Posts Tagged ‘culture’


Though that marching band and twirling girls were all heated up, I was still really cold under my Anne Klein double lined trench coat!  Today, Saturday 14 Jan, is the opening to a week-long celebration starting next week in Eatonville Florida. The 10-block walk to reach the heart of Zora Neale Hurston’s hometown did not help me to warm up (actually, I’m still chilled). 
So, all of you Michiganders thinking of heading to Florida for fun in the sun, wait a week or so before coming to Orlando.  I hope it warms up before I leave!



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The Odu Ifa advises “When we arrive at a cool place, Let us rest fully.” 
So have I been doing in the shade of the palms and the warmth of the sun in Florida. 
While Wednesday was filled with
fun at Universal Studios (lunched at the Hard Rock Cafe), today was spent in pursuit of my African American culture.  Visited the Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park and went on to the ‘Wells Built Hotel Museum‘ in downtown Orlando whose hours were M-F until 5:00pm. But they were closed. We peered through the windows and their displays looked very interesting. But I suppose you should call before going.

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Having a good time at Kwanzaa celebration and activities in Orlando Florida! 



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     Living always somewhere between agreement and disagreement, we lack the comforts and the torments of divine authority and regal power.  Pl;uralistic, we struggle with the idea of unity.  We reach awkwardly for shared purpose.  We talk sentimentally of community, sometimes, as though it could be had without sacrifice — as though order were possible without restraint.  We are nostalgic about the idea of community.  We lust for its consolations. -Robert J. Kingston

Possibly on a collective basis, we should rethink this idea that individually we can make it anywhere.  It is first understanding and then living in the harmony of community that we are going to be – literally – saved.

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Many in the world were glued to their TV sets today watching the royal wedding of Prince William Arthur Philip Louis (now Duke of Cambridge) and Kate Middleton (now Duchess of Cambridge).  It was grand and many will say that this is an image of Royal Love.  But, I have another image to share with  you.

Keshia Thomas serving as a Shield
I originally wrote this article on Aug. 5, 2005.  I expand it here using the same title:  Love Makes All the Difference in the World.
A dear friend of mine (Eddie GM Robinson) wrote a song entitled “Love Makes All the Difference” and it is my favorite on that particular CD.  He is a master artist being able to conceptualize and hear the music, write it and play most of the instruments and then sing the lyrics!  I always marvel at the expanse of his talent.   When the work is done right, his listener will automatically select that song from their mental library and associate it immediately with an appropriate event.  Such was the case for me with this song and this event.
On 22 June 2006, there was a Klu Klux Klan rally in Ann Arbor Michigan.  An awesome demonstration of the force of love was captured in a photograph and story published on that day.  (unable to insert photo here).  I will try to relay that image to you here.
At some point between standing and falling, the man on the ground became one with Keshia Thomas.  Her heart opened and Andrew Cutraro (freelance photographer) caught the moment.  Keishia was 18 at the time and we can wonder how and why at 18, this young African-American woman came to be in such a position?
On June 22 in Ann Arbor Michigan, Keishia used her body for the purpose many say Jesus used His – to cover the sins of another.  She shielded a man from a crowd of anti-Klan demonstrators who were beating him with sticks after he was spotted wearing a confederate flag shirt. Ms. Thomas is reported as saying: “Just because you beat somebody, doesn’t mean you going to change his mind.”
Prior to this, it is reported in People magazine, that she was one of the angry demonstrators who rushed toward the man who was reported to be a spectator (not a participator); yet he wore the trappings of a Klan supporter.  As the attackers reached him, the blows, kicks and punches began.  But something happened in an instant inside this Black high school senior from Ypsilanti that caused her to risk injury and throw herself over the fallen man to protect him.  Though she may have thought him to be a white supremacist, Thomas is reported saying: “He’s still somebody’s child.” Later on, Keishia is reported adding: “People don’t have to remember my name. I just want them to remember that I did the right thing.”
Eddie recently released another CD that has a title “Only Give the Best (there is in you)”.  Keshia may not know it or label her action as love, but it was the ultimate expression of the virtue of which the Master teachers have been speaking.  Truly she gave the very “best” there was in her to protect and possibly save someone she did not even know.   She helps us to believe that truly Love does make ALL the difference in the World.
When you think of Royal Love, you can think of William and Kate or you can think of Keshia Thomas whose compassion burst out of its boundaries and demonstrated itself in protecting a stranger.  Thanks Eddie for reminding me.
(Note:  This blog can be found in its original form at Intimate Longings.)
Now is the time, you are the chosen.  You are already prepared.

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On 24 April 2011, MSNBC posted as a file photo from the AP of two young women  of four members of Nigeria’s National Youth Service Corps who were working as electoral officials in Daura, Nigeria on day of the presidential elections.  Their job was to check names of individuals presenting themselves to vote.   They are pictured sitting at a table leafing through books and looking serious about their duty with expressions that make parents proud.   It was recently that I found out details about this extraordinary program — Nigeria’s National Youth Service Corps — and that it is a mandatory year-long assignment for all Nigerians who graduate from university before the age of 30. Most serve as teachers during their stint, but the April 2011 national elections have brought extra responsibilities and danger to their work.

I don’t know whether these young women were stationed at the polls the day of the violence or if there were four others who were burned alive inside their youth hostel that day.  All I know is that some ‘thing‘ is loose again and that after all of these centuries that we have been on this planet, we have yet to determine how to contain it.  Whatever its name — hate, fear, greed, anger — we need to focus on it as we have on cancer and other deadly diseases or maybe we need to hire some exorcists because personally, I’m tired of the madness and I just got here a couple of decades ago!!  It was already enough 4,000 years ago.  Have we learned nothing?

I realize that  Daura was not the only place in the world that “it” was loose.  It has shown up in small sleepy little towns and big city metropolises, in simple houses and grand mansions, in the workplace and on the playground, in the school house and in the places of worship.  It seems that “it” has no boundaries. Who is letting “it” in?  How can we recognize “it“?  Where does “it” abide?  We must find “it” and arrest, bind, contain, destroy “it“.

It has no shame, no values, no repentance, no ethics, no morals, and appears to have no end.  Will we, can we survive until another great teacher comes? When will enough sacrifices be made?   Can we reach a critical mass of compassion and love before “it” reaches epidemic proportions?

May I begin with this simple gesture of compassion:  To the friends and families of those young people who had such promising lives and whose dreams were stolen on 16 April 2011, I send my deepest condolences.  May 10,000 others take their place in service to their people.  May they rest in peace knowing that their lives touched so many.  These are only words, but they are messengers from my heart a place where “it does not abide.

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Stage 4 – Feeling that something’s not quite right; but ignoring the feeling.

Remember how you feel when you are getting the flu?  Well this stage is like that…you just don’t feel quite right…you have what may be a headache…but not quite…you sneeze once or twice and you just shake your head as if that will end it…you even ‘feel’ more tired than usual when you’ve only been doing the same thing in the same ways.   A person who is heading for mental illness may have slight symptoms like the stages I’ve listed here and be ‘at risk’ of getting sick but not quite there yet.

She said: Hi There!  I’ve missed you and wondered how and where you were.  Glad that you are online so we can talk.  How was your holiday?

He said: Hi there dear friend!!!  Sorry to be answering so late.  I was watching a movie with my boys.  Did you find and get the LesPins wine already?  (The last time they spoke he was to send this to her.)

She said: I am so happy to hear from you.  How was your holiday? (she asks again).  I tried to look up your corporate website, but I must have the wrong address.  I wanted to see it for myself.  No, the LesPins has not yet arrived.   Holidays make the mail somewhat slower than usual.  I spent the holiday with friends and am going to spend the next quietly reflecting on my future and plans for work.

He said: Hummm…did you look for rrr-rrr-ruk?  ww.rrr-rrr-tuk.  Sorry, ww.rrr-rrr-tuk is correct.

She said: Just after writing to you last week, I poured a glass of wine and set a romantic mood for the room with candles and soft music.  I sat and wondered how it would be to have you close by.  I will try the new web-address and see if I can get through.

He said: aaahh..I do always use the holiday eve for introspection as well…you are a wondrous being…beautiful and lovely.

She said: You have me curious and longing to see and be with you.  The distance is awesome and makes me wonder if I should become so drawn and attached to you.  But, I live in the hope that the distance will be of no consequence when we finally are together.

He said: I am drawn to your state of mind, state of being and state of love…for you do bring joy and life into this corner of the earth just by thinking of being in your company.

She said: I thought that maybe I would hear from you by phone as you have my number; but, when I did not, I thought I would ask you for yours and call you.  Since I spoke to you last, I put several photos on line.  I will send the link to you so that you can tell me what you think.  I am not very good at it yet, but I’m working on it.  I’m going to get a cup of Chai while I await your response.

He said: From my castle the holiday has begun my sweet love!!!

She said: The same to you Darling.  Are you enjoying yourself?

He said:  I am a bit drunk from all the champaign…longing to kiss your beautiful self.

She said: Hey!  Watch out!!! You can’t be drunk without me 🙂

He said: Not completely…just lightly…

She said:  Enjoy for me too and I look forward to seeing you in person.  The picture is wonderful…(he had sent one earlier)…but there is nothing like the true physical embrace.

He said: Yes…it surely isn’t…would you like to receive a truly artistic picture of me?

She said: Certainly!  I’m happy that you are thinking of me during your celebration.  It is a tender replacement for your actual presence being here with me.

The picture comes

He said: One of me…

She said: Oh, I am surely smiling and chuckling out loud here alone.  How do you do those things?  I’m still learning.  This one is one that I will surely save.

He said: I put the camera on a tripod and then I use the remote control…lol

She said: You’ll have to teach me how to do that so I can make you blush too 🙂

He said: Yes…I do have some professional equipment here because of my work.

She said:  Well, hopefully your work is not being published in Playgirl…You are naughty – but, I like it.

Another picture comes

He said:  I would love to share all that is me.  Was it too much?

She said: For a beloved, I would do the same.  It will be my pleasure and I know that it is yours as well.  No, it wasn’t too much, just surprising.

He said: Surprising in what way dear?  In revealing myself to you?

She said: How can I talk to you this way?  Writing these comments are difficult.  I am much better talking in person.  (Feeling as though she is about to expose herself…she still continues.)  Surprising because it was unexpected.

He sends another (even more revealing)

She said:  Stop it!!!  You are too funny…I appreciate you for making my evening delight-full.

He said:  As you are doing that to me.  You are worshipped and beloved already.

She said: Where is your glass of wine and your cigar?  (In an email he had shared that he would indulge in these activities this evening.)

He said:  In my hand and mouth; but wishing I could enjoy them with your company!!!

Yet another photo comes and she inhales…

TO BE CONTINUEDbe sure to come back to read the next chapter of Long Distance ~ Periods of Lunacy



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