It’s only a compliment.

The simple act of a compliment is sometimes all we need.  I was watching on the OWN network a small segment called, “Give a Compliment – Receive a Compliment”. This interactive street installation was truly soul art.

Set up on a city street corner was a telephone booth, which was connected next to a hugely over-sized set of earphones.  As you would imagine, the person giving the compliment would go into the phone booth and their companion would stand between these bigger-than-life earphones.  Every compliment, whether friend-to-friend or parent-to-child  was spoken from the heart.  As you heard each compliment, within moments, you could see a physical change take place in each person as their soul stepped forward and spoke their truth.

The people crossed all ages; some carried a backpack, a brief case, or maybe a latte; some dressed impeccably and others casually; people were on lunch breaks, shopping dates, or perhaps just a play date. It appeared, that regardless of any life situation these human beings were living, as they gave and received their messages they would smile, blush, or even tear up. And, as each of the couples finished, without exception, they would embrace each other in some way.

Watching the love between people brought tears to my eyes. The simple act of a compliment may not be flashy, but it can be lasting. In our media driven world today it is easy to become desensitized due to our draw to the dramatic, violent, or outlandish.  So, without moving ourselves too far out of our daily routines and patterns, perhaps we can set aside 15 seconds a day for our soul. After all, it’s only a compliment.

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Diaries and Journals…

Diaries and Journals….

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Diaries and Journals…

I am not an avid journalista, but my diaries as a young girl and becoming interested in the boy next door are sweet. That, along with a narrative of what I ate that day (should have become a chef!) is a time capsule that evokes emotions of coming of age.

Later journals certainly tread in much more complicated experiences, however, I hold on to my few diaries and few journals as a way of remembering what it was like during those times.

It would be difficult to sever my roots.

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My white knuckles makes it hard to drive

What can I say— I am a white-knuckler. Not the trapped-in-traffic-and-late-for-an- appointment type, but with my significant relationship in my life. I have never found it easy to give up control, especially since I am naturally head strong and was raised by a forward thinking mother during a time when the women’s movement was making history. When you think about it, between 1963-73, The Feminine Mystique and Ms. Magazine was published, the 27th amendment on equal rights was passed, and then the landmark decision on Roe vs. Wade. It’s not a wonder I have been a finger snappin’, head movin’, “Don’t you be tellin’ me what to do” chiquita, for as long as I can remember.

For all of us “white-knucklers” out there, I think this statement from Bishop T.D. Jakes is especially poignant:    

“That that refuses to be broken, refuses to be blessed. It is the breaking of life that produces the blessing of life.”

Amen my sisters!

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Buried treasure is always fun to find

I really found a treasure buried deep in the back of a closet. It is a letter my mother had written to her sister, Marty, on July 10, 1962. The letter is about helping her dear friend and neighbor, Dusty, to get ready to move. At this time Marty lived in Napa, California, married and raising her three boys and daughter. We lived in Los Angeles and also a family of six. From the letter it seems both my sister and I (4 and 2 years old) were up with my aunt and uncle, while cousins, Lee and John (14 and 12) were visiting us. A bit of kid-swapping.

I felt like I had just unearthed a pirate’s treasure. I held the envelope and inspected the postage date along with the four-sent stamp. When I pulled the letter out it was cleanly folded and made a crinkling sound, as if to say, “I’m still here!” It was typed with a Remington style typewriter (and this would not be electric) on crisp, slightly transparent typing paper, where the edges are now slightly discolored.

Within the letter my mother talks about helping Dusty pack her home and clean the new one, and how kitchens are always “the biggest time stealers of all”. She helped with scraping paint and varnish off the bedroom floors, followed by washing and waxing. She mentions how much fun the boys had running the new polisher that Dusty had bought with her “green stamps”. However, the part I thought was the most tender was how she felt about her friend leaving. She wrote:

         “To have Dusty for a neighbor for the past year was the most wonderful experience for me. I don’t ever expect to meet anyone so kind and thoughtful and so entirely good hearted again in my lifetime. This all sounds as if we’ll never see each other again, but I know from past experiences, that you never have the closeness in everyday life when you just see each other once a month or less. But still we learn from each other and grow with each friend we make. right, right.”

Since my mother passed away in 1976, it is deeply moving to feel her words as she talks about her friend. It is some thing that we may have all experienced at one time in our life and certainly something she felt 50 years ago. I love you Mom.

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Best friends come in all shapes and sizes

Best friends come in all shapes and sizes.

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Best friends come in all shapes and sizes

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