Happy New Year?

I’ve been contemplating this whole New Years thing, reading the resolves (cheering for those who make them) and I’ve come to accept that for ME it is simply another day to move forward, beyond that which I’ve already accomplished, in the amount of time I have left on the planet. That’s what keeps me moving–>The idea that there is much to do

Going into the New Year like... Happy
Going into the New Year like… Happy

and the unknowing of how much time I have left

to do it. I have not a moment to waste. I never want to be the one looking back… wishing I had focused more on LIVING. The older I get, the more I contemplate this.

While some are just considering- I am learning, loving, giving and pressing toward what makes me happy hoping THAT inspires others. After all THINGS will always be there… THINGS can eventually become someone else’s… But LIFE, the experiences that come with and what you do with them.. they will always be Yours alone… Just as MINE will remain mine. That’s plenty to take into the next day. An entire year will be icing on the cake.

Happy Tuesday y’all!

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Change is in the Air

This will be a quick post! I’ve been MIA and with good reason. Life is changing for me and I’ve been in the lab (in my brain) planning for transition. I haven’t talked much about it but this will be my last year at my current gig and as a result- it’s time to release myself into MY next big thing. I plan to start job hunting soon but in the meantime I’ve decided to dedicate myself to doing what I love- CREATING! It’s no secret that I love to write, but I also love photography, scrap booking, hand lettering, cooking and making all natural body products. As it relates to the latter, I’ve been mixing up hair and skin products for the last couple of years… mostly as a hobby. Yet, I have friends and family who have asked me to make items for them which have resulted in minor sales. I enjoy doing this so much that I’ve decided to SLOWLY turn my hobby into more of a part-time gig and I’m excitedly researching and adding items to my recently opened Etsy shop. All to say, transition can be good. I’m having a good time learning and teaching myself how to better care for my body. We often think about the inside (via diet, etc) but not always the actual skin we are in. With that- below is a better look at one of my pretties… If you’re up to it- come visit my shop (and order of course!)! 😀  —–> https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheFabulousFennyl

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Apple Sage Salt Scrub

The Unknowing

It was the unknowing

That ruined us

Ruined us like ancient villages

Bulldozed by forces that would not

Find our presence, precious

Did not find the echo

Of our giggles amusing

nor of interest, worth saving

Pillaged our memories

Incinerating them one by one

Sunday dresses, jump rope

Red light, green light

Barefoot on concrete

Races, the rubble

Caused our feet to bleed

Rusted shells and shrapnel

mixed with brown and white

Barbie heads, staring grotesque

Killed our insides

What happened to them?

Where are their clothes?

What became of their bodies?

Where is the harvest of the seeds

Once planted here?

What is this gaping hole?

What energy generated

This grand canyon of loss?

One bystander asks

No one can answer in confidence

Except me and I dare not say

Leery of giving it a name

It is juju, best left uncalled

Much safer that way

I have learned silence

Silence is it’s lullaby

The others are held hostage

In a cold, dark room

Images flashing brightly

Through brain wash

Trying to remember

They never do.

Adoptee Access Update: I Exist

I was asked by an agency that aided in the fight for Adoptees to gain access to original birth certificates in Ohio, to compose an update on my experience after getting my own this year.  I thought I’d share my post with a few additions here:

Lynne_VitalStats_n
March 30, 2015

As it is my birthday and the first day of spring, March 20 has always been a symbolic date for me. It speaks of new beginnings, warmer temperatures, the return of sunshine and the subsequent melting of ice and snow from the streets of Columbus, Ohio. In 2015, I received yet another layer of newness- the release of original birth certificates for all adoptees born in this great state. I am adopted. I used to have trouble saying it out loud. The shame, the secrecy and the  jokes about being adopted made it nearly impossible for me to share that side of my life with but a few close ones. I am still healing from the suppressed hurt of being relinquished. But I AM healing and that is the good part. The changes to unseal records in Ohio were a huge part of that healing and a long time coming. I wasn’t sure it would ever happen in my life time.

The excitement had been building since the announcement the year before. A year-long waiting period was created to allow birth mothers time and opportunity to block the release of their information. Having been in reunion since November, 2004 I had no idea if my birth mother Jo would be one of those mothers. I visited her in California in early March. The subject did not come up even once as we overlooked the gray skies of Manhattan Beach nor when we conversed poolside at my hotel. Once again, she made promises that she could not keep. I recorded them so that I would remember they were not a figment of my imagination. I needed that too as part of my healing.

I went to Vital Statistics with great anticipation to begin the process when I returned from LA. The media was there interviewing others. I wished they could interview us all. All of our stories are unique and interesting. We had all waited for the day; some of us for decades. It was interesting to see so many “regular” people of multiple ethnicities, men, women, young and old. When I walked back out into the warmth of the sunlight after submitting my request- I felt at peace knowing another part of my journey as an adoptee was coming to a close.

My birth certificate arrived about 30 days later. My heart skipped a beat when it arrived in the mail. I waited til evening to open it at my dining room table to finally read it. The sun once again shone on my back, comforting me. I opened it, and was relieved to find she hadn’t blocked it as I had read happened to others (a total of 16 in Ohio). I felt a little numb as I read the documentation that showed my true origins and my given name (Gloria Marie). I told my close friends and they celebrated with me via text… wished me closure. I noted some parts were wrong. My birth father’s name was not listed but he was stated to be white. That made me laugh. I know him and he is far from. Some of my adoption paperwork was included- items I’m sure my adoptive mother no longer has. I plan to send a copy to her and to my biological mother.

Jo and I have had a rocky reunion. It has been hot and cold but mostly cold. Perhaps stagnant is a better word. Together we are a still body of water with potential to move should the wind ever blow this way or that. I have come to a place of peace with our status. She sometimes sends me texts from sunny California saying “your life matters”. The good news is that I already know this. I live my life on purpose with each day and year I remain on the planet. The better news is that on paper- I am real just like every one else I know. I am not made up. I exist and I have the paperwork to prove it.

Much Less So

Hello. Tis morning

you invade my thoughts once more

this time, much less so

Each time, I’m startled

by soft rain of tears inside

wounds reopened

You are brilliant light

Lightning, blinding and followed

By boom, in seconds

violent impact

upon your crash landing

but you never notice

Aloof, you never

Notice the ground where I once

Stood- black and splintered

the atmosphere shift

the ozone layers, my heart

depleting more, see

your eyes overcast

you play me as the extra

each interaction

moment of our lives

hostage to bloodlines formed long

ago, egg, sperm, time

five minutes of lust

a lifetime of consequence

stars never aligned

I welcome the ride

reject your disasterous

damaging entry

Implore you to go

Or stay, remain in my dreams

Waiting, for response

an answer that won’t

come easily, or quickly

now, shallow breathing

in slumber you love

me, think of me, but only

give chase til I wake

As the sun rises

sets, by sullen, angry sky

you are swallowed whole

Gone. Tis morning again

you invade my thoughts each time

each time, much less so

The Owners of Northstar Cafe had a baby and named it Brassica

This one will be quick! Everyone who knows me personally understand that Northstar Cafe is my favorite place to eat, relax, chill, whatever. Yesterday I found myself without lunch and was considering options when one of my Facebook friends (Moni) shared that she’d gone to lunch with a friend, including the link to the restaurant. I clicked the link out of curiosity (yeah, I’m nosey) and was surprised to find there was a Mediterranean based restaurant in the short north. I am a huge fan of Aladdin and had been feeling a little out of sorts since they closed their Bexley location. I often select vegan options and suddenly I no longer had good choices within short distance for lunch. Seeing hummus and falafel on the menu were all I needed. I hopped in my car and called to place a takeout order. Informed by the associate who answered that the only orders they accept over the phone were for “family style” dishes, I decided to just go in. I was a little perplexed but I understood when I arrived- Brassica is sort of like a Chipotle (but fancier like Pizza Cucinova without the pizza) for people who like lamb, pita, hummus and falafel! As soon as you walk in, the artisan asks what you’d like and you make your selections. So basically, you CAN order to go, you just have to go there to do it. On this first trip, I knew I only wanted falafel and I wanted a sandwichIMG_2805. So, I walked thru, making the choices I wanted which were falafel, pickled cabbage, beets, cauliflower and a sauce. Every thing looked fresh and tasty. The website displayed a delicious order of fries so I order some of those too. The cashier at the end asked if I wanted extra sauce with my fries. I responded, “Do I?” and he answered affirmative!

As I awaited my order I had a chance to look around. Brassica is warm and welcoming from the moment you enter the door. Very similar in style to Northstar Cafe’s, there is lots of warm woods but with a light green on the seating. The window seats allow you to look out into the alley or out at the hustle and bustle that is High Street. My food arrived and I happily sat by the window overlooking High (mostly because I wanted to watch my car to make sure the meter police didn’t come to cite me!). I snapped a quick photo of my food before diving in. The sandwich was served beautifully in a gold cylinder and while it looked like a work of art, I had no issue wolfing it down. Everything was fresh. This is no fast food falafel people! It was hearty, and flavorful just as I would expect at other restaurants where it is served. The fries were hot and were seasoned well (reminded me of the seasoning on Grippos). Long story short, I found my life. I forgot I was supposed to rush in and out and take it back to work.

As I mentioned this is a new endeavor from the folks who own Northstar and Third & Hollywood (in Grandview). I expect nothing short of excellence from them. At first glance we sometimes don’t like to deem every baby cute. But, this one is a  beauty! I’ll be going back to visit soon! Check out their website: http://brassicashortnorth.com/

About that dream… how The Roots, a rapper I don’t know and a Facebook friend sent me a message

I typically avoid eating late because they always bring about bad or crazy dreams. Last week I didn’t heed my own rules of eating and went to sleep on a full stomach. For once, the dream wasn’t a nightmare. I want to share with you that prior to eating, I had conversed with my Facebook and high school friend India (about Zumba), watched Jimpire (a parody of tv show Empire featuring Jimmy Fallon and members of The Roots) and listened to a song by Tink (more on this latJimpire_photocred_CDANEWSer).

It surprised me when they ALL showed up in my dream that night (well, Jimmy didn’t come).

Here’s what happened:
Somehow I ended up landing a poetry/rap gig opening for The Roots. We were on tour and it was going to be my first time out. India was there and while I was not sure of her role- it appeared she was the show host and/or show runner.

On opening night, India was getting everyone in place and she asked me was I ready. The last thing I was feeling was… ready. Quite the contrary I was felt stage fright (I always do when I’m about to do anything!). India had no time for my insecurities and told me I needed to put all that aside be ready when I was called. I kept asking her about rehearsals. People who work with, perform alongside me know that I’m a stickler for rehearsals. I find them incredibly necessary and moving forward on the fly makes my nerves bad. Like I said, India wasn’t having it. She told me I’d better rehearse in my head, my own time, whatever I needed to do and to do it quickly because the show was starting soon. The only problem was she kept calling me Tink. The only Tink I know is an upcoming singer and rapper produced by Timbaland. She has a song out now which samples One In A Million by Aaliyah.

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Chicago rapper Tink (photo cred CDANEWS)

In the dream, I have the sense to know that I’m not Tink. Yet, the headlines and promotions for the show stated it was The Roots featuring Tink. I never tell India that I’m not Tink but I DO tell her I don’t know what songs I’m supposed to do. She tells me (I have no recollection). I tell her I’m not prepared. She still doesn’t care. She tells me to get the words written, put them somewhere and be ready to GO when it’s my turn. I somehow get a typed copy of the words and review them but I have ZERO sense of the melody. Zero. I continue to panic and decide that based on the music I’ll just go with the flow. However, I then worry that the audience (I can see them waiting; there are hundreds) will see and know that I’m a fraud. They call my name… Tink’s name. India asks me if I’m ready. I’m not but I go anyway. Thank God I woke up!

Perhaps you pray, perhaps you don’t but I do. In my prayers, I asked God to tell me the meaning of this dream. There had to be more to this than the fact that I had eaten Bibibop too late. I got two answers. Let me back up. First, a couple weeks ago I heard God’s voice tell me that I need to write. That I should write every single day. I said, “yeah, okay” and went on with my life. So when I asked, I received two answers:

  1. The first answer was a gentle reminder that I was supposed to write EVERY day. It didn’t matter if no one read it. It mattered that I did it. It was further explained that I keep saying I want to be a writer and yet I’m not exercising my pen or keyboard in the way that I should, practicing the way that I should… And I was asked- how, without preparation, would I ever be ready when my turn came? Whoa.
  2. If you are always ready, you never have to prepare! Ummm, ok. I knew that but I gotta figure out how this works with my creativity style of “go-with-the-flow”
  3. The final response was that no matter how often people try to push me to be like others, I can only be myself. I don’t have to follow the styles of others, the format of others or anything else “of others” in order to have success. I’ll never be Tink. I don’t need to emulate her or anyone else. The best person I can ever be and the one I know most personally is myself.  I need to stay in my lane and it’s always better if I let folks know- that ain’t me, bro!

These answers were so incredibly timely as I’m always on a path of self discovery. Sometimes though, I forget to just be me. Some can’t really handle me (and that’s ok). This was just the reminder that I needed- that I’m in the right place but there are things I need to do to stay in the right place. It’s taken me a long time to figure out who I am and this is just one more lesson on the journey. I’m just going to go with it. So practice, practice, practice it is! You guys may get tired of my posts. But if you don’t and you actually enjoy them- please SUBSCRIBE! 😀