomorrow evening. Will I attend?