in times of tragedy and sorrow, i find it easiest to identify an appropriate escape and just hide. it is soul healing to focus on the whimsical and lighter side of life. may we all follow dorothy’s lead and slap on a cute outfit, red heels and get on down the road.
i can remember the first time i experienced anger related to being brown. it was the end of 10th grade and Rodney King had been on the news all weekend. i returned monday to my small private school in Austin, Texas. it was in advanced english i felt comfortable enough to address the subject. to my shock and awe, not one student know what i was referring to…white privilege had kept their tv’s on mtv and showtime, all weekend. even after i explained what had happened, i didn’t get the reaction i was expecting…
the fact that he was possibly a drug user/drunk driver didn’t register with me. what was glued to my mind was the image of him going up and down on the ground as he was beaten. the police seems to gain pleasure and momentum with each strike. day one of kindergarten lets the average person know that 1.hitting isn’t ok 2.one against ten is not fair.
this is my first memory of the term, “police brutality”…so sad those two words are ever linked. watching the recorded violence and seeing the live action violence changed me. is this how people protest? will looting heal Rodney’s wounds? was it really the Korean shop own’s fault? have ‘we’ (brown citizens) ever gotten this angry when the beatings came from other brown people? south central los angeles is a pot of boiling violence and injustice – the King beating was the tipping point.
our wounds have not been allowed to heal, the police continue to violate citizens and it is documented on smart phones. from Baton Rouge to Chicago, being brown is dangerous for your health. one can not assume that the police aren’t targeting other sections of society, it is just that it isn’t being recorded and broadcast.
violence has only one color, ugly. it shouldn’t be worn by anyone – ever!
salt burn my eyes and stings my lips. sand finds its way into ever crevice. spf 50 runs down my cheeks. my curls are tangled in the seaweed and my sun-kissed shoulders radiate heat – i couldn’t be happier!
when the tide washes in, i accept it’s invitation and enter. the waves hug me and push me away. undercurrent footsie and a sea floor paved with dead crustaceans.
ocean water heals. ocean water unites.
the infatuation occurred at age 6. sitting in the dark with smuggled saltines and bologna with the red rim, mesmerized by cinderella on the big screen. this rare summer afternoon outing with my sister and mom sparked my eternal affair with foot wear. i didn’t even blink, as the small mice sewed the dress, the fairy god mother to slipped the glass shoe on cinderella’s small anamated foot – i fell in love.
for a majority of my life, i struggled with obesity. my fashion was on my feet. shoes always fit and never judge. shoes elevated my spirits and kept me grounded. when my spirits were down, my soles were not. the higher the better. i liked buckles, straps, laces and studs.
a shoe, heel, sandal or loafer can transport your attitude. it can transform a look. it can translate.
“one shoe can change your life” – cinderalla
my parents have been hauling us kids around the world since birth. they became parents in their mid-thirties and prior had traveled extensively, i admire that three kids later they were still ready for adventure…i hope to be the same in my parenting style.
the microchip of wander lust was instilled under my skin and is my eternal honing device. at six months old , i was learning to walk on the black sand beaches of hawaii.
our kitchen table was an adventure. our forks were chopsticks and tortillas. dinner was anything from kimchee to tacos. spicy pho. cornbread and collard greens. my school lunches were filled with cucumber crustless sandwiches and waldorf salad. in one bite i was sitting at a proper british tea or in the jungles of belize. our international refrigerator was the catalyst for continued searching, learning and exploring.
most families were at disney, we were on a plane to the british isles…to bath in the sea and eat the fish caught that morning. travel was not an activity. travel was life. the more we traveled the more we lived. my parents taught us the value of rural arkansas farmers and canadian fishermen. we learned that life was more than the mall, guess jeans and a new cassette tape.
international perspective has made me live with an open heart. the global community is what teaches me about myself. i plan my next vacation while on vacation. i could never see, feel, taste or consume enough. it is the cultures within the cultures that intice my spirit.
where do i want to go? where do i not?
long before steve jobs made us use the person pronoun in front of each and every inanimate object – i-reland did it.
ireland is more than lucky charms. ireland feels like a movie. i love when a location meets and exceeds your expectations. ireland is full of four leaf clovers, green everything and lots and lots of beer. all stereotypes were met. but, the nice pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is ireland’s ability to overcome the brits oppression and really rise to be a dominate world influence.
the literature, music and art of ireland is captivating and takes you on a journey. the appeal of ireland is that is is born of struggle. the common human fight for dignity and rights is transparent and alive. their unique approach to food and drink is hypnotic. literally, some of the best!
as with most locations, it is the people of ireland that can make you wish it was st. patrick’s day all day and everyday. traveling to ireland, i found, the luck of the irish isn’t luck…it is love.
love is a four letter work. it seems straight forward and simple. i like you. you like me. we love each other, right? wrong. love is messy, great, up and down. love can start and end a war. love will ‘lift you up where you belong’.
‘what’s love got to do with it’? everything. whether it is family, friend, romantic or principled – our love has to transcend self and be redefined. love is not a straight line. love does not exist where we perceive it to. love is organic. love can grow and die.
romantic love seems to be the most ellusive! how do you go from hand-shakes to hugs to kisses to l.o.v.e? love is always in the last place you looked, because once you find it…don’t keep looking!
ms. piggy and kermit are one of the strongest hollywood relationships. they don’t make sense on paper or pictures…but, it is real.
don’t bother with the world’s opinions of love. create and recreate your definition. use your ten fingers to hold on to this four letter word.