Look at the birds of the air…

 The rate at which I realize people can either
love or loath me is the most satisfying thing in life. I like to know where
people stand. It’s compelling to me. In this digital blood soaked soap box we
are given a playing field, so many mediums we have to present ourselves, the
applications are endless. Technology has empowered me more than words can say.
I recall times I felt so disenfranchised and isolated with no witness. By funneling
all communication via technological advancements of The Human Age, I have been
able to capture fragments of my sanity back into context and order. Emails,
texts, social media, video phones, all proof, vital living evidence. If my mere
existence bothers you, don’t expect a silent retreat. Know your audience, but more importantly; be your own audience.
Listen to the words coming out of your mouth, take notes, say what you mean and
mean what you say. Words have meaning. Many of us have the honor, opportunity, privilege,
and honor to learn and use them. If you find an animal on this planet willing
to articulate its time here, listen. 
  I took my young son to see Selma today,
everyone that knows him and the history of Selma supported my decision to take
him. I am very privileged to have this human being as my child. He has an
amazing soul and this film rocked our cores so vividly hard. My son knows some
of the history of The Civil Rights movement and how it came to be; he understands the role government
plays at state, city, and federal levels. He asked intelligent questions that I
always encourage and answer. Listening to people, asking questions, and
listening to responses, you know this human social interaction referred to as
conversations. “How come enough people
aren’t asking these questions when things don’t make sense?” My dad said on the
phone last week. I love listening to my dad talk. Our namesake is truly
fitting. I enjoy learning where I come from.
 Geography has always been very important
to me, specifically in historical data form. We live in Vallejo, CA.
For a city of our size in this country it is considered one of its most
diverse.  Stories are histories, but too you can’t always believe what you read
in the paper, hand held electronic device, seventy inch plasma screen, or whatever
hunk of man made glass. All media is bought and sold. We are learning to
celebrate diversity, turns out we ain’t all been family long enough. We’ll get
there, hopefully. My son got so angry and sad during many
scenes in Selma, but mostly when Jimmie Lee Jackson was murdered
and then wholeheartedly during the breath stealing, spirit rattling choreographed factual Selma to
Montgomery march at The Edmund Pettus Bridge. My son got so angry,
he shows me as he pinches the skin on the back of his held out hand and shakes his head left to right and right to left, “all because of this,
all because of a different color skin?!” He was mortified as were the Americans watching that bloody Sunday in 1965 when it was televised nation wide and forever captured to be held chronicle for
another time and space.
  Before
my beautiful boy and I left the still dark and beaming film, for it was as we still sat against the wall of the projection room in the theatre, at a moment before he
looked up with me with tears glistening in his beautifully young and wise eyes
and says, “I think we can agree this film is slightly inappropriate for my age
right now?” I look at him with an overflowing heart as I hold him tighter still
and say, “I am so proud of you and your beautiful soul.” I kiss him on the head
and we exit stage right under the stairs. He held my hand the whole
way out into the matinee sun until the door swings out and we are hit with the brisk
January air and we catch a view of the rolling fog breaching over the Blue Rock Hills, his breath was full and sorrowful and beautiful as he wipes tears away from his coral reddened cheeks. I told him it was OK to cry and it made me love him that much more. As we drove home he said, “You
know they should rename Selma… Ignorance. Cause that’s what those people in
charge were, ignorant. You know mommy, those events that really did happened weren’t that long ago.” I know he will have more questions, and that’s why I live for
today because I look forward to pray that I am ready, willing, and able to achieve
the honor to capture and answer to the best of our current adapt-abilities the inquiries
of tomorrow. I tell him stories are history, I tell that is one of the reasons
I write my stories and share them, we all need to tell our stories, I tell him it is an honor and privilege and
right we will have in this country, we have the freedom of speech and many freedoms to seek a more perfect union that
many people before us worked hard and gave their lives so that we may have the
right to share our stories today and pray that we are all willing and able
to achieve the honor tomorrow.

Doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well.

    “Mommy, what’s your worst fear?” my eight year old son asked me
the other day. “I am living it. And I’m doin’ it well” I answered. “What’s that?” he replied. “Being a
single mother living in Vallejo.” I confessed. Living my
worst nightmare is honestly a dream come true I went on to explain. And I have an amazing son cut
like a giant slice of me as proof. I never like playing the “single mom” card.
Many single parents have suffered far greater grievance than I. But the fact
still remains as they say, it takes a village. It’s a humbling and vulnerable state to go it alone, especially when it seems your village has been abandoned,
set ablaze, or full of well or not so swell intentioned idiots, it can be very
difficult to say the very least. Listening to horror stories of other single
moms and having memorized my own, I keep thinking more and more, it should be a
damn crime to take advantage of a single parent, it’s downright deplorable.
Mostly because single moms are the fucking best! We come fully loaded and
prepared for anything. Got the munchies? Mom’s got snacks. Got a boo-boo, who’s
got the alcohol wipe and band-aide?! And you know we crafty. We can Martha
Stewart MacGyver our way out of any situation. Flying solo is lonely and exhausting.
I am not saying all single parents are taken advantage of, but from my
observations and my own life, it just seems we take on a greater share of the
bullshit.
   Any
of your family members ever declare the time worn question, “Who’s gonna buy the
cow when they get the milk for free?” That lactose filled tidbit fell out my
mother’s mouth when I was eighteen. So vintage, so dated, so painful. Oh, to be
objectified bovine. I mean I get it, but holy cow pie Catwoman. I kept hearing
that sentence over and over in my head the last few years of my ridiculous “love
life”, feeling used over and over again. Folks tell me with great big wilted
eyes, “Julie, you are so strong, such a strong woman.” All good intent aside, I
would hear that so many times I started to feel like it was just some compulsory
thing to say so they could just walk away. I’ve been working on that grip
strength as I hang on like some poster kitten of hope. I work hard on myself,
work hard to be a good role model and mother to my son, work hard to hold the
delicate strings of all my professional and personal relationships and like
some profound slip of magic I would think I’d worked hard enough to finally
have found someone I deserve. Nope, every time, nope, but oh I deserved some
lessons alright, lessons in my emotional currency, taking my heart to the bank
where I should be saving not spending it.
   My
buddy Jay Rooke told me a couple years back, “I love how wild your ride always is and how
you manage to remain true to yourself and act in integrity despite setbacks and
challenges over and over again. Keep on keepin on.” It’s true, and it’s so
damn beautiful how resilient humanity be. One thing I finally learned for sure is
the difference between selfish and self-care. I’ve been dating myself these
days and it’s going beyond swell. Oh to be loved and in love, in love with
life, in love with all my own strife and taking time to take damn good care of
me and my own, sleeping like a babe to the sweetest dreams, with my smile grown
wider than ever before. I got me, my beautiful son and a handful of wonderful people
in my life that help keep it moving along. Whenever I am tunneling to my true
authentic self I end up face to face with an ever momentous amount of kairos
and that is quite possibly the most profoundly true and exciting thing I have ever written
about myself. Once you find yourself and are capable of focusing on your own
battle, there’s just about nothing but perhaps what a Panzer tank full of
self-pity can undue. No more excuses. This year I am true to me, it’s do or
die, and I prefer to continue doing me.