Fall Break

We were determined a couple of weeks ago to do a little getaway before school started. We wanted to do something different. Explore new lands that were close. Kilgore Falls. We knew there were plenty of waterfalls near DC. Kilgore Falls is located in Rock State Park which is located in Jarrettsville Maryland about an hour and45 minutes from the city. We had never heard of Jarrettsville. We didn’t know what to expect or to make of random seniors biking down the main road, vast gated mansions, beautiful old barns, farm animals, small sturdy bridges and pay what you can fruit stands. Green everywhere. Not bad. And thankfully no Trump signs appeared!

We pulled into the main parking lot which is still a 10-minute hike away from the falls. The hike was cool and had me nervous a bit as there was no railing. We shimmied down into the water crossing. Swim shoes were certainly needed as we crossed over slippery rocks and branches to the falls.

We found a large rock to put our things. The kids and my husband headed over first. I sat on the rock watching barefooted kids leap from rocks onto other rocks. The falls and surrounding rock formations were naturally made for great photos and postcards. The moss, the water bubbling around me and the falls themselves were perfect.

I saw my son climb onto a large rock and leap into the water just below the falls. No fear.  I watched my daughter slowly shimmy into a fall. Partial fear. When they came back to the rock I went exploring. I fear the cold. The water was freezing! Nope, this is not the Carribean.  Twas a refreshing time.

 

Woke Life

My kids are keeping journals this summer. Sometimes they write what they want. Other times I may give them a prompt. I told my son to write a rap about Trump. What followed was simply put “hot fire burn” My son has such a deep understanding of things and can easily summarize a concept or idea. I hope he writes a book. Not someday. Now.

#imwithhimforlife. 

Trump Trap Rap by Dahvi

Donald Trump is a businessman/
running for president that’s a scam/
a fake toupee no way/ get him out! Today! Build a wall. Trying to stall.
No one to call. Forget the law.
His scalp is super raw. L
ooks like a red bouncy ball.
Probably got a luxurious life.
Probably bought his wife.
His views are nasty/
Probably Got em from Drake. Degrassi.
Trying to make drama from media attention/Probably for some evil henchmen.
Voldemort. Harry Potter.
Builds power plants. Kills Otters.
No Life and that’s just for starters

Tis’ the Season

I attended the wedding of a good friend of mine this weekend. It was all white wedding and wonderful. Sweet and loving. I was a bridesmaid. I had never been a bridesmaid before. It was pretty cool.  Although I didn’t like the photo part. I don’t like having photos taken of me but this was part of the job and for my friend so I was okay with posing and cheesing. Another good friend of mine is getting married next summer. Next month my husband was asked by a fan to perform at his wedding. In September my husband will be a best man for his friend’s wedding. My brother gets married in October. The list continues. Next month is also our 17th anniversary. We’re planning a trip for September. Each year for fun I look up the gifts you’re supposed to give for that year. These lists are crazy by the way. And who made them? This year’s list includes items such as amethyst, tie clips, and even furniture. The furniture I don’t mind. Or a good trip. I pride myself in being an extremely thoughtful gift giver. I try to think of what the person needs and enjoys. I don’t expect gifts. I’m happy for a short getaway or doing something we’ve never done before. It won’t include skydiving although my husband definitely wants to jump out of a plane. Whatever we do it won’t include cufflinks or the color purple as the list suggests.

 

The Quiet

I’ve been pretty quiet as of late. As far as social media is concerned. Aside from sharing a few photos here and there on my personal Instagram and this blog I just haven’t been in the mood to share much about my creative ventures etc.  As the craziness and noise of the world increases, I get quieter. I go inward. I’m still working but even more quietly than before. I’m longing for a respite via travel and definitely new energy. I’m enjoying indulging in the quiet.

Hirshhorn​ Healing

Last week and the weekend’s killings left my family and I frustrated, sick, disheartened and fearful.  Self-care should be part of one’s daily routine. Like it shouldn’t even be a “thing” Our society is bursting with workaholics and quests for work-life balance so yes self-care is trendy. It’s a concept. It’s an industry.  As black parents raising black kids in this city and world; we do understand sharing and showing self-care is necessary. It’s natural and sometimes deliberate. I took to one of my favorite museums for some chill time aka self-caring. I’m a modern art lover, collector, appreciator. Saturday the DC Sound Museum presented some live interaction and installation. We made DIY wind chimes from tools and such while watching people flirt around the giant fountain outside. We also checked out artist Robert Irwin’s exhibit as well. Self-care and self-healing is ongoing.

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Robert Irwin.

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Robert Irwin

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Part of DC artist Linn Myers  site-specific installation “Our View From Here

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Robert Irwin

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Robert Irwin

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Captured this while walking through the Smithsonian FolkLife Festival feat The Basque Region and California.

All Eyes On WE (vent)

I’m a very private person. I mean in all actuality I don’t blog everything. I was thankful my friends Lynn, Kymone, Baye and folks like Princess were there when my husband passed out. They were beyond helpful, comforting and in their right minds. I’m forever thankful to them as this was undoubtedly one of the scariest moments in my life.I’m thankful for this community and the strangers who were there to help. I’m thankful for the Walker family for being there. I’m thankful my son was away at camp. I’m thankful my daughter is so strong. However, when things like this happen your life is played out for all to see. This feeling didn’t hit me until last week. I have more concern about this in regards to my husband as opposed to myself. DC is a small town in many ways and the arts community is even smaller. Why worry about what people say or assume? Well, I’m super protective. And I’m all about the right information about my family being in the universe. That’s why. People will check on you and that’s okay. It comes with the territory. And so will inquiries into your family’s life and health practices etc.  In these most recent moments, I’ve been on super defense because WE are not those folks. We care about our health. We do not fear doctors, therapists, medicine, Jesus, or  quitting things/people who bring unnecessary stress. We work out. We walk. We cook most of our meals at home. Well, my husband cooks most of our meals at home. We don’t eat grease or fast food.We don’t buy junk or sugar. We know how to be gluten-free free, sugar-free etc here and there. OWe are FREE people in this respect.  We see, listen and question doctors and dentists regularly. Thank God for great insurance. We try not to eat past 7pm. However,  we’re human and busy. So sometimes it may be 730 or even 8.  Regardless some assume that one must not be in good health or they pass out because they’re overweight. You know it’s  just not okay to be overweight and get sick or  have pneumonia. No that’s not acceptable. Or a fever.  It’s an easy conclusion to make. Right?  So therein lies the frustration. On one hand, how are people to know these things about us. I get that. Many people don’t really know us so assumptions are exactly what they are.  Assumptions. I know people are only concerned. I’m appreciative but my introverted and Mafiosoesque protective ways won’t let me great and fully accept that all eyes were on we.

Heal, Selector!

written by Kokayi

I’ve passed out exactly 2 times in my life. Once when I was around 13-14 at my brother’s wedding and Saturday night. According to the hospital, it was a febrile seizure which is brought on by a spike in one’s body temperature. They found that I had pneumonia, so the crappy feeling I had since Thursday was not just a “summer cold”. What makes this entire episode interesting in retrospect is the context; of spaces during a specific event, in a room filled with a specific demographic of individuals and the subject matter being discussed in that room.

I.

I finished telling my story when the buzzing started. I knew that feeling, that high pitched sound. The brain is amazing, I was standing next to Phil 30 years ago hearing the same sound. My younger me leaned to Phil and said “do you hear that?” then I woke up on a church pew with the church hat ladies fanning me.30 years later, I stood up. We had come to the Anacostia Artspace’s black box theater for their interactive production. The house was packed we were on the last row and it was hot, which was good and bad because I hadn’t been feeling that well. I checked in with my doc earlier, she suggested I get some Tylenol cold and keep it moving, I obliged. The heat  was actually a respite, having spent time in Senegal and Saudi Arabia, I was good. So standing up and wiggling my legs to get the circulation going was my primary thought, the buzzing began to wane and I felt that I could make it through the last act/story and go home and rest. I turned to my wife and in doing so the buzzing was back, I believe I said to her this is not good.

II.

Lucidity is a great feeling, I felt super clear and aware but enveloped in a fluid like I had just finished deep sea diving. I heard my wife crying and I saw my daughter crying and I’m wondering where all the people had gone. There was a person holding my hand asking me to breathe slowly, there were police, prayer circles and voices of dissent when the police kept asking for my ID. I kept apologizing, I had interrupted the production in the last act. Why was my wife crying? I apologized to her for making her cry. Someone removed my daughter from the room when the EMT’s arrived and began checking my vitals. As a black man over 40, I’m vigilant about my checkups and health. I just had a check up, I know my medications, status – “horse healthy, but you need to run” is how my Dr. put it. I knew I hadn’t taken my hypertension meds because of the way I was feeling and after speaking with my Dr. earlier. I asked the EMT’s for the numbers, they came back stellar. So what the expletive just happened. I hate hospitals. Unless I’m having a limb or organ removed/repaired miss me. I don’t like to visit, I don’t want to stay any longer than I need to. So when asked, “Do you want to go to the hospital?” I said, “ask my wife”. Handled. They replied that I had to make the decision.  Herein lies the rub. I want to go home and lay down and sleep it off. I don’t know what happened, I’m groggy and tired, but i look at my wife and daughter (both of which are traumatized and complete wrecks) and opt for the ambulance.

III.

I had no idea you could have a pocket of pneumonia. I was told that I had a febrile seizure, this type pf seizure is relegated to humans under the age of 2, so to have this be an early diagnosis seems guessy at best. My night sweat, chills, fatigue were all explained. The pneumonia was camping out near my diaphragm and my temperature was reenacting the Rebel Yell at Kings Dominion. I was poked, prodded, examined – from the “roota to the toota” – let the old folks tell it. I was good after hearing all of this, I logically compartmentalized all of the theories, justifying my body’s reactions and tucked those neatly in my, “wow” but I’m not tripping box. This was not the case for my family. They were traumatized, seeing me flop over , tongue akimbo, shaking. I didn’t see all of that. I was lights on, lights off, lights back on, I’m alive. It took 3 days for some semblance or normalcy to return, the catalyst being my wife’s unwillingness to leave my side. I knew she was scared and quietly so was I, my daughter was ever resilient and as long as she saw me smile and say I was ok, she moved on with her 15-year old drama. But my wife and I had to take a moment. I saw in her eyes the fear of losing me, the uncomfortable feeling of having to care for three people instead of co-working with your teammate to watch over two people. I saw the love she had for me in seeing that I wasn’t strong, that I wasn’t guaranteed a spot on the mortal plane, that I was susceptible to infirmity and disease. I saw the S slip off my chest, my cape fade a little and in that look, I understood that my goal is to never witness that feeling again and to do everything in my power to prolong that look.

IV.

I got off the couch and we started our daily walks again, I’m seeing the neurologist for a follow-up EEG and MRI and we’ll get a diagnosis for real. We’re back on our daily walks, I’m on work rest for a week and my kids are being them. I sent my cape in for dry cleaning and darned my S with some new stitching, we’ll see how long it holds.