My 15-year-old mother named me Jacqueline. They only allowed her to name me. Soon after my birth, I was taken away from her. It is truly a beautiful name, given to me by a beautiful girl, who reminds me every day that her soul still lives in me.
It has become difficult for me to imagine. Surrounded by the million of sound bites, the eyes only resting when I am asleep. It is difficult for my mind to get clear, to create new ideas. Set in a world that demands of you an indoctrination that is the only way, the only way, so that one does not get any ideas to create a world that might just be better than theirs.
As I laid my body to rest, I practiced my imagination. I practiced visioning new stories to create, building upon the old stories that have embraced me for so long. I laid practicing, over and over, realizing that I could not imagine creating new stories in a world that tells me to hold on to the old ones, because it forces stagnation, yelling at me to remember, to hold on and to take pride in all that the ancestors have done.
I’m holding, I’m remembering, but I wish could remember how to imagine. I wish I could remember the feeling as a child when my imagination seemed so real and the adults in my life took joy in seeing my playful dance, celebrating as I twirled in the open air, with the sun putting a happy glow on my face, being free and accepted, allowing to create, making mud pies, and hearing, “that’s good baby.”
I am remembering how to imagine, I am remembering how to create, trusting to move from the “hold on” to the sound of “that’s good baby.”
Be Well My Friends
The last day of the year. I can find all the things I didn’t do and wanted to do in 2022. But I choose not to. Instead I choose to remember the “unplanned” accomplishments, ones that just happened without me stressing.
Watching a great movie and enjoying it with my husband.
Chomping down the best chicken cacciatore I’ve ever had at a restaurant called Tony’s in NYC.
Seeing the best Broadway play, “Death of A Salesman.”
Talking to my daughter on a phone call that lasted more an hour.
Becoming the pastor of an historic Black church in Pennsylvania.
Finding great deals on good bottles of wines!
I am sure there are much more “unplanned” accomplishments that I allowed myself to be present for. The ones that need no strategies, no time limits, no approval, the ones that create memories to treasure for a lifetime.
The older I become, the less of things I need to make me feel I need to prove myself to the world. Here I come, 2023, with more “unplanned” stuff in my basket, embracing whatever the year has for me, feeling grateful just for the opportunity to be alive.
Happy New Year My Friends,
Trust. I hear my breath which is rather loud. Anxiety comes. I am trusting that I can do what I set out to accomplish. I am trusting myself. Some days though, it’s hard. I trust myself to move in spaces that don’t want me there. I trust myself to speak when I know there are some who really would rather not hear me. I trust myself to dress in a way that is creative and fly, knowing someone will definitely stare, and point, and laugh.
Breathing hard again, closing my eyes, hearing that voice in my head.
I am not a writer and I’m guessing that if anyone read this, they would agree. But I hear that to become a somewhat decent writer, one need to write everyday, even when they have nothing to say. There are so many things that are happening in our world to write about, and at the same time, there is nothing to write about. Nothing new. I have heard the same news stories over and over again. It’s like recycling news from the 50’s and adding some kind of sprinkles to add a little pizazz to the story line. Trauma after trauma! Don’t we ever get freaking tired?! Or have we become so immune to the heartbreak in our world that it no longer matters? No one is coming to save us from what we have done to ourselves, right? I mean, we are not expecting ourselves to save ourselves, right?
Or can we? Save ourselves? Do we have anything to say of this? Can I save you from your worries living barely on a paycheck that does not sustain you for a week? Can you save me from my worries of aging in a society where medical bills become the talk of the day? Or we humans together?
Okay, it’s my dream. Why would I think we could all come together to save ourselves? Yep, I got nothing…..yet. But it’s still my dream!
I am somewhat lost without my favorite coffee mug. In the mornings, I look for it. I hear it calling my name from a deep dark place. When I walk in the kitchen, it is not on the counter top where I left it the day before. It awaits me every morning, ready for me to grab my hand around it’s round smooth bottom and feel the heat embracing my hands as I pour the first cup of coffee. I know! Sounds kind of a little erotic? Maybe I need help? Just kidding. Still, my mug was not on the kitchen counter this morning. I kept searching for it, following the sound of it from what sounded like a small whisper from a closed door. I opened the dishwasher and there it was. I smiled. I swear my mug smiled back at me. I rinsed the dark, dry, crumbling residue from the bottom of the mug. Yes, I saved my mug from the harmful dishwashing detergent and the extremely hot water, although she probably needed a good bath. I poured the coffee and my mug let out a breath of relief. It’s a special kind of relationship, me and my mug. Can you relate?
Be Well My Friends!
This morning’s sounds blasting from the TV seemed louder than usual. My morning routine goes likes this, get a cup of coffee, wrap myself in my favorite shawl, and watch the morning news/entertainment shows. I start first with the kitchen TV, then make my way to the study and turn on that TV, still with coffee in hand. Soon I gravitate to FaceBook and Instagram, look at a couple of emails that are nothing but marketing ads, then anxiousness and woe just seems to over flood my spirit. Too may sounds, too many views and clicks that turns in a heaviness weighing down on my body.
Sometimes when we are wondering what is wrong with us, why can’t we get to that next level of what we want to do or be, maybe we should simply turn off the television, click off the FaceBook and Instagram, or TikTok, close down our devices and quiet our minds. Find the time to walk in nature, meditate and think of those things that you are most grateful.
Turn it off and ground yourself in creating your peace, and your worthiness. Be kind to your body, mind and soul.
Be Well My Friends,
When I was a little girl, I would hear the old people around me say, “This world ain’t our home.” They were referring to Heaven being our final destination and when trouble comes, this phrase was a reminder not to worry because we ain’t staying here. But now that I have reached that beautiful age of those old people, I would have to disagree with them. This world is our home and regardless of the final destination or the final resting place, at this moment, in this time, this world is where we are. Therefore, this place where we live and breathe now, matters. This place where we live, breathe, dance, sing, make passionate love, and raise our families is really all that we have, at this moment. If there is another world somewhere out there, well, fine, but I’m pretty sure God doesn’t expect for us to wait until we die to see the beauty of what can be.
We say things like, when we get to Heaven, there will be rejoicing and everyone will get along, everyone will be singing, there will be no more war and hatred. Doesn’t that sound a little uncaring and an excuse not to care for each other in the place we are now? Do I really only care about my own selfish salvation that steers me away from engaging with those who don’t think the same way I do or believe life the same way I do? Is that what Jesus really has taught us? Only for us to prepare ourselves to reach a final heavenly destination? How are we being in the world? How are we loving in the world? How are we taking care of this world that was created for us, providing places to ride our tricycles as little children, kissing our first love and enjoying the sweetness of a southern peach?
This world is our home, created for us by a Creator who loves and cares for us, so the least we can do now is honor this place, this world, by calling it “home.” Put out the welcome mat, invite others in, take care of each other, take care of this world. It’s all we got, for now.
Be Well My Friends!
I am constantly trying to better myself. This gets really frustrating and quite honestly, I am really tired of trying to do all of the hoopla around self-care. Ok, yes I need to take care of all of me, I get that! Lately self-care has become a chore. Am I using the healthy powder I pour in my smoothie correctly? In my downward dog position, is my feet suppose to be flat on the floor? Because that won’t happen! Am I breathing in on the count of 2 and breathing out of the count of 10? Is my smartwatch keeping adequate data on my sleeping patterns? Because according to this, my sleeping patterns are not so great. Now, something else to worry about!
Should self-care really be this hard?!! I’m pretty sure I am not suppose to be figuring out if I am loving myself enough to the point of loving myself enough where it is getting a little chaotic? It’s like having an obsessive relationship with a person who laughs at your jokes, but is with a person you wish you could be, so you desperately find yourself putting on airs to get their attention and they just treat you like a good friend. (sigh)
Maybe that’s just it. Just be a good friend to yourself, one that is true and honest and accepts every flaw, and every decision that did not go well. A good friend is always there to share in disappointments and glory. Now about that three day retreat I can’t afford…hmmm?
Be Well My Friends!
I have been so busy working in my doctor of ministry program and now the new pastor of a small historic church! Yes, it is quite a lot of work, but I love it! I haven’t blogged for a long time, so here I am, trying to get back into the swing of things. Not sure even where to begin, but here I am. I must say, when we put out in the universe our dreams and hopes, and believe that we are worthy of receiving the very things we ask for, abundance pours from every direction.
The amazing Sheryl Lee Ralph, reminded me of so many wonderful blessings as I listened to her acceptance speech, winning the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy in television series, “Abbott Elementary. Ms. Ralph reminded all of us who find ourselves an “endangered species” that our voice matters and that we are not to sing a victim song. We belong! I cried last night, listening to her acceptance speech, thinking about all that I have hoped and work for, now coming into fruition.
Here I am! Beautiful, courageous and ageless. Here I am! Intelligent, compassionate and witty. Here I am! And I am good! Never give up! Know matter if you had a set back, no matter where you are in your life or what age you are in your life, never give up! Work on your gift, your purpose, because it is not for you! It is for others to see that they can, along with you, make this planet a better place to live!
Be Well My Friends!!
Rev. Jacqui Pinkney