Let them say, you did it your way. You failed and failed. You stood too and stood. You withstood all that fear had in store, down to the last syllable.

Still, you weathered the storm. Danced through fire. Circled back to beginnings full of failures and pain.

Still you worked. You rose up early and worked. Accepted it all, like cloudy skies sailing through. Ijeles too spinning through the beat of drums at feasts full of yams so new.

Still you looked up. Face full of tears and wondering when to give up or persist through the hell called failure.

For what good is life without a lesson or two. What good is failure, without learning it’s bitter acid.

Let them say what they say. But where you have been, circles and all, is still just the beginning.

To know that I am surrounded, safe and supported with all my failures keeps my grateful.

I’m learning the importance of belonging. The importance of surrounding myself with those willing to support all that I care about it. Even if it fails 1000 times. The 1001th time is my keep for today. Even ideas that first fail, still fail until time. It’s this time, I long to master.

I remember these days, like a woman in labor, pain at the thought of pushing, but joy rattling all my being. Sounds pierce through.

Ah, the sound of life, unforgettable. Like you, Papa, my forever love. Rereading your letters. A blessing. Every single word in place. Near my heart. You will always remain.

You are my highest mountains, and tallest towers. All I am is within reach. Like God shining from Zion. A city perfect in beauty. You greatness will remain. Beautiful. Those not yet born, will praise you.

My Papa would have been 82 today. Because of him, it will be said that we lived. Strong and mighty, the source of our blessings. To know my father was to know love and joy and anything else that personifies grace. He gave us the best of himself. Made us all stand tall and supreme like Mount Zion. I will always love you Papa. Sleep on.

Lives healed by the sound of music. And lives restored in the middle of meltdowns, are dancing to their own tunes now. Becoming too, in tune with all the noise, and sorrow, pulling us down, sign of the times and full moon, all the good news, for lives lived beyond these times. I am on a quest to make sense of minds not typical but typical in their own way. And music is my key entry point. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but in the middle of another meltdown today with my son, in the middle of what seemed to be an endless display of a mind in disarray, music helped to restore all we couldn’t. It’s this gift and power, I choose to keep today. The never ending sound of music for healing.

I will write one day, how music got us through our vacation with my son on the spectrum!

Like mother, like son, the one we named after God, lives like his mother.

Always talking, always questioning, if it doesn’t feel right, he will be the first to ask. If it comes to his minds, words will be out and free.

Like mother, like son, the one we named after God, sees the world in big ways. Trees are big. Sky, too big. So are the oceans and everything that makes him relax. He maybe small today, but his tomorrow is big.

Like mother like son, the one we named after God, won’t stop talking. He keeps asking questions too. Why do you work so much? Why can’t we go to Drace Park?

His ways maybe tiring. His talking and questioning too. But, I’ll gladly suffer the tenderness of his kinda of love.

My middle son is forever in his pajamas. Not just to sleep, but to wear as day wear. We have tried though in vain to switch his style of dressing, but he keeps returning back to what he loves. Recently, I asked why and he noted that they make him feel comfortable and relaxed. He simply loves them because of their comfort. I looked at him and wondered out loud to myself, where does he get all his ideas from. He is only 5 years old. His ways are irresistibly charming and full of ease. His ability to live as he sees in world, in union with all that makes him relaxed is my keep for today. There is tenderness in his ways. I am learning that everyday. But most importantly, the fact that his ways are mine, keeps me hungry with every fiber of my being, for life.

Wild flowers are everywhere.

Like me, a woman, full, in bloom. Come soil or rock, I grow, oblivious to the softness or hardness of the other.

Life knows me well. I am persistent with all the soil and rock I meet like a Bella Donna Lilly.

I was greeted by these large lily like flowers today. They lined the back of our home.

They stood tall, with a stem, naked, leafless, proud, like a woman. Only flowers, in pale pink color lined their tips. Only flowers line their tip.

Rain or sun, they grow on their own. With seeds producing flowers in three years. Today, I was greeted by flowers that took three years to bloom. Three years to bloom.

There is heaven in these flowers. I saw it for myself today. I saw heaven today.

Bella Donna Lilly

I took a break from everything. Packed the family and literally went to a place I can only describe as heaven on earth. It was the most relaxing vacation I have had in awhile and to think I planned it with five families, 22 people in total is no small feat. We ate, we danced, we smiled and laughed our hearts out that coming back to earth has truly been hard. I also saw my sister from another mother in heaven. Like we didn’t even tell each other that we were going on vacation. Only for me to bump into her in a place I can only describe as heaven. Just as I was slowly adjusting to being back, my eyes wandered to the back of our home. Long naked like stems lined the back of our home, near where we planted cucumbers last year. They seem to be coming on their own and growing out of soils and rocky pavements. When I learnt their name, I realized that God wanted me to hold heaven in my hands for infinity. Of course I won’t have five families with me. I have my own. And thanks to these flowers, I intend to hold on to heaven for eternity. I needed this reminder today.

All my life, I have lived with a scar. Not a big one. Just one I rarely forget.

We have lived together, all my life. Learning, though silent, the meaning of things, people, voices, ideas, I dare not forget. Those imprinted forever, still hopeful for too much hope.

I have also been told different stories about the scar. Some say ignore the stories, it’s just a tiny birth mark, that somehow grew over time. Others say, I placed my finger on fire and learnt that day, why fire is fire.

Regardless of the story, a birthmark or fire, we still live together, this scar and I, like hunger, like desire, like things I cannot forget.

After all these years, even scars have hope. They rise so I remember, always, that fire is fire.

My little scar’

I looked into the mirror today. Not the passive glance I often do, when rushing through morning routines, but a deep soulful stare that made me be still for a moment. Here we are, the start of the next phase of my career and all I want is everything. I have no idea why I love ideas. I heard in a conversation today, how people are drawn to ideas and all I could do was nod my head. I love ideas. I live for them. Every single one is critical to me. Critique them and I’ll come back with a better version of whatever initial idea I proposed. I am also learning that I gravitate towards people prepared to tell my that my ideas are trash. I live for bad ideas turned good, as in really good, all because someone took the time to point out the initial flaws in the idea.

I have been nursing an idea about music that first started as an itch, which intensified after binging Afrobeats on Netflix all last week. I rarely watch anything on t.v or streaming these days. There are 4 kids and summer camps to figure out. So the idea of binging seemed so foreign to me, but still I did so for this show. Maybe is was the nostalgia of music, this idea too that a people, long shunned in a industry dominated by others, took the time to craft an idea, Afrobeats for themselves. They built it as best as they could. Nurtured its flaws and weaknesses. Worked through all the hurdles along the way and made a sound, music that transcends time.

It’s this idea of music, birthing a movement, that is my inspiration for today. I have no idea where this will go and no I don’t intend to be a musician one day. But maybe, just maybe we may get closer to the public health the public truly demands and deserve if only we use tools that make sense to them. Music is one powerful tool and idea whose time has come to stay in my soul. That’s what the mirror said to me today. I am understanding all that I am and all that I am meant to be.

I have been waiting to tell the stories for beads for too long. Something about their origin, their glimmer, their silence. Earlier in the summer, I started to write something and of course I got carried away. Not before I saw a paper that made me pause. It noted how beads were silent witnesses to histories long forgotten, histories many will never know because the history writers omitted that aspects of beads that made our ancestors feel whole and secure in themselves. So now I’m back to the story I started to write. I lack words these days due to finally being exposed to what we have all feared for the past 2 years. The illness and fatigue is debilitating but we are finally coming around and words are slowly returning. In the meantime, see the tiny piece my brain managed to put together about beads and hopefully stay tuned for more.

We were once silent, like beads, distant, but present, next to skins, golden and warm. We were once, precious, like jewels, dwelling, within hands refusing to part ways for good. Now we lay, discarded, no longer silent nor precious. Just waiting for shadows, rising anytime now, without fear or shame.

And I made this for an event I attended beginning of the month.

Grow

Grow at such a fast rate

Grow and still grow even when growth seems secure

Grow because life without growth is a waste

Grow simply because you have to

Grow because every lesson learnt along the way is a gift.

I’m on a fast track towards all things that will keep me growing.

I choose to grow because life without growth is meaningless.