A Phoenix Dream.

A Phoenix Dream.

Her smiles hides my deepest nightmares;

her laugh conceals my darkest fears.

Her moves restrain my deadliest actions;

and her gaze arrests that which I cannot see inside me.

But all of her protection can’t help me now.

I’m further than I thought from the place I long to be.

Her smile, her laugh, moves and gaze cannot save the last of the goodness in me.

I had to learn to fight; I had to learn to survive.

And all her protection could do was hide the pain inside.

I just want truth in this resurrection to rise from the ashes inside of me;

And leave her wondering how I finally became free.

Love.Planted.Deeper

I’m going to get out of my feelings,
and let time plant me deeper into your heart.
I’m going to let the roots of my love grow further,
and deeper,
and stronger…
insecurities and fears have been weeds that choke my courage
and stifle my strength…
failing my faith
and breaking my boldness.
No more.
No more.
I’m determined to let love bloom in me again,
Let your god in God back in once again.

on being shattered (while coming home).

shattered_Fotor

It shattered him. Really? In that moment, nothing probably made sense. The back of the knee…

There was something so genuine about that statement…such an overlooked and unappreciated part of the human body. So soft and vulnerable…

There is something about the soft and vulnerable that is terribly alluring. The world is cold and bitter. Anything that brings life must be stomped out before it brings hope. I’m sure Frank, the main character in the novel wasn’t thinking what I was thinking when a read that beautiful passage…

He was thinking about the warmth of this woman…I was thinking about the warmth of Abba, Father God.

“And for a reason he still did not understand…” {I don’t understand.}

“…he began to cry…” {Meditating on who He is brings me to an indescribable place.}

“Love plain, simple, and so fast it shattered him.”{Your love, oh God…breaks me every time.}

The first words I learned from God’s word give Frank Money’s lines breath:

“For God so loved the world that He gave…He gave His only begotten Son…and whoever believes in Him will not die but have everlasting life.”

That’s John 3:16.

What does that have to do with a Toni Morrison book? How does that possible relate to Frank Money, our deeply defeated man?

We are all deeply defeated in some way. Our way unclear and our hearts burdened. But God through Christ loved, and then gave, so we could be free…

This post isn’t necessarily what I wanted it to be. But it is what I needed it to be…because I’ve been shattered like Frank was. I’ve been lost in that moment when it hits you faster than the speed of light. For me, it was having my daughters…It could be a million different things for you.

But that love that shatters builds up; it loves and it GIVES!

If you love, then you must give. What are you giving, with love?

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on vagrancy (while coming home).

“Interesting law, vagrancy, meaning standing outside or walking without clear purpose anywhere. Carrying a book would help, but being barefoot would contradict “purposefulness” and standing still could prompt a complaint of ‘loitering.’”

Home, Toni Morrison

Vagrancy. I guess I’ve been a vagrant for the last two years. I think I lost my purpose in the mania. The diagnosis began to cloud the purpose that I had been so sure of.

But since I’ve come home, it’s like the veil is lifted. My priorities had been ill-chosen; my thoughts were shallow. Granted, I’m still wandering in the swamp…I used to use a flashlight….

Wandering in fog with a flashlight isn’t the most effective way of getting through a swamp. Yes, you could move throughout the bog slowly and carefully. Or you could wait til the sun begins to eclipse that stubborn midst.

Granted, you still need to move with care but the Son is there to calm you, warm you…guide you.

I guess we could jump into things and hope for the best. At least we wouldn’t be wandering. But sometimes, there is meaning in our wanderings, without clear purpose. If we quiet our hearts and minds, we can hear a whisper…

“…trust me…My child…”

He said,

“Don’t worry babygirl. I love you. Talk to me and tell me what you need. You know I’ve got you. I’m not mad at you but sometimes, it would be nice to hear you say “Thank you Daddy.’ But just talk to me; I’ll give you My Peace and nothing else will matter. Nothing…” (Philippians 4:6-7)

These were His Words when I stopped trying to make my way through the fog with a flashlight. This flashlight powered by pride, selfishness, distrust, anger, bitterness, and more…

See, we wander without waiting on the Son and we get lost. Our identity becomes misconstrued. We fixate on the vagrancy rather than the Law Maker…the one who gives grace and mercy abundantly to all who accept His Son…to Him, vagrancy isn’t an infraction or criminal charge…it’s an opportunity, a posture to receive more of what He wants to give us…

Peace. Unexplainable peace.

Are you wandering? How long have you been out there aimlessly trying to make it through the fog?

It’s been a while for me…but it’s ok…

I’m content now, just waiting for the Son to rise…

Vagrancy

on coming home.

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From Home, Toni Morrison

I love African American female writers. No, not these hood dramas that slap the craft of story in its face. But our griots: J. California Cooper, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Edwidge Danticat, and the countless others. Their stories always move me. I have laughed and cried with them over the years, reading and rereading their works as many times as I can.

The last two weeks have been a time of reflection for me. My life is going through a crazy reconstruction process. As afraid as I am of some of these changes, I am becoming anxious to see where God will take me. When life throws us these curves, I don’t know about you, but I long for home…for the familiar, the safe, predictable. But sometimes, in our time away, things change. We change. The words of these writers bring much inspiration to press on. Their words speak a truth that God whispers in my spirit daily.

I began blogging as a new outlet as I work on my writing and other creative projects. I needed time to think about the direction of this little space that I share my heart from. Blogs can be engaging spaces, a place to connect and express. But, with all that I am experiencing, how do I do that?

“Have the intent and the how will follow!”

Those are the words of a mama-sista-mentor of mine, Dr. Danielle Mincey White.

So, I bought the domain, and started writing, dreaming, sharing with you…

After years under a different roof and different name, I am back in my hometown, with my family. And it is strange, to say the least. There’s a reservation that I feel, a hesitancy to step back in order to step forward.  But as I move through these coming weeks and months, the words and thoughts of my mother-writers above bring me solace. Each sentence is a balm on my heart; each page turned is like a grandmother’s tender embrace.

Toni Morrison put out a book called Home a few years ago . Of course, it has been on my Amazon wish list, but whilst thrift shopping with a dear friend, I found the book lying in an unattended cart. Minutes past and no one came to claim it. I, being a decent citizen, grabbed it with glee and headed to the check-out.

It was destiny!

What is the book about?

“…a deeply defeated man finding is manhood – and his home.”

When have you last been at this place?

Humbled by life’s pains…longing for home but hating it all the while…

When I think of home, I think of identity, family, faith, strength, peace, loyalty, and love.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing with you about this book and those things that home make me think of. I’ll be sharing about my deep defeats that have brought me back home and the womanhood that I am finding waiting for me here.

To coming home,

T

on playing ball (while starting over).

The first inclination of many would be to fall back into a couch, grab some bon bons (but really, who eats bon bons)…a bottle or two of wine (I actually don’t drink, you know, the bipolar)…call a friend…

Scream. Cry. Laugh.

Hell, I’m human. And I admit, I’ve definitely got a temper on me. So, I’ve done more screaming and hitting walls than crying uncontrollably (but it does happen). This is all normal I’ve been told. There will be a rollercoaster of emotions, a grieving of what was and what could have been. I don’t deny that I’ve had my what ifs, but mainly it’s a feeling of abandonment, the reneging that hurts. It’s a complicated situation and I don’t point fingers. Many factors come into play with my journey to starting over. And honestly, I’m not mad at anyone. Not even disappointed.

This summer I prayed for one thing:

PEACE.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses allcomprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4: 6-7

There is an innate compulsion to sit in your favorite college sweats and watch re-runs of Iyanla Vanzant’s Fix My Life, imagining that she is working miracles in your own life…

Ten years ago, I left my home and headed off to the BIG APPLE (Staten Island, with only a shadow of glory) to play basketball in college…to live a dream that my family had for me. I had no idea what I was getting into. I thought it would be like high school but more time consuming. This was a golden opportunity but far from the dreams that I had for myself.

Long story short, my first semester was horrible. I won’t mention all of the drinking and smoking and the partying…why? It’s not relevant, even though you’re so interested. Maybe another time but probably not.  My first semester was full of many struggles. One exciting challenge was meeting my mile time. Now, I don’t remember what it was, but I hated running back them; I can’t imagine not running now. I don’t remember 100% if it was this particular goal that we had to reach to get our team sweats. Just know that they were not handed to us with the rest of our gear. We had to earn them.

Back to that mile time…

Until we met our mile time, we had to do conditioning at 5 am every morning, except weekends I believe. It was challenging. I admit that I was not the best conditioned athlete. But now, ten years later, I get giddy at the opportunity to beat five miles of pavement in the morning before my girls awake. I am excited to try new conditioning drills.

But starting over gets to you sometimes; the running shoes sit lonely in the corner and the jump rope and the kettle bells collect dust. You get lost in the emotion and lose your (physical) motion as well.

The other day, while self-loathing in those sweats paid with sweat, my youngest nephew started begging me to go outside. I obliged. After all, then he would stop running around the house like a maniac! But of course, being outside wasn’t good enough. I had to play football with him also…OK!

After a few throws and dives (yea, I get’s it in), I found myself lost in my movement, in the innocence of the laughter surrounding me. Those sweats got covered in mud from military crawls  and running zigzag through the yard.

And like the lifting of the fog, I saw myself again.

I saw myself as we rode scooters and bikes and dug for worms.

I saw myself as the wet of the soggy grass weighed down my pants.

I saw myself as my nephews and daughter laughter with delight as I tried and failed at climbing at tree.

And every time I saw myself, I could hear Abba the Faithful and Ever Present One laugh mightily…

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4: 8-9

In the movement, I found the true, the honorable, the pure, and the lovely and good…I saw it in the children. I felt it in my spirit.

Immanuel, God you are with me.

In the movement, nothing was wrong; perfection was defined. It isn’t all things going as planned, but finding the abounding Grace and abiding presence of God through Christ Jesus.

Lying in the muddy grass, my sweats reflect a different challenge I face before me: play ball, stay moving. Don’t let the pain in the process trump the beauty of the journey…

Just. Keep. Moving.

on tracing tracks in the snow (while starting over).

There are so many tracks in the snow outside. Even though the sun’s reflection off of the snow is almost blinding, I still try and retrace each step that I see.

Desperate to put them in order, I become lost.

I should think more about the story that they tell.

Instead of trying to figure it all out, I’m reminded that sometimes, our individual life events aren’t as significant as the path that they have carved…the beauty that now stands before us.

I am tempted to take my camera phone and place each track in the snow in it’s memory…but then, I think about the cold, the wet…the hypothermia that could set in…this would be a painstaking process…

But it does need to be done. We need to evaluate those decisions we made, that others made, and how they impacted us and others. Looking back is important to know how to move forward. Just make sure, you look forward…

We need an anchor, a tether to the present, to where we must move forward. Like the movie Inception, he we need something to let us know that we are back in reality and not living in our subconscious dreams.

Sometimes we get lost in the pain of the past that we forget the hope of the future. Then, we begin to expect it; our weak hearts gravitate toward the disappointment, the abuse, the abandonment, and the guilt…

The pain.

And the expectation of pain is often greater than it’s reality…But if we expect something beautiful, we can watch it happen.

But that only happens in front of us…when we focus on that, the tracks in the snow can become beautiful as well!

  I’ll take some time and look out on the snow again…but when I’m ready. And that’s not now.