Small things from Big things, Uncategorized

Going Through It with Jesse Williams

“You cannot control your own population by force, but it can be distracted by consumption.” Noam Chomsky

Going. Through. It.

A Syndrome?

These days, it seems simple to fall into a “woe is me” state of mind. People who are routinely unaware of their privilege love to Go Through It.  It is a syndrome of some sorts.  They (me included) love to wallow in the sunlight of their first world problems. What is Going Through It?  Going Through It, is a disease.  It spreads throughout your body and mind like weeds. It can be passed on through nurture, acquired from ill-chosen company or learned from watching too much reality TV and forgetting it’s not reality.  Going Through It is when your car breaks down the same day your mortgage is due and your toilet is usurping gallons of water causing your water bill to sky-rocket and your check didn’t come in the mail and you have family coming over from out of the country and you forgot to pay a small bill but now the past due surcharge doubled your bill and… and and all bullocks, bull-crap.  I like to repeat myself.  It’s an old habit that can stay.  Anyway, the aforementioned clusterf… of annoying things is all privileged stress.  A stress that only people fortunate enough to own cars, homes, have checks coming in the mail, have room in their place for visitors to stay experience.  I am not here to diminish any person’s strifes or my own. I want to place some perspective on the nature of some struggles. I’m writing this in attempts to begin to understand privilege in a world where Jesse Williams’ masterful acceptance speech on the 2016 BET Awards show highlighted how much value is placed on getting  “stuff”.  Let’s be clear that is not all he said I didn’t miss a beat, it is all I am touching on this month.

Lets take a look at what he said:

TalkingJW

Wait a minute; I’m talking now

“Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money – that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.” Jesse Williams

 

Judging?

I don’t need statistics to see although we have high poverty and unemployment rates, (several) people in the United States have a strong need to collect large quantities of frivolous items. Is it to prove status? Or pseudo-stability? I don’t know why. Am I am being a little judgmental here? Hopefully, Im not. Surely don’t want to be.

So What’s the Link?

usconsume

buy, buy, buy and buy some more

How does this connect to the Going Through It Syndrome? Well, let’s see those of us who are consumers: What are we consuming for? What is the goal? What is the aim on the board? What do we need to consume less? Who or what entities benefit from mass consumption? And consequently who is at a disadvantage? Will less consumption help us Go Through It less? I find the more stuff or brands I have the more complicated life becomes and the more I fall victim to the Going Through It Syndrome . When I simplify  I allow myself to focus on more pressing matters like social injustice, climate change, completing blog entries on time and etc.

So maybe, the goal isn’t so much to not go through it, perhaps a component of my life’s journey is to go through it with purpose. A purpose that surpasses consumption.

“Privilege is not in and of itself bad; what matters is what we do with privilege.” bell hooks

Privileged,

TWD

 

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New New

Working With The Seasons

“Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.”

Hugh Prather

May Magic…Sometimes I have to write at the beginning of the month and other times the very end. Considering I haven’t been doing this for long, I’d say those times are undetermined thus, I have no idea what my preferred blogging pattern is. One thing I did notice this May are the changing temps in NYC. In one week, I wore tall boots with a raincoat, a light denim dress with some skips, sandals and a skirt then back to tall boots. Moody weather at it’s finest along with a moody moi in response to some meticulously-annoyingly-moody days.

Yes, there were days, I was on cloud 9 armed with life-affirming quotes and a positive attitude. Then there were those semi-bitter days where I’d step in gum with new footwear that was solely, meant to be worn in the car as in door-to-door service not sidewalk-stomping. That’s no big deal at all right? It does not merit the “everything happens for a reason” or “everything has it’s season” clichéd remarks we say during a crisis? But these little things kept happening and I was done, spent, worn-out, tired of it all!

MeanFran

Arghh! Must get through this… F-bomb F-bomb F-bomb

Again, the May seasons I experienced were not the big “oh my goodness” moments but instead they were the ones where- I missed the bus, caught the next one, believed I forgot my phone, went back home only to learn I had it on me all along, got to my destination late, my tardiness is frowned upon, I’m hungry but don’t have time or money to buy something and oh yeah, it wasn’t my phone I forgot it was my favorite breakfast bar, lunch and dessert; I finally make amends with the morning then a series of unfortunate events part two takes place in the afternoon-moment! That’s the season. The season of little things happen.

I own one too many books about dealing with life’s bigger issues such as tragedy, depression and sickness. Yet learning how to cope with the little things is what was missing from my arsenal. However, May had it ready to teach. Not to mention, balancing sleep, job, career (not the same), home repairs, relationships, and relaxation was not to far behind in the educative process. The seasons were encroaching on my style. Something had to change. I changed.

I did. Well a little. Rule #1: Change a little for little things! No, that’s not real I think. Don’t follow that rule. Don’t you dare do it. I did change. I am not sure how it happened. Somehow the end of April to the end of May created less time for me to brood. I stopped believing I could control the outcome of each day with preparation and discipline. Instead, I maintained order (preparation and discipline) and adopted the attitude entitled: Get through it smiling more, whining less.

So, I practiced quickly finding the good in the meticulously-annoyingly-moody days. Instead of contemplating getting off the grid and finding a cozy island to reside on for the rest of my life I searched for something good. Sometimes it’s like searching for a tiny clear button on the floor and sometimes it’s easier. I vow to keep looking.  That’s the magic. That’s my magic. It’s the trick behind being able to flow with the seasons. While simple it is not, it is worth a genuine and consistent effort.

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.”

J. B. Priestley

Note: This May blog arrived in June due to a mini-flood from the ceiling over a portion of  my living room right where I keep my laptop! Yes it was drenched. I was tested and passed. No freak-out, no tears. Onward…

 

Love & Change,

TWD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Revivals

Formation: How Beyonce Revived the Deceased

I was dead.  Flatlined. No line. Believe it. Dead. Check the date of my first and last entry before this one. It was two years ago.  I wrote an introduction, a “Hello all, this is me” letter entitled: Third World Diva Part 1″. “The Haitian girl born in Canada and raised in Brooklyn” letter. The , “Im labeling this part 1 because there will most certainly be a part deux next month” letter. See, in my mind I had this all planned out: I’d submit a new topic each month to keep the verbose- witty-silly bitch in me satisfied. But then I died. I was creating in other ways but the talkative- I got a lot to say about a lot- chick died.  I gave up before putting in any effort past the first submission.  Not a quitter but didn’t finish the race.  Feel me?

Then, it happened.  On a random Saturday afternoon (random for me not for Bey) some spectacle entitled “Formation” (Dirty) by Beyonce appeared on my timeline and like any Black woman of my generation you obediently watched the video.  Then you watched again to process what you just witnessed.

Watch it here, again.

 

Mine Blown

The video rocked my brain.  My world shook, earthquake, seismic shifts took place in my toes.

200

My toes twitched bitch.  I contacted my sister immediately.  She would do the same for me. We, the collective we, do not keep good information to ourselves people, we share, we must spread the gospel. How could you not call up a friend then another, then another and type endlessly on Twitter or FB about Formation?  I mean even Melissa Harris-Perry had a panel ready to discuss the Bey-Formation impact a day after the video dropped. Stop.  She was ready to discuss dissect reframe and be revived.  See people, even if you weren’t dead like me something in Formation woke you up, pushed you, motivated you, touched you made you FEEL.

The Slay Revival

Beyonce revived Messy Mya, New Orleans 11 years after HK, Trayvon and his hoodie a day after his would be 21st birthday, hot sauce in your bag, the Jackson family’s original noses,  a mini-documentary about Bounce music, Red Lobster, the magic found in the South, me and other closeted dead folks masquerading as woke. Spirits. She conjured the spirits.  Not only with the images of beautifully embedded New Orleans Voodoo deities but with the spirits in all of us to be bad asses, to be magnanimous to SLAY. She evoked something in me with the line, “I dream it, I work hard, I grind til I own it.”  I’m here writing this entry all owning my ish.  Catch me next month. I’m in formation.

Beyonce-Formation-Ride

TWD

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Uncategorized

Third Worldness in America Pt. 1

Welcome to Third World Diva. Diva? I sing so there’s that.

What is Third Worldness in America? It is being born in Montreal, Canada, raised in Brooklyn  and at home hearing three, sometimes four languages in a day. It is accents, spices only sold by old ladies on Nostrand Avenue, thinking in a different language and traditions that are hard to explain. Third Worldness is the lens from which I see the world.  But,  I am not Haitian. I am not American. I embody both.

The merger

With all my American schooling sometimes I still say, “I’m going to do the market” instead of “I’m going grocery shopping”. I love Haitian food except for fried chicken, leave it to the Americans.

But where is the golden crunch?

This is what I’m talking about.

But don’t mess with Haitian rice. It’s fail proof!

You know you want some.

Third Worldness, is like making a new smoothie everyday, I’m blending ingredients from two cultures while deciding what to keep and what to save for tomorrow.

Served hot.

TWD

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