Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Good Lord Grant Me

Dear God. I just want to take each day at a time. I love this prayer. Serenity, courage, and wisdom. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Just Like Mr. Rogers' Shoes...

Sitting in my car changing my shoes, I thought of good ole Mister Rogers. I reminded myself of him, changing into my more comfortable shoes. Boy has my perception of shoes changed. Back in the day, my main concern when it came to shoes: cuteness. Shoes didn't have to fit well or be comfortable. I could walk in uncomfortable shoes all day long and not be discouraged about wearing them again. I would look at others' shoes and be a bit perplexed when their shoe game didn't meet my standards. From there, I would judge them, "Oh Lawd, please don't let that ever be me!" When we were young, a few friends couldn't believe that I could wear heels period, let alone all day. Equating high-heeled, hella cute shoes with youth was my default.

I still remember thinking about my mother's shoes, penny loafers, and wondering how she could wear them for almost every occasion. Now I know, comfort matters. As my thinking transitions from cute to comfort, I find it really hard to balance the two. Comfortable shoes are rarely cute and if they are, they are super expensive or do not fit my feet. All my life my feet have been long and skinny: a Nordstrom, mail-order-custom type of foot. And you know what that means; extraordinarily high prices line the box of almost any shoe that fits my foot and style. 

On the bright side, I have feet to be thankful for. Big, skinny feet that deserve to be comfortable. So, no matter what, I will keep my feet focused on comfort.

Thank you, Mr. Rogers 💙

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Slice of Truth

Be thankful
Dry clothes
Roof over my head
Change in pocket
Full stomach
I am just 
A paycheck from broke
I'm choosing to be thankful

In Nikki Grimes' Garvey's Choice, Manny candid words reflect his struggle with weight in "Slice of Truth". Just as I struggle with weight, I also struggle with money. A friend of mine always says, "things will get better..." and so I hold onto that hope of a brighter financial day. But in the meantime, I will choose to be thankful for what I DO have today. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

You Should Write

My mom is a very special person. When she gives you a compliment, it is a genuine compliment. She doesn't sugar coat a thing.

Today she told me that she loved my writing. She said that I should write a memoir. She said my writing included just the important details. She said it is clear and concise. She said I should write. And then she said it again. Laura Lee, you are a great writer. It meant so much to me.

I think now since my mom said it, I should believe it.

Why Am I Hungry?

Sitting here trying to focus and my stomach is aching for food. The fact that I JUST ate, I am assuming, has absolutely nothing to do with it. Why is it that when you are trying to diet (a.k.a insert any other word you want to... eat healthy, monitor intake... it is still a damn diet) that your body is hungry every waking moment? Okay, I will just speak for myself. I am hungry every damn moment I am awake. And if I am sleeping and I wake up, the first thing that comes to mind are chips--tortilla chips, potato chips, goldfish chips, pretzel chips, CHIPS.

Right now I feel as if I have no control. I don't even want to have control. I want to stop by
Chic-Fil-A on the way home and pick up a gooey chocolate dream cookie. Then I would like some ice cream on the side. I digress.

All I can think about is fooooodddddd.



I try on my pants and they will not rise above mid thigh.

Then I am disgusted.

Right now, I need not be hungry.

I just ate.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Write that I (Written from the perspective of D'Angelo from the Wire)

If they ask,
Tell them I was bread against brick bosoms.
The hands meant to mold me
Instead pressed my back,
Shoved me towards the streets.

Doors slammed shut in my face
You tell me, what choices did I have?
My mother's mother was cursed with placenta pumping pain
Ingredients that might help me to cope
Cope with this world I was spit into

They told me that only sissies cry
And no one cares about my story

Tell them instead of their downward glare, I needed a hand up

When you write my story,
Tell them if they'd been me, pressed hard against brick bosoms,
What choices would they have made?

(Persona poem from Rhythm and Resistance edited by Linda Christensen)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"Oh Mr. Wolfe" (Sydney)

This morning Sydney graced us with a clip from the Genius Movie about Thomas Wolfe. She typed up the words so that we could closely examine the text and we loved it.
Every voice piped up with "I loved the line..." and we were all immersed in the words that lifted off the page and became our own word cloud.

It is so wonderful to be surrounded by writers who share from their heart, connecting words with life.

Then I ruined it because we sometimes do. I saw a moment to stick in some content. Oh, the MVP strategy! Then Sharon asked the question, shouldn't we just sit with the piece of text, hold it close to our chest and breath it in for the life-sustaining element it is? And of course, the answer is yes. Everyone spoke about the delicate dance that we must perform in modeling and creating space for enjoying the text. Not just to analyze. Rachael asked, "Do we have to dissect everything until it loses its meaning or can we just enjoy a piece for what it is?"

Every day in the Summer Institute we read, write, share. Today Sydney had something for us that we couldn't have brought in ourselves, because, we are not her. And I think that when we open our classroom to our students' texts, we patch together a community. A community that says, bring in what your read, listen to, see... Bring in your pieces because we want to know you. We want to examine your fingers, trace the lines of its print with our eyes. We want to ask questions, we want to open ourselves to you and all your genius.