Spiritual & Community Oriented: I WANT A VILLAGE

I truly believe that it takes a village to raise a child. That village acts as the vessel to bring forth the next generation within our society. However, if children are being murdered at the tender age of six then that means the village does not exist. The next generation is in danger of not taking our places at all. Rallies are an outdated model that only bring people together to call attention to an issue for a few hours and then everything dissipates. We are beyond marching. We are beyond prayer. We are beyond planning. Take everything and throw it out. We need to return to traditional values that are ancestors held dear. It takes a village to raise a child. We need to create our village.
My own humble existence has been placed in these shoes. The Circle of Sisterhood was created with the intent for women to come together and support each other in a sacred healing space. My next step? Education from the ground up. It has to start from the womb and continue into adulthood. I have spoken to an Afrocentric private school not far from my home. The conversation was interesting because I am not pregnant nor do I plan to be so anytime soon. However, in the face of a primary child being shot, I feel compelled to do something personal going forward. Every time it comes up in conversation, I get the chills. Our children need us to do something. We need us to do something else because our current efforts are failing.
There is a group that now exists in Miami for parents that have lost children. Imagine the pain of burying a life that you brought forth. It never leaves. We can not stand by and allow these members of our society to face this pain alone. A new formula must be put together and it is going to take all of us. Politicians, educators, healers, religious leaders, parents, students……..walk, talk, pray, plan, change. We are running out of caskets. We are running out of space. Time is against us.

The Power of Music

The secretary named Crystal needed to speak to me. While we were talking, she told me about the cd that I gifted the secretaries for their special day.

“I wanted to thank you for the beautiful CD we received for secretary’s day. I would like to share something that happened last night. My niece was visiting and she shared with me that she has been suffering from insomnia since her mother’s passing in March. I took her outside and sat her in my car and played the CD for her, after a few minutes she fell asleep. It was the first time that she was able to sleep for any length of time. I gave her the CD and she called me this morning to tell me she had achieved a full night sleep with the CD playing. I just wanted to say thank you..”. Such feedback is worth more than any check that is given to me.
When I realized that the primary class was making percussion instruments, I decided to supply them with a class set. While en route to the general area, it was difficult to locate the room. I wondered into another classroom to ask where I could find my destination. Upon entering the land of the smurfs, all activity ceased. A lone voice could be heard exclaiming, “THE MUSIC TEACHER IS HERE!”. All of a sudden, all of the smurfs began chanting the word music. Blushing soon took over my face as the harp presentation crossed my mind; this class was the audience and apparently, they remembered it well.
Later that day, a teacher asked as to what transpired in the room. While explaining the warm moment, she informed me that the primary grades were so starved for cultural exposure because of the demands of the heavy academic schedule. I asked her if there was time to schedule another musical interaction with the children, and she responded with a jubilant yes. Perhaps my violist has some time to show them the wonderful world of the string family.
Prior to teaching my new private student, she informed me that her birthday party was coming up and that my presence was required. What have I done to receive such honors from the smallest people on earth. All of these things happened on the same day. How marvelous.

Harp & Small Children

It was a bright and sunny Christmas morning. My performance was inside of a country club in West Palm Beach. Since it was for five hours, there were many breaks to take. Upon returning from my second break, a mother brought her young daughter to meet me. She informed me that when I left for my break, problems began at her table. Apparently, the little girl was enjoying the sounds of the harp and wanted to know when I was returning. She was so insistent that the mother thought it would be best both of them came by the stage to say hello. I greeted my new friend and thanked her for her support. When her mother asked her if she was ready to leave, she shook her head no.
During another occurrence at that very same country club, I was dressed in a purplish dress with flowers. As I performed on stage, a little girl in the same color walked up to the stage and parked herself. She remained in front of me for a very long time. She simply listened to the music. She seemed entranced in the middle of the hustle and bustle of all of the waiters and people swarming around the gigantic food displays. The chefs noticed the interaction and mentioned that a photographer should have been present.
I used to feel terribly lonely during the holidays because I would be away from family and friends performing in far away places. It came with the territory of being a musician, and I dealt with it the best that I could. During one of those holidays, a little girl brought me a picture that she had drawn of me during brunch with her family. There I was sitting at the harp with the words, you play like an angel. Since she bestowed such an honor on me, I have not felt lonely during holiday performances.