Wednesday, February 24, 2010


In one of my more difficult moments, my sistren sent me a text with this passage regarding the Buddhist concept of impermanence. I had to read and re-read it a few times but somehow, it all made sense. Although it has brought me much needed enlightenment, there are others who continue to struggle with accepting change on a daily basis. I share this passage in hopes that it will enlighten someone reading it and ease them into the transition of life.

(by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh)

Nothing remains the same for two consecutive moments. Heraclitus said we can never bathe twice in the same river. Confucius, while looking at a stream, said, "It is always flowing, day and night." The Buddha implored us not just to talk about impermanence, but to use it as an instrument to help us penetrate deeply into reality and obtain liberating insight. We may be tempted to say that because things are impermanent, there is suffering. But the Buddha encouraged us to look again. Without impermanence, life is not possible. How can we transform our suffering if things are not impermanent? How can our daughter grow up into a beautiful young lady? How can the situation in the world improve? We need impermanence for social justice and for hope.

If you suffer, it is not because things are impermanent. It is because you believe things are permanent. When a flower dies, you don't suffer much, because you understand that flowers are impermanent. But you cannot accept the impermanence of your beloved one, and you suffer deeply when she passes away.

If you look deeply into impermanence, you will do your best to make her happy right now. Aware of impermanence, you become positive, loving and wise. Impermanence is good news. Without impermanence, nothing would be possible. With impermanence, every door is open for change. Impermanence is an instrument for our liberation.

*(this post is an edited reprint because today calls for it).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

calm down, seas...

Some times, i have to take
a moment to pause and reflect.
meditate and pray.

when the seas get rocky,
i know that JAH has me tucked away
safely in the palm of his hands.

so calm down, seas. be still.
JAH will guide and protect the I
for evermore.

*Buju Banton: Time and Place
sing it gargamel!

*Kirk Franklin (ft. BONO and others): Lean on Me
for my brothers and sisters in Haiti. sending you lots of love, prayers, and positive vibrations. JAH know.

one love.

Monday, February 22, 2010

*gift of jewels* are arriving...

Happy Monday dear friends:

So far, about half of the jewels sprinkled into the world have reached their destination. I am utterly thrilled to hear about the joy that has been brought into your lives through the *gift of jewels* project. I melt over and over again when I read each note. This has truly been one of the most rewarding experiences for me. I must thank you because this would not be possible without each and every one of you. Words cannot express how much you've touched my heart.

I am tracking our precious jewels as they journey across the universe, so if you have received yours, please click here and let us know.

Below is a list of jewels that have been posted on blogs (at least those that I'm aware of). You simply amaze me.

flwjane, small but charming

elizabeth, landanna (received); and landanna (sent)

tracy, pink purl

connie, loose lemons

peace and love.

Friday, February 19, 2010

in her own words: Kim Kath...

This is a picture of one of the largest parks in Toowoomba, Australia. It was taken in September (springtime) during the wonderful Carnival of Flowers. It was provided by Kim Kath, author of A Box of Chocolates. Kim was kind enough to open up regarding her life and the diverse culture in Australia during an interview earlier this week. I do hope you enjoy the following account and join us in conversation.

Greetings, my dear friend. Could you please introduce yourself and give a brief description of your blog?

Hi my name is Kim Kath. I am an Australian, born in 1961. My mother immigrated to Australia in 1948 as a 10 pound pom, an initiative of the Australian and English governments to repopulate Australia. My father was born in Australia to Aussie parents. I have been married to the same wonderful man for 28 years this March, I have 3 daughters, my eldest, who is married, is 26 in April and I have 20 year old identical mirror image twins.

My blog, A Box of Chocolates, started mid 2009, after a family tragedy left me feeling so low. I had begun writing a blog to work through the treatment and loss of our grandson and felt I needed a happy place, so A Box of Chocolates began. My thoughts were from the movie Forrest Gump, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get". I have met some of the most caring and wonderful friends there.

How long have your lived in Australia? and in what region?

I was born in Brisbane, Australia which is the capital of Queensland, one of the 6 states, one of which is an island and 2 territories. The region I live in now is called the Darling Downs. It is on the Great Dividing Range a long mountain range, so our weather is quite different from Brisbane which is now approx a one and a half hour drive south.

What's the weather like there? and what is the main basis of commerce?

Because we are high on the mountain range the weather is much cooler. We are known as the Garden City and our town's annual carnival is the Carnival of Flowers, a celebration of all things flower, plant and garden. Many of the towns citizens plant amazing flower gardens and people flock in bus loads to walk through them. The region of the Darling Downs is mostly farming, but recently we have had large coal mines buy out small towns and mine them, I think it is terrible, but the government is making loads of money so it won't stop anytime soon.

There is quite a lot of media coverage in our local area of another mining firm wanting to open another mine nearby and the land is some of the most fertile farming land around. A huge travesty if we let it just be dug up for coal. This is ongoing so we will have to wait and see what decision will be made.

Could you please describe the racial and cultural composition of the Australian population?

In 1787 at the landing of the first fleet, the population of Australia was 100% aboriginal, now the populations ratios is approx 75% solely or partly Anglo/Celt, 20% other European, 4.5% Asian origin and 1% aboriginal.

Today well over 20% of Australians were born in another country, of whom more than half came to Australia from non-English speaking countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America. Combined with their Australian-born children, they constitute 40% of the population. The scale of immigration to Australia in the last forty years has been enormous, accounting for about half of our population growth.

A large number of refugees, African, Asian, Middle East have been accepted in Australia in the past few years. This has been accepted by some of the population and not so well by others.

When did you first learn of "Aborigines"? What is the historical significance? How many lived in Australia initially and how many remain today? Have you had any personal interaction with any Aborigines?

My memory of learning about Aborigines is in the early years of school. We were taught about the impact of the landing of the first white people on the indigenous population, how correctly at the time is a question now. We learnt about the tools, housing, hunting that they did.

The population of Australia is estimated to be 22,154,788 as of 16 February 2010. Australia is the 51st most populous country in the world. Its population is concentrated mainly in urban areas. Australia's population has grown from an estimated population of between 350,000 and 1,000,000 (aboriginal) at the time of British Settlement in 1788 to its current population, due to further migration during the period since.

Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands, and these peoples' descendants. Indigenous Australians are distinguished as either Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders, who currently together make up about 1% of Australia's population.

The Torres Strait Islanders are indigenous to the Torres Strait Islands which are at the northern-most tip of Queensland near Papua New Guinea. The term "Aboriginal" has traditionally been applied to indigenous inhabitants of mainland Australia, Tasmania, and some of the other adjacent islands.

As a young child our family would take a young girl into our home, during the school holidays. She was from a state run children's home called Opal House. All the children there were Aboriginal. I cannot remember her name, but I do remember that my mum made my sister myself and this little girl, pretty blue dresses with a big pink bow on the front. We wore these dresses to the big exhibition show that was held once a year in the city. This little girl found a ten dollar note that she bought a huge bunch of bananas with. It was enormous the whole big bunch straight from the tree and she took it back to the home with her to share with all the other children. At the time I was not aware of what is now known as the stolen generation. I believe this little girl was probably one of the children taken from their family by our government and church's and sent to live with either white families, where many became servants or sent to state run homes. Children were taken from 1869 to 1969 but some were still being removed as late as the 1970's. We didn't have many aboriginal children in our schools or in our neighbourhood.

Can you tell us where do the Aborigines reside in Australia? and under what conditions?

The Indigenous Australian population is mostly urbanised, but a substantial number (27% as of 2002) live in remote settlements often located on the site of former church missions. The health and economic difficulties facing both groups are substantial. Both the remote and urban populations have adverse ratings on a number of social indicators, including health, education, unemployment, poverty and crime. The rate of infant deaths per 1,000 births for the total Australian population ranged between 7.8 in the NT to 3.5 in both SA and WA. The aboriginal people tend to gather together in certain residential areas, these areas seem to be where there is available government housing, which greatly reduces the cost of rent. Without wanting to generalise, these areas then become known to be less desirable to live in due to the many disturbances that occur. Recently the police force has employed police liaison officers and they are to help with the disturbances that arise within the aboriginal community. Though the police force is employing these same officers in other cultures also. Also the remaining Aboriginal elders have recently begun an initiative where some of the crimes can be tried in an Aboriginal council court. There have been a disturbing number of aboriginal deaths in custody in years gone by and the prison system is changing to hopefully lessen this occurrence.

Could you please explain the term "Stolen Generations"? and its the societal implications?

Forced removal

The forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families was official government policy from 1909 to 1969. However the practice took place both before and after this period. Governments, churches and welfare bodies all took part.

The removal policy was managed by the Aborigines Protection Board (APB). The APB was a government board established in 1909 with the power to remove children without parental consent and without a court order.

Under the White Australia and assimilation policies Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were ‘not of full blood’ were encouraged to become assimilated into the broader society so that eventually there would be no more Indigenous people left. At the time Indigenous people were seen as an inferior race.

Children were taken from Aboriginal parents so they could be brought up ‘white’ and taught to reject their Aboriginality. Children were placed with institutions and from the 1950s began also being placed with white families. Aboriginal children were expected to become labourers or servants, so in general the education they were provided was very poor. Aboriginal girls in particular were sent to homes established by the Board to be trained in domestic service.

The lack of understanding and respect for Aboriginal people also meant that many people who supported the child removals believed that they were doing the ‘right thing’. Some people believed that Aboriginal people lived poor and unrewarding lives, and that institutions would provide a positive environment in which Aboriginal people could better themselves. The dominant racist views in the society and government also means that people believed that Aboriginal people were bad parents and that Aboriginal woman did not look after their children.

No-one knows how many children were taken, as most records have been lost or destroyed. Many parents whose children were taken never saw them again, and siblings who were taken were deliberately separated from each other. Today many Aboriginal people still do not know who their relatives are or have been unable to track them down.

The generations of children who were taken from their families became known as The Stolen Generations. The practice of removing children continued up until the late 1960s meaning today there are Aboriginal people as young as their late 30s and 40s who are members of the Stolen Generations.

I took the above information from as I didn't want to lessen what has been a terrible blot on Australian history. As I mentioned before I am sure that the little girl we had in our home was most likely taken from her family by force and at the time I know that as a family we would never have supported this knowingly.

How was the formal historic apology by the Australian Prime Minister in February 2008 received by the Aborigine population? non-Aboriginal population?

In the 1990's all other states in Australia made apologies to the Aboriginal people taken from their families. Even the Canadian government, in 1998 apologised for the physical and sexual abuse suffered by the Aboriginal children taken and sent to special Christian boarding schools called ‘residential schools’ in Canada, again in 2008 the Canadian Prime Minister announced compensation would be paid to victims and their families and apologies were given.
There was much concern in Australia that if the Prime Minister offered an apology there would be many compensation suits taken out against the government. The speech even contained the statement that no compensation would be offered by the Government. Kevin Rudd was apologising for the mistakes of the past government in removing the children from their families. Many people opposed the apology saying that the government and churches involved at the time thought they were doing the right thing, so the apology while accepted and applauded by many was quite a contentious issue.

The news coverage of the telecast apology to the Stolen Generation by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd showed hundreds of aboriginal and whites crying together. For the most part I believe that the apology was honest and heartfelt, how it was received by the majority of Aboriginal people is hard to know. The people interviewed on the news were very appreciative of the gesture and many said that felt they would be able to move forward now. I hope in some way it has helped them.. Many still do not know where family is or even who they are.

What improvements, if any, have you seen since then?

The government at the time of the apology Prime Minister Rudd said he was committed to enforcing programs to raise the health and living conditions of the Aboriginal people, personally I cannot see any changes as yet. Unfortunately many of the people suffer mental and health issues related back to the removal from their families. Many are unemployed and there is unfortunately the general thought in the white community that most will not work well. Many have become well educated, more not. So the work sought by many of the men is labouring and they find it difficult to find work. This starts the cycle of alcoholism and unemployment and crime that engulfs many. The children are often branded badly behaved and I have seen large groups gather together at shopping centres and food outlets and run amok. This is why the introduction of the elders and liaison officers is so vital. I volunteer with a refugee support service and many of the African refugees are treated badly by the Aboriginal people, I am not sure why this is. There are entire suburbs in New South Wales that house Aboriginal families in Government housing and these neighbourhoods are often on the news because of the crime and violence that occurs there. I find it very sad that as a white race we came to this country and displaced and demanded that this wandering, nomadic, culture change to fit into our white ways. I just don't think culturally that works well for all the Aboriginal people.

Have any reparations been made to the Aborigine people? What are your hopes for Australian society in the future?

No compensations have been made to the Aboriginal people by the government. Though there are many services, available to Aboriginals that are not readily available to white Australians. There is access to face to face tutoring at university for off site study, I was not able to access this at all. Some time ago there were special bank loan rates available only to Aboriginal people, I am not aware that this has changed. But unemployment and alcoholism, and abuse is very high amongst most communities.

As I have mentioned I work with people from all over the world who come to live in Australia to give their families a better life. We are a large country, very dry and arid in the centre and very short of water, so I don't know how much longer this will continue. But our country is only a little over 200 years old as far as white population is concerned. We are made up of so many different cultures who mostly get along together very well. I do think that a lot of very good, very caring white Australians are a little racist though. They are hesitant to employ people from other cultures, especially black skinned people, including Aboriginals and it is easy to see the fear and nervousness felt when they find themselves amongst a group of Aboriginal or different peoples. Unfortunately some of this fear is warranted so in the short term I don't see a lot of change happening. I think it will still be several generations before the average white Australian readily accepts and employs and mixes with people of other races and colours easily. I think it is such a shame as the families I have met have become good and firm friends and I love my contact with them. There is much healing still needed for the Aboriginal people; a lot of forgiveness on both our sides needs to be given freely and then maybe we will see some change.

One love.

Conscious Friday: The Stolen Generation...

*Bob Randall: Brown Skin Baby (They Stole Me Away)

*Kev Carmody, John Butler & Paul Kelly: From Little Things Big Things Grow

*Have a Conscious Friday and a divine weekend.
one love.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

we are the world...

Haiti, we will never forget you.

*Yesterday, a classroom collapsed on students in Haiti killing four children between the ages 8 and 9. I can't even begin to imagine...

*There has been at least 64 aftershocks since the devastating earthquake. The rainy season is close at hand (followed by hurricane season), which presents a host on new concerns for the health and safety of the Haitian people. Let's keep our brothers and sisters in Haiti in our prayers and do whatever we can to help them in this time of need. We are the world.

*Jorge Puello, the one-time legal adviser of the 10 Americans being detained on child trafficking charges in Haiti, has recently acknowledged that he faces sex trafficking charges in El Salvador under the name Jorge Anibal Torres Puello. He remains at large as of yesterday. He is wanted by the police in at least four countries in connection with charges including sex trafficking of girls and women, and making counterfeit documents and violating parole.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

*gift of jewels* : finale...

This little jewel was custom made by my dear friend BJ who is living with an incurable form of cancer. During a recent visit, knowing that I'm completely obsessed with sock dollies, BJ pulled out her sewing machine and whipped up this lovely for me. This doll has become a personal beacon of hope and a badge of love that I will forever cherish. Isn't she a cutie? The only thing I have to make sure is that she does not get corrupted by my mischievous sock monkey, Melvin, who is always up to no good. ;)
~ ~ ~
Expressions of love simply warm my heart. As we all sprinkle our *gift of jewels* out into the universe, I'd like to invite you to leave a comment below with a special wish, or a prayer for someone in need. I sincerely believe that love strengthens the soul, especially in times of great adversity. Today, I raise my prayer flag in hopes to increase the positive vibrations here on earth, and send out these wishes for:

ayiti, i see you.
peace around the world,
the eradication of poverty
abolishment of slavery in all its forms,
equal rights and justice for all.
oh JAH, i pray that
all children be cared for
the hungry, be fed
the homeless, sheltered
the elderly, protected
the sick, nourished
for each and every one of you
to find love wherever you are today.

*give thanks once more to all who participated in the round of the *gift of jewels* project which ends February 14, 2010. i really had a lot of fun meeting so many new friends but i hope you enjoyed it even more. i'll be by to see you all soon. peace and love.


*Tibetans have decided against celebrating the lunar new year on February 14, 2010 in remembrance of those suffering inside Tibet. Prayers sent up for them.

Friday, February 12, 2010

in her own words...

This is a photo of a mural in Khayelitsha which is a township outside Cape Town, South Africa. Along the bottom are the handprints of children. It was provided by Lynne, author of Wheatlands News. I met Lynne through the first *gift of jewels* project and we have kept in touch even though we live across the globe. I recently had an opportunity to interview her about life in South Africa. I wondered how much things have changed and how much they have stayed the same, especially as the world celebrates the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's release from prison for his stance against apartheid. I'm honoured to share with you today Lynne's unabridged, unedited perspective on life in South Africa (in her own words)*...

Greetings, my dear friend. Can you please introduce yourself and give a brief description of your blog?
I'm Lynne, a journalist by profession, and my blog is Wheatlands News.

How long have you lived in South Africa? and in what township(s)?
I've lived in South Africa most of my life, except between 1988 and 1994 when I was in the UK. Townships are traditionally black areas, so I grew up in the suburbs of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban (we moved around a lot!). After I married my first husband we lived mainly in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town as well as outside London in the UK.

What is the seasonal weather like there?
In Moorreesburg (near Cape Town) where I live now we have a Mediterranean climate... rainy winters (which I love) and very hot summers (which I don't like at all!). We almost never get snow except on the highest mountains.

What is the basis of commerce in that region?
I live in an area which grows the bulk of South Africa's wheat, and there are many wine farms as well. For the country as a whole, the commerce is varied... we have a big mining sector, (gold, diamonds, uranium, platinum, coal, iron ore etc) with many other industries as well, including a burgeoning film industry. South Africa is one of the wealthiest countries in Africa.

How is the socio-economic stratification composed?
In theory, since our first democratic elections in 1994, we have an equal society, with no discrimination on grounds of race. In practice, the situation is very different. Most of the people who were the poorest of the poor during apartheid are still pitifully poor. The difference now is that there are both black and white among the upper echelons of society, whereas it used to be just whites. Discrimination does still exist in fact but it is reversed, with many white people not being able to get work because jobs are reserved for blacks. It is a complex issue: the wrongs of the past must be addressed, but I don't feel that the system as it is at the moment is doing that. It is still benefiting mainly a few people and not making a difference to most people who are still living in tin shacks in overcrowded conditions.

What were race relations like when you were growing up in South Africa?
When I was growing up there was virtually no contact between the races. Certain areas were reserved for whites, others for blacks, coloureds or Indians. The only people of different race groups I saw were people who were working as domestic servants or gardeners. Schools, buses, trains and even post office queues were strictly segregated. The Immorality Act jailed people of different races who fell in love. If you were not white, certain professions were barred to you and you could not become fully qualified in a trade: effectively remaining as an apprentice all your life.

When did you first learn of "apartheid", and in what manner were you taught?
I was taught at school, but it was for whites only (and girls only!). I first became aware of apartheid in 1976, when children in Soweto began to demonstrate against the second rate education they were being offered. It was an education system which effectively dumbed down the majority of the population. At this time many people, including children, were being shot for taking part in protests.

When I started working at the Cape Times newspaper in 1978, I really began to understand what apartheid was all about. There were so many laws in place that were preventing the newspapers from reporting on what was happening, so many whites were genuinely ignorant of the situation being faced by so many of their countrymen. At the Cape Times I worked with people of all races, and one man in particular, Yasied Fakier, decided to educate me about what was really happening. I will forever be grateful to him for opening my eyes and changing my life. I became involved in the UDF (United Democratic Front) that was fighting apartheid from within the country and also spent time in the townships for the first time, often at funerals of anti-apartheid activists.

I worked on newspapers around the country for the next 10 years, and had plenty of occasions to see the effects of apartheid, as well as the riots and protests. Violence was common: white on black and black on black. My most horrifying experience was being present when someone was necklaced in a township because they were believed by their community to be a police informer (necklacing is when a tyre is forced over someone's shoulders, pinning their arms to their sides, and then set alight.) The only time I was hurt personally was when an out-of-uniform policeman threw me off a (slowly) moving bus because I refused to sit next to him because I had seen him in action in the townships and knew who he was.

We all knew who Nelson Mandela was, but he was more of a mythical figurehead to many of us. There had been no photographs taken of him or statements by him allowed for virtually my whole life. I remember going to Pollsmoor Prison a couple of times after he was moved there from Robben Island because of rumours that he was being released!

In 1988 I went to the UK with my husband who was studying for a PhD and my two young sons. It was a particularly dark time for South Africa, and days after I left, many of the people who I worked with on UpFront, the journal of the UDF, were imprisoned without trial.

I was visiting friends in Bristol when Mandela was released, and we spent the day in a state of dazed euphoria... crying and laughing and feeling very, very far away from home!

What improvements have you seen in South Africa over time?
I have seen huge improvements. We have one of the world's most liberal constitutions and the laws that we have in place are some of the best in the world.Institutionalised discrimination is a thing of the past in many ways. The problem is that not all the laws are being put into effect in the best way. This is often because of a lack of capacity, especially in our local municipalities. I also believe that the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) laws have damaged the country because they have removed skilled people from the workforce. It would have been better to use those skills,and allowed a natural transition to take place. We have problems with service delivery and education and poverty, and the highest HIV/Aids infection level in the world. Violent crime is a huge problem, and it is directed mainly towards the people who are living in the poorest areas (although it only really makes headlines when it touches the more privileged members of society)

But there are good things happening and progress is being made.
My hope for South Africa is that we learn to live in peace and that the ideal of a rainbow nation - the non-racial society promised in the Freedom Charter - would become a reality.

One love.

*(I have added hyperlinks for informational purposes.)

Conscious Friday: South Africa...

*Miriam Makeda: Soweto Blues

*Soweto Gospel Choir: South Africa

*Peter Gabriel: Biko

*Have a Conscious Friday and a divine weekend, my friends.
one love.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

February 11th...

*9 years ago, i was almost 3 months pregnant with my only child. not being well versed in the pregnancy thing, i thought i'd learn a thing or two from my sister-in-law who was due to give birth any day. i actually had attended that first childbirth class but frankly they grossed me out so i never went back.

i asked my hubby to drop me off at the hospital. he asked me if i was sure and i insisted. before long, i joined my SIL in her hospital room. she informed me that the doctor said that it would be at least 4 more hours before any meaningful activity would take place. then she started talking about centimetres and dilating and stuff like that...lost me there. then out of nowhere, she started breathing all funny. i started to squirm as i watched her stuff crushed ice down her throat. i was definitely ready to leave. i decided i'd call my hubby to turn around and get me post haste.

that's when my SIL whispered through laboured breaths, "i think the baby is coming". the nurse assured me, i mean, my SIL that no such thing would happen because she wasn't ready yet. more centimetre talk followed. after a few moments of them going back and forth, the nurse said, "go ahead then and push." so my SIL pushed...and out popped a baby head! i stood in disbelief as the nurse directed ME of all people to push the red button. since there were only the three of us in the room, i guess that was a logical choice for this clearly knowledgeable nurse who moments earlier assured me no such thing would happen. she betta be glad i didn't faint because i was surely feeling nauseous. but somehow, miraculously, i made it over to the red button and i pushed it. medical personnel swarmed the room and within minutes, my nephew was safely delivered into this beautiful world. today, i celebrate his birthday with joy and a little bit of pride, knowing that i was integral part of that divine experience.

*a few years ago, on an otherwise ordinary day, i was hanging out with my friend BJ. my phone rang and i distinctly remember the shaky voice on the other line saying, "Doris. she's gone." it was all too surreal. as bravely as her 39-year-old body fought against breast cancer, JAH had other plans for her angelic soul. i accept that. it's been four years now and i still miss you Ms. Doris. every single day. but through this painful experience, i've gained a most treasured friend, her sister Vchelle. i love you to infinity, sisterfriend!

*today is also the wedding anniversary of a dear friend who epitomizes love in all its glory. She has taught me so much about love and life and i cannot thank her enough for extending her big heart to me. happy anniversary Empress Christina. you really mean the world to me. wishing you many, many more.

*20 years ago today, the iconic Nelson Mandela was released from a South African prison where he spent 27 years in captivity for his political stance against apartheid. i am moved by the incredible strength it must have taken to stand by his personal convictions in light of his persecution. i salute you Madiba.

*and finally, tomorrow will be a day of mourning in haiti to mark the one month anniversary of the devastating earthquake which has claimed over two hundred and thirty thousand (230,000) lives. the situation has only worsened since then. i pray for my brothers and sisters that tomorrow will be a better day. blessed love.

*as you can see, February 11th has been an ambivalent day for me historically. i continue to meditate, pray, and show love to others as much as i am able. i celebrate life, knowing that each day is a gift. may love find you wherever you are today. thank you all for always stopping by and leaving such kind words here. i appreciate you more than words can say.

one love.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

love note...

dear friends,
i often think of you even though we have never met. when you are going through milestones and challenges in life, i carry you close to my heart. this morning, my spirit moved me to call one of my soeurs du jour, KATH, to wish her well in her knee surgery today and to let her know that i love her to da max. i try not to pass up occasions to say "i love you" (even if it really freaks people out). lol.
KATH was my pen pal in the first *gift of jewels* project but she has become so much more than a pen pal to me. she's always ready and willing to lend her love and support without hesitation and i really wanted to take this opportunity to reciprocate.
this would be the first time that we have spoken on the telephone because we are not really phone people. i nervously dialed her telephone number. the weirdest thing happened though. after a few rings, her sister Margie answered. I was a little perplexed because a few moments earlier, I read Margie's post saying that she wouldn't be with KATH today. it took me a minute, or two, to figure out that it was Margie's voice trapped in KATH's body. hey, i know my blonde roots are plentiful but they sound just alike! we had a big laugh and she went off to surgery in good spirits.
won't you please join me in saying a prayer for KATH?
i love you KATH. sending lots of positive vibes your way.

Monday, February 8, 2010

let love flow...

guess what friends? my *gift of jewels* is on its way to one of you lovelies right now. oh yes it is. i hope that this small token of friendship and love will warm your heart and soul. there are even more jewels sprinkled out there in the universe, passing each other in transit, making their way to you. one minor snag though, my mailman is about to take out a restraining order on me. he said something about stalking him. paranoid little fella. lol.

so, the first of the rains fell last night in haiti. while i nestled under the warm quilts in my cozy bed, many brothers and sisters were watching raindrops sieve through the tightly woven threads of their makeshift fabric tents. others cupped their palms to catch the free water being delivered from above in an effort to quench their severely parched throats. yet even more shivered under the cold rains, having no other place to call home but the earth beneath their bare feet. while others sang praises unto the Most High as the heavens opened up.

with the rainy season only three (3) weeks away, i can only pray that more aid reach the mass in time to save their lives. the NGO (non-govermental organisation) i've been donating to, Wyclef's Yéle Haiti, has prepared and distributed approximately 52,000 hot meals to the people of Haiti thus far. Can you imagine how comforting it must feel to sit down and have a hot meal amidst all this disaster? Yéle has also delivered family food kits, clean drinking water and medical supplies to help quake survivors. Admittedly, this is only a small dent but as my grandmother would say, "every mickle mek a muckle."
(translation: every little bit adds up). blessed love ayiti.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

the simple things, for haiti...

there. 600 miles southeast of Florida lies
homeless, injured, and lost souls aplenty. but
even when the earth quakes, we shall not be broken.

situation in haiti worsens as i type.
imagine. the seasonal rains are looming from above.
mass graves overflow with unidentified loved ones.
people buried in the rubble, still unrecovered.
Lord. others yearn for those they will never find.
every second. every minute. every day.

there go i, but for the grace of JAH
hold on, brothers and sisters. help is on the way.
in times of trouble, HE shall set thee upon a rock.
never lose strength. l'union fait la force.
guide and protect my people, oh JAH JAH.
shower them with your love and grace. i pray.

*the Enchanted Oak will donate $2 to earthquake relief in Haiti for each person who posts *the simple things for haiti*. give thanks to Empress Christina of Soul Aperture for her permission to use this idea to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

*you can also text "YELE" to 501501 to donate to $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund. one love.

*Wyclef Jean & Mavado: Hold On.

Friday, February 5, 2010

remember love...

shadows danced across my frosted window
and there it appeared
remnants of her tiny fingertips
on a cold winter's day.
each time mother nature breathes
i imagine my love
transported on her wings,
straight to your heart.
praying for you, ayiti.
though you may not have windows
at this very hour
you do have love.
and now abideth
faith, hope, love, these three;
but the greatest of these
is love.
may love find you wherever you are today.

*Have a Conscious Friday and a divine weekend, my friends.
One Love.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

not so random thoughts...

joining the pieces
for a better future

just checking in to say hi to all of you. thanks so much for lifting my spirits each day with your touching posts and the kind comments you leave here. i read each and every one of them and smile. you really are the best friends anyone could have.

speaking of best friends, my darling Tracy, author of Pink Purl, has recently re-opened her etsy shop. such creative and beautiful pieces of jewelry and accessories are featured, perfect for that unique Valentine's day gift.

with creative juices are flowing all around, i must admit that i am beginning to eye my mailman a little more these days...does he have my *gift of jewels* in that bag? you know, my piece of the puzzle? well, let it be known, me a go watch him real close til he delivers it safe and sound...nah go tek no but or because. lol.

and guess what else? for those of you who know the secret side of me (you know, the one who enjoys watching hot men in fireproof suits driving really fast cars), the new NASCAR season begins this Saturday!!! what shall i do with myself? ;) well, my daughter is thrilled that Danica Patrick will be driving part-time in nascar this to join the big boys. oh yeah baby.

changing gears (no pun intended).

haiti, always on my mind:

*25 years after this song raised awareness about the famine in Africa, a group of musicians, singers, and other celebrities have gathered together to remake "We are the World" to benefit our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

*Also BET will be hosting a two hour benefit concert, "S.O.S. - Help for Haiti," tomorrow, Friday, February 5, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. ET. The program will be aired on BET, Centric, MTV and VH1. I'll be the crying Rastawoman with the nascar t-shirt seated in the first row. Do stop by if you can.

peace and love, my friends.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

please pray for the children...

darkness all around me
my whole world has crumbled
where is my mother?
could she have survived this?
i could use her right about now.

i stretch forth my arms
reaching out for help
blinded by tears and
holding on to hope's hand
i take one step forward.

here they come
wolves in sheep's clothing
to rob the innocence from my body
i just escaped the jaws of death
but i couldn't escape sex slavery.

*please say a prayer for the women and children of haiti. out of the chaos which naturally follows disasters emerges those who prey on the vulnerable. where we see pain and suffering, they see opportunity. let's raise our voices to help stop the illegal trafficking of children from haiti. we are all humans. never chattel.

Monday, February 1, 2010

hold me in your arms...

did you know that the school day begins in the afternoon in haiti? so, at 4:52 p.m. on january 12, 2010, most classrooms were full of beautiful black babies, learning all they can, striving to make a better life for themselves than that with which they were dealt. but at 4:53 p.m. the golden gates of Zion opened up to welcome them as the walls crumbled around them. do you hear their cry?

i still do. the sounds of weeping. wailing. it breaks my every moment of silence. each day i look into the eyes of my own child. i clutch her in my arms, not wanting to ever let go. i feel her warm breath on my cheek as she cuddles even closer, sensing something is very wrong. i am thankful still. because many moms, haitians, are still suffering. their children are gone. my heart is heavy. the emptiness consumes me. i am trying friends. real hard. but i can't shake it. not yet. for me, the reality of this raw pain lingers.

i look to the hills, from whence cometh my help. and i continue to pray. and pray. JAH JAH! i trust in your infinite wisdom. in the good times. and in bad. i know you giveth and you taketh away. and though about two hundred thousand, 200,000, of my brothers and sisters have been wiped off the face of this earth in a single unforgiving moment, i still trust in you. always. til shiloh.

i feel you ayiti. one love.