12/31/07

new year dawning

in the midst of reflections, reviews, and lists on the year's best/worst of this and that, i am thinking, of course, of new beginnings. few moments hold more power than that instance, in which we decide to take a course different than the one before. i don't set new year's resolutions; i am much more in alignment with the less rigid, natural, waxing and waning of the universe. uncertainty, i am learning, has a kind of intrigue. and if indeed anything is possible, why not hope for, and act in the direction of the best?

a long time in the making, i remain committed to a process of self-definition that is unlimited by external expectations. practicing faith is not without its challenges; thankfully though, i am still standing--and every now and then, in fabulous, three-inch heels!

i am grateful; i forgive; i allow; i let go.

and i wish for each of us, a year of the courage to be who we truly are, and a willingness to move boldly into the unknown.

12/29/07

full circle

i know, uncannily, that i teach what i most need to learn; as i share the insights of my journey, my own trust in the beauty and sacredness of the unknown is fortified. invisible acts of power (caroline myss), a nonfiction book i read some years ago, has given me deeper understanding of my own center of power, and its dynamic relationship to life purpose. may we continue to reach understanding, however it arrives.

12/19/07

with the tide

yesterday's unexpected events require that today, i make new plans. i am learning to move with the flow of things, and embrace that which i cannot control.

shameless!

to my pleasant surprise, lisa of eudaemonia for all has awarded me the shameless lions writing circle's "a roar for powerful words!" award.

the instructions: those people i've given this award to are encouraged to post it on their own blogs; list three things they believe are necessary for good, powerful writing; and then pass the award on to the five blogs they want to honour, who in turn pass it on to five others, etc etc. let's send a roar through the blogosphere!

powerful (fiction) writing is:
1. honest: throughout the work, the writer is unselfconsciously honest. i'm particularly drawn to works that explore shadows, so i admire writing that goes where it must--displays the full scope of the character's humanity--without a flinch or an apology.
2. thoughtfully sparse: it is apparent that the writer has carefully chosen each word, and then thoughtfully placed it on the page, such that just one added word would change the aim of the piece. j.m. coetzee does this brilliantly in disgrace, a novel that i recommend as much for its wonderful characterization as its excellent writing.
3. imaginative: i like things--a thought, an object, an idea--described in a way i've rarely read. perhaps this is a tall order, given our writing is almost always influenced by what we've read. still, i'm impressed with writing that shows the writer has reached into the farthest corners of her imagination.

in addition to two of lisa's nominations, my three picks for powerful writers in the blogosphere: indira of serotonin flowers; jamey of urban conjure woman; sherry of sage and thyme. please follow this link for the lion of your choice. (yes, i admit i've color-altered and re-sized my lion to match the decor; in the spirit of shamelessness, of course!)

12/18/07

markers on the way

perhaps more than any other year, this has been one of letting go--releasing the things, thoughts, and ideas that once served a purpose, but are no longer in alignment with who i am becoming. in turn, i am learning to trust myself--not my analytical, intellectual mind, but the intuitive center, which inevitably leads to the experiences i am meant to have. this has been a year of faith: understanding more of what it means to go with the unknown, and walk its uncertain landscape. and in trusting what i don't see, i am seeing more of who i am.

12/15/07

fortitude

"what lies before us
and what lies behind us
are small matters
compared to what
lies within us."
--henry david thoreau

looking forward

carleen brice of the pajama gardener has tagged me for a meme that requires i post the first line of the first post of each month of 2007 (i began blogging in april and was on hiatus the entire month of october). i quite like this meme, as it reminds me where i've been so far:

april: at this moment: a feeling of great optimism about my work, the possibilities of it, and really, the possibilities of community.
may: this early morning, an acquaintance needed my help, and so i was in her company.
june: old things die, new things grow.
july: i've had quite a week at the voices of our nations arts foundation (vona) summer writing workshop (university of san francisco).
august: so long a letter by mariama ba has long been a treasure of african fiction writing, and women's fiction writing.
semptember: at certain times, a dear loved one says to me, "you'll feel much better in the morning."
november: a recent conversation with a friend reminds me of the fallacy of 'all or nothing thinking,' not only as relates to the things we want and our ability to obtain them, but also in our assuming that a person must be either one thing or another.
december: i am thinking: if in this moment, we are able to seize that thing that brings us peace, makes us feel such joy, it no longer matters what happened yesterday, or might happen tomorrow.

tagged: eudaemonia; ello; urban conjure woman.

12/13/07

holding on...

just as i said aloud, i've been given more than i can handle, i find out i'm a recipient of a ludwig vogelstein foundation award, in support of my novel-in-progress. it began here. i'm so, so grateful! and now, i am thinking of this, this, and even this.

12/11/07

the ineffable

from a fortune cookie: "the heart is wiser than the intellect."

12/3/07

acts of grace

in an interview of a well-known writer, a journalist posed a question which made it clear she hadn't read the work being discussed. rather than answer the question in a way that would embarrass the journalist, the writer simply gave a broad explanation of his work, thereby addressing the underlying intention of the question posed.

i continue to be inspired by those who, even under challenging circumstances, use their words and actions in ways that honor themselves as well as the dignity of others. how true that we're less likely to remember what a person said or did, and more how s/he made us feel!

our own way

we sometimes look at the status of others and wonder, why not me? the truth is, we never quite know--even if we are told--who a person had to be, the things s/he had to lose, the uncertainties s/he had to face, in order to accomplish what s/he has. and still, if we are told, most of us would be unwilling to walk in similar shoes. it seems, then, we must continue discovering who we need to become in order to have what we want.

12/2/07

is it?

"all memory is fiction..."--kwame dawes (read the accompanying article.)

and then this

song for night (a novella by chris abani) opens with the voiceless, fifteen year old my luck separated from his landmine diffuser platoon after an explosion, the aftershock of which, has until now, left him unconscious. we are right with my luck as he walks, hides, and swims through this unnamed, war-ravaged west african country, desperately searching for his unit, and the memories that led him here. song for night, it seems, is ultimately about my luck's (and perhaps also the reader's) journey to reconciling the darkness and light within. and maybe it is through this ultimate act of self-forgiveness--despite the atrocities he himself has committed--that my luck finds his way back. this novella is yet another haunting, imaginative, and almost too beautiful to absorb piece of writing from the thoughtful writer. from song for night:

"i have killed many people during the last three years. half of those were innocent, half of those were unarmed--and some of those killings have been a pleasure. but even with all this, even with the knowledge that there are some sins too big for even God to forgive, every night my sky is still full of stars; a wonderful song for night."

12/1/07

here, now

i am thinking: if in this moment, we are able to seize that thing that brings us peace, makes us feel such joy, it no longer matters what happened yesterday, or might happen tomorrow. right now, my joy is in my surroundings: the soft carpet under me; the air coming through the screen door; the vanilla-scented candle on the breakfast bar; the monotony of late afternoon. and so it is.

11/29/07

better late?

before my hiatus, the lovely carleen brice of the pajama gardener tagged me for a book meme:

total number of books: i haven't counted, but am guessing 200+
last book read: song for night (chris abani)
last book bought: brother, i'm dying (edwidge danticat)
five meaningful books (in no particular order):

1. if beale street could talk (james baldwin): i read this on a greyhound bus ride from upstate new york to washington, dc, on my way home for the holidays; a superb love story, painfully and honestly written; the beginning of my admiration for james baldwin's works.
2. so long a letter (mariama ba): i read this during college, in my first post-colonial african literature course, which was taught by the brilliant biodun jeyifo; here, i share why this book means so much.
3. nervous conditions (tsitsi dangarembga): i read this in 2005, while trying to decide whether to leave new orleans; the first time i read something akin to my own movement between african (nigerian) and western worlds.
4. the beautyful ones are not yet born (ayi kwei armah): i also read this in the post-colonial literature course; journeying with the central character, known only as "the man," was maddening, but at times, hilarious; to this day, i remember the eloquently described "wet fart" and remain in love with the title.
5. graceland (chris abani): i read this shortly after nervous conditions and became so, so excited about the possibilities for literature by nigerian writers; this is a book that must be read--simple.

tagged: olumide of loomnie and anyone else who would like to participate!

11/27/07

as we mean

yesterday morning, i'd spent nearly a half hour composing what should have been a quick, straightforward business email. so, i took a break, reassessed, and came back to it. the time away helped me realize i wasn't asking the question i truly wanted to ask; the question i'd asked didn't quite reach the heart of the matter at hand.

i learned some time ago to simply ask for what i want; if i don't get it, it certainly won't be because i never asked. and in line with this, i remember that my words should always reflect my truest intentions.

11/21/07

in time

"patience is the art of hoping."--luc de vauvenargues

in all things

blessings sometimes come not in the form we'd hoped, but in the form that actually most serves our chosen path. and every once in a while, should we be so fortunate, we are met with gifts that far exceed anything we'd ever imagined. this year, more than the material things that sustain me, i've been blessed in the form of people--some, i met through this space; others, through leaps of faith like this. then, there are those angels in human form whose warmth and grace encourage me to keep onward, however uncertain the path.

i am thankful for each good thing, in whatever form it arrives.

11/19/07

transitions

only several pages into edwidge danticat's memoir, brother, i'm dying i'd become scared--for the children who are left behind when mothers and fathers emigrate to another country to prepare a better life of which they hope their children can soon become a part; for those same parents whose only communication with their children become formal monthly letters, money orders, and static-filled phone calls riddled with awkward, painful pauses; again, for those children who themselves will become immigrants and must then reconcile longing for the old world with demands of the new one, in those tender years when pleasing parents who have suffered seems the only way; and still, for those children who, as they become older, become like parents to their own parents, as the dynamics of the new world require a re-imagining of familial traditions; and finally, for the realization that when a loved one is dying, whether here or abroad, there is little we can do but love, and wait.

then on page 249: "of the many ways that death might transform the love that the living had experienced, one of them should not be fear." edwidge danticat, brother, i'm dying.

11/18/07

to come and go

every now and then, i deviate from my morning rituals (which themselves aren't at all consistent) so i can witness how the day might unfold from a different angle. so, this early sunday morning, i am here with the coffee crowd (at that ubiquitous, well-branded chain we all know and love), tucked into the southeast corner of the shop, flanked by floor-length windows on one side, and on the other, fidgety college students preparing for final exams.

in the company of my laptop, and brother, i'm dying (edwidge danticat), i am especially grateful to be in a place and time that allow me the freedom to move about as i please.

11/14/07

are we really?

a recent conversation with a friend reminds me of the fallacy of 'all or nothing thinking,' not only as relates to the things we want and our ability to obtain them, but also in our assuming that a person must be either one thing or another. experience continues to teach me that who people are--and in turn, who i am--is often an untidy mixture that changes form over time. i also remember that my willingness to accept (or at least tolerate) these complexities in others allows me to do the same with myself.

9/29/07

a hiatus

there is something about this season that encourages more quiet, reflective, and purposeful ways of being. so, i intend to blog less, as i focus more on the writing, reading, and deliberateness that beckon. a few 'oldies but goodies' i have not yet read, but hope to complete by the year's end:
the god of small things (arundhati roy)
breath, eyes, memory (edwidge danticat)
god's bits of wood (sembene ousmane)
arrow of god (chinua achebe)
changes: a love story (ama ata aidoo)
the titles alone! happy autumn.

9/25/07

lifetime

a conversation with the dear friend who did this, reminds me of the beauty of leaping--the plunge-of-no-return based solely on honoring (what we believe is) our calling. i have made several such decisions in the last few years; each time, i am amazed at how doors open in ways i hadn't yet imagined. those for whom writing is purposeful understand this. here is to caring less about what others think, and doing more of what the soul wants.

9/17/07

in stride

i've heard or read in various ways that a true mark of spiritual growth is to not be moved by criticism or praise, but to be fueled from within. the challenge, it seems, is accepting praise without becoming dependent upon it--attached to it in such a way that intrinsic worth is thereby derived. some time ago, i read an interview of writer uzodinma iweala (beasts of no nation) in which he quotes salman rushdie in reference to critics, "if you believe them when they say you're good, then you have to believe them when they say you're bad."

9/16/07

weekend in review

'in the flow' moment: a break from writing; indulgence in an 'at-home spa day'; silky salt scrub and sweet-smelling incense. encouraging moment: a personalized letter from a notable journal; its affirming content; i am right on time. hilarious moment: classic 'george behavior' on seinfeld. wishful moment: to be a lyrical dancer or a track and field athlete.

9/14/07

imagine a world

i think of fall as the season of renewal--the time of year when manifestation is particularly potent. sowing and reaping become oddly indiscernible; wherever we are in the growth process, the things we do now move us into a new place that is soon revealed.

everything is everything

as i think i've learned what i need to, things happen to remind me there are areas that require more attention. the last few weeks have presented opportunities to reassess my overarching intentions, and release the things that no longer serve me.

i am becoming more discerning, too--choosing only what resonates, as i am presented with others' opinions. each day, with divine guidance, i become more of who i am.

9/6/07

four o'clock

finally. my evening plant is in bloom!

9/4/07

opening spaces

opening spaces: contemporary african women's writing, edited by late zimbabwean writer yvonne vera (butterfly burning) is a compilation of daring, absorbing, and skillfully crafted stories that underscore: the diversity of narrative talent among contemporary african women writers; and the varied lives and circumstances of african women worldwide. of note are the stories, "stress" (lilia momple), "the barrel of a pen" (gugu ndlovu), and "the homecoming" (milly jafta).

the moment after

i am not sure when it happened, but it has. at some moment, i came to know that doing something else is not an option--no other thing to consider. this is my way of being in this world, and i am pleased. enormously grateful, too. perhaps it came through the countless incidents of synchronicity; dear loved ones who support with actions and words; or what i now identify in myself as fortitude. however it arrived, i embrace the path i have chosen.

"and suddenly, just like that, hope became knowledge."
the kite runner, khaled hosseini.

9/3/07

wise ones

at certain times, a dear loved one says to me, "you'll feel much better in the morning." and truly, the morning brings a sort of peace on whatever the worry of the night before.

8/31/07

song for night

of all the books released this fall,
i most anticipate one: song for night,
a novella by chris abani. since graceland in 2004,
i've read each of his subsequent works.
abani's prose is naked, ingenious, and at times, devastating in its intensity.
words the kind that make you
wonder--for days--of the mind
from which they came.
a review of song for night in the los angeles times.

8/25/07

good reading

the current issue of poets & writers magazine (september/october 2007) promises to be an exciting read! of particular interest are the profiles of fiction writers junot diaz and edwidge danticat (pictured on the cover):

The Most Important Story of Her Life: A Profile of Edwidge Danticat ~ By Nina Shen Rastogi "Haitian American author Edwidge Danticat never considered writing a memoir, until the events of one extraordinary year left her without a choice." [read more...]

Chasing the Whale: A Profile of Junot Díaz ~ By Frank Bures "A few years after Junot Díaz made a huge splash on the literary scene with his debut, Drown (Riverhead Books, 1996), a story collection published when he was just twenty-eight, one of his good friends, Francisco Goldman, began to worry."
[read more...]

voice

driving home yesterday afternoon, i saw the following printed on the bumper sticker of the car in front: "speak your mind even if your voice shakes." ~maggie kuhn.

8/24/07

things unsaid

i am interested in this, but perhaps more curious about the forced graciousness that occurs between women friends when enmity has begun its lurk. an excerpt of melissa tandiwe myambo's "deciduous gazettes" (a fiery short story that appears in opening spaces: contemporary african women's writing):

"Why should we put ourselves through the ritual of respectful greetings, feigning pleased surprise and mutual delight at this chance encounter? The words will flow but the body will jerk awkwardly, the pupils oscillate at an extremely high speed and each of us will push our shopping carts in front of us--between us--defensively. So we pretend not to see each other. But it is a more honest sort of pretence."

8/23/07

rituals of renewal

air and sunlight hold the signs of the season's change; i am witnessing the coming of fall. to honor nature's cycle of renewal, i've given myself a delightful, deep-cleansing facial with the following 'homemade' mask:

equal parts of 100% bentonite clay and organic apple cider vinegar (both ingredients are found at a natural foods store). it's that simple, and the result is divine.

here is to the universal flow!

8/22/07

good things come

i am learning that if...
i ask for what i want (truly ask for it: pray, wish, intention it); allow myself to receive it (welcome the opportunities around me); release judgments about it (do not place limits on how or when it might arrive); feel the joy of it (assume it is already on its way); i can have it in ways more beautiful and affirming than i could have imagined.

8/20/07

weekend in review

inspiring moment: receiving in the mail, a 'high priority' book from my wish list; then, discovering the friend who'd sent it had ordered an additional three, soon to arrive.

silly moment: relating the past week's events to a friend in a most dramatic and exaggerated tone; then, deciding to make a habit of this!

proud moment: returning to a workout plan that includes the elliptical and leg press machines.

'so what?' moment: eating an overstuffed stromboli soon after working out.

saving moment: continuing to write, even without external sources of encouragement; then, remembering that this has come in various forms--like the friend who granted my wish for more books.

8/17/07

8/16/07

the way of things

as of late: the things that have worked out are those i decided to just let go. once i removed my focus, and stopped worrying about the outcome, these matters seemed to resolve themselves within a short time.

i am truly understanding what is often required is the ability to let things be. i trust each thing that comes, no matter its initial appearance, is simply in its divine season--the natural universal flow that brings just what is needed.

8/15/07

the possibilities

writer carleen brice's recent post encourages me to think a bit more on my ideal writing space. i envision warm, comfortable, vibrant places. i am creating this, or something better.

(pictured: my fabulous collage.)

8/14/07

what we answer to

"...if you want to call everybody, one thing you have to do is to call them with music...music is everybody's name."~salif keita.

the great malian singer performing "folon" ("the past"). beautiful is it not?

8/13/07

powerful beyond measure

"there is nothing enlightened
about shrinking so that
other people won't feel
insecure around you."
~ marianne williamson


[pictured: a gift from a dear friend.]

before we act

i am learning: when we agree to do something we are unwilling to, we are practicing a form of emotional dishonesty. service performed because of guilt or fear is actually quite dishonoring to the giver and receiver, as the resentment (the giver feels) soon becomes evident. the challenge, i think, is learning to give only when the spirit is aligned with the act--this unity of heart and hands is the mark of true generosity.

8/12/07

even when

yesterday, i had the kind of morning in which i'd ask "why me?" aloud, at least twice. somewhere, somehow, a pipe burst, and water dripped for hours, onto the bathroom floor. and as all of this--laying more towels and sheets--was happening, i had a preset obligation to meet (and as the minutes passed, more arose).

in some way, i felt calm--blessed, even. all things considered, if the greatest worry of the day is a broken pipe, and a few hours of cleanup, all is well. so, after the plumber left, i put a favorite cd on blast, and cleaned.

8/9/07

so it is

i've been thinking, as i often do, about how experience usually begins with the thoughts, the images we hold in our minds. just a bit ago, i came upon this:

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.” --Albert Einstein

"treat life as a workshop"

acclaimed nigerian writer, ben okri, is a brilliant man. this (as appeared in an interview by jurriaan kamp, in the may 2006 issue of ode magazine) is one reason why:

“The problem of our world is not just that there are people who are ideologically unsound; Our problem is that there are too many people who are not properly fitted for their jobs...Many people are in vocations that are at odds with their true natures. That is not the best way for them to contribute to this world. When you are at odds with your vocation, you acquire a skewed view of the world. And what you give to the world winds up being skewed too...If only more people would be true to their sense of their vocations, we would have more happiness in this world.

Education tends to divert us from our true selves. Education is not about putting facts into the heads of children. Education should help children discover their talents and their best qualities—no matter how humble or how exalted. I think it goes back to our parents. I was fortunate enough to have a father who at a certain point allowed me to go my own way. He wanted me to be a lawyer, but when I persisted in my desire to become a writer, he let me be. If you have parents who are over-determining, it will be too late before you discover where your best talents lie. They should let you treat life as a workshop in which you are working solely on yourself, working out who you are. Making your mistakes, stumbling along, it will eventually become apparent that you are better at this than at that. Or that you are feeling happier when you do one thing than when you do another. I think that is what enables good fortune...[read more on ben okri's perspectives on vocation...]"

8/8/07

waiting on time

some months ago, i wrote on cesaria evora, and her haunting, beautiful morna--a genre of cape verdean music, which centers on the aching of nostalgia. i admire that evora came into 'success' quite untraditionally: she completed her first acclaimed album, miss perfumado, in 1992, at age 51, after years of uncertainty.

an e-mail exchange with lisa of eudaemonia reminded me of evora's story--that each of us is on a unique path of actualization. while we might look to the achievements and experiences of others for inspiration or lessons, nothing in anyone else's journey dictates what might (or not) be for us.

8/6/07

can't deny it

i spent the early morning attending to bills--organizing them, and arranging their payments. i learned this some time ago, and so, was resolved to witness the day's blessing, however it might arrive. it came in this way: because of a last-minute decision to stop by a place i hadn't been in some time, i came across someone who treated me to a delicious lunch.

i am grateful for good food, and the kindness of acquaintances.

8/3/07

with love

last evening, i went to the mailbox hoping for a book i'd ordered, and found one of the dearest gifts i've ever received. my good friend--a woman with whom i'd had an immediate connection at the writing workshop i attended about a month ago--had sent a lovely handmade bookmark (pictured above), along with a note, which reads in part: "i hope this book mark is something you can use and i hope it reminds you--each time you are reading the work of others--of your own magnificent gifts and stories and novels to come..."

this morning, i am feeling tremendously blessed.

8/2/07

timeless

so long a letter by mariama ba has long been a treasure of african fiction writing, and women's fiction writing. i first read this novel some years ago as an undergraduate in a post-colonial literature course. since then, i've reread it twice, and last evening, i went to it again to rediscover what it is that makes this eighty-something page novel so rich and enduring. i think in part, it's ba's lyrical writing, which so beautifully captures that inimitable love between women friends. from the opening page:

"If over the years, and passing through the realities of life, dreams die, I still keep intact my memories, the salt of remembrance.

I conjure you up. The past is reborn, along with its procession of emotions. I close my eyes. Ebb and tide of feeling: heat and dazzlement, the woodfires, the sharp green mango, bitten into in turns, a delicacy in our greedy mouths. I close my eyes. Ebb and tide of images: drops of sweat beading your mother's ochre-coloured face as she emerges from the kitchen, the procession of young wet girls chattering on their way back from the springs.

We walked the same paths from adolescence to maturity, where the past begets the present. My friend, my friend, my friend. I call on you three times."

7/27/07

wherever it's found

yesterday, i woke up needing confirmation that i am 'on path'. last night, the wisdom of a fortune cookie: "life is a series of choices. today yours are good ones." i hope.

7/25/07

waterfalls

some time ago, i realized just how much i enjoy the sight and sounds of water in nature. some day soon, i intend to live within a short driving or walking distance of a beach. meanwhile, i have a small indoor fountain that symbolizes this love. we can have much of what we want; if not in the form we'd hoped, then perhaps in another that is satisfactory. and of course there is joy to be found in what's already here.

7/24/07

goodies

jamey of urban conjure woman recommended i read carolyn see's making a literary life. i've just begun reading, and already, i'm in tears from cracking up! it's quite a mind that thinks up these things.

7/22/07

what i am learning

i gain the loveliest insights--what some call 'aha!' moments--in conversations with friends. yesterday, in the company of a dear, wise woman, i came to a deeper understanding of this: a life lived in neutral can't quite reach its greatest potential. being overly cautious, or 'straddling the fence' so that we might appear pleasing to all, tends to result in a blandness--a sameness--that defeats who we truly are. even more disheartening, we squander energy which might be invested in exploring our uniqueness, fighting our real selves.

as relates to my writing work (really, my path as a whole): i am recommitting to a boldness that reflects my truest voice.

7/20/07

the ones i've loved

on books:

well-written: the writer has carefully chosen and placed each and every word; and the way these words are put together creates a certain rhythm and tone unique to the story.

a complex main character: one with a rich, layered interior life; whose thoughts and observations i think about months, and years later; and who by the story's end has had to make some decision critical to her transformation.

i am thinking we are drawn to that which we hope to create.

7/18/07

in the thick

i've had a lovely couple of days. absorbed in that good way--'showing up' (a phrase i've heard spirit-minded writers use lately) for my writing work daily, if only to keep the words company. as i write and rewrite, the story continues to unravel. and sometimes, so do i. this is good; i am in this to be in it.

7/16/07

the gift of choice

today, i wrote in a bookstore cafe. each day this week, i intend to write at a different spot in town. i am grateful for the freedom of movement, and that at any moment, i can choose something else.

7/13/07

piece by piece

the state of our physical environment is often a reflection of our internal state. filling our physical space with unnecessary things, indicates we are unclear on which way to go. as our mind is cluttered, so are our surroundings.

although i've long practiced minimalism in my home, my computer space--online and offline--has been overfull, and quite disorganized. so, some months ago, i began the reorganization process, with my e-mails: i deleted messages as far back as five years, and created streamlined folders for those i decided to keep. releasing old messages--the people and ideas they represented--allows me to make room for my current trajectory. last evening, i rearranged all of my writing documents in a way that supports my present intentions.

this morning, i have greater clarity.


7/12/07

when to act

i am sure of what i'm leaving behind, but uncertain of what i'm embracing. i am thankful for knowing when i don't know, and allowing myself to just be until i do. i've found that inspired action--grounded in a kind of peace--more likely results in what i want, than action taken in fear, in a moment of uncertainty. and so, i wait.

7/11/07

reentering the world

the way we spend our first waking minutes sets the tone for the day:

in the past, i'd wake up, and immediately do something--turn on the morning news, or check e-mail. lately, i've spent my early waking minutes being, in complete silence. this latter approach, i've found, is more peaceful, as it allows me to reflect on the previous day's lessons, the night's dreams, or whatever else i choose. free of external noise, i can then intend how the new day unfolds.

7/9/07

the magic of time

before and after,
with five weeks in between.
with time, it all changes.

7/8/07

what shall we do?

martha southgate's recent article in the new york times on the paucity of 'visible' african-american literary fiction writers (really, writers of color as a whole) is generating much discussion:

tayari jone's post on the article has encouraged some thoughtful responses (including additional commentary by martha southgate), and jenn brissett of a bookseller's tale makes additional points.

my thoughts: each of us has a role/responsibility in these matters. as a lover of literary fiction, i regularly buy and read works by writers of color; as a black/african writer, i write, send out my work, and trust that my voice has a place; as a growing writer, i share my journey and experiences with other writers, especially those similarly situated--offering support and encouragement when i can .

with care

last evening, i began reading this. i read prose more often than i do poetry--perhaps this explains the attentiveness with which i am approaching this collection.

a well crafted poem, i think, is like that fine drink that is to be sipped slowly, and swirled gently. and even then, it seems the work isn't done; i want to look again beneath each layer, then go off to reconsider the meanings of phrases and line breaks.

7/7/07

the turning point

i began reading khaled hosseini's the kite runner late thursday night, and finished it early saturday morning--some time after 3am. (a warm thanks to black girl lost...in a book, who gifted me with this book while we were at vona.)

it's been some time since a novel evoked such pity, sadness, and anger in me, for each of the main characters, and at various stages in the story.

the kite runner is about that unflinching love, the one captured in hassan's declaration to his friend, amir: "For you a thousand times over." and it is about the betrayal (and eventual redemption) of that same love--beautifully told, skillfully layered: "I could step into that alley, stand up for Hassan...and accept whatever would happen to me. Or I could run. In the end, I ran...I actually apsired to cowardice, because...[n]othing was free in this world."

these lines stay with me: "And suddenly, just like that, hope became knowledge. I was going to win. It was just a matter of when."

i am wondering: what precedes the transformation of hope, from possibility to certainty?

writers of color

some books that sit on my shelves (click image to enlarge).

7/5/07

the truth of it

on an early morning conversation with a friend:

she related that last evening, the instructors of the week two "voices" workshop shared their writing journeys. she had this to say: 'so much of this process is not about the writing itself, but about the person you are becoming.'

how divinely true.

7/3/07

the affirmative word

at the beginning of the "voices" week, we were charged with the creation of a collage that would capture a bit of who we are at the present. over the last year, i've created a growing affirmation board (which is now posted on my refrigerator door)--a free-flowing collection of images and words that mirror my deepest intentions.

this past week, i was drawn again to a style that involved a seemingly random--but likely divine--placement of words. the multicolored hand at the bottom is "God's hands" all over my dreams.

7/2/07

altogether unique

on the "voices" workshop experience:

it's a different love, the kind formed between those who come together for an experience centered on hopes and dreams. it's not intoxicating like romantic love, or inevitable like familial love. it's a love whose need binds through time--the kind that makes us recall with fondness, no matter how messy the details.

when it's time

uncommon experiences tend to ignite the process of transformation. within the last week, i've committed to changing these:

my signature (the current one does not encompass my full name); the font in which i type manuscripts (even the look of words on the page, matters a great deal); my non-professional sign off (the universal "peace & much love" is broader than i'd like).

a week in pictures

i've had quite a week at the voices of our nations arts foundation (vona) summer writing workshop (university of san francisco). i'll share more as the days come. above: some pictures of lovely san francisco.

6/23/07

while i'm away

between june 24 and july 1, i'm in san francisco for the "voices" writing workshop. so i can fully absorb the week's experiences, i will not be blogging during this time. the opportunity for community has been a long time coming, and i look forward to sharing on it upon my return.

enjoy reading through previous posts while i'm away. thank you for coming!

6/22/07

the sweetest thing

last night, i spoke with my mum. there is little more comforting than the sound of a mother's reassurance; nothing more sacred than her prayers. there is a saying in my culture that a child's life goes well, as her mother speaks it so. i am thankful that my mother's words are in agreement with my path.

6/20/07

these

i continue reading, and writing. pictured: my productive pen, which of course is green, and a moon-shaped bookmark that reads: "there are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."--edith wharton.

6/18/07

point of power

others' behaviors are about them; our reactions are about us. we cannot control what others say, do, or think; we can choose how to proceed with our lives.

6/16/07

how come?

about a year and a half ago, i began practicing daily awareness. that is, i pay close attention to my thoughts, feelings, and actions as they relate to me and others--as i am mindful of these, i gain clarity on who i am becoming.

6/15/07

and then some

the artistic nature embraces flow of movement, flexibility of time, and expansiveness of space. in completing a writing project this week, however, i remember that within this realm, the much needed elements of precision, timeliness, and focus are ever present.

i am many things that are a perfect complement.

a prayer to be good

6/13/07

seeing ourselves

in tsitsi dangarembga's, the book of not, the philosophy of ubuntu--"i am because we are"--informs the main character's struggle to locate self, within the context of community. although ubuntu is an ideology of personhood with which many of us were raised, its place in our present world, is worth considering.

i'm drawn to desmond tutu's understanding that: "[a] person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."

6/12/07

as if

i am thinking: we don't have to wait to know in order to begin; sometimes, we must first begin in order to know. the words are on the page, waiting to be written.

6/11/07

this is what it means

i talk much of 'being in the flow.'

the flow is: the divine ways in which the various areas of my life harmonize and align. it is needing money, and having it show up through friends and discounts; it is seeking an inspiring community of writers, and finding this, and this, and this; it is loving the color green, and receiving plants as gifts over and again; it is deciding that struggle is not for me, and meeting those who joyfully facilitate the journey.

i am fully in the universal flow, and grateful for all that is in it with me.

6/10/07

what if

"nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come."
--attributed to several sources

6/9/07

first thoughts

today, i begin another short story. as with most pieces, the opening sentence came to me as i went about the day. i am savoring the promise of beginnings.

a gem

last evening, while perusing blogs, i came upon the writers' group blog. each week, the four women writers alternately share personal experiences on the writing, editing, and publishing processes. they navigate the gamut of emotions with such fortitude, and commitment!

6/8/07

and then

after the rains

in spite of (still)

pigment pounding rays are washed down by rains that seem to have been taunted. a day indeed.

6/7/07

the way here

the telling of paths and process lets us know that others too have been on the journey; this openness, i believe, is critical to the building and maintenance of faith. but of course, we must be willing to tell.

6/6/07

ways of the universe

synchronistic events are many; lately, i've noticed these:
1) the stranger behind or in front of me in the grocery store checkout line is also parked next to me in the store's parking lot.
2) just as i say or read a word, the word is simultaneously spoken on the radio or television.
3) the things i dream at night, occur the following morning.

6/5/07

the art of dreams

last night, i dreamt of an expanding garden in the back of my home: elephant ears, and a kind of white flower plant with long, thick stems in a bunch. this morning, i awoke to a gift of purplish/green baby caladiums--their arrival, unceremonious, and matter-of-fact.

dreams are the possibilities of the waking world.

6/4/07

in the details

i spent much of the past weekend in the company of friends. in their presence, i listened attentively to the things shared and discussed. such conversations, i've learned, hold the possibility for affirmation, and understanding. we might not know until it's passed; still, we're moved in the direction of what we need.

6/1/07

perfect timing

i am learning that once we've committed to a particular course with clarity and intention, the "how" of accomplishing it arrives in various ways. today, it comes in the form of a conversation in which i found out just what i needed to know.

in a round

old things die, new things grow.

5/31/07

namesake

my egusi soup, sans the iyan

the village

while we can accomplish much alone, there is something so life-affirming in asking for and receiving the help of those around us. this practice of community reminds us that we do not travel alone, but are 'many out of one.'

i do not forget that the stories i tell belong to all of us.

5/30/07

it is given

today, i am remembering that whatever we choose to create, the process of accomplishing it should be within the natural flow of life. whenever the 'doing' becomes arduous or stressful, perhaps we are swimming in the wrong waters.

in line with this, i have learned to ask for what i want. if i get it, i am meant to have it; if i do not get it, perhaps there is another path to be explored.

happy reading!

ode magazine makes nearly all articles from previous issues available for reading online. of particular interest to me is the africa issue from some time back. enjoy!

5/29/07

space as art

pseudo-independent commented on the photograph to the top right. that picture, as well as the others (so noted), are from my summer 2006 visit to nigeria. i snapped all of the photographs, and then applied various light/art techniques, using my computer's photo editing system.

my intention is to fill this space with the things that remind me of who i am.

yippee!

i've completed the grant application. i'm thankful for the process, as i move closer to money for my work. over the next few weeks, i intend to prepare for next month's workshop, and continue writing.

meanwhile, i remember to breathe deeply, and smile often. this is my life, and it is good.

5/28/07

in various forms

in this moment, abundance is: friends who bring food, so that i can write, satisfied. today alone, i've been given a box of brownies and a bag of little red potatoes. food is a higher form of love.

i see you

i was checking out at the grocery store last evening when i spotted a friend i hadn't seen in some time. as we talked in the parking lot, she let me know that although she doesn't comment, she reads this blog often. i giggled--i too am a lurker on most blogs i visit. i imagine most of us are. it's quite alright. i feel your energy all the same.

on and on

above my desk hangs a list of things for which i'm most grateful:
19. that i remember to light candles
20. that i have brightly colored candles to light

5/26/07

how far?

as i continue reading this, i understand even more why the creation of thoughtful art requires engagement of the unfamiliar. a willingness to be with people, places, and things that live outside our daily experience. not merely noticing and commenting upon them, but flipping them this way and that inside our minds, long after they've gone.

like it is

my experiences have taught me to depend less on what is said or done, and more on the energy that is emitted. this vibration is the most dependable of things; it tells the truth where the mouth and hands might lie.

5/25/07

thread on skin

writing has deepened my interest in other art forms that seek to engage the senses--in particular: food, and music. i'm by no means a connoisseur of either. yet my appreciation of them, i think, makes me a much more sensitive lover of the written word.

at the underside

as i'm working on a grant application, i'm thinking that oftentimes, the money we anticipate is not the only gift. through the process of sharing who we are, what we do, and why we seek funding, we remember that we've lived many lives, accomplished more than we think, and have much ground to seek and receive support.

today, i acknowledge and appreciate the journey that has led me here.

5/24/07

longing

who showed you this distant way
this way to são tomé?
i miss my home, my home of são nicolau
if you write,
i will write you back
if you forget me,
i will forget you
until the day of your return.

loose portuguese to english translation of sodade (a song of nostalgia), by cape verde's celebrated morna singer, cesaria evora. here is a live performance of sodade in its rightful language.

onward

i admit i'm a young writer, early on her path. perhaps this is why i'm especially conscious of offering encouragement to fellow writers, no matter their status (e.g. published/unpublished, established/emerging, etc.). i've been blessed with much wisdom and support from a few writers, including those whose work i've long admired--i hope to be to others what they've been to me. those of us for whom the work is purposeful, understand in some way that we've chosen a path often fraught with negativity.

for the sake of my work and wellness, i decided some time ago to focus on my art and craft, and leave the madness to those who choose to engage it.

5/23/07

from this to that

"and this.
even this." chris abani, becoming abigail.

a novel opening i can't forget.

go slow

it seems much of our angst about where we are at this moment is based on our perception of time as limited or 'running out.' how quickly we reach a particular destination, i'm thinking, has less to do with our conceived time line, and more with the 'perfect' lining up of those things that will support us when we reach 'there.'

5/22/07

yes. i am.

today, two things happened that remind me that there are ways to be assertive, and self-honoring while maintaining respect for all involved: a conversation with a friend about international politics; an e-mail correspondence with a former colleague about tying up loose ends. when we connect to the heart of the matter and shift focus away from merely 'being right,' we reach mutual understanding.

my commitment is to this.

5/21/07

life imitating faith

i read somewhere that the way in which we handle 'lane changes' on the road, says much about our practice of trust:

there are those who first signal their intention, check for an opening, and then move to another lane. there are others who first check for an opening, signal their intention, check again to be sure there is indeed an opening, and then finally move to another lane.

i trust there is already a way; i only need ask.

on their shoulders

i feel for the day's energy, and plan my activities in alignment with it. this brings a certain ease and flow. today's energy is quiet solitude.

a list of "africa's 100 best books of the 20th century," compiled by the zimbabwe international book fair association. it's perhaps not definitive, but certainly a good resource for those of us with an interest in african literature. enjoy!

5/20/07

before dawn

in the next month, i have much work to complete, and a major decision to make regarding my writing. this morning, as i was sharing my plans with a friend, the following came to me: as we are in that space where much is going on, and decisions seem unsettled, we're in truth, on the verge of clarity. the answers emerge only through the murkiness--how else would we know?

spirit farmer

there are some artists, some songs, some melodies that haunt and fill the recesses of the soul: oliver "tuku" mtukudzi's album, "tuku music."

5/19/07

reaping

lately, it's come to me again and again that things don't remain in limbo indefinitely. eventually we move in one direction or another. i think what determines which way we go is where our present energies lie. right now, am i thinking, feeling, and doing in the direction of my dreams?

5/18/07

first lines

i've been preparing the first twenty pages of my novel to be workshopped at the voices of our nations arts foundation (vona) summer writing workshop. the deadline for uploading our work is today, and i've met it. i'm in the novel group with zz packer as instructor--truly looking forward to working with her and the other writers.

the editing process reminds me that writing is very much about the present moment--the story becomes new again, and again.

5/17/07

embracing resistance

i wouldn't make my way to the treadmill. so, i took a walk in the park. the track was empty, except for a woman taking pictures of a blooming white flower tree. she affirmed for me my ongoing thought that it may be time to leave this city--she too has discovered her art and thinks there is more elsewhere. i love my present space, but am not attached to it.

renaissance gal

5/16/07

autobiography

"if you don't like what you're feeling, change the thought."--s. woldman. i regularly check in with myself to find out how i'm really feeling. today, i asked whether i like how i show up in this world. yes, i really do. i am writing myself, and it feels good.

synchronicity

three nights ago, i finally watched stranger than fiction. the writer's use of the word 'interconnectivity' to describe the theme of forthcoming work, reminded me of what excites me most about writing: the expansiveness of layers within narrative; and the way people and things interweave.

5/15/07

eight

within the last two days, i've received unexpected discounts that significantly reduced the amount i 'should' have paid on two separate items. just as i was marveling at this flow of abundance, i came upon a dime, and then a quarter in my condo parking lot. money arrives from many sources.

there was one

6 of my 7 tomatoes are ready to be picked. this one holds on to green. here is to enjoying the fruits of my work.

for this

last fall, as i read through julia cameron's the artist's way, i was saddened by the discussion of artists who are unsupported in the pursuit of their work. since committing to writing, i've been blessed with loved ones, strangers, acquaintances, and colleagues who have been tremendously generous with their spirit, time, money, and wisdom.

even my mother--who awaits the 'rewards' of her child's ivy league degrees--lets me know from time to time that she understands i am doing what i am meant to do. "i've always known," she'd said. i've come to understand that there is little more important to the writer than the encouragement of her surroundings.

this morning, i am grateful for the firmness of loving hands.

5/14/07

something new

today, i added a 4ft. something elephant's ear to my patio. i'd been eyeing this plant for some time as i walked to and from the gym. i wanted it, and somehow believed it was already mine. an angel dug it out of the ground and brought it to me today. i potted it in a clay container, and placed it next to the widening bamboo.

i can see one of its three leaves through the sliding glass door. even the space inside (especially the space inside) has changed.

5/13/07

says who?

yesterday, i read this on poet cherryl floyd-miller's blog, and it's still with me. as a young writer, i'm fiercely protective of my art and the knowing i am meant to do it. it is why i'm here. yes. i've long known that each of us is meant to use who we are to serve this world in some meaningful way. who we are meant to be while here, i trust, rests with each of us in divine partnership with our creator. life purpose is the most sacred of endeavors; its discovery and fulfilment (thank goodness) is not at the discretion of anyone. not friends, family, lovers, colleagues, critics, reviewers, editors, publishers. this i know.

5/12/07

like any other

the city has become quieter as the students head home for the summer. several days ago, i noticed that my tomatoes had begun to change color: leafy green to various shades of orange. we're still under a smoke advisory, as the winds from the wildfires blow in from the north. two loaves of my famous whole grain banana (sometimes oatmeal added) bread sit cooling on the breakfast bar. i'm waiting for the curry to finish cooking so we can eat. it's a good day.

5/11/07

and there's more

i'm developing a deeper awareness that whatever we encounter daily (thought, word, deed, person) is meant to be, whatever purpose it serves--at times that purpose may be great; at others, small. the encounter is always significant though<--this is the exciting part!

as applied to the writing process: i am understanding that however i write, whatever i write, whenever i write, all make the story what it's meant to be. i trust the resulting work says a great deal about the process that led it here. i am on purpose and this is good.

5/9/07

on a dime

i took a spontaneous drive out of town early this morning. within ten minutes of deciding to go, i had brushed, showered, and headed out the door. the spontaneity of my decision makes me think of this city, and my willingness to leave it when the purpose it serves has passed. about two years ago, i came in search of something: i'm finding my truest voice here. now, i think elsewhere, something more awaits.

5/8/07

like flowers and plants

a few weeks ago, while watching television, i came across something i continue to think on. the voice-over said: "what we starve dies; what we water grows. what are you watering or starving in your life?" i so believe in the philosophy that we attract more of what we give our attention to, or more plainly, 'what we focus on expands.' still, something about the water/starve dichotomy made me think of this energetic process in more 'real' and 'immediate' terms.

in particular, it made me consider my close relationships: my intention is to water only those that are (or hold the potential to be) joyful, healthy, respectful, uplifting--and all of these things reciprocally.

that i am

i'm not in the habit of setting new year's resolutions. on january 1, though, i knew what it is i was to work on for the remainder of the year: i would practice caring less about what others think. more affirmatively: the only approval of myself that i seek is that which comes from me in partnership with my divine source.

this year has already presented several opportunities to put this affirmation to practice. in some cases, i struggled; in others, i went with the flow; in all things, i have emerged with a deeper knowing of who i am. i am continuously putting an end to those (person, place, or thing) that do not affirm me. i am nurturing those that do.

in this moment, i know i am a woman coming into herself.

5/7/07

the art of things

a few minutes ago, i was looking at an online photography gallery. while the images were well-shot, well-framed, and clean-lined, i couldn't find the story within them. i looked through the entire gallery, and not once did i connect with an image. this makes me think of writing and the perfection of form. a piece can be nearly perfect in terms of its structural and grammatical composition, and still, the story might be missing--perhaps the artist is in hiding from the truth of the art. artistic truth is not so tidy and linear.

5/6/07

and even in this

i watched spider-man 3 last night, and took away this: our unwillingness to forgive others indicates an unwillingness to be self-forgiving--that is, we allow little room for the self-imperfections that are the natural flow of life. and to forgive others, we must first forgive ourselves. the process of forgiving ourselves for the (real or perceived) mistakes we've made, allows us to appreciate just how human we truly are. this realization, i think, leads to a better understanding of the imperfections in others, and in turn, frees us from the past.

wisdom is held in all things...even spider-man.

5/5/07

on time

i'm thinking about our resistance to trying something different when the approach we've taken so far, has been ineffective. what hinders change is the feeling of regret about how long we'd been committed to a course that would ultimately not work as we'd hoped. there is guilt over whether we could have/should have done something else, sooner. this regret or guilt keeps us stuck in the past, unable to see the possibilities within the present.

the truth is that when we do the best with what we know (who we are) at a given moment--no matter where we're led--we can trust that all is well. the journey remains timely.

5/3/07

it's like this

(photo source: VCOM)
last evening, after a walk in the park, we drove downtown. we sat outside a favorite coffee shop. we talked about the day, and watched: the night owls on their way to something or someone; the bright light of the state theater box office across the street. we linked fingers, and just sat. this morning, i am thinking: love is loving through stillness.

5/2/07

this or that

i am discovering that: i am more and more in tune with the flow of things to come. i know this because lately, i have been intuiting things before they occur. as i'm able to sense what is to come, the question is whether i react to it with love or fear. i choose love.

5/1/07

as we are

this early morning, an acquaintance needed my help, and so i was in her company. within a few minutes, her ways of thinking became evident: "[everyone] is a taker; i've become a target for [so-and-so]; [this-or-that-person] is out to get me; [everything] always goes wrong for me."

as a firm believer and practitioner of the "we are as we think" philosophy, i listened, and (hopefully) offered support, without engaging her beliefs.

my ongoing intention: to love and honor others in ways that are loving and honoring of myself.

4/30/07

much is given

after returning from nigeria last summer, i promised myself i would approach my work with a spirit of excellence. not everyone who wants to create, has the opportunity to do it as i do. writing is a gift of spirit, place, and time. my gift back: to bring my best self to my work.

4/29/07

joy list

the mere prospect of diving into this.

as i am

it's taken me longer to come post; it's taken me equally as long to figure out where i am today. i'm learning to trust this creative process at its most confusing and frightening. i'm releasing the residual fears, and trusting that my place will find me. fear doesn't last long--i am transforming.

4/28/07

on the horizon

ben okri is a writer whose words are led by the spirit of boundlessness. his great novel, the famished road, won the booker prize in 1991. while reading a bit on him, i found this deeply moving piece he wrote in 2004 for ode:

an excerpt of the article, "healing the africa within us" (ben okri, ode issue 16):

"And so we have to heal our Africa within. We have to re-discover the true Africa, the Africa of laughter, of joy, of originality, of improvisation, the Africa of legend, of story-telling, of playfulness, the Africa of brilliant colours, the Africa of generosity, of hospitality and kindness to strangers, the Africa of immense compassion, the Africa of wisdom, of proverbs, of divination, of paradox, the Africa of ingenuity, and surprise, the Africa of a four-dimensional attitude to time, the Africa of magic, of faith, of patience, of endurance, of a profound knowledge of nature’s ways and the secret cycles of destiny."

evolution

early this morning, i finally went to the store for the household products i'd been needing. i pride myself on being a minimalist in most areas of my life; still, i returned from the store feeling the urge to rid the space of each thing that no longer serves me. as i let go of things i no longer need, more of what i want appears.

inkling

last evening, i learned tsitsi dangarembga, zimbabwean author of nervous conditions and the book of not, is interviewed in the latest issue of transition magazine. i was thrilled to learn this, as she's someone whose work and spirit i admire. nervous conditions is the first book that pulled me to write my own stories.

4/27/07

gifts of the spirit

late this morning, a good friend called and asked if she could stop by. she blessed me with her company and a delicious fruit/nut/chicken salad. i didn't have to leave the house afterall. this stillness has allowed me to reflect and organize.

inside____out

this morning, i returned to two stories still in the consideration process. as i reread one of them, it felt good to know that i still trust what i've written, and would write it again today. the challenge for me is to remain grounded in the knowing that i have written the stories i'm meant to write, even if publication hasn't yet arrived.

as a general matter, i'm thinking about the process of trusting what we know, when external circumstances are not yet aligned with that knowing. i am practicing faith.

4/26/07

the flow of reciprocity

so, i've been in search of organizations that nurture and support african women writers. i came across the organization of women writers of africa, inc. (owwa). how thrilled i was to find this website! i soon learned though that owwa's last conference was held in 2004, and the website seems to be inactive. i've been in touch with celebrated writer, ama ata aidoo (one of owwa's founders) to inquire of the organization's status and future plans.

it would be a tremendous joy to be in the presence of like-spirited african women writers. i find that the more i seek community, the more i want to help create it. my greatest intention is to be the nurturing, supportive, spirit-filled community i seek.

4/25/07

preparing character

as i was falling asleep last night, i started thinking about the process of being prepared for the path we've chosen (or the things we've prayed for). before last night, i thought of the process of being prepared more as an ability to meet the responsibilities of that thing. this morning, i'm thinking the preparation is more about character--whether our personhood (all that we've acquired of it thus far) matches that which we hope to be. what are the qualities of the thing, and do we hold the same?

4/24/07

the three answers

i read somewhere that prayers are answered in one of three ways:

"yes."
"not yet."
"wait, i have something better."

(source: unknown)

so it is

i had a dream last night on something i'd wanted confirmation on: the words and feeling of it were in perfect alignment with my waking prayer. my dreams manifest in satisfying ways.

4/23/07

this or something better

(photo source: VCOM)

flight of the bumblebee

i read this on blackwomanwriting--a favorite blog--this morning, and felt good vibes:

"Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway."- Mary Kay Ash

when we don't entertain potential limits, the world opens to us even wider. i am flying.

4/22/07

checking in

today, i rewrite my affirmations. from time to time, i ask myself whether my written affirmations are inclusive of all my present intentions. at the moment, i am working on allowing--that is, allowing others to be who they are, as i allow myself to be who i am. it's a way of making room for all that is possible within all of us. in doing this, i also allow for all the good that is to come to my work.

the one

last night, the new orleans jazz fest kept coming to mind. not surprisingly, i woke up this morning to learn the festival begins in just a few days. i was there in 2005, and had a lovely time. on my life list is to attend an oliver "tuku" mtukudzi performance and dance to "mutserendende", one of the most divine songs i've ever heard--it makes me nostalgic for something i'm yet to discover.

4/20/07

like being in love

at this moment: a feeling of great optimism about my work, the possibilities of it, and really, the possibilities of community. this must be the vona pre-effect. i want to wake up and be with it, this feeling.

the phrase 'path of least resistance' keeps coming to mind. since yesterday, it's popped in and out. for me, it means 'being in the flow.' letting things be as they are without fighting or running after them. i've experienced that life unfolds more peacefully when the process is natural. without force.

the lesson for me: run after nothing. remain in the flow.