Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sundown at Baker's Hill...

Miss Mno stood approximately six feet tall. Her mere presence commanded undivided attention and respect. Though she towered above most men in height and ability, she was a tender soul deep inside. She chose to reveal portions of her inner self to me, her young impressionable grandchild. I could not have understood the impact it would have on my life.

She taught me how to be confident, strong, independent, competitive, intelligent, and loyal, among other notable virtues. Above all, however, I learned how to adapt to, and survive, the fluidity of life regardless of personal circumstances. I began to realise, as I enterred womanhood, that I had also subconsciously learned much about the fragility of the human spirit. This very thing drove a grandmother to create a "necessary room" with her granddaughter --- a momentary pause, when time actually stood still, and she could lay down her burdens and find peace within.

We developed sort of a routine at dusk. I remember sitting outside watching flocks of birds fly home to roost. They would take the same path at the same time every day. We would stare out at the expansive ocean, watching the golden sun disappear beyond the horizon while we listened to the radio station broadcast from the next island sign off for the night. (Yes, in those days, radio stations actually signed off at a decent hour.) I wondered where in the world the sun would go next and tried to imagine what life was like for the people there. How I dreamed to leave my little island and explore the world.

My grandmother was a bonafide world traveller so to quench my thirst for this knowledge, she would tell me stories of the far away lands she had visited. She was a great storyteller so I listened intently, careful not to miss a single detail. For years, I lived vicariously through these stories, transporting myself to these far away places via my imagination until the day came when I was able to travel beyond the shores of Montserrat.

*Enjoy Mama's favourite song: Shirley Caesar "No Charge"

One Love, Se'Lah

Friday, January 30, 2009

Conscious Friday: Warm N' Easy...

*Cat Coore (Third World): Rastaman Chant (on cello)

*Burning Spear: Nyah Keith (Zion Higher)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Montserrat: "Helping Hands"


Little Bay, Montserrat – January 27, 2009

Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John and Mark Knopfler are amongst the music industry greats contributing to a new ‘Wall of Fame’ which was unveiled in the Montserrat Cultural Centre last week.

The musicians had their hands cast in bronze to represent the ‘helping hand’ they provided by performing in the Music for Montserrat concert at the Royal Albert Hall on September 15, 1997. The concert was organised by legendary producer Sir George Martin, whose connections with Montserrat date back over 30 years. Sir George’s hand-prints also appear on the wall, with percussionist Ray Cooper’s hands completing the current line up.

“Displaying these bronzed hand plaques demonstrates our continued commitment to the development of the arts in Montserrat,” said Sir George Martin, former producer of the Beatles, patron of the Cultural Centre and long time winter resident of Montserrat. “This is a lasting tribute to the artists who performed at the Royal Albert Hall, without whose selfless contribution the Centre would not have been built.”

Helping Sir George at the unveiling of the Wall of Fame was Sir Trevor MacDonald, one of Britain’s foremost news anchormen and television presenters, who was in Montserrat at the time to film a documentary.

The Montserrat Cultural Centre is the island’s premier arts and culture facility, which first opened for business in 2007. It is hoped that the ‘Wall of Fame’ will soon be extended to include the handprints of other artistes who performed at the Music for Montserrat concert. These include Jimmy Buffet, Montserrat’s own Alphonsus ‘Arrow’ Cassell, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Dave Hartley, the London Gospel Community Choir, Sting and Ian Thomas.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The New Jacket...

I watched as he carefully and methodically used a tiny razor to remove the police patches from the sleeves of his jacket.

Her eyes shining with pride, his young daughter stood right by his side, her tiny hand resting on his broad shoulders providing the comfort he could not ask for.

I felt a weight in my heart and just as quickly released it.

It dawned on me that I was witnessing the closing of a very important chapter in his life.

He was consciously choosing practicality over prolonged sentimentality.

I sat in silence at the table as he stood up, walked over to me, and slowly put my arms through the sleeves of his new jacket.

*(copyrighted by Se'Lah)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Conscious Friday: Give Thanks...

It's been quite a personally challenging week but with the infinite power of JAH and the help of my "circle", I still stand strong. Although the links of my circle are few in number, I am painfully aware that without the strength of your love and support, my chain called life would be much weaker. Just when I seem to be falling into despair, you are always there to pull me off the ledge, reminding me (as I have you 10,000 times over) that no matter what the challenges, JAH will provide. I am indeed blessed. Who JAH bless no man curse !!!

*Tarrus Riley: Lion's Paw (Live)

*Damian "Jr Gong" Marley: There For You

Give Thanks! Se'Lah

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Necessary Room Blog Guestbook...

Greetings NECESSARY ROOM Blog Readers!!!

I thorougly enjoy spending time in my "Necessary Room" but it's even more fun to welcome new visitors.

Of course, I encourage anyone who so wishes to post a "comment" for any entry on this blog ~ I'm just making a special request that you do it for this one so I can see who's knocking on my door. Just click on "comments" directly below... and write something to let me know who you are. Consider it my Blog Guestbook. I look forward to reading your note. Thanks for visiting...hope to see you again soon.

*Spammers need not make your presence known as this blog is not a promotional site.

~ One Love, Se'Lah

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My inspiring little muse...

Yesterday, after an emotion-filled day witnessing the inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama, I picked up my daughter from her afterschool care program. She was a bouncing ball of unrestrained energy.

Her first words as she climbed in the car: "Mommy, he's President now...yesterday he wasn't, but today he is."

"Who baby?"

"Barack Obama. He's president now. I watched the whole speech...all 15 minutes. I watched the whole thing."

We continued to discuss the events of the day as we arrived home, ate dinner and into the night. At bedtime, I felt compelled to bring this historically significant day to a loving, cuddly conclusion so we headed off to bed together.

As we cuddled in bed, the topic was still the inauguration. No bedtime story tonight.

So, I asked her, "Who else was there?"

She answered, "Yo-Yo Ma".

I was impressed. She was paying attention. She commented on Aretha Franklin's hat and how pretty it was with the sparkly bow.

I pulled out my iPhone to share the "America's Song" video with her from yesterday's post. And upon request, I had to play it several times over. Before long, we were singing a duet...I had the male parts (Bono, Seal, and she, of course, had the female sections (Mary J. Blige, Faith Hill). We were "rocking out", me fighting back the tears, overwhelmed by the instinctual beauty of the moment.

As she drifted off to sleep last night, she just kept repeating a phrase of the song. I closed my eyes and silently listened to her sweet voice in the darkness, which definitely and finally prompted the release of a few tears, as she sang her last words of the night, "America is beautiful". And then, silence.

One Love, Se'Lah

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

And now, America's First Family...

Introducing from left to right:
President Barack Hussein Obama II, Sasha Obama,
First Lady Michelle Obama and Malia Obama

Words cannot adequately express the emotions I am feeling today so I am just gonna revel in this moment and enjoy it for what it is. I will however greet you as we did in our household first thing this morning, "Happy Black President's Day" !!! And like that, a new tradition is born. It's a beautiful day !!!

One Love, Se'Lah

*America's Song by Bono, Seal,, Faith Hill, Mary J. Blige, David Foster

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Dawn of a New Day...


"Selected Quotes" by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

*I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.

*We must all learn to live together as brothers or we shall perish together as fools.

*Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Today, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day but somehow, this year it means just a little bit more. As a Black woman, I am elated to bear witness to the dawn of this new day. It is a weekend of historical significance as we eagerly await the inauguration of the first Black President of the United States, Barack Obama, and realise that without the foundation laid by men like Dr. Martin Luther King, this day would not have been possible. This is our moment.

Thank you Dr. King !!!

*U2: OBAMA CONCERT, Jan 18, 2009: (Pride) (City of Blinding Lights) WE ARE ONE

Sunday, January 18, 2009

They are only children...

We celebrate pregnancy and the momentous arrival of our beautiful, precious babies into the world. We dedicate enormous amounts of effort into raising our children and trying to provide them the best opportunities life can offer. And then the unthinkable happens.

It's hard to fathom the use of children as soldiers in wars throughout the world but this human rights atrocity is very real.  While the vast majority of child soldiers are male, girls also suffer a similar fate.  At a time when they should be enjoying their childhood, these children are used to actively engage in combat, trained to kill, used as human shields, serve as sex slaves, subjected to drug abuse, among many other military and domestic tasks.  As a result, those who "survive" suffer incredible physical, social, and psychological damage.  Though you may think only "rebel forces" are responsible, it may surprise you to learn that globally, so-called "civilised governments" engage in this unscrupulous practise.

I am deeply disturbed by war in and of itself, and even more so by the consequential, inevitable death of human beings on both sides of any given conflict, especially innocent women and children.  Child soldiers, even as they take hold of that gun, are victims of their oppressors.  Let us do our best to bring an end to this vicious cycle.  

Please take a moment to view the featured videos below.

*Click here to view the documentary "Blood Never Dry" narrated by Kiefer Sutherland and the cast of the new season of 24.

*For further information, please visit the Coalition to stop the use of Child Soldiers.

*Please review applicable facts and figures in the Child Soldiers Global Report 2008.

*For more videos on the situation in Burma, visit Burma Can't Wait.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Conscious Friday: War...

*U2's Bono & Pavarotti: Ave Maria (Live)

*UB40: Who You Fighting For?

*Bob Marley: War/No More Trouble (Live)

H.I.M. Haile Selassie I Speech to the United Nations (excerpt)
New York City, NY October 4, 1963

"...until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned:

That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation;

That until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes;

That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race;

That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained;

And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed;

Until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and good-will;

Until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of Heaven;

Until that day, the African continent will not know peace. We Africans will fight, if necessary, and we know that we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil..."

My thoughts on medical doctors...

So, last night, my eyes were killing me. Even the light of the computer made me beg for darkness due to the increased sensitivity to light. Consequently, I may have directed my resentment toward needles instead of towards the rightfully deserving doctor (though, without a doubt, I stand by my personal feelings towards needles without vacillation). 

Now, I admit some of them (doctors) serve some reasonable purpose for when I can't diagnose and/or cure my ailments myself, I may need some help from them. But somehow, I seem to have an uncanny ability to continuously run into quacks who have nothing better to do than to try to practise their medicine on me. Here's just a few examples.

Quack No. 1:

I do have annual checkups, not because I really want to, but for general promotion of my health. One such checkup is with an eye doctor. But for the fact that without their intervention of glasses/contacts I would be as blind as a bat, I really would not step foot in their establishment. It's such a racket. Anyhow, last night I went for my annual optometrist appointment. That dude spent an inordinate amount of time looking in my eyes with that ridiculously bright light. Since I needed new glasses, I endured this "eye exam". I was in absolutely no pain when I walked through their doors but as is customary with these quacks, when I left, I was in pain, and as I write this a day later, my eyes still hurt. Not only do they hurt, but my eyes are also bloodshot, which of course means that some one had to approach me today and "joked" that I look like I've been smoking weed. So, once again, this Rasta will simply exhale and proceed with my painful, bloodshot eyes.

Quack No. 2:

When my daughter was about 2 years old, she got a stye on her eye. I tried my all to treat it myself at first but since it didn't go away naturally, I took my baby to the doctor. I was prescribed creams and the like.  After a few more months with no change whatsoever, the quack informed me that this benign stye requires surgical removal. I'm gonna let that happen for something entirely cosmetic on my 2-year old.  

I immediately called my 83 year old grandmother who still lived in Nevis (an island in the Caribbean). Like my maternal grandmother, she only practised natural "bush" medicine. I described the situation to her. She told me that something was off-balance in my daughter's blood and to give her a teaspoon of cod liver oil every day. Within 2 weeks, the stye was gone and without surgery. Go figure.

Quack No. 3:

Halloween Day. I didn't grow up celebrating Halloween but I will never forget it now. This past halloween, my asthma was completely out of control. As I previously mentioned, I will not go to any doctor unless I absolutely have to. But, I had tried my best to cure myself and it was just not working so I needed to get some traditional medicine. Having had asthma for years, I knew exactly what I needed (prednisone) so I researched which of the area allergists accepted my insurance and made an appointment for that same day.

I walked into the office and they were happy to take my co-pay and my insurance card. Chi-ching. Meanwhile, I stood hacking up my lungs. I knew this definitely my asthma. It certainly was not consumption...I diagnosed myself with that before and knew the difference in symptoms.

First, they wanted to take sinus x-rays and chest x-rays. Weird, but I went along with this ridiculous farce. Next, they wanted me to do some blow-into-a-machine-video-game designed to measure my lung capacity. Again, I obliged. The "doctor" came in and went over my medical history with me. He then sent me to get another allergy test. Now if anyone has had these before, you know that they involve needles and therefore is absolute torture. Still hacking without any sort of medical intervention (like a nebulizer which you think they would have in the office of an allergist), I obliged because I really needed this medication. After getting stabbed all over my back and both arms with over 100 needles (and that's not an exaggeration), the results were just what I told them on my medical history when I walked through their doors. Except now, I was itchy all over and still hacking up my lungs. I was placed back in the room and was next ordered to get a bloodtest to check my antibodies. That's where I drew the line in the sand so they summons the "doctor" to beat me into submission.

I simply told him when he strutted through the door:

a) I had been in this office for over 3 hours coughing uncontrollably without any medical intervention.
b) I walked in here in medical distress and you fill my body up with even more allergens which is known to exacerbate asthma.
c) Why am I gonna let you stick me with a needle and draw blood to test for seafood antibodies when I don't eat that given my dietary restrictions?
d) I already know what I'm allergic to and am mature enough to avoid eating such things without this blood test.
e) I know that prednisone is the recommended medical regimen in situations like mine.
f) So, really what sense does this whole visit make except to bilk my insurance?

He said that he would not give me any medication or treat me any further unless I submitted to his blood test.

With that said, I ensured that I was not being billed for any experimentation done in their office that day (including a refund of my co-pay) and I went directly to a walk-in clinic and got my prednisone within 1 hour.

Conclusion (for now):

The next time someone wants to practise medicine on you, think twice about why they refer to it as the "practise of medicine".

As far as I'm concerned, I am my best advocate. This is my body and I know it best since I live in it every day. This is my life. They can be my doctor only if I so choose. All quacks be forewarned. I am nobody's guinea pig.

One Love, Se'Lah

*To read an interesting article by vchelle, please click here.

Disclaimer: Nothing herein should be taken as rendering medical advice. This is just my personal opinion and may not necessarily be shared by you so live your life accordingly.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Why I don't like needles...

As I stood hunched over in my shower with the hot water shiatsu massaging my back, I couldn't help but think of the big ass needle that doctor shoved in my spine 7 1/2 years ago called an epidural. To this day, it still hurt. That got me to thinking. Every time I have gone to the doctor and they used a needle, I had a horrible night. Wherever it stuck me hurt...and the pain usually lasted for days. Who has ever had a good experience when they see a needle? I guess there are some who has and if you are one of them and you are reading this (and it's not medically necessary), you need help, unless of course you are a quilter.

One Love, Se'Lah (also a quilter)
*So, I guess I don't dislike all needles.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rasta Woman Chronicles: Every Child is Special...

Last night was cold...okay, okay, it was freaking freezing. As I cuddled in bed with my daughter trying to put her to sleep, she asked me to make up a bedtime story. She just loves to hear stories I've created and many times, she joins in the creative journey through our imaginations. Most are about characters we've created who just happen to share her two middle names. But last night, this one was about her. I created the story based entirely on a shared experience between the two of us, calling her "the warming fairy". After the story was over, we vowed to keep it a secret between us...real mommydaughter stuff. Couldn't feel closer.

Now tonight, we are sitting at the dinner table catching up on our respective days, now that she is in school and an aftercare programme.

She asks, "Mommy, do you know that every child is special?"

Now I don't know where she (ever the negotiator) is going with this so I simply answer, "Yes, every child is special."

Then she says, "Mommy, I shared our secret but only with my teacher. I wanted to know if I was different than everybody because of the bedtime story last night (which if you are paying attention featured her) and my teacher said, 'Every Child Is Special'".

Ordinarily, this would not mean *sooooo* much to me but for the fact that only yesterday, I came to the realisation that my child may still have speech and language issues. I discussed it with her teachers and gradually, but certainly, started to become unglued. Although my support beams tried to keep me grounded, I barely slept last night after reading over her reports diagnosing her with a Speech and Language Disability at age 3. I thought about it all day today as I read over all of her previous IEPs (individualised educational plan). I thought about it driving to pick her up from her afterschool programme. I thought about it on our ride home. I thought about it in the shower, struggling to reconcile it all, but knowing, with all that I am, that she is on a special journey in this life. And in the steamy background, the sounds of Midnite kept on chanting, "JAH in a I and I, JAH in a everybody".

Unbeknownst to me, earlier today, an event completely out of my control reconciled it all. Last night, I told my daughter that bedtime story because I was trying to let her know that she is special without coming out and saying it just like that. Afterall, a queen deserves a more dignified entrance. She and I promised that the story would be our secret (again, my attempt to keep the moment special). But today, her spirit moved her to share our secret with her teacher. Overlooking the fact that she broke that promise, her teacher simply told her "Every Child is Special". Above all other things, that message resonated with her throughout her day compelling her to share it with me tonight at our dinner table.

So, now you know too: Every Child is Special !

My child is special!!! She is faithfully and wonderfully made.

And now I'm noticing a curious, but familiar, little pattern emerging. Whenever I start to become unglued, there is a special 7 1/2 year old girl with incredible wisdom beyond her years who glues me back together...and she doesn't even know it. And I am secure knowing, no matter what lies ahead, JAH will provide.

One Love, Se'Lah

*For a little background, please read: A Loss For Words.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mama Says (and others too)...

I absolutely and completely enjoy proverbial sayings and the like, especially the West Indian Ones, but I don't discriminate. Read (or translate), decipher, and above all, enjoy.

* Monkey know which tree fi climb:
One knows who to mess with without repercussions

* No put yourself in a barrel when match box can hold you:
Don't pretend to be more important than you are

* Good tings no cheap, cheap tings no good:
Good things aren't cheap and cheap things are not good (so don't cut corners being cheap)

* Want all, lose all:
If one is greedy, one loses everything

* Dog wid narrow arse no swallow bone:
Don't bite off more than you can chew.

* One hand cy'an clap:
One can always benefit from assistance (work with me)

* Rockstone a river bottom don't know sun hot:
If you are in a sheltered situation, you don't know what hardship is

* Wha sweet a goat mouth sour in a arse:
Often things we like are not good for us

* Play wid puppy, puppy lick you mouth:
Familiarity breeds contempt

* No care how boar hog try fi hide under sheep wool, 'im grunt always betray 'im:
Don't care how much disguise someone puts on, their true self will show eventually

To be continued, Se'Lah...
*translated for my sistah ;-)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Round Tuit...

This weekend, I received my very first "Round Tuit". Peculiar little thing, but still thought I'd share. Not sure if it will work for you. Still curiously staring at mine...

This is a Round Tuit. Guard this Tuit with your life as they are hard to come by - especially the round ones! It will help you become a more efficient person. For years I have heard people say, "I'll do it as soon as I get a Round Tuit". Now that you have one, you can accomplish all those things that you have put aside until you get A Round Tuit.

One Love, Se'Lah

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rasta Woman Chronicles: Like a kid in a candy store...

My family moved to the US when I was 13 years old. Even at that age, I had never seen a store dedicated completely to promoting cavities :-). I now remember with joy, however, my trips to the neighborhood "corner store", which happened to have a penny-candy section. As kids, we fondly referred to it as the "penny-candy store".

Now that I am a mother, I often worry that our dietary lifestyle may be depriving my daughter of formulating some of these priceless childhood memories. She's never been to a candy store. As a matter of fact, if she eats one piece of candy per week, that's plenty because we don't buy or promote candy. Healthy snacks in this household !!!

One night last month, we were watching our nightly family show and a candy store was being featured. Instantly I had a brilliant idea: my daughter's never been...why not give her a rare treat?

So today, I drove approximately 3 hours one-way to take her to this featured candy store. To prevent over-stimulation when we got to our final destination, we stopped by the country store which has a penny-candy bar. She ran inside, passed the candy bar, and was immediately consumed by the wind-up toys. I told her choose one to buy (which means, she wound up every single one of that basketful of toys because, JAH know, it surely wasn't an easy choice. She giggled and cackled as the toys auditioned for her. She finally chose a zebra.

We proceeded to the register and the penny-candy bar. I told my daughter that she had $1 to buy candy. After 19 cents, she said she was done. Strange, but I didn't argue. We set out for final destination. Afterall, the foundation had been so carefully set.

In ten minutes, we arrived. This candy store had an extensive candy selection to satisfy any candy lover's dream. And all my daughter could care about was the electric train circling the track suspended from the beams above her head, and even more wind-up toys. She then chose one pez candy and she was done.

So, next time I hear the phrase "like a kid in a candy store", I'll be wondering, "who's kid?"

Thursday, January 8, 2009


The unidentified body is here

but he is still not

you only hope he wasn't in any pain

people are already starting to talk in past tense

yet you think of all the other possibilities

because deep down inside

you're still desperately waiting

for him to walk through those doors

and prove them all wrong.

*For Isaiah.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rasta Woman Chronicles: Just Warmin' Up...

So today, it was a wintery mess outside. Cold rain, sleet, snow, ice, you name it... and I still had to go to work. Before reporting for duty, I decided to have a cup of hot chocolate with my husband in a small Dunkin' Donuts. As soon as we settled in at our table, the fire alarm went off. I looked at the two state police officers sitting behind us and asked if they think we should leave. They were like, "you can out in that cold if you want but we're staying right here". Then, laughingly, they looked at their watch and the nondescript one said, "let's see how long it takes for the fire department to get here". Meanwhile, they sat there nonchalantly sipping their coffee.

The clock kept ticking. The alarm kept blaring. A woman seeking respite from the bitter cold opened the door. She heard the alarm and instinctively released the door handle as if someone just spilled hot coffee on her skin. She continued along her way. We all laughed.

Then the bald-head policeman (no pun intended) said, "I bet they are finishing up their last joint before they come here". And then I wondered to myself, were I not sitting here with my long, distinct dreadlocks proudly on display, would this have been the comment he would have made?

MELKAM GENNA! Brethren and Sistren !!!

One Love, Se'Lah

Monday, January 5, 2009

Red-Letter Day: My *First* Day of Aftercare...

As is tradition, when we experience a *first* in this family, I compose a piece, written from my daughter's perspective (or what I think she could be thinking) and share with our loved ones. Today, is a *first* for me too because this one is also being published via a blog rather than only by email.


FI-NA-LLY !!! My mommy and daddy finally allowed me to be a regular kid and attend after-school care. It only took them 7 1/2 years. That's a very, very long time in kid's years.

Today, I attended my first day at an after-school programme. I was full of nervous excitement at school because I have never gone anywhere after school without my mommy and daddy in tow. When school was dismissed, I hurried to my new school bus. I got to sit in which-ever seat I wanted. Already this was looking promising.

I hadn't been at the programme for one minute before the director told me that my mommy had called to make sure I arrived. I later learned from her, (she does not hide her shame), that she had also faxed a letter to my school telling them that I was going to an after-care programme today. This would be normal if she had not already emailed my teacher twice last week and sent 2 copies of the same letter to school with me this morning. Then, she called my school this afternoon to make sure they got the note. Do you see what I am dealing with?

Anyways, my programme is awesome. I could do what-ever I want to do. No rules like school. No rules like home. Just the space I needed. Best yet, my normally, embarrassing shadows (I mean parents) were not there when I met my new friends. I had a ball.

I went sledding for the first time ever, courtesy of the programme. I sat in the middle of a sled for three. At first, I was a little bit scared of hitting a tree but I just steered around it. This was fun. The next time, I sat on the backseat but I didn't mind. This was fun. We came inside to get a break from the cold and I helped my teacher bake banana bread. I played on the piano. Then I went outside and sled some more. I came back inside and played stratego. I could do what-ever I want-ed.

That's when my mommy decided to show up. Go figure. She called my name. Since my back was already turned to her, I pretended not to hear her hoping she'd go away and let me play. She called my name again. I still didn't answer. Then she walked over and hugged and kissed me right in front of my new friends. Bummer. I quickly gathered my things and prepared to leave. As we walked out, my new friend, a cute little boy asked her if she was my mommy and then he told her that I was awesome.

Thanks Mommy and Daddy.

*MY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: (over 4 years ago)

Hi there. Today was my very first day of school. My school is across from the ocean but we don't get to go there (at least not yet). I did some colouring and I brought home one for mommy and daddy. We also sang lots of songs. I have 3 teachers and I like them all. It was rainy today so we didn't get to go outside and play.

So here's the real mommy and daddy dropped me off at 8:20 am and picked me up from school at 11:20 am. They didn't work all day. Even more disturbing, they stayed in the vicinity of my school for all 3 hours until I was dismissed. They even stopped into the office two times during school. Please talk to them and tell them that I am okay and they can really not embarrass me in school.

*MY SECOND DAY OF SCHOOL (follow-up was needed):

Well, today my Mommy & Daddy did a bit better but you still have to talk to both of them about their overly-clingy behaviour (must not be good for them and definitely not good for my reputation). They apparently stayed down the street from my school at the library trying to keep busy. Mommy called the school ONCE and my teacher told her that I was doing just fine and was busy working. I hate to admit this but she stopped by the office once today. At least they did better than yesterday (wish they would just get a life).

(a 3-day week - what is that anyhow? how can 3 days be a week?)

Well, Daddy did REALLY well today but I am sorry to say that I cannot say the same for Mommy. After leaving me in school for a whole hour, she called and volunteered to work in the office for the remainder of my school day (folding paper towels of all things...can we say desperate?). She promises to NOT continue this behaviour next week. As a matter of fact, she is banned from the ride to drop me off at school next week.

I had a lot of fun in school today. I cannot wait to go back next week. I got a treat after school for being such a big girl. I even carefully arranged my nuggets on one side and my fries on the other because unlike my mother, I love order in my life.

I'll probably have less photos to share because my Mommy will be no where near that school next week. I am cutting the strings because I am an independent diva and I cannot have her interfering with my reputation.

*MY FIRST FIELD TRIP: (a year later)

This is me on my first school bus ride. I was really excited. Of course, by now you can guess that Mommy was a chaperone.

My class went on a field trip to the bowling alley. I also have never been bowling so this too was a first. I carried and threw the bowling ball all by myself. It wasn't too heavy because I am strong.

I actually knocked down all my bowling pins and my Mommy did jump up and down hysterically in front of all my friends. How embarrassing? Once again, I had pretend that it was okay.

Although I was quite eager to go more times than was my turn, one of my teachers helped me to control my urges to throw yet another ball.

After bowling was over, we went back on the school bus and went to the park for lunch. After we had lunch, I played on the swings and slides. It was quite fun and I want to do it again soon.

*LOSING MY FIRST TOOTH: (a few months ago)

Greetings everyone!!!

Finally, after 7 seemingly endless days and nights, constant rocking with my fingers and tongue, I am pleased, yet sad, to announce the departure of my first baby tooth from my mouth. My other teeth will miss him very much. I'm also excited to announce the arrival of my first permanent tooth. She hid behind the recently departed tooth all week long. Finally tired of the divided attention, she literally pushed my baby tooth out of the way. With love, I picked up my baby tooth, cleaned it well just one more time, and gently placed him in an empty, tiny "crown royal bag" my mommy gave to me. She claims that it's purple because that's the royal colour and it even says ROYAL and crown on it which is further proof. Now, I await the arrival of the tooth fairy tonight :-)

The end.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

All in a day...

(in no particular order)...

Today, she is laying delirious in a hospital bed high on medication to avoid the pain of her organs being removed from her body to destroy some cancer cells.

Today, she is fighting to prevent the school system from forceably vaccinating her child in order to gain admittance.

Today, she is curling up with her husband praying for the newly formed baby inside her womb.

Today, she is holding her newborn baby in the hospital thankful that she was finally able to "give birth".

Today, she is hanging an Obama 2009 calendar entitled "44th President of the United States" in her Black daughter's room and realizes the world just changed.

Today, she is savouring quality time with her son hoping that her impending divorce will not completely disrupt his stability.

Today, she is taking a much-needed vacation from her over-demanding, under-paying job.

Today, she is staying with him another day hoping that he will decide to give her a child before her biological clock runs out after all the time she's invested.

Today, she is toiling at her second job trying to make enough money to take care of her mother who chooses not to work.

Today, she is praying that her child will forgive her and give her a chance to get to know her grandchildren.

Today, she is hoping that he has changed and will not hit her anymore.

Today, she is standing trial for a crime she did not commit.

Today, she is spending her first night behind jail bars.

Today, she is crying because her son just got sentenced to life in prison.

Today, she is rejoicing that her state has just decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Today, she is holding the family together in hopes that he will soon kick his cocaine habit.

Today, she is wondering how she will raise her Muslim son safely in America.

Today, she is going to church and still pretending she is a virgin.

Today, she is devising a new plan to keep her too will not work.

Today, she is tolerating this ole ass guy because he will buy her some nice shit. See boops deh.

Today, she is thanking God for another day with her father who's battling cancer.

Today, she is digesting the fact that her man has cheated on her, with a man.

Today, she is getting drunk trying to ignore that her mate is sexually molesting her child.

Today, she is pretending to be asleep praying her mother's boyfriend will forget she's there and go to his own bed tonight.

Today, she is walking the track selling her body for money.

Today, she is recovering from the abortion of the child she just couldn't have.

Today, she is holding her child close to her body desperately trying to provide him warmth from the cold of the night.

Today, she is hiding in the bushes to avoid her 7-year old son being captured to become a child soldier.

Today, she is waiting for silence in order to signal that the bombing has stopped.

Today, she is holding her sister's hand as she takes her last breath.

Today, she is staring at the ceiling hoping that the rape will soon end.

Today, she is being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease.

Today, she is screaming and swearing in the throws of birth pangs.

Today, she is accepting her miscarriage.

Today, she is sifting through dirt under the moonlight trying to find a few grains of rice for dinner.

Today, she is sipping fine wine and pretentiously living life to the fullest.

Today, she is drinking contaminated water to quench her thirst.

Today, she is losing her virginity to someone she'll later regret.

Today, she is taking care of her autistic child and wondering "why me Lord?".

Today, she is searching desperately for something, anything, to help locate her missing child.

Today, she is learning that her only child was just violently murdered.

Today, she is flying across the oceans to visit a loved one.

Today, she is burying her soldier who died valiantly in war.

Today, she is riding as high as a Georgia Pine.

Today, she is puking in the toilet while looking at her distorted reflection in the water and hating her very self.

Today, she is looking in the mirror and liking all that she sees.

Today, she is tilling the soil under the hot, blazing sun hoping that rain will soon follow.

Today, she is helping someone in need who will simply not appreciate it.

Today, she is doing her household chores to maintain some semblance of order.

Today, she is living beyond her means trying to keep up with the Jones'.

Today, she is stealing food to feed her young.

Today, she is hosting an expensive dinner party so she can flaunt her lavish lifestyle and over-priced house.

Today, she is pushing a shopping cart containing all her belongings.

Today, she is thinking of the safest time to escape this abusive relationship.

Today, she is putting on makeup to hide her bruises from the outside world.

Today, she is getting the courage to stand up for herself.

Today, she is crawling into bed with someone else's husband without guilt or hesitation.

Today, she is working at least twice as hard as her white counterparts to get a promotion.

Today, she is denying that she has a mental illness, and believing it.

Today, she is juggling a few boyfriends still.

Today, she is dancing her ass off in the club.

Today, she is taking the walk of shame with that resistant smile on her face hoping that no one will notice her.

Today, she is stretching dollar bills like elastic trying to make ends meet.

Today, she is hanging on to a man who doesn't love or want her because she is afraid to be alone.

Today, she is adopting an orphan and giving him a new take on life.

Today, she is scheming to have his baby in order to get child support so she doesn't have to "work".

Today, she is realizing that properly raising a child is work.

Today, she is feeling that her burdens are just too heavy to bear.

Today, she is contemplating suicide but don't give up just yet sister.

Today, she is realizing her self worth.

Today, she is meditating.

Today, she is finding peace within.

Today, she is me

*(copyrighted by Se'Lah)

Friday, January 2, 2009

32 degrees Farenheit...

So, apparently my car is not yet winterised. How do I know? My windshield was really dirty from snow residue. I wanted to start my day (and the new year) out with a fresh, clean view of the world so I decided to squirt some washer fluid ... nothing. I squirt again, and again and again... still nothing. That's when I realised that the washer fluid is frozen in the lines because it's freaking 10 degrees Farenheit outside.

In my abundant wisdom, I reach over for my bottle of water and poured it on the windshield with the wipers on. Not only did my sleeves get wet in the freezing cold but the damn water immediately turned to ice all over the windshield. So, as I stood out there scraping off the ice with the tip of my broken scaper, I remembered my daughter's "pet ice" project and the fact that not so long ago (a few weeks really), I taught her that water freezes at 32 degrees Farenheit.

One Love, Se'Lah

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Daddy Love...

My daughter is soooo excited to see her daddy again. The depth of their bond has grown exponentially since those early days. Now I watch them play together, pray together, read together, exercise together, watch movies together, relax together, and reason together, among other things. But one of my absolute favourite things to watch is her daddy making up bedtime stories for her (meanwhile silently praying that this one will put her to sleep). We are blessed.

It's really an interesting experience to be in the presence of her spirit. As we sat here relaxing, she turned off all the lights, walked over to the frosty window and drew this.

Lotion in Slow Motion...

Years ago, my sistren would send me gift packages of this obscure beauty product. It was always a treat receiving them because when you put on these products, you felt as royal as a queen. Putting lotion on your skin was automatically done in slow motion so you could enjoy the process while releasing a captivating fragrance in the air. Taking a bath was automatically transformed into bathing in a steamy spa in a far away, fantasy land. The product is that good, you understand?

And then, the product was endorsed by some rich and famous entrepreneurs and now I receive my gift packages a little less often. But I received a small jar for Christmas and I am putting on lotion in slow motion again.

One Love, Se'Lah

*To lotion in slow motion, visit