Saturday, July 27, 2013

Grit


Okay, that photo is just for the eye candy, because comic-book character or not , I think Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is an impressive tender-tough kind of guy. Did anyone watch his new reality show The Hero? Did anyone see Patty, a middle-aged salon assistant and mom of three from Ashland, Massachusetts, deathly afraid of heights, give up $35,000 and instead walk across a tightrope in the sky to save her teammates from failure? My daughter and I watched with our mouths gaping, our hearts in our throats, tears of pure inspiration in our eyes. It was astonishing.

As host of The Hero, The Rock was taskmaster, cheerleader, tempter, torturer, confessor, friend—a dizzying feat of shape-shifting—rooting for the team, but helping them find compassion and the lessons in failure, too. What intrigued me most about the show was the way it illustrated that there are many kinds of heroism, and even though America is supposed to judge who gets the prize pot, each contestant found his or her own definition. Watching them, we learned a lot about our own definitions of heroism, too.

Patty, the least athletic of the group, the most crippled by fear when she came in, was also the most courageous. She is a hero in my book. But it was Charles, the SWAT team cop from Los Angeles, who had my vote and it wasn't because he was the best at the challenges, but because he was humble. He was kind to his teammates. It wasn't so much about the money for him. He was there to test himself and find his own hero within. And when the win for him seemed sure, he offered himself up in sacrifice for his teammates, which frustrated me no end because he was so deserving. But would they vote him out as he asked? Had he ensured another teammate's win? I won't say. But if there's a season 2, I'll be watching.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Denizens of New York


I miss this city most when I am about to leave it, even to journey to the place where I am more surely from. I am not a natural traveler, although I did pick up and leave the land of my birth to move to an entirely new country when I was 18. What's more, I knew when I was 5 years old that I would do it. I visited my Aunt Winnie and Uncle Charlie here that year, and that's when I decided. The city felt like a pulsing thing. There were so many different sorts of people, every one of them with a story. I made up stories about the rainbow of humans who surged past me on the street and silently I decided. This was my true habitat.

At 5 I already felt out of place in my everyday circumstance, a feeling that miraculously vanished on the streets of New York. Here, I was just another one of the city's denizens, a chubby child in navy blue jersey shorts that rode up over my chubby thighs, and lacy ankle socks that sank inevitably into my brown leather Mary Janes, but no one quibbled with these shortcomings. I was folded in, unquestioned. I felt freed. So all through my childhood I waited, knowing what came next. And when it was time for me to apply to college, I sent off just one application, early decision, to a school in New York City. I knew I would get in. I can't explain. I just knew that my moving to this city was inevitable and going to that school was how I would make it happen.

But now, one the eve of traveling to pack up my mother's house in a beachy place, I wonder: Do I want to grow old here? My uncle is long gone and my aunt, at 94, seems so alone to me, even with our family just across the courtyard. Perhaps that is just the province of old age. My mother seems lonely too, despite living in her son's home in Jamaica now, her two grandchildren coming and going throughout her day. I imagine when I am old, I will want to be near to the two cousins who are like sisters to me, both of whom moved to the Washington, D.C. area. Am I, very late in the game, starting to feel the pull of another place? And where will our children settle? Where will they raise our grandchildren? Surely that will have a bearing. Such brooding thoughts for an ordinary Thursday.



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The sublime mundane


I called my husband at the museum where he works to tell him our daughter had picked herself up this morning and gone to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get her learner's permit. We had been wondering when it would occur to her that she might like to learn to drive. Driving is not a necessity in New York City. Public transportation will take you anywhere, and is usually faster than a car. Plus this girl learned to catch a cab by watching her mother when she was still knee-high. I remember her four-year-old self thrusting her little arm in the air at the sight of a taxi cab one morning on the way to school. I had been chatting with someone and she saw the cab first. She had just assumed (rightly) that since she was traveling with her mother one of those yellow cars would be needed.

In any case, having a driver's license just didn't seem to be a priority for her. Until today. Without preamble, there she was at the DMV, about to take the learner's permit test, calling me at work to ask a question about IDs. "Did you study?" I asked her. "Of course, Mom," she said, like duh. Her friend had given her the manual, but I never once saw her look at it. But she passed, and I called my husband to tell him the news. He said, "Of course she passed." And then he said, "How about you, are you happy?" It was an odd question, and I thought maybe he had just read my post from last night. Still, I was touched. I said, "Yeah, I'm happy." And it was true.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tilt and Swirl


Our son came home from the lake in the woods just for the day to meet up with friends from college, and now he is gone again, and I am sad from missing him. I wrote a whole other post which I have now taken down, because after I wrote it I went over to Ezra Caldwell's blog Teaching Cancer to Cry, and after reading there my concerns just seemed so puny in the face of Ezra's grace, and so I will just say I miss my boy, I wish I could make everything perfect all the time for him, and for his sister too, and I am sad tonight, and in time the sadness will pass.

This was the post I took down. Putting it back up because even in the face of very extreme suffering, what I feel is also valid.

Our son came home from camp, just for the day. He met up with two friends from college, one of whom is moving to Colorado to start his post-college life. Our boy came through the door around 8:00 a.m., tall and lean and sun-browned, beard a little scruffy, but the whole effect of him streamlined and lithe. His dad was already at work, his sister still asleep. He wrapyyped me in a hug, and then we watched a DVR'ed episode of The Daily Show, chuckling at humor about the royal birth. But he seemed distracted.

He didn't talk much. I didn't press. He left to meet his friends a little before I left for work. At some point in the day, he stopped by the museum to see his dad, his friends in tow. I knew he was going back tonight, so I thought I wouldn't see him by the time I got home, even though I left work early. But he was still here, dozing and then sleeping deeply on the couch. I tried to wake him once or twice, asking him did he want to eat, what time was his train, but he didn't stir, and I didn't shake him awake. I figured he'd set the alarm on his phone. But at 7:11 pm he jerked awake, agitated that he would miss his train, which was leaving in minutes, and he would therefore not get back to camp until very late. His energy was spiky and wound tight. He threw his things together, hugged me and went out the door.

His dad is at a meeting, his sister is at work, and I am left here alone in the house with a hollowness at my core, an uneasiness, an aching missing him, hoping he is okay. I'm thinking how odd it is that we can talk on the phone with such warm connection, as we did at length just this past Sunday, but in person he is so distant with me. More distant with me than with his dad, I think, or maybe it's just that his dad takes him as he comes, accepting the lack of transparency. They say you are only as happy as happy as your least happy child. My son did not seem happy today, and so neither am I. It's hard not to be able to do anything. It's hard to just sit. I am sad tonight.



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Packing up a life


Just finished booking flights to meet my brother in St. Lucia to clear the personal effects from my parents' last home together. My dad's suits still hang in his closet, his shoes are still lined up under them, even though he died 17 years ago. And then there are my mother's things, cocktail dresses, elegant shoes, sequined clutches, things she will never wear or use again. She lives with my brother in Jamaica now, a tiny person looking out at the hills from her recliner. Those beautiful dresses would fall off her shoulders. I am told that church ladies in the rural areas will welcome the dresses, and that is a relief. I'd rather give away my mother's precious possessions than sell or discard them. Some things I will bring back to New York with me. My brother will take other things. We'll then need to arrange repairs and cleaning that will get the house ready for renting. Which will be tricky. Being an absentee landlord is always complicated—and expensive. Our children, who spent summers with my mother in that house when they were growing up, are very against our selling the house, and yet if we are successful in renting it, we wouldn't be able to visit and stay there anyway. It's in a prime location, right across the street from that idyllic beach in the photo above, but the house itself is old, and there's no telling how much it will cost to bring it to where it needs to be, and whether we will be able to afford it. We have a lot of decisions coming up. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.



Did we know we were charmed?


One of my daughter's dearest friends posted on Facebook this morning these images from back in the day. I adore these children and loved being reminded of this time in our lives. I got permission to repost a few of the photos here. Did we know how charmed these days were when we were living them?





Photos: 1) Sixth graders at the farm. That's my girl in the lovely plaid pants. It must have been around Halloween because M. is sporting vampire teeth. 2) Two of our beauties. I think this was in first grade. 3) For a while there, American Girl dominated the playdates. The girls look like they're in third or fourth grade here, but I'm not sure. Nor am I sure what the play fantasy was here, but they do look committed... 4) In seventh grade the kids cleaned up nice for the bat and bar mitzvahs of some of their classmates. 5) The kids, now in college, got together regularly over winter break. For more recent pictures of this group, they call themselves lifers, go here and here


Saturday, July 20, 2013

NOW I get it

You have to watch this. You really just do. This 12-year-old Egyptian boy just explained everything that is happening in his country to me. The interviewer is flabbergasted by his grasp of the issues and tests him to see if he's just spouting what's been told to him. But he's not. This kid has done his own research. He breaks it down. I especially love his take on gender equality. The mouth of babes.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Peace & Grands


I love unearthing these photos that I haven't seen for some time. This one is of my Aunt Winnie and Uncle Charlie with my children, ages 9 and 7, and their grandson at age 4. I love the way my son's arm is around his Uncle Charlie, who used to babysit for my children sometimes when they were small. He died five years ago. My kids used to love when he watched over them. A gentle sort who never tried too hard to win them over, they nevertheless knew he adored them. Around when this photo was taken, my uncle used to walk my son to the bus stop each morning to make sure he got on the right bus to school. My boy had only recently begun traveling alone on public transportation. My aunt and uncle look so robust in this picture. They were, I believe, 83 and 85. Aunt Winnie is thin as a wraith now. But that expression on her face, looking down at her peace-sign flashing grandbaby, was the same one that flickered there when her grandson, now 16, visited her when he was in town from Virginia two weeks ago. These people are my heart.


Respect


"Trayvon could have been me 35 years ago." 

—President Barack Obama


The photo was taken when Obama was at Harvard Law, just a few years older than the teenager whose death has left us heartbroken. Obama had just been elected the first Black president of the Harvard Law Review, which still would not have protected him from being profiled and followed in a department store. He spoke the truth today. He stood up at the White House press briefing and tried to explain to a divided nation just why Trayvon Martin's death and his killer going free had shattered so many. He knew of course that the vilification from the right would be swift and nasty; indeed it has already begun. He spoke up anyway, for Black families and for White families too. I could hear the hurt in his voice. I felt proud that he spoke up for my son, for all our children. Thank you, Mr. President. I'm glad you weighed in.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Little Red

It's time to pick back up my little red Canon camera. Instagram is a lot of fun, and having a camera always handy on my iPhone 5 is great, but I'm starting to realize its limits. The iPhone 5 camera distorts what it sees. It tilts parallels inward so buildings and horizons don't line up with the frame, and it distorts the proportions of faces, turning them into funhouse mirror versions of themselves. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit. But I'm starting to get frustrated that what I see isn't what I get.

On my little red Canon on the other hand, when I do get the picture, it's more satisfying, even if a little blurry. The colors are rich, the dimensions true, the details layered and the lighting nuanced. I realize that the Instagram pics I love best are those taken with a non-phone camera and imported to the app. And looking at the photos I brought back from Jamaica this last time, and also from my son's graduation, and I'm starting to feel as if I missed recording some precious memories by relying on the surreptitious ease of my phone. Not that I haven't got some wonderful photos with my phone, especially outdoors. But when it comes to the fleeting moments, it's a crapshoot (pun intended?).

All this to say, I wasn't really happy with the photos I took when I was in Jamaica with my mom and the rest of my family two weeks ago. I'm sorely missing the photos I neglected to take. I think the key is intention. With my Canon, I raise the camera and frame the photo and I mean to take the picture. With my phone, I'm snapping haphazardly a lot of the time, and hoping to catch something worthwhile. Just for fun, here are some random photos taken with non-phone cameras and run through Instagram. They don't prove my argument or anything. I just felt like putting them up.






Photos from top:

1. My daughter and my mom in St. Lucia two years ago.
2. My husband at the orchid show last Spring.
3. With Aunt Winnie before she was bedridden and when my girl was still in braces
4. My son and my niece replicating a pose from when they were tiny humans.
5. The original picture. Maybe he thought the dress was cake icing.




Wednesday, July 17, 2013

This is why

I am so clearly one who cannot move past an emotion, who remains mired in the muck of despair, until I can process it by writing it out. If I can write down what I am feeling, or at least try for as close an approximation of it as possible, I am healed. It really is almost as if the clouds part and the harps play and the light shines through. My step is lighter, my shoulders lift, I have hope and laughter again.

That is how it was yesterday after I wrote that post, setting down the frightening event of my own son, innocent of any wrongdoing, being stopped by police. I felt so much lighter after writing it down, and after that good cry I allowed myself. Today we humans seem more like a sad, lost bunch than the source of pernicious danger at every turn (and maybe pernicious danger is redundant or maybe it just multiplies the threat). Around some corners there is real danger, this is still true. But around other corners, there is goodness, compassion and love.

There are, in fact, many reasons for the anguish those who love Black boys have been feeling, but the reason this case has been felt so differently is that Black parents knew how to prepare their sons for confrontations with cops, but what do you tell you child about a civilian stranger following you in the night? Trayvon apparently told his girlfriend that he was worried the stranger wanted to rape or kill him, but he didnt want to run to his house because he didn't want to bring the danger home to his little brother. So what do you tell your child to do in such a situation? Do you tell him to run? To turn and face the stranger? To defend himself at all costs? What?

Someone on Anderson Cooper last night said Travyon should have just called the police, dialled 911 on his phone. That comment plumbs the depths of what is not understood outside of Black families, that you don't call the police, because when they arrive, you will be the first suspect they see, the first one they shoot. Study after study has shown this. So what do you do? Clearly the stranger danger talks we are told to give our children won't work, because if a Black boy runs, he is assumed to be guilty of something and might get shot. If he stands his ground, tries to defend himself, as Trayvon Martin apparently did, he might end up dead.

This is why Black families are so lost in the wake of this verdict. What on earth do we tell our children now? I don't have an immediate answer to that, but I do know we have to counter the stereotype of our boys as dangerous, as suspects. We have to replace them with positive images of Black boys and young men sewn in to their families, productive, creative, laughing, valued, loved.

The photo below is of artist Robert Trujillo of Oakland, holding his young son in front of a painting of Trayvon Martin that he is working on in the wake of Martin's killer going free. These are the kinds of images we need to put out there. This is the truth of who Black men are. Loving fathers and family men. Creative beings. Productive citizens. That other stereotype from TV crime shows and Stop and Frisk programs, it's a flat out lie designed to invade your nightmares. And it is killing our boys.



Susan T. Landry posted a contextualization of the Zimmerman case and our response to it today. It is extraordinarily comprehensive and can be found here.

The Girl


I am absolutely loving having my girl home this summer. As tired as she is when her evening shift at the restaurant is done, she's enjoying working among all those organic foodies and struggling wannabe actors. We watch our TV shows together when she gets home, and she acts goofy with her dad, the two of them partners in silliness, and in the mornings when it's time for me to leave for work, I wish every single day that I could just stay home and hang out with my girl. Life is so easy and good in her presence.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Talk


The photo here is of my son and two of his closest friends, boys he has called brothers since they were children. They have grown into good and responsible men, all three—but too many people can't see that when they look at them. All they see in a young Black man is a suspect, not a future doctor, lawyer or architect. Not a young man who wants to be a firefighter and who might one day save their lives.

I realize that many who are not parents of Black boys may not understand the sorrow and frustration I feel over the not guilty verdict for the man who took Trayvon Martin's life. Most days, I don't dwell too much on the fact that the Black males I love are forever unsafe in this world where I have chosen to raise my children, because that was as true before Trayvon's death as now. And until this morning I have held at arms length the memory of the afternoon during homecoming weekend in my son's sophomore year when a White cop walked through a crowd of students, all but two of them White, and stopped in front of my son. The cop poked my Black boy in the chest, and said, "What the fuck are you carrying?" My son mercifully remained calm. He said, "Nothing. Feel free to look." He had only his wallet and ID card on him, and a roll of toilet paper because the group was heading from one house to another for homecoming weekend parties and his friend at the house they were going to had asked him to bring a roll from his house as they had run out.

The cop took my son's wallet, cursing all the time, and told him to turn around. He handcuffed my son, and pushed him roughly into the squad car. My son said, "Excuse me, officer, but can you tell me why I am being detained?" to which the cop said, "Shut the fuck up." Fortunately, my son's friends erupted, screaming at the cop that that was the most racist thing they ever saw, taking down the cop's name and badge number, because as White students they could do that without fear of retaliation. Eventually the cop opened the cruiser door and told my son to get the fuck out of the car. He still held my son's wallet and ID in his hands. He studied the ID and said, "So you're a student?" My son nodded. The cop then undid the handcuffs he had locked around the wrists of my beloved child, threw the wallet and ID on the ground, and spat, "Get the fuck out of my face."

My son knew to wait till the cop had got back in the cruiser and driven off before picking up his belongings. His friends swarmed around him. "How are you not seething with rage right now?" they asked him. And my son said, "If I walked around as a Black man seething with rage, that's when trouble would really jump off." And he's right. I still shudder to think what would have happened if my son in a fit of adolescent bravado (he was 19 then) had resisted that cop. Trust me when I tell you that is what the cop was hoping for. And I still shudder to think what would have happened had the cop actually taken my son to the precinct house, away from his friends, away from White witnesses who could not believe what they had seen. I think those outraged kids saved my son from much worse that afternoon. And I think that cop also afforded them a rude education.

So yes, I am going about my day doing what is before me to do, which by the nature of the work I do includes engaging professionally with the fact of George Zimmerman's not guilty verdict. But on Morning Joe this morning Mika Brzezinski read from a column that the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson wrote today. It said in part:

"If anyone wonders why African Americans feel so passionately about this case, it’s because we know that our 17-year-old sons are boys, not men. It’s because we know their adolescent bravura is just that—an imitation of manhood, not the real thing.

"We know how frightened our sons would be, walking home alone on a rainy night and realizing they were being followed. We know how torn they would be between a child’s fear and a child’s immature idea of manly behavior. We know how they would struggle to decide the right course of action, flight or fight.

"And we know that a skinny boy armed only with candy, no matter how big and bad he tries to seem, does not pose a mortal threat to a healthy adult man who outweighs him by 50 pounds and has had martial arts training (even if the lessons were mostly a waste of money). We know that the boy may well have threatened the man’s pride but likely not his life. How many murders-by-sidewalk have you heard of recently? Or ever?

"The conversation we need to have is about how black men, even black boys, are denied the right to be young, to be vulnerable, to make mistakes. We need to talk about why, for example, black men are no more likely than white men to smoke marijuana but nearly four times as likely to be arrested for it—and condemned to a dead-end cycle of incarceration and unemployment.... 

Trayvon Martin was fighting more than George Zimmerman that night. He was up against prejudices as old as American history, and he never had a chance."

And now, as I write this, Eugene Robinson and Michael Steele, Liberal and Conservative, are standing on the same ground, describing with one voice the talk each of their parents had with them when they were just young boys, explaining to them what it meant to walk out their front doors as Black males in America, how they should behave if stopped by a cop, what they should understand about how people would react to them.

My husband and I had that talk with our son, too. Every parent of a Black boy has had or will have that talk, because not to do so is to endanger the life of their child. My son is a runner, a decathlete. I remember telling him when he was in high school to run on the track at his school and not in the park or on the street, because a Black man running is forever a suspect in the eyes of a cop.

So this morning, as I listened to words written by a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for a major newspaper, and realized that for all his accomplishments he was just another endangered Black male, the tears came. It was a release.




Monday, July 15, 2013

We are not Trayvon

The world is full of people who want to understand. The woman who wrote what follows is one of them. I tried but could not find her name, though she did post her picture with her story on a Tumblr called We Are Not Trayvon Martin. I wanted to thank her for telling a truth that some refuse to acknowledge. She tells it powerfully. 


Growing up White in America, I’ve spent my life watching cops’ shoulders tense as I turn the corner, then release as they see my skin. Have watched recruiters at job fairs look right through my Black classmates, as if they simply were not there. I’ve even had to go into the store to buy my step-cousins their candy and soda because the owner wouldn’t sell to “those people." This same shop owner asked me what a nice little girl like me was doing hanging around with them. “Them"? Those people were my cousins, my friends, my family, my world. All he saw was “trouble." This was in 1986.

Just this spring, I was shaken by sounds of yelling outside my window - “Get down on the ground! DOWN ON THE GROUND OR WE’LL SHOOT!" I stuck my head through the curtains to see more than ten NYPD officers in my back yard, surrounding a Black man with his face in the dirt. “He’s got a gun - HE’S GOT A GUN!" they screamed, as he tried to respond “I’m unarmed! No gun! Please don’t shoot! Please! Don’t shoot!"

Terrified I was about to witness this man’s death, I did the only thing I knew I could do - opened my back door and stepped outside. The second they saw my white face, every single one of those officers withdrew his gun and gasped. They had a White witness - now they had to think about how this looked.

Those officers were more worried about disturbing me than they were about killing an unarmed man. I watched as they searched through piles of leaves for the nonexistent gun, fearful to look me in the eye. Because I am White, I stood in my doorway and stared as they searched. There was no gun. They never thought there was a gun. They knew it and I knew it. And I wanted them to know I knew.

Today, I want the jurors to look me in the eye. I want Zimmerman to look me in the eye. I want all of his racist supporters to look me in the eye. I want them to know that I know. I know they rigged this trial. I know they rig the entire system against Black people. I know they tell themselves it’s to protect people like me. But I want them to know that they’re wrong, and I know it. You know how I know? Because they’re killing my friends, my family, my world.

Trayvon could have been my godson, my nephew, or my student. But he most certainly could not have been me. And unlike that day in my yard, this time, I’m stuck just watching as Zimmerman pulls the trigger - and gets away with it. Stuck watching as they take a life they don’t think anyone that “matters" will miss. And I weep. Rest in peace, Trayvon. We miss you.

For more, go here.



Friday, July 12, 2013

While the jury deliberates











These are random photos, all but one of which I took in Jamaica last week. I haven't had much energy to post this week, partly because of an intense week at work, and partly because I am emotionally drained by the George Zimmerman trial. My son is very upset that Zimmerman might walk, after stalking 17-year-old Travyon Martin on a rainy night and shooting him square through the chest. Trayvon Martin drew suspicion for no other reason than the color of his skin. Yet the defense says this was not about race. My son knows better. All I can say to him is that anger makes you blind, and he cannot afford to be walking around in this world blinded by anger, not if he is going to concentrate on keeping himself safe. I thought Prosecutor John Guy did a masterful closing argument today, but I'm not sure it will be enough. I can't write about this. Let me caption this assortment of photos instead, which are in no particular order, but which are easy to grab from my phone, so here they are because it is far simpler to circle the wagons with unquestioned full-hearted love.

Photos from top:
1. Devon House, Jamaica, our ancestral home, according to family lore.
2. My daughter and niece sharing an ice cream cone at Devon House.
3. My daughter gave my mother a manicure after her physical therapy session.
4. My niece and the rest of us dined at Usain Bolt's restaurant one evening.
5. My daughter did the Kingston nightlife with her two cousins and many of their friends. They sure were a good-looking crew.
6. Granddaughter pileup or watching the game show network from Grandma's bed.
7. Frozen yogurt (froyo) with the younger cousins.
8. This photo, which is tucked into the margin of the mirror on my mother's dresser, was taken on my girl's first day of preschool.
9. And this one, also on my mom's mirror, shows her father escorting her to her first day of work when she was 18.
10. And one more, of my beloved now-grown babies. I remember someone once told me that having children is like giving your heart permission to walk around outside your body. I now know what she meant.




Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Everything


The night before we left Jamaica to fly back to New York, after my mother had been bathed and was ensconced in her bed, her granddaughters, all three, climbed in around her. As my nieces, 23 and 11, watched Minute to Win It, or maybe it was Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? on the television in the corner, my daughter knelt beside my mother and held her hand, the two of them whispering about I know not what. At a certain point I looked up from the recliner at the foot of the bed, where I was reclined, and I thought how beautiful they all are, how intimately connected, and I picked up my daughter's phone, which was closest and snapped the picture. Perhaps I will post more pictures in days to come, but for now this moment says everything there is to say about our time with my mom. Absolutely everything is right there, ready to be read, understood, accepted, inferred.



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Peace Out


"The longest part of the journey
 is said to be the passing of the gate."

—Marcus Terentius Varro


I have no idea who that Marcus person is. He's a Roman philosopher I believe. I just like the quote because it captures how hard it is for me to embark on a journey. The planning and packing. The confronting myself in considerations of what I will wear, who I will see. It's so much easier once you're committed, the bags on the conveyer belt and you, passport and tickets in hand, people-watching at the gate. I long to see my mother. I wish there were some teleporting trick that would just beam me there. Tomorrow, we travel. Maybe I will post while we are in Jamaica. If not, I'll catch up with you when we return.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Are we seeing this?


According to the BBC, Egypt is staging the largest protest in the human history of the world. Are we taking note? I'm only just starting to grasp what's going on there. So here's my question: Is the ouster of a democratically elected president a victory for the people? I don't know how to feel about it.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Cake pops for Callie





Our girl was busy this afternoon making oreo cake pops for her friend's birthday tonight. *Happy Birthday Callie!* Several of them were getting together in a roof garden under the stars to celebrate. They make me wish I was young again, spending summer nights with my friends on a terraced roof high above the city streets. She didn't stay out too late; came home by midnight. She has both her jobs tomorrow. Her summer has been all about work and play, a good mix of both, seeing friends from all her different circles. She spent yesterday in New Jersey with one of her suite mates from college, a young woman she'll share a suite with again this year. They lounged around a pool and caught fireworks come evening. When she came home at almost 10 pm, it was to dress and rush back out to another friend's birthday gathering in Soho. Now, after her very social weekend, seeing college friends, high school friends, and middle school friends, she's all wrapped up in a blanket on the couch watching her latest series on Project Free TV as I sit here tapping away. The AC is on high, and my husband is snoring gently in the next room. There is a lovely air in here. We talk in short bursts, but are mostly quiet, absorbed in our separate pursuits. It's companionable and sweet, a perfect bubble, my girl and me.



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