This is a picture of me climbing the High Temple of Lamanai (a former Mayan city that dates back to 950AD) in Belize a few years ago. While there I saw artifacts that substantiated the claim that Dec. 21, 2012 would be the last day of time. Initially it freaked me out. The end of life… of all life forever?! But then I spoke to some folks living there of Mayan ancestry– Los Mestizos as they are often called and talking to them and also to the Garifuna who also live on the island and are descendants of West African slaves, I quickly learned that the last day of time does not mean the last day of existence. Talking to Ana who worked in Lamanai and Dean who worked at my hotel in Ambergris Caye I discovered that for many of them today would mark the end of a season. Today, they shared, is the last of the days ruled by “false gods, envy, dishonesty and greed.” Today shouldn’t be seen as a day of panic, but as a sacred day of beginnings. Today we should celebrate a new season of change, the possibility of beginning a new path in this journey called Life and we most definitely ought to celebrate making it through the challenging “old times.”
Challenging old times indeed! I can barely find the time or energy to post a blog here lately because I am seriously scrambling (way past grinding). For two months I’ve been desperately trying to make ends meet. Trying to keep my head above water. The more I share about my challenging times with others, the more I’m realizing I’m not the only one treading deep, murky, unfamiliar choppy waters. This year there have been a number of deaths that have stunned the crap outta me. Shook something deep in me. When someone inspires you to be a better writer and they help you navigate a career in social media and you feel she’s one of the smartest, flyest bloggers/ writers you know and she ends her life, it makes you feel so small and so completely lost. And then Superstorm Sandy was like a glass of ice-cold water thrown in the face of so many New Yorkers who believed we were untouchable and would breeze through this storm like we had all of the others. Well she showed us. Shocked us. Shook us. And then last week’s horrific and troubling shooting in Newtown, Connecticut… Oh God. These events have forced us to reevaluate life and made us more human. There is nothing like pain to bring about change.
I don’t believe in all of those doomsday theories, but I do believe the Mayans were onto something brilliant. Today is the Winter Solstice– the first day of winter and the fact that 1000 years ago they knew that today would mark a new ecological season lets me know that they were tapped into something not so random and probably even more complex than a change in weather.
It’s also five days before Christmas and honestly it’s been a struggle for me to get in a festive mood. I’ve decided instead of hanging mistletoe and drinking spiked eggnog, I’m going to look to my Mayan brethren and use this time to listen to my heart and spirit, hopefully get some rest—mental and physical and be that change I keep praying for in my personal and professional life. Now once I get some sleep, clean my house and meditate on all that I want for my life, I wouldn’t mind opening up some gifts. Here are 5 things I want for Christmas.
My Blackberry crashed and for two weeks I haven’t been able to send or receive text messages, which is huge for me. I send more texts than I do emails and phone calls combined. I’ve gotten pissed and really wanted to turn out the Sprint office in Harlem, but it’s a damn phone. Part of finding my peace with hardship is being “like water.” I just change my flow, keep cool and send more emails and make more calls. So for Christmas, and before my Zen energy dissipates, I really would like a new phone. Maybe even an iPhone.
I want “Still Bill” on DVD! The Daily Beast says it’s the “most soulful documentary” and I agree. I think it may actually be the best music doc I’ve ever seen. Bill Withers’ life resonated with me in a very deep way. He reminds me of my father. The fact that they are both from West Virginia is a small yet major detail in the whole scheme of things. I need to have this movie in my collection if only to share with my mom and my aunts who will get so free and happy 20 minutes in when Mr. Withers starts talking bout his grandma and her tambourine.
3.) Digital Camera
I’ve gone two weeks without the full service of my phone, but I’ve gone an entire year without a camera. I dropped it in January and have a warranty, but the company has not been the most compliant. In August I just gave up. I know at some point I’ll get it repaired but at this point that camera is more than five years old and I want a new camera. Specifically I have my eye on this camera but if someone wants to splurge I’d take this one in a heartbeat.
Forget having a little black dress, my homegrrrl Kiani convinced me this past fall that every woman needs a pair of gold shoes. Whether they’re pumps, sandals or flats, gold shoes are the new hotness. And these Phillip Lim gold boots have my name all over them. I hope Santa leaves these under my tree and these patterned Asos pants are the bomb too. Both the pants and boots in one box would make my day.
I’m a huge lover of art and Wangechi Mutu is one of my favorites. This year I had the honor of writing an essay on a performance piece, which debuted at her opening for “
Nitarudi Ninarudi” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects in Cali. I would love a piece of art created by this brilliant sister. This is a favorite and so is this and this one too… I could go on. Her work is more than collage and paint. They are like the book of Psalms. They sing the body electric when you engage with them.