Signs of Friendship

A five hour dinner followed by a 2 hour breakfast the next day. Random You-tube clips of the Chapelle Show and a 3 way conversation on race, religion and relationships. Pinot Noir and a toast to new loves, prolific careers, “dufflebag dogs”, and how if we put all of our travels together, we would have covered most of 6 continents, and how none of us could ever live in Atlanta.

A Heart for Service

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marian Wright Edelman

One of the many benefits of working in and around institutions of higher education, is the general plethora of socio-cultural programming available at most schools. Couple that with an Ivy-League nametag and you’ve got out of this world speakers, performers, artists and events. Everything from seeing Barrack Obama on the treadmill at the gym, to hearing Marian Wright Edelman’s MLK day keynote address.

As a contemporary/mentee of Dr. King’s, she pushed for the Poor People’s Movement, though Dr. King (and Bobby Kennedy) were both assasinated before the event (a march and “tent-in” on Washington, DC), Mrs. Edelman still saw fit to gather the troops, personal safety-be-damned, and mounted the attack on poverty which, of course, still continues today.

She spoke for an hour and a half, and if she’d kept on for another hour and a half, we would have all remained, rapt, inspired and called to duty.  She pointed out that King’s words still ring true. That injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice/freedom everywhere.” I loved her point that the gauge of a society’s morals is how it treats it’s children.

I forget sometimes what an honor it is to be an educator, maybe not in the traditional sense, but as someone who fights for higher education for populations who have not long had access and still face barriers, as a mentor, program director and coach. My heart beat warm in my chest, because I’m not alot of things, but I care, and I have a heart for service.

Check out the work Mrs. Edelman and her crew are doing over at the Children’s Defense Fund (which she founded and where she coined the phrase “No child left behind”). Whatever you stand for, whatever you fight for, whatever you’re passionate about. You count. Everyday there are people who can’t do, counting on those of us who can.

MLK Jr

The road is long, and the battle is not yet won, equality eludes us on many fronts. But let’s take a moment and rejoice (versus debate) the fact that in the running for President of the most powerful nation on earth, we have choices. A man of color, a woman, a devout Mormon, a former NY mayor with a lisp and a whole cast of characters that Thomas Jefferson is probably rolling in his grave over. The only way that this presidential race could be more hilarious is if Tom Cruise-azy threw his hat into the ring. And I’m sure Dr. King would raise and eyebrow, but he would wholeheartedly support the right of each man (or woman) to pursue his destiny.

But let us not forget that he also said let freedom ring from EVERY mountain top, not just the ones encapsulated in North America, so let us remember our duty to the rest of our global bretheren and fight for the rights of all men, women and children, here at home and abroad. Ubuntu, is the word that Desmond Tutu would use here…it means basically, that I am, because you are. 100 years ago neither women, nor people of color could vote. Can you imagine what we can do in the next 100 years? Me either, but I’m excited by the possibilities.

Evidence of a Life Well Lived, or Debauchery..

Things that Actually Came Out of People’s Mouths:

  1. The first time I went to jail…
  2. Did anyone’s underwear come off?
  3. Work is like school without the chocolate milk, the playground and the nap. School pretty much rocked.
  4. New love is like a Slimfast shake, it’s probably healthier than what you had before, but you’ll probably be looking around for something that’s no good for you in a couple of hours.
  5. I love you, and I would bail you out of jail, but we can’t be discussing why we have to throw away your bloodstained shirt.
  6. All Black people receive Mary J. Blige’s cd’s as soon as a new one comes out…it’s one of the perks.
  7. I don’t want to marry her, but she doesn’t need to know that!
  8. Yeah, if you ever want to get lucky, don’t say that. In fact, silence is sexy.
  9. My idea of a perfect relationship is from 6-10. No, not people, 6-10pm. Dinner, wine, listen to a little NPR, then s/he has to go home. No rolling around in my 400 threadcount sheets.
  10. She’s crazy, and I mean crazy crazy, not the good kind of crazy!

Things that Actually Came Out of My Mouth:

What I said: It’s good to hear your voice

What I meant: I miss you

What I said: I miss you

What I meant: I wish you were here

What I said: I wish you were here

What I meant: I wish you were here right now

What I said: That sounds interesting

What I meant: That sounds terrible

What I said: I think we can make that happen

What I meant: Call me when you figure that out

What I said: You owe me $79.00

What I meant: Where’s my moolah punk?

 

 

 no reservations

[1] Thanks for all of your kind words and thoughts for my family. Everyone is hanging in there. The final “home-going” service was beautiful and it was bittersweet to spend so much time with uncles, aunts and cousins that I don’t get to see often. I don’t want to go too far down this road or I’ll be hiccuping and crying, hungover off of shots of tequila, singing “Circle of Life” with fried chicken crumbs all over my sweatshirt. No, no internets you do not want to see that!

[2] So, ye old blog is officially 2 years old today. A special shout-out to my blog-mother, Erica. Who needs to um, update her blog…. Now that I’m back from hiatus and refreshed, I want to do some upgrades around these here parts and expand the scope of the blog a bit.

I’m not 100% sure what that means yet, but keep an eye out for a new look around here and if anyone knows a talented web developer that can help me out…shoot me a note. I’m deathly afraid of altering anything for fear of losing my archives. I am that brand of narcissist that actually likes to go back and read my own stuff, there I said it. Suck it!

[3] One of the most beloved gifts I received this year was Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. This is the book that I want to write, well, obviously he’s written this one, but something like this, that combines my minor talent for words, my sketchy photographic ability and my love for food with my absolute passion for walking around the planet asking everybody else what they’re doing.

My book will be loosely titled: With Some Hesitation: A Crazy.Black.Chick Stops by for Dinner. What do you think? Blockbuster right?!

You have to love a self-described “tall, goofy, white guy” who unabashedly drops “F” bombs and “Mother@#$@” all over the place. This ain’t your momma’s cookbook! It’s not a cookbook at all. it’s 1/4 food porn, 1/4 travel tales, 1/4 sentimental sap and 1/4 beautiful photos. I heart it so much that I want to sleep with it under my pillow.

[4] Has anyone else noticed that most everyone nowadays is anti-resolution? I am down with that. I haven’t made a resolution (for new year’s) in years. But I do have themes that have served as the catalyst for the last few years. As my dreams and goals for 2008 make themselves clear, I’ll share them here. I began by thinking, “how in the world can I top 2007?” and I realized that at 34.8 years old, I don’t have to.

So, what are your resolutions/non-resolutions? I really wanna know.

Parent’s Parents, ii

 

 

Crying, originally uploaded by funchilde.

She’s gone. Thanks for all of your prayers and kind thoughts for my Mother’s Mother. She passed yesterday as if to say that a new year held no appeal for/to her, she’d had enough, seen enough, done enough. My heart aches for my mother and her siblings.

I hope 2007 treated you well and that 2008 is the year that your dreams come true. Nobody deserves it more than you do, so be the star of your own show and the captain of your own ship. Be the center of your universe and the superhero in your story. Be the sun in your blue sky and the moon in your inky midnight. Be you…fully, wholly, unabashedly, hope-drenched, dream-tranced, blinded by optimism, choose your own adventure, love-filled….you. And get better at it every.single.day. Nobody deserves it more.

XO, 

Dia