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Early Arrival

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I had this day planned: I’ve already taken off from work, knew what time I would wake up (4am) and even knew snippets of what would be included in my blog post that day. Problem is this day arrived a week early, in the middle of class. So I am left to ask what happens when we have an early arrival?

There I was sitting in class listening to the lecture. I began to feel a pain in my chest. I started jotting down little notes in the margins of the page in hopes of identifying what I was feeling. Was it all the recent events happening outside of school? Was it a very recent and odd encounter with a classmate? Was it that we just took a quiz and I was ambivalent about my preparation and how well I did? My mind kept spooling as the tears began to fill my eyes.  I immediately thought to myself “oh no, not here … anywhere but here and surely not now!” I got up, went to the restroom: quick cry and deep breaths. It is happening right here and right now …. I am grieving. I am feeling a deep, desperate pain. I am mourning. Back to class and I am struggling to hold back tears for the rest of our session. On to chapel. And there I am as we sing This is a Day of New Beginning. How fitting for the occasion. Our speaker then talked about what I consider to be a very sacred and incredibly profound ritual that he engages in each year: writing a letter to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Note to self: I think that’s a great idea; I will begin writing my own annual letter to my special person. The soloist gets up to sing “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around” and I think I am going to lose it. We proceed to sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and I can barely see the people around me because my eyes are so full. By the time we clasp hands and sing “We Shall Overcome” I am done. Or undone.

After many hugs and brief words of encouragement as my peers and classmates hustle along and after one incredibly personal and timely conversation, I am in a room with over 20 other women all gathered in this space to encourage each other and to pray. As our leader guides us in prayer, I hear sniffles, moans and cries all across the room. In that very moment – instigated by the aforementioned conversation – I am reminded that although the finite details of our lives may differ, we are inextricably connected on so many other levels.

As I sat in my Buddhism class, the lecture meant something different to me today. Mindfulness. Peace. Inner peace – yes, I am searching for inner peace in this moment. And after class when my classmate led me to a private room so that she could pray with and for me I began to reflect on the day’s occurrences. How everything – every person in close proximity, the lecture, the speaker, the hymn, the songs, my prayer partner – was all very timely. Very appropriate. Very necessary for THIS day. So then I am left to ask what happens when we consider some thing, someone, some event … an early arrival when it or they really are right on time.

To Carter 

Like Them …

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duplicates

I have been inspired …. so here is another poem (2 on my blog so far … I’m doing good) 

I wanna be like them
Walk like them
Talk like them
Dress like them
Flex like them

I wanna move like them
Groove like them
Kiss like them
Reminisce like them

I wanna hug like them
Make love like them
Prance like them
Dance and romance like them
I wanna be just like them

But then I realize that I am me
And they are them
Our missions are not the same
Nor are our dreams
So I let go of being like them
And embrace being me
No longer am I trying to be … like them

thanks for inspiring me … GN

To Be a Delta …

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Lady_Fortitude350

 

I am beat … which means I probably shouldn’t try to create a post at this time, but I want to share my reflections while my thoughts are still fresh.

I spent the last four days in Washington, D.C. for the centennial celebration of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. I never imagined what it would be like to be in the company of over 12,000 (predominantly) African-American women who all share one of many commonalities: of all the organizations, all the civic groups, all the clubs in the world we chose Delta!

I could revisit what some of you may have read in other posts, including a list of notable members of our sorority. Or the rich history in which our organization was founded. Or the plethora of ways that we are changing the world every day through service projects. But instead I will briefly reflect on just a few Deltas who have impacted my life.

My cousin was the first to introduce me to sorority life on the campus of Benedict College.  She planted the seed for both college life and sorority life. When I started my own journey at Morris Brown College, there were 3 Deltas on the Student Government Association; one of whom was in my Speech Communications class and remains a very special Delta to me. My two RA’s who took me under their wings, loved on me and helped me start my journey at MBC would also become Deltas – and my line sisters! And another special Delta woman who took me out for lunch at Busy Bees Restaurant the summer after my freshman year and continues to support and inspire me in more ways that she knows.  During my sophomore year, I shared the homecoming court as Miss Sophomore with Miss Morris Brown – also a Delta. While I was away at Peace Corps, one Delta woman wrote to me and sent me music and videos. It was a also a small group of Delta women who would pick me up from the airport to spend quality time with me during a brief layover in Atlanta on the way to my grandfather’s funeral. When I returned from Peace Corps and started graduate school, I met a lot of amazing women. But it was two special Delta women who were constants in my journey then and now. When I moved to Las Vegas and didn’t know a single person, the Delta alumnae chapter paired me with sorors who became my angels and best friends during my stay there. And when I moved back to Atlanta, it was and continues to be my line sisters who remind me of the courage, strength, wisdom, diversity, persistence, resilience and beauty found within my sorority.

Over my four days in D.C. as we volunteered, cried, danced, sang, prayed, laughed, strolled, and ooop’d … I was reminded of the beauty of being a Delta woman. For those of who are not members of a Greek letter organization, this may not make sense. But for me it was an unforgettable experience – to see a sea of black, red, white, crimson, cream (depending on the day and event) all in one place celebrating 100 years of sisterhood, scholarship and service. I will never, ever forget this past weekend.

And on today – one day after our centennial celebration and one day before classed start – I must say that this weekend reminded me that so much has been done, but there is still so much left to do. I was reminded that it is great to have fun (and have I had my share of celebration during my break :-)), but – at least for some of us – a life of service and giving is the ultimate reward. And that no matter how far we are apart, we are bound by our commitment to something(s) greater than ourselves … a commitment on which our founders stood … a commitment that our legacy upholds. Sisterhood. Scholarship. Service.

I’m Committed

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Commitment Pic

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s a New Year :). With resolutions looming over of our heads, the truth is that many of us – most of us – will fail terribly at keeping them. Don’t be dismayed, there are several ways we tend to handle this “failure.” Some will throw in the towel and vow to start again … next year. Some will hopelessly solicit the help of others to get them back on the bandwagon and start all over again. And some will remain … committed. Each and every day they will remain committed. In spite of the setbacks, failures, missteps and shortcomings – they will remain committed. I am in this last category.

I have long since given up New Year’s resolutions due to the process being incredibly daunting, unrealistic and overwhelmingly disappointing. A laundry list of to-do’s that I should magically start on January 1st??? NOT!!! But this year I am something different: not as extreme as having no resolutions and not on the opposite end of having too many tasks/goals/ideals that I could never realistically be successful. This year I have decided to recommit each day. I decided that I would take 3, 4 or 5 days to clean my house instead of 1. I decided that I might not work out until the 7th or the 8th, but I will work out. I may not juice my first meal until classes begin, but I will juice. This year I decided to commit to the process … each and every day I commit and recommit and recommit all over again. It’s the journey, not the destination … right.

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