Make it Viral

•August 1, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Published on Jul 31, 2014

BROADWAY STARS SEND A MESSAGE ABOUT POLICE VIOLENCE AND THE KILLING OF ERIC GARNER

On July 29th, at 6pm WalkRunFly Productions (Warren Adams & Brandon Victor Dixon) partnered with poet Daniel J. Watts, and over 100 Broadway stars, directors, producers, musicians, choreographers, designers and technicians in Times Square to send a message about violence and the killing of Eric Gardner. CREDITS WalkRunFly Productions http://www.wrfprod.com Produced By Warren Adams & Brandon Victor Dixon Poem written and performed by Daniel J. Watts http://www.wattswords.com Edited by Darryl Harrison Visual Architect Videographers Lowell Freedman, Antonio Thompson, Darryl Harrison, And Jesse Guma

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Hungry or nah?

•July 8, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I was leaving that great bastion of consumerism (Wal-Mart) and I was approached by a young man.  He asked me if I would be able to help him out by giving him a few dollars so that he could get something to eat.  I told him that I did not carry cash, but I would be happy to let him have the two pretzel dogs that I’d just purchased inside the store.  He looked disappointed and said, “I was really just thirsty,” and walked away.  I do my best to help people in need because the truth of the matter is that it would take just a few unfortunate circumstances to put me in the same position.  There are so many people standing on corners all over the county and perhaps around  the world holding signs because they are in need.  It has become, in too many instances a scam, and it makes those of us who want to help, hesitant to do so because we don’t know how to determine if someone is sincerely in need or if they are just running a scam.  Having lived in a homeless shelter for a short amount of time I know that there are a few shelters that require that you pay a weekly rent of $56.  If this man needed money for that I would have gladly gone back into the store and used the ATM to give him the $56.  But he didn’t ask for money for weekly rent for the shelter, and he didn’t ask for money to get something to drink, although he said he was thirsty.  He asked for money for food.  I don’t know if I did the right thing or not.  A part of me wonders if I should’ve just offered to go get him something to drink.  I just don’t know.  He said he wanted food and I offered him food but he turned it down.  Does this mean that he was going to use the money for something else?  I may never know.

 

http://www.dva2de.com

Independence…from fear.

•July 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Today I visited two ladies from my childhood.  Two very good friends of the family that I haven’t seen for a while.  One of the ladies has a knee that she needs to have replaced, but everytime she goes to her doctor there is always something that causes a delay.  The other lady was a very close friend of my mother.  Her husband is very ill and there may not be much time left for him on this side.  I thought that I was going there to cheer them up in their time of need, but they were encouraging and enlightening me.  The lady who is waiting for the knee replacement said that even though she is in a lot of pain, she is still able to care for herself.  Although she moves slow she can move and she can see to her own personal hygiene and prepare her own food.  The lady whose husband is fading told me that when she was younger she took every opportunity to take trips and just go where ever she wanted to.  Now that her husband is not well she spends all of her time at his bedside.  She said that she doesn’t regret staying by his side because he took care of her and their children very well.  She told me to take every opportunity to go and see and do, because you never know when you will not be able to go anywhere by yourself.  I realized that I spend a lot of time bemoaning the “aint gots”.  These ladies were shining examples of being thankful for what you have regardless of your circumstances.  For all my desire to live my life free of fear I realized that I have still be letting fear hold me back.  Today I declare my independence from fear.  It’s time to “Just Do It”, what ever it is.  Only one of 2 things can happen.  Either I will fail or succeed.  It’s not like I haven’t failed before.

Nobody Taught Me to Quit

•July 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

*Having a bad day.  Needed a reminder*

 

Nobody Taught Me to Quit

 

My mother taught me to love words.  She was a fascinating story teller.

She knew the power of humor to diffuse conflict.  She was generous and

her door was always open.  She taught me to share what I have

even if it’s little.  She showed me by her example that it’s never to late

for self improvement.  She didn’t teach me how to quit.

 

My daddy taught me the value of hard work as he worked to provide

not only material things, but love. Because he values me as a daughter

he showed me my own worth. He says a handshake is an indication

of character, confidence and honesty.  He says “every tub gotta stand on its own

bottom”.  He didn’t teach me how to quit.

 

My grandmother taught me about music, the beauty of lyrics

the magic of melody to soothe and calm.  She taught me the power

of praise and the value of faith. I learned resilience from watching

her defy doctor’s predictions of her demise.  She said, “You don’t have to

chase a if a man wants you, he’ll find you.”  She didn’t teach me how to quit.

 

I stand at the crossroads of a difficult journey unsure of which way to turn

but one thing that is certain, back is not it.  I’ve learned many valuable lessons

in this life but nobody taught me how to quit.

What is your name?

•June 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

There have been many times that I’ve been lead to do something, but it was something difficult which destroyed my notion of a comfort zone. I would balk at that thing because I didn’t want to suffer or be ostracized.  I have been getting the same message for at least the last 3 years.  Leave your job and use your gifts.  I didn’t.  At least not voluntarily.  Now, I really have no choice.  When you try to run from your destiny it has a way of finding you…I went to visit my daughter who just had her third child.  I love being a Nana.  While I was there i went out onto the deck to meditate early saturday morning.  The air was cool and crisp after the rain.  I could hear small woodland creatures scurrying near by. The birds were chattering up a storm.  It sounded like one bird in particular was asking me a question.  “Whatsiyourname, whatisyourname, whatisyourname.”  In my focused and quieted mind I began to answer that question, with the name that I was given at birth.  It was as if the bird said, “No, that’s not your name.  Whatisyourname, whatisyourname, whatisyourNAME?”  In that quiet place from the depths of my soul and the core of my being I heard the answer:  My name is DIVA.  My name is Diva because I am Delivered from the power of sin and the pain of the past.  I am Inspired by the gift that He put in me for His glory, I am Victorious because of the blood of Jesus and I am Anointed to speak and to write the words that He gives me.  And then, from that quiet place came a command.  Go then, and be that DIVA that you are meant to be.

“All the Single Ladies”

•April 4, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I read a Facebook post today from a (male) pastor offering advice to single women on how to “get a man”.  NEWS FLASH!!!  My singleness is not a malady that needs to be fixed.  I am not incomplete or less than human because I am not in some sort of relationship.  As a 51-year-old full-time student, the level of time and commitment (and vulnerability for that matter) that it takes to build a relationship with any substance and depth is more than I’m willing to sacrifice.  I’ve waited a long time to complete this educational journey that I started over 30 years ago.  I’ve worked hard and as the end is in sight, I’m not willing to get off track.  Why do people believe that if a woman is not in a relationship that she is less than a woman?  Honey I’m a whole lotta woman!  I’m a woman who inspires other women (younger and older) to chase their dreams.  I’m a woman who tells anyone who will listen that I am a walking talking example of “it’s never too late”.  I don’t feel like anything is missing in my life.  I am active in community theater, I am a spoken word artist that performs frequently, I am a poet/ author.  I don’t mind taking myself out to dinner or to a movie, because I know the value of my own company. I have a family, complete with the  most adorable grandchildren ever (yes, I am biased).  I have friends, male and female, and we do things together sometimes, but I don’t feel incomplete or that my life would be perfect if I “just had a man”.  While there will probably come a point that I will be ready for another relationship (I was married for almost 20 years), that point is not now. I got work to do, Kingdom Business. So please don’t try to fix my singleness.  I’m getting to know myself and becoming the best me that I can be.  If/when a man comes into my life and we build a relationship  he will be the icing on the cake.  Not the cake.  I’m the cake.  Most of the time people scrape off the icing and just eat the cake anyway.

Shea Butter and Happiness

•March 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Today I had the pleasure of having lunch with National Book Award Winner Nikky Finney.  She was generous and beautiful and humble when she has every right to strut around like a peacock.  I was invited by one of my instructors of Women’s and Gender studies to have lunch with Ms. Finney before her flight out after she was the keynote speaker for the South East Women’s Studies Association conference.  Unfortunately I was not able to hear her speech.  I had to work.  I couldn’t sleep the night before, much like the excited insomnia i had the night before Nikki Giovanni came.   Nervous energy in me creates art and so I wrote this poem:

up

it’s 2:35 and I’m up
like my blood pressure when I eat pulled pork barbecue
like that one piece of hair in the back with a mind of its own
like a seventeen year old’s libido like the night before
I met Nikki Giovanni.   I’m up cause my mind is excited and
my thoughts are racing and I can’t imagine what I will hear
as I sit and break bread with national book award winner
national treasure best acceptance speech in the world giver
South Carolina native Nikky Finney, so I’m up. See she does
that thing that I do the way that I wanna do it and I realize
that I came to the game late and starting out at this age
leaves me way behind so I’m up. Not because I think
I can catch up or that my skills need to match up, but I’m
up because I know that no matter what she says, I will be
elevated…and I’m excited… so I’m up

 

I asked her if I could read it to her and she used that as a teaching moment, telling us that when the opportunities present themselves ask   “can I?”, otherwise you’ll live with regrets.  She was so encouraging.  By the end of the lunch, she was calling me “D” like my close friends do.  It was a wonderful informal lunch among friends.  I talked with Asia and Josh and everybody at the table enjoyed each other’s company and the differences of gender and sexuality and race and privilege and oppression evaporated.  It felt like freedom.  It felt like love.  LeTriece put it best:  “It’s smells like Shea butter and happiness”