Weekly Musings on Life, Love, and Politics – Week 14

 electricity

After a long break, here’s are my latest musings on life, love, and politics.

  1. Sometimes we need to be quiet.  We waste a lot of energy filling the space up with our critiques of others and our feelings of how they do things.  If we exchanged the time we spend focusing on others and what they do and applied it to ourselves, there’s no telling what we could do.
  2. Our desires can overrule our frame of mind, judgment–really our lives.  What we deem as commitment and sacrifice could really be selfishness in disguise.  It’s the “I’m-going-to-do-what-I-want-to-do-no-matter-what” syndrome.  While we’re working to achieve our dreams, we must be careful that we don’t push away and alienate the people who’ve been there for us every step of the way.
  3. One of the reasons I believe Zombies are so popular is because of how close our lives relate or resemble theirs.  So many of us are like the living dead (or the “undead”).  We work ourselves and worry ourselves to death.  We’re scared to live the lives we desire.  Complacency brainwashes us.  We’re like machines on autopilot.  Can we really say we’re alive when we’re living a robotic existence?  Can we really say we’re alive when our zest and joy for life is constantly in retreat?
  4. Placing expectations on leaders that are impossible to sustain is foolish.  Leaders have limited power.  Leaders can only go so far if their teams, governing bodies, and/or constituents are unwilling to work with them.  The battle is a losing game without the support of the people.  How soon we forget, support and accountability go both ways.
  5. The stronghold of anger can be deadly if not channeled into positive energy.  Anger is the worst motivator for change that results from vindictive, vengeful, and envious behavior.  Sure, actions resulting in anger may bring you relief.  But the relief is temporary.  We must not succumb to anger’s dictatorship.  Redirect its path into something truly uplifting and positive.
  6. Some of the President’s harshest critics and opponents can come together when the threat of war is looming.  However, when issues that directly impact the livelihood of the people are at the forefront, there’s a standoff.  They stall.  Start pointing fingers.  They play politics and prevent necessary legislation from moving forward.  How comforting it is to know where our elected officials allegiance lies.
  7. No relationship, whether business or personal, can thrive without trust.

Until next time… Peace, Love, and Many Blessings!

~ BuddahDesmond

***Image courtesy of Charles Koch’s website.

Spirit Women

Sisters In Spirit_synthiasaintjamesImage courtesy of Synthia SAINT JAMES.


Spirit women,
Singing songs for the world,
Baring gifts for our hearts and souls;
Moving nations,
Changing minds,
Fueling enough power to shift our place in time.

Spirit women,
Rich with love, wisdom, and experience;
Exposing your scars,
Standing in strength,
Encouraging forgiveness,
And enlightening minds on the importance of letting go—
     so our souls can be free.

Spirit women,
Natural humanitarians;
We’re grateful for you and your gifts.
We’ve found blessings in your blessings,
And relish in the deep connections we share with you.

Spirit women—
When we honor you we honor ourselves
     And our collective beauty.

Spirit women—
We celebrate you eternally.

© 2013 BuddahDesmond

Weekly Musings on Life, Love, and Politics – Week 13

Image courtesy of the IISC Blog.

Greetings!  Hope everyone is well.  Here’s the latest batch of weekly musings on life, love, and politics:

  1. What’s on the surface can fool you… For it may be in stark contrast with what lies beneath.

  2. There’s a rare breed of folk who are unresponsive to “normal” methods of communication.  You have to get down to their level to truly reach them.  Sometimes this involves getting out of character, i.e. being overly aggressive, shouting, cussing, and carrying on…  In all honesty, isn’t it a shame if you have do all of this to reach common ground with others?

  3. Give people and things a chance.  Don’t be so quick to give up on them before they’ve had the opportunity to prove you wrong.  Let the judgment go.  Give in a little, you just might be surprised.

  4. If you can’t find the hero within, the chances are minimal that you’ll find the hero anywhere else.

  5. The heart is resilient.  It can overcome anything.  But not when we put roadblocks in its path to healing.  Release the pain and let your heart lead the way.

  6. A country can’t call itself “land of the free” when all of it’s people aren’t free.  A country’s failed itself and its people when conditions are put on human rights or when they are not granted or available to all.  Granting these rights to some but not all further perpetuates inequality, injustice, and inferiority, and blocks any chances of real progress.  

Until next time… Peace, Love, and Many Blessings, BuddahDesmond

    A Personal Reflection on Father’s Day

    Father’s day has always been a strange day for me.  I grew up in a single-parent household with a mother who was more than capable of holding down the roles of both parents.  My father did not take an active role in my life.  With the exception of visits and phone calls here and there, he was a quasi-presence, an oddity, an elusive figure (still is).  After 31 years, I must admit that it’s a shame when you still don’t know your own father (and he doesn’t know you either).

    I’m at a point now where the hope of any real relationship or bonding with him is somewhat faint.  If it happens, great.  If it doesn’t that’s fine, too.  Sad, but fine.  Guess when the child grows up it becomes harder for the parent to relate after being away for so long.  Or maybe they’re apprehensive or scared to connect because they feel you may reject them.  Maybe it’s guilt.  Or the scars that linger from their own father’s absence and abandon that prevents them from doing the right thing with their own child/children.

    I’ve had countless discussions over the years with my mother about why my father was rarely around.  And she always gave me her honest answers, without bashing my father in any way.  Most importantly, she did not want me blaming myself for his absence.  As a child, it was still hard not to feel this way because I didn’t yet understand all of the reasons why.  No matter what, a bit of pain, sadness, and anger remained.  As I mentioned in a previous post, my insecurities, feelings of rejections, depression, and thinking I wasn’t “good enough” stem from my father not being around.  I’ve spent an extensive amount of time working on this over the years.

    The last time I spoke with my father was about three years ago.  He began telling me what he thought I wanted to hear about why he was never around, but not what I needed to here.  He said he wanted to try to have a real relationship with me, or in other words “start fresh.”  Honestly, I was taken aback.  First of all, the phone call was out of the blue (as they always are).  And second of all, the whole scenario was giving me the “here we go again” feeling.  While I was open to the possibility, I wondered if he actually meant it.  Did he truly want to reconcile?  Would he actually follow through?

    The memories of my father saying he was going to do something and never actually following through with it are the ones that cut the deepest.  I remember how I felt during those times, and I knew that I did not wish to go back to feeling that way ever again.  And now three years have gone by, and we’re still right back where we were three, five, seven, ten, fifteen years prior.   

    Maybe one day, things will change.  Maybe they won’t.  Maybe I’ll have to extend myself even more (than I have over the years) to try to move things along.  Sometimes people do need the extra push and encouragement to make change happen.  But one does have to ask, at what point is enough enough?  I welcome the chance to reconcile as long as my father is serious about it.  I have no intentions however, of being strung along anymore.  That’s pain I don’t need.

    Whatever happens is destined for reasons that only divine knows at this point.  Realize, I hold no grudges.  I’ve forgiven my father (and myself) for it all.  I wish nothing but the best for him in all things.  And I just wanted to say, Happy Father’s Day!

    __________________________________________

    Happy Father’s Day to all fathers!  Never underestimate the role you play in your child’s life.  Never take for granted how pivotal you are in your child’s growth and development.  Your presence (physical and emotional), involvement, guidance, and support is more powerful and significant than you may think.  Be engaged.  Be committed.  Be present.  We need you.

    Happy 1st Anniversary to ‘Prevail’!

      
    Wow, it’s been one year since I published my first book Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics.  I still recall the happiness and sense of accomplishment I felt holding Prevail in my own hands for the first time.  Prevail represents a dream come true.  I stuck to my guns and made it happen.  Not without a lot of support though.  I couldn’t have done it without those (my spouse, family, friends, and mentors) who’ve encouraged me along the way.  

    It was a rocky journey making the dream happen.  If I’d listened to all the things people told methat I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t fit the mold, that I didn’t do things the traditional way (as if that’s something wrong)I wouldn’t have this book or anything else published.  I wouldn’t be working on my next book.  I would’ve stopped writing… I would’ve stopped doing a lot of things.  But I didn’t.  I persevered.  Yet I know there’s still much more to do.  More dreams to achieve.  Still more to learn.  More platform building to do.  Many more people to connect and build genuine relationships with.  More outreach.  And I welcome it all.

    As I say in the introduction of Prevail, “We never know what’s coming to us in this life, but we do know that if we get through it—whatever it is—we will be better, stronger, and wiser. No matter what, we know we must prevail.”  

    Thank you for your support!  Until next time… Peace, Love, and Many Blessings, BuddahDesmond

    Prevail is available at iUniverse, Amazon (Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle), Barnes & Noble, Book-A-Million (Paperback | Hardcover), and other retailers.

    Related Posts:
    BuddahDesmond Appearing at the Baltimore Urban Book Festival (BUBF) on 7/14/13
    101 Days Project: Prevail
    Nothing But Love
    The Music of Life
    It’s Not That Serious
    Happily Ever After?
    Desperation
    Gone Too Soon

    Weekly Musings on Life, Love, and Politics – Week 12

    Image courtesty of Mandalas by Veeno

    It’s time for another helping of BuddahDesmond’s musings on life, love, and politics. Check ’em out!

    1. Don’t let the world of “NO” sway you on your way to the world of “YES.” The break you’ve been working towards, the opportunity you’ve been praying for, the chance to SHINE is coming! Hold on!

    2. There is a fire that burns inside of each of us. It’s passionate energy that we can wield in both positive and negative ways. Sometimes we forget about our fire…we forget about the greatness that lies within. And we lose sight of why we’re here, what we’re fighting for, and what we’re ultimately working towards. Don’t lose your fire. Be cognizant of it. Be mindful of it. Learn from it. Will it lovingly and admirably. As Sonia Sanchez says, “Catch the fire and burn with eyes that see our souls: WALKING. SINGING. BUILDING. LAUGHING. LEARNING. LOVING. TEACHING. BEING… Catch the fire…and live.” (Influences: Sonia Sanchez – Catch The Fire)

    3. Sometimes things are only complicated and complex because we make them that way. When this happens, it may be best to fall back, breathe, reassess, and look for ways to avoid fortuitous complications. At all costs—keep it simple!

    4. Only takes a few mini-scandals to divert attention from the real issues plaguing a nation. Depending on the severity, yestime and resources may be needed to rectify the matters related to a mini-scandal.  However, they also seem to give our officials unnecessary reasons to play politics, continue pointing fingers and drag their feet on major issues that they’ve been neglecting. As some will say, “Any excuse…”

    5. There’s nothing wrong with being meticulous. This trait can do wonders for us (and others) in many personal and professional situations. But this trait backfires when it begins to hinder our progress, especially when working with others. We have to know when it’s best to cut our losses and let things fall where they may. We must realize that we cannot afford to let ourselves be ruled or get carried away with the details (all the time). 

    6. When we pamper our passions they will be good to us. Just wait and see!

    Until next time… Peace, Love, and Many Blessings!

    ~ BuddahDesmond

      Happy 20th Anniversary to ‘janet.’

      Like a moth to a flame/Burned by the fire/My love is blind/Can’t you see my desire?/That’s the way love goes. ~ Janet Jackson, “That’s The Way Love Goes,” janet. (1993)

      May 18, 2013 marked 20 years since the release of Janet Jackson’s fifth studio album, janet.  janet. was a departure in sound and style when compared to Control (1986) and Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989).  The album unveiled a different side of Jackson—her sensual side.  Songs from her aforementioned efforts like “Funny How Times Flies (When You’re Having Fun)” and “Someday Is Tonight” provided mere glimpses of what would later be uncovered with janet.  

      janet. stands as a declaration of Jackson taking even greater control of the direction of her music and career, composing and co-producing (with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis) the majority of the music on the album.  If it wasn’t clear before, janet. proved Jackson to be a distinctive, innovative, and monumental force that had come out quite far from the shadow of her family’s fame.  With the removal of her last name, she (continued) to command respect on her own merits.  At the time of the album’s release, Jackson was well on her way to carving her own niche—one that continues to inspire and influence fans and artists alike to this very day.

      Jackson’s albums are musical snapshots of specific periods in her life.  janet. represents Jackson’s exploration of her softer, sensual side and the confidence which comes from embracing all facets of ourselves and honoring who we truly are (inside and out).  It’s genuine.  It’s real.  It doesn’t comes off as contrived or pretentious.  You feel Ms. Jackson opening up in ways never heard before (“Anytime, Anyplace,” “The Body That Loves You,” “If,” “You Want This,” and “Throb”).  Aside from sensuality and intimacy, janet. delved deeply into relationships, the ups and downs of love (“Because Of Love,” “Where Are You Now,” “Again,” and “This Time” featuring Kathleen Battle), and the impact of racism and sexism (“New Agenda” featuring Chuck D of Public Enemy).  

      Vocally, Jackson delivered some of her most confident, sweet, sexy, and soulful vocals yet.  The songs, expertly paced, run the gamut from R&B/Soul, Funk, Pop, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Opera, and Rock.  janet. is an album that you can play straight through, uninterrupted.  Even at 75+ minutes, it never gets tiring or boring.  After 20 years, it’s safe to say janet. has aged quite well.   

      Jackson, Jam, and Lewis easily produced one of the best and most eclectic albums of the 90s (or ever in my book).  janet. has sold over 7 millions copies in the States and over 20 million copies worldwide.  It remains one of her best-selling albums and one of the best selling R&B albums of the SoundScan era.  The album produced 6 Top Ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles charts, “That’s The Way Love Goes” (#1 Pop/#1 R&B), “If” (#4 Pop/#3 R&B), “Again” (#1 Pop/#7 R&B), “Because Of Love” (#10 Pop/#9 R&B), “Anytime, Anyplace” (#2 Pop/#1 R&B), and “You Want This” (#8 Pop/#9 R&B).  

      Musically, thematically, and visually, janet. took Jackson to even greater creative heights and laid the blueprint that many artists would follow soon after.  (Jackson would blow critics, fans, and artists minds alike again in 1997 with the release of The Velvet Rope).
        
      Happy 20th anniversary to janet.  We thank you (again), Ms. Jackson, for this masterpiece.

      Related Posts:
      80’s Albums That Changed My Life
      Day 48: Black Music Month – Janet Jackson 
      All 4 Janet.

      Nothing But Love (from ‘Prevail’)

      I’m just a brotha tryin’ to make it,
      livin’ paycheck to paycheck,
      tryin’ to stay afloat.
      I don’t have a lot,
      but I have all of the necessities,
      and I’m happy with that.
      Hopefully you can be happy with that too,
      ’cause all I can give you is love,
      nothing more    nothing less,
      just a healthy dose of unadulterated, unconditional love.
      No additives, artificial sweeteners, or trans fats involved,
      just love.
      ’Cause all I want to do is love you—for as long as I can.

      All those other things,
      like money, clothes, and diamond rings,
      you know—the finer things—
      they’re all real nice, but can you hold on to them at night?
      Will they keep you warm,
      will they provide you with a shoulder to cry on
      and someone that you know you can confide in?
      Will they love you like I can love you?
      Hell no!
      They provide a temporary high
      to whatever you may be missing in your life at the time.
      We need substance:
      something that will last and stand the test of time,
      something that we can hold onto.
      And I’ve got it for you:
      it’s love,
      all love.
      You feel me?
      If not,
      then we can stop wasting each other’s time right now by not going any further.

      ’Cause I’ve got nothing but love for you,
      nothing but love to give.
      I’ve got nothing but love.

      © 2012 BuddahDesmond 

      “Nothing But Love” is featured in the “Love” section of Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics. Prevail is available at iUniverse, Amazon (Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle), Barnes & Noble, Book-A-Million (Paperback | Hardcover), and other retailers.    

      Related Post:
      101 Days Project: Prevail
      BuddahDesmond Featured in MOOV Magazine 
      Full Poetry Reading from OutWrite 2012 
      5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… BuddahDesmond on JoeyPinkney.com 

      Weekly Musings on Life, Love, and Politics – Week 11

      “Cracking the Harmony” courtesy of Exper Giovanni Rubaltelli

      Greetings!  It’s been several weeks since my last Weekly Musings update.  My apologies.  I was intending to get one up a little sooner but had to focus my energies on other projects.  But I’m at the point where a few of these musings have been marinating for awhile and they needed to be shared.  Some of them were inspired by a few episodes of Super Soul Sunday on OWN. 

      1. If your eyes are open, if your heart is open and warmlove is never too hard to find.  Even if your heart is cold, just a little love might be all you need to renew your faith.  Love is everywhere.  As Adriana Evans sang, “Love is all around.”

      2. When I think back to hearing the word “harmony,” the context (outside of music) usually involved unity amongst people or accord within the environment.  It was rare that harmony was ever mentioned when referring to the individual.  The focus was/is too often on being in harmony with everything outside of ourselves.  While this is important, harmony withina sense of tranquility, calm, and peaceis just as much if not more so important.  As Panache Desai said, “There is no greater power than to be in harmony within oneself.”  Cherish the harmony within as you would cherish your joy.  Stay in tune with it!

      3. I thought we lived in a free state.  Isn’t this the land where people come to live their lives the best way they see fit?  You know, the place where you can be anything and do anything?  The place where you are free to practice whatever religion you like without persecution?  A place where people of different political persuasions, race, gender, and sexual orientation can come together and live freely?  Each time I turn on the news, read the paper, or go online I feel the notion of this nation being a “free state” is the biggest farce known to man.  So much hate.  So much intolerance.  Forget acceptance.  Forget civility.  Forget unity.  Even tolerance is but a dream.  The ultimate pot stirrer is the abominable bond between religion and politics.  It’s a marriage in need of a long overdue divorce.  Maybe when religion and politics distance themselves the “free state” will return…

      4. Guaranteesare there any?  The one that always rings true is that there aren’t any guarantees in this life.  With every fleeting moment, hopefully we’re living our lives to the fullest extent.  Hopefully we’re honoring our spirits.  Hopefully we’re doing all that we can to make our souls smile, run, and jump with glee.  We owe it to ourselves to live our best lives.  If a moment comes when we find we aren’t being true to the essence of our being, then it’s time to turn the volume up.  This life is the only life we have.  So let’s LIVE IT OUT LOUD!

      5. The only validation a relationship needs is the validation of the two people who are in it.  When you truly love each other, it matters not what others say or think.  It’s what the unit thinks and feels.  While others may not agree with it or condone it, they must respect it. 

      6. Equality is when all members of society can enjoy the same rights and privileges without exceptions, exclusions, or conditions.  As Jill Scott said, “Equality does not equal equal if it’s not divided equally.” 

      Until next time… Peace, love, and many blessings!

      ~ BuddahDesmond

        Weekly Musings on Life, Love, and Politics – Week 10

        It’s been a little while, but a new set of weekly musings is finally here! Check them out:

        1. Just when we’re thinking of or are at the point of giving up, something miraculous happens…A thought, idea, experience, action, or person inspires us to press on. And just like that, we resume our course–fighting harder than ever before.
        2. It amazes me how quickly misunderstandings arise.  Some of us are so quick to jump to conclusions long before we’ve allowed others to express themselves.  We disrespect others when we cut them off.  We can also make them feel as if we’re discrediting them and that their point of view holds no value or weight with us.  Active listening and thinking carefully before responding are so crucial when we communicate with each other.  It lessens the chances for misunderstandings and potential conflict.
        3. No one is beyond reproach. We tend to pump people up, especially leaders, public figures, celebrities, and even ourselves.  But no matter how good we are or whether we’ve been called the best at what we do, we aren’t too good to be critiqued.  If this was the case, we wouldn’t have performance appraisals or reviews at work.  We also know that as long as we as a race of beings exist, we will talk about and criticize others no matter what.  But there’s a time and a place for it.  And if we’re going to criticize others our criticism should be tactful, relevant, and helpful. (And as the saying goes–if you can dish it then you can take it.) 
        4. Sometimes it’s best to take a step back and let others shine.  Can’t always be in control.  Never should we allow our egos to hold us or others captive.  Under no circumstances should we try to dim others’ light.  Everyone deserves a shot.  How else would we have made it thus far?
        5. Personal decisions are just that.  We should never feel like we have to explain ourselves to anyone.  If those who expect or feel as if we owe them an explanation are in no way impacted by our decisions, then they deserve absolutely NO explanation.

        Until next time… Peace, Love, and Many Blessings!

        ~ BuddahDesmond