Questions I Asked God

Do you have a sense of humor? Do you laugh at idiots in the same way that I do? Do you play tricks on people? Hide their keys? Do you reward people even when they don’t deserve it order to maintain some sense of balance/kindness/mystery that we are not advanced enough to understand? Do you know what kindness is? Do you define it differently than I do? Do you have a CD player? Do you like Coldplay? Do you songs get stuck in your head? Are “blessings” rewards or favors?

Can you feel temperatures? Do you have good days and bad days? Do you play favorites with certain countries, certain times, certain people? Do you ever have to swallow your pride? Do you enjoy being worshiped blindly by millions? Does it piss you off that people interpret you so differently?

Am I special?…Okay. In a good way or a bad way? Do you have a favorite color? Have you ever had sex? Do you ever bite your tongue? Are you any particular race? Is “perfection” purely a human concept? Have you ever had a regret? Are you as imperfect as the beings you supposedly created? Why do people get so pissed when I try to make sense of you? Are you a figment of my imagination, or theirs, or us both? Why aren’t more people nice to me? Is there a secret of the world that I just don’t “get”?

Is “nice” a human concept? Do you live in a palace in the clouds? Do you hang out with naked baby angels? How can someone live for 94 years and leave this world lying in a coffin with an unrecognizable grimace on their face? I feel sick.

Why do dumb people have children? Why do I have a mind that races? Why can I keep so much control? Do you wear tie-dye T-shirts? Are you a hippie with long hair? Is smoking weed a bad thing? Do you do it and not tell anybody? Who do you tell all your problems to?

Do you pray to a God who prays to a God who prays to a God who prays to a God? Do you hate it when people ignore you? Do you ever ask humans for help? Do you write? Do you have good penmanship? Did you choose to be who you are and where you are or have you just been one way for since the beginning of time? What came before you? Did you like, create yourself?

Do you get bored up there? Do you really live so high in the sky? Or do you live below in order to be closer to us? To be closer to me?  Do I piss you off? Do you like me? Do I disappoint you? Is there really a Devil you argue with, or is that just one of those things that humans made up? Like, is the Devil an actual entity/mean red guy or is it just a creative way to articulate the lack of God?

Are you ever gonna set people straight about the Illuminati? Am I smart or stupid for thinking that is is possibly the most ridiculous, false, and malicious conspiracy theories in the world? Are you genuinely offended by curse words? Do “holy religious books” matter to you?

Do you treat people from different cultures the same or do you accommodate each of their separate beliefs? Do you ever wanna take a vacation? Do you think the beach is relaxing? Is it smart to bring a child into this world? Why don’t people wear more condoms?

What takes over a person when they feel rage? What do you think is beautiful? Is it weird that I find the ugliness in my own face if I stare at it too long, or not long enough? Does it mean that deep down inside, I hate myself? Why do I feel so good on stage? Why don’t I have the drive to be a lawyer or an accountant?

Is life really meant to be as miserable as people make it seem? Are relationships really meant to be as miserable as people make them seem? Is romantic love a human concept? Have you ever had your heart broken?

Why can’t I stop saying the word “cunt”? Why can’t I care less about my brother and sister? Why does my mind race even in my dreams? Am I working towards learning something or just suffering for nothing…suffering at the hand of my own intelligence?

Why aren’t I White? Why aren’t I ever Black/Zambian/Caribbean/Caymanian/Canadian enough to claim any one as my own culture? Why am I always so confused about the definition of the word, “honesty”? Why am I so patient sometimes? Why won’t my pen stop moving?

I want…….? I want………? I want, I want, I want………?

I want? I want???

I want…..? I WANT?? Why don’t I know what I want?

I want?

////////////////////////

I want…..not friends or guidance or corrections or therapy or guarantees or answers, but…? I want…..?

Okay. I want.

I exhale.

xo

Bushlette

Little Sister

Little Sister,

I pray to God that
you remain in a
beautiful
peaceful ignorance.

I will take care of you,
I will keep you under
the veil of my adamant protection.

I will carry you where
you need to go.
I will look left and right
before you cross the road,
cross the city,
cross the world.

If you cross too fast,
I will pull the imaginary
umbilical cord
between
your head
and
my heart,

And drag you back
maybe kicking, or screaming,
or crying, or smiling,
but for your own good.

I make myself the
tree – old, wise-
knowing and
with endless branches
of experience
that explode in
different directions.

My hope for you is
that you will be
strongly rooted: my little tree.

Grow beside me,
never leave. Imitate
my branches of success.
This is my gift to you.

But you don’t want this gift.

You say
you cannot grow strong
so close beside me.

You say that you are
dying in the damp dark.
You say I block you
from sunlight.

So instead you choose
to be my leaves.
Surrounding my dark
branches, growing from
their so called magic.

You are all around
inside me.
You receive
your much desired sunlight
from all angles.
You careen in the wind,
but every night
you rest,
on me.

Okay.

Little sister,
you rise
and sway with me
every afternoon, and

as much as this
connection warms me,
as much as I grow stronger
in your
presence,

I know that one day,
you’ll start to change
colour,

Slowly – and maybe even
behind my back.

And everyone sees how gorgeous you are.

People want
to take pieces of you
home

And you let them.

I pray to God that
winter never arrives.

I know that by then you
would have
completely fallen away,
blown away,
floated away.

Not only would I have
been stripped of my
beauty
and purpose
by your chilling departure.

I won’
t
know where
you are.
I won’
t

be able
to pull
you back
to me.
I won’
t be able
to
pro-
pro-
pro-
tect-
you.

If you ever do
come back,
You won’t be
the same.

I beg you not to
allow the elements of the world
to pick
and pull you
away from my dark security.

For if you do
I know
that the
mi
se
ry
will be so great…

that I will pray
for the beautiful,
peaceful ignorance
I
tried
to give
you.

xo
Bushlette

Losing My Blog Virginity

Hi Readers,

It’s a…coffee sipping, internally romantic, I-love-myself moment and have woken to the sweet sounds of my sister-love, Lady Day. We inhale our ordinary surroundings and the quietness, the stillness of this particular moment seems to serve as a reassurance that every wrong decision served it’s humble purpose and every right decision did just the same.

This morning….this type of morning comes only once a month or year or lifetime. It is the universe’s gift of self assurance, independence, and strength…but my mind is so clear and quiet that I am reminded of how easily this gift can slip away from me, through my lips, in the form of a debilitating, yet insignificant insecurity.

So I cradle my oversized coffee cup and smile as it scalds my fingertip. I kiss that same finger and use it to cover my lips. I let Billie Holiday do the talking and hope that this moment lasts long enough for me to remember it.

Here’s to my first post on the Singlestream and to everyone having a happy morning.

xo
Bushlette

Introducing BUSHLETTE!

She’s bold, she’s beautiful, she’s a singlestreamer, and she’s NOT writing a book and taking a blog vacation.  She is Bushlette!

I’d like to introduce to the Singlestream it’s first guest author.  Ever.  Her name is Bushlette and she is my literary baby sister.  We have written together, performed together, and laughed together a lot and the Singlestream is blessed to have her while Bushlings takes a vacation.

Look out for her first post and give her a warm welcome!

Blog Vacation

My Dearest Reader,

I know you lie awake at night waiting impatiently, shaking your feet in anticipation and drumming your fingers in agitation on your arm waiting for my next blog entry. Alas I must disappoint you, Dearest, for frequent blogging and constant streaming are no longer to be.

Bushlings is taking a vacation.  A break.  Blog leave.  From the Singlestream.

The painful truth behind our sad parting is this, dear Reader.  I have distracted myself daily with this blog.  My book has been left neglected near a month and is truly poorly treated despite being my favoured child.

I know you also wait in desperate anxiety for the completion of the manuscript, and so as a compromise, I will not leave you totally bereft of Bushlings’ wisdom.  Once a week I will write to you – only because I know how much you need me.  Only for you my Dearest.  A sad shadow of the rich and constant fare to which you have grown accustomed, but I go to prepare a feast for you!  Better than no fare at all, no?

All foolishness aside guys, I’m on a mission to write a book.  Every time my hand itches to write, it’s so much easier to log in here and its the blog and not the book (and not really me in the long-term) that benefits.  Until I’m caught up it’s book all week for me.  You’ll hear from me weekly – I know I just can’t help myself so I’m being realistic – and I’ll drop an update or a sample here and there.  And so, so long my friends!  Until next Friday!

Have a great weekend!

City Dreams

Saturday morning sunshine woke me.  But I wish I’d blocked out the light.  I DID NOT WANT to wake up.

In my dream just before I woke up and rolled over on the softest bed ever, somewhere in New York City.  There was a duvet and loads of pillows covered in white cotton sheets.  The light was filtering in through a balcony door somewhere – I couldn’t see it from my nest but I knew it was there.  This was my room.  And I was not alone.  Through one half-opened eye I could see to my right, asleep on his stomach, was my life partner.  A well-built man with back muscles relaxed under tightly stretched nut-brown skin, he promised to be at least two inches over six feet tall standing.  I got the sense of comfort, security, belonging and strength from the moment.  And then there was a knock on the door.

In came our housekeeper to give him something important to sign.  “Come in” he grumbled from his position, head in pillow.  “We’re not doin’ anything.”  That one made me smile inside but I was too sleepy to laugh.  But I did draw the blankets up around my chin, snuggling deeper down.  She came in, gave him a pen and a piece of paper, he signed and she left as quietly as she’d come.  When she was on her way back to the door he turned to me and drew me into his space and we both went back to sleep.

And I woke up.

That day I decided it was ok to dream of love.  There is no shame in it and nothing dirty about it.

The dream followed me for days until I met its equal.

I woke up this morning to Lola licking my hand hanging off the side of the bed.  She spent some time on my fingers and started pulling at my whole hand with her two front paws.  My dog loves her hind legs so much I think she thinks she’s human.  She follows my every move when I put on my makeup and brush my teeth so that I’m sure if she tried she could do it herself.  Next she’ll want me to teach her to drive!  And so she took my hand in her two hands and tried to coax me off the bed.

But I didn’t want to wake up.

I had just walked into my Aunty’s house in London to tell her that I had found the perfect house!  Before that moment of waking, I had trecked all of the South East’s suburbs looking for a home for me and my two dogs.  It needed to be reasonably near to the train station, reasonably near to a park or a nice walking route, and reasonably near to my Aunty.  I had found the perfect flat for the three of us to live in and was going to take my photos to Aunty for her opinion.  And then Lola woke me up.  To reality again.

I am dreaming at night of a new life, travelling to new cities in my sleep.  There is a growing itch spreading past my toes and my ankles, telling me it’s time to get on a flight.  And so this morning I booked my flight to New York.

Revolution

It began with the neck

twisting slightly to the left

following a sound

of a heart’s bugle call.

It wasn’t smart, this turn

but blindly seeking

a missed beat, a correction,

heartflow shouting,

purpose scouting.

And what began continued,

ears open wide

to the tide

of other things

the heart should know.

Once begun

it followed through,

straining for more

of the sound

the head turned round

just a little more,

eyes tear away from the goal

of what was once ahead

and now instead

the straight ahead shifts

leftward, inward, more and again.

Thoughts spin,

pivoting focus

out of the familiar

comfort zone

to walk alone…

Away from all teachings

guidance, and direction

stepping out in faith

without protection.

Knowing that the darkness brings

either a ledge to stand on

or lessons on how to fly,

always God-led

and grace fed.

A new vista

leftward leaning

turning more

till inward facing

bracing

into whence it came;

introspection,

home again.

Stirring deep

inside the Be

learning from the God

indwelling the soul

where He made Me whole.

Turning back to the dawn

of the self

lies wealth –

not of what was

left behind

but what I find

buried deep

in the honest purity

of naked being.

At one with

maker and creation lies

the truth

of Revolution.

The Golden Hat

A few days ago I posted the video of the story of Carly, an amazing teenage girl with non-verbal autism.  It must have looked a bit out-of-the-blue on the Singlestream!  But I have a story to share.

There is no expertise behind me.  I have no understanding beyond what you yourself have access to on the internet and in the book stores.  What I write on the subject is not based on any interaction I have had with an autistic person.  It is simply a tug that has taken hold of my heart, a human story that stirs me, and a dialogue I feel led to become a part of.

I once sat through a presentation by a pediatrician.  He was very passionately entreating the audience, and those representing health insurance companies in particular, to learn about autism, to seek out the facts and get to understand the illness, and to find a way to help the parents of autistic children to care for their children.  It was acknowledged that care for autism is not covered by many health insurance companies even now and even where it is covered the parent is faced with disqualifying features.  For example, speech therapy is limited to speech lost in some health insurance plans, occupational therapy may be covered up to six visits a year, and care for anything to do with autism falls into the mental health category which may or may not be covered by others at all.  He encouraged a deeper look at what we as a community could do for those with autism – there isn’t enough money to pick up where insurance leaves off, there is not a lot of focus on autism by charity works and public education because it isn’t a life threatening disease in the same was as say cystic fibrosis, and there is very little understanding around the full spectrum of autism.

It stayed with me, this lecture.  It has been at least two years, and I still see the man’s passion, the frustration with some of the questions (oh my goodness I myself got frustrated when one woman said she didn’t believe autism exists and that parents just need to learn to love and discipline their children!).  I remember being struck by the invitation he made to consider a different life – what if I were me, completely and precisely me inside, and yet was completely unable to communicate to my family?  What if I were unable to hold my bowels or point to where it hurts when I’m injured?  What if I was fully aware of all of this, stunningly intelligent (as I sometimes think I already am) and held back by a body that would not obey my commands?  Then he invited us to understand the parents.  What if you have no way of reaching your child, have no resources to pay for full-time care, and receive no assistance from the government, the health insurance company, the medical providers and other social institutions?  Marriages have ended and livelihoods lost to care for autistic children.  But this is your child.  And you love them completely. You will do whatever it takes for them.  But do you?

And then a few weeks back I stumbled upon the Golden Hat, a black and white picture book created by Kate Winslet and Margaret D. Ericsdottir, mother of Keli, a non-verbal autistic boy.

Kate and Margaret tell the story of how the Golden Hat came about by publishing Keli’s poetry, words that cling to you.  His most haunting is the poem about the Golden Hat.  You read the story of their determination and the mission of the Golden Hat Foundation that sprung up around this poem in the emails between the two women.  Margaret writes of her son, of his first words, of her challenges and her love.  And Kate does as I did in that lecture, puts herself in Margaret’s shoes and finds herself not very different but for the grace of God.

The story then follows the travels of the Golden Hat from one famous person to another with a letter.  Kate described her purpose to each recipient saying:

“To produce a book of photographs of well-known people all wearing the same hat.  My favorite beaten-up trilby, to be precise.  They would all be self-portraits taken on my basic digital camera, which I will send along with the hat.  It will be passed (very carefully) around the world and worn (I hope) by many.  I’ll get it to you, and collect it when you’re done.”

The photos were to be accompanied by quotes of each person considering the following scenario:

“It’s hard to imagine being deprived of the means to communicate.  Imagine a wall between you and those you love, imagine being trapped inside yourself, never able to express your desires, needs, feelings.  Then imagine the loss to those around you.  Those who love you but assume that you can’t hear them, don’t understand them, can’t relate to them… what would your words be?”

The Hat also travelled from one non-verbal autistic person to another.  Their photographs are published with their first words.

I was so touched by Dov Shestack’s first words at 9 years old when he was first given a letter board.  When asked “What have you been doing all these years” he replied “Listening.”  Josh Andrus first said “Try to fully understand my condition, because I get so lonely.”  Keli, the little poet, first said at age 10 “I am real.”

These pages, populated by beautiful people, made me weep.

I entreat my readers, do what you can where you can to learn, know more, love and contribute to the lives of those among us who need that much more and have that much less available to them.  But for the grace of God it could be me or you.

Please visit the Golden Hat Foundation by clicking on the link below and have a look at the beauty of this story and perhaps find your place on the Golden Wall.

Bulletproof Babes

We were taught to be independent, strong, self-sufficient, poised and in-charge.  We were told by our mothers, themselves the daughters of bra-burning times, to suck up our fears, manage our emotions, never let the bastards see us cry and never ask for help as long as we can help ourselves.  Lessons were passed on that high-maintenance is for bimbos and dignity and class cannot co-exist with it.  Being demanding is as bad as promiscuity in the estimation of our lady-teachers.  We are to serve with strength and selflessness without thought to our needs and in return we will be respected and loved.  We are a wellspring of power, woman hear us roar, and we can supply the whole world with what it needs.  The ironies that were passed down from grandmothers, aunties, teachers, family friends and mothers abound.

We associate being honest about our needs with images of weak, victimized, or morally bankrupt women.  And so, to not be seen as a doormat, a loose woman or a gold digger we put on a persona of needlessness that then results in us becoming more… NEEDY.  Think about it.  If we deprive ourselves of food telling ourselves that we don’t need it don’t we become more and more… hungry?

But there comes a time when a Bulletproof Babe says “So what if I have needs?  Of course I do!  I’m human!”  We come around to the question of how are we to expect ourselves to provide selflessly for the needs of others when our needs are not met?  Even in the airplane instructions before take off we are instructed to put on our own mask first before helping the person next to us, child or no child.

I am learning through my own experience as a woman that low maintenance women, like strong buildings and towers, without support and care suffer in structure, appearance and strength from neglect.  Without support and TLC they crumble, crack under pressure and become inhabited by bitterness.  They lose their value – how they value themselves diminishes and is then projected out to what value others see.  Others react to what they see, convincing her further of the lie that started her shrinking view of herself in the first place.

But it starts with her.  What does a guy have to offer a girl who refuses to acknowledge she has needs and flaws and vulnerability and needs someone to lean on once in a while?  How many times do we Bulletproof Babes find ourselves lonely and disappointed because a friend wasn’t able to read our minds and be there for us because we didn’t know how to tell them how to support us and that we needed support in the first place?  How many times have we let a slight pass and pass again and pass again until we blow, totally surprising all around us?  Why does it have to fall apart and be blatantly obvious and beyond the point of deniability for us to accept a helping hand?

We don’t have to be bulletproof to be beautiful, rigid to be respected, nor do we have to be low-maintenance in order to capture the attention of someone who could love us.  These are the ways we trick ourselves into being someone who attracts human leeches, persons who seek to take without giving, because that is what we put ourselves forward as willing to accept.  Think about it… “Oh she doesn’t need this from me.  She just wants someone to give and give and give to.  She doesn’t expect anything back, bless her little cotton socks.  Goody!  Free ride!  Why would I EVER leave?”  Except, of course, we don’t want that type around either, do we?

To the beautiful Bulletproof Babes out there, let us support eachother and drop the act.  Being strong doesn’t mean having no needs.  You deserve to have your needs met, not ignored.  But the first step to making that happen is to not ignore them yourself.

Feminism (Motivationalpostersonline.blogspot.com)