we are relaxing!

checking in from vacation, this morning my mom and i watched dave chapelle’s block party for my first time. i cried. this seems to happen more easily when i am relaxed. i love hip-hop, i love dave, it made me miss brooklyn so much. explaining to my mom what dead prez, talib, mos and all them were saying, and why it was a big deal for the fugees to perform together, it just made me think about what a mass of talent is out there right now. as in all wartime, entertainment has blossomed and elevated.

then we watched the emmys. for someone with no cable or ability to watch television, i really enjoyed the show. i sneak a lot more than i realized, i really wanted sandra oh to win. the haegl girl from grey’s anatomy and julia louis dreyfuss tied in my book for best dress. conan hosted brilliantly and i ended up being moved to tears over the dick clark part, and when my sweet colbert lost to freaky manilow.

in other news, my dad and i went to dinner last night and i just love him so much. the men in my life who i cherish most have as much of a passion for privacy as i do for public validation of my existence, and because of that i won’t disclose the content. but the tone was one of respect, reconciliation, real listening and dialogue. on paper we couldn’t be further from each other, and so i think our relationship is proof of the difference breath and flesh and heart make in the quest for peace and poetry in life.

and in further other news, my dream life here has lost all subtlety in its need to send me messages. in quick succession i have told myself to clear up any drama in my life and reach out to folks i need to reach out to and go back to the basics of how i approach…everything. to that end i am not going to stress about money for my organization, i am just going to start making it. and i have discontinued my moratorium on the heartbreaker, it’s time we were friends. all good things come to an end – worry, money, celibacy, my box of strawberry mochi. even heartbreak. how can something so tender last so long in the first place?

to my knowledge i am at peace with everyone i care about in this world. that is important, because it is almost my birthday, and i like to make a big deal of peace as it relates to the day i was born.

i want to start a project for girls, a self-portrait project where girls have to just take shots of their face and body with a digital camera until the find all the things they like, until they know their face. i have been documenting myself for almost two years now and it has completely changed my ability to behold myself. i wish i had done this when i was 13, and 16, and 21. i hope i remember to continue as i move closer to 30, and beyond, in’shallah.


i can’t remember if i spoke of how moved i was to read in the Stars and Stripes ARMY paper out here that the leader of Hezbollah apologized for the great violence that has taken place in response to their actions…he said if he’d known this would be the outcome he would have never acted. this ability to acknowledge a mistake, to take responsibility for a chain of events that can only be seen as devastating, this is what i would wish to see from American elected officials.

on this base where my parents live, the channels are all variations of the Armed Forces Network, AFN. I forget about this, that this is what the American military watches worldwide. there are no commercials, only public service announcements where i can feel my brain being manipulated. there are PSAs now to train soldiers not to speak out against their leaders. these messages didn’t exist during the clinton years. more and more soldiers are realizing that they are following the orders of an administration that sees them as dispensable, that doesn’t know how to earn respect but instead tries to bully for it. now is the time, if you have soldiers in your reach, to make sure they feel your love and know they are safe to demand reasons.

i did not speak here yet about the anniversary of katrina, and i suppose that is because i am too disappointed in roughly everything that has happened there to say much. it’s still devastating. nothing has changed, and there are a bunch of good people down there who i love and respect who are still struggling from sun-up to sun-down.

i have been offered three different blogging opportunities! i will keep you posted, maybe this will become the central space where i keep all of them? how much can a girl write?

my mother and i are about to return to our hard core relaxing. dances with wolves is on tv. oh did i tell you about my mom’s obsession with kokeshi dolls? they’re like $10 at shrine sales, lovely wooden painted dolls that are given as gifts usually amongst children here…my mom has started collecting sets of three that resemble each other, in three heights, recreating her three daughters again and again. if i weren’t so relaxed i would write a country song about it, seriously, "she was a mama through and through, it was all that she could do, not to find her dauthers faces in all of god’s good places" and so on. there are sets of us all over the house. last night her first full class of students graduated and they presented her with gifts, photos and thanks, they adore her. everyone adores her. my mother is remarkable.

did i mention i am now breezing through the ‘beware, very challenging’ level of sudoku puzzles? go brain, it’s yo birfday! seriously, this makes me feel smarter than any other endeavor.

and i am taking daily baths, which makes me feel softer and more pampered than any other endeavor. all out baths: with candles, music, stacks of magazines, hot tea, smelly bath products from lush.

i have written 15 poems/songs this vacation. a reminder that when i grow up, i am going to just write songs, and y’all won’t even be ready. i LOVE vacation! and i hope you get in the mood with me just by reading a bit – next on the schedule, a moment of silence for my hardworking normal self. may i never forget how much i love the balance of unhurried time.