One task

Personal Narrative, Zaimu Challenge
Today I am thinking of fear. Feeling it. Working through it. Understanding it. Appreciating it as a teacher. Fear, in certain degrees, can feel like a happy excitement. Stomach tingling, breath quickening. I felt that fear today. It comes when I have doubts about something I want to do, and I can see the beginning of paralysis. Self-sabotage. I haven't given into Resistance yet, but I have the sudden urge to talk myself out of... progress. But for now it's just a tingle. It's commentary about the relative location of me and my comfort zone. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="314"] A New Year's Eve declaration.[/caption] Any time fear is my muse, I ponder the word fearless. I explored this a few years ago, and I have come to understand THAT being fearless is not really being without fear, but about lessening…
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Old Snippets

Personal Narrative
I'm organizing. This is one of the first steps in my creative process. It's resistance, or maybe it's preparation for creation. All I know is, I can always tell how serious I am about writing by how much I suddenly have to clear off desks and organize files. Ha. Today's resistance-preparation is clearing out some of the random notes I've written in my computer's Stickies app. Some of these are a few years old and most of them are interesting. The one I've pasted below was written on Christmas Day 2012. At first I had no idea what was on my mind, but on second thought, I was pretty sure it was about love. It was stream of consciousness so this is unedited. Maybe I'll expand it, revise it, or something. Maybe not.…
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The Very Best Thing

Personal Narrative
What's the best thing you did this year? — dream hampton (@dreamhampton) December 22, 2013 Writer/director dream hampton asked this question on Twitter and shared a steady stream of responses. People taught their children to read, nurtured loved ones in times of sorrow or ill-health, quit jobs they hated, and traveled or moved overseas. Some took classes and learned things that allowed them to radically transform their ways of being. Others wrote books, got married, took a chance on love, or learned to love themselves. It's a beautiful question, and one that requires no external metric. I've been thinking about it, and while there are lots of things I'm glad I accomplished or tried or read, I think the best thing I did was push beyond my comfort zone. There…
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Abiding Love

Love, Personal Narrative
Some years are made for themes. They begin with declarations, resolutions, bucket lists, big bangs, and the like. Two years ago I opened 2011 fierce, bold, courageous. As if 3.5 years of grad school weren't enough, in 2011 I found myself desirous of more profound and personal challenges. I wanted to face things that scared me. Push myself beyond self-imposed limitations. Despite the steps I took to face seeming fears out there, I soon discovered the real fears were within. Towering at times. Moments of clarity and honesty produced tools for dismantling and dissolving. I chiseled and chipped and melted fears after hours of prayers, reflection, and tearful storytelling. Truth-telling to the one I lied most often: me. 2012 did not open with a declaration. And throughout the year I…
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A Request

Feminist Thought, Personal Narrative
You are not an impostor and you are not alone. This, despite any feelings or supposed evidence you may have to the contrary. I wish someone had shared this with me before I started graduate school. I wish it had been the hook of a song I was required to sing each morning upon waking. I wish I had repeated it, hand over heart, at the beginning of each class period; a pledge and a reminder. As it was, I didn't figure these things out until quite near the end of it all, after many days (years) of wondering what the hell I was doing there. Really. A former student of mine solicited advice on finishing up away from peers and profs. It's a good question. There's enough isolation during…
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They Will Find You

Personal Narrative
be still and let them find you/they will come when they are ready ~ruth foreman So says Ruth in a poem featured in Flat-Footed Truths: Writing Black Women's Lives. She is talking about your words, your stories. They come to you and through you at the anointed, appointed time. I am finding this to be true in my own life. It has been quite an evolution really - moving from wanting to write my life to becoming ready to actually do it. The more I read from women who are unabashedly unafraid to narrate their lives, the more I feel the urge to do the same. This has gone through various manifestations over the past two decades: I want to be a writer! I should write, but I have nothing…
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On Being a Vessel

Personal Narrative, Spirituality, Temple Building
I was sleeping. I normally don't dream or at least don't usually have memories of dreams. This night was no different. It was maybe a year or so after my mother died. In any event, I was sleeping. Soundly. Suddenly, I woke up with this idea. It wasn't an idea I wanted to have. It wasn't an idea I had been mulling or chewing on. It was an idea that showed up, fully formed, in my consciousness. It demanded I wake up and write it down. [caption id="attachment_4150" align="alignright" width="225"] Footsteps at Palm Beach Shores[/caption] Efforts to ignore it and go back to sleep were wholly ineffective. It came with its own adrenaline rush and there was no pushing it off for the sake of shut eye. So there I…
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Saying No to Say Yes

Personal Narrative, Spirituality, Temple Building
I don't know what the future holds. This is an amazing realization for someone who prides herself on being a planner. I remember being in my room, the summer before my freshman year in high school, with the brochure of graduation requirements. As a "rising" 9th grader, I plotted out all the courses I would take and when (including summer school to possibly get done early). I stuck pretty closely to that plan and graduated in the top 5 of 360 people. Still mad about that C in Clothing, but what can you do? Without going into my whole academic career and life events since then, let's just say I like to know what's next. Which brings us to where we are now, in this amazing and scary place. I…
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