This Mother’s Day 2021, I share the poem “Mother Did You Know” written by fellow blogger, Swarn Gill. He captures with precision my own experience as a woman and mother. I’m heartened that he’s able to see the truth of millions of years of social conditioning of the human species.
*I dedicate this poem to women in general, but also to my mom, who is an amazing woman and still inspires me to be more to this day.
mother did you know
it’s all your fault
you caused the fall
that them’s the breaks
when you talk to snakes
mother did you know
you’re not quite human
humans should be a male
those other parts
aren’t on the chart
With all the social distancing and lockdown during these uncertain times of a global pandemic, there is no reason for us to give up on finding the love of our life. In her self-help guide, From Loneliness to Love: Five Steps for Finding a Healthy Relationship, memoirist and former mental health therapist JoAnne Macco does not dillydally with meanderings. She presents each recommended step with clear and concise descriptions and exercises for realizing the change we seek in our lives.
Based on her own journey of finding a compatible partner, following her divorce and two rebound damaging relationships, Macco knows well the pitfalls that await us along the way. She believes that the steps she had taken for a successful outcome could also work for others.
Her first step is intuitive: “Clarify Your Heart’s Desire.” Yet, so many of us can stumble in defining exactly what we seek in a relationship. Tips and exercises help the lonely heart to zero in on the list of qualities that really matter, based on each person’s wants and needs.
Unknown Pianist Performs John Lennon’s “Imagine”
Tribute to victims of terrorist attacks – Paris – France – November 13, 2015
This past week has been a difficult one for me. Today, November 15, I said goodbye to a couple and their six-year-old daughter: my dear friends and neighbors for the past six years. They are moving to another state to be close to the wife’s family. A victim of the toxic fumes and dust damaging his lungs, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, the husband and father now faces a battle to keep breathing.
Unlike those who sought vengeance and war against the “barbaric” enemy, this man did not fill his heart with hatred for those responsible for taking away the life he once had. Instead, he and his wife raised their daughter with a bounty of love. At eighteen months old, on recognizing me, she ran towards me with her arms open in flight. Since then, she has been my joy and gardening companion. She and her parents welcomed me into their hearts and lives.
Today, my heart is heavy with loss. Though far away, they will remain close to my heart.
On Friday, November 13th, came the news of the attacks on Paris in France, leaving 129 dead and 352 injured. I feel the pain of the people of Paris who have lost a loved one during these attacks. I mourn their loss.
I feel the pain and desperation of millions of refugees from across Africa and the Middle East who have also lost loved ones, as well as their homes and means of livelihood, and have turned to Europe for a safe refuge. The attacks on Paris – allegedly carried out by jihadists posing as refugees – now place their lives in even greater jeopardy.
Following the 9/11 attacks on New York City, our government initiated what has now become an endless War on Terror. How does one fight terror with more terror? It beats me. Over the past fourteen years of terrorizing our enemies with our military might and raining bombs, we have created what I consider our “Terrorist Beast.” Created with deception, lies, and greed, this Terrorist Beast feeds on our hatred and acts of violence in its hunting grounds.
France’s President Francois Hollande called the recent attacks on Paris an “act of barbarism.” How easy it is for us to demonize our enemies as barbaric! Warfare is barbaric, no matter which side wields the weapon. Will France and its allies continue to feed this Terrorist Beast with more bombs and boots-on-the-ground?
Lest we risk losing touch with our shared humanity, I highly recommend that you set aside time to watch the three-part series of the documentary film, HUMAN. It’s producers give us a remarkable opportunity to listen to and reflect upon what it is to be human as expressed by other humans across our diverse planet.
The fate of humanity rests in our hands. Let us not allow the powers that be to continue stoking our fears and sabotaging our lives.
Over a year had passed since my estranged husband returned to Guyana, leaving our two sons and me behind in Brazil, when my three friends decided that it was time for me to have a night out. They invited me to join them and their husbands for a show and dance at a popular night club. Djavan, one of my favorite Brazilian singers, was coming to Fortaleza for a one-night presentation.
Fatima, the oldest among us, had it all arranged. She would buy the admission tickets and I could reimburse her on payday. Since we lived about a ten-minute-drive away from her house, my sons would stay with her two kids and live-in maid. At the end of our evening together, her husband would take us home.
Not since my days in Guyana had I gone dancing at a night club. To accept their invitation would bring back too many memories of good times gone sour. But when your friends care about you, how can you say no? Continue reading →
Born in Harlem, New York, to Jamaican immigrants, Madison is the youngest of three siblings. Her memoir, Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem, recounts her quest to find her maternal Chinese grandfather. At the heart of her riveting journey is her mother, Nell Vera Lowe Williams.
My connection with Nell Vera Lowe was immediate and intense. I saw the multitude of Caribbean women who fight against all odds for their place in the sun, raising their children to become achievers. I saw my mother. I saw myself. Continue reading →
Abstract Painting – Mother and Daughter – Ink on Heavy Paper
By Marie Jamieson
On this day in the United States and in some countries around the world, as we honor our mothers, I have to admit that mothers can be complicated. Happy the woman who has a loving relationship with her mother! I did once…before our thirty-year separation.
My mother migrated to the United States. I stayed behind in Guyana, got married, became a mother of two, and later migrated to Brazil. My mother and I became different individuals. Our values and priorities in life diverged. Continue reading →
When one’s day starts with news of terrorist attacks and more war, it’s good to receive unexpected news that makes one smile and warms the heart. I received such news recently from blogger, Dr. Gerald Stein, a retired psychotherapist in Chicago. His candid blog posts on our relationships are well articulated, insightful, and knitted together with engaging humor and honesty. In his latest post, he surprised me with the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.
When I started my blog over three years ago, inspiring others was far from my mind. As a newbie novelist seeking to have my work published, I started my blog as a means of building my author’s platform.
After learning that I was working on a novel set in Guyana, a friend sent me the link to the Guyanese Online Blog as a source of information. The blog, published by Cyril Bryan, went far beyond a resource hub. It connected me with the Guyana Diaspora, strengthening my frayed link with my native land. What’s more, in reblogging my posts, Cyril Bryan has expanded my readership.
Other bloggers inspire us with their life stories and vision of our world. As an Award recipient, I share the Very Inspiring Blogger Award with two such bloggers:
Bruce Witzel, a carpenter, lives on Vancouver Island, Canada. His self-constructed, off-grid home – powered by clean energy and integrated with a waste disposal system for maintaining a kitchen garden – gives me hope for our sustainable future. His down-to-earth spirituality expands my vision of life.
John Castellenas is a Vietnam veteran who found healing through poetry. The honesty of his prose and poetry touches my soul. His stories of saving himself from alienation and self-hate and finding love speak volumes to our nation engaged in never-ending wars.
In accepting the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, I’m also required to answer seven questions.
Who is your favorite public figure? Senator Elizabeth Warren
What do you like most? (I presume this refers to Question 1.) I admire Senator Warren’s political courage in defending consumers against the Too-Big-To-Jail financial institutions that decimated middle-class America.
Do you follow trends? I follow trends that jeopardize our security and survival: changing job market, criminalization of the poor, militarization of the police force, privatization of prisons, growing income inequality, perpetual wars, and climate change.
What do you do when someone gets angry? With strangers, I get out of their way. With bosses, I let them let off steam before I open my mouth. With close relations, I go with the flow.
What have you loved most? My sons are my greatest treasure.
Do you have causes? I support the following non-profit organizations: Feeding America (feeding the hungry) Public Citizen (getting Big Business out of politics) 350.org (saving our planet for future generations)
What quality do you admire most? Integrity: much needed to curb inequality and end wars.
Through blogging, I’m reminded that we all share the same humanity.
The Christmas Season is here! The kid in me loves the Christmas lights and music. I love, too, the Christmas movies in which all things are possible. People look out for others. They are forgiving, generous, and compassionate. Miracles abound.
During our Brazil years, the miracle that stands out from all the other miracles occurred the year my then-husband returned to Guyana. Shortly thereafter, still reeling from being abandoned, I received an eviction notice from our landlord. Discovering we were three months in arrears with our rent sent me spinning. Continue reading →
Divorce – When a Marriage Fails
Photo Credit: culturamix.com
Marriages are tested under fire. Some marriages survive the flame, forging a stronger bond. Others suffer third degree burns, weakening the union. My marriage belonged to the latter group. When it ended in Brazil, I had not only failed as a wife but also had to confront the demon of divorce.
“I can’t sponsor you and your sons to come to America unless you’re divorced,” my mother told me.
I opened my Jerusalem Bible for guidance. In the Gospel of Matthew (Chapter 19), Jesus was clear about divorce.
“[W]hat God has united, man must not divide… Now I say this to you: the man who divorces his wife…and marries another, is guilty of adultery.”
Alone and broken with two kids in a foreign country, I spent a year of soul searching to come to terms with what I needed to do in order to reunite with my family. Continue reading →