Thursday, December 28, 2017

Stay Curious

I believe the mile-markers of our ‘journeys in life’ can come in all different forms. 

Apparently in my case, sometimes, it's: hair.

There’s an article I stumbled upon this past weekend — a breadcrumb perhaps — that looks into the psychology of hair (cutting it, growing it). And with a post I did in 2009, apparently I had a premonition: “Our Lids.”

But, however you slice it, here's my breakdown:



This year represented a new start for me.

After having successfully freelanced for several years, I was brought on full-time by one of my clients. I also had navigated through a personal matter. And had also been living here in the DC area for 7 yrs when I bought my first house. 

That last one turned me into a DIY nut. And I LOVE it! 

But as I got settled in to the, then, new house — and during the first DIY of mine: gutting/redoing my bathroom — I simply forgot to schedule a haircut. My pixie cut began to grow over my ears. 

And I thought...

Hmmmm, I wonder what long hair would look like? 

That was my initial thought. And so it began...



December 28, 2017, on this eve of a new journey as I look back...

I believe, unconsciously I have been making changes to more than just my house. And perhaps I wanted a visible sign of that. 
Maybe for myself as well as for others. Maybe something to declare to others, “no use going back to yesterday, I was a different person then”  (I have that message inside my medicine cabinet to see each morning).

Of course we each are changing, every day. 

But I do recall that first day when my new, longer hair was first noticed by an old friend I hadn't seen in a while. That was cool. 

The visible change was seen them, and it was felt by me.


MANY DIY projects later and I still kept my hair growing. Truth be told, about 6 inches ago, I had satiated my curiosity about what long hair was like.

Then I got to thinking. I had grown it out purely out of curiosity, what did long hair feel like? But to do all this growing then just chop it off an throw it away, just seemed wasteful. 

So I looked up where to donate the long cut hair — specifically places that would use that hair to make wigs for folks in need, but then donate at no cost — and I settled on Pantene Beautiful lengths

And in less than 24 hours from now....

5 years of growing, learning, stumbling, achieving, and even dropping 25 lbs in the process... will manifest in cutting off & donating 10"+ of this 18" long hair. 
I'm ready.

What can I say? 
I was curious.

That's always how it begins...

Back in 2000 when I lived in the south of France for a year, I had dropped my life in the U.S. to move to France. And perhaps that big of a move in my life inspired me to buzz my hair. 

I was amazing. I LOVED it. 

My December buzz-cut in January 2000; Angelina (Paris)

Longest cut I've ever had; today in 2017 (Washington DC area)

And now this ‘growing out’ has also been a cool journey of curiosity.

Calling for patience and perseverance. Two key qualities in the way I try to live.

It has also allowed me to see natural qualities and tendencies really come to life, which couldn't have come out in my shorter cuts from years past. 

Some qualities which were surprising to me. 

For example, for the first time in my life, I literally can see my own hair (without a mirror). I've never colored it, so I can see really pretty natural flecks of auburn in the sunlight with my own eyes. I can also see grays peeking in. I'm proud of those. I love the life I've lived, and that I'm living. And gray is part of that. Or will be if you don't have them yet. Haha. And I also had NO idea that my hair was wavy. Cool. Though, cowlicks, unfortunately, do not seem to be weighted down by longer hair. AT ALL. Ha! 

Sometimes we don't really know what we actually have, naturally — because we're so busy shaping, forming, or forcing ourselves into a mold of ourselves and what we want to be. But what if another way, or look, or length works better? Or is actually more natural? Feels better. Stay curious. Try it out. Life is short. Don't get too ‘stuck.’

It's just hair.

Maybe the new style (long OR short) reflects a mile-marker or new chapter in your own life. 
I know mine does. But 
I'm done. This chapter is complete. I'm ready. #NewSlate

There are literally no more rooms in my house that I haven't DIY-ed. I'm blessed to have had a wonderful year of freelance work and awesome clients in 2017. SO grateful. I have also completed a journey of getting back to good health. And frankly, with the events in our country this past year? Lord, I'm happy to chop off the locks, share them, and start fresh.

I hope the pony tail that gets cut tomorrow goes to a really special person. 

I hope they feel amazing. I hope they, you, and I will always remember to stay curious. To follow the nudges we get in life. To do the weird impossible thing, if it's calling to you. 

Does the person getting this donation have 5 years, 5 months, or 5 days to live? I hope this makes that time little brighter. We should all live like we were dying. 

What are you curious about? Well stop reading this post and go do it. 

One of my clients in this amazing past year of freelancing said, "be the light." 

Another says, "be fearless." 

Yes, and yes.

Here's to amazing journeys, mile-markers, and breadcrumbs in the coming new year.

Stay curious, y'all.

This image reminds me — do I have a flower sketch from you?

I'm still collecting.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The third Thursday in April

Today is the

Whether you will honor Prince on 4/21 or today, like me — I wish you peace.
And to Prince? I’m #SoGrateful


Why the third Thursday in April?

As a graphic designer in the DC area, I am off on Wednesdays. So, for me, it was the DAY of the week that stood out more than the DATE (4/21).

Thursday, 1:07pm (ET), I got the call from my younger sister about Prince. The news. And in the days after that third Thursday in April, 2016 — I needed his words. No news. No coverage. JUST HIS WORDS. And all of them. But they didn't exist all together in one place.

So I began gathering them up. Just for me. To listen, read, and edit. And I jammed my way through decades of every single Prince song since his first, “For You,” in 1978. The file is ‘319’ pages (if you’re a Prince fan, you’ll understand).

Anyway, it was THE most cathartic journey.

Then, later, as I was seeing other fans online feeling the same way that I did about his loss — I realized this three-week long lyrical project I’d completed just for me HAD TO BE SHARED.

So was created and I uploaded my file for folks to share, read, enjoy, and take in. As I did. A sort of textbook, if you will, from our Purple professor.

The very next day I received an email thank you from Melbourne, Australia! WOW. Could not believe it. This project was really just my own small way of processing the loss and honoring a long-time, tremendous, creative inspiration of mine. So, I was really touched that someone, so quickly, reached out to say it helped her, too.

So whether you honor Prince on 4/21 or, as I do, on the

I wish you peace. I wish U heaven. Now Dance on!

And to Prince? I’m SO, so, #SoGrateful πŸ’œπŸ˜₯

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Prince’s words. ALL of them.

“Every just so often, the words of another
...seem to work out just fine.”
— Prince

Prince Schooling

( 2004, Webster Hall. Prince & a guitar. Aired together on VH1/MTV/BET )

He kills it. He jams with the audience. And he SCHOOLS the audience.
He's SO so so good! “But all good things they say... never last.” 


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

We March — for P Control

By now, y’all know, that I’m a deep Prince fan.

Have been for decades. 

Since his passing that Third Thursday in April, I continue to be blown away by the inspired genius in his words and music. Even re-seeing them with 2016 and 2017 eyes. And, well, some coincidences are soooooooo strong, I wonder...

Like, today.

I was coordinating with a dear friend from NY (who was part of the kick off of my flower collecting) to meet up with her this week as she’s coming to my city (DC) for Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington...

...then, I began humming this Prince song from 22 years ago: We March 

And that song is from Prince's 1995 album: The Gold Experience


You betcha! Check out the lyrics (pg 128): We March
Uno para todos, y todos para uno (One for all and all for one) 
March, we march (Whoa, whoa)
March, we march
 (Whoa, whoa)
March, we march
 (Whoa, whoa) 
If this is the same Avenue my ancestors fought to liberate
How come I can’t buy a piece of it even if my credit’s straight? 
If all the water’s dirty and I wanna lay the pipe, my damm-y
The river that I drink from, will it be the same as your mammy? 
Now’s the time to find a rhyme
That’s got a reason and frees the mind
From angry thoughts, the racist kind
If we all wanna a change then come on get in line 
Next time we march (Whoa)
We’re kickin’ down the door
Next time we march (Whoa)
“ALL” is what we’re marchin’ for 
If this is the same sister that you cannot stop calling a bitch
It will be the same one that will leave your broke ass in a ditch
If you can’t find a better reason to call this woman otherwise
Then don’t cry, you made the bed in which you lie 
Now’s the time to find a rhyme
That’s got a reason and frees the mind
From angry thoughts, the racist kind
If we all wanna a change then come on get in line 
Next time we march (Whoa)
We’re kickin’ down the door
Next time we march (Whoa)
“ALL” is what we’re marchin’ for 
March, we march
 (Whoa, whoa, c’mon)
March, we march
 (Whoa, whoa)
Yes, we do, dig — 
Now we clarify forever, in other words as long as it takes
We ain’t got no use for ice cream without the cake
We ain’t got no time for excuses, the promised land belongs to all
We can march in peace but you best watch your back
If another leader falls 
March, we march, feet stompin’
March, we march, he said it, she said it and I say 
Now’s the time to find a rhyme
That’s got a reason and frees the mind
From angry thoughts, the racist kind
If we all wanna a change then come on get in line 
Next time we march (Whoa)
We’re kickin’ down the door
Next time we march

“ALL” is what were marchin’ for 
Next time we march 

“ALL” is what were marchin’ for
Next time we march 
“ALL” is what were marchin’ for
The fun don’t stop the bacon
That’s when the money gonna stop the shakin’
I know that next time we march, yeah 

And then.......

As I'm writing up this post,
the next song up (it’s actually song #1 on the album) was straight from our Electoral-College-appointed, President-Elect’s own crass lexicon, “P Control.”

In Prince’s 1995 song, however, Prince lauds women who overcome the men who cave into weak sexual temptation. 

Donald Trump (our next President) on the other hand HIS OWN WORDS from the 2005 mic-on interview — IS the very man Prince sang about, the BAD one who caves to temptation. And THIS is about to be our NATION’S freaking leader? WOW.

TRUMP:   Yeah, that’s her. With the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. 
BUSH:   Whatever you want? 
TRUMP:   Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.

God, bless America. ‘Cause we’re SURE gonna need it. Wow — I did not vote for this joker.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Capitol? Or Capital?

When something is hard to remember — I usually give a visual to it.
Works every time.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Glory. And, yes we can.

This is my 500th blog post.

For those of you familiar — it was eight years ago that I first taught myself to blog. Directly inspired by an incoming President (our first-ever social media President), who was using new technology in amazing and wonderful new ways to reach out to folks. Many of us reluctantly got onto FB, not understanding, yet, this need to share so much of our lives...
So. A whole lot has changed since then. But a seed of inspiration was actually planted in me much earlier, through the audacity of a random speech I heard in 2004. By an unknown Senator from my former home, Chicago. I'm listening to it now, 2017, for the first time since 2004, even as I write this. 
I was living in Florida, as an Art Director at Disney, when this speech aired live.
I was in the other room in my apartment, and was literally lured into the living room by the motivating, inspiring, passionate tone of someone... a politician? Well, this was a first (in my lifetime). And as I sat on the edge of my sofa listening to a man, whose name I couldn't pronounce... I recall thinking — no, KNOWING — “he's going somewhere. I don't know what, or how, or when, but keep an eye on this guy, he's gonna do great things.” 
In 2005, I moved up to DC after 3 major hurricanes (Charlie and others) had hit Florida.
After my move, late summer, I began work as an Art Director at Discovery Channel. My cable wasn't hooked up yet, but I kept hearing about a hurricane heading to New Orleans. I didn't have any scope of what was about to unfurl. When I saw it I was stunned. Heartbroken. And through a group at my church, we went down afterward to help and we saw the damage to the lower 9th ward. Wrenching.
Fast forward to January 20, 2009.
2009 Inauguration,
Quilt of Quotes
In frigid temps, I left my house at 3am to attend my first-ever Presidential inauguration. A VERY high bar was set, indeed. I created a Quilt of Quotes, to ‘bring’ my friends and family in spirit with me to the event. And I remember every single thing about that day.
I remember feeling the history of the moment. Envisioning old wooden wheeled carts pulled by horses over the National Mall. As I stood on the hill of the Washington Monument looking toward the Capitol. This was the song we sang: Yes we can. I remember compassion. Hope. The support of folks who came here from OTHER countries to witness this event: Ireland, Italy, Australia, Germany. Unprecedented.
Now we are eight years on.
I try to live with no regrets. “Just do it.” So, for those of you familiar with my flower collecting, whether I get one or not, I’ve asked President Obama for a flower sketch. I even asked Prince for one after seeing him in June, 2015. That was not to be. But I asked.
But another thing I wanted to do, I did complete this week: I visited the National Museum of African American History & Culture (this was my second visit, but first to the lower level/history). It was so important to me to have completed my visit(s) to this museum — before the end of this President’s term was up
That day will happen exactly two weeks from today. And lot of uncertainty lies ahead...
Ironically the quote I added to the my own 2009 quilt was: “today we are walking through the pages of our history books.” I think we will be doing that again, but most definitely a different vibe than 2009 and 2013. Like a 180ΒΊ different vibe...
With the angst of this past year, the [hidden] Contemplation room (left of the cafe, lower lever) was overwhelmingly cathartic. Like falling tears:  

But when I walked through the lower part of this museum Wednesday. To see “our” history. It was clear to me this is not just black history, white folks have to own this, too. Created much of it. Caused it. But it is our collective history — but a black history that has not been spoken of. Not included in the history books I read. It's an amazing museum — such thoughtful detail. Painful AND beautiful things. So much — TOO MUCH — that I didn't even know about. And I'm so immensely grateful that the museum is here, finally. For all to see. 
Two moments that got me, Wednesday at The Museum.
As I stood near part of the exhibit with elements from the 1949s-50s, many KKK items. I struck up a brief but powerful connection with two beautiful women. They were up here from Florida and a bit into our chat, I said, “I just wish none of this had ever happened.” And tears just welled up and fell, and fell, and fell. All three of us. Strangers. And my hope is restored, in that, as a human, a woman, and here these two black women and me, a white woman — that we each felt the same thing. Horror. But hope.
I think the unexpected moment for me, however, was there would be a second gush of tears to come.
This time I was solo. 
I was nearing the end of the exhibit, they have an area showcasing the decades. And just past the 80s (with chairs from Oprah’s Harpo Studios, the big ghetto blasters with Run DMC) was a wall of images/screens — much like our over stimulated lives. It was the 2000s.  
Katrina, Obama, Trayvon. How is this still happening. And the tears came... and it was also the power of music. John Legend and Common’s GLORY pierced in and grabbed my heart and squeezed it — then it pumped me up. 
I knew what I needed to do. 
Eight years later. Went back
to my Inauguration spot. 
I left The Museum and walked directly right to the very spot I stood on The Mall in 2009.
I recommend this catharsis for anyone able to go back to “your spot.” Fill up. Remember that feeling you had in 2009. Remember that audacity of hope. Remember things in that museum — we shall continue to overcome. And, this past very windy cold Wednesday, I stood with noone around staring at the Capitol, taking in all that has unfolded. And BLASTED this on my music as I stood in that space, with the wind blowing our American flags straight out as bold as they can fly. I love this country. I'm proud to be an American (with all our warts and beauty). And I will move forward in this already great nation.... with the audacity of hope. Keep on reaching.
God bless America. Please.

GloryCommon & John Legend 
One day when the glory comes
, It will be ours, it will be ours, 
Oh one day when the war is won
We will be sure, we will be sure
, Oh glory (Glory, glory)
 Oh (Glory, glory)
Hands to the Heavens, no man, no weapon
Formed against, yes glory is destined
, Every day women and men become legends
Sins that go against our skin become blessings
The movement is a rhythm to usFreedom is like religion to us
, Justice is juxtapositionin' us
Justice for all just ain't specific enough
, One son died, his spirit is revisitin' us, 
Truant livin' livin' in us, resistance is us, 
That's why Rosa sat on the bus, 
That's why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up
, When it go down we woman and man up, 
They say, "Stay down", and we stand up
Shots, we on the ground, the camera panned up, 
King pointed to the mountain top and we ran up

One day when the glory comes, 
It will be ours, it will be ours
, Oh one day when the war is won
, We will be sure, we will be sure
, Oh glory (Glory, glory), 
Oh (Glory, glory)
Now the war is not over, victory isn't won, 
And we'll fight on to the finish, then when it's all done
We'll cry glory, oh glory (Glory, glory), 
Oh (Glory, glory)
, We'll cry glory, oh glory (Glory, glory)
Oh (Glory, glory)
Selma's now for every man, woman and child
, Even Jesus got his crown in front of a crowd, 
They marched with the torch, we gon' run with it now
, Never look back, we done gone hundreds of miles, 
From dark roads he rose, to become a hero, 
Facin' the league of justice, his power was the people
, Enemy is lethal, a king became regal, 
Saw the face of Jim Crow under a bald eagle
, The biggest weapon is to stay peaceful
, We sing, our music is the cuts that we bleed through
Somewhere in the dream we had an epiphany
, Now we right the wrongs in history
, No one can win the war individually
, It takes the wisdom of the elders and young people's energy, 
Welcome to the story we call victory
, The comin' of the Lord, my eyes have seen the glory
One day when the glory comes
, It will be ours, it will be ours, Oh one day when the war is won
, We will be sure, we will be sure
, Oh glory (Glory, glory), 
Oh (Glory, glory)
, Oh glory (Glory, glory), 
Hey (Glory, glory)
When the war is won, when it's all said and done
, We'll cry glory (Glory, glory)
, Oh (Glory, glory)

Written by Che Smith, John Legend, Lonnie Lynn.  
Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hello, 2017

Hello, 2017. Let’s do this.

New Year’s tradition: white fresh flowers.
Focus this year: clarity.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Chicago platter of possibility

I realize we don't get to take 'stuff' with us when we go. 

But we do like stuff for what it means to us.  

This simple little platter was something I purchased on a whim 20 years ago (pre-Anthropologie, for reference) in the city of my first 'home' — Chicago. A charming little studio apartment at the time. 

And it's been in every home of mine since.

But tonight, this little platter held the turkey for the first Thanksgiving hosted here in my current 'home' — and first house. A day that completely filled me with joy. With the company of my dear friend and her mom over here today for the feasting. And my pup, looking intently to see who would drop some turkey. From the platter. 

All this to say, there's no way my 20yr-old self could have seen where things would wind up beyond that little studio apartment. New adventures. Moving to France. Florida. Now the DC area. And loved ones lost along the way. New kiddos, nieces, nephews, added to the family tree. New friends, neighbors, loves, and experiences. 

So sure, this is just a little platter. 

But I feel that beginning all those years ago, there was a fierce sentiment of bold hope in this little platter. For possibility, growth, and hope. 

And even (or especially) in the world we live in now, I still feel that. Even if the things we do today or this year, won't come to fruition for years yet to come — still, we must do them. Now. 

Trust. Believe in their possibility, growth, and hope. 


And for those of you keen on breadcrumbs, Perry Como's "There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays" is on the radio. He's right, for the holidays, you can't beat home, sweet home.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

Action is needed

PBS — Remembering Gwen
“We can’t expect the world to get better by itself,” Gwen said. 
[about journalism] “We do it every day, go to sleep, and get up to do it again.”

[she always tried to remember] “Someone else may have a better point.”
[why she got into journalism] “I like to ask questions.”

OPRAH — The Great Moderator
[Gwen says] “I also look up periodically and think, “Who else can I pull along?” Because it's a failure if I'm up here by ”
[Oprah to Ifill] O: What do you know for sure?; Ifill: That I am a blessed woman. Even when I am the most stressed, the most frazzled, God always rescues me, pulls me along, calms me down. 

Rest in peace, friend. 

Last name calling

A man changed his last name from Drumpf to TRUMP.
Another man’s last name seemingly a derivative of pense, is PENCE.

The english translation of TRUMP is:  Eclipse or throw shade onto
The french for the other name is:  Thinking

So we have — excuse me, the electoral college has — elected a team to lead this country, whose meaning in essence appropriately, and frighteningly, translates to be:

Throw shade onto thinking.

I will not stop thinking, writing, observing, calling out. And am working to shift that into action as well. Until there is liberty and justice for the things oozing out in the name of — AND DIRECTLY FROM — the newly elected regime.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

The holy or the broken

Singing forces you to breathe. To speak melodically. And to exert it from a force inside of you.

Today I looked up the lyrics and just belted this song out.

This stunning and simple song — after his loss and the loss, last week, of my chosen candidate — was cathartic. And on another glorious fall afternoon, today, five days into this new path... life is shoving us along as though we are the words of a song being thrust forward.

There is a rhythm to life. Even amongst disasters in nature. But high and low tides continue even after a tsunami. Fall will soon give way to snow. And we are just adjusting to a transition.

Some this past week have felt holy. Some, broken. But soon we must get up. And stand up. Beyond just words, for our rights. For this country that we all love, democrats and republicans and everyone else.

My heart is getting situated into a better place today. Hallelujah.

I went to BOTH of our church services this morning. Apparently, I needed church twice today. But it is [getting] well with my soul. Hallelujah.

I hope that we keep our eyes wide open to welcome the good things ahead, and to hold to account any wrongs. We must. See the holy and the broken. Nurture. Love. Oppose. Welcome. Listen. Love eachother. And stay awake. WIDE awake. Hallelujah.

Our words matter. And there is an impact to what we say. But it is our actions that will speak much louder. And there’s an impact to that — to what we do. Let’s do something. We must. Hallelujah?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Catching my breath

Seeing nature’s firey beauty outside today.
On a planet that’s been here so much longer than us.
Is comforting.



I don't know how hashtags get going, but I hope you can help me share this. 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This morning I found myself upset having learned that someone from my church in here in Silver Spring, MD had been impacted by racist slurs — as a result of post-election bullying. Be aware, I'm not naive to think racism happened overnight on Tuesday. But this flavor and openness of it IS connected directly to the election season and outcome. And our President-Elect MUST reject and condone that behavior. 
On my trail-walk today on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I found myself walking up to greet a woman taking photos of these beautiful autumn leaves. We smiled. She is Iranian. I'm from Atlanta. We talked. Shared how cathartic the steadiness and rhythm of nature has been for each of us during this tough week of transition for the citizens of this beautiful country. She showed me some of her pics (I'll post here when she sends them). We both agreed — we DO believe we'll make it through. Somehow. Not even because of 'which' candidate won, or didn't win. But because it's inherent in the American spirit. Racism, etc. has been part of our nation's history. Let's leave it there. It has NO place in our spirit... if we truly are committed to CONTINUING TO BE a great America.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

So if you find you're in the midst of an injustice. Or witnessing one. Next door, out in the community... or in the White House in the coming months. Try to SAY something or DO something to stop it right then and there. But if you can't, then for each time you learn of one, or witness an IN-justice... go out and DO a JUSTICE or a KINDNESS for someone else. 

Then tag and share BOTH.

Maybe it can be even just a small step in neutralizing the hurtful hate and get us on a path to better future. Hatefulness does not represent us. And it WILL NOT represent us.
What's your #ThisForThat?
Can you help me share this? #ThisForThat


Be the courageous one


Can this be our new national anthem? 
Just beautiful. 
My heart needed this. #LoveMeNow

Worth it

I finally watched it.
Man, what a woman.

See more

This week has been a roller coaster for our country.

My past week, with our nation’s new news, went a bit like this:

TU:  Utter disbelief. No sleep.
WE:  Reconciling the news.
TH:  Pissed — angry (about the overnight violence)
FR:  Sorting — shifting.
SA:  I rise — I'm ready.

And it has been notable to me, on social, that over this past week the sheer length of FB posts has increased dramatically. We are each offering our vantage point. Be it receiving pain or dishing it. Observing or reporting it. Finding solutions or protesting.

But I believe that it is in the digging-deep like this where we will find a way to rise. To shine bright again.

I’m wrestling with really not wanting to watch (news, coverage, social posts) vs. the critical an absolute NEED to know. 

You see, if we don't watch, we can't see. 
Then we can’t change. 
And it is most certainly going to require us mustering up strength we didn't know we had. 

Dan Rather, who has been a lifeguard for me by way of his observations in these very stormy waters we’re sorting through... posted this yesterday:
“Fostering healthy and respectful debate is one of the strengths of our system of government. But when we seek to undermine our political adversaries by attacking their right to participate in our national discourse we risk causing longterm harm to the rationale behind the nation we all claim to love.”
We are a big nation. We are a nation with lots of different views.

And we are — an ALREADY GREAT nation.

And now we are going to have to continue to dig deep for strength and reflection and a way forward. And we are going to NEED to see — to watch and to hold accountable the folks who have just taken the reigns of this great country. Yes, this ALREADY-great country. 
We are going to need to participate in this democracy. Now.

Things have felt dark, this week. Hell, this whole election season. But with each person’s attempt to understand and offer insight and solutions, it is through each of those little lights — lanterns — where will begin to shine a path. To a way forward.

Can we see? By the dawn's early light... through this perilous fight?

Continue to see.... more. 

I rise

Thank you, Ms. Angelou.

Your sassiness does not upset me. It inspires me. Most especially... now. Thank you for your words. And I pray that others now, in this transitional time in our country, are equally inspired to share their gifts to express, explain, and explore their perspectives, in their own unique ways. Badass hombres and nasty women alike. Thank you.  

Friday, November 11, 2016

11.11 Flower count: Bless my homeland forever


I've been doing an “Annual Flower Count” on 11/11 of flower sketches I've received over the years. And today’s flower going is 206. With a request out to President Obama a week or so before the election.

I believe his audacity of hope, and my love of flowers have something in common. A perseverance and inherent belief in “tomorrow.” No gardener could plant a flower seed without the expectation that with encouragement, nourishment and putting it the right setting that it will, in time bloom.

I love this Mexican proverb:
They thought they had buried us, 
They did not know we were seeds. 

And THAT is precisely what is coursing through my blood right now. Hope. A willingness to persevere. A NEED to. And a determination to live — intentionally. This past week has stirred something in EVERY PERSON IN THIS COUNTRY. No matter who you pulled for you have a feeling. A sentiment. You have been awakened in one way or another. This is not a complacent week in our country. Eyes are open. And that part is a good thing.

But the thing to remember is this. This country is ALL of our homes. Our 'garden' if you will. Be it oak trees or palm trees,  roses or tulips. There is room for all of us. To be better. Yes... we can.

The way America — our garden — will STAY and continue to BE great... is if we UNITE. And stay stronger together. America is not an ‘either–or.’ All or nothing. We are, still, striving to be a more perfect union.

But if the rose punches the tulip. Or if the tulip spits on the rose. Or the palm tree tags the oak. Then we are stagnant. Or killing our country. And we then move nowhere.

Nature progresses forward. So must we.

It is how life is meant to be lived. In motion. And forward.

We don't — I don't— want a garden full of only roses. Or a country of only cacti. There IS room for all of us and we're a more beautiful garden — and country if we continue to grow that way.

Have you sent me your flower sketch? I'm still collecting.
And you are welcomed in my garden.
May we all continue to bloom and grow.

Bless my homeland forever.

Holding on

Holding on. Holding together. 

“With his election, it’s easy to trace a line between Trump’s win and Trump supporters being more emboldened to act out on these campaign cornerstones.” And it is NOT okay.

Be it in peaceful protest. Writing your representative. Painting, singing, writing. We have to rise to the occasion — we are obliged to as American citizens — to protect one another, our liberties, our freedoms, and our right to not be full of fear in our own home country. Especially from a government which is [supposed to be] by the people and 
for the people. In a week where ‘the people’s choice’ for President isn’t actually going to be our President.

God... please bless America. I love this land, guide and stand beside us. It's our home sweet home.

But right now, it’s broken. We’re broken. Help.

All the good

Humans + hope


Define that word?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The fire in our bellies

Let this burning empower us to rise up into our true power — through love and oneness. 

#StayAwake #StayWoke  We're awake now.

Love louder

Today we're just gonna have to love louder.

#StayAwake #StayWoke? We're awake now.

A hope for us all

My very first blog post ever, was posted two years and two days ago today. Inspired by a newly-elected President.

The logo was an image, an idea, bigger than the man himself. The sun, rising on a horizon. “A hope for us all. To be better. Yes we can.” And those words are more true today, right now, than even then.

We have to. Have hope. With action.
And we have to hold the new regime accountable for this as well.

#StayAwake #StayWoke. Yes we can.

The blessing of pain

#StayAwake #StayWoke? We're awake now.
The inspiration for this.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

His weapon? His words

Prince's 'weapon' was his music, his words
Do not be deceived by the photo — Prince's 'weapon' was his music, his words. 

He was extremely in-tune to things going on in the world, and did not shy away from writing about it.

One that I keep going back to is "Dear Mr. Man" off of 2004 Musicology album. He seemed to tuck his messages and observations into cool funky grooves. Think of the opening words to 1987's Sign o' the Times? No one was speaking about AIDS then. And that's the lead, and title, song. 

Some of you may know that to process his loss, I compiled ALL of his lyrics here: I didn't want news stories. I needed his words. Start to finish. To see his story over the years. Prince & His Evolution if you will. It was profoundly cathartic.

In light of the latest horrific news, I went back to see his words. On guns. Here is some of what he wrote over a span of nearly four decades. Take a read through. And share. #Prince #StayAwake #StayWoke

I compiled ALL of his lyrics here:
Below is ALBUM# : SONG#

4:7 (1981)
Annie Christian... always looking for some fun
Being good was such a bore,
so she bought a gun
She killed John Lennon, shot
him down cold
She tried to kill Reagan, everybody say gun control
Gun control

9:1 (1987)
At home there are seventeen-year-old boys and their idea of fun
Is being in a gang called ‘The Disciples’ High on crack and totin’ a machine gun
You turn on the telly and every other story is tellin’ you somebody died
It’s silly, no?
When a rocket ship explodes and everybody still wants to fly
But some say a man ain’t happy unless a man truly dies
Oh, why?

10:1 (1988)
Say, yes
Yes! If you want this feeling called love
Yes! If you want it now raise your hand to the man above
Yes! Up on the 2, swing right on the 4
We want everybody to open this door!
Say no,  if you don’t wanna live life under the gun (I know)
We know a better way to have some fun (I know)
I know there is a heaven and a hell

10:5 (1988)
A bass guitar in spider webs, longing for the funk
Uzi gun takes his place in a wagon trunk
(get off me, punk, you ain’t sexy)
Stealin’ ladies purses then settin’ them a’flame
M&M killers playin’ Mickey Mouse games
Lord have mercy
Dance on,

14:1 (1992)
I know from righteous I know from sin
I got two sides and they both friends
Don’t try to clock ‘em, they’re much too fast
If you try to stop ‘em they kick that ass
Without a pistol, without a gun
When you hear my music you’ll be havin’ fun

15:5 (1994)
As the door closes, baby starts to cry
“Please don’t lock me up again, without a reason why”
Papa just went outside and pointed a shotgun up in the sky
He said “How come I don’t love my woman?”
Then he took aim and died
Boom! Boom!
Papa, Papa

15:6 (1994)
Of all the things that base a rhyme
How is it that you every time
Regurgitate the racist lines that keep us apart?
Thank God this ain’t Monopoly
You’d make us all go back to start

In the space I mark human
Face the music
Face the music
We all bones when we dead

Cut me, cut you
Both the blood is red

D-d-down with h-i-s-t-o-r-y and all this B.S. propagandi
Keepin’ you from me, and me from you, as we grow
I don’t want to know (I don’t want to know)
Why those before us hated each other

I’d rather believe they never did
I’d rather believe (I’d rather, I’d rather believe)
That there’s hope for a kid

20(1): 5 (1998)
If you’re sick of evil knocking on your door
Throw up the love sign once and forevermore
If you’d rather make love and have a little fun
Throw up the love sign everybody — and not the gun

28:6 (2004) Speaks of 9/11
Cinnamon girl of mixed heritage
Never knew the meaning of color lines
911 turned that all around
When she got accused of this crime

So began the mass illusion,
“war on terror” alibi
What’s the use when the
God of confusion keeps on telling the same lie?

As war drums beat in Babylon
And scorch the blood-red sky
Militants bomb the foreign gun
Both sides, children die

Cinnamon girl opens the book,
she knows will settle all the scores
Then she prays after the war
that there will not be anymore

33(2): 6 (2009)
Worked so hard all thru the week
I just wanna get off your feet
Hit me back at a quarter to nine
We can jam and have a real good time tonite
You wanna jam wit me? A’ight lover, 
No guns or drugs up in the place
Old school jams put a smile on your face tonite

No top forty, none of that junk
I know this dope spot that just plays funk

36:6 (2014)
Tell me how some people walk in the sun
While others just walk in the dark
Lookin’ at the world through a barrel of a gun
Hands behind their back and a parked car

America you might fair better
London your sure to be toast
You always get the dream that you deserve
From what you value the most

You need to fix your life up
Fix your life up
Fix it up

37:2 (2014)
I’m gonna give you something baby
But I wonder does it really even matter if it ain’t on a stage
If it ain’t on a stage
I don’t really think it matters in this brand new age

When life’s a stage, in this brand new age
How do we engage? Bullying just for fun
No wonder there’s so many guns
Maybe we’re better off in space

38:1 (2015)
Nobody got in nobody’s way
So, I guess you could say it was a good day
At least a little better than the day in Baltimore

Does anybody hear us pray
For Michael Brown or Freddie Gray?
Peace is more than the absence of war
Absence of war

Are we gonna see another bloody day?
We’re tired of the cryin’ and people dyin’
Let’s take all the guns away

Absence of war, you and me
Maybe we can finally say
Enough is enough,
it’s time for love

If there ain’t no justice
then there ain’t no peace
If there ain’t no justice
then there ain’t no peace
If there ain’t no justice
then there ain’t no peace...

Miss you Prince,


P 7:1
“Open your heart, open your mind, A train is leaving all day
A wonderful trip through our time, And laughter is all you pay”
(Around the World in a Day)

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