Let me let you in on a little secret:  I’m a jazz head until the death of me. Over Hip-Hop, over R&B, give me jazz.   Miles, Coltrane (him and his son Ravi),  Hampton, Monk, Marsalis, my babygirl Esperanza Spaulding, Chuck Mangione, The Legendary Natalie Cole, mmmmmm, they all have such sad, beautiful, poetic, intoxicating, freeing, peaceful, depressing, reflective songs. I don’t need words.  I can listen to an arrangement with my eyes closed and feel each cord and every emotion attached to it.

Ask me to choose my favorite between them, I cannot.  My unconventional favorite which stays in rotation is the title track from Mo’ Better Blues.  It’s peaceful, lifted but low.  Almost like something that you’d play during a funeral recessional.  Don’t think of it morbidly though.   There’s a resolution in it.  Like a goodbye, I guess.  As if someone or something is being bid farewell.  Not in a way to evokes sadness from pain, but sadness in remembering what got you to peace.

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There’s a quote that Bleek (Denzel Washington) says right before his quartet performs it.  “No matter what you do in music, eventually you have to get back to the Blues.” I feel the same about writing.  For me, this is what keeps me humble.  Whether it’s on my laptop, or in the notes section of my phone, on post-it notes or pieces of an envelope, or my notebook, I cannot tell a lie to myself and no one else.  I share so much of me in my writing because it’s truth.  I may add and subtract a few sweet and sour things when I’m talking but when I write, I can’t make this shit up.   It’s like clipping my wings when I attempt to.  I love flying.  And I do that each time I write.  Even if my flight dips me down into a valley or two, I’m here for it.  I need my wings.  My truth.

I took a hiatus of sorts to recharge and reflect.  After the little incident with the fat ass gigolo (I’m not there yet, fuck him.), I felt like everything in my life was a moving violation.  I was side-eyeing everything and everybody like, “And what are you doing here? All up in my life, what’s your intent??”  I wanted to clean house and be done with everyone.  People had entered my emotional house and were meddling all through my drawers and closets and I didn’t like it.   My drama lasted a good 48 hours.  I got out of the house but when I returned,  I got serious.   The past few months have been beautiful but challenging.  Welcomed challenges but I felt depleted and decided I needed a break.   One of the things that I’m extremely skilled at doing is taking breaks.  I wanted one but from what, for real?  People.  Emotional and confused people.  Ugh, the way my eyes just rolled.

People are heavy.  They drag these bags and piles of nonsense around and because we are family or friends, we’re obligated to take a piece of the load.  I think the fuck not.  I will say this until the day that I take my last breath – always do what loves needs you to do.  But, dot-dot-dot (I’m dramatic, y’all knew) where does the love start?

With you.

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The love that I lay on the people in my life, whew chile I am indeed of lover! A Love Supreme! Like Coltrane.  I’m going to love you through joy and spread it on extra through pain.  My takeaway and my giving is always done in love.  I had to make myself understand though, that love does not mean sacrificing your peace.  For anyone. That’s something that I still struggle with but I’m getting better.  I thought that no matter what I had going on, I needed to move it aside because someone else needed a piece of me.   I was having a conversation with my cousin about her going to pay her respects to a family who had recently experienced a loss.  She was tired but felt like she had to go.  My lips started moving and I heard myself ask, “Why do we do that? Isn’t it enough to attend the service and mourn with the family? Why can’t you wait until the day of the funeral to do that?”  We both were quiet for about ten long seconds, as we both reflected on what I said.   She said, “Well, you know.  It’s the right thing to do.”  Or something along those lines, but I thought about that for a minute and asked myself out loud, “Who made those dry ass rules?”.   That we HAVE to do anything that we just don’t feel like doing?

For the past few weeks, my life has felt very crowded by energy.  And not necessarily good.  While I was dramatically side-eyeing people in my life, I was serious about what they were bringing with them.  The energy.  It was wearing me out.  I was wearing too many hats and being privy to too many things and happenings.  I just needed to step away for a bit.  I was feeling so stressed.  So heavy.   All of that.  It was taking me back to a place that gets harder to return from each time that I visit.  The damn blues.  But something was even different about that.  The absence of sadness.  So what was gnawing away at me for real-for real.

Over the summer,  I made a conscious decision to show up more, to listen more, to engage more, to be active and it was all kicking my black ass.  That’s just not who I am.  That is my truth.  Just like you have givers and takers, you have people who like to be center stage and others who prefer to be behind the curtain, or way up in the balcony.  I’ll reserve some box seats, but I actually prefer to hear about it all over dinner or wine.  I need my alone time.  My time to just listen to myself breath uninterrupted.  I hadn’t experienced that in a good while.  I didn’t want to retreat entirely but I decided that I needed to tend to me for a little while.  So that’s what I’m doing.  I don’t even want to go on any serious dates.  All I want to know is who your family is to make sure that we aren’t related.  We’re not cousins? Ok, cool.

My little people break makes me even more excited about this blog.  I don’t have to talk, just write 🙂 .  Quiet time is major to me right now. It’s being so good to me.   I come home and I don’t talk on the phone or in person.  Just sit and listen to music or write.  It’s not sadness.  It’s peace.  I’m purging and it’s not painful.  I’ve placed purpose in the center of it.  I’m entering 2020 as light as a feather.  Never before in my life have I faced the year ahead with peace.  Not ever, ever.

You may find yourself asking what’s the big deal about that ordinary ass life of hers?  I don’t mind, I ask myself quite often because I never want to forget.  The big deal is me and all that I’ve released to earn big chunks of peace and stillness where it never before existed.  I may get blue from time to time but that shit ain’t navy or blue black anymore.  Baby, it’s Indigo Blue like the best jazz album evvvvver!  Beautiful. Complicated. Deep. Rich. Painful.  Peace.  Come through Miles.

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