Saturday, December 29, 2007
I didn't know I had -
The revelation of a secret
I wasn't trying to reveal.
In my imagination's wildest reaches
I could have never conceived of you.
My nonexistent wish
came unbelievably true.
© 2007 Patricia B.
2007 isn't over yet - but so far, it's been pretty good.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
i'm running in place
running a race
and i'm destined for the last place
defeated before i even begin
fighting the war
but the war continues with no end
and my enemy will win -
yet my enemy is me
and just can't see
why i keep entrenching myself in misery -
making progress but no motion
and now i'm fraught with emotion
i am my judge and my jury
and my judgment of me
keeps me stuck in my fury
and thus I'm frustratingly
running, out of breath,
but yet, standing still.
© 2007 Patricia B.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
The kind of low that brought tears to my eyes because I didn't quite know
how I got to where I am, and how I could take another step forward.
In my tears, I scolded myself for even feeling the way I felt -
me, with so much to be thankful for, who has received so much -
what really good reason could I have to cry?
But there I was, crying and crying and asking God why?
Why was I put here? Why am I doing what I'm doing?
Why can't certain things about me just be different?
Why can't I just have what I want?
I kept hearing the answer in my head,
But the words did not console -
The answer - that nothing I've done has been done alone
And that nothing in my life is truly in my control
But is by His will, and set in His plan
And that all I needed to do was put my trust in Him -
no, none of that helped me feel better.
So I cried and questioned and challenged that answer
and decided to open His book - something I don't do enough
And see, if He really is going to speak to me
Why not through His word?
So I tested it to see what would happen -
I opened my Bible at random, and honestly expected
to open to a passage completely unrelated
but instead, I opened to Psalms 23.
So I write all this to testify to whoever comes across this:
That He is real, He is listening to you
And that truly you can depend on Him
because He will always be there for you
Just as Psalms 23 reminded me.
(And now, I'm definitely not feeling low!!!)
© 2007 Patricia B.
A couple of things:
1. This seriously happened to me within the last 15 - 20 minutes.
2. This piece wasn't intended to be a "piece" - I started writing it as a regular ol' post in my regular blog - but then it started flowing out of me all creative sounding and so I figured I'd include it here.
3. In case you aren't familiar with the significance of Psalms 23 - it is THE PSALM out of the book of Psalms that is most often used as a passage to comfort others in times of trouble, of need, of despair. A good deal of the psalms discuss faith in God and what it means to lean on Him (Psalms 27 is another good one - which I ended up reading afterwards) but this Psalm is significant not only for its actual meaning, but its significance in the way its used throughout Christianity. Long story short - of all the psalms I needed to read earlier tonight - Psalm 23 is pretty much at the top of the list.
God is Good!
I need to go to church more.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Answer the question of where I’m from.
I'm a Brooklyn baby, born and bred in the borough
But when people hear decent grammar,
they also don't expect to hear
that I was born in Brookdale Hospital, right off the B35
or that I grew up on Bradford and Livonia,
a couple of blocks from the 3.
Back in the day you would have easily found me
playing in the yard of PS 13 or
giggling with my friends in front of IS 292
or hanging out at the pizza shop around the corner from Brooklyn Tech -
or working at my first real job at the Burger King in Fulton Mall
or kissing my first love while in the glory of Promenade’s panorama.
Nowadays, you can find me at the only law school
that goes by the name of my borough
(yea that's right, I said its MY borough)
And I claim Brooklyn just as it claimed me
years before my birth, when mother came
from Jamaica, dreaming of the stairs she would climb
as she moved away from the land of wood and water
to the birthplace of her future daughter,
attempting to attain something better.
Many look down on Brooklyn
But many know of its promise of a better life -
The one it gave my mother decades ago.
I'm not just from Brooklyn - I am Brooklyn
for I am the realization of the promise
given to my mother and many others -
I am the accumulation of opportunities it holds
and the continuing result of Brooklyn’s hopes come true.
So while I might appear to some to be from somewhere else
I won't shape my answers to their questions
by their misconceptions
of what it means to be from Brooklyn.
© 2007 Patricia B.
Ok yea, I should be studying for the MPRE, but I was inspired to write while rocking out to some Mos Def tracks. This poem is actually a work in progress - I might clean it up a bit, maybe add more, or maybe write another poem about me and Brooklyn? There's just so much that I can say.
Monday, October 22, 2007
But I've been striving, trying
to make myself a little bit better
which has me in this rat race
trying to escape
while getting pushed and shoved and smacked in the face...
It's been brutal,
because I'm chasing my other passion
While holding tightly to you:
My pen, my words, my craft, my love.
But my other goals and dreams often draw me away,
So I just came back briefly to say
That because I'm not always with you
Don't think I've forgotten about you
Because in my writing lies my heart
And I'm not sure where I'll end,
but you are where my life starts...
© 2007 Patricia B.
Ok seriously though - I haven't written in a couple of weeks and I MISS IT!!!! Man. Things are so busy and they are about to get busier - I have to take the MPRE in two weeks, I am looking for a job AND then I have to deal with being a busy law student. Argh! I was just sitting here reading about shareholder lawsuits and derivative actions for my Corporations class and just felt this urge to write something. And there you have it. I'm not even sure if it makes complete sense right now - I'm feeling too flustered to look at it objectively. I just needed to get out what was in my head.
Writing is really my first great love - my first great passion. It hasn't gone away but now it's competing with my journey to attorneydom. If only I could find a way to combine the two... (and no, writing legal memoranda and such does not do it for me... )
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Or change it for the better, at least in some small way.
I want to drape myself in red
Because I’m hot and red suits my passion
Or maybe quench my fire in some deep cool blue sea
with black sand beaches, while being held by
the hands of some beautiful man.
I want a beautiful man with compassionate character
and exceptional qualities
I want a man to love me for my mind, my spirit and my body
I want to love my imperfect body.
I want to be healthy.
I want physical prosperity and to possess a financial portfolio
Of tremendous magnitude. While I’m at it, I want to shake myself
Of the attitude that has kept me mired in debt
But has kept me looking fly – which reminds me,
I want those chocolate brown suede knee high boots
I saw in that store’s window today. I want some dark chocolate,
And also to go away to see other foreign cities and countries.
I want to go to my mother’s country
And help the people there who live with less than I do
Because as much as I want in this moment,
Ultimately, I just want to save the world from itself,
Or change it for the better, at least in some small way.
© 2007 Patricia B.
Monday, September 24, 2007
by the gravity of my needs
and also by the self-forces
to which I take heed:
such as my compulsion to serve,
my inclination to mentally dissect,
my creative penchant,
and my determination for success.
But most importantly,
my beliefs and faith in the Divine
are the beginning and the ending to
how and why I self-define.
© 2007 Patricia B.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Lawrence Clark Powell (emphasis mine)
I think the same goes for poetry too. At any rate, I've been striving for all three without ever really conceptualizing my aims as a writer - until this morning.
And so I'd like to thank the good people at Google who decided it was a good idea to add the brainyquotes feed to the webclips section of my account! If it wasn't for you I wouldn't have probably come across this - never even knew this man existed until I saw another one of his quotes at the top of my page when I logged in:
Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow. - LCP
And that's what I do.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
For those who stand with clarity
While all around you falter, confounded.
For those who emanate peace and understanding -
This one is for you.
For those who know the secret to love
that all else searches for -
Who attracts others with the glow
from that sweet love of humanity
that you've somehow acquired -
This one is for you.
For those who inspire others with wisdom and
Walk a hard road shod with courage.
Who knows the way to destiny,
And gives the directions to others frequently -
This one is for you.
You, who effortlessly are the paradigm
We strive to follow.
Who by virtue of who you are
Inspire generations and mold actions.
For those who utter the words
to which others cling -
This one is for you.
For those who strive for more
Despite success already achieved,
Who knows that in the light of God's grace
that life is a process meant to be filled with progress.
Because you inspire me so,
This one is for you.
I hope you like it.
(I really do.)
© 2007 Patricia B.
A few weeks ago, I had a dream that I was entering step 2 of the pursuit of my writing career: performing my work. The fact that performing is important to my writing may not make sense, but it is important - for it is an important way to share the things I write, to promote myself and my work. It is also something that I am still currently VERY NERVOUS about doing. I have never read any of my poetry or other written pieces aloud for a captive audience (apart from anything I've ever done for a creative writing or English class).
So in this dream I had a few weeks ago I was conquering step 2. The piece I performed in this dream approximates the poem above. (As soon as I woke up I grabbed my journal and started scribbling whatever I could remember from it.) The poem that I use to conquer my fear and reach a goal in my dream is about my heroes - I don't know quite what that means, but I'm sure some meaning can be culled from that.
The dream itself ended by me saying the last two lines of the poem above. I'm not sure if that was really supposed to be in the poem as I dreamed it, or if it was just a mere expression of hope that the audience liked my poem. It was probably both. I'll never know if the audience in my dream liked my poem, but I do hope you like it. I really do.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
© 2007 Patricia B.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
my general health
my access to health services
my mother's house
my clothes, which are now all over my room
my shoes, which are now all over the floor in my room
my sense of style
my good sense
my creative ability
my developing legal mind
my developing writing talent
my brown skin
my curly hair
my astigmatic and myopic pair of eyes
my bouncy and perky pair of D's
my love for my body
my love for myself
my countries (US & Jamaica)
my ability to learn from mistakes
my Lord, through whom all things are possible.
© 2007 Patricia B.
I think on a day like today, it's good to reflect on all the blessings you've been given, and everyday is a good day to give thanks and praise.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Before leaving for work today I caught the first 10 minutes of The View, who introduced comedian Sherri Shepherd as their new co-host (YAY! I like her on the show). I'm glad I caught it, because even though she has been on that show as a temporary co-host many times, today was the day they officially introduced her and showed a segment about her background, how she got into comedy etc. It's a pretty cool story - one that involves a huge leap of faith which clearly is working out for her - and she said something that struck a chord with me...
So she was a legal secretary out in Beverly Hills when she was thinking of going into comedy and did a few shows here and there - but wasn't sure if she should go into it with full force because being a comic is so unstable - but then someone reminded her: "if it was about stability, then you wouldn't have faith."
So true!! I think I needed to hear that this morning. I can't be scared of what can be or what will be, because there is no real way to guarantee an outcome. You just never know. I can't let fear or the unknown stop me from going after what I want.
If life was about stability, then I wouldn't need faith.
(And in case you didn't know, this blog in a way has been all about me stepping out on faith. I am going after my writing career. You can call this step 1.)
Thursday, September 6, 2007
All these signs have appeared, and they tell me
that a commotion is near.
And since I like to face facts and take on my fears
I know that I'll have no choice but to
Roll with the punches
Persist through the strife
Subsist with the pressure
And grow, despite the struggle.
© 2007 Patricia B.
Ugh. I'm in my fourth and final year of law school (four because I've attended part time - law school is usually three years) and I was just sitting here thinking about what that means: the bar exam is near!!!! Thoughts about that madness are what inspired the above poem. I had to let out the anxiety that just swept through me thinking about the bane of my Summer 2008. I can't wait until the last week of next July! (The bar exam is usually given during the 3rd week of July.)
My pain inspires so much of my writing.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Since refocusing on my writing these past few months, I've learned just how necessary support from others is and will continue to be as I develop as a writer.
It took a bit of support and encouragement from others to even get back into the game. Back in February, after realizing that I actually went for years without penning a single verse, jumping back into writing that had nothing to do with the law was merely a thought. The more I thought about it, the more I kept finding inspiration and support - quite a few people nudged me here and there and by March I was focused. Months later I feel like I've actually grown a bit as a writer - and I see how crucial support has been to that growth. Before my writing hiatus it just never dawned on me that feedback on my work would ever be that important to me, I suppose because my writing comes mostly from my personal experience and observations. But then before my writing hiatus I wasn't ever focused on writing as a career. Having other perspectives helps because my work now has an audience of more than one - at the very least, it helps me keep that in mind.... The votes of confidence also have helped me at the times when I didn't feel so confident!
So yes, to those who support what I do, this is just to say thank you from the bottom of my heart and from the carpel tunnel that has developed in my hands and arms from all the writing I've been doing!
And speaking of support, I just want to show some support to some of the most talented of those who support me: Mr. Vilson (a man of many talents - an educator and a poet - and also the RainTiger Poetry Cafe's Spotlight Poet for the month for August! Yaaaaaaay!!!) and Mr. Baptiste (also a man of many talents, and aside from his own music he's one third of the trio Brooknology - a mix of fresh beats, intelligent rhymes, soulful spoken word AND Brooklyn! Incidentally, he was one of the first to nudge me towards my writing earlier this year.) Both are doing big things and are definitely destined for greatness.... and it means a lot to me that people of their talent respect what I do. Check them out!
That reminds me - a long time ago Jose shouted me out on his blog and tagged me to do The Fours... and since he asked so nicely, here I go:Four jobs I’ve had
Preceptor (Rutgers College's word for a Resident Assistant)
Cashier at Burger King
Four movies I can watch over and over
Coming to America
Hairspray (the 2007 version)
Four places I’ve lived
Jersey City, NJ
In my mind (I'm a big time day dreamer)
Four TV shows I love
The Cosby Show
Sex and The City
Four places I’ve vacationed
Four of my favorite dishes
Jerk chicken w/mac and cheese (from my jerk chicken spot only though!)
Oxtail w/rice and peas
Ackee and Saltfish (it's the Jamaican national dish for a reason)
Carrot cake and Cinnamon ice cream (does this count as a meal?)
Four places I would rather be right now
(frankly, nowhere but BROOKLYN, but …)
London, UK (my best friend is there and I haven't seen her in so long...)
Kingston, JA (only because of my family, otherwise I wouldn't - JA is a hot damn mess right now in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean.)
Silver Spring, MD (once again, b/c of family. Otherwise I don't know what the hell is out there!)
Asleep (where I will be in a few...)
Monday, August 20, 2007
It may be hard to do this, for I’m not perfect,
And I’m nothing like what you conceived I’d be,
But I am here the way I was meant to be -
Molded in the form God made for me -
And I don’t see how I could be in your life
if you don’t accept the person I am.
I fully admit that I’m flawed:
My voice is loud -
My opinions are strong -
My resolve is stubborn and that just grates on your nerves.
My body isn’t perfect and I know you wish I was just a bit smaller.
My hair is kinky and curly and I know you wish I would just straighten it.
I tend to shop too much and
I tend to leave my bags all over the place -
And when I take off my jeans, I tend to leave them
Right I where I took them off until I’m ready to put them away.
I tend ignore other people’s opinions of me - including yours -
Especially when given unasked.
I’m ambitious and hardworking and busy
So I don't always have time for what you want from me.
I fully admit that these things, and more, make me difficult.
I know that when you first looked at me you couldn’t
have imagined that any of these things could be -
Some romanticized notion of the woman I would be
Held fast in your mind and I just haven’t lived up to your expectations.
I couldn’t, I wouldn’t and as far as I’m concerned, I shouldn’t
Have to match up to your ideal for me.
And now I ask you to accept me as I am
Because I’m through accepting your judgment and moments of rejection.
If you don’t accept me as I am
Losing me is your other option.
© 2007 Patricia B.
Friday, July 20, 2007
but I find it asinine
that assholes will try to
mentally assassinate those
merely on the ascent towards
the height of their aspirations,
with their acerbic tongues spitting
acidic soul-splitting thoughts.
And (as I shift to a more assonant verse)
I know that to be cursed while working
hard with a true purpose
hurts. But, for what it's worth
I get curt with these types
Who often end up quite hurt
For if you aim to drag my spirit through the dirt
you must first be prepared for
the caliber and the might of Miss Birch.
© 2007 Patricia B.
I think it's funny how this poem was actually inspired by my "10 Second Interview" application on Facebook, which had a question that said, "Pardon my_______."
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
"Shit - I'm supposed to leave at 8:15!"
(Clearly, that didn't happen.)
Thought about calling out for work today.
Commenced with the quickest shower in my life.
Pulled my curly-frizzy-dry 'fro in a ponytail holder.
Slapped on a headband to keep the short hairs in front from sticking out.
(It didn't work. It still is sticking up past the headband.)
Realized: My hair has grown.
Fumbled with my contacts.
Gave up on my contacts.
Found my glasses - on the floor.
(Why were my glasses on the floor?!)
White cardigan, lavender tank, black capris and black flats.
Ivory and mother of pearl/gold bangles.
Watch and two white gold rings.
Nose ring. Cubic zirconia studs in my ears.
Paused: how did I manage to rush and still look so cute?
I seriously took 20 minutes.
I seriously RAN out of my house - without my cell phone.
I pushed past my neighbor as I ran down the steps of the train station.
I loved her dress!
(She always looks so cute.)
I held the train door for her and some other people.
I stood the entire train ride.
Read: "If we ignore everything around us... we'll miss the coincidences
and synchronicities that signal where we are to go..."*
I moved towards the train door before I got to my stop.
MO: Be as close to the train door as possible before getting to Brooklyn Bridge.
I became aware of a girl whose face I recognized,
Who stared at me and looked at her friend - who I also recognized.
They chatted. She looked at me. The friend laughed.
I pretended to ignore it.
I had a moment of insecurity.
(What were they laughing at? My outfit? My glasses?
My hair? My size? What?)
Announced: "The time now is 9:07 AM"
I got to the office at 9:10.
No one was there to notice how late I was.
(Doesn't matter. I'm usually 10 minutes late.)
© 2007 Patricia B.
*Caroline Myss, "Invisible Acts of Power: Channeling Grace in Your Everyday Life."
Monday, July 16, 2007
I'm a logophile
I'm a metaphor
I'm a mess
I'm a hot mess
I'm a hottie
I'm a hater
I'm a lover
I'm a loved one
I'm a friend
I'm a dream come true
I'm a beauty queen
I'm a pauper
I'm a knot of tension
I'm a de-stressor
I'm an itch
I'm a scratch
I'm a Jamaican
I'm a American
I'm a yankee pickney
I'm a noble's daughter
I'm an auntie
I'm an auntie-monster
I'm a sister
I'm a story
I'm an exposition
I'm an inscription
I'm a prescription
I'm a curative
I'm a curly 'fro
I'm a cutie
I'm an eye-sore
I'm an Isis
I'm a piece of work
I'm a work of peace
I'm a work in progress
I'm a jewel
I'm an outfit
I'm a pair of shoes
I'm an ensemble
I'm a medley
I'm a melody
I'm a song stuck in your mind
I'm a socioeconomic unit
I'm a student
I'm a studier
I'm a success
I'm a chick from the 'hood
I'm a fatty girl
I'm a pair of eyes
I'm a set of lips
I'm a pair of breasts
I'm a beating heart
I'm a twisted mind
I'm a brilliant soul
I'm an ingenue
I'm a procrastinator
I'm a motivator
I'm an inspiration
I'm an aspiration
I'm a climax
I'm an orgasm
I'm a release
I'm a relief
I'm a belief
I'm a hope
I'm a dream
I'm a voice
I'm a whisper
I'm a shout
I'm a reflection of He who sustains me.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Thursday, July 12th, 2007
Taurus (Apr 20 - May 20)
You may be feeling pretty good about yourself and might even gloss over an important detail to maintain your current peace of mind. Unfortunately, you won't be able to hide your head in the sand too long. It's better to face a difficult truth directly than it is to try to dance your way around it.
So true. I have been feeling pretty good about myself but the fact of the matter is that I AM SLACKING, on like everything worthwhile.
Last night I planned on coming home and getting some stuff on my to-do list done but what did I do instead?
- Watched Rocky (SUCH A GREAT MOVIE! I forgot how good it was. And inspiring!)- Played around with GoodReads for a hot damn minute. (It's a great site if you're a bookworm...)
And then I fell asleep as I started doing what I should have been doing in the first place... ugh.
More importantly: 1) I have been slacking BIG TIME with the weight loss efforts these past few weeks and 2) my shopping habits have been out of control.
The problem, as I see it, is a lack of willpower and focus. Now people tell me all the time that I'm driven and focused yada yada yada - but I beg to differ. I'm often distracted - and actually work best when I'm doing multiple things at once. Focused I rarely am. So I believe this is why I am having TREMENDOUS difficulty when it comes to things that take a serious amount of focus, like reaching my health and financial goals, like finishing that damn story. UGH.
On the train this morning I read something that I think will be helpful (and might be helpful to you too):
We are born with a desire to fulfill our highest potential, purpose, or Sacred Contract, but we do have to develop the will to fulfill it. When we are off-track - usually when we are motivated more by fear and expedience than by courage and a vision of what we're meant to do - we become restless and disappointed. Often we need help getting out of such a rut and into the orbit of our highest potential.
pg. 28, Invisible Acts of Power - Channeling Grace in Your Everyday Life, Caroline Myss.
Lord knows that I am all about reaching my highest potential - about getting to my ne plus ultra. My desire to reach it is definitely there, but is the will? It doesn't really seem to be - at least lately. When it comes to my goals, especially the big ones of health and financial wellness, I am definitely more motivated by fear than anything else. I DON'T WANT TO STRUGGLE WITH MY HEALTH BECAUSE OF MY WEIGHT. I DON'T WANT TO FOREVER BE TRAPPED IN DEBT. I am scared of diabetes, of high blood pressure, etc. I am scared that I'll forever be swimming in a financial crisis... it's definitely my fears that motivate me - not the visions I occasionally have of what it will be like to be healthier or what it would feel like to be financially independent.
My fear motivates me - but it's negative encouragement - so nothing else that I need is really being developed. The will I need to succeed is being weighed down by my negativity. I woke up this morning feeling so absolutely frustrated with myself (some of which I wrote about here). I needed to know what in the world was going on with me and reading those words today on the train really opened my mind to what's been happening, or not happening. I am so thankful for the words I read today on the train!
I already know better than to worry about reaching my goals. I already know that God provides all in due course. If you don't know, check Matthew 6:28-34. Clearly, this knowledge hasn't stopped me from worrying. I don't know if I'm ready yet. There's a lot to be done before I get anywhere near the success I see for myself. God is getting me ready. Reading that passage felt like a direct divine intervention. I called out for some insight in the morning and was compelled to re-read words that I read two days ago. The passage I excerpted comes from her chapter on the seven chakras and the composition of our spiritual anatomy - I read it and yesterday felt the need to re-read it again, so I started to but stopped at the description of Chakra Five: The Energy of Determination. It was right on time.
As Myss writes in the description of Chakra Six: The Energy of Rational Thought: "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." Apparently so.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Thinking of the old me got me to thinking of the kind of crap the old me used to put up with from men... most importantly, The Ex (I have two ex boyfriends but really in my mind, there's The Ex, and then the other one... both significant, but the first one much more so). The Ex was and still is the most selfish person I have ever come across in my life and in so many ways - not just with the way he treated me. Just absolutely ridiculous... and when I think about how I endured a "relationship" with him and then a subsequent "friendship" for a few years later... man.
The poem in the previous post pretty much sums up how I felt about him during our relationship. I wanted to be his EVERYTHING - and only because I wanted him to be my EVERYTHING. I was wrapped up so deep and for the life of me, I don't really remember why. I mean, I was in love - but what was it about him that made me fall so deeply? My theory is that he reminded me of my father with his selfishness and I guess deep down I wanted a man like my father... I guess? But then, as selfish as my father was/is - The Ex even managed to surpass him. Pops definitely set a trend with the type of men I've dated... and when ending it with the other ex I realized that I had become really comfortable with really selfish men (and ended it because I was no longer comfortable damnit!). But The Ex? I don't know what it was... thinking about him inspired me to jot down a little something... when I was with him, I wanted to be his everything but Lord knows I couldn't. And I think that was best. He definitely didn't deserve that much from me.
I just sat and re-read the poem and remembered once again what that was like. Sometimes I wonder if I would ever really feel that way for someone again... Is it even reasonable to be everything someone needs? I know people sing and talk of "you're all I need to get by" and all that... but does love mean that the other person becomes a complete necessity?
Ha. As I wrote that question, I answered it.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
A prospect which sometimes seems a fantasy.
Even though when we speak the idea of me
Being the embodiment of his necessity
Is not some far flung wish but much
Closer to reality -
Especially when he takes the time
To share his dreams with me.
© 2007 Patricia B.
Friday, June 29, 2007
And has yet to arrive,
but it exists and
It will come.
Some call it the hope of our generation.
Some call it a flighty dream:
Rhetoric based on fantasy,
concocted from tales of the past while focusing on the future.
Little do the doubters know
is that the hope already exists.
The changes needed are coming
Already on their way
And if you look in the eyes of some
And listen to their voices as they rise above
The din of apathy from others who they resemble
You will see and hear the building blocks of that hope
The change will come because this group exists.
The change is coming because we are evolving.
As we inherited the benefits
of our forefathers' fight for freedom and equity
We too inherited their drive to push against oppression
When faced with few options.
As we inherited their complexions we inherited the spark
Which lead to a major conflagration long ago -
The heat of which still warms us
When faced with the cold reality that although much has changed,
Much has stayed the same.
We all have that spark, and while it is smoldering in the ones
Vested with the hope,
For others it remains latent, waiting for the unjust to set it off.
The guarantee is that there is a fire to come.
The much-doubted hope will be the quencher of the flames.
The coming change will emerge from the remaining ashes.
© 2007 Patricia B.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Whether we like it or not, things will change. All living things - including a people, a nation - invariably MUST change. We are given a choice to be proactive or reactive in the face of impending changes - and we make that decision all the time, whether we're conscious of it or not. One thing that dawned on me as a result of attending all these events is that in the past, strides were made for the better when our backs were against the wall. Black people in this country were STRUGGLING during the time that preceded the Civil Rights Movement of the 50's and 60's in a way our generation could never truly know - racism was blatant: disenfranchised, living in a world where "separate but equal" made sense. The news of a black man being lynched was saddening, but not surprising depending on where he lived. And when one's back is against the wall, they either take the beating or fight back. And so black people in this country fought. In many ways black people in this country won. Strides were made.
What many of us have lost sight of is that the fight is NOT OVER. We are still in the struggle - in another phase - a more dangerous one, I believe. Black people - people of color - whatever you want to call it - are comfortable. Our backs aren't against any walls. We come and go as we please, we get the same opportunities as the melanin-deficient. To some, we have it easier because of our history of disenfranchisement: it gives us the edge. No. Racism is still in place - it's just more latent, for the most part. There's a reason why some of us still believe affirmative action is necessary that goes beyond the errors of the past that affirmative action policies purport to try to correct. Still, in the 21st Century, our youth are starting the race with a handicap. In many of our communities the schools have to FIGHT if they want decent conditions for the students, decent books, decent teachers. Also, Black people still have to be concerned with how we are perceived based on our appearance, our speech, our hair, our culture in terms of job opportunities. Strides have been made but the major concerns STILL exist. Thank God for the work that has been done - but the negative effect of the Civil Rights Movement is the complacency that currently pervades. This phase of complacency is dangerous but I believe it's gonna to come to an end soon enough.
Reading about the Supreme Court's decision today striking down integration efforts in Kentucky and Washington just further supports my feeling. Our backs will be put back against the wall but in a different way. The Supreme Court of the 50's and the 60's were so INTEGRAL to the strides the Civil Rights Movement made - because as deftly as the NAACP argued for rights to an equal education for the youth back then, if the Court wanted to uphold separate-but-equal in terms of education opportunities, they could have. Based on my studies, the Court has issued many decisions to uphold or strike down one thing or the next based not so much on legal reasoning and public policy but just to come to an end that supported their own political positions. If you read the decision of Plessy v. Ferguson (which set the stupid separate-but-equal precedent in the first place) you might see what I mean. I wouldn't call them civil rights activists or anything - but the people sitting on the Supreme Court at the time of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka et. al. did so much to benefit the movement that most people just DO NOT recognize. The Court helped uplift the movement in a crucial way, and the Court of today is likely to do much to suppress our people. I intend to read the decision to examine the reasoning used - based on the article I read the Court is saying (in a 5-4 decision, the 4 being the liberals sitting on the court) that in order to obtain racial diversity schools have to use race-neutral means? Hmm?
Anyway, a change is gonna come. I think a lot of sh*t will go down before it happens though - unfortunately but fortunately. And the leaders are already here - they haven't emerged yet - but they will soon enough.
More on this later. Just noting this down has me inspired to write.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Which of these are you?
Is your dream a potentiality
To which you've assigned a maybe -
Or is it already in pursuit -
A destination to which you're on route?
The difference here is more than semantic.
The perspective you take influences your tactics.
And a mere try comes with no guarantee
But when you do you are likely to succeed.
© 2007 Patricia B.
Monday, June 25, 2007
The thought of approaching you makes my blood run cold. And I don't know why, because usually I have no problem being bold - I go for what I want and clearly I want you. But I think it's a result of what I've been told - that men are scared away and won't have much to say when a woman takes initiative and makes the first move - waiting for you to speak is what a lady should do. But since when did I care for propriety? Why should I wait for you to approach me? Why take that chance when there's more of a guarantee of you speaking to me if I say something first?
While all that's true, I still feel like an icicle when you pass my way. Now how hard could it be to just say "hey I've seen you around and I really love your smile I think your eyes are beautiful I really dig your style - where do you shop?" Hmmm. Maybe I should just hop on over the next time I see you in that same place - but will those words come out of my mouth when I gaze on your face? Oh how I love to gaze at you - strong nosed, full lipped, bright brown eyed, chocolate dipped but still you manage a ruddy glow - expressive with your eyes and a smile that forms slow and evokes peace - and makes me want take a piece of you wherever I go.
Now here you come, walking into my purview. If only I could say a quick "how do you do" - but I don't. And I won't - I just watch as you sit in your familiar spot and chat with the guys with whom you always chat - and its funny because as hot as you are, I freeze at your sight and I realize now that it might be obvious that I'm watching you. One of your boys is giving me the eye really hard - and now I just want to fly when I see your friend walk up and say "Hi. I've seen you around - and you're just so pretty - I wanted to meet you. I'm Sam." What the bloody hell?
And then I see you looking in our direction as I melt.
© 2007 Patricia B.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
There's a short story I'm working on - started it maybe a month ago and finally made some really good progress on it and then WHAM! Blocked. Started some poems here and there and then WHAM! something comes up and I have to let them linger. Ugh.
It's interesting though because in the past two weeks I've been so busy living it up in the city: I've started a new fabulous internship - I've met/dated a man or two - I've swooned over at least one - I've got over both of them - I've shopped - I've scrimped - I've networked - I've partied - I've ate out. So I've been having fun. But something about solstices/equinoxes always makes me feel renewed - so it's fitting that on the summer solstice, I jump back into my writing efforts.
I guess living it up a little has now given me something to write about or at least a reason to write. I'm feeling inspired to write a little something based on/inspired by the Motherland - don't know what or how or when - but there will be something. The inspiration started with one of the guys I've met/dated/swooned/got over in the past two weeks - a highly intellectual man from Mali who does work involving issues on the continent and (of course) is very passionate about the work he does.
Ok. Maybe I haven't gotten over him. But I don't feel that oomph I initially felt for him anymore. Whatever. That's a whole 'nother story.
Another source of the inspiration is the latest issue of Vanity Fair:
(Edit: There once was a picture of Iman and Alicia Keys here. A lovely photo.)
Isn't that picture of Iman GORGEOUS? She's one of my fashion icons (the others are Phylicia Rashad as Clair Huxtable, Dorothy Dandridge as Carmen Jones, and Janie from "Their Eyes Were Watching God"). To me, Iman personifies elegance. But I digress.
I love that cover but I didn't buy the magazine with her on it. I bought it - I felt I had to buy it - when I saw this:
That's right. Good ol' GW, Condi and the word "AFRICA" across the bottom is why I bought it. I don't read VF that often but I wanted to see what VF was trying to say putting THEM on a cover of their magazine! Quiet as it's sort-of kept, GW and Condi have done a bit to help efforts in the Motherland, which is interesting to me considering that GW actually called Africa a country once (True story. This was way back tho - very early in his first term). There's PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief)- which is great. And aid to Sub-Saharan Africa has increased since he's become President. I'm sort of skeptical of the editor's decision to put them on the cover - but I guess you really can't knock their efforts, so why not big them up? There are 20 of these covers total. (Check them out on VF's website. The series is pretty cool).
The overwhelming majority of the issue is dedicated to issues pervading the continent. It's a great issue - has me considering a subscription to the magazine - and has me thinking about my heritage.
Ok, so a bit more about your humble blogger:
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY but my family (both parents) are from Jamaica. My mother's mother was born in Cuba and my mother's father is from lord knows where, but apparently is/was mixed with Chinese. My mother never knew her father. My father's parents were both Jamaican but at least one, if not both, are of East Indian descent. I say at least one because I KNOW based on my grandmother's maiden name that she's Indian. My grandfather's last name - which is my last name - is as British as it gets. The last name thing doesn't mean anything though - there are plenty of Indians with Anglophone last names. My mother (who never met my grandfather) always said that my grandfather was black - but I have heard otherwise - and looking at my father and his whole siblings you wouldn't know that they were anything but Indian (he does have a half-sister that's pretty dark skinned though. Who knows.) And if you saw my face, you'd know I have a lot of East Indian in me too.
Appearances aside, it's pretty hard to deny that I come from a melange of ethnic/racial groups - I just am unclear as to who came to what country when, from what tribe/clan they came from - and so forth. How did it all come together to create me?
To anyone reading this who is unfamiliar with the history of the West Indies: please don't perceive my background as that unique. It's not. There are plenty of people of Black/Indian/Cuban/Chinese/Other descent running around the Caribbean, particularly in the British West Indies. One of the best things to come from European imperialism is the fusion of ethnicities that resulted in the West Indies. You can taste it in our food, feel it in our music, hear it in our dialects, and see it in our beautiful faces.
So in case you didn't know: I am one the greatest results of European imperialism.
Ooooh!!! I'm inspired! Off to write.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
She's a beautiful threat.
While you sleep, she stays up late nights
honing her talents,
polishing them like precious stones.
She tends to sparkle when she speaks.
Her words can transmit luminescence in the dark;
they blind those not ready for the glare.
Often restless, she runs after her dreams -
catches them and colors her reality with their hues,
the majestic swirls of their vibrancy abound her.
She often confuses and astounds
those more grounded, for though
she walks the earth like you, she flies away free
from expectations placed on her and
weighty criticism which could crush you.
She lives her life as she chooses
and is never concerned about losing,
for her heart is secure in God.
Her happiness is a matter only for Him and
she's aware that He carries her daily,
so she walks, often alone, unabashed, unafraid.
She tends to be regarded as wise beyond her age
yet she knows her mind has no limits based on years
and maturity is never quite linked with visage
So she balks at being called an old soul.
She digs deep at all times, but will cater to
her shallower matters until she finds satisfaction.
She believes her outside has to match her inside
so on sight, she can seem mired in conceit -
but she's confident in her blessings
and wouldn't be afraid to tell you that she's
great of mind, heart, and face -
an effort in appearance couldn't be a waste for her.
And she might not be able to beat you with brute force
but she's a threat to you anyway.
She's stalwart when she's committed -
loyalty's bounds are tested in her connections -
no one but she can break her bonds.
She'll see right through any trickery if you try it.
She deciphers the gems from the disgenuous
and this most of all tends to scare others
because she has a way to see right through.
So, this is to warn you - be prepared for
the might of her mind and beauty of her soul.
It will sneak up on you.
It's never obvious right away
But if you're not ready,
you'll be left in her path like the others -
© 2007 Patricia B.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
1. Although your parents are to be revered - they are people, just like everyone else - thus not less or more susceptible of making mistakes, doing stupid things, etc.
2. One's criticism of you has as much impact and power over you as you allow - and most people's criticisms are not worth allowing any impact or power over your life.
3. A set back is a set up for a comeback if you use the opportunity wisely.
4. Money is important, but it's not most important above your God, your family, your friends or your overall well-being.
5. Even if things seem clear - if you know there's a chance they might not be, ask for clarification anyway.
6. When at work and given something to do - if you are unsure about it, ask. It's always better to be the girl that asks too many questions but gets the job done than the girl who always f-cks up.
7. Never let anyone else define your worth - explicitly or implicitly. And be on the lookout for those who try to define it implicitly.
8. Being in a relationship with a man who clearly takes you for granted is nonsense. If that becomes the situation in the relationship, at least address the situation to him. If things don't seem to change, don't hesitate to let it go.
9. Learning from mistakes (whether yours or others) is easier said than done but at least you have to try.
10. When it comes to job hunting, money should not be your main priority. Otherwise, you might end up being paid very well to make your life miserable.
11. Mental health breaks are necessary when your life is jam-packed. Never deny yourself the opportunity to take them.
12. Throwing away/avoiding bills is not an effective strategy in getting rid of them. No matter how hard you try, them bad boys WILL come back to you.
13. Perseverance is key... to just about everything. You might not get it when you want it but if you persevere and persist - you'll get it.
14. Patience is easily attained if you just focus on the rewards patience can bring.
15. The most physically unattractive people can suddenly become quite appealing with a healthy dose of confidence and positivity. Likewise, the most physically attractive people become rather unappealing with a healthy dose of low self-esteem and negativity. And these doses don't have to be outwardly visible or boasted - if they're there, then they'll have their affects on your attractiveness.
16. The notion that "opposites attract" really only applies to magnets. People are not magnets. You might find yourself briefly attracted to someone who opposes you greatly in some fashion, but it likely won't last long.
17. Comparisons of ourselves to others - whether we or someone else is making the comparison - is a waste of time and just eats away at self-esteem. If I base my worth on how I match up to someone else then I am going to fall short at least some of the time - if not most of the time. What I have done and what I've accomplished is mine and is not diminished simply because the next person who appears to have as many capabilities as I do has just done more and accomplished more.
18. Ambition means nothing without focus.
19. People who make a huge deal about "keeping it real" or "not being about bullshit" - especially when they first meet you - tend to be HUGE bullshitters. Beware.
20. Eating right and regularly exercising improves not only your body - but your mind and your spirit.
21. Interactions with other people are rarely limited to the circumstances that outwardly surround the interaction - usually there are things, circumstances, etc. in that person's life beyond your purview that are probably impacting the interaction, and vice versa. So you may never completely know why people will act/react to you the way they do.
22. We are all intuitive creatures. Some of us are just more in tune with our intuition than others.
23. Prayer is so necessary.
24. God really does have your back if you believe in Him, have faith in Him and learn not to lean on your own understanding. You will always be taken care of. Things always work out for the best.
25. Our upbringing has as much impact on shaping the people we become as we allow. At many points in our lives we make decisions, whether we realize it or not, to follow or reject the things we're taught as children. Given that our parents are people too (and thus, likely to make mistakes, do stupid things, etc.), this is a good thing.
26. Staking my happiness on anything on this earth (people, especially) is just a way to delay suffering. My happiness is solely a matter between me and my God. (And I must say, this is probably one of the most important things I've learned in life so far. And I have been happy with my life since - despite life's highs and lows, nothing or no one can steal my joy.)
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I also have a passion for fashion - I dont tend to talk about that too much in my other blog, so that might just go here too.
A brief overview of your humble blogger: I'm a law student, about to start my fourth (and final!!) year. I love to read and write and do anything that involves words really - I'm a big time logophile. I sort of put my writing to the side when I started law school but have recently delved back into writing and am currently working on developing my skill. As previously mentioned, I love fashion - and bargain hunting. I loves me a cheap store that carries designer wares (e.g. Target, Payless). I also love music - and btw a part of what even brings me to Blogger are all the great music blogs on this site (which I guess I'll link eventually).
Here's a piece of mine that I like:
I love men.
I love a man with big broad shoulders and strong arms-
I love a man with not-so-broad shoulders and not-so-strong arms but can still knock this broad off her feet - no problem-
I love a man with confidence-
I love a man with insecurities-
I love a man confident enough to show his insecurities-
I love to make a man feel good in the ways only a man can feel good-
I love to make a man feel good in the ways anybody can feel good-
I love making love to a man -
I love f*cking a man -
I love the differences between me and a man:
I love how the differences frustrate me
I love how the differences excite me
I love how the differences feel to me - they fulfill me .
I love when a man makes me feel good-
I love when I have to show a man how to make me feel good - and he doesn't mind-
I love when a man shares their mind with me-
I love when a man shares their soul with me - their spirit with me-
I love when a man shares their body with me - short or tall, big or small
I love a man with bright eyes and full lips-
I love a man with piercing eyes and small lips-
I love a man who loves to take me by the hips and kiss me-
I love a man who knows how to kiss me-
I love a man who pays attention and never misses the important days-
I love a man who is consistently wonderful - Sunday to Saturday -
I love a man who isn't afraid to go after what they want-
I love a man who takes risks-
I love a man who knows when not be risky-
I love a man who uplifts me-
I love a man who teaches me-
I love a man who challenges to the point it drives me crazy-
I love a man who forces me to grow-
I love a man who makes me want to grow-
I love a man who loves to learn-
I love a man who handles his business and is not concerned about how much I earn-
I love a man who respects me-
I love a man who treats me like royalty-
I love a man who only deserves the royal treatment-
I love a man who I can trust with my secrets-
I love a man who can understands when I just can't deal-
I love a man who, with a word or a touch or a kiss - can heal...
I love a man who speaks, touches and kisses me sincerely-
I just love men... so dearly...
© 2007 Patricia B.More to come...