Sometimes It Snows In April

imageI am still in shock and mourning the passing of Prince.

His music seems to have always been here. And he has so much music that I can’t even get through all of his songs that I have in a day…especially when I repeat songs that I can’t get enough of.

He represented so much to so many people – freedom, self awareness, genius. He was at once personal and mystical.

He seemed to be the type of person who was himself….regardless of societal norms, constraints, definition.

He was a musical genius. In the soundtrack of my life (and there is one…always playing), there is an abundance of his music, music he produced or music he influenced. Prince is woven in throughout that tapestry.

I take comfort in the outpouring of grief seen on social media because I know that we are all experiencing that grief and the fear at the loss of such greatness.

Music is so important! Prince is music is Prince.

I keep seeing the movie and hearing the song Purple Rain over and over now. I will never forget the first time that I snuck and watched it as a little girl…it was like watching something forbidden and sacred at the same time.

But Under The Cherry moon is what I keep going back to most. And the song Sometimes It Snows In April seems so appropriate.

“I guess he’s better off than he was before. A whole lot better off than the fools he left here.”

 

 

Prince & Little Weird Black Boy Gods

Yes! I am in mourning for the loss of Prince. I can appreciate those who are feeling the same way and can articulate it so well

Scott Woods Makes Lists

Prince_cool

If you are, say, thirty-five years of age or older there is a 99% chance that you are no good right now. Not merely sad, but irreparably despondent. Verily, Shakespearean in your grief. Depending on how old or weird or gay or starstruck or black you were in 1984, Purple Rain was either an awakening, a testimony or an affirmation.

Current mood: I am hating anything that does not recognize this moment, that would dare advertise anything – ANYTHING – while this mourning is taking place. This is not just another stick on the pile of celebrity deaths. This is the end of a way of life, of a sound, of real genius. There are plenty of famous people left to love, even musical geniuses, but there is no one left who better epitomized what the Complete and Free Artistic Creative is capable of. Prince composed music in the way…

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Ruby – Book Review

I recently read a book called, My First Novel – tales of woe and glory as edited by Alan Watt. It is a collection of writing experiences from published authors. In it, I read Cynthia Bond’s experience writing Ruby. It was intriguing.

Then I saw that Ruby was on Oprah’s Book Club. Now, I love Oprah. I love books. Oprah’s Book Club is a wonderful thing. But I have had a couple of regrets with it. I’m talking to you One Hundred Years of Solitude! I hated that book!!

But I digress.

Ruby is a heartbreaking and horrific book. Yet it is also profound and moving at the same time.

The book tells the tale of Ruby Bell. She has returned to her hometown of Liberty, Texas. She left for New York city in the 1950’s and returns to the small, hateful and judgmental town and faces her past.

There is also Ephram Jennings. He has been in love with Ruby since he was a child. Ephram is a grown man who lives with his older city, Celia. Celia is an orderly, cooking, strong-willed, “church mother” elect woman who has raised Ephram since the committal of their mother and the death of their father. Ephram calls her “mama” and pretty much does as she and the town expects.

Ruby is not liked by the town. She seems crazy and is a woman of ill-repute. She’s been had! A lot. Spirits are drawn to her and she lives in dismal conditions taking care of her spirit children and receiving food from a local woman all while being haunted and terrorized by an evil spirit.

This is a story of redemption and redemptive love. Ephram struggles against the will of the entire town, his church and his strong-willed sister  to try to be there for Ruby.

Cynthia Bond’s writing will make you think of Toni Morrison or Zora Neale Hurston and maybe even Alice Walker. Her prose is beautiful. She can really turn a phrase.

However, there are times when I was reading this and thought of Stephen King. You know how his novels feature a small town with underlying evil things, people and secrets that all converge because of some circumstance that brings about a fight between good and evil? That’s how this novel felt to me.

The further you read, the more haunting it becomes. There were a couple of times that I had to put the book down because I was either terrified or the scene was so horrific that I recoiled in disgust.

Yes, this book contains disgusting things. There is abuse, child rape, voodoo and murder. There is some gruesome goings on in the town of Liberty!!

But again, there is also redemptive love. There is one line in the book where Ephram tells Ruby “If you can bear to have lived it, I can at least bear to listen.” Ephram’s ability to listen and actually see Ruby really warms the heart.

It also reminds me of all that our people have survived. All of the undiagnosed mental health issues our community faces and all of the secrets that our community contains.

Again, this book is horrific. But if Cynthia Bond can bear to have written it, and she discussed how hard it was in the book My First Novel, then I could bear to read it and testify to its greatness.

But make sure you read it in daylight.

 

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Nerve

The old folks spoke about people working and/or stepping on a last nerve.

Today is one of those days that I have like one, maybe two nerves left.

My head has been hurting all day.

The day started with news of the death of Phife Dawg. That really saddened me. Besides the fact that I was still waiting on an unlikely reunion of A Tribe Called Quest, it served as a reminder of the passing of time.

I’m older. I don’t like a lot of today’s music. Which really makes me feel old.

I am reminded of people saying that rap music wouldn’t last or that people wouldn’t be grooving to it 20-30-40 years from now. And here I am 41 years old still saying,

“Here’s a funky introduction of how nice I am. Tell your mother, tell your father, send a telegram”

Or

“I never half step ’cause I’m not a half stepper, Drink a lot of soda so they call me Dr. Pepper”

Or

“Float like gravity, never had a cavity. Got more rhymes than the Winans got family”

Throughout the day while reading, writing, trying to write, trying to sleep this headache off, trying to clean, trying to wash clothes, trying to mother my baby, trying to fix dinner, trying to supervise homework I’m sad about the loss of Phife Dawg, really an iconic figure from an iconic group and just in a melancholy place. Along with this damn headache.

So I’m sitting here looking at the daily prompt trying to not let too many days go by without blogging and the word for today is Nerve and I recall that today is just one of those days.

I’ve got about one nerve left. Don’t get on that last one!

Fight- Daily Prompt

Fight

The last daily prompt that I participated in was with the word Drop. I wrote about dropping negative self talk. The word fight brings on that same thinking. There is often an internal fight that we are struggling with.

Every day, whether we are aware of it or not, we make choices. We act in response to situations and emotions and there are times that we lose in the fight to be our best self  (at least that is what I am trying to do).

There is a saying that I like – When you know better; you do better! But I can’t tell you the number of times that I lose in the fight to do better…things that I know I should be doing.

Stop drinking pop!

Exercise 3-5 times a week!

Write Daily!

Work on my novel!!

Plan my families meals for the week!

These are examples of fights that I often lose with myself. These examples are really simple but they illustrate how easy it is to get off track with things and of me not be my best self.

It is a daily fight

Drop

Drop   –  Daily Prompt

Sometimes you have to drop things and people out of your life when they aren’t serving you. We often hold on to things that are harmful to us because they are so familiar.

Things like self doubt – drop that.

Things like negative self images – drop that.

That voice in your head that tells you that you can’t do what it is that you really want to do. Drop that.

You might have to pick up some things along the way. Positive people in your life; reaffirming messages. Pick up a community of supporters. If you don’t have one, build it.

If this message helped you in anyway, drop me a line in the comments.

A Great Day

It almost feels like Christmas. Today I received wonderful gifts. I’m already exceedingly blessed but today just makes me thankful for all of those blessings!

First my son came home from school and recited the poem Dreams by Langston Hughes. I was very proud of him. He is growing so fast. It reminds me that time flies and these precious moments are Fleeting.

Then the doorbell rang with my Essence Beauty Box filled with goodies and a box of books – Ruby by Cynthia Bond and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.

I have finished all of Octavia Butler’s books and the have just started on Citizen – An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine and Men We Reaped, a Memoir by Jesmyn Ward.

I will be happily reading!

I am also in my last week for my first two classes in my writing program!

So today’s great day serves as a reminder that life is also great.

It’s easy to get caught up in things that are going wrong. I’m hoping that my great day can help someone to remember to focus on what is going right. Always acknowledge those moments. They are fleeting.

Live to Eat or Eat to Live – Daily Prompt

The prompt for today is Live to Eat

Right now most of my friends are living healthy lives and are eating to live. I am somewhere in between. I LOVE food. I LOVE eating. I LOVE dining out. I LOVE cooking. I don’t always restrict my diet.

Before traveling to any city/state, the first thing that I think about is food. What is the best restaurants of that location?  What type of food is that location known for?  I’ll have a list in my head or on my phone .

My husband eat’s to live.  I try to feed my family rule food. I try to have healthy snacks in the house and I try cook healthier than I use to.

After reading books by Michael Pollan and watching documentaries about food, processing food, conventional farming, GMO’s ,etc. I became cognizant of the impact of my food choices – on my body/health and the environment.

So I would like to live to eat good and healthy real food.

 

7 months strong

So Meridian is now 7 months old.

That means that I have been breastfeeding for 7 months. This is the longest I’ve ever done. So I’m proud!

That also means that we have been cloth diapering for about 5 months (we started when she came home from NICU).

She is now eating some solids. All homemade.  Thanks to the Baby Bullet, I can easily make her food in batches and freeze it.

Here’s a few pics.