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them rainy days

Posted on 15 January, 2017 at 17:35 Comments comments (2)
against my pane, your rain falls, washing away all angst and pain; a soothing lullaby, sending me adrift past cloud nine and just before ten, washing over my soul and making me whole. fresh drops, falling like snow and dew drops on my upper lips when I'm tickled pink, fall harder and longer on my zinc rooftop. bounce and cascade thunderously down my eavestrough. they say, "rain  rain  go away and come again another day;" but I say, STAY awhile and saturate my roots. and cause a growth spurt. fall, fast, hard, long, whenever, wherever; but hey, remember that with anything there are rules to be kept and never broken. keep those flashing lights, swirling clouds, clapping sounds, and howling winds at bay, you hear? Now fall, just fall, preferably at night!   NAW (c) May 21, 2013

Confessions-A reflection on church at christmas

Posted on 24 December, 2016 at 23:00 Comments comments (0)
A few years ago I started growing a fascination with church doors; just the doors, not the interior. Everywhere I go and see a church door I want to get a picture of it, especially the period ones. What I didn't realize until recently, is that I blamed the black church and some of its teachings for the longest time, for marrying me off on what seemed like my first date. It ruined my life (as it ended soon thereafter in divorce), or so I thought, but in retrospect it taught me self reliance, independence and most importantly it gave me three beautiful children. Church also kept me out of trouble. As a young person, it taught me good old fashion values, consequently I was spared the wild partying lifestyle and all that it entails, I had no idea what the inside of a courthouse looked like until my divorce, and after I started working there a few years back. My Friday nights were youth night, Saturday was prayer meeting, Wednesday was bible study and Sunday, both morning and night was service. Contrary to what I have come to know about churches other than all black, is that parties are a thing, smoking is a thing, dating is a thing, it's a cultural thing, or so I've realized. There are some churches you dare not enter as a woman wearing pants, short skirts, or with your hair uncovered. I used to visit with some frequency, a Presbyterian 99% all white church a few years back, I quite enjoyed it and made some amazing friends. I am still making peace with the black church, resultantly my frequency in a week as a teen is comparable to a year as an adult. I have communions with God on the regular about this and we're working it out. Nuff love, NAW

Sacrifices of the Dream

Posted on 21 December, 2016 at 22:30 Comments comments (0)
It was a few years ago that I stumbled upon this dream during a rather nightmarish period of my life, and without any road map, except some inspiration along this journey, I have been at it. The tide is now changing and I want to bring you along for that ride. I feel it necessary to provide a bit of context so that when you see me reaping the rewards of what has been tremendous sacrifices, you will know that this dream truly wasn't an overnight fling. I have flirted with entrepreneurship since realizing the need to be more available to my three young kids, one of whom has a special need. As a single mom, the 6am departure and 9pm return was taking its toll, and a change had to be made. I had stumbled upon writing as a way of healing from the divorce, and stumbled upon reciting when I recited for a celebratory event for families, including mine, who had gone through this counselling program for children coping with divorce and all that goes along with that. I have since given up my home and car and have downsized, first to paying other people's mortgages that were higher than my own, because I wanted to keep a semblance of normalcy and did not want my children mocked or bullied in the upscale Brampton neighbourhood that was our home. An individual had suggested a basement apartment at the time to which I frowned upon terribly as it was unimaginable to leave a ravine with deers in the backyard to a basement apartment. Plus I know how cruel kids can be and I did not want to subject my children to bullying or mockery, so I continued to pay other people's high mortgage in their new homes, and moved every two years or so when they sold. Last year, with my kids being all grown, I decided that I would make the switch and try the basement apartment, so I rented a brand new, never lived in space that was made to feel like a suite at the Hilton, but the one thing that I couldn't get used to was the small windows. I owned and operated a construction cleaning business, but it grew faster than I could handle it and so it caved, after reaching out to a family member for help and was shot down. I had nine different GTA Builders as clients, with Mattamy Homes being my biggest. What did happen from that however was the funds to self-publish my first book, The Culmination of Marriage between Me & My Pen, and I have self-published three other titles, including a children's book and nine Black History Month poster poems. I worked for the Courts as a Court Services Officer and a Court Reporter and was able to say I'm on the schedule, I'm off the schedule, since it was a casual position. This allowed me to volunteer mostly, at quite a few celebratory events, ranging from Women's Shelters, to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, to the Ontario Black History Society, The Black Business and Professional Association, The Planet Africa Awards, The Aroni Awards, Mount Sinai Hospital, Sunnybrook Hospital, Consul General of Jamaica to New York, The Jamaican Government, Queens Park, The Jamaican Canadian Association and York Regional Police to name a few. Working in schools, starting with the schools my children attended, I realized the joy of reading and presenting to kids, and so I continued and today, I am one of the recommended presenters to a number of boards within Ontario addressing issues such as cultural identity, acceptance and appropriate use and understanding of cultural language/racial slurs amongst students. Equity and Diversity workshops for numerous companies, my poems serve as PSA's for a number of youth violence prevention initiatives, I host and keynote several events, too numerous to mention, among many other ventures. I have recently embarked on a fine art project with my poetry on canvas, and this has been the most amazing thing that I could have embarked on. I have had meetings to showcase my new project and have met with a resounding yes, at every turn, since sales is my one of my strongest attributes, and I am so grateful for this reception, because it is now allowing me to pack my things to move yet again to big windows and scenery, and to purchase the vehicle that will allow my commute around town to be a lot more efficient. I am glad that my children can now see that though dreams can be born out of nightmares, if you persevere, and make the necessary sacrifices of the dream, they most certainly do come true. I am so excited to share the rest of this journey with you all, beginning with my upcoming international trip. Nuff love, NAW

Digitally speaking

Posted on 20 December, 2016 at 23:45 Comments comments (0)
Being a creator of digital content can be such a challenge, I've found. We are definitely living in a digital world, and Digital Immigrants sometimes lack the self assuredness that Digital Natives possess in content creation. (Digital Immigrants...persons from the stone me....Digital Natives...our kids born with tech. (gold) spoons in their mouths). There are folks I know who still exist in that home phone world: they don't do social media, and if they do, it is very limited and private, and they will be the quickest to reprimand you if they see something coming from you looking remotely off the beaten path. Television for me is almost obsolete these days, since I've delved deeper into the digital world, mind you, if you are not careful you become this consumer of content to the point of obesity. I read somewhere that all things should be done in moderation, and this is no different. There are some wild things being posted daily on YouTube or Facebook live, and individuals now have the ability to create their own stardom with something as simple as a smartphone and good internet connection. We live vicariously through the folks that have very candid discussions about all kinds of things, did I say very candid? What is important to note however, is that these same very candid folks, have the ability to command income in their sleep, based largely on the level of candidness they deliver to their audience. I have the uncanny ability to spot the money makers within seconds; because who has time to give more than seconds when browsing content these days anyway? I have seen ones that try really hard and I feel sorry for them, because you know that they won't survive. It is really a job, though some take it for a hobby; a job in acting, writing, speaking, creating and producing consumable content. One thing you definitely cannot be is shy, and worse, camera shy. I know that unless you break out of your shell and decide to "shell dung di place" (I am Jamaican can you tell), the interest even from your most loyal followers soon wither away like yesterdays unattended roses. When putting out content, it is of utmost importance that one weighs the consequences of posts, as online content can be detrimental to your professional relationships depending on who your clients are. It is a very rare thing to find industries without professional standards governing them, and even if you become wildly famous in the entertainment industry, content that you have created, can come back to haunt you, if not now, later, and can be a deterrent to possibilities when you are researched. It is only a stroke of luck for someone to align themselves with you and/or your brand professionally without thoroughly running your background; it's really like embarking on a marriage, the two become one. So as exciting as it may be to put out content with a title like "ONLY THREE FOR ME" I would think THRICE, and don't watch the fact that others do it so why not me, because as my grandparents (God bless the Digital Immigrants that they were) used to tell us kids all the time growing up in that picturesque countryside in St. Mary Parish Jamaica, W.I., "puss and dogs don't have the same luck." I am cognizant however that Digital Natives especially are breaking all the rules and rewriting the script, so this school of thought, might very well be coming from a stuffy old Digital Immigrant. Nuff love, NAW

Fear, of historical proportions

Posted on 17 December, 2016 at 15:30 Comments comments (0)
We don't want too much history, just a little will do. We don't want our children tainted by those grim pictures painted way back then. We want them to remain innocent, you know, just riding their tricycles in the neighbourhood, God forbid you should try and teach them about life in the hood. Canada's wonderland, and Fairy Godmothers, no black like tar or monkeys and bananas, no that's not who we are. A little song and dance will do, and perhaps a tiny glossing over about how you all got over, yes that too, but slideshows of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, no, no no.... (I get it, no chains, no trees, no hound dogs, horses, or swamps either, no cotton fields, no young girls in the fields, no selling children, no using children as baits for them gaits', no families separated, no husbands humiliated when the acts are done in plain sight, no mothers placing ads looking for any word of their babies, no ban on celebrations, no jubilation about the emancipation proclamation, no free labour, or going through labour on the run, no gentrification, no Salem, no Birmingham, no Harlem, no Jim Crow, no underground railroad; no, none of that). Not too much depth, in fact, we can just start with the Obama era, nothing before. That's great history right there, beautiful Michelle, Sasha and Malia...the Obamas, Oprah Winfrey, no not as a child but you know The Oprah Winfrey Show, Michael Jackson and his thriller moves....well yes you can touch a little on the new ten dollar bill with Viola Desmond and her strong will if you will....but no back of the bus comparison with Rosa Parks, no further than the 90's. They are innocent children, we can't afford to taint them with these paintings, you understand don't you? The lips need not speak for the heart to be revealed, but fear not, wisdom follows me like goodness and mercies, I take it everywhere I go. Nuff love, NAW

Shopping, my therapy

Posted on 15 December, 2016 at 20:05 Comments comments (0)
Writing was my therapy, until I discovered shopping. Though the relief is very temporary, it is just that thing that makes me feel good, in the moment when I am troubled, bored, need a self esteem booster shot, etc.. Some people drink, some do yoga, meditation, sex, exercise, volunteer, connect spiritually, read, write, clean, get the picture. I have been meaning to take French lessons, and I still may one of these days. I also do love to walk, but this Canadian weather isn't always conducive; I really can't get into the gym thing, I have lost a number of $69.99 throughout the years, but perhaps when I start driving again I will join the gym...perhaps! There is a certain feeling that I get when I am well put together, and well, if there is nothing in my closet to put together then....rubbish, I have enough to fill a hundred barrels! I am however taking baby steps to wean myself of this habit and thinking more about my long term goals and retirement. Image is very important in any business, and more so as an artist who makes multiple appearances; however there comes a point when one has to retrain the brain and refrain from certain activities that are downright Ludacris. Although we are most certainly judged by how we carry ourselves, at the end of the day, as long as we are clean and well groomed, nobody really cares how many times an outfit has been repeated, and the kind of money that is spent just to have that look, can be so incredibly ridiculous. So as the new year approaches, one of my very attainable goals is to wean myself off a di' shopping ting'. Nuff Love, NAW

Not just another blog

Posted on 14 December, 2016 at 20:15 Comments comments (0)
Blog posts come and go, but what I do know is that what makes them stay on the readers mind is the content found therein. I have seen people write outrageous things to keep readers engage, and I've also seen content that leaves one enraged. One of the things that I have heard repeatedly about my writings, is the fact that it is authentic. This authenticity has been this bold, in your face, take it or leave it, this is my truth, I am not about to lie to appease your idea of what should or shouldn't leave my fingers to linger on your mind. This is the type of content that stays on the readers mind, and pull folks in, at least this is what I have found, but undoubtedly it also leaves one vulnerable, and depending on what is going on in life, this vulnerability has the ability to fluctuate. For me, I am not my authentic self these days truthfully, there are things that I would want to share, and just lay it bare without a care, but I am not there right now, don't even know if I'll ever get back there. What I do know is that writing has become my life, and so I will continue to write. In time, my authenticity may return, you know they say practice becomes perfect. Life has thrown me some curve balls, so instead of playing bball and calling my shots, I find that these days it's a little safer to play dodgeball, but I am hopeful, that with daily drills, I might start to get the thrill again that bball brings, and may even hit a few three pointers. Go easy on me, or hard, but know that this is my intro to the world of blogging. I do love to write, so you should see a lot of me or a little depending on the court, or the turf I'm playing on any given day. Nuff Love, NAW