Friday, September 30, 2011

Dear Old Gypsy: Where Y'at Girl?

I am looking for you honey. Maybe not the you, who had two-toned hair and was known to flick a camera off faster than you'd smile...

 I have been channeling a little bit of your fearlessness.Your ability to wander without the lust for it.  Your surety that  all the cool people dug you and those  folk who couldn't, fell in the category of the impossibly lame.

Call it a big -ego, but you looked at it like a security blanket for a cold, cold, world. A world that will chew your identity and spit it out with the quickness if you let it. You have to have something you call your own out here and it's best to start with yourself.

When it comes to dealing with men, before love and broken hearts and especially after, I think Rihanna said it best, "falling like the rain, so we aint running out..."

I see you, lil' young Gypsy...There is a freedom that comes with embracing who you are, experiencing real love. It is the point of no return...

I been off the porch,

 Love,

Gypsy

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Back Down Memory Lane: Love and Struggle Mixtape

I listen to a lot of music. I find it cathartic to reminisce, about what certain songs meant to you, where you  were when you first heard or they first made an impact on you. I love a good hip hop cut where the magic of art meets the hardest of cement realities. I just want to share a few with you all.

I say this is Turk's best verse EVER...5 feet 8 inches tall...my back against the wall. When I hear this song I think about two crazy ass kids in love with one another and lost in the world.


Love is so good when it's sweet. I think Onyx, Bayou Road before Katrina



Oooh baby I like it raw...the best hook EVER...


85% communication non-verbal, 85% swear they know you...10% you know they story, man tha other 5... time'll show you, just know you


Dark Man X... I miss him


I used to say this girl was the NYC Gypsy lol...This is a real ass song...sometimes you just gotta charge it to the game.


Makes it hard to ever love again...but the allure of the game...keeps calling my name.
 
I'm vibin so don't nobody start a fight...
 
Love,
 
Gypsy
 

Friday, September 23, 2011

All Creatures Great and Small: Conceptions of Infinite Love

Today is Feminism Friday and  I am thinking, like I always am, about how to live my life authentically. I seek this quality in all areas...my relationships, my work, my spirituality.

I had a conversation yesterday with a friend in which I was trying to explain how "God-fearing" spirituality could fall outside of both Christianity and monotheism. I didn't have much luck.

I don't proselytize or seek converts--just respect. Maybe a little, just a little, understanding that the divine exists outside of our man-made labels and can't be absolutely confined or defined by them.

Feeling a little down, as I can get, when I am misunderstood by someone I care for--I sat outside reading some work by Zitkala Sa.

Zitkala was an early political activist for the rights of the indigenous. She was a thinker, a beautiful,brave, woman and a courageous, courageous writer. She gives me courage every day to affirm my identity, my ancestors, and my spirituality.

She said it better than I ever could, so I will leave you with her words:

Still I would not forget that the pale-faced missionary and the hoodooed aborigine are both God's creatures, though small indeed their own conceptions of Infinite Love. A wee child toddling in a wonder world, I prefer to their dogma my excursions into the natural gardens where the voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds, the rippling of mighty waters, and the sweet breathing of flowers. If this is Paganism, then at present, at least, I am a Pagan.

Zitkala-Sa.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Every Decent Man is Ashamed of the Government He Lives Under


No Justice,

No Peace,

Love,

Gypsy



*quote by HL Mencken

These Rights are Declared to be Natural, Inherent, and Unalienable?


So it seems on the anniversary of the 1906 Race Riot in Atlanta,the state of Georgia seems determined to execute Troy Davis. Despite the fact that there is no murder weapon, no physical evidence, and nearly all the eyewittnesses have recanted their testimony--truth is appparently, unimportant.

Only the judge Penny Freesemann can revoke the death warrant, leave your honor a message urging her to do so at 912-652-7252.

So often, black people are told to: "move on" ,"get over it". We are often reminded of how long ago "all that" was.

In 1906 Atlanta newspapers ran stories about multiple white women being assaulted by black men. A white mob began to form...anywhere from 25 to 50 black people were reported killed. That these new stories were bogus but an afterthought.

1906...that was such a long time ago...

Right?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In Defense of Magical Realism, Zora Neale, with a Little Help From America's Next Top Model?

I have recently fallen back down the rabbit hole in my writing life by returning to the world of fiction writing. It has been awhile....what began as an amicable, temporary, separation became a bitter divorce following Hurricane Katrina.

I have always written about the magic of and in the real world. So,when all that real magic was literally covered in muck, I didn't know what to do. My characters and my stories sat there, damp and rotting--molding over into nothing.

It’s funny that this Fall is bringing forth so much resurrection in my life.  Ray and Fadi are the first characters to come back alive in my memory. It seems that without me paying attention they have taken the journey of the last six years with me, growing and changing, accepting and wrapping their brains around the "new" New Orleans. Reunion is great and the emotion is real--I missed them.

Sticking my neck back out in fiction has been interesting and I am approaching this journey whole-heartedly with the intent to grow as a writer and blah blah blah. But true to form I remain hella sarcastic, so I would like to share some pearls of wisdom I have gained since beginning this foray.

1. Realism itself is not interesting
2. Writing in dialect is NOT okay
3.Magical realism is at best dead and at worst trite

Ouch...taking these commandments into consideration leaves me just about dead on arrival in the land of modern "literary" fiction. Apparently, since a bunch of twenty-something year-old white women in academia did a piss poor job at magical realism, co-opting it into mediocrity, people of color in the south, whose experience is undoubtedly engaged with the supernatural, is now negated.

Monday, September 19, 2011

'Work it Kinda Vicious': This Funny Little Thing Called Love


Sometimes when a person enters the room,music begins to play and you aren't sure why. All others fade from focus and in a space packed by thousands, your mind sees only the two of you in the sunlight of a new morning...

There are some people you just can't resist--some actions have no explanation other than Force. I think Amber and Wiz are a great example of one those attractions that moves at ninety miles per hour, from lack of any other speed being possible.

But where are the boundaries between powerful attraction and love? Where do Force and "love at first sight", intersect and depart? When does attraction become just plain,old, everyday Lust? When does resistance become manipulation? Can hurt be transformed and where does the cycle end?

I hate the "dating" game. I find its preoccupations false and the power plays cheap.

Don't call first--let him call you....So how long do you wait to have sex? Are we dating or friends with benefits? Friends...how many of us have them?

Whatever happened to genuine, human connections and all the rest of that corny shit? Did it ever exist before the "g-code" "real niggas", "down ass bitches" and the "lady-like" took over the conversation?

When did just letting the music play, become so bad?

Friday, September 16, 2011

"In This Great Future, You Can't Forget Your Past"


As I've stated in other posts, one of my favorite sayings of the Buddha is this: "If you find truth in any religion, accept that truth." Meaning, just because some wisdom falls outside your denomination or your decision not to partcipate in organized religion, don't feel that you cannot embrace it.

Living life with this principle in mind has allowed ancestor veneration to play an important role in my spirituality. Ancestor veneration asks that we keep our ancestors in the forefront of our minds and that we trust their lives to guide us to and through wisdom in our own.

Because it's Feminism Friday, today's ancestor is Marie Laveau--badass voodoo queen, once called the "most powerful woman in New Orleans."

In today's world, where it is so hard to make it, I look to a woman like her to guide me. Back when there were few ways for a free woman of color to support herself, Marie used the power of the spirits, the power of her mind and her gifted hands to carve out--not only a life but a legacy.

I am on a little hiatus from the rat race right now. I quit my nine to five to focus on graduate school and my writing. I realized that I'd rather create right now than move up. And if that means no malls for a minute --I'm good with that.

I had a great night and a beautiful morning...I opened my door and sat in the sunlight, feeling the breeze and listening to the delicate jingle of my windchimes. While sitting, I said a prayer: Marie Leveau ...Loa, Lost- ancestor , Mother,I ask that you guide my hands--remind me of just how nimble they can be.

And in the quiet of the moment, I am almost certain I heard her voice...

Always, always remember who you are.


Love,

Gypsy

Monday, September 12, 2011

Not a Customer, Crony: The Value of Owning Yourself

President Obama calls himself an "Eternal Optimist", a worldview for which he has received more than a little flack. Many people have tired of his Pollyanna approach to dealing with the Republicans. Many of his constituents see no silver lining in the dark, ominous, clouds hanging over them.

The President has also been nicknamed "No Drama Obama" for the unflappable "cool" he projects no matter the circumstances.

Whether they be hicks from the Carolinas shouting out: You lie!, during his State of the Union... or the tantrums of the House Republicans, who decided to skip his joint session of Congress...to the jilting at the altar by The Tan Man,John Boehner,on the Debt Limit...what you won't see is Barack Obama let the inferior get the best of him.

This is one may favorite clips of the President. Breaking down one of the simple truths of life, courtesy of my man Jigga's wise words. There really ain't shit you can do about a hater but let him do so.



Their abuse will bury you in the sand if you let it pile up or get to you. It's best to brush their careless insults to the side one by one. Keep your eyes on the prize, keep putting the wheels in motion, one spoke at a time.

After many years of rolling with a hot one on my shoulders, I learned the value of a cool head. Playing with fire, you get burned.

Today,I am walking out of one door and opening several others. Accuse me of having illusions of grandeur, but I figure like if Barack Obama and Shawn Carter can do it, than I can do it too.

Maybe not be President of the United States or have eleven number one albums in a row. But I can figure out how to make a living while keeping my dignity. I can keep my cool, when racists want you to just have " a nigga moment", as Huey Freeman would call it.

So I'm going to come out on top, have the last laugh, put one in my pipe and smoke it. Plus write a book of my own to boot.

If you feelin like a pimp...

*dust falling at my sides*


Love,

Gypsy

Friday, September 9, 2011

Manumission Isn't Only For Man: Feminism Friday

There is a saying that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I would amend that and say sometimes it begins with a giant leap. I had a powerful conversation with a fellow writer a couple weekends ago. She stated it so eloquently, stop starting from the place of sacrafice when you don't have to. Open yourself up to oppurtunity.

I have a rebellious spirit,my family's legacy of freedom in Louisiana predates the Emmancipation Proclamation. My heart and soul derives from them. I owe it to all the blood spilled, so that I might live,to offer the best of myself to the world. I decided a couple days ago,instead of being in service to men or The Man, I will do my part for mankind.

Its time for us to reclaim our minds, heart and most basically, our human dignity.

It is our birthright.

be Brave,

Love,

Gypsy

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Life Without Fear : Salvation is a Journey

Been down many roads in my life, so I have learned that there is much wisdom to be had in this wide wide world. One of my favorite sayings of the Buddha is, "if you find truth in any religion, accept that truth".

Its a principle I live my life by. Meaning, that I have met people of all faiths and those that profess none, that have illuminated my existance and shown me that life can be lived and understood in a more complex way than what is available on the surface.I see this possibility for illumination in every being that I encounter, so I strive to live with compassion and an open heart above all. I am often times mistunderstood but with compassion comes acceptance, so I remain patient.

One of my other favorite quotes is by French philosopher, Descartes. "I think therefore I am." One of the simplest, most powerful truths in life. It is the one thing around which there is no debate. It is one thing you can hang your hat on in this world of illusion.

Never be afraid to exist,

Speak it, Be it...

Love,

Gypsy

Monday, September 5, 2011

The F Ain't for Fear : Feeling the Carter IV

It seems my current muses, Wayne and Jay are beefing. Their respective CD's, The Carter IV and Watch the Throne, have been dominating my writing soundtrack, dualing for attention, in my one-disc-at-a-time DVD player. Their competing performances at the MTV Music Awards and seperate camps was the most old-school, award -show beef, in a minute.

Call me a sheep, but I love a little escapism from time to time.It was exciting. What could be better than Wayne's angry, disinterested look, as Kanye did his Otis scream? Or when Nicki stuck her neck out for her dude, calling Wayne the best rapper alive?

Both artists take me places. Wayne with his unhinged genius is a relentless MC, with an endless well to draw from. Anybody who manages to say that he's a "critical thinker" on the hook and make it sound jazzy, deserves kudos for creativity. Calling his metaphor, simile and pun game, infinite-- ain't even close to hyperbole at this point.

The critics were hard on this disc, but as a phenomenol writer friend reminded me,most critics don't dance to the music they review. Weezy definitely had my ass moving, he made me think, made me chuckle with his quirks. Not to mention his, at times, misguided and contradictory philosophy is fun to argue with. He's a charismatic man, that's been apparent since back in the day, when he was neighborhood superstar.

I love imagining my interview with him. I always envision that I'd be like, "Come on Weezy, let's take it back to pool parties in Lake Willow, when you used to be battling dudes at house parties, who are you really?"

He'd put me in check...or try....

I guess it's only natural that the best clash at the top. When the old guard isn't ready to turn the reigns of power over, the young and impatient get ideas of usurping it. After listening to the Carter IV, I can't help but find Wayne's attempt at a coup, by way of a Jay-Z diss[ by way of Beyonce as the kidnap victim], a bit shallow, obligatory and half-hearted.


This isn't a comment on the disc as a whole, I actually, absolutely, love it. I also love Wayne--his drive, his journey-- and yes,even his jeggings.

I can't lie it bordered on emotional to see him close the MTV Awards. No matter what you think of his outfit or his "antics", that stage is long way from New Orleans-- East, Uptown, Downtown or otherwise. I remember being a little girl in the city, I had my bounce, like I had my Nas, like I had my Green Day, nice to see I wasn't alone.

I just hope the true story of his album being projected to sell almost a million copies in the first week, becomes the more compelling narrative to him rather than single bar fairytales about abducting famous women. After all,the truth is stranger than fiction and often times more intriguing.

Sleeping at the Top,

Live from the bottom [of da map]

Love,

Gypsy




Friday, September 2, 2011

Portrait of a Lady :Seeing is Believing

Earlier this week my cousin, the South's resident connoisseur of all things high fashion,sent me the link to a fashion spread celebrating British Asian fashion.

She says when she came across the photos, she immediately thought of me. Our minds must have been working in some sort of familial tandem because when I saw them on her Tumblr, Fancied ,I immediately fell into their world.

Yesterday, My friend M, who shares her brilliant thoughts on these oh-so-hightimes at MevsMarie , sent me a quote to think about. She knows I am a heathen, and that those words are always the prayers my soul needs.

“I wrote the story myself. It’s about a girl who lost her reputation and never missed it”--Mae West




As Mae's words ran through my mind ,I thought immediately about these hands. Beautiful, delicate brown hands, keys resting delicately, yet resolutely in her posession. The arms are crossed indicating she doesn't intend to give them up. A simple yet powerful portrait.

We are in control of bodies, minds, hearts and spirits and speech. Lets stop living like we don't know that. Let's remember what real resistance is, how to be a woman without fear. Something a la Harriet Tubman.

Never compromise the truth you are put here to speak, especially because of what that might do to "the kind of girl you are". The kind of girl who worries too much about what others think is a prisoner to mediocrity.

Today is a sit back and think about it kind of Feminism Friday. Its more about showing rather telling.


Show them that you'd rather be extraordirnary than ladylike...

I know I do,

Love,

Gypsy