This morning is crisp, cold and calm. Thin ice coats the grass outside my window-freezing ever blade in real time.
Inside I snuggle close to my furriest blanket. Whiffs of pine-sol and sweet potato pie linger in the air. They are evidence of yesterday’s cleaning spree and today’s breakfast.
There is a huge empty corner in my living room waiting for some “Christmas cheer” to fill it. But before the tree goes up and I welcome in December, I need to tell November good-bye.
I want to unthaw the frozen moments I’ve collected in my heart and mind this month. I need to pay respect to the truth of what it has meant to live out fully the good and the bad of them.
A goal I set and a goal I failed. Last year at this time I joined the Blogher community in NaBloPoMo. For 30 days I wrote a post daily. It was an incredible exercise of discipline and devotion. By the end of the month, I felt like I had cut my teeth on how to share my voice in the world. Baby steps-but I was walking and I knew this month I would run. Instead…
I fell hard, scrapped my knee and never got up. The fall came fast. From losing my balance as a working mommy and a firm hold on my passion-I buckled under the commitment. Mix in a new job, two teenagers and a strong-willed child-just go ahead and cast me up and give me some crutches baby! LOL!
However, this will be my struggle for awhile and I know it. But it is my right here and my right now. I still want to be a fully present wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, world-changer and writer. This stretched-out life leaves pieces of me very thin at times -but I refuse to let any of it go.
I only wrote 7 times this month-but each one counts. Every word is my “not letting go” grip of honoring this little life of mine God has graciously given me. When I hit “publish”to this post I will have written my 75th post. And I still can’t believe that 1378 of you have joined me along the way. I am humbled and honored to share my life with you. Thank you.
Cocoa & Kites
I told her it was too cold to go outside.
She told me, “Mommy I’ll be ok, I gotta catch the wind while its working”
I thought my husband had put up the kite above her reach in the garage.
How did she know to look for it? We are not at the beach. She is not safe to fly it out in the street.
The wind had been working all night and day. Rooted trees-unearthed- lay bare and vulnerable on concrete. Garbage cans on the run-fences gone like a missing tooth. Roof shingles-scattered the neighborhood like spread- out dominos.
But she was right -the beauty in the power and the fear that the wind holds must be caught when it’s working.
And yes it was too cold, but she knew when to seize the moment and later we agreed that’s what cocoa is for!
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
A must read. If you’ve been looking for a good novel and haven’t found one in awhile-this book might be for you. This read was timely, heart-wrenching and real. I appreciated Sue Monk Kidd’s ability to look race, slavery, privilege straight in the eye- while ushering in courage, fight and the truth to sit also at the table.
Below is a snippet of a review by Suzanne Berne.
Unlikely alliances are a staple of fiction, and the unlikelier the better, from Huck and Jim floating down the Mississippi to Frodo and Gollum creeping toward Mordor — because the real drama lies in watching how dissimilar characters turn out to be brothers (or sisters) under the skin. Sue Monk Kidd followed this principle in her best-selling first novel, “The Secret Life of Bees,” in which a 14-year-old white girl and her family’s black servant join in fleeing abuse in the South Carolina of the civil rights era. Kidd’s latest novel, “The Invention of Wings,” also set largely in South Carolina, involves another unusual duo, in this case a slave and a daughter of the family that owns her.
The best way I can describe how I have felt in response to the events before and right now involving Ferguson and Mike Brown’s death is bearing another racial lash. The snap of the whip of systematic racism, deep rooted fear and white privilege and dominance has left our hearts and souls once again wide-open and bleeding.
I am still gathering my strength and my words. As a Black woman loving a Black man and raising a Black son the trauma and fear that hovered around our home that night the verdict was announced, will never be forgotten and will never fully go away.
The vicious and toxic hatred and fear that is streaming the airways and Facebook threads keep leaving me speechless and deeply saddened. That as much as I want America to be my home-it has and probably never will fully accept and embrace me and mine.
To my own race I just want to say it is okay to bleed and to heal. I want to say take your time and share your pain and your words when you are ready. I want to say do what you need to do to keep your soul in tack. I want to remind you of the people and the heritage that we come from. That for whatever reason God has chosen our race to bare the lash. And I don’t understand that. I don’t understand the “why us again?“.
I want you to know that when that demon named hate, lifts it’s claws from the pit of hell and brutality harms and kills one of our own again- I wrestling with “where are you God?” moments.
Truth is, I am still wrestling and I do not have a red bow to tie this one all up in before Christmas. And it is okay. Because I don’t think God is okay with it either. In the meantime…
What can you do to help heal our sons, our men, our communities to stay strong and fight on. Not despite of the pain but because of it. How will you keep your head up high-voice out strong-soul in tack?
And to my God Kingdom people-you know who you are. I want to thank for showing up. Some awkward, yet vulnerable and courageous-but many of you have reached out to say- “something”. And that is enough. For those of you that remain silent on this matter I ask you to examine your “why”. And in the light of Jesus’ command to” love your neighbor as yourself,” I ask you to hold it up there for awhile. Hold your reason up to the light.
To those who too believe in,“the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” to think about what your response will be in the midst of this racial injustice. This time it is police brutality, racial profiling, black boys unarmed being murdered again and again and again and again.
What can you do in your corner of the world to make a difference? How can you bring more equity, more justice-more balance with the privilege you’ve been given?
All I can say is that I am so grateful that I still have found a hope and a future I am still reaching for.
As the weather and the world get colder -I hold nearer and dearer to the light of faith that flickers in my soul and those that surround me to love and by loved by.
I am thankful for failures because they remind me of what I long for most.
I am thankful for storms because they force you to grab on to what is most important.
I am thankful for story because words have the power and beauty to transcend and transform.
I am thankful for Mike Brown and Ferguson because it has revealed that more hope, more healing and more change are urgently needed. That we must look at the world as it is -not as we hope it to be.
…and with all my heart I am ready to say good-bye to November.