Monthly Archives: January 2023

Encouraging Mini Me!

The other day, I listened to my Calm App and one of the meditation coaches suggested that we look at pictures of ourselves as a toddler, a young adult and a current one. He asked, “What would you say to your younger self? As he talked about self-care, he reminded us to be gentle, patient and kind to ourselves when things appear to be less than perfect and to take deep breaths as we calm ourselves during trying times.

I studied a picture of myself while seated on a couch with my sisters when I was three and living in Detroit. As I took a closer look, I looked petrified, stymied and my older sister had her arm around me for comfort. I wondered what was going on here. The youngest in families, my position, is often corrected and criticized every step of the way. I thought, “Hmm.” I would walk over to mini me, bend down and whisper in her ear, “It’s going to be okay.”

I then looked at a picture of myself when I was about eight years old. I was posing at a tea which I had attended with Mrs. Anderson and her niece. She was the hairdresser that lived across the street when we lived in Memphis. She had pressed by hair and had to carefully go around an injury from being hit in the head with a brick by the notorious Hunter boys. On another occasion, they had shot me in the eye with a slingshot as I walked down Florida Street. But to my astonishment, my picture exuded confidence. I was the only one who knew the full story behind that picture so I would give her a thumb up and would emphatically say to her, “Good job!”

I viewed a picture of me when I was sixteen and as a bridesmaid in one of my sister’s weddings. I exhibited a sweetness but also an immense naivety in thinking that if I was kind to others, they would also be kind to me. Wrong! On that November day in Chicago, I had no idea of what was in store. Crude and unwarranted rude behaviors were forthcoming like a steamroller. I would worry for her, say a prayer and I would give her a pat and say, “Careful, there. Careful.

I took the meditation coach’s advice a tad further and looked at mini me at the age of thirty-eight, living back in Memphis. By that time, harsh realities had set in, and her pained look is so apparent to me.  Disappointments in love, career and financial struggles had clouded her once highly optimistic outlook. I would walk over to her and take her poised hand and softly say, “Take a deep breath. Breathe out and release all of the toxicity.”

Then I looked at my latest selfie now displaying an evolved me who has become an educator, librarian, published writer and blogger. I smiled back at the latest snapshot and thought, “This woman has secrets. She knows things. She has weathered a few storms and has indeed seen fire and rain. But she is continually coming through quite nicely.” I would applaud her and raise my voice a little and say, “You’ve come a long way, baby!

Lynn M.
January 28, 2023

January ~2023

It’s twenty twenty-three,
We are mentally free!

On this MLK Day?
Serve! Sharing is the way.

As hidden truths explode,
Lies. falsities implode.

Yes, take those higher walks.
Engage in fewer talks.

Just watch all things shift.
With others? Have no rift.

Gently, choose those around.
Let charities abound!

Lynn M.
January 14, 2023

Soul City ~ A Book Review

Toure’s Soul City is a laugh-out-loud satire about black life and the conditions of the people. It goes from moments of hilarity to moments of silence deemed by heart-wrenching truths. Cadillac Jackson is a writer who comes to town to write about the city but is soon too caught up in its daily activities to write the first sentence.

Toure uses aptronyms where the people’s names match either their jobs or personal traits. He has characters such as Spreadlove, Ubiquity, Jiggaboo, Emperor Jones and a host of others as he goes through the spectrum of any town. From city government to the church or to the town’s favorite eatery (a buttered biscuit shop), Toure takes the reader on a thorough ride through Soul City with its fun, pathos and sobering history until the last drop is savored!

Spreadlove is known for his many women who have a blind allegiance to him regardless while the very poor live in Ragamuffin Projects which has been designed to let in minimal light. Loud music is piped through the community and when the speakers malfunction one day, the people are lost and terrified by the silence. They are at total loss and do not know what to do with themselves. Whereas, Jiggaboo has taken such a low role for profit that no amount of therapy can help his self-loathing.

Ubiquity is the town gossip whose entire goal is to garner a shock-effect from her victims, while poor Unicorn is exploited for his physical prowess and ends up taking his own life to put a halt to the pain. Some even voluntarily sign up for The Slave Experience where they live in chains, wear rags and are subjected to beatings for a year. They vow that they can take it for one year, if their ancestors endured it for a lifetime. And then, there is the Reparations check scam where the citizens get the $100,000 deposited into their checking accounts, only to see it constantly diminish in increments, though they had made no withdrawals.

Toure’s bold and unabashed look into the harsh realities of the black condition will cause the reader to laugh-out loud at times. In other moments, the starkness of certain situations may cause the reader to wipe away a slow tear. These caricatures and their daily antics give aha moments, shake-your-head moments and moments of sheer wordless silence.

Lynn M.
January 7, 2023