As some of you may know, I am the proud vessel of a quirky brain! I have been working diligently to appreciate the beauty of ADHD and the role it plays in my life. Part of being me is having a very busy brain…think large airport like LAX or better yet (and more imaginable) Trader Joe’s. I find that when I have a lot to do, I cannot prioritize by importance, for instance, I have much work to do for the preschool conferences that begin next week. This is what I should be doing at this very moment in fact, however, this is not how my brain operates. Since last night, I was feeling pressed to write a post…which I did this morning. My brain was full…overflowing with the need to get it into evernote and on my blog. You see, I refer to this affectionately as brain spill. If I do not spill it in writing, talking etc, it sits there. (that is actually funny because the word sit implies some sense of stillness…far from the truth.) It stands in my frontal lobe actually and jumps up and down until I am so distracted that I have no choice but to address it so I can move forward with anything else. I have found that if I choose not to honor this about myself, then things go awry…I become more and more scattered, accident prone and just plain no fun to be around. A dear co-teacher of mine has been speaking into this area of my life as me whether she knows it or not. She has been guiding me to be more kind to me. To honor and respect the Kimberly that she sees when she looks at me… That being said, Here I am to finish the blog I started this morning so I can then move on to my conference report writing with focus and purpose. It is kind of like sorting what is at the front of your closet because if you don’t, how can you effectively sort whats further in…makes sense! Clearing the way a bit so you have more room…you with me? Anyone?
In continued honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his amazing spirit, I want to share a story of my daughter who is now a beautiful eleven year old. (I knew from the moment she ‘came out of my belly’ that she would grow me in ways I would never imagine!)
My daughter who came home crying of heartbreak when she learned about the history of slavery and more as we shared with her the history of apartheid. When she was nine years old, in the fourth grade, she was studying ‘brown’ history and literature. (brown and cream…get it? People’s skin is shades of brown…) They had focused on the poetic works of Langston Hughes. My daughter wrote the following poem in response to her learning. This was published in the school newsletter at the time and has since been published in a collection of literary student works.
Come Now People of Color
People of color,
for one day we’ll be free of slavery.
Come all people with chai colored skin, coffee colored skin,
And skin as light as caramel.
People come with dark skin
The color of a brownie.
People with cinnamon skin and skin the color
Of sweet, sweet ginger.
Come people from cotton fields and listen
To the stories about the Underground Railroad and how people got to
Canada for freedom.
Come now, those with skin the color of sweet
Butterscotch and those whose eyes are as black as the evening sky.
Come now, for one day you will be free.
Until then, come and listen to my stories.
Come now, people of color.
~Z. Mngqibisa (authored at age 9)
Let us all take time EVERY DAY …not just on a day in January, to remember, honor and grow a little from the amazing power of those who stand for peace and for freedom. May you be one of those people, may you know that YOU make a difference…and may your heart grow…