The Here and Now

06/25/2017
by: Cleopatra Christopher

Life takes you places. In six months, I have learned to live and right now I’m exactly where I’m meant to be. I am excited about life, I’m full of hope and from my cup an abundance of youthfulness runneth over. It’s the moments, the spontaneous or carefully thought out [dwivs] , the fun nights out with friends, the memorable and life changing dates, the people, the sun, sand , sea, restaurants, the music… the smells. The here and now is the best, there’s no time like the present, and I’m taking it in. In six months I’ve gotten closer to me, made new friends, smiled more, gotten more productive and precise, and I’m one step closer to starting my career and doing the things I feel will impact positively on the lives of others. A few things are still missing; however, and I can improve in so many ways, but for now I just want to “live”.  I want to live a life that’s rich and full, I want to travel , learn, grow and glow. I want to make the best of my time here.

We lose friends everyday, some have lost their way, others have fallen through the cracks of a system that sometimes deliberately chooses to forget about you, while others have passed on leaving only memories of their faces, smiles and the sound of their laughter as we remember their short time here on planet Earth . So R.I.P to Half- Man, you have lived and your life is a reminder to us to live, to be rich in spirit, to be grateful and to be humbled by the smallest of things, and to be happy and full of goodness.

“So tonight I represent the guy with the money who lives fast, but baby don’t die young… tonight just go all the way with me.” ~Nonso Amadi- Tonight

 

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My Day with Mr. Gill

So I land in Barbados after an eight-hour flight from Gatwick, London after having been delayed in Copenhagen due to a snow storm, and so I had to run from Gatwick’s South to North Terminal at lightning speed so I wouldn’t miss my international flight. Oh and guess what the handle on my suitcase became dysfunctional, it wouldn’t lift, so I had to hold on to the pretty floral cloth that I used to identify my worn out, traveled out bag and lug it across the airport floor. Man, over the holidays in Denmark I put on like 10 lbs, I swear I lost 4 lbs that day. Anyway fast forward,  lol started from the bottom now we’re here, I heaved a sigh of relief as a made it to my gate, “British Airways 003183 , now boarding economy class, duh the only class I could possibly be sitting in at 19, so I got on board , didn’t get a window seat like I did with all my other flights, but ended up sitting next to a Grenadian  working in Barcelona on a cruise ship returning home for a visit, Sheldon Buckmire, man was he great company for the duration of the flight. It was rich meeting someone else from the “lesser” of the Antilles.

Anyway jet lagged, hungry and in need of some warm Caribbean sun, I arrived in Barbados (Rihanna Accent). Aunty Flora, a family friend picked me up, she put my stuff in the trunk and off we went to her humble abode in St. Michael’s Parish. It was there that I met her husband, he was a blind, bajan artist, wheelchair bound and tattooed with pigmentation from vitiligo. He had lived in London and had sold a number of his artworks to the government of Barbados. I tell you he was so rich in thought, in character in knowledge in belief and so we sat and talked for hours about art, poetry, music, culture, blackness. He had known racism, radicalism and had loved Nikki Giovanni, James Berry, Michael Anthony and Andrea Levy as much as I did. We only had a few hours, but he seemed to take a liking to me. He trusted me enough to take good care of copies of his artwork. He was so kind, the way he was reminded me of how I hoped to be in old age, firm, patient,very passionate, wanting to impart knowledge on youth, and sure of myself and the majority of the decisions I’ll have made.

So here goes, song of choice : Nina Simone – Ain’t Got No, I Got Life

So Into You

I wish you could hear my morning, birds chirping, chicks clucking, mangoes falling, leaves rustling, cats meowing, dogs barking and prayers being prayed as the yellow sun rises to a gleaming Caribbean sunny. It’s the type of morning that makes you think, “it’s a beautiful day to be alive, and a beautiful day to save lives.” Therefore, you pray an extra prayer for the less fortunate, you feel slightly more grateful for what you have and where you are in life, and you feel more positive about the day ahead. Today I feel really mellow, I don’t want much, I don’t have the urge to say much, I just have a few tasks that need to get done, and I pray that they all get done in good time.

[Ms. Cleo you is perdy, you is beautiful, you is smart, and today you is a child of God, be fearless , let nothing remove the glimmer of hope that still exists in your eyes, you can do it.]

And today, I press forward, all my insecurities, disappointments and feelings of doubt shall be left behind, I’ll sweep them out before I take off so that when I come home, they don’t creep up on me while I am alone.

So have an awesome day, whatever battle you’re fighting, take it to God , you are awesome, and amazingly special. Sing this song to yourself, Be so into you. Tamia – I’m So into You -DTwinz Cover

At a Price

By: Cleopatra Christopher

J. Cole- Neighbors

What do you value?
What do you want?
Who are you?

Sometimes I don’t know
I feel like I’m a poem
stuck in between the riveting drama and lapses in prose
I want happiness,
Freedom
A place to call my own
I want to feel comfortable
Not like an Aspie, you know an introvert

So what are you doing about it?
What changes have you made?
Have you decided to go to burger king?
You know, have it your way!

Fam I’ve been tryna make a turn
But my boy just ain’t come thru’
Like I need to get my own shit poppin’
Let me catch a ride with you
I’ll holla back,
Give me till like twenty twenty-two (2022)

You know you’re super cool Love
Ain’t never met a girl like you
So swift, so swift
Nikki Giovanni would be so proud of you

But still it’s never that easy
And I often question who I am
I switch from tomboy to girly-girl
From nature lover to nerd
From artsy chick to doing comedy skits
I’m far out, I act like I run the six
I’m a Muslim singing Christian hymns
I’m confused it’s like I love him,
but I dislike his cockiness, his arrogance

I want to focus
I need to focus
I’m sorry for my impatience,
My impracticality,
My longing for love an intimacy
I’m sorry I’m so erratic,
but I’m generally ecstatic when I see you
When I see it,
I go weak in knees when I feel my accomplishments…
slip!
I long for the bitterness that drips from toil
So I can truly enjoy the fruits of my labour
So if it comes too easy
I don’t want it
If it tastes too good from the get go,
It most probably isn’t worth it
Therefore, neither do I want it nor do I value it
And as such that is the definition of who I am.
I need strife and war and struggle and heartache to be satisfied
To feel full, I need a little less of you ,
And a lot more of me.
I need to work hard if I am ever going to be happy.

Update on my life: Taking a break from social media , 2 week Hiatus, I am in silence. 

Carnival Time: Letting go

So here it is , this year I took to the streets at 2 am for an epic “powder fete” , followed by my first ever J’Ouvert. For the non-Caribbean folks , J’Ouvert is a massive street jam starting at the break of dawn to mark the beginning of carnival. It’s at this event you see all the group masqueraders dressed as witches and vampires, priests and serial killers, and of course in costumes that serve as social commentary. Furthermore,  one can also expect to see the sexy ladies who lay their burdens down as they “roll that boom boom”, in “pumpum shorts” that leave absolutely nothing to the imagination, Triple Kay Band- Roll that BoomBoom .  And in my island, Dominica, it’s go hard or go home, so of course , we couldn’t simply wait for 4am to start the fete , so from 2 in the morning we were fogging up the place, dancing and jumping, getting warmed up for what was to come. Machel Montano- The Fog .

And if I am to be honest with myself, this year carnival had a different feel for me, I saw my friends, revelers , children , myself and tourists alike really “letting go” . The release of tension, worries and inhibitions as immoral as it may sit with a lot of hearts  was something  that really spoke to me. I tend to always keep a conservative air about myself, but I couldn’t help but feel free this year to just enjoy life and live in the moment. There were so many people around me who seemed to care less about what people thought about their looks , what they we wearing , and how they behaved. I saw eyes that were near zenith, heard voices that screeched as loud as that good kush and alcohol, as I myself had a chance to delight in the taste and after effects of  refined corn crop. It was an experience worth having and one I would gladly do over again.. well maybe next year, so he better not tie me. Asa Bantan- Tie Me

Revelation

“When shit hit the fan is you still a fan ? Won’t you look to your left and right , make sure you ask your friends.”( Kendrick Lamar, Mortal Man)

And so the cookie crumbles, with that being said, I have no choice but to step out again, I seem to have missed the mark , miscalculated , misinterpreted , jumped the gun , put the left foot in the right shoe, and all my buttons in the wrong holes. And yes, I do admit that I feel like an idiot. I believe in divine decree , but all I can hear is Bryson Tiller playing in the back of my mind , “I am on a whole ‘nother level , girl he only fucked you over cause you let him ” Bryson Tiller, Don’t , but as with all fresh wounds , we must lick them sooner than later if we are to heal properly.

However, it’s always interesting how we only listen to our guts when we’re almost starved to death. And in the same breath we try to feed our empty souls which we have long forsaken, and forgotten also need to eat. Nevertheless , there comes a time when we must make like newborn vampires and feed. So let me be positively annoying and say , the bright side is , “the rest is still unwritten.” Natasha Bedingfield- Unwritten

 

New Beginnings

Generic , played out , overused ; I know. But yet for some reason I just can’t help but feel the need to open up about my fresh start. I’m stepping into myself , the whole outer body, from the outside looking in perspective , has been far from ideal , but for a long time has served as a major part of my identity . I tend to keep the door closed , the curtains down and the notifications off and before the past year I was somewhat content with living on the corner of hermit and homebody. However, this year is different , and I think working and meeting some new people have brought about this change . Like Wale would say , “I like the person that you are , but I’m in love with person that you have potential to be” (Ambitious Girl) , and right now I’m like a ball at the top of a hill, my gravitational potential energy is at its highest. I have transformed again and again, trying to fit the mold that each new person has come with crafted for me. I’m ready to just fit into my own god given mold. So this year I’m getting my shit together , dressing the way I want , doing the things I love, spending time with the people who matter and keeping my space positive. I’m staying ready.

Jhene Aiko – Stay Ready ft. Kendrick Lamar