Monday, November 28, 2011

We must not forget about our mothers






We must not forget that our mothers were once young women
That they had lovers before our father
That they too once longed to belong
longed to feel at peace when alone 
at home ..(s).
and with other(s)
...
We must not forget
That they too were lost like we are now...

(...at some point)




This thought came to me yesterday after spending my Sunday evening with my friend's family. In the company of good conversation marinated in Trinidadian and St-Lucian accents. ...Yesterday I felt homesick. Reminded me that I might possibly spend my first Christmas without the fam this year.




We cannot forget that our parents were and maybe still live a life of uncertainty. ... In this quest of finding answers and clarity to my path..(lol) ... I also spent my yesterday taking a personality test. This test showed that I was a "INFJ type" ... (there's this link too) ... then I proceeded to google which careers would fit me. Only to find out that with my "personality type" I cannot be boxed into a certain career path...  ...(still trying to figure out what this means).


(currently vibing out to Eric Lau's instrumentals while I'm looking for jobs... I've noticed his name on a couple of blogs, but have yet to really listen to anything yet until tonight.. so far :) .. so good)



Thursday, November 24, 2011

Being Grounded


Life is interesting... 
I'm moving/looking for a job/looking for specific purpose/looking for myself/ looking for a right path/ looking to be less hard on myself/ looking to not be on my laptop and copped up inside/ looking to exercise more/ looking to pray more/ looking to cook more/ looking for more money. lol.. / looking to laugh more..
....

".. Ultimately I intend to be more present and aware through them (spiritual practices), ... to be more compassionate and see the world through a more compassionate lense as opposed to my own pride, my own fear " - SK
...

"...Being oriented in such a disorienting and distracted world.." - SK

Today hearing his story makes me feel sane. 


thankful

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Manmie...


Hi mom,

I want to tell you that that I really meant to call you yesterday… and the day before that. But I got caught up and I’m sorry. I know that you will not always be around… but please know that I care. It is a joy to be called your daughter … it is an honour to have been birthed through you. It is an honour to have been nurtured by your ways and fed by your hands and taught your ways.
Please know that I am grateful. (1:02 am – 18/11/11)
Sometimes I get busy. Sometimes I get too busy to call you and check up and see how you’re doing … not only as a mother of 5 beautiful children… but also as wife … as a person as human being. Sometimes I get too busy making sure the outcome of my hustle make your heart smile … and I forget that it is in the subtleties and small acts that fuel fire to your fight to be here.
Immigrant petite Haitian woman.. Strong, random quiet /loud when needed but warm when my spirit needs it the most. You left your home to be here in the cold for a better future for your children. Know that I remember your ways, habits annoying or not. lol.. know that I miss them all. know that I memorize the creases and folds of your face when your frowned in dismay or disaproval of some of my actions, words or attitudes. ...know and trust that God is shapping me into ways I'm sure will please your heart.
(1:24 AM – 18/11/11)

I'm not sure where you find the strength to be as great as you are. I gage that it is super-human... maybe something borrowed along the lines of your own mother and father and those before them. I gage that this strength ... and has been passed on to you like it has now passed on to me.

I'm learning to be strong like you mom... (I'm trying)...

Mom I want to tell you that yesterday I cried tears of joy at the feeling of peace I felt you had when I left you that random voicemail, asking you how you were doing. I hope you believe when I say, I'll try to do better... I will be better, and call you more. I know that it is in your nature to worry, rightfully so, but please don't let these thoughts take too much space in your mind... you deserve more than what I sometimes give you. You deserve more than this.

I smell a promise being made in exercising who I am (and I'm still figuring out what that is)...

(3:04 AM - 18/11/11)


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Erykah Badu Lecture (RedBull)

Lecture: Erykah Badu (Madrid 2011) from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo.

In an open letter to God I wrote...



November 17th ... at 12:32am ... Overwhelmed by my thoughts and feelings of how I got here. Overwhelmed by ... a lot of good things... fighting within myself my own insecurities in my navigation in this life... 22 years strong ...lol. I wrote these words.

 in the rawness of everything that was going through me... in Tears, Snot and ALL... (lol).......  I've never done this before. ... (I was debating whether or not I should post this up, or even share the context behind the creation of this post, but after discussing it with a friend, I decided to let go of these... or rather this anxiety or fear of releasing this prayer or raw thought into my blog.) ... I decided not to go over it and edit some of what I wrote. ... In sharing this open letter, I pray that someone gets something out of it.. if anything. ...lol. In sharing this I hope to somehow make a difference to someone who needed to see this. ............. I believe in the beauty that lies in sharing this raw... un-edited. ... typography of feelings ... thoughts.. emotion on this. .. if anything. I don't believe that I'm alone in this. ...I know I'm not alone in feeling this way.



...........


Dear God,

Thank you. ........ thank you for what happened in Geneva. I promise I will be better. I'm sorry ...with all this blessing, I do feel like like I've let you down. I haven't knelt down to thank you enough. I haven't put time for you as much as I should've ... and God I'm aware ... I'm sooo aware of everything you've done for me. 
I'm still wrapping my mind around what happened in Geneva. I'm still trying to make sense of it God.. and I know that you are all knowing ... and I trust that you already know that. but ... God help me find clarity in my purpose. I haven't felt so strong about my existence ever before until now... I am aware that you are working wonders within me... wonders whose depth I'm only now beginning to be cognizant of. 

Please don't be mad with me... I want to be bigger than me. 


(((..I gotta find peace of mind..)))
 I gotta find peace of mind lauryn hill by beeezee
(((I know it's possible...))) ..... guide me to where you want me to be. 

God I also know that I don't talk to you as much as I should, and I don't talk to my parents as much as I should... even if they are the most important things to me... I do have the tendency to try to handle and fix things by myself... like I have for a long time... but God today i'm praying that you allow me to be open... to let a little bit more people into my thoughts into me... allow me to realize and trust that other people can help me.

... I've been let down and disappointed with so many people...  

thank you for loving me despite myself. ... sometimes I fight myself.. thank you for caring... thank you for loving... thank you for incubating my space with love. With ... sooo much love. sooo many people who care about me. ...about my personal growth 
I want to understand my story and I want to tell it tactfully and honestly. .... I want to grow and teach within this discovery. .... Dear God allow me to let go of some of my anxiety ... some of my worries about what I say and what I do in exercising what is me. 
... Allow me to find my truth. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Michael Kiwanuka ... Tell me a Tale


Tell me a story that I believe... ...the trumpet part of this track reminds me of fela .. I like this guy and the vibe of his tracks. There's something kind of honest about how he signs his songs.. I appreciate it. 


Charter Magic


"I'm on a journey to a place I've never known... I'm on a journey to the land that has my soul"

life is a journey. (SOO cliché lol... nothing inspiring about that last sentence) lol... *shrug* ... but it is. ... I don't have anything constructive to say. Other than I really enjoy this dude... and his music.. his vibe and his art. ... #highfiveforCreativity :) 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tell me a story...


I'm back. I've been trying to wrap my mind around the things I've experienced for the past month I was away in Europe. The learning that took place in every aspect of my life. The growth I experienced both intellectually as well as personally. ...I needed this. God knows I really needed this. 


Since I've been back I've been finding myself noting things around me that I've never noticed before. Like how people having loud conversations on the subway is normal.. I keep wanting to speak in french to people I see (i.e. the asian guy at the counter, the white guy who dropped his bag then picked it up before I got to tell him he dropped it) ...lol. I keep wanting to go on a random late-night bike ride like I did on my last night in Geneva. 



I keep wanting to have a strong coffee and have a petit pain au chocolat warmed up every morning to start off my day. I keep wanting to see the faces of the friends I made while I was away. I keep wanting to share... and most of all I keep wanting to listen, absorb and learn from them. There is a strong part of me that feels like this is just the beginning ... and at that I insert a colon and a closed parentheses.

: )


For the past little bit I've been tired.... so all I've been doing is sleeping. ... and sleeping some more. and my body is thanking me for it, I've put it through quite a lot for the past 2 months. 
....






Geneva Geneva... I'm not sure where to begin. I feel like everyone who I told about the purpose of my travels, everyone that knew about the struggles I was going through prior to arriving there is eager for them to hear about my travels. ... and I want to unload these ideas out of my consiousness. I want to tell them this story. I want to tell everyone that this journey was beyond anything I ever expected. I want to tell them that it changed my life.. but I'm not sure where to begin. lol ... if I start with either of these statements, it will require me to elaborate some more on them right away, but I'm trying to make sense of the details of what this means to me. 

If I don't know these details myself ... I can't share it. ... I want to tell a story that my parents will be proud of. ...and I think they are already smiling, just based off of what they trust happened. just based off of the bits I've shared with them about my experience throughout it, and since I've been back. 

Is it strange that I want to tell myself a story of what happened to this 22 year old in Geneva. ...because in all honesty that's what I want to do. I want to tell myself this story, because I'm still wrapping myself around the reality of it all. 

In my attempts to decipher the details of what I learned, Tonight I've began to write open letters to my parents & God...I've done so all in the name of the love and the blessings that they've given me... Open letters because I read one once and I thought the concept of it was cool lol.. plus I also think that there's a blessing in the rawness and vulnerability and truth in a prayer. (I may or may not post it up here, not sure.. lol)


I am Grateful for being aware of the breath and depth of my purpose while being Young, Gifted and Black.

I am Grateful for the love and support that I have surround and incubating me while I'm growing



StrangeFruit.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Speechless. No words. Just feeling. 



These human beings are beautiful, strong... Gifted & Black. 

Geneva is expensive. ...but beautiful.

Me & sun & body of water = :) 

Now that the fellowship is over. I need to unwravel some of this. I need to write. I have some much fuel to write more. ...To be more. Growth = <3

(Stay posted fam).
StrngFrt

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Première Semaine



DAY2
So this journey begins. I've been granted the opportunity to take part of this fellowship program with the UN. Today is was day 2, I can't believe that we're already going on day 3. My days are heavily packed with crash-course about Human Rights courses taught by UN specialists. I got my UN pass, mad books. We were told that the first week of the journey will entail learning the basics UN-Human Rights /International Law 101. Readings are hectic. There is almost no time to rest. ... to enjoy the scenery, that is all so new to me.

There's not much to say but that. ... Trying to find the time to eat. sleep. Keep my family and friends updated as much as I can... aaannnd blog. ..lol. It's happening... slowly... somehow.

 I'm practicing my french :) .... I'm the unofficial translator in the group. I'm realizing that I may have an ear for languages because I'm finding myself translating certain words from English to french, Spanish, Portuguese.



DAY3
If I could find a way to put together what went down today... you would get why at 1:22 am I'm smiling from ear-to-ear and I'm in awe of ...this. Today was a learning experience. I took in for the first time the dynamics of Treaty bodies, International Law and states. .... to break that down, I took in the international instruments that are specific to the United Nations and learned how states can be legally bound or softly tied to these laws. Today I understood the detailed technicality behind the reason why sometimes when the UN suggest states to do certain things they don't necessarily implement it. I knew this before... but never like this. Since I was told by one of the coordinators of the fellowship program about the 1st week is meant to be introductory, learning the basic structure is necessary to know in any circumstance.



I think what's more exciting about this part of it is that I tasted the possibility of hearing about specific ways in which people of African descent can mobilize themselves and pressure their government to be tied to these conventions and treaties, most if not at least some they are signatories of. For anyone reading this who may be wondering, NO I don't have a background in International Relations, (though I took 1 class during my undergrad at York U) and NO I don't have a background in Law (though I took a class at York U, then dropped it half way through it lol)... But I do recognize and accept that with the work that I've done I am an activist in my own right.  ... I will admit that there were /(still are) moments where I'm dozing off, in the middle of some of these sessions... I can't deny the lessons that I'm taking in. I can't deny the space that I'm in and everything that it encompasses.



UN-related learning aside, the people that I'm around have an energy to them that I can't put into words. Their struggle and activism in their community ... and obvious frustration and exhaustion is visible in their tones even if I don't speak Portuguese or spanish. It's an expression and vibe that is all to familiar to me, and some people that I know in my community as well as my own home. Today I found myself eating, laughing, joking, celebrating a birthday, and singing bob marley anthems outloud from the bus ride, train ride and walk from the Brazilian restaurant to the hostel where we're all staying. ... then somewhere in-between I found myself finding abstract bars of Tupac &Biggie tracks and reciting the lines to these songs I heard vaguely with the fellow from the UK and the US. ...lol. ....(how did I get here?).
(1:48am 20/10/11)

...
Ever so grateful.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

"I am on my way.."

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't afraid. I'd be lying if I said that I knew everything and that I was 100 percent confident that this opportunity will make a huge difference in the communities which I claim to be a part of. I'd by fooling myself if I didn't admit Outloud that I have been struggling with accepting this opportunity. Truth is for the past little bit I've been struggling with accepting where the momentum of my choices have landed me. I've been struggling with accepting the fact that I had a role in landing myself... there. For those of you that know me know that I have recently been granted the opportunity to have a fellowship opportunity with the United Nations in honor of this year being the "year of People of African Descent".

I am now only days away from leaving Toronto and go to Geneva Switzerland where I will have a chance to voice stories and experiences and knowledge to UN officials and hopefully make a difference in this world.

 OneDaySoon(Sampler) by Ian Kamau

The only thing the fire in my bones can allow me to testify aloud is that there is a reason for my choices and purpose in the position I found myself in. The only thing I'm sure of is this gut feeling that things will fall together as God sees fit whether that's aligned with what I have in my mind.


...
(((((((( ......... 10hrs later, Took a Flight from Toronto to Geneva, found my way to my hostel.....))))))))

[7:30pm - Geneva] "I just woke up from a nap. I can't believe I'm here. I need to get something to eat, but I'm not sure what's open. Thankfully me, being the nerd that I am, I've packed a couple of granola bars in my suitcase.... My battery is low (#backstreetboys) gotta go.. ... (lol).... I have no sense of time. I guess that's what it means to be jet-lagged? ... I can't believe I made it here to this city... to THIS side of the world. The view I saw from the mountains as the plane landed was beautiful! It reminded me of Haiti... the mountains and what looked like the countryside reminded me of home... minus the snow, minus the infrastructure... minus the entire culture lol ... maybe I just have a thing for mountains ... (shrug)...is it crazy that as I was trying to sleep, I actually started to have lines and specific ideas that I was going to insert in my presentation? ... :) ... I'd say more, but I can't my battery is on 40% ... and I still need some life from it for tomorrow until I find a plug converter. ...somewhere somehow... 

I can't believe a few hours away, I was on my way.... and now I'm here. ........ (aaaahhhhh!!!) .... and the support and love, I've been getting from my tweets (@YazzyTaughtMe), my Facebook and BBM updates, ... to say that I am Blessed would be the biggest uncerstatement of the year! ...."


.... Dear God,I'm here. ....now what? Let's Get it. :)


StrnFrt.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

...and I wonder, if you know, what it means..


A vibe as soft as velvet... and warm like good memories.
Sometimes I truly do wonder how I got here.
- thoughts during #wombmanifesto

 Phonte – The Life Of Kings f. Evidence & Big K.R.I.T by ThaSmokeBreak

... working hard. busy body. ... I'm seeing wonders around me and I feel people look at me sometimes with a little bit of wonder and I do feel awkward because of it ...I know I'm awkward. ...and I'm coming to terms with it. (lol... slowly) ... Manifesto season is wrapping my being and bringing my mind, ideas and experience and adding another dimension to it. ... I'm in love with this blessing.


... and I wonder... if you know, what it means? ... what it means? ... to find your dreams..


 Kanye West - I Wonder by alex_i_k

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Call Center Blues

There are 3 things I can honestly say I hate in life. In no particular order:
  1.  asking for anything, 
  2.  awkward phone conversations (beyond 10mins), 
  3.  asking for money.


I work at a call center to meet ends meet. ...and you guessed it!... all 3 of these things are currently very much a part of my life. But Wait!... it gets worse, my shifts are from 2pm - 11pm. (*sarcastic yaaaay*) ... (sigh). Today was interesting though, unlike my usual loner behavior (don't socialize outside your small cubicle and stare at the wall behind your computer screen and wait for the next call to come up, till I abort the suicide-mission), this older man from India would constantly peep onto my screen to check out my stats. I noticed it, and honestly didn't care cuz ...well.. you guessed it, I really don't give a sh!t. lol

 Mos Def w/ Lee Fields & The Expressions - Honey Beef (Steely Chan's Blender Mash) by Steely Chan

As the shift progressed, he kept asking me some questions. ...really generic questions at first. If I was a student, what I studied, why I'm working at a call center since I just graduated from University. ...I tried to be vague but the questions kept on coming and  the combination of being a horrible liar and multitasking the possibility of keeping up with a plausible lie and answering phone calls through my headset seemed too much of a challenge given my fatigue and apathy, so I decided to go towards the honest/open route. I told him about why as someone bilingual I settled into this call center w/ horrible hours, I told him about my upcoming opportunity abroad and my desperate need for quick cash, I told him my honest opinion as to why I think I got it, and what I hope to get with it.

He told me he thinks the entire education system in this country is messed up. He told me that he sincerely thinks it's useless. He didn't believe in the education system to prepare us for the real life. He too found it absurd to spend 5 years investing $50,000.00plus into an education and have none of it return to you after graduation. He believes that schools kills creativity.... He told me he believed in Passion, and following that passion and that joy. He told me he doesn't believe that money or fame bring joy but rather passion does.

... you get where this is going. ...the dude was spitting STRAIGHT knowledge. I meant to ask him questions too, but the conversation we were having was kinda deep considering I never told him what my name was. lol... I peeped his on his computer screen. (lol)... his name was Dinesh. I remember him telling me he was from India ...
I think the most memorable portion of our conversation was when I made a comment about my trouble of explaining to my parents about passion and the dead-endness of this rat-race for recent grads to follow the zombie-esqueness of 9-5s. He said:

"Even in this rat race.. you're still a rat" 
.......... like #pow

....(take it in)
I had NEVER thought about this up until he said it. and I swear I probably have had a conversation similar to this one with a lot of my close friends... but never saw it that way. ... it's oddly yet obviously eerie, dark and truthful. Though he was quite militantly against school and the education system beyond it's utility to teach us how the read and write. lol... I found it very hard to ignore most of his arguments. 
hmmm.. maybe this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship? lol

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Note-To-Self: Write Everyday... Write something. Every Day.


I will Write every day.
I will Write every Day.
I will Write Every day.
I will write something.
I will write SOMETHING
Everyday
Every DAY
.....

I'm clearly struggling with this. (lol)... Hence why I keep talking about this. ... But just ran into this on tumblr, and I'm going to try my hardest to make it a priority until I leave this country. To anyone struggling w/ something similar out there. This post is dedicated to you :)


1. Commit to writing for at least two hours every day. (Why? Because 1½ to 2 hours is the maximum that most of us can endure mentally and physically before needing a break.) So write for at least 90 minutes without getting up from your chair. Seriously. No breaks, no distractions, no getting everything else done first. And especially no e-mail and Facebook.

2. Write every day for two weeks. For most of us, that is enough to make it a habit. And I promise that if you do this, you’ll find out how much more productive you become as a writer. Try it.

3. What to do when you have holidays to observe and celebrate? Or when you are too ill to write? Or when you can’t possibly find even 90 minutes in your day to write? That is when you must write even 15 minutes each day. No matter how tired or busy or even sick you are, write 15 minutes each day. Here’s why this works:

-  The hardest part of writing is getting started. We amateurs procrastinate minutes, hours, and days. (The pros – some of the best and most prolific writers – report procrastinating weeks and even years.) We’re afraid we won’t have anything to write. We’re afraid that what we write will be terrible. We’re afraid we’re not up to the real pain that good writing requires. For some of us, it’s only when the pain of what we would lose by not writing – fellowships, degree completion, book contracts, jobs – feels more real than the pain of actually writing that we even begin to write.


- If you make yourself write 15 minutes a day, you have overcome the biggest hurdle – getting started. I’ve never known anyone with the goal of writing 15 minutes a day actually limit writing to just  that 15 minutes. Once you start, I promise you won’t watch the clock. You’ll write for 30, 60, even 90 minutes before you realize it. (The trick is that you tell yourself you only have to write for 15 minutes and that you can endure anything for that long. Once you start to write, the anxiety will begin to disappear and you’ll write longer.)

- Writing everyday contributes to continuity of your thinking and generating the ideas you need to write. Your mind will function differently when you write every day. We all think about our writing every day. But the cognitive processes involved in writing are different from those involved in thinking. Your project moves forward when you write… even if you write a gosh-awful first draft
.

StrgFrt

Monday, September 12, 2011

Shake The Dust (doc)

Shake the Dust / The Making Of from Loose Luggage on Vimeo.


Ran into this mini-doc preview. Looks awesome.... Right now I'm less than a week away from Manifesto... and the office is crazy. My personal life is a little bonkers. Preparing to go abroad.. Trying to stack my little bits and pieces of pesos... Trying to have meaningful conversations with people to brew some ideas and write some shit. lol... and really make it legendary.

But I think the best part out of this whole thing is that I'm doing what I love.. in every way. and Somehow I've managed to do exactly what I wanted to do. ...lol.. I spent my saturday with a friend we walked everywhere laughed at our quiet yet loud state of singleness while walking along the waterfront lol.. (#loafofbread) ...goals, drives ambitions & purpose. It was dope. ... then we ended it off with ice cream by little Italy. 

I love the vibe and the approach of this doc because it explores communities that I don't think have been approached in terms of hiphop and youth within their culture. ..Well at least in terms of what is presented in the Media. ...Yemen, Haiti, Kampala.. :) ... #yes. One day, I sincerely hope that I'll be able to do something like this... not a hiphop doc but rather a documentary that's well rounded and shows something that hasn't really been shown before. I have a map of ideas that I want to explore through film and social media. I've shared this idea with a selected few and I blessed to have witnessed excitement in their faces and smiles when they heard my idea. ...I just hope that it happens. lol.. I hope that I somehow find the time, financial means and network to make it happen though... (In God's name I pray.... amen lol)

#highfive for creativity
#highfive for spreading love through HipHop. 

Peace & Love.
(StrnFrt)


Monday, September 5, 2011

I look uncomfortable right? ... that's because I AM.

Why this picture you ask. Because right now everything is chaotic. I just moved into this new appartment with a family friend. ... Do I like it? ... no. to be frank (it took a lot of self reflection and endless self rants and out-loud rants to accept this as fact) ... Why did I move?  ... because I had to (lease was up, couldn't be homeless lol) .. There are a number of reasons why I'm really not feeling this place for reasons I will sort of keep to myself.

I have so many things going on right now... I need a time out. A 2 day retreat somewhere by a body of water where I can not listen to anything or anyone just water and nature. No blackberry, not even an ipod... maybe my sketchbook and a pencil.... maybe one of my books. I need some sort of escape area where I can sit out and not do or be anything and just ... be. Maybe have a really good conversation w/ a person or two about something random but important yet interesting. It's not very much to ask (if you ask me).

 Down by emilyking



My quiet place used to be a bench by the waterfront (downtown toronto)... then I moved and it became my balcony at dawn, but now it doesn't exist anymore... I suppose I could go by the waterfront tomorrow morning... but I'm not sure how realistic that is since it's supposed to pour (yet again)... plus now I'm farther from downtown. The one thing I do like about this place is the view. It's overlooking a major highway (maybe the 401?) ... some large area w/ some lots of trees ... plus a little bit of downtown Toronto. I just wished the place was my home that's all.

For some reason in my life there's always been this sense of temporary living situation. You can never fully get comfortable w/ people, or places, or things because things always change. That's sort of what I'm feeling yet again. ...and again. I'm not surprised by it, and I guess I should be used to it by now... but still. this feeling of home-lessness is never warm... this feeling of not being able to do what you want in a space is limiting me to a certain way of being...--> that <--... if you haven't been able to tell from this post.. I'm not really cool with. lol. ... but what can you do.

When life gives you lemons....

 In My Evolution by emilyking

StrFrt

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Once upon a time transitioning: ...I got options



or




soooo my hair does a lot of things. Pic number 1 is a braid out updo... pic number 2 is a blowout a couple of days later ... I like that I never get bored with my hair. Frustrated.. sometimes YES (like right now I really wanna put in braids within the next month or so, I need a break). I figured I'd do a post about the strechyness of 'african hair' ... it's really quite awesome actually. For anyone out there who cares about my hair type lol.. I think it's a "type 4a/b/z?" with random patches of "type3" a couple places? ... that's all I wanted to say really. lol.

Peace & Love.
StrnFrt

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mixtapes like these..



Hi my name is Yasmine. I'm Black. Of Haitian, Canadian, Port-au-Prince, Calgary, Montreal, now Toronto of origin. .... I'm awkward. 100% introvert. Busy Body ...and mixtapes like these bring a lot of joy to my spirit.

Exile "Intro To The Outro" Mixtape by DIRTY SCIENCE

Peace & Love... Strange Fruits. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

so there's this book..


So there's this book... it really makes me smile.
Every time I think about it, I get less stressed... Every time I skim through paragraphs of the author's intro chapter, I smile internally to myself, and consciously try to stop myself from continuing to read it. ...Because I want to make sure that my setting is perfect before I fully take it in.

Active Child: 'Hanging On' by Ragged Words

I want to make sure I'm listening to the ideas as much as I am hearing them in my mind, and reading them with my eyes. I won't tell you the name of the book... but I will say that it is about the historical analysis of black style and black identity and how styling black diasporic identity has framed us into being who we (black diaspora) are today ...the dynamic between stories of fashioning freedom in black bodies out of ambiguity of peculiar styling and the effects it has had in the world. ... In framing our own perceptions and understanding of black identity.

This book is it.
I can feel it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reebok Classics Presents: Lauryn Hill



Lauryn Hill's take on creating one of my favourite albums ever in life. "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Erykah Badu, Jaybo & Miki's String Quintet - [short film]

MOMENTS at MADE I CHAPTER TWO with Erykah Badu, Jaybo & Miki´s String Quintet - The Film from MADE Blog on Vimeo.


Creative mashups bring joy to my heart. ... One day I will see this woman live. and I will embrace her and give thanks to God for her contribution to music and to my life.
lol

Swim Good (cover) - Ebrahim





I've been replaying this song over and over again for the past couple of hours. I really want to find a link to download it into my ipod. ... Strange how I looked over the original when I got my hands on nostaligia Ultra... but this cover does something to me. ...I'm not sure why though. It's the same song. Same lyrics... but it does.

"imma try to swim from something
bigger than me
kick off my shoes
and swim good"
For the past little bit I've been extremely caught up with the busyness of my internship, finding a job, then working, then working to find a place to live in toronto as well as abroad, finding the time to catch up with a few friends. ...I haven't had time to sit down and think.. and pause and ask myself how I'm doing. ...I haven't had a chance to write and let my thoughts make sense to me. I haven't had time to uncoil these wires of ideas I have in there... I've been feeling slightly off. ... I keep telling myself that this is just a phase, that I'll get back into the swing of things but honestly I haven't. ... I realized that I've been confusing my 15 open tabs, bbms, skypes and incessant emails and sleeping at 4 am for being productive. Business does not necessarily equal productivity. (note-to-self)..

I'm trying to swim good. Because I know I hail from a story bigger than me. Anyone who knows my story and knows me personally knows of the things that have been going on, and the opportunities that I've recently gotten.. (which I'd rather keep to myself for the time being lol)

I'm in denial of myself. for some reason I'm having difficulty accepting where I'm at. or at least accepting the fact that my hard-work had something to do with it. ... is it strange that I feel a little uneasy even saying that it was hard-work even know that I know I worked hard to get here. ...? ... I'm trying to make sense of it.

I dunno...... this all has to all mean something right? I believe in purpose ... I believe in my purpose even if I don't know what it is yet. ... maybe for the time being that's good enough.

Swim Good.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

because I haven't posted anything in a while...



...... ^^^ my feelings EXACTLY ^^^

dear everyone who ever reads this thing lol... I'm coming back with a vengeance. ... I promise..
I'll probably be posting videos I like instead of actual content until my fire is back again.

I promise. :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mellow Vibes... no content

Mellow vibes...today. I feel like I owe it to myself to write an article that's more critical than what I've been posting lately... but hey..it's my blog so (come at me bruhh)... anyway, 1st day at work today. Nothing too exciting... *shoulder-shrug* ...




So last night, someone posted a link about 10 Myths about Introverts I posted it on my tumblr as soon as I found it... ... I need this book in my life. ...Simply based on the excerpt I felt a sense of peace. Like sanity finally hit some part of my conscious. ...like "yooooo!!!!! yeeeeehhh there are people like this tooo?!!?!?! (insert grin)" ... so if anyone out there wants to bless my brain with some knowledge :)

Yakoto - Baby Blues [pinboardblog.com] by PinBoardBlog.com

Oh if you're new to my blog. Show some love. Leave a word a smile .. anything. lol.. I tend to find random videos on the interweb. Today's post has no content. If you're still reading.... ...(I probably think you're dopamine :) lol )



mmmm... I'm usually not too big on pushing myshit on here but...
I also write here:

LeBeat & LaCréole
Manifesto

Twitter: @YazzyTaughtMe ... @Manifesto_Fest

Saturday, August 6, 2011

we all know it... "grey matter"


We all know it... that one moment in a friendship where for some reason you don't know if the other person is being nice or if they're flirting. ...in fact you start rethinking and asking yourself if you had been subconsciously been flirting the whole time or if you're just too nice for your own good. ....

so now the two of you exist in this gray area and you're unsure what is the proper etiquette to either pursue your preferred route whether it is to clarify the friendship or to try to find a spark between the two of you.

Cadence Weapon - Baby I'm Yours (ft Shad) by Upper Class Recordings

............... ooooorrrr none of this applies to you. And you just have crazy ass parties in your head, as you scroll pages of blogs online or rock back and forth and drowning in your solitary thoughts of being young possibly black and awkward and quietly extremely single lol... and you feel bad-ass when you manage to sleep at 3 am. lol.
.... or all of the above.

It's late... had the random thought of streaming coltrane's album coltrane for lovers a few minutes ago. and thought about this. ... this grey area. lol. ...it's an interesting area.

When I think about the grey matter that comes with dating... a major component of our social nervous system. lol... (<< see what I did there... nerd-wordplay... bare with me lol) ...




These days, my summertime are sort of filled with these couples or people hooking up (what does "hooking up even mean?!?") ... it also seems like everyone and their cousin is getting married or having a baby lol  ... so this grey area or lackthereof... (lol)...has been on my mind.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mumbled Soliloquy


She called him brother
he called her sister
though they were not related
to acknowledge the only proverbial bloodline rooted in the motherland
I heard them call each other royalty.






She loved him like a soulclap and spoke using muted hand movements as extended (((parentheses))).

Almost as if to cup her (heart) in truth and let some words seep through her fingers like warm sand
....Spoke louder in writing than in person
expressions hidden in the spaces between hyphens – , slashes/ and [square brackets]
she's as complex as her mumbled soliloquies and as simple as dawn.



...
 truth is.... she has grown accustomed to beats, because of her fear of lullabies.
.....So she CLAPS, snaps and head bobs to beats... because loving him like a soulclap is the closest thing she's ever known to love.





(strange ...
and a first. ...I'm trying folks lol.. bear with me).

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Unfinished Poems

I think I have an acute version of attention deficit disorder
because I start poems and I can never seem to find an adequate way to end them.
I'm not sure if it's because I'm somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to certain things or if it's because I have a hard time to focus long enough to resume the end of an idea. :-/

I need help.

...seriously. For the next little bit I'm going to try to combine different drafts of pieces I've been working on. Not sure how to copywright these things in case if it's gets jacked on the inter-web. But I'll publish it nonetheless..

Stay posted

Saturday, July 30, 2011

old lady & book & ttc

The story below was meant to be publish a while back, but for some reason I never got around to it. Appologies.


"yesterday on the train ride home from work, I saw an old woman whose 'race' I couldn't quite decipher find a seat accross from me at a subway stop that shall remain un-named. lol... Her face was folded and patterned in wrinkles that held a million words... she had in her hands, a few bags, some plastic some cloth. Either way I couldn't quite make-out the contents that filled them.

She glanced around for what seemed like a second before she eagerly reached out in one of the bags a book that read something along the lines of "The book of Catholic jokes"... She opened the book and I could see her eyes quickly skim through the first couple of pages and she turned one page after the other (probably skimming the prefaces and intros)... and I saw the faint prelude of what seemed like a half-cracked smirk when she landed on the first page where the book began. ... It was cool to watch that moment.

.... of course she didn't know I was staring at her.. but I was. lol... I saw her eyes dance accross what I assumed to be words, phrases and ideas and then I saw her smile. It seemed like every joke she read was funnier to her than the next one. Almost like she could relate or was hugging the memory of her youth, the memory of something past and the possible irony that may have found itself hidden in between the sentences she found.

... her smile would get bigger as she read on. At one point I noticed that she must've ran into a joke that was super funny because she was smiling really widely then looked up to see if anyone was looking at her ...lol. (it was adorable).. we exchanged glances, as her eyes skimmed around her surroundings then she returned to her book.

It was the most heartwarming sight I'd ever seen on the TTC in a while. ... oooooorrr Maybe I was reading too much into it.... LOL."


^^

(Strange Fruit)
-

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Haiti Diaries || Week2... debrief.

(My sister at home, w/ a blanket #deathtomosquitos lol)


It's been a week since I've been back from Haiti. Forgive my lack of posts for the past little bit. I have a lot that I wrote while I was away, that I meant to post daily, but I rarely had access to internet while I was away. So I'm going to be periodically posting some of my scribbles on here just as a way to debrief on some of the ideas that were running through my mind while I was away. I'm also juggling a lot of things personally (moving, job hunting, preparations for another chapter ect..)

Nneka featuring Nas - Heartbeat (Remix) by Hypetrak

" Prior to coming to Haiti I think I must’ve fallen prey to the rhetoric of the strength and defiance of the Haitian story. When I say Haitian story I mean the story of the 1804 revolution, and it’s legacy on Haiti, but I never really addressed or even remotely really recognize the real deep impact of colonialism on Haiti prior to the legendary uprising. ...Everything, from the name of some areas in downtown Port-au-Prince to the names of some streets throughout the country have french names. Names of places and spots that you can find in France as well. ... it's crazy.

French culture is embedded into Haitian Culture and Identity. I’m slowly realizing this more and more. In the formulation of the elite class, the more you can emulate "frenchness", (it also helps if you're lighter skin...[post-colonialism rhetoric] smh) the more opportunities were presented to you.

Right now, I’m wondering: is there a point in trying to separate Haitian identity with French identity and latin-american identity, and African identity. Because right now they all seem to speak of my story. From music on the radio, to our diction, to how some Haitians style themselves with castro-like mustaches, and eat pastries by the deli and ensure to have their café au lait in the morning... From the texture of our paté (patty) to the way family remembers always know natural alternatives to sicknesses and diseases (African roots)... it’s a creole. It’s a mix... I think it's starting to make sense to me now. " - Week 2 (thoughts).



Hypetrak Premiere: Mr. J. Medeiros - Old Man Perez by Hypetrak

This whole trip allowed me to make more sense of who I am, and why I am the way I am. It helped me make sense of why when I was growing up I felt awkward not getting the references that some of my carribbean (jamaica, trini, antiguan ect...) friends and acquaintances had. For example, I never heard of or fully understood dancehall culture growing up until grade 11 (Canada) or felt like it was at all ever part of my history... Also a LOT of times when I heard my Island people speak Patwa, I didn't (sometimes still don't) understand what they're saying, accents can be STRONG lol... Yet as someone who everyone knew was carribbean it was automatically assumed that I got it, and that I got down exactly like my jamaican, trini, antiguan brothers & sisters, (dancehall culture and all). So I remember trying to keep up... I remember a couple of instances where I faked being into it, because I wanted to be friends with the black kids lol... they looked so cool, and spoke in such a cool way lol... smh. dang. (oh the compromises I made!)

There's also the conversations I've had with people who are Caribbean that told me that Haiti doesn't count as being part of the Caribbean... I think the source of this reasoning stems probably from the fact that we don't speak English, we are stigmatized by poverty and politics unlike our other Caribbean counterparts... and let's not forget the basic fact that we have completely DIFFERENT stories... This sort of ostracism irks me a little.


(strange Fruit)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Haiti Diaries || Day3...

Day 3


My mom arrived, and the 5 of us greeted her with warm hugs. I hadn’t seen her in 3 years. Moments prior to seeing her, all of us had been skimming through old pictures of her and the rest of the family on a dusty family album. I never realized how much of hipster my mom was back in her day... Her sense of style throughout her 20s and 30s. I never realized heard or seen stories of her youth, nor had I ever had a visual of the kind of young woman she was before she became my mother. It was cool to discover and let my mind fill in the blanks through dusting of some images.


We ate... we drank. We roamed around the house in the laziness brought by the warm weather, drank coca-cola out of class bottles and not cans... and joked around while playing big2 and Cheat while the older fam sat on the porch outside with the sound of wind and leaves to set the mood...discussing politics and other things. Later on when we had super... some of that conversation trickled down at the dinner table. Things pertaining to the existing elitism and shadeism surrounding politics in Haiti... the corruption of the Haitian Government and police as well as the devaluation of Haitian workers/ education since the heavy flood of NGOs were part of the conversation. It’s crazy how things changed.

Come As You Are by Yuna Music


Then later my brother, sister, cousin and I were sent my uncle to come and visit them in petion-ville. So this was one of the first time on the streets of port-au-prince since the drive to and from the airport. I wish I had my camera in my hands as we drove. Everything was crazy. There were so many places that were familiar... There were floods of people on the street. Drivers drove with NO RULES and pedestrians crossed the streets and pavement carefully and slyly... I saw the commissariat (the police station) that was close to the marché we used to get our food from back in the day and it was destroyed... and only had the blue and white brick walls that survived. The unpaved roads made each time we drove a little bumpier than the time before. I think I remember only seeing 1 traffic light... I also remember seeing A LOT of young people. ... a lot of people my age in the street.

(strange fruit) ..

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Haiti Diaries || Day2...echoes of memories

(view from my window!)

Day 2.
So we landed. Went through the chaos of the airport and went through smoothly through customs. The airport seemed different and more tiresome than I remember. Then again the last time I was at this airport I was 10 and I’m pretty sure I didn’t have to wait around the only carrier-belt that held luggage for the entire airport. There were a lot of men dressed in all brown and red baseball hats eager to take newcomer’s suitcases and guide them to taxis and or the person waiting for them outside. And so when my dad, my dad’s friend (call him L) came they were talking their hustle all the way until we got into a cab and put all our suitcases. By the end of it, they expected a tip, which we gave them and then we made our way to my house.


On the drive to my house, there were echoes of memories that slowly started to spring back to me as we passed some houses, some corners... there were also a lot of places that were not recognizable AT ALL even after my dad told me what it used to be. It was strange to see... I still couldn’t believe I was here. ... Finally we reached home. I knew it was home because the same black gate and brick walls topped with barbed wire was still there... It looked similar, except smaller than I remembered. We went inside. Sooo many memories. The couches where we used to watch cartoons afterschool, our halls and corners within the house we used to roam. ... The boys’ room and the girls’ room... my parent’s room the washrooms.. The balcony.. The library/office.. Everything was there as I remembered.. but somewhat different. After deliberating with my dad I realized that it was natural for these places to have looked somewhat changed because they had been un-kept. Everything looked smaller, because I got older. Everything used to look bigger because I was smaller. This is a reality that I’m realizing that I’m going to have to face and accept.


Sidebar. I showered using a bucket of water and an old foldger’s coffee container this morning...lol.. Yup, I went old school on that. It did the job. Lol :) ... I’m also slowly going through withdraws. I keep looking at my blackberry anticipating a flickering red light... thinking I’ll be getting some new emails/bbm/textmsgs/news/FB/Twitter updates... knowing that I willingly turned off the data of my phone to not have a crazy-ass bill waiting for me the moment the plane took off...when I get back. ... Did I mention it’s really suffocating hot. I had some trouble sleeping... tossed and turned, but still managed to sleep well, and woke up naturally to the sound of the rooster and the wind of the leaves of trees in my backyard. At 6 am!!!!... w/ ZERO alarm clock folks!! That’s how mornings become good mornings.. and someone like me, can actually become a morning person! lol


Last night there was a blackout and I was too tired to write about what I was seeing/understanding and taking in. But I know and understand fully and well the blessing that my story holds. Not too far from my house a few hours ago I noticed a few camps, several tents...

My sister , kid-brother and lil cousin arrived. They’re sleeping... and this heat and seeing them sleep makes me wanna crash and sleep. Lol.. so I’ll resume this in a little bit.

Peace.
(strange fruit) – 1:57pm || 28/06/2011

Haiti Diaries || Day1...in-between-Clouds


Day1.
It’s crazy how perspective changes things.
to sit at a window seat at a flight overseas I wonder..
is this the view that God has when he sees us running around like crazy ants, in this strangely beautiful mess of a world. From up here, this sky-view almost seems to belittle the tunnel vision that we often find ourselves in when walking on dry land. ... I’m floating between clouds and I have the opportunity to breathe in this ability... To see this.... To breathe this. To be here.

Cruise ships look like reverse shooting stars, and clouds look like a better version of dust. And everything looks like a painting. From here I don’t know where the sea and the sky greet each other. In the blue of their hues, maybe they exchange their own stories... and traces of these conversation tickle down in blurred form of fluffed clouds. ...I’m sure they too have stories to tell. ...perhaps some of their conversation will go along like “you know we’re very alike you and I. ... I’ve seen humans do strange things from here, and the ozone of my heartbeat is breaking everyday at the sight I see, and the cries I hear... and maybe land will just sigh in agreement, or even shudder or tremble from heartbreak”...

Maybe God eavesdrops in this conversation every now and then. And has posted notes somewhere in his memory. ... I dunno lol... But being here I can’t help but wonder if this is what God sees when people look up and ask for help.
I’ll never know.


- 1:11pm 27/06/2011pm
(strange Fruit)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Haiti Diaries || "Departure: Window seat"

So at 4am as I was getting ready and while on the phone with my sister, I realized that I needed to leave the house in 30 minutes. I rush like crazy, almost forgetting my passport, my toothbrush, body wash! and razors... (basically everything to maintain my hygene) ... that would've been oh so tragic. *wheew* ... glad I figured that one out quickly.

I'm currently at Pearson airport right now. Not sure if it's because everytime I've been here I've always left to go somewhere local, but this airport is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm also running on 0hrs of sleep, so I may not be entirely mentally alert right now, but I'm typing away, typeouts and delirium alike. ... (forgive me) ...

This is weird, I think this is the first time in toronto that I'm seeing Haitian people. ... let alone at the airport... *squeals* ... I wonder if they know that I'm Haitian. I wonder if we`re all going to Haiti together.... lol... Also, I sort of regret not bringing my beats headphones... blu, the weekends & frank Ocean are sounding a little flat right now. ..:-/
... but there's also the advantage of being able to lean on the window and put my hands by my ear and sleep in a cliché sleeping position by the window. Oh yeah I got a window seat...



....I'm hoping during my layover in Montreal, I'll actually have no problem locating my dad and his close friend. I wonder if their seat is close to mine. ...I also wonder if he's going to ask me to sit by him. Would the airhostess let me? We'll have to see I guess.

I am praying that this flight will go on smoothly. no turbulence. no baby crying incessantly. I hope it's chill. I hope it's quiet. I hope that the plane isn't jammed packed. I also sincerely hope there's someone else like me on that flight lol.. young. half-foreign making the same journey as me. A few hours ago I realized that this is going to be the first time I board a plane to go overseas since I came to live in Canada. I haven't been in Haiti in 12 years (I kept thinking it was 10 years for some reason)... I hope that I don't have any trouble at customs. I hope they don't confiscate the snacks I managed to put inside my suitcase. lol... Damn, I forgot to bring the pillow my mom asked me to bring. ... oh well.

aaaaahhh.. I'm so excited for this trip!!!... I hope I'm able to take in everything... IN... fully and wholly.

I think they're going to open the lounge in a little bit. When I went up to weigh my suitcases a few minutes ago, the officer gave me a death glare when he saw that my suitcases were heavy. I was surprised too. I thought I packed light. ... I guess it's probably because of my hair products... speaking of hair, I had to undo my braidouts while it was still sort of wet. :( ...thankfully it still had some sort of hold.... lol.. it still looks mediocre though. Oh well!.. nothing to do about that now. lol...

Back on the topic of suitcases. I have 1 suitcase full of donations. the other one has my own stuff. so on the way back I'm going to have one suitcase of barely anything in it.. unless I buy some artizana and give it to friends... will they take it at custom though?.. I dunno, we'll see, I'll ask manmie. lol... why aren't they calling me in yet? ... am I at the wrong gate. ...
holy crap. I should go check.

Brb.

Wish me luck folks.
here we here we go.
:)

(PS forgive the typeouts)
(strange fruit & Haiti)
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