Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Garden View: Michael Vick

peace, sistergarteners. i've waited to comment here on michael vick's situation until i could formulate exactly what i wanted to say. what strikes me the most about the public reaction has been that countless athletes and entertainers have caused far greater harm to people (women, in particular) and have garnered far less criticism for it. i think it goes without saying (but i'll say it) that no one has the right to mistreat animals. i would just like to see people get as upset about domestic violence, child abuse, and the myriad other crimes against people. furthermore, michael vick has served his time.

the beautiful thing about surrounding yourself with other artistic people is they express themselves so poignantly. a dear friend, "just" greg corbin, offers his thoughts in this piece:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Flowers for the Garden: Roxanne's (Real) Revenge

*photo: watts/news
roxanne shante rarely gets the credit she deserves as a pioneer woman of hip-hop. on top of that, she never got her proper royalties from warner music company. what she did get was an education... story here (don't forget to come back to comment...i'm watching you).

be. fly.

Friday, August 21, 2009

be astounded.

*photo: jam343

"If we did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves." ~Thomas Edison

i play it safe. those who know me best might disagree, but allow me to explain. i'm not an outgoing person, but i do take certain risks and try new things. however, i don't often take risks that i think are actually substantial. i don't often try new things unless i'm confident they'll likely be "successful" ventures. i tend to only take risks where the possible downsides are pretty minimal. and that, sistergarteners, is hardly risk-taking at all. that translates into inadequate faith.

it's like asking the universe to toss me a lifesaver while i'm standing on dry land. for starters, the lifesaver is useless in that instance. secondly, i would be assuming that i won't be able to stay afloat once in the water, or that the only way for the universe to keep me afloat is with a lifesaver. and i would be saying, "i trust you, universe, but just in case..." like a pre-nup with god. pretty sure those don't go over well.

so, i'm beginning to believe that if i did the things i'm capable of (instead of only doing the things i think i'll be good at), i would astound myself. and i'm prepared to be astounded.

be. fly.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Growing Slowly


"Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still." Chinese Proverb

movement is movement. and as long as it's forward movement, i'm (learning to be) grateful for it. lately i've been exercising more. physically and mentally. i've been getting up early and hitting the gym more regularly and walking about a mile or so on the track at work most days.

and i've been writing more poetry. one poem a day, actually. i'm participating with an informal group of poets who have committed to writing one poem per day for the entire month of august. i'm really enjoying the exercise, as i don't write as often as i would like, and this challenge is really making me stretch creatively. and the community aspect of sharing these pieces with other poets has a powerful nurturing impact. i may follow up with some of the pieces or some commentary once the month is over.

so, i'm growing. and maybe not as slowly as i think. at any rate, i'm certainly not standing still.

be. fly.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hope Springs Eternal

love and light, sistergarteners. i added some seeds to my garden. quite a bit of water and sunshine, too.

i don't really know where the beginning of this story is (perhaps in a womb somewhere 20-"some-odd" years ago), so i'll just start somewhere in the middle. a few weeks ago, i attended the hope springs institute's first annual women's poetry and performance retreat. according to their website, hope springs is "a retreat center in the Appalachian foothills, [and] a place of rest, peace and benevolence. It is situated in an exceptional natural environment, and offers educational programs that help people live mindful, creative, healthy lives." after my experience there, i'm at a bit of a loss for words, so those will have to do for now. i can only add that i was on sacred ground-- "holy in ways my words can't explain, but maybe three little birds could" (-rhythm, "Soul Reacher- Bob Marley" from Libations, Vol. 1). yep, i just quoted myself.

i've been avoiding writing about this experience for a few reasons. first, i simply don't have the words to describe the magnitude to which this experience affected my life. secondly, a part of me wants to keep the experience sacred and personal. so to that end, i've decided not to share many details. when anyone has asked me "how was it?" my response has been, "life changing." that's the best i can do. for the benefit of the sister- (and brother)garteners, i'll add that the housing was welcoming and comfortable. the food was much so i made myself miserable on the second day with a lovely combination of heartburn and plain old glutton-belly. the women were inspiring...i have made vital bonds. the land and sacred spaces were nurturing. the whole long weekend actually was a retreat in every sense of the word. i was well taken care of.

i'd be remiss if i didn't mention the writing workshops. every day, i was faced with the challenge of reaching deep within myself and pouring the contents (beautiful, ugly, or otherwise) out on the page. and as writers (and in particular poets), we challenge ourselves to do this often, in an effort to honor the gift we have been given. but as humans, we also can retreat from this challenge when the ugly gets too ugly. i am so eternally grateful that the truth and beauty of hope springs wouldn't allow me to do that. i dug deep. deeper than i could have imagined. and i found so much healing in that journey and in the supportive circle of women (and a blessed angel-baby) from various geographic locations, racial and ethnic backgrounds, religions, sexual orientations, and ages. and i began to peel back a few more layers of my true self. most importantly, i was reminded to keep peeling.

"and that's all i have to say about that." -forrest gump

be. fly.



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