Oh, the Places You Will Go | Toronto pt. II Getting Around

•August 27, 2014 • Leave a Comment

One of the best parts of the trip to Toronto with Shorty Do-Op, as is the case with most, were the familiar experiences highlighted by your unique circumstances.

Take, for example, we took public transportation just about everywhere we went. That’s often the case when you travel, right? But you know as well as I do that taking the train in New York is nothing like a train ride in Chicago. Catching a cab anywhere in Mississippi is not like hailing one in Madrid. Familiar experiences, unique circumstances. You get the idea.

The photographs below are all homages to the brief love affair I had with the public transit system in the city. Something about it all just felt right. Each shot is (from top to bottom) the stop at the airport where we caught the shuttle back to the hotel every night, the city bus that took us there, and the train that took us to the bus. (On my last night there, I was asked out on a date right near that 22!)

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Our last night in Toronto, we visited a bakery called Bakerbots Baking. Oh. Em. Gee.

Let me tell you something. I’m not usually one for waiting in line for anything, especially food. In fact, I was just telling a couple of the young women I work with this the other day. They thought I was weird, and you probably will, too.

Standing in line suggests, for me, deficiency. It announces “I’m standing in line to get something I don’t have! Not only do you have what I want/need, that also means you have the power.” I’d rather just do without. This complex was also fed when I worked for years covering big events and parties thrown by self-important people. Because I was there to cover the shindigs, I never waited in line, I just walked in.

I say that to say, when Shorty and I exited the train station at the Ossington stop to try out Bakerbots, I was not happy when I saw the line that was about a block long. Ugh! We stood in line about 30 minutes before we could even step foot inside this quaint bakery. It was worth every second we waited. Instead of sitting outside on benches and the sidewalk to eat our treats as the other patrons did, we waited until we got back to the hotel. Smart move. One of the few things I dislike more than standing in a line is having a foodgasm in public.

Oh, the Places You Will Go | Toronto pt. I Nature’s Grandeur

•August 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

A couple months ago, Shorty Do-Op and I went to Toronto for a few days. It was a much-needed break from the chaos of our every day lives. I rarely remember to take pictures of things. I like to be in the moment, not trying to snap pictures so I can remember the moment years from now. But my mom, MrsInklination, instructed me clearly “Take pictures” before I left, so I tried to oblige. I’ll post a few for the next few days.

The first two pics are views from the Niagra Falls Park District. In the distance of the first picture, you’ll see Old Fort Niagra. The third and fourth pictures are the Canadian (Horseshoe Falls) and American and Bridal Veils Falls, respectively. Pictures simply do not do these sites justice, neither can words articulate the wonder. God’s artistry–you just have to see it for yourself.

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Butterflies

•August 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment

It’s been so long since I’ve had butterflies I’m almost certain my autonomic nervous system would dismiss them as a foreign object meant to hurt me, not a potential for something new and exciting. Alas, I welcome the confusion.

Defining Freedom

•August 24, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I rarely write poetry. It’s not my thing; prose is. But recently in a workshop, the facilitator challenged the group to write a poem about freedom. There were a couple caveats. 

First, he asked that we offer words we associated with freedom. The group’s were unchained, liberation, prosperity, peace, truth, joyful, death, loose, wellness, un-encumbered, mobility, love, openness, justice, control. Secondly, we were asked to pen a poem about freedom not using the word itself or any of the words we associate with it to paint a picture of freedom. (A game of poetry Taboo, if you will.) “We often describe freedom as what it’s not,” he said. He asked us to paint a picture of what it is. 

My “picture” is below.

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God’s breath tickles the back of necks
Awakened by asong divine
Vulnerability is honored
The safety of exposure affirmed by
Sunlight caressing the shadows of hurt

Oh, come now to this place of calm
Stand up, turn around
Answering questions, questioning answers
That is where wholeness abounds

God’s breath tickles the back of necks
Awakened by a song divine
Vulnerability is honored
The safety of exposure affirmed by
Sunlight caressing the shadows of hurt

Anna Peters Speaks

•August 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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photo courtesy Martin Imaging

I am not a graceful person. I am not a Sunday morning or a Friday sunset. I am a Tuesday, 2 a.m., gunshots muffled by a few city blocks. I am a broken window during February. My bones crack on a nightly basis. I fall from elegance with a dull thud, and I apologize for my awkward sadness. I sometimes believe that I don’t belong around people, that I belong to all the leap days that didn’t happen. The way light and darkness mix under my skin has become a storm. You don’t see the lightning, but you hear the echoes. –Anna Peters

We the People: A Declaration of Interdependence

•August 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment

my small contribution to Skipp Coon’s seminal work “Miles-Garvey,” dropping August 21, Nat Turner’s insurrection 183 years ago

We the people of the Fractured States of America who do not confuse being here with whiteness do solemnly swear to revolutionize and redeem this land that has soaked up the blood, tears and sweat of us who have worked it. The poor among those who are united are invited to caucus, too, though they’re not likely to join us. We know this. But we are a just people.

First, we shall come together and wrestle, as a group of people who’ve been sold the American dream but open the box to find nothing there, with the anger, sadness and disappointment of the lies we’ve been told and swallowed. We will work through what it means to be a non-white person in America. Is our reality here a dream with bad parts or a nightmare with good ones? Our eyes have seen the glory of a different day and age. We are visionaries.

This land is your land, but this land is also my land. Let us make it clear to those who try to harm us physically, spiritually or psychologically—who try to tell us that we’re anything other than what we’ve decided individually and corporately we are—that their wounds will no longer be taken as par for the course: “This is your warning.” We are a fair people; we must give a warning.

When and if our cry is not heard the next time (for there will be a next time), we will act. Not recklessly but intentionally. Our spontaneous outbursts and natural responses to pain leave opportunities for us to be individualized. There won’t be time for that. We are also a disciplined people. We’ve been told otherwise, but it is best practice to take the subjugators definitions of us and flip them over, when searching the truth.

In the moment of loving repercussion (for we are also a loving people), no one will care what set you’re claiming. There’s only one set: a humanity who’s skin color ranges from white, darkened by coal, to dark as coal, illuminated only by light that expects liberation by our means, for it’s necessary. We’ve been ignored (at best, possibly) or oppressed, left with scars that are reminders of stories that we’ve not yet overcome after all these days. We will all be one—one made up of millions.

Before we reprimand them, as a thoughtful parent does a child, we will explain to them what is about to happen and why.

“We told you not to violate us again. We did not ask because you would have been left with a choice. History has taught us what choice you would have made, if given an option. Our consciousness is a part of God’s; our bodies belong to God; our feelings are validated by the empathic God. When you hurt, berate, lie to and withhold from us, you are transgressing God God’s self. This lesson was taught and ordained by God. Wrath is yet to come, if the God of the cross and the lynching tree decides in God’s righteousness that you deserve it. We are not God. You ready?”

We will not be taken seriously, but that’s OK. It will certainly mean this lesson will be bought, not just taught.

A collective action will ensue. Whatever it is, it should probably involve money, as lessons tied to money are learned quicker. At least that will be my suggestion. We hold these truths to be self-evident: The love of money is the root of all evil. Your menage a trios with money has caused us deep-seated jealousy. Yes, we are a jealous people.

You hear my voice, some of you, and wonder, “When will she say anything about women? When will she mention me? My issue? My nuance?” Oh, say can you see, sister, or whoever you maybe, when we willful insubordinates of the system come together at this point, there will have already been a conversation, an understanding of and commitment to you.

This requires, firstly, that we speak. We have been silent far too long. Then we will listen with just as much passion and anticipation as when we spoke. We will not posture ourselves for priority; we know our worth, and you do too. We are an intertwined people. Right?

Ultimately, it is all about the uplift of a people. And the secret will be when we are lifted, so shall we all shadowed beneath thy hand, forever stand true to our God, true to our native land.

An Affirmation for the Days to Come

•August 6, 2014 • Leave a Comment

A friend asked me a few weeks ago when I was going to stop playing it small. I’ve been struggling to answer that question ever since.

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