Living In The Now

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As an artist, I was always taught that the job of an actor is to find and maintain a  state of truthfulness on the stage. To experience stage life for the first time, moment to moment, night after night.

Off stage, I live out my real  life as a mother everyday. Most of my moment to moment realities consist  of worrying how to pay the bills on time, making the groceries stretch,   researching middle schools, basketball games, cheerleading practice and keeping my head over water in efforts to preserve my artistic self in the process.

Once you are born an artist, you are always an artist. I took a pregnancy pause from acting that has turned into a five-year hiatus. Now that Soleil is in school I have space and opportunity to pursue the craft, yet I never seem to move forward. Why haven’t I taken any action in getting a new headshot or return to class.  My  mind has convinced me that I am waiting to lose more weight, but my spirit  confides that I am plagued with my own inner insecurities. Was the hiatus too long?  Am I too old?  Do I still have “It”.

I have dreamed of becoming a  well established writer. Writing was my muse as early as second grade. Although I enjoy writing blogs, I often find myself reading through manuscripts of unfinished literary pieces, waiting to collaborate into  a book of memoirs. I am the beautiful run on sentence in desperate need of a period so that one chapter doesn’t flow into another.

As a mother and an artist I often feel like a hamster on a wheel, always ending up in the same place. I start comparing my life to those whom I went to school with, their accomplishments and prestige.  In the process I dig myself deep  in a  dark  hole. They say  it’s always darkest before the dawn. My morning light crept through the crevices one September weekend.

It was a weekend planned with the usual itinerary, a basketball scrimmage and AAU tryout for Vaughn and open house for the YMCA for Soleil.

The best part of being a parent is watching your child reach higher levels of greatness in pursuit of their dreams. That day, I watched Vaughn in awe, as  he played an exemplary game in basketball. He embodied the grit and grim, the urban flair of  street ball I grew up on, in the concrete basketball courts of my neighborhood.

Earlier that morning, his father had a last-minute coaching session with him over the phone. He told Vaughn that he needed to work on being a scorer.  He stepped into the gym with his game face on and by the end of the day scored twelve points, five assists and a team victory. It was such a defining moment for him. His dad wasn’t privy to see the game due to work, so I felt honored to see him play. I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like if I wasn’t there to see it. He was like my acting teacher’s instructions. His mind, body and soul was invested in the game, moment to moment.

After the victory, we took Soleil to get her face painted. She sat patiently as the artist’s brush created pink lines across her cinnamon skin. When she rose from the chair, she was the epitome of happiness. Such a small gesture meant the world to her. Face painting was followed by a hip hop class where Soleil promptly kicked off her shoes and eagerly learned choreography. I video taped the moment of course, like the proud momma I am!  Soleil was dance, from her head down to her tiny bare feet.IMG_3757

On Sunday, Vaughn  played phenomenally and earned himself a spot on a AAU  team, this time the whole family was there to support him.  He mastered crossing over and made a tear drop left hand lay up to the basket.

We spent the remainder of the day in Brooklyn connecting with my spiritual sister. Being back in New York, the place I was born and breed grounded me. In route, Soleil began blending sounds into words, a major break through moment!

IMG_3770Underneath the Brooklyn bridge I sat and reflected on the weekend. Snuggled in my jacket from the unusual chilly weather, I was in a state of complete happiness and felt whole. Being present in my children’s lives that weekend had filled up every crevice and empty space.  It was then that I gained clarity.  I realized, there would be always be bills as long as there would be credit cards. There would be always be doses of  mayhem in the midst of the joys of  raising two children.

In regards to artistry, it  is a gift. It is selfish to measure or define it by the outcome, the prestige or accolades. Artistry is measured by the process, the journey. My  life is my  own personal journey with roads distinct for everyone. When I experience bumps in the road  I will acknowledge that everything has a season. Most importantly, I will lend my creative talents and vision throughout my everyday life and circumstances, when I guide my son through the creative process of writing or when I teach in public schools.  In my determination to never give up on my artistic goals and pursuits one thing is clear.

I will never see any of dreams come into fruition if I continue to live in the lack.

Living in the lack takes away from the value of the moment to  moment realities of the beautiful things in life. There will be bouts of self-doubt, fear and inadequacies but the key to it all, is not being consumed by it.

Living in the lack takes away from the value of the moment to moment realities of the beautiful things in life, the most important, are my children. That weekend all my children needed was me. My presence didn’t cost me anything or accrue any debt, instead it filled a void. My biggest lesson was to stop living in the lack, and live in the now. Soleil’s first hip hop class, Vaughn’s scrimmage victory, hearing my daughter read for the first time. Those are beautiful precious things, the now, that I can never get back.

                                                            The living moment is everything.

                                                                                           –    D.H. Lawrence

                                                               What seeds have you reaped today?

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The First Week of K and 5

get-attachment (8)In many ways, starting school is the first time life begins for us. It is our first milestone of independence into a world that we have to navigate with our own eyes. A world that requires us to take what we’ve learned in the comfort of our home and apply to a bigger universe, the outside world.

I attended kindergarten at Public School 5 in the South Bronx. I walked into a warm and vibrant classroom each morning ready for a new adventure. I remember strengthening my motor skills by coloring, then guiding my scissors to cut around the curvy black lines of an oat tag cut out. My reward for hard work was eating vanilla wafers at a beige desk with my name taped across the top of it. Although all other details are either too blurry or obsolete, one thing is for certain, kindergarten nurtured my love for learning, a love that has remained throughout my life.

These thoughts and childhood memories all came rushing back to me as I walked my daughter Soleil through the doors of her school and into her first day of kindergarten. It was a four-year journey around the circle of life. It seemed like just yesterday I released my son’s four year old hand into a stranger’s in the hopes that their love and care would reciprocate my mine. Now, I was relieving this moment again and I relished in it. Soleil was my baby, there would be no more. The finality of it made the day that more bittersweet. She was no longer a baby. She was now a little person who grew more and more into herself each day. I had  reached the final transition from breast-feeding and diaper changing into a growth spurt of independence between myself and my daughter.

Soleil's first day of kindergarten!

Soleil’s first day of kindergarten!

Through out the day I felt apprehension over  Soleil adapting to life outside of the watchful eye of mommy. I worried if she ate all her snack, f she engaged in class, or let a bigger kid skip her on the lunch line. In my slight state of mommy paranoia  I e-mailed her teacher and asked for an update of her progress. Her feedback was a relief, Soleil was a pleasure in class and her transition into kindergarten was a smooth one. I wait for her to sashay off the bus and hurry into the living room to complete her pasting and coloring homework assignments. Her tasks are a refreshing departure from my son’s fifth grade math riddled with obtuse angles, decimals and fractions. I smile to myself as she studiously colors inside of the lines. Through her, I relive all of the sweet beginnings of my childhood. I carefully put away her pictures and preserve them for her keepsakes, just as my mother had done for me.

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I entered the fifth grade through the gigantic doors of Lloyd Garrison elementary school  humming the tune of the Village People’s YMCA.  It was the first of many for me. It was the first time I was introduced to William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The first time I learned cultural dances from around the world in gym class. The first time I learned how to speed walk and for some of us young ladies who reached the  precipice of puberty it was the first time training bras became a trendy fashion accessory. (This precipice didn’t apply to me).  Lloyd Garrison left me fond memories of  belting vocals in the school chorus and sliding down a long, winding  banister in the stairway. Academically, my fifth grade learning curriculum  incorporated the arts into every facet of learning. I was part of a generation where standardized tests and scores existed but your worth as a student wasn’t solely it defined by it.

hello-fifth-grade-for-girls_complete-collection (2)Robin Thicke’s “Thin Line” was at the top of the music charts when Vaughn ventured into fifth grade. He was excited, it was his last year in elementary school and in two months he would enter the realms of a double-digit life, he would turn ten. For Vaughn, fifth grade meant field trips to reservations  and the culmination of the year, graduation in the Spring.

A few days before school, Vaughn’s fifth grade teacher made personal phone calls to all his parent. He was personable and serious about student learning. He assured me that Vaughn would excel academically that he had a good track record of students performing well on standardized tests. Fifth grade isn’t all carefree. For most parents, fall is not only the season for pumpkin carvings but open houses for public and private middle schools. Parents anticipate CMT results, (the state’s standardized tests), they are detrimental to applying for private schools. Within the first week of school Vaughn had an itinerary of homework that he began promptly upon arriving home. The work ethic of fifth grade had definitely stepped up Vaughn’s academic game. My job as his parent is to ensure that he maintains a  healthy balance between academic success and personal development. My fear is that school becomes more of a job than a second home for learning and growth.

After the first week Vaughn seems to be balancing school work and basketball.   He shares with me extensively every facet of what he learned in school each day, he loves the learning process.

As for me, I will open my arms wide and embrace the journey of K and five, the climaxes and hidden curves along the way. I look forward to another year of governance council meetings, parent teacher conferences and school events. In nine months Soleil moves up to first grade and Vaughn moves forward into middle school and a new chapter will be written for all of us.

What seeds have you reaped today?

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Creating Moments

v aughn and soleil bell hopsMy  father was an excellent provider.  He worked hard to give us what we needed and wanted.  Each year he put aside a portion of his earnings for our yearly summer vacations.  We took family trips filled with tri-state and out-of-town excursions. Most of our photographs don’t feature my dad. He was always  behind the camera, capturing moments. My father believed that spending quality time  and creating memories were the roots that held us together as a family.  It also instilled in us a valuable life lesson, although we grew up in the projects in the South Bronx, we weren’t destined to stay there.

My parents were vigilant on us experiencing life outside of our neighborhood. Sometimes we’d take the train into Coney Island, other times we’d take the bus to Orchid beach.  I always remembered the thrill of capturing crabs from  the ocean. I sequestered them inside a plastic cup of water, sand and sea shells. I was an excited voyeur waiting for the crab to slip out of his old shell and into a new one.

My Uncle Roland keeping up with a family tradition

My Uncle Roland keeping up with a family tradition

On many occasions we took small road trips with my aunt and uncle to upstate New York. It was amazing how seven rambunctious kids and four adults squeezed into a station wagon. We’d picnic all day eating sandwiches and fried chicken sealed in aluminum foil. My father and uncle carried on the tradition of taking a picture of each other with their cameras each year.

Two weeks out of the August, we’d travel to my mother’s side of the family in Georgia. In spite of the yearly visit, there was always  a bit of culture shock when we visited my grandmother in the rural part of the state. Within a few days we made a smooth transition from the concrete streets and the window view of Jackson avenue train station to dirt roads, fresher air and pinning our damp garments on the clothesline. No one complained about the steaming grits and cat-fish that greeted us on the kitchen table in the morning but my brothers and I would argue with my cousins over southern terminology, our sneakers were not “tennis shoes!” I was born to be a city girl life but my family gave me a clear understanding and love for my southern roots.

My family at Walt Disney Land

My family at Walt Disney Land

 There were no color barriers when it came to creating family moments. During our trip to Disney Land in the 70’s, we attended a Luau. We were greeted with stares of fascination. We were the only African-American family in attendance. Between my father’s dashiki and my brother’s platinum blond Afros, we weren’t exactly  inconspicuous. As adults we still laugh at the memory of kids asking if my brother’s Afros were real and asking to touch them for affirmation.

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My father and brother

As parents in 2013, family vacations aren’t just a luxury they are essential to quality family time. Throughout  the year we struggle with busy work schedules, basketball tournaments and modern technology. By August,  we all look forward to fun family down time. We don’t travel by plane as I did, we take road trips.This year we stopped at Virginia before our final destination in Georgia. Along the way we created our own family traditions. We listened to Steve Harvey’s morning show pranks with little Tommy in New Jersey, played the spelling game in Delaware and jammed to Parliament’s “Flashlight” while we crossed the Virginia line.

My highlight of Virginia was Busch Gardens amusement park. As a child I loved roller coasters. My fondest memory is not just the excitement and intensity of the drop but riding beside my father. Together we’d wait on lines that seemed to stretch for miles just to experience  60 seconds of adrenaline rush. Riding with my dad made me feel invincible, fearless.

lochness1On our first day in the park I openly  proclaimed that I would not ride anything that went upside down. I was open to any other roller coaster but I didn’t feel up to conquering any with loops. I enjoyed the rides but the feeling was a bit lack luster. Vaughn  approached roller coasters with a spoonful of  apprehension. His glasses were off and his eyes tightly shut.

By day two and a few roller coasters under our belts Dad talked us into riding the Alpengeist, a roller coaster with a 106 foot tall loop, corkscrew and cobra roll. I could sense Vaughn’s apprehension as we grew closer to boarding, I realized that my inhibitions about riding roller coasters with loops had been passed on to him. Before boarding I quickly kicked my flip flops off and gave him reassuring words on our rickety journey upward. I made up my mind that this time I would open my eyes and be present in the moment. Before we plummeted I opened my eyes and I held my arms over my head and when I did, I found that moment that was captured when I was a little girl, the feeling of being invincible, fearless. I kept my eyes open during the loop and embraced the corkscrew. I left the ride feeling so exhilarated, I had inherited the memory of riding with my father years ago. My hope was that I lead by example and Vaughn would leave the roller coaster with a feeling of empowerment from conquering his fear. It turns out he was, and before leaving the park we both rode the Loch Ness Monster with our eyes…. wide open.  We had made a memory, a moment in time that we would never forget just like the one with my father and I.

soleilIt turns out, we weren’t the only ones making memories. Soleil and her dad enjoyed dipping dots after getting her face painted.

We made memories, moments my children will always remember. Memories, what would we be without them. 

       We do not remember days, we remember moments…

                                                 – Cesare Parese

tiger and basketball playerThanks for reaping those seeds daddy!

 What seeds have you reaped today?

Lessons From Cape Cod

vaughn in the poolThis summer was my first trip to Cape Cod. It was as beautiful as I imagined. Earlier in the day I happily perused around the shops and enjoyed the sights with my family. Later on I sat, present in the moment while my children swam and played at the resort. Watching them made me reflect on time and the changing of seasons.

What a difference time makes. Twelve months ago, Vaughn was timid in the water, limited to only ducking his head underneath. One summer later, he was swimming and doggy paddling in the deep end. He had conquered his fear.  My  tenacious one.

Last summer Soleil was my “baby” with big dreams of starting kindergarten. She anxiously recited her ABC song and counted numbers in anticipation. This summer she thrived in the summer start program and overcame her separation anxiety. She learned that growing up meant growing apart. When her ears were pierced, she officially became my “big girl” The tableaux of her sitting through the ordeal with such courage makes me smile.

soleil and the sunTowards the evening the weather became cool  in Cape Cod. Although it was the first week of August I could already hear whispers of fall approaching, an early onset of the change of seasons. I chased after Soleil trying to coax her small shoulders in the arms of her jacket.  She refused, insistent  on climbing the jungle gym feeling the cool air in motion against her sunshine tattoo. She is my free spirit.

I thought back to my own childhood. I was once tenacious and free spirited. I embraced the change of seasons and lived the most in each moment, a stark contrast to how I feel now.

As a child I never learned how to swim.  My aunt tried to teach me once when I was seven at her local YMCA.  I panicked when my head went under and my nostrils filled with water. The experience welcomed a new fear of swimming  and when I never returned to a pool it set in. Now as an adult, the closest I come to swimming is dangling my toes, both in the literal and figurative sense.

I live my life treading water on the shallow end, afraid to submerge my head in the  deep, stretch my arms and legs in the water and swim like my tenacious one. I hide under the comfort of metaphorical sweaters. I hide beneath them during times when the only way to embrace change is to walk through life without sleeves, and feel turbulent winds without cowering away from them.

In witnessing the growth of my children I realize I have a great deal of growing to do myself. I admire Vaughn for overcoming his fear and Soleil’s courage and free spirit but  I don’t have to live those things through my children, I can live them through me.

Each year I feel I am standing in the same place as the year before. My visions move forward but my inhibitions keep me living in hindsight. I must draw inspiration from my children and dive into the deep ends of my inhibitions, surrendering to the currents of change. I must have faith that I already possess everything I need to keep me afloat. It is change that will evolve me into a deeper, stronger version of a woman and a mother.

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us  branches, letting us stretch and grow  reach new heights.

–  Pauline R.Kezer

vaughn and soleil

What seeds have you reaped today?

Sweet Release

pretty in purpleThis year has been the first of many for my four year old daughter Soleil.  Soleil was  born with severe eczema so I was skeptical about piercing her ears as an infant.  To my surprise, one day at age four, she proclaimed her cry of independence in the middle of the mall.

“Daddy I want my ears pierced and I want them pierced today….please!”

“Go ask your mother,” was her dad’s politically correct reply. 

Once the question was posed to me, the realization that my baby was growing into a little girl hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t want to discourage her totally, but I did want to give her food for thought.

“When you get your ears pierced they going to use a piercing gun, it will pinch your ear and may hurt a little.”

“Okay mom,” was Soleil’s reply.

She was adamant about her decision and began pulling me towards the jewelry store. I agreed to the decision but truth be told, I thought once she sat in the chair and saw the piercing gun she would opt out and change her mind.

soleil getting ears pierced

In fact, the opposite happened, Soleil climbed in the  chair and waited patiently, fascinated by the preparation. We stood surrounding her, mommy, daddy and big brother all of us more apprehensive than she. I  watched with bated breath waiting with my camera  in hand. Soleil barely flinched as both of her ears were pierced. Her demeanor was as strong as steel, we were all impressed. In less than ten minutes “my baby” had transformed into a beautiful little girl with silver posts in her ears.

In watching her I had an “Ah Ha” moment, most of my apprehension didn’t stem from the procedure, it came from the realization that my daughter was growing into herself and growing into herself meant a part of her was growing apart from me.

Three weeks  later, Soleil began the Summer Start Program, a program designed to help  four and five year olds make a smooth transition into kindergarten.  Soleil was ecstatic and talked about the program for weeks. The night before we previewed her ensemble as she cat walked down the stairs and across the living room floor. On her first day we all cheered her on in a huddle, mommy, daddy and big brother. At last the moment had come when I had to release her tiny hands into the care of another. It was the hardest thing I had to do. Soleil smiled up at me and then grabbed her teacher’s hand who guided her towards the cafeteria. As much as I pride myself on being a dotting mommy, I can never teach her all she needs to learn  in the world. Giving birth to her makes her mine, but ultimately, she belongs to the universe.

Within the next two weeks, Soleil suffered from separation anxiety. Every morning I showered her with hugs and kisses before leaving her teary eyed at the cafeteria table. As much as I wanted to linger in the doorway thinking of strategies to make it right,  I knew I had to let her go so that she could work through it on her own.  Every afternoon she greeted me during pick up filled with excited chatter about her dance class, practicing her letters and her wonderful master pieces she created in  art class. Soleil is affirmation that if we never let our children go, we stifle their ability to grow.

Growing apart  doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by  side, our roots will always be tangled, I’m glad for that.

– Allie Condie

This summer there were two major milestones but there will be more to come for sure. There will be more  moments of untying the small knots that bond us together, there will be a succession of sweet releases.

      What seeds have you sewn today?

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Pressing Our Noses To The Pane

In childhood we press our noses to the pane, looking out. In memories of childhood, we press our noses to the pane, looking in.                                                             -Robert Brault

get-attachmentThis June, I attended my son’s spring concert. Watching him perform on stage was surreal.  It brought me back to memories of my elementary assemblies at Llyod Garrison Elementary School in the Bronx. The auditorium was adorned with beautiful stained glass windows which gave it a cathedral feel. During school assemblies and performances I wore a crisp white shirt, blue pleated skirt, white stockings and black shoes.  We sang a range of musical  selections  that ranged from the Beatles to Broadway show tunes. The song I remember most was “Body Electric” from the movie “Fame

I’ll look back on Venus

I’ll look back on Mars

and I’ll burn with the fire of ten million stars

and in time and in time we will all be stars”.

Now, here I was watching my child, Vaughn on stage. His eyes frantically searching  through the sea of faces in the audience until they rested  on mine.I remember looking out into the crowd in search of my mother’s eyes and when they found her, they were always greeted with a soft assuring smile. As I sat in the audience, the roles reversed, I understood the origin of my mother’s smile. Watching Vaughn sing was like reliving a piece of my childhood all over again.

After the fourth grade performance the 5th graders took to the stage with a tribute to Motown.  Neither one of my parents were singers but they were both lovers of music.  I grew up on Motown, it was literally the soundtrack to my life.  My father and I would sit on the living room floor for hours listening to Motown greats like the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and Aretha Franklin. My mother would often find me sprawled out on the floor with my ears glued to the speaker. They ached to  hear every nuance and soulful crescendo of the choir in Stevie Wonder’s song “As”. The album cover of “Key Of Life” was as  inscribed in my brain as the hopscotch grid I jumped on with my eyes closed.stevie wonders key

Listening to the Motown tribute was like pressing my nose in the window pane, glimpsing  at snapshots of my childhood memories. When the chorus sang Stevie Wonder’s, Sir Duke, I saw a tableaux of  the third grade. I was standing amongst the chorus next to a piano. In front of me was a beautiful heavy-set  African-American woman who coached us on stage etiquette. “Even if Jesus himself comes through those doors sing and look straight ahead at me” she warned.

jackson fiveI’ll Be There” by the Jackson Five made me reminiscence back to my shiny 45 record of Dancing Machine. I played it on my Mickey Mouse record player, the needle was Mickey’s hand. I played the a song over and over in my bedroom while I practiced my best moves.  On inclement days the 2nd and 3rd graders would battle for the title on the Ponce De Leon  auditorium stage and my goal was to snag it.

When a young soloist belted out Stevie Wonder’s lyrics to “Just Enough for the City”I thought back to my first Black History Month performance at Elijah Clark’s junior high school. I sang a  song I had written inspired by  the book “Stride Toward Freedom” a biography  based on the life of  Martin Luther King Jr. I stood center stage channeling Mahalia Jackson’ s vocal chords and belted out the words a capella.

“The man who never fought with guns or knives

the man who stood up and told the people their rights

he was a stride towards freedom

Yes, he was a stride towards freedom..

Throughout the Motown tribute I sang, clapped my hands and swayed in my seat. I enjoyed the surreal ride through my personal time line. Although the music of Motown was a creative expression of black culture, it had the power to transcend and become a common human experience. The songs of falling in love, lost love and living just enough for the city transcended through time and generations. 

That night was filed with musical potency that brought together diverse cultures and ages under on roof; defying culture and generations. The standing ovation it received at the end of the night proved it was universal.

“Music has a great power  of bringing people together.  With so many forces in the work acting to drive wedges between people, it’s important to prescribe  those things that help us experience common humanity.”

-Ted Turner 

I am grateful Vaughn has such an enriching music program in his school. I don’t know how I would have understood life and the world at large without music. My parents passed down  the gift of music to my siblings and I. Now I must  consciously pass down the love of music to my own children. I want my children’s lives to be impacted and remembered through good music.The sounds of a live band or orchestra, lyrics that told a story and voices of artists that honed their craft.On weekend mornings I wake them up to Motown and old school classics that I grew up on, just as my father did for me. Hopefully I have created a musical traditional that they will pass on.

                          What seeds have you reaped today?

Poetry In Motion

imagesCABCD7X2Every writer has a creative niche, a sacred placed that sparks creativity.  For some it is a quaint coffee shop, for others it’s the fall foliage in Central Park.  For me, it is the Metro North 6:17 a.m. train from Stamford to Fordham.  I am a bit obsessive compulsive when it comes to seating arrangements in the morning. I must sit in the same car, in the same seat each morning or it throws off my whole creative process.

In my mind some of my best works are created on moving trains.

Children are natural creators, they don’t require a condition under which they create. Their perceptions of the world are undiluted by censorship  They are organic and beautiful in it’s simplicity.

One Sunday morning, while watching my daughter play in the bath (her favorite past time) she turned to me and said,

“Mommy there are splish splatters on the wall.”

When I looked closely  I realized she was referring to the water beads on the bathroom tile. I took a moment to really examine the water beads against the pink tile. I was taken back a moment, they really did look like a work of art.  I was equally impressed and inspired by Soleil’s phrasing “splish splatter”.

“Soleil what you said is so beautiful that mommy is going to write that down.”

I ran out the bathroom and returned with pen and paper.

As I was writing the phrase down, Soleil slowly waded through the water on her stomach.

“Look mommy I’m floating.”

I jotted the line down.

Then, a serious four-year old inquiry.

“Mommy is my nail polish waterproof?”

Soleil intensley examined  the water dripping from her pink finger nails spread apart like webbed.

“Yes baby” I chuckled.

That line was definitely going to be in the poem.

“Soleil what do you like most about bath time” I asked

“My rubber duckie and Barbie that swims”

While toweling her off, Soleil frantically ran her fingers through her untamed mane of hair that had not seen a comb nor brush for the past ten hours.

“Mommy look at my afro” she exclaimed

It was amazing, how just expressing what she felt, saw and experienced with such sweet nativity were inspiration for my pen meeting paper.Once Soleil was fully dressed I explained to her that all the wonderful things she shared  I had pieced together into a beautiful poem! Although I wrote it and added some words, the content  was all her own. She sat anxiously on the edge of the bed as I read it to her.

Bath Time

Splish Splatters on the wall

I’m floating

and my nail polish is water proof

I have rubber duckie

and Barbie that swims

My hair is an afro

I love bath time

Unbeknownst to her, she had become a poet, a future Nikki Grimes or Maya Angelou. This poem was the first step into a love for literacy and a hunger for self expression and creativity.

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Sometimes as artists we forget that our best work comes from just being in the moment, expressing what we see, hear, touch taste through our own eyes, in our own voice.  Often times we wait to be inspired, when in fact inspiration is always present waiting for us.

 Inspiration is not conditional, dependent on an exact seat  or locomotive motion. It is found in the stillness of just being. When we are still,  we discover that the simplicity  and beauty of life are within itself, poetry in motion.     

Thanks for the reminder Soleil!