a prayer for the babies


the year of living single {part 2}

since i wrote this, i've been thinking...

intially, i thought giving voice to that milestone would throw me into lamentations, but it actually gave me a rush. it was empowering to acknowledge my triumphs as a non-tragic, single woman.

this morning, a sistafriend presented an exercise that got me thinking about the year ahead. my heart raced as i shared dreams i've been keeping close to my heart--some i hadn't even put into words until that moment.  as i crafted each sentence, i felt, deeply, that it was all completely possible and well within my grasp.

put another way, i'd been (un)consciously working, striving, crawling and struggling to get to the point where i could articulate that specific, blissful vision.  i'm still buzzing from it.

this energy, this momentum wouldn't exist if i were still pouring myself into the energy trap my relationship had become, or allowing a less-than-optimal relationship to do the same thing.

i am absolutely certain that i cannot settle for less than real love, partnership, and reciprocity.  period.

i'm looking forward to my future.  now more than ever.    


the year of living single

today it dawned on me that i've broken my singlehood record; i've been unattached for an entire year. before now, the longest stretch has been nine months. 

ultimately i'm grateful for this time.  i've learned a lot.

i am stronger and resourceful than i imagined myself to be.

i am self contained--not in the sense of being a recluse or pure selfishness.  i mean that i am full in myself, in my being.  i am ok with me.  i am whole.  i knew i loved myself, but now i understand that love far beyond the general concept of possessing healthy self-esteem.

i have deepened my self-love into a full, palpable reality.  i know just how far i can wrap my arms around myself--literally and figuratively.  there is comfort in that; an untapped well of power i never knew existed.

of course there are moments when i wish things were different. case in point: a huge cricket managed to find its way into my kitchen this morning.  i hate insects. i abhor jumping insects.  but i had to take care of it, because the cat was only dallying with it, and life had to go on.

physical intimacy is sporadic, at best.

an activity partner you can count on is a nice plus that i miss.  a friend maintains that the best thing about being married is that you "always have someone to do stuff with."  in some respects, i'm inclined to agree.

i don't always feel like doing my dishes, cooking for myself (or only cooking for one), rubbing my own feet, or taking in the groceries.  it'd be nice to have someone to supply me with new outfits, shoes, pedicures, and various other pamperings.  i certainly wouldn't be mad if a light bill or two was taken off my hands.      

still, i am grateful that i can do these things.  i've gained a superpower in turning "chores" into acts of self love and blessing.  initially, that was an act of self-preservation in the face of soul-ache and heartbreak, but the attitude change stuck, and it's been a wonderful thing.

i know who my friends are.  my family is a rock.  i've learned to lean on spirit and my intuition in ways that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

and maybe that's been the point.

i'm still gonna work on conjurin' up that love i desire. but i'm determined to have a ball 'til he gets here. 


false media

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tonight i had a bit of an epiphany about competition-based reality shows. i'm sure i'm not the only one, but here goes:
if there are enough top models/top chefs/brilliant designers/gifted decorators (and the list goes on) to perpetuate several years worth of these shows, why does it matter who's the "top"?

now, i understand that there are prizes, career advancement opportunities and various other carrots at stake.  i also don't mean to imply that there's anything wrong with honing your craft and being the best at what you do.  that's a great thing.

but, beyond that...

it should be quite obvious that there is no dearth of beautiful women in the world, so why do we need a "top" model?  

if you can cook, and you enjoy cooking, why subject yourself to an insufferable prick of a man (or, at best, someone who enjoys playing that role), all manner of stress, and the scrutiny of millions of strangers just to "prove" how good you are?

see my point?

talent isn't rare.  giftedness isn't rare.*

there are many of us on this planet. each of us is born in a particular corner of said planet, with these gifts, talents, and abilities. 

please understand: expansion and exploration is a wondrous thing. i'm not saying spend your life in a one horse town if that's not what you want to do.  sometimes you're not born at home.  go out, see the world, have a great time.

but, in that world-seeing, if you find a niche that contains family, friends, joy and abundance, what does all the stress and the scrutiny matter?  what are the real reasons we get caught up in all this competition and hierarchical thinking?**

what's wrong with being an awesome force in your community, shining so brightly that you bring the world to you instead of forcing yourself on the world?

how many bloggers who make livings from the breakthroughs and breakdowns are living vicariously instead of using their talents to the fullest? conversely, what does it say when the only viable outlet for gifted satirists and social commentators is a sort of vicious voyeurism?

there is no need to create false hierarchies and artificially unattainable goals.  we have what we need.  

who has the audacity to tell us that we don't?  m.a.c.? nike? walmart?

please.  those things should be icing on the cake, not the alpha and omega of our lives.

let's get real. for real.

*dr. estes makes this point beautifully, often and well.

**i highly recommend reading yuruguone caveat: i do not see euro-descended folks in the 21st century as a monolith; i firmly understand that there are whitefolks who "get" it.  that said, "getting it" almost invariably involves an immersion in either an african culture or one (e.g. native american/indigenous, asian, etc) that is fewer degrees removed from humanity's ancient african ancestry.  also keep in mind that much of what we think of as "european culture" is western, anglo-saxon and/or northern european.  eastern europe and the moorish-influenced nations have some marked differences.   


...but am i really american?

"american" is a brand spanking new identity. one that is only about 230-400 yrs old for whitefolks (mayflower status proper), and MAYBE about 145 yrs old for blackfolks.

put this up against the millenia human beings have been on this planet.

this is one of many reasons songs like this - while i understand the attempt, sentiment, and meaning - frustrate the hell outta me.

in my opinion, this is one of the major differences between descendants of voluntary immigrants and the descendants of enslaved africans and indigenous american peoples (continentally speaking).

it is not a bad difference. you want a better life, i'm all for it.  come on thru and get your piece of the pie.

but while songs, imagery and sentiments like this may do wonders for soothing white guilt--especially when being sung sweetly by a woman of color (yeah, i said it. run tell dat.)--i don't know that they do much to address the cat-back-raising complexities the statement, "i am an american" holds for those of us who have...um...complicated relationships with this place.

or maybe i'm just being an angry black lady again.

i dunno.



i've noticed that folks seem mesmerized, surprised, wary or otherwise curious about my serpent tattoo.

i understood the issues that might arise around the design when i was led to it, particularly since it's my most visible tattoo to date.  i thought about how the snake's gotten a bad rep in this culture, what with the whole temptation of eve thing, yadda yadda. to be honest, i'm grateful i haven't gotten many outright inquiries from strangers.

still, serpent's story goes much deeper than eden, particularly for african and other indigenous people, and i knew it went much deeper for me.  

if you've been reading for awhile, you know i've written about my spiritual relationship with serpents. in the last few years, that understanding has widened and deepened, and all i can do is stand in gratitude for its role in my evolution.  

over the years, i've learned that serpents have always been friends of the goddess, symbols of sacred wisdom, rebirth, and resourcefulness.  when you consider the development of the major three western religions and what they needed to suppress in order to spread, flourish, and--let's face it--control, you can understand why the serpent had to be denied its prominence. 
Healthy snakes usually have little or no difficulty with shedding and tend to shed their skins in one entire piece. Exceptions to this include snakes with injuries to the skin and/or scales resulting in scarring, and snakes housed in enclosures with suboptimal temperature and/or relative humidity levels.

The stresses associated with shedding can be substantial. Sick snakes, those suffering from malnutrition, or those whose health has been directly or indirectly compromised by poor husbandry experience delayed and incomplete sheds. These snakes tend to shed their skins in pieces. In fact, many of the pieces remain adhered to the underlying skin and eyes (retained eye caps).

The shedding process is preceded by a period of relative inactivity. This period usually lasts 1-2 weeks, during which time the eyes begin to exhibit a dull, bluish-white appearance. During this period, the snake's vision is impaired, which causes them to be rather unpredictable and sometimes aggressive. The skin during this period tends to have an overall dull appearance. The underlying new skin is soft and vulnerable to damage while the outer layers prepare to slough away. (source)

...now think about that symbolically, emotionally; what it would mean to manifest this lesson while inhabiting a human form.

this is the gift in studying animals you are attracted to or that show up in your dreams.  it's what should always be in the back of your mind while you're watching pbs or enjoying "shark week".

refuse to stop at the "scientific" level.  go deeper.     

snakes--although worthy of respect because of their potential danger to humans--are not any more evil than any other creature. they are bearers of a particular kind of wisdom, as are all animals. that is why we all share this earth-space.

our four-legged, scaled and winged relations are living, breathing illustrations of nature's beauty, diversity, and conscious design--just as humans are.  

examine what you've been taught to demonize.  question what you idolize.  you might surprise yourself.



At some point, Rogue grew close to a boy named Cody Robbins. During their flirtation, she impulsively kissed Cody, at which point her latent mutant power to absorb the life energy and psyche of others with skin-to-skin contact emerged. Rogue was traumatized by the experience, and Cody was left in a permanent coma. Hence, Rogue wore body-concealing clothing that eliminated the possibility of accidental skin contact. She wished she "did not have to cover up so much around folks," to protect them from her. She thought her power was a curse.