I may not have completed all the assignments in my Blogging 101 and Writng 101 courses but I have read every single one. In my attempt to have more of a consistent presence on my blog, I will share a quote which will be my inspiration for the week or has captured my shenanigans of the week past.
In my mind, the song Wild Child by Kenny Chesney is secretly about me as I slowly become the older woman and seeing this quote reminds me it’s okay to be a little wild at heart because that’s what makes me beautiful.
Some years ago my book club members introduced me to the works of Jojo Moyes. Something about her writing speaks to the hopeless romantic in me who yearns to have it all – in one piece! I’ve enjoyed many phenomenal writers works but this line is the one that serves as my signature on emails.
“I was once told by someone wise that writing is perilous as you cannot always guarantee your words will be read in the spirit in which they were written.” Jojo Moyes.
These things happened to other people, never to me. You see I was the carefree one with more than a little bit of daredevil in me.
I met him while picking my niece up at school. For a seven year old she seemed to be so popular. Everyone was so animated except for this one kid who was lagging behind the group. When she finally got to me she introduced them and I found out his name was Zane. Don’t know what it was but something about his puppy dog eyes were captivating, so familiar.
Our paths crossed again while I was out for coffee with a friend. My friend was pointing out a new graffiti artist work to me and as I casually glanced to where she was pointing, I saw Zane.
He looked sad, tired and lonely. I walked over to the spot where he was but as soon as he saw me he ran off. Later that night the news media ran a story about a kid who was missing, it was Zane.
As I stare out of my apartment window the lights appear to come closer, I wrap myself with my cashmere throw and pray that Zane is safe, that he comes home soon. He is only seven you see and the city is so big. Zane is also my son whom I gave up at birth.
My one word inspiration is Love!
Love is him completely
It’s them cause they’re my legacy
It’s the early morning walks to watch the world awake
It’s that phone call or text when a friend says “I was thinking of you”
It’s getting into a clean car that I washed and waxed before rushing to get my hands girlified
It’s my sunroof open on a gorgeous day with the clouds beckoning me to come play
It’s listening to great music occasionally with extra bass
It’s a great day at work when I knock productivity out of the park and smile inwardly at the naysayers
It’s a walk in the park and then it begins to rain, it’s getting a great deal on a much watched item
It’s the quiet moments of reflection, the laugh out loud moments, the moments when you realize you have matured intellectually
Love is being appreciative, being thankful, finding your happiness and living in the moment.
“Consider the difference between the first and third person in poetry […] It’s like the difference between looking at a person and looking through their eyes.”
― Diana Abu-Jaber, Crescent
Today’s prompt: A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench The old woman is knitting a small red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene. Twist: write the scene from three points of view. The man’s perspective, then the woman’s, finally the old woman.
This moment had been hinted at many times in their relationship before but neither one wanted to be the one to throw in the towel. He realized how much he needed her in his life, she was like a good photobomb in his memories and he couldn’t let her go. As they walked he noticed the subtlety of her behavior towards him – still loving but more assertive, more determined. The peaceful look on her face so different from the often pensive look when she had something to say. From a distance they saw an old woman sitting on a park bench fiddling. As they neared, he saw she was knitting. That moment mirrored the moment he first met his love. She was sitting on a park bench waiting for some friends and she was wearing a bright red sweater. He later learned that her favorite color was red! Tears brimmed to his eyes as he turned to her.
She turned to look at him and saw his tears. She knew what he was thinking. How could she not! They had shared so many memorable years together. She loved him with every breath that she drew but she wanted this. “I have been yours for forever, I would like to find me” she thought. She didn’t want to find anyone else this was about her. Doing things on her own, discovering who she was. She would come back and she wanted to come back to him. She had thought about this for a while now, and now she had to tell him. Somehow, she could tell he already knew. She wouldn’t be glib about it, she knew he had been trying everything to change what he knew was bubbling in her. When they passed the old woman knitting the swearer, she would, she had to. She loved him but selfishly she knew she loved herself more.
“What a beautiful couple they looked so in love” the old woman thought as she watched them walk away. The man had big, brown eyes and the stature of her Paul. Paul loved her in red. It was his favorite color, he always said that red made him happy and laughed his infectious laugh which would make everyone want to share in his happiness. As she sat on the park bench she remembered all the happy moments, all the sad moments she shared here with him. Now he was gone. Her Paul was gone. A bittersweet smile that came across her face as she knitted that sweater. You see, Paul was her only son and he was driving home with his wife to share some amazing news with her. He wanted to do it in person, on that park bench, their special place. As she got ready to meet him, the phone rang. Someone said something had happened. She couldn’t remember much from the conversation but her Paul had suffered a heart attack and was in a coma. When she saw his wife, she knew what the surprise was. They were expecting a baby, her very first grandchild. The park is near the hospital where she visits Paul almost everyday. She had come to their special place because she missed her Paul and as she knitted that little red sweater for Paulina who was due any day now, she heard that familiar infectious laugh.
“I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway… let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.”
― C. JoyBell C.
I thought about this assignment for a bit which is why I’m a day late. I would like to think that everyone I meet is interesting, at least in the moment if I’m being truthful. After much thought and deliberation (primarily because I’m challenging myself to dig deeper, to step out of the box) I decided the most interesting person I have met all year is my daughter. She is tenacious, self assured, ambitious, smart, carries herself with such grace that I am very aware I did not possess in my early teens.
She may not be someone I have just met in the literal sense of the word but every time I look at her or share a conversation with her, I feel like I’m getting a glimpse of the beautiful heart, the strong willed, outspoken woman she is growing up to be. She has always inspired me to be more and I tear as write this because I’m proud to be her mom.
Note to self (after finding the letter he wrote to her after she left him) Find someone who sees the real you and loves even the parts you try to keep hidden.
What a tough assignment! Pick three songs that are the soundtrack to my life!! You must be kidding. Reminds me of the phrase “If music is the food of life, then play DJ, play”
There are the sounds of my youth, the lyrics of first love, first crush, the sounds of summer, the beats of freedom, of self empowerment and independence, the songs that change my grey skies to blue, song that define my mood, moments, emotions, of my children’s eyes lighting up when I would sing in my off key tone, of setting the mood with my baby, of being brave, invincible and a conqueror.
Music defines my life and every song has a tangible memory from the conscious lyrics of Bob, Taj and Gregory to the lovers rock of Beres, Rod and Sara to the zouk and soca of Kassav, Byron Lee, to the country beats of George, Kenny, Shania and the gang to music of the streets of KRS One, DMX, Tupac, Jodeci even Puffy to the alternative sounds and beats of the world. It has a rhythm, a story because the soundtrack of my life has many notes and is as lyrical as my life.
I have dreamt about this day for quite some time. The day when he and I renew our wedding vows.
We met in our early twenties on a night when I was celebrating my birthday with an out of town boyfriend. No sparks just casual conversation. Out of towner left and a friendship ensued. He was easy going, funny and caring so easy to fall in love with. Said goodbye to the out of towner and made serious googly eyes with The One. We moved in, broke up, made up and got married.
I loved him then and thought that was the icing on the cake and some twenty five years later the love, admiration, support and laughter is so much more than I, than we, both could have dreamed. We are breaking tradition because at thirty years of marriage we will renew our vows A sunset wedding on the beach in the Caribbean with me in a simple flowing dress, barefoot with lime green painted toes, him with his bespoke elegance and our kids, family and friends. We will solidify the deal with one of those kisses that causes the sunset to melt into the horizon and hold on to each other for the second part of the journey.
A friend and I were catching up and somehow the conversation meandered towards same sex marriage. Actually I do remember how they conversation came out. A family member recently got married and dropped by to introduce his wife to the hubs and I. In sharing the details of the visit, I happened to mention how opposed the family member is to same sex relationships. My friend and I are both heterosexual but have strong friendships with persons in the gay community. As persons who are not born Americans and raised in strong Christian backgrounds, this could be a bit challenging. We chose and continue to choose to treat people based on how we are treated, on how they interact with us. We can’t change everyone’s mind but I think we wished we could. Not easy. The hubs and I have dinner plans with thenewlyweds and I’m sure with warmer weather coming up, we will all be getting together frequently. Then again, maybe not so frequently since most of my gay friends are staples at my get togethers. Maybe he will be polite, maybe he won’t but it’s a party and I want the atmosphere to be fun and festive and yes, relaxing.