Category Archives: 2021

The Rumor Mill

Some may remember Paul Simon’s hit song,  “50 Ways to Leave your Lover,” from the 70’s.  Well here is a list of ways to attempt to diminish a black woman in modern times, even during the stresses of  Covid.

First, you circulate a rumor and say that she is really a man, though you had not heard that one.  Until, the children that you are trying to teach how to count and read ask you if it’s true?  “Are you really a man?”  You think or you don’t think.  You just try to get through the day before you let that one seep in too deeply.  Whew!

Then while in the schools, with breaks being few and far between, your co-workers have a coordinated effort in place to block all toilets before you reach the door.  Perhaps they have also heard the rumor.  If you are lucky enough to get inside the washroom, there is an incessant, earth-shattering bamming on the door as if the Walls of Jericho are falling down.

If you still are not shaking with rage or seething, how about circulating the rumor that you are a prostitute. When you take a walk or go to the athletic club, old, crinkled, wrinkled men walk up to you grinning as if they are about to make a “pick-up.”  How offensive!

Still surviving and thriving?  How about the neighbors overhead stomp throughout the apartment for hours as they go from room to room over the past years?  If you complain, there is a dismissive tone because another rumor says that you are bi-polar.  Hadn’t heard that one either! But with that one being placed on your head, nothing you say really matters. It’s like , “Ugh-huh; ugh-huh.”

Headache, yet?  Well, lastly, when you run your bath water or turn on the shower, the woman upstairs’ non-working, live-in boyfriend, who is on the property illegally, hears you.  Oops!  He immediately rushes to the bathroom and starts his shower as if you are showering with him.  A vicarious thrill to him, you suppose.  But a most sickening thought indeed.

If this exhausts you, then imagine what it is like living it day in and day out; hour after hour.  All of these well-orchestrated attempts to degrade someone that they do not know. But you whisper like Maya Angelou, “And still I rise,” and you vow, this too shall pass.

Lynn M.
June 1, 2021

Still Early!

It is still early in the New Year of 2021. We still have plenty of time to plan to make this a better year. We realize that we cannot control the events surrounding us, but we can become better at choosing our reactions to things. 

A former supervisor once reminded us to be ‘less reactive.’  Calm is the key and as we seek low-key responses to world events, we grow and gracefully stretch into our futures.  

We could develop some I Will statements and place them around our living quarters. These could serve as daily reminders to stay positive as we jumpstart our new year. Afterall, it is not too late because it is still January! 

Here are some suggestions: 

  • I will treat others better. 
  • I will be less judgmental of others’ decisions. 
  • I will not let other people’s choices bother me as much. 
  • I will lean towards a peaceful coexistence and pull away from unnecessary conflicts. 
  • I will try to accept instruction from others, when warranted. 

Then, try pushing the pause button. We should compare what we were thinking and feeling this time last year to how we see things now. I bet there has been a drastic adjustment! 

We have grown. We will continue to grow. What used to be a source of irritation is almost gone. Yes! So, we vow to forge ahead and emerge as a more undaunted, whole-souled person ready to flow through the world! 

Lynn M.                                January 23, 2021 

Clearing Vision

It’s time to take off the rose-colored glasses and see things as they are!  We often refuse to clearly see and sometimes squint when the blinding lights of truth roll upon us.

Perhaps, like a stingray, the truth hurts too much.  It is easier to flap down our blinders as commercial horses do and pretend that the painful affronts are simply not happening in real-time.

Our childhood brains hide and say, “How could this be?”  Could anyone be this mean and dark-spirited?”  Then, our second childhood self cries out the unanswerable question, “Why?”

After going through all of that, we safely remove stinger after stinger as reality slowly seeps into our cloudy glasses of water.  We quietly admit that there were several red flags posted along the way though we did not want to see those traits flaring up along the journey.

After languishing a while and admitting the inevitable, we wipe our tears, stop shaking our heads and say, “Okay.”  As Ray Charles said, “It is what it is.”  Or, it may have been James Brown; but both men profoundly called life as each saw it.

We start pouring cleansing waters into our glasses darkly and begin walking towards the newness of life.  We add a check mark by that subject matter and whisper “I get it.”

We calmly gather our things, move on and do not bother to look nor glance back.  We sing a little happy tune under our breath filtered with the lyrics, “Your loss.  My gain!”

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Maya Angelou

Lynn M.

January 9, 2021