The Childhood Mysterious


Children are the most honest, incredible creations known to man. They are reflections, reminders and voices of all things that concern their parents and guardians. They are the anchors of their own universes.

In this construction of life and family around them, they have the uncanny ability to change and charge a family’s orbit and focus depending on how their talents are focused on and presented.

For those children such as myself, whose natural bent is towards the arts, we are a little odd. And because we are of that ilk, we don’t fit into the shiner boxes.


In the shuffling and adjusting of the presented talents, as it were, we sometimes shape and push them towards what is more comfortable to us. The stranger thing? Children know what they are good at, and they look to their support systems to confirm and affirm those things in them which they know make them unique and special.

When children know what their bents are but are pushed toward what is alien? It will never fit and may only inter itself inside them until such a time it can bloom without hindrance.  For me? It was writing. My father thought nursing or medicine would better portray and express my intelligence—the artist didn’t suit his vision of me. But, yet—here I am.

Of all the great potential children have, we cannot make it or reshape it to what we believe is more comfortable or profitable for us. We cannot live through them due to what we allowed to die in us.

Their lives are our investments, but their talents are not our rights. As those that love and support them, we must value them as an entire person first before we begin to sink our teeth into what we believe is profitable.

Children profit the world and should be able to have the confidence to try their gift on without constant criticism of what and how they wear it.

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WordPress Blogger Recogniton Award

Thank you to the empowering Black Girl Magic that is Naa-Shorme Aidoo, the power behind Write To Live, for nominating me and this space for my first ever WordPress Blogger Recognition Award!

Thank you for your support and your example on how to keep going, and everything else will catch up.

I invite you all to follow her blog (http://thewritetolive.org) for all matters of life, unity, edification and encouragement.

HISTORY

My blog actually started on a whim. I’ve been writer since I was about 8, and it has only been within the last 4 years that I’ve really leaned in where my talent in concerned to see where it might lead. I was actually hesitant because I didn’t know if anyone would read it, but, with the support of my husband, I made my first blog post earlier this year.

Moreover, having been a lifelong St. Louis, MO resident and explicitly living in Ferguson, MO at the time Michael Brown, Jr. was murdered by an officer of the Ferguson Police Department, I was compelled to renew my efforts to blog and record what the social climate was in St. Louis and the surrounding counties.

The goal of The Ideal Firestarter is just that—to start a fire, to provoke conversation, and to give space for those that need their voices amplified.

ADVICE

My advice for newer bloggers is simple:  write and connect.

Don’t be discouraged or deterred by numbers.

Write.

Write your vision, write your heart. Those that connect, hear your voice, read your words will follow you. Don’t be afraid of stats and analytics. Don’t be afraid to switch to what works best for your or your blog. Your blog is your space, so conduct yourself as such.

Connect with other bloggers and blogging networks! Those networks are great places to bounce ideas, hear ideas, and to be encouraged. Some of my favorites are Black Bloggers United and Brown Girl Bloggers.

Also, I would suggest as you network, find a blogging mentor! Someone that you can trust with ideas and that can help you when you’re in a creative lurch and may need guidance or encouragement.

NOMINATIONS

The Wire Hanger by Winnie

She’s Candid

 

Fierce Daily

The Benjamin Coy

Sweat In Mascara

enJOYCURVES

the Ki Word

The Renaissance Lady

Her Eyes Her View

The Haute Seeker

The Art of A (theartofA)

Diva With Depression

54 du Rhone

Queens Of Virtue

 

Doing The Brave


I’m an activist.
In being an activist, as well as a person of faith, causes me to have a dual charge. I am a part of a community of faith, powered by the Creator. That, in itself, is awesome.

In reading an article in the St. Louis American earlier this month, there was a quote given by a local shero of mine, that was jarring. Not because it wasn’t accurate, it was because someone had finally said it:

“Clergy, if you are not preaching resistance in this city, you are not preaching.”

-Brittany Ferrell

 

When I read that, my spirit leaped. Why? It leaped because it was something I had said to those in the faith community for a year or more. There are those in the local community at large whom are on shaky ground with their faith because this Christ that flipped tables is not often seen in churches here in St. Louis. And certainly not on a consistent basis.

In this community, especially in matters of social change or even upheaval, the clergy have a position that pivots. We have an authority that echoes. We have the ability to speak truth to power and to protect. We can no longer stand by because it is comfortable. Nothing about change is comfortable to the point of being advantageous.

Change isn’t to be profit, but change is to be profitable.

Resistance is one of the reasons why Christianity has remained two millennia later. Resistance is one of the reasons why we grow, grow out of, and grow into.
There must be an awakening of local clergy, of the North American church(!!), because the sheep need us. There are too many whom look for God and have been found wanting. We cannot afford to do that anymore.

We must be able to be found among the sheep. We must be able to protect and instruct, yes, but we must be able to discern the times we are in as well. We must also band together as a community of faith, communities of interfaith, to be able to be a social anchor to those that indeed are warriors in need of direction (or Joshuas, Calebs, Jaels, Davids, etc).


We must no longer look at those in activism or who identify themselves as activists or being involved as something undesirable. What has encouraged me was the awakening of local clergy in St. Louis, one in particular that has inspired me is Pastor Larita Rice. She calls the political activism she is involved with, and encourages others to be involved with, disruptive grace.
I love that. DISRUPTIVE GRACE.

It’s that same disruptive grace that should inspire churches and its leadership to speak out and to be safe houses and sources of training and refuge. The clergy were never meant to be these ivory tower people, beyond work or knowledge.

The community of faith is supposed to be this dynamic entity with rhythm and strength–becoming that one body but many members, as described in 1st Corinthians. We can no longer be silent about what is going on.

If we are silent in times that matter, we are suspect every time we speak.

 

The Shift


“The people you start with may not be the people you end with.” This sage wisdom offers more than you think.

With this month’s focus being community,  I would be remiss not to mention how those communities change as you do.  Life is dynamic at its core–there will always be situations which demand more of you than what you thought–and because of that, you need people you didn’t think you would need until you do.

As you grow into the life you want, you will be confronted with situations that will cause you to examine whom it is you have included in your life and plans.

In the last few months, I have followed a young lady named Rebekah Gordon on Facebook. She is a third year law student, now a Chicago resident. She had the best observation about changing your environment, communities and those whom are yet to come to your life:

“…When God takes you higher, it stirs up a rather intricate process of stripping down, exposing, highlighting, sacrificing, sharpening and refining. God deals with the heart first. He starts to deal with the idols that ornamented your life.

He begins to show you the piles of dirt you tried to hide under the carpet. He sends those tests along the way to make sure you can pass. He repositions some folks around you and hires more equipped ones to support you. He even hides you to protect you…”

-Rebekah Gordon, September 2017

(taken with her consent)

That’s the dirty secret about building a community–those in it may not stay the same,  and you may have to outgrow them to honor what you know to be true of yourself. Don’t flip your wings because people don’t like shade.


There is a destiny for you, a plan for your life, and it is up to you to be brave enough to believe that and strong enough to go forward with it.

What stymies us is the unwillingness to go or the unwillingness to go alone. There are times of momentary loneliness, but they are momentarily. I like to think that God plays chess on the back side of the universe when this happens.

He strategizes and arranges His plan, and, though you might think you are but a pawn and alone, it is executed and unlike anything you could imagine. From the mind of God, He brings and pushes you towards the next group of people whom will help you and equip you and informs you whether or not you must go next.

Sometimes we get lucky, and those people we link up with are able to stay with us for the journey yet determined. More often than not, they don’t. The resentment to continue in spite of this inspires a rub to and from those that refuse to honor what it is they want–believing it enough to act.

Change is scary.  When your life is rearranged, it’s scary. When that happens and there is no one to help you, that’s scary. However, if you don’t go, if it doesn’t change–what you start with, even whom you start with–won’t change.

Don’t be afraid of change. Fear staying the same.

#ShouldaConvictedStockley

Nero watched Rome burn because he set it.

The Republican governor, a former US Marine, put structures in place for the verdict of Jason Stockley, the office of the St. Louis Murdering Police Department, whom killed Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. Never mind it took 6 years to get to this point. Nevermind the scared white people populated St. Louis central government that put barricades up around the courthouse. Nevermind that the judge in this case said that for a an ‘urban heroin dealer’ to not have a gun ‘is an anomaly.’

They knew the verdict.

They feared the outcome.

Mayor Lyda proved how unready the city of St. Louis was–and her windows in her got busted out. 

I would say I was shocked at the verdict. But I wasn’t. But the thing that steadied me? The community. What steadied me was the response, current resisting, but more over–the planning for future endeavors.

It cannot stress the importance of non-silence when it comes to police brutality. I cannot stress the value to black dollar in white spaces. I cannot stress the value of voices in this struggle. There is not room for neutrality.

THERE IS NO ROOM FOR NEUTRALITY.

I cannot place the priceless value of life, especially BLACK LIVES. 


I will not apologize for the need for police reform.
I will not apologize for the support of my people, my community, or my protest family, or advocate for their safety and well-being.

For those of us that #RESIST, I take time now to recognize you. To thank you, pray with you, and open my heart arms to you.

Don’t stand for the micro aggressions.

Don’t not fall under the spell of the police narrative. The Narrative and the truth rarely correlate. Recognize that.

Dr. King said that everyone, anyone, can serve.

So…serve. 

And sometimes resistance is service.

RESISTANCE IS SERVICE.


Like Jemele Hill

I’m a sports fan. When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, I had horrible insomnia. I got familiar with super familiar with early morning news shows, Adult Swim and everything on ESPN. 

I started to become a fan of  Mike & Mike In the Morning (to the point I listened to them in the car), E: 60 Documentaries and His & Hers

I liked His & Hers.  

I like the dynamic between Jemele and Michael. I like how she was knowledgeable, astute and took none. It made me feel better about being a sportsfan who had a vagina.


Now, with the state of the nation being run by a racist, orange internet troll, things are going to be said about that.  Deal with it. 

Jemele Hill called 45 a white supremacist on social media, to be specific: TWITTER.

Nothing in this tweet is inaccurate. Nothing. Yet, because 45 does it like it when he’s called out on his BS, he lashes out and wants someone to fight for him, the soulless Sarah Huckabee Sanders said from behind the White House podium that Jemele Hill should be fired from ESPN. 

A year before, Curt Schilling got fired from ESPN when he made those stupid remarks about the LGBTQIA community, namely people of trans experience. 

The key difference?

What Jemele said is true. It’s true. 

You need only look at whom 45 has appointed, worked with and been involved with over the last 40 years. 

WHAT JEMELE SAID IS TRUE. 

And for her to not bend when she said it? Glorious. Schilling can be mad. He’s a bigot right along with the rest of that Drumpf supporting basket of deplorables.


Schilling not liking it, don’t make it less true. He’s mad that he was found out and exposed for the racist, bigot he is–because racism is rooted in power and its maintenance. He can continue to be salty and banished.

Many moons ago, I wanted to be a journalist. I wanted to work for the New York Times. I remember I watched ESPN, and longed to see more black women on–just doing their thing, bruh. 

Now, I can watch The Six with my girls and be like, “Gon head, Jemele. Best of both worlds.”

Thank you, Jemele. 
#Resist

From The Desk Of The Author

(In response to the September 2017 acquittal of Jason Stockley, whom murdered A. Lamar Smith in 2011.)

From the desk of the author:
I am a life long St. Louis resident. I was born in St. Mary’s Hospital, daughter of college educated black parents. I started school on Gano at Bryan Hill Elementary. I am a graduate of Jennings Senior High. I know the soothing nature of Vess soda, Red Hot Riplets and trype sandwiches.
Good or ill, it’s home in the Toni Morrison sense of the word.
Police in St. Louis have been racist, crooked and oppressive. Only the cameras are new, the treatment isn’t. This verdict is only one of many slight and assaults to my personhood–like every other person of color in this city.  
Ida B. Wells said, those that do the murders write the reports. This is none less true now than it was then. 
As a woman of color, a black woman, a mother of black children, black godchildren, a daughter, a sister and a friend all of me is horrified to none of the state of my city–yet not surprised by it.
What I ask, what I pray, is that you remain vigilant. Be aware that these things happen to people whom are non-white, and we are tired. My soul is weary. Yet, I’m reminded of what my foremothers, grandmothers and even my own mother endured so that my life would be better.
I add voice, my space, my life to this resistance–to the betterment of my people, so that better will indeed come. 
Police brutality is real thing. 
Blue lives do not exist. BLUE LIVES DON’T EXIST.
Black lives matter. 

BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Resist.

RE. Damn. SIST.
A hero of mine said this in the St. Louis American:
“Clergy, if you’re not preaching resistance in this city, you’re not preaching.”
As a woman of faith, my anchor is not in man. If it were, I couldn’t stand this onslaught. The same tables Jesus Christ flipped, I flip and write on.
Oppression, racism, hatred, violence, weaponized response to blackness, inequality will continued to be called out by me and those that resist and observe. 
They will not take my voice, or my pen.
JBHarris