No soul that aspires can ever fail to rise; no heart that loves can ever be abandoned. Difficulties exist only that in overcoming them we may grow strong, and they who have suffered are able to save.Annie Besant
It just takes two shots, maybe one. This is the conversation everywhere you go. Most don’t dare to ask if you have it yet. But you can see the judgement in their eyes if you don’t say so. You are now the unsafe one.
I have been reading, okay listening to this book ‘The One Thing by Gary Keller’. It has really changed my perspective on multi-tasking and making substantial gains in my creative work. With so many projects in the pipeline and new ‘brilliant’ ideas constantly circulating in my head waiting for a place to land, I have had to accept that I cannot do it all. I am learning to limit or shut off all these distractions. Some days are better than others. My creative one thing right now is to doodle daily. What is yours?
I used to make new year’s resolutions every December. My dad was big on getting us all together sometime during the Christmas vacation for an informal accounting of the year and setting of new goals. Initially this was an exciting process and I had quite a list of resolutions. As the years went by, the practical goals went from ‘lose twenty pounds’ to ‘don’t gain any weight’. Then as the enthusiasm faded, we all got quite philosophical and came with goals like ‘Focus’ and ‘Live a life of gratitude’. And even though it all sounded quite profound, it was just a way to escape being pinned down on specific goals, on my part anyway. So as I sat in my mother’s living room watching the luck luster New Year’s festivities on the eve 2021, I wondered if I should even bother to make any. Just the very act of sitting there to watch the ball drop with my entire family intact, felt like an accomplishment in itself. It would have felt greedy to ask for even one thing. So I didn’t. I was just grateful. However a few weeks later I couldn’t resist. So there it is:
‘Live a life of gratitude and lose the twenty pounds I gained during quarantine.’
I don’t think it is too much to ask.
Over ten years ago I chose to stop applying straightening chemicals to my hair. I am not sure if it’s because my father constantly told me that the lye in the products was slowing cooking my brains or if I was just tired of the constant upkeep. I started to wear my hair in its natural state. I was surprised by how much people had to say about that. Some said that they admired my bravery. Some viewed it as a sign of financial hardship. Yet others thought I was being rebellious. Suddenly I was confronted with a reality that how I wore my hair meant something to a lot of people and none of them really cared if their assumptions were inaccurate. They all had a stake yet none of they contributed to the upkeep of this ‘community hair’. That is how a personal choice become a social or even political statement.
“It takes three years Natasha’s natural hair to grow in fully. She doesn’t do it to make a political statement. In fact, she liked having her hair straight. In the future, she may like it straight again. She does it because she wants to try something new. She does it simply because it looks beautiful.” ― Nicola Yoon, The Sun Is Also a Star
I am very excited to be taking part in my last group exhibition of the year and hopefully one of many more to come. I wanted to explore the many different faces of a woman by acknowledging her the complexity and uniqueness. Here is an exclusive sneak peek.
My father has always been the natural hair guy. He always appreciated it in its most natural form, free of extensions, attachments and chemicals. A simple afro or a lovely headscarf met with great approval. My mom once told me how he tried to get her to wear a headscarf when they were first married. We both scoffed at it. After-all we were independent women. No one told us when to cover our hair. The truth is that my mother has such amazing cheekbones that head coverings only accentuate them.
‘We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.’
Indulge in this brilliant collaborative series that is curated by the talented https://kijopoem.wordpress.com/