Category Archives: writing

Lessons of 2016: Happiness

I’ve realized this year, I do not need a reason to be happy.

Any little thing is enough. Any big thing is enough. The sun. A nice cleansing breath. A good nap. My loved ones. The color of my nails. Someone else’s laugh. I don’t have to feel how I’m expected to feel.

I don’t have to feel how I usually feel or how I used to feel. Happiness doesn’t have to be a smile, although it often is. It can be a quiet, knowing peace with what is right now.

Forgiveness

I tiptoe to my hurt place
The soft spot on my soul
My fingertips are gentle
Touching moments turned to coal

Every feeling has a story
A mistake I’ve come to own
I forgive them one by one
I don’t have to be alone

I forgive myself for abandoning him
I forgive myself for falling over drunk
I forgive myself for yelling in anger
I forgive myself for resigning to flunk 

I have more love than regret
Enough love
Enough love to set
Myself free

God said, “Love your enemy.” So I obeyed, and loved myself. – Khalil Gibran

Through Your Eyes

I often stare at photos of myself that you took.
I’m struck by the clarity that joy brings to my eyes,
The levity of my cheeks, rising with the breeze to smile at you.
Brushed with the light of an August afternoon,
The sweetness of peaches on my lips,
You anoint me with a beauty not even my innermost critic can deny.
Oh how grateful I am to see myself through your eyes!

How Sound Affects

I wrote a blog post for the site Sound Effects responding to the question:

How does sounds effect you?

My response:

Sound is memory….

Sound has made me who I am. I was raised on sound – ordered sound, what we call music: Jackson 5 in the morning, ZZ Hill in the afternoon, Bob Marley at bedtime. These sounds were as much a part of my life as the music of my mother’s jingling bangles, my father’s melodic whistling around the house, and my sister’s tap dancing down the hall way.

Read more >>> HERE <<<

Love Is A Growing Up

You say I want to own you
And truthfully I do.

But just a small piece
Something to hold onto

Cause we’ve been through a long year
And I feel like you owe me

And yes I know that’s wrong, and selfish & needy

I know that Love is about freedom
And understanding without ego

But I just want you to reciprocate
Cause I gave you a piece of me too

Maybe this whole thing is unhealthy and we both need to get free.

Jimmy said Love is a growing up,
Love is a growing up.

You say that you’re in love with me
But I don’t think you are

You just want m my approval
Want some balm on your scars

And maybe you deserve that
Cause I know I can be unkind

But I don’t need that responsibility
I don’t want you to be mine.

There was a time when I truly did
But you weren’t ready then

And now that you’ve come around
You feel you deserve something.

I’ll always love you, but this is unhealthy
And it’s time you let me be free.

Jimmy said Love is a growing up
Love is a growing up.

Journal Entry 7/1/15

I just wish we could love and understand each other. But that’s almost wishing we were different people (There’s a song in that). I’m still grieving, and it’s difficult for me to keep saying to myself, “It’s for the best,” when so many parts of me reject that idea, the finality and dismissiveness of that. But I can’t fight or be in denial either of what is. This is. And that’s the answer. To be more present, to just be grateful. I am thankful for the universe conspiring to teach me, even the hard lessons.

I am love.

Artist Statement

I just submitted my first grant application. I won’t find out if I am rewarded the grant until October, but either way, it was an excellent experience. It helped me to reflect on and synthesize my intentions and my purpose. The process itself was fulfilling. I wrote an artist statement for the first time, and figured I should share 🙂

“The only real concern of the artist [is] to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art.” – James Baldwin

In Washington we are constantly inundated with sounds: Obama’s helicopters zipping over the Washington Channel, police cruisers blaring sirens, buses grumbling down streets, air conditioners toiling away in humid summers. 

Sound pollution is real, so it’s easy to forget that sound vibrations are also healing. When I sing, I rediscover the artistic order of sound, tapping into its restorative properties. From a young age, this is what impelled me to open my mouth and make sound, feeling it reverberate through my cells and out into a room reminded me how alive I am.

My approach to music is rooted in its cathartic and palliative potential. Through writing and vocalizing I am able to be honest and vulnerable, to examine my mistakes and triumphs, the minutia and grandeur. I am able to be self-congratulatory and self-forgiving. Writing lets me attend to pain and ecstasy, becoming liberated in the process. My songs are a way to excavate sensory memories and dreams, giving them a life outside of my head, so that others can see their stories reflected in mine.