Monthly Archives: August 2015

Time Stopping Thursdays: Querencia

Querencia is a Spanish word with many nuances. At its simplest, it refers to your favorite spot, a place where you long to be. But its meaning can go even deeper. Querencia may be a sanctuary where you feel safe and authentic, or a situation that enables you to draw on extra reserves of strength and courage. It’s a special kind of home: an empowering shelter that makes you feel that you belong in this world and love your life. Can you guess where I’m going with this message, Gemini? These days you need to be in your querencia even more than usual. If you don’t have one, or if you don’t know where yours is, formulate a fierce intention to locate it.

-Free Will Astrology

  1. Querencia is a metaphysical concept in the Spanish language. The term comes from the Spanish verb “querer,” which means “to desire.”Querencia describes a place where one feels safe, a place from which one’s strength of character is drawn, a place where one feels at home.

We came to the entrance of the Comeau Woods trail in Woodstock and I swear it was like something from a Grimms fairytale. Looking at it, you might think, it looks dark in there, it might be dangerous. Where are we going? What if….but before I allowed my mind to create more reasons about why this might be a bad idea, I listened to the louder part of me that said, this is what you have been craving. Go in and be in it. You are not alone. Indeed I was not alone. My husband was with me and he was ready if I was. And in we went.  And it was all I wanted. To walk along this raw and well worn trail next to a wide creek, surrounded by towering trees so thick that they created a canopy of shade in the heat as we got deeper into the woods, met occasionally by others who were on their way out and some for whom this walk was obviously one they took often. There was a woman on her own who stopped close to the edge of the water and sang and another who set up on a rock near the widest part of the creek and started writing in her journal.

Francis stood guard while I walked out to a flat rock in the middle of the water and just stood there and felt it all, felt the water moving all around me, the sound of it’s rushing like a meditative never ending prayer of peace until it felt like it was no longer outside of me but inside, like breath, like a heartbeat. I took some pictures, spent time studying pebbles in small pools in naturally formed craters. I was in bliss. And then we made our way back, falling in silent step with one another as if we had walked the path together in another life. We even talked about the feeling that we were connected to the earth in a way we could remember from a different time. We weren’t scared or unsure. This was actually very familiar. And we didn’t challenge it. It felt natural because it was.

That’s why I need the woods. I need nature. I remember my place when i’m there. There’s no conflict. Only acceptance That was my vacation moment. It was short lived and I needed it. It was fuel for the future.

Jet Settling

Last Saturday at the 92nd and 1st Ave ASPCA, my husband and I adopted a two month old Black domestic short hair kitten. We named him Jet, as in Jet Black although his fur is lighter near his ears.

Oooohhh, how do I feel about this kitten?

I am a cat person. I may well be a cat. So I’ve always loved cats. In the survey we filled out that we wanted a cat that didn’t talk too much (no loud mewing) was somewhat independent but liked to be held and was good with kids as we’re planning on a family. There are cats which are old enough that pet adoptions centers can categorize them based on personality. A “sidekick”or “personal assistant” would have been closest to our speed. But I wanted a kitten, someone whose quirks weren’t too set in to change. Jet is only two months old. So we have no idea what his personality will be like. We will be apart of trying to shape his development and hopefully he will fall in line with our rhythm and routine.

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Time Stopping Thursdays: My Favorite video of the month

35 Bday

I viewed this amazing video posted on Facebook by Angela Laketa Tanksley for the first time several weeks ago but so far, no matter how many times I view it, it always gives me life. I mean it’s not just that she was bold and brave enough to take on creating a remake of one the best Beyonce videos ever, “Grown Woman” but also that she did it to commemorate her 35th birthday. And even more than that, she didn’t try to be Beyonce. She emulated some of the best things about the energy of Beyonce and Destiny’s child videos, like friendship, Black women together, beauty, motherhood, marriage, strength, sexiness, fun and laughter and she used the resources that applied to her life, like the baby carriages (oh God I loved the women dancing next to their baby carriages!!!!!!! I loved it!!) and her husband opening his door to see his wife and her friends raising a ruckus in the hallway inspired by Beyonce’s “7/11” video. The look on his face and the shake of his head was pure husbandness. LOLOL!!! He was like, I don’t want any part of this. Back to my X-Box. Omigod, I just loved it. It made me feel like I could actually make a video like this one day!

Duoble Baby
“Betcha I run this!”

Angela did do some literal depictions of her favorite parts of Beyonce’s “Grown Woman” in ways that I loved. She had her husband on the couch and was rubbing his knee, showing her pride in marriage and then had her kids on her bed all around her while she laughed and smiled as her son kissed her and then there’s a bit where her and friends are dressed in sexy black outfits doing the dance routine that Beyonce does with two back up dancers near the end of “Grown Woman.” Angela shot her choreographed piece in a neighborhood that looked like a suburb somewhere outside in natural light. They killed it.

It was like fun sleep over/dance party at a hair salon mixed with grown sexiness defined by some of the best things about being a grown Black woman, and just showing how versatile, how dynamic, how sexy, how fun, how beautiful it is. I think I’m gonna go watch it again right now!

Answers? Anyone?

If it wasn’t for my alarm clock I would have completely forgotten I even had an appointment with my therapist this morning. I’ve had a crazy few weeks. Nothing has been easy or uneventful inside me. I’ve been drinking a lot of Moscoto. Moscoto heals. At least while you’re drinking it. I recommend Culitos white.

Anyway, back to therapy. I’ve had a lot to say in the last few sessions, so much so that I don’t even look up at my therapist for a response really. I just kind of unload and try to maintain eye contact. Today, after about 50 minutes of talking she told me, “I don’t have any answers for you.” I kind of paused in my mind and thought about that as she continued to speak.

Answers?

I’m not even sure I go to therapy for answers anymore. I don’t know if I believe anyone has answers. I think we just have experiences that we can share with one another so that we might gain or learn something from them that will help in us in own lives or help other. Or suggestions. I believe in suggestions. But the only real answers I know of are to questions like what will happen if I touch the fire or something sharp or go play in traffic. There are answers to those questions.

A: You will get burnt.

A: You will get cut.

A: You could get run over.

But I don’t know if there are any answers to my questions. I don’t know that I even have questions in therapy anymore. I’ve just  been having some really trying experiences lately that I need to get off my chest. And since I’m not Carrie Bradshaw, and my life is not a filmed weekly melodrama, I need help with that stuff. I need to get it outside of me. Remember what happened with Carrie started going to therapy after one her Mr. Big upsets? She ended up fucking a patient played by Bon Jovi who ended up being a sex addict. I think she should have gone back but then that would have taken away from the central focus of the show, the real therapy sessions with her best friends. They didn’t have any answers either, but as any SATC fan can attest, they had some amazing experiences to share and they were a great support system for one another.

In my 40th year on this planet there are some things I’ve observed in my life which never would have occurred to me in my 30s. Frankly, I just want to be able to bury my head in a moment of temporary illusion, but I’ve gotten too smart for that these days. Once you see the strings, you cannot unsee them. At the very least you cannot put your hand over your own eyes and pretend the hand belongs to someone else. It’s you. It’s me.

I need a drink…

And Drake. Drake seems to work for me as well. LOL!

a sweetpresent IS awaitingfor you (1)

Time Stopping Thursdays: Perfect Harmony

Many years ago I worked my very last retail job at Barnes & Noble. It’s a Barnes & Noble that like several in Manhattan no longer exists. It was in the Lincoln Center District and I was a bookseller assigned to the Performing Arts section. I became friends there with a girl named Brenda who worked in the Business section. Our sections were on the same floor so I would routinely go visit her at her information desk whenever I was bored or needed to get away from my post or just wanted to chat about something or other. We gossiped and talked and made each other laugh a lot. We also use to sing together.

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I Like the Noises They Make…

If I was to ask you what sounds Michael Jackson and Prince make frequently when they sing you would know exactly what I mean. Michael used to do this heeeeheeeheee thing. And Prince does this high pitched falsetto thing like someone ran over his foot or he’s just climaxed or something. LOLOL!!! You know what I mean. Those noises are iconic.

Even before Venus and Serena came on the scene, we became familiar with deep guttural releases and grunts and sometimes screams emitted as tennis players lunged forward to serve, volley and connect with the ball. Every single sound is made in an effort towards a journey to victory. Bruce Lee and many master Martial artists make sounds when they practiced as well. Imagine a Kung Fu flick without human noise. No really, think about it.

One of things i love about the way Bjork makes music is that she relishes the primal sounds in nature and is always finding ways to incorporate them in her work. When she starts to scream or yell and let her voice take her, she’s not looking for a polished, finished sound, though she is a perfectionist about arranging everything that supports that sound. She lives for the raw, for the visceral, for the groan that it is emitted from an organic, unpracticed, yet purposeful place.

Drake is another artists who incorporates noises in his voice this way. He uses his yeahs, and uhs and other noises minimally and effectively to create this unconscious feeling of connection to his vulnerability even as he brags in various ways that he’s a Legend. That and he’s ALWAYS up in his feelings on every track. LOL!! But I’m a Drake addict for that reason so there’s no reasoning with me. His emo approach is on fleek.

When we are babies, before we grasp the art of language, we communicate through noises, through different pitch levels, through gurgles, laughters, scream, shouts, indecipherable streams of phonics meant to draw attention to our need to connect, communicate, get our needs met, be held, fed, touched, taken to the bathroom, shown the way, told stories, be instructed on what to do and what not to do and also to share what we ourselves are discovering. Before we can “talk” we react to everything we discover, feel, sense, taste, hear, with noises.

The noises we make are primal and are the first language we know as human beings. Mammals and many other life forms use noises primarily to communicate effectively. Anthropomorphic characteristics only occur based on the level of integration into human life. Otherwise, animals speak the same language all their lives. They’re not like, hey do I write a letter, compose a tune, draft an email. sing a song, telegraph or draw a chart in order to greet someone this morning?

As humans we find ourselves in a world where communicating verbally can take on a myriad of forms, many of them meant to manipulate, deceive, falsify, hide, and self sabotage but very rarely do we communicate clearly, directly intimately. This is why forms of communion and art that allow people to make noises are so important. Noises bring the art of communication back to basics. When we first were taught the alphabet we had to sound out everything. We had to learn the sounds of each letter in order to understand the role they played in forming words, then sentences, paragraphs, stories, conversations. I read at high a level at a very young age because I was completely enthralled with the power of words, particularly in writing and books. I was lost happily in the world of books for years as a young girl. It was the way that a shy introvert learned to navigate the social circles of my peers. But there is a deep communication beyond words that occurs in noises and in silences, in a baby’s eyes, in Serena Williams yells, in Drakes, uhs, in Bjorks piercing Icelandic shrill.

Some noises we make effect us on an unconscious level we never fully understand or are aware of. Others we understand are necessary of our sanity and peace of mind. The sound a and tone of someone’s voice for me can often be just as important if not more than what they are saying. It tells me much more about the true intent than the actual words. Once I can trust the sound, then I can listen or rather I should say, I can hear.

It’s so important to really hear.

Time Stopping Thursdays: Kids in the Office

K’s daughther is 3 years old. I met her last week, my first week back in the office since vacation. K talks about her all the time and has shown me pictures of her and is always buying adorable outfits for her. Meeting her was so much fun. For me, having kids in the office is such a great way to disrupt the often depressing flow of business as usual, particularly if that business is usually a daily effort to keep a shitstorm at bay.

As I mentioned in my last entry, the past few weeks have been intense for me and meeting K’s daugther, I was able to get out of my own brain for a bit and notice that someone small, cute and determined, needed to walk around the office giving people fake medical check-ups and make art for them.

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Time Out

This has been a working vacation.

Though I came back to work from my vacation last week, I’m starting to realize that my entire vacation, right up until this very moment has been a working one. Not so much personal project work and definitely not working from home work (I never check my work email at home) but relationship work, family work, self work on a scale I have never experienced before with such intensity, intent and alertness.

Knowing that everything that happens in life has meaning doesn’t always make it easier to live. In fact it often makes it more difficult, because you can’t undo what you come to discover about yourself once you’ve made the decision to really face yourself.

That shit ain’t for everybody.

Sometimes I just want to curl up with some mindless, forumulaic, fantasy based fluff. Often I just turn on music with the hope of being able to let myself go guiltlessly in the rythym, in the song, in that place that music can allow you to go even for only a few moments. Thank God for music. And food. And family. I haven’t been thankful enough for family in a long time and I think as I’m getting older, I understand that you only get one set of biological parents and siblings and extended familty. If you can help it at all, do not take them for granted. I’ve been very lucky with my family, so very luck and loved and blessed and I’m honored and proud to say I feel the same way about my in-laws. I can’t say enough.

The past few weeks though, have been a trial on a level of surreal and intense that is just indescribable literally. I swear, if I thought I could I would, but I guess I just haven’t had quite enough distance yet.

But I will.

And when I’ve had enough distance I will share the lesson there with you.

Until then, know that whatever you’re strugglinging with now, someone else is going through something just as bad or worse than you and that if you don’t get the lesson now, you’ll just keep repeating the same damaging cycle. And that will keep you from sharing the lesson with someone else who will desperately need it to perhaps save them from the same pain.