Monday, June 29, 2009

Art Imitating Life

My performance group has started practicing for our next show which is on my birthday! This is our "best of" show which revisits all of our favorite dances, music and poetry. Since our cast has changed over the last few years some dances have different choreography.

I have been cast in a dance called "Four Women" to the music of Nina Simone with the same title. Guess who I play? Aunt Sarah! With every thing going on in my life right now I get cast as Aunt Sarah. HA!

Here are the lyrics to my part:

My skin is black
My arms are long
My hair is woolly
My back is strong
Strong enough to take the pain
It’s been inflicted again and again
What do they call me
My name is aunt sarah
My name is aunt sarah

We have practiced this song for the last two weeks and I had a difficult time getting into the mindset of Aunt Sarah. She starts the song which means I set the tone for the entire piece. Black skin? Check. Long arms? Check. Wooly hair? Check. I'm suppose to be strong? Well...uhhh...CHECK!

I can do this. I CAN DO THIS! I can take what life has thrown at me. It is okay to retreat, regroup and reactivate. I forgot the regroup and reactivate part. But it is perfectly normal, it is human and every so often we fall and like babies learning to walk we just sit there and cry about it.

I had to give myself permission to grieve. Grieve for something I desperately wanted and found out I may not have. I have made the journey through the first few steps of the grief process and like everything else in life I will learn from this experience and move on.

I am bent and bruised but will not be broken. Funny, my Artistic Director had no idea what I was going through when she cast me in "Four Women." It is simply art imitating life.

If you haven't heard Four Women:

Four Women - Nina Simone

Peace & Blessings...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Learning the Lesson...Cont'd.

Thank you to my fellow bloggers (QueenBee, Lovebabz, MsKnowitall, Brandee, Insatiable One, The True Urban Queen and 12Kyle) for stopping by and adding words of encouragement and wisdom as I retreated and forgot the world. Your words did not fall on deaf ears nor blind eyes and I needed every one of them.

Almost a year ago I wrote this post about learning the lesson. God continues to put things in our path to make us deal with them, to make us stop running and come full circle on your wants versus your needs. If you do not learn the lesson you are doomed to repeat it until you do. This is my belief...

I am slowly coming to terms with my initial medical prognosis and waiting on the part two that will be in soon. It is not an easy wait nor is it something I ever thought I would be faced with. Life is funny like that, it only takes an instant to change your perspective and my perspective has changed drastically in the past week and a half.

My beyond wonderful fam (the group of friends that have become my surrogate family) have rallied around me despite their own drama to check on me, text me, call me and take me out to get my mind off my wait. They are beyond words and I am truly grateful for each and every one of them.

They have taken me to my favorite restaurants, accompanied me salsa dancing, shared great birthday celebrations and great glasses of wine. Despite their best efforts, through it all I thought I just needed to be held. When in fact God sent me exactly what I needed...a long walk through the park where I found a great ear to listen and great conversation.

As I continue to wait on test results I realize that I do own a fear that is warranted, but I also own hope and the fact that I am surrounded by people that genuinely love me, the real me and continue to uplift me through it all.

Peace & Blessings...

Monday, June 15, 2009

How I'm Feeling...Just Forget the World?


I recently found out my chances for having children are very slim. There is no wild sexual history (quite the opposite) and I have never had an STD. I did everything "right" so to speak. I was one of those mythical creatures that earned her white dress when she walked down the aisle.

Now I find myself mad, angry, frustrated that my body may have portrayed me. That my insides are growing things they should not be growing. Mutating in ways that may be unsafe. I just want a clean bill of health...all of a sudden having children is not important. My mother's desire of having her only child give her a pass into grandmother hood is a mute point.

I just want to forget the world. I retreat when I need time to think, to deal with the things being thrown my way. This is one of my favorite shows and right now one of my favorite songs.

Just for a short time, I want to forget the world...

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me
And just forget the world?

Peace & Blessings...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Diggin' Leela James

Deciding to date myself and get out and enjoy things has been the greatest decision I could have made. I have joined several email lists that send out happenings in my area. Most of them are a little "young" for me, but some are a total delight and great surprise.

Ms. Leela James came to town to play a small venue and the tickets were around $20. I decided that it was beyond what I could squeeze in the budget so image my delight when I received an email with a 2 for 1 coupon for her concert the day of the show! $10 to see Ms. James and $8 for parking meant a great show for less than $20. I grabbed my co-worker/girlfriend and off to the show we went!

I first heard of Ms. James on the B-sides of a popular radio show years ago and I thought she was more popular until we went to a favorite hang out spot after the concert and people were like "who?" Sometimes I want to scream at people "there are more stations than the one you keep your radio on, try Internet radio or Pandora!" (wooosaw!!)

Back to what I was saying...

Heston opened for her and I must admit I was distracted by his gorgeous percussionist. So much so that I asked the very nice lady next to me to take a picture and send it to me (enjoy the photo to the right). But the highlight was definitely Ms. James.

She came out to Rick James' Give it to me Baby and her full brass section made it sound better than the original. Rockin' her 3 inch boots and fantabulous (fantastic and fabulous) fro she worked that stage for over an hour. Considering I was standing in the front row, I laughed, danced and sang with Ms. James the entire time. She takes control of that stage and works it like no one else.

Here is a short clip of the Rick James cover:

We cracked up when she said she doesn't like boogie people in her audience, and started picking people out telling them to wipe that frown off their face 'cause she could see them. Why you think she squintin'? LOL!

If you ever get the chance to check her out, I would highly recommend you do so. Hopefully, you can get an intimate venue like I did. That was the best concert I have been to in a long time. Nothing like hearing my anthem "My Joy" in person. I tried to capture it on my phone, but I'm sure I got more of the off-key audience than of her. But when she picked people out the audience to join her on stage to "have a party" and step, it was the funniest thing I've seen in a minute.

She performed a lot from her new album of covers of classic R&B hits, but she does them like no one else. Ms. James works a stage like I haven't seen since the younger days of Patti LaBelle.

She enjoys what she does and my how it shows. And for my hair people out there, I have a new hair idol. When I grow up I'm going to have a fro that big :)

Not sure how much of this you can make out (the ladies behind me were singing LOUD), but this lady ROCKS on stage. My apologies...I forgot I flipped my phone to get her background singers so my video turns sideways. Will flip it when I figure out how. LOL!

Peace & Blessings...