My 8-year-old self healed me last night

I saw the gleam in her eyes first. She was short, but her slender appearance made her seem taller. Her dark chocolate skin shone and the sun’s rays bounced off the glistening fine hairs on her arms. She was me. And I watched her with curiosity. At first, I didn’t realize it. It was the familiarity of her smile, her spirit, that drew me in.

I did not realize I was in a dream, alternate universe-even. And at the moment I recognized the little girl I was staring at, I thought I had surely died, and all my selves were coming together…

She spoke first. “I know you. You used to always visit my dreams. Did you come from New York?”

Then I remembered how I had always believed I would move to New York. Live in Manhattan. Make a lot of money. Live in a high rise with floor to ceiling windows with panoramic views of the city. I’d have three boyfriends. Wow. Had I failed in life? “No-no,” I stuttered, focusing back to the little girl. “You know me?” I looked at her questionably as I cautiously approached her.

“Yes.” She said, decidedly.

I looked around and passersby without faces hurried to their unknown destinations. Traffic ensued busily as normal. But the space between us was incredibly still.


As I studied my young subject with a deepening curiosity, it all came back.


I don’t remember being so confident at that age. I gasped at her-grief-stricken, and awed at the same time. I studied her smiling face, and tears welled up my eyes. My nostrils burned and flared for air, and my palms sweated.


My heart galloped, and my voice lost its musical notes to what seemed like its final sigh of epiphany. Of course! This is precisely the time before I was molested. This is the Me before my innocence was ripped from me-when I was trusting, shining and lovely. This was the brilliant little girl all the teachers loved. This was the one who dreamed of being a mermaid, a TV anchor, and Supreme Court Judge. This was the one who fantasized about feeding all the hungry children in the world, and find some kind of ecological way to end famine and drought.


“Ah,” Little Me said with a wisdom that mismatched her size, “I see you remember.” She walked up to me, and gently took my hand. Her gaze and sweet smile never leaving my face. She said, “I’m glad you remember. And I’m just here to remind you to let it go. It’s okay. All that has happened to us, has made you who you are. You are okay.”

Then, she guided me down the street of our familiar neighborhood, and continued talking, “I remember you” she said again. “You were so helpful. You would visit me in my dreams. And tell me to be strong. You told me that I would get through it. That I would be fine. You told me that, He may touch our physical body, but we are spirit. And He couldn’t touch that. Don’t you remember?”

The tears streamed down my face incessantly. I listened to Little Me in silence. We walked.

As she talked, I remembered Me-that Grace Jones-strong-Black-woman-with-the-Mohawk, look-alike, who would come talk with me in my dreams, give me strength each night that I had silently cried myself to sleep.

I stopped and turned to her, “I do remember,” I said quietly. “Wow. I do.” And I hugged myself so tightly.

Then, Oya, Yemeya and Oshun formed a ring around us. Their light was blinding, but I their warmth and love permeated my being. Captured by their pervasive light, we were absorbed by it, transforming into it, and pulsing in the love of light which now blanketed us, fusing us into one, turning us in the fire, that I now recognized as the sun. We had become the sun.

The light of peace. The light of love. The light of the Sun.

And like that, I was peace.

I was love.

I was the Sun.

I was whole again.


Are you strong enough to quit smoking cigarettes?

Image I’ve been smoking cigarettes on and off, for four years now. I like to smoke. I like the rush I feel when the smoke hits my brain and releases endorphins, which calm me as I exhale. I like the taste of my food after a good smoke; it makes everything tastes smoked. I love the taste of the cigarette with a glass of wine, or other spirit. I like the first smoke of the day: It helps calm hunger pains before I eat breakfast. I love smoking in the car: I put my windows down, blare my favorite CD, and get lost in traffic as I blow smoke out the window. I love sitting around with my friends, relaxing to good drink, banter, stories…and my cigarette. Finally, I love a calming smoke after love-making, and before bed.


What I hate is the after smell. I hate having to go to the restroom after every smoke to wash up, to re-apply lotion and perfume. I hate having to brush my teeth more than three times a day. I hate the yellowing color that my teeth are beginning to adopt. I hate wondering if my breath stinks. I hate that my eyes are drier, my skin is less elastic, and I’m starting to look older; even my smile lines are deeper. I hate that I my once, soft, pink lips are darker, and usually dry and ashy. I hate that I’m putting pressure on my lungs and heart. My breath is shorter; and as an avid swimmer, clarinet player and singer, I remember being able to hold my breath notes and keys a lot longer. Now, I’m a raspy-short-breathed jazz singer. All my ballads are reserved for my healing.


So, two-weeks ago, I caught the Head Cold/Flu. This left me struggling with my once 2nd Soprano range. Worse than the head flu is the aftermath of congestion, phlegm, and hoarseness which is bugging the hell out of me! I want my range back. I’ve just been dissatisfied with the way I’ve neglected my health. It’s been on a downward decline. And I knew I needed to take better care of myself. After all, wasn’t I worth it? Was I lying to myself when I would affirm that I loved myself?

 So, that was the beginning to the end. The end to smoking cigarettes! I’m strong. I’m the master of my destiny. I waited 3 whole days before I start blogging about it. I wanted to be absolutely sure that I had really quit. I quit. Cigarettes? What cigarettes? I don’t smoke! I don’t smoke! I don’t smoke…

 Here’s to my year of progress in wealth, health and accomplishments!