Monthly Archives: November 2019

Mirrors!

It is EnoughIdeas often run parallel like the events in our lives. They travel along side each other like streams. I recently penned a novella called It is Enough where the older characters conclude that life has given them what they need to live a productive life.

While writing it, I took a hiatus from reading other authors as I delved into my own project.  But, the first book I picked up afterwards was Gloria Steinem’s Doing Sixty & Seventy.  I wanted to see what she had to say and where see was in her outlooks and perspectives these days.

I saw her speak during my college years and she influenced my life in myriad ways.  I don’t remember anything that she said specifically but her aura, her presence, her spunk and her resolve all stayed with me.  She seemed so brave as she stood alone on that solitary stage and spoke to those of us who were about to make some important life decisions.

She advocated for women and aligned herself with women’s rights.  Her own mother had given up her career as a reporter after a breakdown and Gloria and her sister Ruth cared for her. In her book biography it states “but those formative years gave Gloria a deep empathy with women whose spirits were broken and whose talents were lost to the world.” (Doing Sixty & Seventy)

Gloria spent a couple of years in India on a fellowship and this gave her a grand opportunity to become an astute observer of people, customs and societies. When she returned home, she had deeper insights and saw things from other vantage points.  Thus, her life work began as a freelance writer and later as editor of  Ms. Magazine.

In Doing Sixty & Seventy, Gloria mentioned that most notable women did their gravest work when they were in their sixties and seventies.  She talked about the suffrage movement and other forms of activism where women championed people’s causes.  She felt that  they were finished raising the children and being the elusive good wife so they had the time and will to do so.

But, after nurturing and giving to others, the wiser ones learn how to slow down and breathe.  She wrote, “What we keep is everything we need to support ourselves.” She currently likes to lose track of time as she lives in the present moment.  She too realizes that life has offered her enough!

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Lynn M.                                                       November 16, 2019

 

 

Thank You!

Thank youIt’s that time of year when we begin to make our slow descent into the holidays. Before things become totally hectic, we can push the pause button and take a look back over the past year. We ask ourselves, “What did I accomplish?” “How did I do?” “Where am I now compared to where I was this time last year?” “And more importantly, am I in a better place emotionally?”

To which of yesteryear’s woes can we honestly echo the famous Rhett Butler and say, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” If the things that caused us grief earlier truly don’t matter anymore, then that is growth. As the adage goes, “If it does not matter to you, then it does not matter.”

After looking over our shoulders, we turn and look at our current surroundings and situations and bow our knees and give a humble thanks. We count our blessings both big and small. We give thanks for our food, shelter and clothing. We take nothing and no one in our lives for granted as we cherish the rich company of those who supported us. We are even grateful for the agitators because they strengthened our resolve in some way as we kept on trucking forward. We now understand that the challenges helped us get to where we are today.

We give thanks for the village that offered both silent and audible cheers as we ran our race. We give thanks for all of our guardian angels both seen and unseen. And most preciously, we give thanks for having the wherewithal to continue to place one foot in front of the other and continue our journeys.

At times, we may have felt as if we were walking in a heavy fog with blinders on, but we give thanks that we stretched out our arms and felt our way forward towards a brighter light. So, we give a big hearty thank you as we hum a tune such as “Through it All.”

Lynn M.                                                                          November 9, 2019

Harriet: A Movie Review

HarrietI saw Harriet on its opening day! Of course, I was somewhat hesitant because I was hoping that is wouldn’t be another slave movie that left my blood boiling. Thank goodness, it gave this awful part of American history the gentle touch. I did not have to watch adults being whipped but we were shown the scars on their backs. That was enough to reveal the effects of that dark chapter.

When the movies opens Minty Tubman (Cynthia Erivo) is a young married woman who is about to be sold further south of Virginia where she lived. She had a terrible childhood injury which left her skull fractured and as a result, she has fainting spells. During these periods of loss of consciousness, she has visions. She is shown things that will occur in the future. She later said that the hole in her head was an opening for God to speak to her.

She keeps dreaming about running away and one day, she decides that it is time. She only tells her father and he advises her to go to the church to talk to the preacher before heading out. Her father also gives her a special keepsake of a whittled head as a good luck charm.

The preacher receives her and tells her to look out for certain landmarks and to follow the Delaware River. He also tells her to follow that Northern Star and  gives her the name of someone who can help her along the way.

She makes it 100 miles away to Philadelphia, which was a free city at the time. With the help of a freedman named William Still (Leslie Odom, Jr.), she starts working and making a living for herself. A year later, she makes her first return to Virginia to get her brothers and a few others. Thus, her mission in life begins.

She follows her visions and returns several times to get others. Then, The Fugitive Slave Law is enacted, and they are forced to move further north to Canada. Over time, she goes back and finally gets her elderly parents and by this time, The Underground Railroad had become much more more sophisticated with more people helping  the runaways. It is said that she helped over 750 slaves escape to freedom and at one point, she commanded a black unit of soldiers during the Civil War.  She lived to be 91 years old.

In the movie Harriet, the acting is so realistic. It was like getting a chance to really know Harriet as a  person. The actors are superb.  A few mentions are the British actor Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom, Jr., Janelle Monae, Vanessa Bell Calloway,  Joe Alwyn and Vondie Curtis-Hall.  The list is endless.

Kasi Lemmons did a phenomenal job as the director of this film. She shared this biopic without awakening emotions of anger or horror. Again, it was great. The plot was great.  The music was great. The scenery was great. And to that point, when it was over, the theatre audience applauded. So there. That says it all!

Lynn M.           November 1, 2019