Have you ever laid in bed at night wondering whether you would open your eyes the next morning? Scary, right? But for many of us, when our alarm blares, by the grace of God, we open our eyes again. I don’t know about you but sometimes I just want to exhale. Whew! I made it another day! I’m not sure why He saw fit for me to live but I’m sure glad He did. Being alive…it truly is a blessing.
I woke up in the morning feeling fresh to death
I’m so blessed, yes yes
I went to sleep stressed, woke up refreshed
I’m so blessed, yeah yes
Water in my face and everything is in its place
Peace of mind even my grace
I’m so blessed, yes yes yes
It was right before bed when I first heard Janelle Monae’s song, Q.U.E.E.N. I thought to myself, “what is this noise that I am I listening to right now?” By the second and third listen the next day, I finally realized how perfect it actually was. Oh yes, Miss Monae brought it with the funky beats and hip-hop slash gospel tones. But more than that, her lyrics spoke to the very thoughts I’ve been mulling over for quite some time. It was at that moment that I decided to reclaim my Queendom. I decided to reclaim the respect that I feel I’ve lost along my way.
“Even if it makes others uncomfortable, I will love who I am.”
I don’t believe marriage is for everyone but I do believe companionship is.
I don’t believe in happily ever after but I do believe in moments of happiness.
I don’t believe in any right answer or right way but I do believe things work when they should.
I try my best to at least spend one day over the weekend catching up on rest. That never happens. One moment it’s Friday evening, the next moment it’s Sunday morning. We really need a day between Saturday and Sunday just to relax.
I spent Friday night at a club. Totally not my scene but Vanquish is one of the nicer clubs in Atlanta. Still, clubs give me the heebie-geebies so we left pretty early and I took myself to dinner.
Saturday, I rested up until the Lianne La Havas concert.
“hand me down” top; shorts from Macy’s; clutch from F21; sling backs from Ralph Lauren
A few years back, a friend invited me to see The Nutcracker. I’m always amazed by the agility of dancers and I’m further mesmerized by the music. Ballet and sweet sounds in one? I’m all in. There’s the Nutcracker: sweet and soothing, and then there’s New Choreographic Voices: emotional and tantalizing. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve never heard of the group before. As the production began, though, I knew I was about to experience something astonishing.
Claire Stallman and Jonah Hooper in Christopher Wheeldon’s “Rush”
Have you ever been so happy that it made you sad?
Okay so, random. I’m in love with sadness. Like, I’m immensely intrigued by it…
I try to understand what makes people sad. Why they do certain things when they’re sad. I try to figure out the stories behind brilliant songs that are created from a sad place and time. There’s something so raw and beautiful about sadness. When you’re sad, you’re open to being vulnerable. I can connect to that. Deeply.
“I have found that the saddest people are also the funniest, and only those who understand complexity can communicate simplicity.”
In another place and time, I was a dancer. Specifically, a ballerina. Last Sunday, I got the chance to be an African dancer extraordinaire! From my seat, anyway.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I never did my research on Fela Kuti before going to see the show. I knew of him and of his music but not much about his story. Fela Anikulapo-Kuti: a Nigerian musician, composer, activist and revolutionary. Fela! the musical tells the story of Kuti in the 1970s, at the height of his career and also his contempt for Nigeria’s corrupt government. I can imagine him thinking to himself, “man, I just want to make music that incites political unrest, smoke weed, and make love to my many wives”. Lol. Kuti was a rebel with a cause and a message in his music.
Last Thursday, I saw Solange (Beyonce’s effervescent sister and my BFF in my head). Typically when I go to a concert, I’m pretty chill. A rock from side to side or a hand wave in the air here and there. But on Thursday……..honey.
I should preface this by saying that I hate waiting. Sister girl made us sit pretty for two whole hours. But it was definitely worth the wait. Janelle Monae came to the stage to introduce the opening act, Roman GianArthur, from the Wondaland Arts Society. After hearing him perform a cover of Radiohead’s High & Dry, I’ve concluded that his voice is a mix of…D’Angelo, Prince and Eric Benet. His sound is funky and soulful, very similar to his label mate, Janelle Monae. Listen to his song I-69 here.
After Roman performed three songs, the big-haired, doe-eyed beauty magically appeared on the stage. I couldn’t see her but I knew she was on stage because the crowd went absolutely WILD. I mean, it was as if Beyonce herself joined Solange.
It takes a lot to impress me. We’ve gotten so used to being impressed by mediocrity that we can’t recognize the beauty in the simplest things. Take creativity, for instance. When it comes to creativity, I know what I like. Colors, shapes, symmetry, blurs, concepts, angles, direction, etc. If I see something and I’m immediately hypnotized by it, most likely, I am impressed.
This is how I felt when one of my friends put me on to a new artist named Laura Mvula. Side note: I absolutely LOVE when people see something and think “Lucy would like this”. Makes my heart smile. Anyway. Laura is an English songstress hailing from Birmingham, UK.
What I love about the video:
- The muted colors (huge fan of tans); the soft beams of light
- The organic feel: no props, just people, a parking lot and a garden
- The sounds: the harmonies, the consistent clapping & beat of the drums
- The people: all I can say is, I LOVE BEING BLACK
- The dancing: reminds me African dances from slavery
There were so many different sounds happening at once in the video but everything blended perfectly. Purchase her new album, Sing to the Moon, here.
I’ll go, wherever you go, wherever you take me, I’ll go.
Man, living for the weekends have become the highlight of my life. So essentially, I try to make the most of each and every minute.
Saturday, I attended an event at The High Museum of Art. They called it Culture Shock: Homegrown. Wow. What an amazing event. A night filled with music, art, food and culture. Approaching the museum, people on the lawn watching a screening of Micah Stansell’s “The Water and the Blood”. Inside, we listened to sweet sounds of hip hop and bluegrass by Ashanti “The Mad Violinist” ft the Symphony Crack Orchestra (DOPE!!) and The Whiskey Gentry.
Yeah, there was food and booze. And yeah, there was all of the exhibits. But omg, we got to paint mason jars!!! I felt like a proper Southern girl. Except my friend decided to outdo my balls jar. Grrr.
I can’t even count how many times I’ve visited The High. I never tire from it. There’s always a new exhibition to see. Check out these pieces. Shattered glass and an illusion mirror.
Sunday, I waited until the very last-minute to catch Kenny Leon’s adaptation of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” I’m so glad I did. It is one of my favorite movies and Leon did not disappoint. I was so pleased to see my pretend aunty Phylicia Rashad performing ever so gracefully. That woman is amazing.
This weekend, I will be spending time with family in South Florida. More fun pictures to come!