Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It has come to this...

I run
I hide
I deny
I lie

But you...
have uncovered the shame
the suppressed likes
charged me for the stolen glances

and so
I prepare
stretching my legs
arching my back
deeply breathing in the cold December air
getting ready to run

but you are the stallion
ever ready
on my heels
willing to go where ever I may try to hide.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Full Moon at Twelve: Thirty-Seven AM

Late night ramblings are sticky and really shouldn't be attempted when sorting through life, especially at this part of the year. See, I find myself with more downtime than I care to have, simply because the year is officially over. For the most part, all plans are covering 2012 and these remaining days are spent in neutral mode; that leaves way too much time to just ponder and stumble on half-baked resolutions. It's also the holiday season which further complicates my ability to manage my moods throughout the winter season. Besides the overt commercialism and fleeting moments of goodwill, it's just too damn cold to do anything other than sit under a blanket stock still and pray the pilot light doesn't go out on the central heating. It wouldn't hurt to continue praying that I have money to pay these ridiculous utility bills, either.

Late night ramblings leaves a person wide open, so consider me vulnerable right now. At the time of this writing, I'm very candid and subject to present some information that leaves me completely exposed. But that's the risk I'm willing to take, hell, I'm an artist so bearing my soul kinda comes with the territory. I've been spending the majority of the day and night going over the year and its happenings. Many of the things that I had planned for my company didn't go along as it should, so I found myself shutting down in October to plan again, waiting to strike out fresh for 2012. For a little while, I was pretty miffed about that until one of my sweet male friends gave me a new spin on it. Once I unloaded my frustrations to him one night at Starbuck's, he merely shrugged his shoulders and said, 'That just sounds like growing pains to me. Typical stuff that comes with running a company. Just pull yourself together and keep going.' That reassurance made all of the difference. I did what he said.

As for my 'love life', that little situation with that certain Mister has officially come to a close for good, as far as I'm concerned. Five years. On again. Off again. Promises made. Promises broken. Patience. Understanding. Communication. Poor follow through. Minimal effort. All of that. For five years, y'all....and it's just over. Done. And I am just fine about it.

"It's like BOOM, Son. Grown woman, making decisions and choices....."

So, here I am, somewhere I really didn't expect to be -- searching again. Truth be told, I wanted to be done with the search. I just wanted to have this part of my life sealed up so I can completely focus on working in purpose. But no, here I am, damming up this Reservoir of Good Loving and activating my Infrared Bullshit Detector. But you know what, I find myself jaded -- almost exhausted with the whole dating thing now. I don't want to play by the rules anymore, instead, I want to make it up as I go along. Blame it on my ever-growing maturity and my near-precision dream chasing. Blame it on my need to simplify the hell outta this shit so I can stop being so perplexed about the Why, the How Come, the When, and What If. I had a refreshing glass of Fuck It! Juice recently and I just can't see me getting real deep about this thing anytime soon. That energy can be better spent somewhere else, ya dig?

I'm finding myself just unwilling to go through any motions and I'm getting a bit selfish. I think, at this point, I'm gonna make this all about me for a little while. Don't worry. I will take extra careful measures to protect them from me, so I won't be blamed for tainting any brothas -- I couldn't have that on my conscience. I'll be completely honest and free so they can walk into the set up with their eyes wide shut.

Now, what do I mean by all of this? Well, I'm in the process of making a major transition in my life and while I would have preferred to already have my man attached to me while I make these moves, that's not the case -- and I have to be willing to admit that it may not be the case for some time now. Such is the quandary of this lifestyle. It seems as though the simplest of things become the most difficult to attain so you have to be willing to dismantle and reprogram, shut down and reboot. You get the idea. So, yeah, am I the only one sitting up late at night, pondering and surmising how to move forward after the so-called Sure Thing stopped being so sure? Don't let me and Zenzile hanging, share with us. Let's get through this mess together.

It's 1:26am. Damn, I need a cuddle buddy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

For all those lives you've ruined...

It's the Revenge of the Nice Guy! you know you've listened to some crap rap, some trap rap, some rap about cars, booty and dope thought you did it in secret, until you accidentally burst out with the chorus at the wrong place, the wrong time and in the wrong crowd...Um hmm, it's ok, we've all done it.

However, no "deed" goes unpunished, and for that, we're now subject to Revenge...

Fortunately for us mere humans, art, like god, teaches lessons through education, not punishment. Fathom 9, a steady presence on the hip hop scene in Memphis who has taken his work across the Northeast, from Chicago to New York and back in various incarnations such as the Genesis Experiment and IMC or Iron Mic Coalition serves his revenge with fervor serving not to decimate (although lesser emcees would argue that point) but to explicate. To provide for the neophyte and hip hop aficionado alike a return to (or example of) a musical form that is simultaneously a critique, a cry and the language of an entire culture.

With the theme of "revenge", Fathom9 modeled his show and album release after the film/comic V for Vendetta, releasing the work on the fifth of November and the cameo appearance of a legion of masked V's in the audience. Primed for a revolution through terrorizing lesser emcee's, the city of Memphis and visitors from the tri-state area were served with quite the COLD dish!

Deneka Lottalox started the set with a couple of smooth songs before she really opened up and gave us the live version of Black Girls Rock. Her voice, emotion, and lyricism were all showcased in her performance of original work that the world desperately needs.

By the time Fathom9 graced the stage, the audience had been treated to work from both The Genesis Experiment and the Iron Mic Coalition, a nice lead up to the main event. When Fathom9 appeared there was a palpable sense that he was not alone; the crowd was with him. A literal huddle formed, as supporters and fans alike formed a protective circle along the periphery of the stage to indulge themselves in the historic moment. The official ass kicking and name taking that was Revenge!!!! As a fan and supporter, after months of hearing snippets, sneak peaks, sample tracks and verses, I still was not prepared for the full force of Fathom's voice, music and presence in the same place and at the same time. The emcee's energy level was incredible. Fathom delivers spitfire verses with a power and force that can only be described as a dominating passion.

Revenge is the perfect title as Fathom broke down the problems of the music industry, so called artists, his community and society in general. Through his lyricism alone, he demands and dares other "rappers" to step their game up. His self- produced music, which he explained were generated from the inability to find beats intense enough for his material yet sophisticated enough for his sensibilities, are a cultured mix. In the concert space, familiar sounds from the past juxtaposed themselves against the imagery of the present, the energy of the crowd and the emotional release we all felt, finally absolving us of our sins. Dipped in the waters of true hip hop, our musical vices were no more...

Fathom9's music is intense enough to rattle your bones and complex enough to unravel your mind. Revenge has been exacted.If you need to get your musical soul washed, start here, buy the album, then let us know how YOU live, the LoveJonesLifestyle.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"The Lonely Type"

As the massive snowstorm on the East coast has shown us, despite what the calendar says, Winter has arrived; skipping completely over fall, bringing with it all of the complications, irritations, and unfortunate limitations.

Winter, with its shortened days, long dark nights, drops in temperature, and rise in layers of clothing reinforces the harshest aspects of the human condition, our loneliness, and our attempts at escaping said loneliness with various holidays centered around gathering together with our community, family and loved ones.

For those of us attempting to live the LoveJonesLifestyle, loneliness often becomes our second nature. We work, following our own paths, as artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers and playwrights. Our work is something we not only do but often are. We work because ours is a labor of love, not of convenience. Our work is often a fulfillment of lifelong goals and dreams and we get so caught up in it that by the time we look up, we may find that life, in many ways has passed us by.

The LoveJonesLifestyle is one built on and based in community. We work to remain connected to one another, our art and the larger communities, families and friendships that we have managed to knit together over the years. While the stereotype may be of the lone writer hunched over a desk, or a sole artist poised in front of a canvas, we work in cooperation. We connect with one another not only for fellowship, but for survival. Although our work is solitary, we are very social creatures. I encourage you to engage in some serious artistic self-care this season. Give yourself permission to step away from your work, if only briefly. Reconnect to your community. Call up a sister artist and invite her to lunch or tea. And as always, tell us how YOU deal with the lonely times in your LoveJonesLifestyle.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cotton Candy & Fighting with the Nip in the Air

I've been craving cotton candy for the past few days now. In love with the confection ever since I was a young girl, my trips to the State Fair wasn't complete without my annual rides on the Zipper, the Himalaya, the Round Up, and my treat of cotton candy. I thoroughly enjoyed the stickiness of it on my fingers and how it melted on my tongue. It wasn't until I was a teenager hanging out with a serious crush that I realized cotton candy had another effect and other uses as well. Ha! Anyway, here I am, seriously in need of a big bag of cotton candy so I can chase away the blues brought on by the onset of Fall and the ensuing Winter days ahead. For the record, I don't like Fall/Winter, mostly because I don't like cold weather and all of the clothes I have to wear to stay warm.

At the time of this writing, my central heat has been on since last night-- I believe the temp was about 50 something degrees....and it's only October. So, you can imagine how I am during the dead of Winter. My temp setting hovers around 80 degrees because I like it toasty. While I will stop short of saying that I deal with the clinical version of seasonal depression, I will say that I struggle a bit with being my lively self when it comes nippy days and nights. It's just something a bit sad about watching the leaves fall from the trees and that constant nip in the air that whisks around my face. It's a good thing that I have football season.

The Fall/Winter is also the unofficial start of Boo Season, humorously dubbed so because it seems as though single people make an extra special effort to land a Boo so they can keep their toes warm during the short days and long nights. The thought behind Boo Season is that the current Boo is supposed to take one through the holidays, including Valentine's Day but as soon as the days begin warming up again, one can ceremoniously cut their Boo loose so that they can frolic and enjoy the bees of Summer (read: have happy little Summer flings). While I use the term from time to time, I really don't care much for its connotation. But then, I don't care much for anything that trivializes the beautiful process of blossoming love affairs and relationships.

Here, at the LJL, we're continuing to experience the dynamics of our love lives, while searching deep within to uncover some honest truths about who we are and what we really want. I will have more time than Zenzile, perhaps, because I'm deeply engaged in the business of shutting down social activities so I can focus on writing and planning for 2012. My Summer left something to be desired and, if anything, it proved to me that I gotta work harder to produce and grow. My theory is that my love life will blossom even more once I'm free from the confines of the corporate slum. So, that's my agenda for the coming months--get free and focused before it warms up again. As a single gal, my voluntary existence of being a Shut In/Recluse for the Fall/Winter doesn't sound exciting and you would think I would do my part to find social outlets to meet a potential Boo for the chilly nights.

But, that's not my challenge. I'm not exactly worried about meeting someone as I'm in deep thought about how to approach and manage a potential situation that can become quite complicated. You know how it is -- it starts off being clear cut and easy to read, then some words are said -- and the next thing you know, it's that gray matter that leaves you guessing, wondering, and trying to figure out what move you need to make. At the same time, I'm also at conflict with my usual 'cover every angle' approach, desiring to just caste all weight aside and dive right in. You see, I don't know what delicious excitement awaits me if I just dismantle my guard and let 'somebody walk up behind me and kiss me on my neck' -- Erykah Badu style, ya dig? Maybe I can get it on this Winter and put it down just like Noel Gourdin's 'Summertime'. Might be the best way to fight the nip in the air, ya know?

So, what's your plans for the upcoming Chilly Season?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Sista By His Side....

This photo still is taken from the 1974 motion picture, Black Belt Jones, starring Jim Kelly & Gloria Hendry. If you've ever seen the movie, then you would know that Gloria portrayed martial arts expert, Sydney, whose father was killed by the mob so her and Black Belt Jones set out to exact revenge. That's a typical set up for a Blaxploitation-era film. Nevertheless, in studying this photo some thirty something years later, the most striking aspect about it is the power stance of both Jones and Hendry. As you can see, neither one of them are cowering in fear as they willingly take on enemies stronger than the two of them. In the context of Black relationships, this photo speaks volumes. For one, Hendry's positioning beside Jones allows us to reason that she is far from being a damsel in distress. She doesn't need her bills paid, her children cared for, nor does she need to be wined and dined. In other words, she doesn't need saving as she has the ability to hold her own. Most importantly, she is standing side by side with her man, ready to fight with him.

The latter is the reason why I think so many men dig this picture. Countless rap and R&B songs have been made by male artists referring to the kind of woman that they want in their lives. She is almost always confident, independent, and more than anything, supportive.

In intimate conversations with male friends, they often lament about Black women and their lack of support. Any Black man worth his salt is fully aware of the odds against him and while he is more than eager to suit up in his armor and prove as many people wrong about his Black man-ness as he can, the war would be a lot easier if he had a woman by his side, ready to engage in battle with him. In that sense, many brothas feel like they have been let down. Oftentimes, they meet women who exhuberantly dole out their demands in a relationship without leaving much room for men to have their say. Most men know what's expected of them and tend to move directly into that role, but many of us, on the other hand, assume that we know what our men want.

Yes, cooking, cleaning, and giving him great sex is most appreciative, you support the man's dreams and goals? Are you willing to go the distance with him as he embarks upon a destiny that will be difficult alone? Over here at the Lifestyle, it is our belief that even if a woman can't boil water, if her man knew that she was down for him like four flat tires and will ride with him no matter the season or the reason, he will happily eat take-out every night for the rest of his life....or else, he won't have any problem with doing most of the cooking.

So, why is this kind of support so important to a man? We'd love to hear some feedback from the brothas.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"I'm Open": The Beauty of Emotional Vulnerability

Whether we admit it or not, all of us have veils to cover our faces and fortresses around our hearts. Anything that will reveal the depth of our emotions is generally shielded from the piercing eyes of judgmental people, the predatory methods of leeches, and from those people that are looking to us for their guidance and support (we call it a show of strength). With the increasing onset of technology and how it has radically changed the way we communicate, we can easily express our thoughts without unearthing our emotional states. I have heard about breakups that happened via text message and Facebook. On the flip side, sexting has taken the place of raw and intimate conversations, which somehow renders the exchange as fruitless and unsexy. To me, it really can't get any more impersonal as that. Slowly, we're morphing into robots....and, unfortunately, many of us are okay with that.

Can you remember the last time you cried? If you do, will you admit it? Well, I can. It was this past weekend. I cried because I was broke...and I cannot stand being broke, especially when I think I shouldn't be financially strapped. Now, it wasn't one of those cries infused with hysterical sobbing (although I've been capable of a few of those), but rather one of those misty-eyed, six teardrop joints that would have readily indicated to anyone present that I wasn't happy. See, I cried alone -- and I didn't have to tell you that. But I did. It ain't no thang to me. I live in a constant space of Open because being emotionally vulnerable, from time to time, is a survival tactic for me. Through a free release of emotions, I'm able to keep my perspective about things, believe it or not.

It doesn't stop there with crying. My range of emotions can be covered through other forms of expression -- including profanity or cussing, which is, honestly, a personal favorite of mine. :-) Over the years, I tried to appease the traditional posturing when it comes to women and cussing.

"It's unlady-like to cuss."
"Christians shouldn't cuss."

Bullshit. Sometimes, a well placed 'shit' or 'fuck' can relieve the soul of unnecessary tension, leading to correctness in cognitive thinking because your emotions are not all dammed up and affecting that ability anymore. Ok, before I go any further, please understand that I am not talking about some kind of erratic emotional behavior. Besides, that kind of behavior is the result of someone who has tried to do too much 'cool-posing' and worked too hard to control their emotions. Then, they just break down. That's unhealthy. Emotional releases lead to balance, at least, I tend to think so.

Look, Life can do some underhanded things to us. It can unravel the best laid plans, unsuspectingly crush dreams, and mock desires in such a way that we will erroneously believe that things will never get better, or worse, we start thinking that we don't serve any purpose in the world. Our emotions is the gateway to clarity, which is essentially freedom. By actually 'feeling' for just a little while, we can cope better and come to terms with the fact that we may need a better game plan or clean house and confront some things in the Relationship Department.

Emotional releases can also uncover some insecurities we've hidden behind our accomplishments, reveal character flaws or overindulgence in bad habits. Whatever the case, to merely brush the effect off with a wave of nonchalance or faking strength can be dangerous sometimes. Our strength is not in walling up our emotions and putting on a tough face, but rather, it's in the acknowledgement of our hurt, anger, sadness, loneliness, fear, etc. Then, if we have to cry it out or cuss it out, so be it. Once we've dried our noses and the anger has subsided, there is an openness. At first, it may feel odd but embrace it because now you're ready to handle the matter at hand, perhaps in a way of brilliance that you would have never suspected.

Now, what does this have to do with the Love Jones Lifestyle? EVERYTHING. On this journey, we have to bear in mind that it's the Road Less Traveled and while there's fewer people, it's a bumpier road fraught with obstacles, disappointments, unexpected happenings, and broken expectations. You cannot afford to live according to Purpose and think that everything will align itself accordingly. On the contrary, the Status Quo lifestyle promises to be much smoother and easier to navigate because there's a blueprint. With the Love Jones Lifestyle, it's a lot like that compass that Captain Jack Sparrow had in the Pirates movies. Remember? The compass pointed in the direction of what his heart wanted the most -- and then he set sail. A map either didn't exist or it was created with some cryptic code that had to be deciphered. Regardless, there isn't an easy way and no shortcuts. Given those circumstances, it will behoove you to capture those specific times in your life when releasing your emotions are critical. It helps, also, to sob it out with a trusted ally. If there isn't an ally available, cry out to God in the middle of your living room. Go ahead! I do it all the time.

All I'm saying is, in the midst of your beautiful struggle, just remember that you are beautifully human.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

All Falls Down...

It's August, and the summer is nearing its end. Although we're still experiencing heat in the 100's, the calendar hearkens us back to school, work, and the serious contemplation of the upcoming autumnal retirement of nature into planet Earth's long sleep.

Undoubtedly, its been a summer full of fun and adventure for me and Kamaria, although at the risk of speaking for both of us, its certainly not ending the way we expected. Over the last couple of weeks, we've both become acutely aware of life changing moves that need to be made. Our careers, which we firmly believe in creating, no matter what the external circumstances, are becoming more concretely defined, and "real." While we are both excited about the future possibilities, we are grappling with the current realities of letting go, in order to move forward.

We are creators, and sometimes in the process of creating, we end up excavating our pasts, looking back, reflecting, recognizing exactly what has influenced us as well as what forces shaped our outlooks. We analyze our successes and failures, and yet, look forward to creating a new path.

When a new artist named Kanye dropped a song about a girl dropping out of college, staying in town doing hair, and having an unplanned pregnancy, I listened in awe...

I mean, no one (aside from Talib Kweli and Common) was rapping about women's real situations, self esteem, being insecure, racism and the materialism we use to cover it all up in the 2000's. Needless to say, I was smitten.
But what really touched me was how REAL the situation was that Kanye talked about. The necessity to create a new path, to figure a way out of situations that don't turn out quite how we expected. To deal with the pain of just letting go as he shows us in the video...his eye/camera lens welling up with tears just before closing.

That letting go is the mantra we've been working with over here at LJL. Letting go of some of the people, places, and expectations even, that we've held close to our hearts in order to get closer to where we really are supposed to be. This, is the process not only of the artist, but also of life itself. A series of letting go in order to move forward. One of the things that we find is that there are interesting surprises along the way. The most important thing we've found is that when it all falls down, you suddenly have the tools to build back up.

What have you had to give up in order to move forward into your LoveJonesLifestyle?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Redistributing Your Energy

Well, Obviously, we here at LoveJonesLifestyle have been putting energy into things other than LoveJonesLifestyle. Again, not for lack of Love, but for the Lifestyle!

We've been busily crafting and creating, planning and implementing. Admittedly, I've taken a brief vacation, but even my vacations involve "work." I spent the week mentoring, teaching, and creating with a group of dynamic young people who dream of future careers in the arts. Seeing their energy, or lack of energy around certain people, topics, and activities served as a great reminder to me, and how I implement my own LoveJonesLifestyle.

As I go about completing my last year of school, planning for my business, networking with artists, clients, scholars and coaches and of course being a family member (mama, auntie, cousin, sister) I become more and more clear on the need for focus, planning and strategic direction of my energy.

I've been alone, and have worked independently long enough to recognize my work style, my best conditions for work, the purpose in my work, and the signs my body, environment and the universe reveal to me for my safety and productivity.

Living the LoveJonesLifestyle often entails a lot of hard work. It entails prioritizing, laser like focus, and oftentimes a denial of all things frivolous or that would block your creativity, energy and productivity.

Having said that, I'm headed into a laser like focus over the next three months that will hopefully pay off exponentially in the academic, business, and health areas of my life. As we head into the summer solstice in less than a week, what are some of the ways you plan on redirecting your energy to get to your ultimate LoveJonesLifestyle?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sap Rising

At this current posting, it's 85 degrees and mostly cloudy with a soft breeze. Butterflies and birds are beginning to take flight around us as front lawns start 'greening up'. It's a perfect day for lounging in a hammock or a porch swing to watch things blossom. On yesterday, after a rain shower, I saw a rainbow in full display, all the colors of red, blue, yellow and green were posted radiantly against the pregnant dark gray rain clouds. Now, I've seen plenty of rainbows thus far in my life, but I had yet to see one that went completely across the sky. I stood in that shopping center parking lot for at least 10 minutes while remnant raindrops and damp air moistened my 'Fro, just marveling at God's wonder.

For those of us down here in the South, we're shedding the skin that has kept us insulated from the crisp, chilly nips of Winter. My Southern sisters and I are pulling those frocks out of our closets that expose our golden brown body parts that the menfolk love so much and slipping well-pedicured feet into our favorite sandals, preparing ourselves for the rising temps and heat index warnings that are sure to follow soon. There's a euphoric, seductive aspect of Spring and Summer that entices us to release the tense posture of our shoulders; a common defense mechanism that we use to shield us from the brunt of the frigid air of Winter. It's also a posture that hides us from each other as we bundle up to stay warm. But, the Hot Season allows us to disarm ourselves, basically, and open up to the frolicking opportunities that lay ahead in the coming weeks. A certain kind of Feel-Good awakens in us and then we toss back and forth in fits of restlessness, literally peeling away our reclusiveness with each piece of heavy Winter clothing that's starting to get in our way.

So, naturally, this is the time of the year when hormones stir up joneses. The elders from my Mississippi hometown called it 'sap rising', a term that references the syrupy substance that trees produce in great quantities in the Spring and Summer. It's indicative of something coming back to life -- and in the case of human intimacy, this 'coming to life' is the love jones. I'm not sure if there's some scientific studies that point out whether more babies are born in the Winter or Summer, but I do know that it's something about warm weather and warm emotions that go hand in hand.

To me, it’s no surprise that warm weather enhances the jonesing buzz. You see, Winter is a time of barrenness when nature lets go of its pretty clothes in the form of leaves, flowers and colors to remain stark naked, refusing to give away any beauty, until the Earth moves closer to the Sun again. Since we're Children of the Sun, it's no wonder that, as our melanin-kissed skin browns up to our summer colors, we begin engaging in some imaginings of a person that has lit a pheromone fire in us. After all, it's just nature, right? If it seems as though I'm quite in tune with this phenomenon, it's because I am. You see, I discovered as a young girl that I'd rather be hot than cold any day. Take that however you like. As I evolved into a woman, I noticed that the Hot Season was always the time when I had my biggest crushes and most active intimate imagination.

Although I've been 'down in the valley' in recent years when it came to my love life, I was overjoyed to notice this past Friday night that everything is still in working order. I was among friends, reveling in an outdoor concert in the park with the New Orleans-bred ReBirth Brass Band. Between the city lights illuminating the clouds casting them in a purple puffiness in the night sky, the light drizzle, pleasant Spring breeze, and the vibe in the park, all compounded with the blazing sound of the horns, it seemed like the perfect setup for a movie-like encounter.

At one point, I moved closer to the stage to spend some time among the throngs of people tipping and bopping to the beat. It was obvious that we were all having a blast, Black, White, and otherwise were all on one accord as ReBirth brought the Funk. Without any deliberate attempts on my part, I saw him etching closer to me as I was spinning around, under the spell of the rhythm. Eventually, we were closed in by the people and standing in each other's space, enjoying that good moment between us. He towered over me (not like that's hard to do; I'm built low to the ground, er, I'm short) and I wiggled my hips like a Grown Woman can and should, when she's smitten by 'Manness'--that's an in-house LJL term for the special Something that only Black men possess and it can drive a sister wild when applied properly.

Anyway, not too long after we were brought together by the crowd, my mind drifted. I went to that exclusive space of sensual sweetness and wondered about him. Now, if you're looking for me to divulge the details of my fantastic erotic mind, you'll be waiting. A woman has to keep something to herself, right? I will inform you that I didn't act on anything; simply enjoyed the bliss of the mental ride through this unknown brother's inner workings. The results of the evening satisfied me well. He told me his name and all, but it really didn't matter. He'd actually met his assignment for the night, as far as I was concerned. Through his welcoming persona, he was able to just simply turn me on but not in an animalistic, unevolved, savage manner. He gave me the opportunity to bask in the flyness of an attraction and entertain the prospect of a new love affair, which just may find its way to me very soon, thanks to him.

So, yes, boys and girls, it's sap rising season and I'm glad about it. I feel extremely blessed to know that I haven't, as Darius Lovehall elegantly stated, exhausted the possibilities for romance. As this season sets in for us, have you been able to reawaken that something in you so that this season can feel brand new? If you have, tell us about it.

Enjoy yourselves.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Manifesting Your Vision

Greetings LJL Family!

As you can see, Chandra Kamaria and I have been...well, MIA. Yup, I said it. We have, but it is not without good reason...although there never really is a GOOD reason to leave you lovely folks hanging without a word, so my apologies for the hiatus, but we have been WORKING!!!

I dreamt up the topic Manifesting Your Vision, not because the Lifestyle, has gone all new agey, but because, well, that's what we've been doing. Part of the Lifestyle is living!

We are committed to manifesting many things: this blog, which we hope to use to create community and dialog among other dreamers, original stage plays, which we use to provide entertainment of substance and quality to our community members, events which we use to support our goal of community building, and of course our poems, prose, research and commentary which we use to share our knowledge, perspectives and engage you all and our community in dialog.

I'm an extreme procrastinator, but when I get into something, I get completely into it, submerged, immersed. I've been so committed and engaged in projects that things like eating and sleeping become nuisances. There have been projects that I've worked on so intensely that I didn't leave my house for days. Yeah, it's that serious. So, how do I get to this place? How do I bridge the procrastination and make it to the dedication? Well, I use the bridge. The bridge, for me is an affirmation that I have taped to my bathroom mirror. It states,

"I release all attributes that hinder my success.
I claim the power of N.O.W. No Opportunity Wasted"

So, that's what I've been doing. I've been seizing each and every opportunity. Literally, I'm typing this in sweat soaked gym clothes because while working out, I got the idea for this post. Manifesting our vision requires time, focus, consistency, and most of all, using the NOW!

We are so thankful to you for joining us on the journey towards our ideal lifestyle, and want to hear how YOU are manifesting your vision, and living your LoveJonesLifestyle.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Only the Lonely?

This week has been a roller coaster ride for me...I discovered the country down home stylings of YouTube entertainer AARRONE99. I worked incredibly hard on multiple academic projects, had parenting challenges galore, and ended the week with a speaking engagement at which my principle audience was...Missing In Action.

Let's start with Aarrone99. She's a self confident, outspoken, beautiful and intelligent woman who shares her observations and experiences live and uncensored. Her videos reflect her dispensing big girl/grown woman wisdom,requests for dating advice, her personal likes and dislikes as well as style and presentation tips. I say all of that to say, that Aarrone99 was not just entertainment this week, but a memory as well. Her posts reminded me of the types of conversations I had with my girls from back home, about how we were raised, the communal knowledge of women, standards of beauty and self love. Aarrone99's videos had me laughing and crying, and kept me company as I was up late night working and writing. Despite the humor, at the end of the day, AARRONE99's videos serve to remind me, and anyone who watches them that "everything and everybody just wants to be loved."

But then...well, for those of you that don't know, I'm a single mama, and raising up two young men "the way they should go", ain't easy on regular when folks decide to cut up at school BEFORE nine a.m., you just kinda KNOW what type of day its' gonna be. With some reinforcements from the community (i.e. MALE community members), lots of communication, and a little bit of good old fashioned "fear of God"- style parenting, we got over that hump.

But, the best part of the week was that I was able to make some major progress on a project I was working on, as well as being invited to present my research at an education conference at the end of the month. On the other hand, I was seriously thrown for a loop, when after preparing a presentation for a student group, the group members who needed the information I was presenting failed to show up...Like I said, ups and downs... Reflecting on everything, I realized that I have been a seriously hard working sister! Which brings me to the flip side of all this stuff...the LONELY.

Lorraine Hansberry has a quote, which has given me SO much insight into my life, my purpose and my reality. In To Be Young Gifted and Black, she explains:

"Eventually it comes to you; the thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely."
When I read this I immediately identified with it. I consider myself to simply be Zenzile...but when I write it all out on paper, or look at my schedule, or think about my responsibilities, as a single woman, a mother, a doctoral student, a blogger, a mentor, a community member, a daughter, sister, aunt, public speaker, editor, writer, job seeker and future business owner, I KNOW, that I am exceptional, and I understand, because of the hierarchy of demands to secure survival and existence that I am oftentimes lonely But, does it have to be this way?

Tell me LJL family,is an exceptional life only for the lonely?

Are exceptional people/lives/experiences like candles, shining brightly yet so warm that no one can get close, forever a beacon but never touched?

Monday, March 28, 2011

LOVE or SEX...The "Talk"

We here at LJL were just kids when Mary J. Blige burst onto the scene, belting out this now classic song about a young woman in search of LOVE well, REAL LOVE that is...Now, we're old enough to BE parents/co-parents, aunties, "big" cousins, and godmothers. Now, we are in the driver's seat when it comes to defining and framing LOVE for the next generation. WE are now responsible for setting the tone on what is and is not acceptable, for separating truths from locker room fictions, and for guidance on how to digest all the emotions that come with those biological, hormonal, social and emotional changes that the young men and women in our lives will soon undergo.

How is it that time has passed us so swiftly?

Who said that just because we're OLDER that we're any wiser?

Do we have what it takes to set a youngster on the right path?

Recently a close friend called with dread in his voice. He was sorry to announce that it was time for THE TALK with his thirteen year old son. Having done sex ed programming for teen girls in an area with a high teen pregnancy rate as a Girl Scout, as an RA in college, and as a mother to two preteen boys, I had "the talk" down pat. I also knew that there wasn't just one "talk".

The "talk" was and is actually a conversation; a never-ending one at that.

The phone call, coupled with a realization I had a few days earlier inspired this post. I reminisced back on my school days, when I asked my parents straight out, when could I have a boyfriend. My mother, ever the practical parent simply replied, "When you can balance your school work and your social life" Well, I had been going to school and playing outside pretty well since elementary school.In middle school, my grades were always good, and I was never in trouble.

Translation:I can have a boyfriend NOW!!!

However, thinking back on things, I wonder...What if my parents said, "sweetie, we love you and think you are an awesome, intelligent, pretty, manner-able, caring, thoughtful and right minded young lady." "When you find a young man who deserves to share in all that you are, then you can have a boyfriend. Look for the man who is worthy of your wonderfulness"

Imagining how my life and choices in men would have differed with this nugget of information, it was the same advice I offered my friend in his moment of dread. Give him the concrete details, be medically accurate, but in the end, tell him to seek out a young lady who truly is WORTHY of all he is. We live in a world that is not conducive to sexual freedom, "sowing wild oats", and even simple exploration.

Our society, by nature of being hyper-sexualized, has made sex an activity that requires medical screenings, multiple forms of birth control, and oftentimes litigation. It's intimacy is far removed from the two individual participants, therefore, the sex education of today must advocate for truth, honesty, respect, and self worth. It is the only way to stem the tide of teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and broken social relations.

So, when it comes to the question of "Love or Sex" I say HEALTHY Self Love then Sex. In the LoveJonesLifestyle, sex grounded in a healthy sense of self is the way we do it. What about you?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Super Lunar Spring Love and You

Yes's a long title, but the only one fit for a post such as this. We here at LoveJonesLifestyle much like the Big and Brilliant SuperMoon have experienced an increase in intensity and size. We have, over the last week, experienced an increase in our knowledge, growth, and revelation of our next steps. We have been enlightened with vision coupled with the pressure of our destiny and clear knowledge of our purpose. Chandra Kamaria and Zenzile are beComing more and more of ourselves in every way, daily.

It should come as no surprise though, for the promise of spring is indeed fulfillment. Spring is symbolized and actualized in growth, fullness, the pregnancy of possibility and the bursting forth of reality. So why should we not expect Spring like characteristics to manifest in our own lives? This Spring we were all given a glimpse of what's to come through the manifestation of the Super Moon. I certainly did not expect the experiences I had this week, as I presented my academic research to be one which pushed me, made me grow, and learn some things about myself, but they did. Chandra Kamaria didn't expect a routine week at the office to inspire her in her creative endeavors as a writer. Beyond that, neither of us expected our small actions to reflexively lead us both to the next level of productivity, artistry, community building, and the even deeper level of living the LoveJonesLifestyle that we speak and write about.

On today, we want to express our love for our audience, followers, and collaborators.

On today, we want you to know that we have an abundance of goodies that will bloom forth this spring.

On today, we stake our claim as the premiere, up and coming space for new artistry from and inspired by the Delta Quandrant.

On today, we admit to ourselves and the world that we are ready to walk into our individual and collective destinies, and implore you to do the same.

It is spring, rejoice, set your intention, and join us on the journey to the LoveJonesLifestyle.

As always, we want to hear how YOU approach the newness and promise of Spring, and how YOU live the LoveJonesLifestyle! Let us know!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The LJL Show, Episode 1

Greetings, Earthlings!

We are so excited about the launch of our podcast, The LJL Show! Be on the lookout for dynamic interviews with the artist, activist, and scholar communities. Also, you will get the chance to enjoy a ride through the minds of the contributers of the LJL blog, Zenzile, and yours truly!

On Episode 1, Zenzile recaps the Punany Poets show and I ramble through a few thoughts about eroticism. Expect us to post once a month and you don't want to miss it!

Without further adue, simply click Play, sit back, enjoy -- but most of all, comment, comment, comment. Your feedback means everything to us!

With love,
C. Kamaria

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Poetry Jam!!!

Well, LJL family...we all know one of the staples of our favorite film/lifestyle is the Poetry Slam, or Poetry Jam as I like to call them. Indeed the initial meeting, flirtation and seduction between Darius and Nina take place in, around and through poems and music.

For this reason, we can only see it as fitting to grace you with the musical and poetic stylings of one of our favorite poet/producer/lover/creators....
Fathom9 aka Doc Anon aka the Anti-Life Equation. He describes himself as, "a reservoir of limitless potential...(the mic is an instrument/I am the Conduit/Conveying the intimate/sentiments/of the Infinite...)

He, his music, and his writings can be found at And, now, without further ado, I present, Fathom9 in words and sounds.


Soul Heart Sessions: Winter-Leaves


This Night; my thoughts…(Fathom 9) A.L.E.

This night…my thoughts—take me to a place I had since abandoned—for sadly our world is comprised of

souls who would curse dreamers—but this night…my thoughts dwell in the shadow of a memory…

There once existed a girl whom I would await in my dreams. We had a special place-I called it our Sacred Garden,

Where we could be free to explore our desires outside the confines of Space, Time, and callous reality.

How wonderful our adventures were.

But one evening beneath crimson twilight I appeared, called out to

Her, and naught answered me but silent echoes. I repeated every night for what seemed an eternity,

To no avail. Ragged—bereft of the light of Passion I screamed into the night: My LOVE! My LOVE—

you would dare FORSAKE me? Why, My LOVE? Why??? I who go thirsty in the desert a thousand

Seasons, and with one breath from your lips-my thirst would be quenched…I would shatter my feeble


before the glory of your feet, and through my bleeding exposed heart-a garden of my love’s testimonial

Would spring forth replenishing a barren Earth…why would you abandon I—your wanton servant…?

She never answered me…

and since have I wandered this land of desolation—weeping.

Let us know what you think LJL Family...We'd love to hear your feedback and thoughts about Fathom's work. Do you want more???

Saturday, February 12, 2011

In a Magical Mystical Way

We’re just a couple of days away from the Day of Love, so on that note, I have decided to broach a subject that I’ve been longing to touch for quite some time. My hesitation was based on how it will be received, but then I remembered that I am the sole owner of this pen so what and how I write is strictly up to me. I am the steward.

Despite the commercialism, Valentine’s Day is continually celebrated and embraced as an opportunity for lovers to express their feelings for one another. As for me, the day has very little significance. Please do not get me wrong, I am all for love and as you continue to read, you will see that I really love love, but I don’t care much for some of the superficiality and the premeditated effort that tends to make its way into the Valentine’s Day celebrations. I know that sounds rather harsh and unfeeling, but quite the contrary. For one, I respect love too much to condone a Day of Love when EVERY day should be a day of love. Secondly, my love language and sensuality is not stirred by prearranged displays of affection. Spontaneity, for me, is the secret ingredient in the recipe of erotic experiences.

We are finally where I want us to be in this post.

There’s only one way to write about eroticism--in a magical, mystical way. Now that phrasing is not mine, instead it’s the title of a groovy song by the UK-based soulster, Omar Lye-Fook. Even though the song is well over ten years old, it still has the same effect on me whenever I hear it. It inspires me and easily, I settle into an imaginative mood, which ultimately evokes a dazzling display of creative expression of carnality, whether it’s a seductive piece of poetry, free thoughts, or a barrage of intimate touches. Over the past few years, I have come to reexamine this concept of eroticism and based on ponderings so far, as a society, we have completely tainted it.

Because of its elusive meaning, erotic love has to be the most misunderstood and misappropriated of them all. In this country, eroticism has been limited to the simple act of sex rather than the undercurrents that fuel the act itself. Eroticism does not always have to incorporate the act of sex and it is not driven by sexual lust, although it has been accused of that. Pornography has been erroneously dubbed as eroticism, however, the commodified, objectified, mechanical nature of pornographic materials completely eliminates the sensual energy that is necessary between a man and a woman. It could be easily argued that pornography and the complete hypnotization of this culture of convenience has created a generation that disconnects sex from love – and this twisted phenomenon is deemed as ‘progressive’ and ‘liberated’. Nothing could be further from the truth. Folks got all kinds of ways to describe and un-describe their stuff; from the R. Kelly-inspired 'homie lover friend' to the '90s ATLien-phrased 'cut buddy' or the jump-off, the bust down, Friends With Benefits. Whatever they are calling it these days, it's all wrapped up in this lifeless relationship that doesn't mature into a more deeply felt and free experience.

True eroticism is based on how much two people have taken the time to study each other and discover those aspects that stirs their respective passions. The nature of the erotic urges a person to move beyond superficial posturing and insecurities so that the two people can consummate their togetherness, building trust and exploring those avenues to greater pleasure and fulfillment. Think about it. Who doesn't want to be submerged into a sensual abyss and be so genuinely smitten with someone that even their spit is delicious when you kiss them? In a simpler word, the erotic is about being sprung. You see, we have been taught to run from being sprung, but in all actuality, there's nothing more gratifying in a love relationship than to have your nose open. At the heart of it all, it's not about a certain 'something' that you like but more about who's doing the certain 'something'.

Honestly, I'm hard pressed to believe that people even go that far these days. The mere pursuit of conquering simple sexual urges doesn't permit them to engage on a more deeper level. So, that's why the erotic has been watered down into this fraction of a thing--a mere copping of a cheap thrill. It's everywhere you turn, especially in the music. The erotic has absolutely nothing to do with the neighbors knowing your name as Trey Songz crows but more about cherishing the day when your lover takes your hand and shows you how deep love can be.

I longingly await my next venture as I am not impressed by flowers, but I'm more eager for the flowers of my mind to be nurtured by the waters of his freestyle expression. Seduce me. I welcome it. Do you?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Age of Aquarius

It's February...the dawning of the Age of Aquarius!!!

It's February, and well, for many, its the month of love, affection, warmth, or as as the song so eloquently says, the era when "peace will guide the planets and love will steer the sun"

My memory of February, the Aquarians, and love will always be symbolized in a pair of cups my parents kept alternately on their nightstands or on our fireplace mantle, depicting their Zodiac signs. My father's cup was the Aquarius and my mother's the Sagittarius. Although my parents probably never noticed, or knew, I'd read those cups religiously, memorizing the characteristics of both signs, the constellations that they were comprised of, and the dates they were marked by. As a child, I assumed both their compatibility and unity was assured by the presence of their Zodiac coffee mugs.

In the larger context, this is the month in which we celebrate the martyr of the Christian Saint Valentine, who wrote a love letter before his execution on the 14th of February,signing it 'Your Valentine' and setting in motion a tradition that we've continued into modernity.

However, even the Lovely, Loving Ladies of LoveJonesLifestyle have not been spared the "hate"...yes, even love has haters,it comes in the form of broken hearts, disbelief, indifference and infidelity...remember this?

As we've said before, this Lifestyle is NOT for the faint of heart.

We love.

We lose.

We hurt.

But in the end, we must choose.

I choose to stand on the side of love.

My life, and my Valentine's Days are filled with much more love than not. My Valentine memories are filled with flowers from my dad delivered at school, hand drawn cards from boyfriends, candies from coworkers, and dinners with girlfriends during my single years. I love love, and I LOVE the celebration of love. Sister blogger Chandra Kamaria will call me the eternal optimist, but its true. Despite the materialism, consumption overload, and mindless one time shows of affection, that the holiday has become, I still have hope for love. Not the commercialized, syrupy sweet, "you'll find yourself on the couch if I don't get diamonds" -type of love, but the real thing.

You know, that kind of love of self that makes us say, "you know what, I AM gonna go get me a bouquet of flowers today, just to brighten up my living room." Or the kind of love that says,"I'm happy just BEing with you, now let me run you a bubble bath," or "honey, scratch my dandruff." The kind of love that says "girl, we will NOT spend our Valentine's Day lamenting our single-hood, but celebrating all that we've accomplished and learned, and being happy we've made it to this point! We LOVE life!!"

That's the legacy of Valentines day for me. As I've grown out of girlhood, daddy's flower deliveries, and love note from boyfriends, I've learned that LOVE should come as naturally as LIFE. It should be celebrated daily. Therefore, I choose to live in a space where peace guides my planet, and love guides my sun. A new day is dawning Lovers....which side will you choose?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Healing Love of Nature

I’ve wanted to write about Love and Nature for a while now, but was stumped. I remembered how nature has been a healer for me. I smiled at the story of my close friend whose first date with her now husband was a bologna sandwich picnic lake in a state park. I’m still perplexed by how much I despise winter days, but as a child loved late night winter walks up the unpaved, dark, country roads of my grandmother’s rural Mississippi home. Camping is my favorite stress reliever. When I’m focused on building a fire, steadying my flashlight on a path, or staying warm in a tent with hot cocoa, the rest of the world melts away. With all this love of nature, you’d think writing about LOVE and NATURE would, well…come naturally! Ok, ok, forgive the play on words, but you get my drift, right?

Well, LJL fam, we’ve been pretty open and clear with one another, and right now, I’d argue that we’re in a little bit of a funk…and not the Bootsy Collins kind either. In fact, I wish I was ON Collins, Boulevard, that is.

Maybe the sun and salty air of South Beach would pull me out of this funk. Unfortunately, I’m suffering like the rest of the mainland, from this Arctic Blast that just won’t quit.

Chandra Kamaria and I often marvel at the brilliant, beautiful, productive, well educated, articulate and genuine brothers we’ve collected as friends, over the years…while faced with the stark reality that the other side of the bed is warmed only by our laptops. Is this the conundrum we face? Knowing, interacting with, loving and supporting our male counterparts, exclusive of that “ultimate love connection” we’re all taught to desire as women? It can’t be, it simply can’t be. We, like you dear readers, hold ourselves in high regard. We know that we operate in our worlds from positions of power and privilege, and have vowed to never abuse that power, but to definitely use it to uplift, mentor, support and serve. But the basis of all of this is love. Love begets Hope.

Hope is what Mother Nature gives us at every moment. In the fire and the seed, she destroys and gives life. Despite our darkest nights, the sun rises to greet us at each new day. Though our skies can pour lightning, thunder, rain, snow and ice, birds still honor their natural desire to fly through them. As the hauntingly accurate multimedia artist/poetress Alixa of PoeTree reminds us, in her poem Being Human, nature never questions its existence. She wonders if the insecurities of humans are evident in nature, and when we consider the ridiculousness of it all, it makes us understand, have new reverence and respect for both nature and ourselves.

Despite the trials, despite making the “right” decisions, love can be wrenching, it can make us question ourselves, but if we return to our source, if we return to nature, we can regain our hope, and remain open to the possibilities…I know I’ll be stargazing tonight, despite the measly 39 degrees we’ve been promised here in the Lone Star State…I need to know, to see and hold strong to “the possibilities.”
Are you with me? Can we all take some time and let nature renew us, and our hope?

Evaluating the Alternatives, Part I

As a newly single chick, I take great efforts to remain grounded and out of the range of becoming the Basic Woman after a break up, mainly because it's too exhausting to be so weighed down by what went wrong. Honestly, my former lover and I just couldn't see eye to eye on the matter so it's a wrap. He's a good man -- a little too damn wishy- washy for me, but a good man nevertheless. Anyway, it's my philosophy that the only person that can be controlled in a relationship is the one staring back at you in the mirror.

To that end, I have been scoping the scene, trying to figure out where I can position myself these days to score a few prospects (read: meet single men). Mind you, my time is even more valuable than it was four years ago (that's how long my guy and I were doing our thing). I got projects on the table to move, so while I run the risk of sounding like the crabby chick who sits in the corner at the club looking like she smells something putrid, I ain't got time for games!

Insert neck roll and 'sista girl' hand gesture here.

So, being the crafty sista that I am, I have decided to do some groundwork first and evaluate my alternatives as a single, thirty sss--*cough cough* year old woman. According to the Pew Research Center, marriage is in decline. There's not too many people interested in taking that stroll down the aisle until they are sure of their footing in life. Compared to that staggering divorce rate, which is holding steady, marriage almost sounds like a rather overrated, possibly obsolete thing these days.

In defense of those who are skeptical about marriage, I can fully engage in their reasonings for why marriage is not the 21st century move. At the same time, there are scores of happily married people who are putting in work and making it work. Therefore, I'm managing to hold on to my starry-eyed longing for that moment in life so it won't go dim. The fly thing is that as I have grown older, I know exactly what I want--a man who loves the absolute crust of me and will work just as hard as I am in making our marriage a fruitful union. Because I am aware of myself enough to know that I am too good to be true, he's going to need a very beautiful strategy of dealing with me when I have managed to push some of his buttons...and vice versa.

There's a lot to take into consideration when out here in the shark-infested waters of the dating ocean. Ok, that was corny -- but bear with me. As a sista, I have to take into consideration sheer numbers -- yes, sheer numbers. There's more of us than it is of them -- black women outnumber black men so it's a mathematical impossibility for all of us to get one to ourselves. Now, for many sistas, they have sought to rectify this issue with expanding their dating options (read: date White men). More power to them. I am all for expanding options. Actually, it's imperative to do so, but for me, in terms of preference, can't nobody do me like a Black man....or a really sexy Puerto Rican or Mexican....ahem! I digress. (Note: here's where this post will become a bit silly. Enjoy!)

I have my own way of handling this issue, remaining true to the C. Kamaria style which is direct and with all of the humor and irony that only life can provide. To adjust for the sheer numbers factor, Alternative #1 is to become a Cougar. Wait. Who am I kidding? I've dated younger men before and thoroughly enjoyed it so I might as well study up and earn my certification because currently I am a Cougar-in-training.

Just in case you've, somehow, missed out on this phenomenon, let me update you. A Cougar is a woman who's, at least, forty years old and dates men who are up to twenty years younger than her. I've had the Cougar discussion with my Big Sis and we were trying to determine the official age range of a Cougar, finally agreeing on forty and older, hence my definition.

Until recently, society had a tendency to frown on this thing even though it's been going on under the radar for decades, perhaps even centuries. In Black popular culture, we have quite a few references to this dating style. For instance, Zora Neale Hurston's infamous novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, centers around a 38 year old woman in love with a man 12 years younger than her. The inspiration for Hurston's novel came after a painful breakup between the author and a younger man who was her lover -- much like another author, Terry McMillian, who wrote the book turned major motion picture, How Stella Got Her Groove Back. The stage play, The Old Settler, which later became a made-for-TV movie starring sisters Debbie and Phylicia Ayers-Allen, was about a woman in her mid-fifties falling in love with a twenty-nine year old handsome boarder at her sister's house. In the 80s, the Queen of Raunch, Millie Jackson, crooned in her throaty alto about being in love with a younger man.

As far as celebrities go, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Vivica Fox, Nancy Wilson, and Sanaa Lathan have all ventured into relationships and marriages with younger men. Again, I've put in my time dating younger men too and now that I'm in full stride, doing my grown woman thang, it stands a chance at getting better. Before, I was in my late twenties dating guys who were only a few years younger than me. Now, I can actually set the age range back, at least, ten years and still date an adult man! That way, I will not run the risk of becoming a Christine McCallum.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Well, what about older men? Uhhh. No. Look, I don't have a problem with dating a man slighter older than me, but if he is too far ahead of me in age (approximately 10 years or older), no thanks. Older men tend to be a bit too settled for me. Because I'm in the middle of a transition in life, honestly, I do not think I will keep an older man happy. For many women, older men mean security--financial and otherwise, but for me, it would be too much of a challenge unless he still has much youthful vitality, like Chuck D (oops! Did I just type that?). Otherwise, I'd rather be a babysitter than a caregiver, or, as one of my Cougar friends said so eloquently that the only thing an old man can do for her is die and leave her the money.

So, what do you think of Alternative #1? It's a great idea, yes? I think so. Feel free to share your thoughts on this alternative as well as others that could help all of us have a better shot of scoring out here in this game. Meanwhile, I need to make plans to camp out at college bookstores and libraries to do some prospecting. LOL!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Status Changin'

Greetings Fam!

Zenzile has filled you in on what’s been going on these days with us at LJL.  We’ve been dealing with the brushes of issues that accommodate the art of loving fiercely. I could go into all of the details but then I really don’t want to bore you with them, no, that’s not true—actually, I don’t want to intimidate or discourage you.  Instead, I’ll use my situation to illustrate a larger point.  

Remember my post on Love Meditations?  At that time, I was standing on the verge of an impasse and hesitated at surrendering as I was completely unwilling to give up on this particular love affair.  Vested time was the primary motivator for trying to hang in there. But then, one had to eventually come to one’s senses to surmise that wasting time is just wasting time.  The attempts at mulling it over to find a new spin had completely grown stale.

When Zenzile started this blog, I was grooving to a composition filled with desires for passionate encounters with my lover.  My writings were sweetened with the delicious morsels of loving a man who held real estate in my heart.  Now, it seems as though the tide has shifted, simply because I made a status change. 

Love called….he didn’t answer so….


At first, I did not want to own it fully—going from one state of vulnerability to another – initially open to my lover’s strategy until he abandoned it and now I’m wide open to the flawed possibilities and new opportunities that comes with starting over.  Let me forewarn you that there may be times when melancholy notes will seep through my writings on this blog.  Bear with me. I’ll get over it.  I’m in a place where I feel as though I am betraying myself  if I continued to desire him.  Of course, that won’t go away overnight.  It has to fade away a little bit with each passing day. 

Zenzile asked me about my new plans as if I’ve had time to develop any.  Because I’ve been consumed with what my status change means to me,  I haven’t given much thought as to what to do with it.   During our conversation, I gave her an overdrawn explanation that culminated in a sophisticated answer of ‘I don’t know’.   To be honest, I’m not really sure where to go from here.

Have you ever been in this position?  If so, share.  You never know who you might be helping.         

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When Love Calls...

Greetings LoveJonesLifestyle family! Please allow me to apologize for the brief hiatus, but, as I’m sure you know; this lifestyle is NOT for the faint of heart! The past week has been one of ups and downs for us here at LJL. One that indeed has us longing for the days when love was simple,
and a breakup consisted of your best friend and your love interests’ best friend telling you its over, after which you all proceeded to run out onto the playground and play together anyway.

Our theme song for the last week or so has been one of both recognition and direction that recognizes the ethereal yet enduring quality of love.

We’ve seen both sides of this aching truth in the last week, finding ourselves both calling and receiving the call, often times to mixed signals. What happens when you offer love and it goes unanswered? When you’ve done all you can to show a person that you’re open to love, overflowing with love, and moved by the unseen love gods and goddesses to give that love over to that special someone, but they “can’t see the forest for the trees” as Atlantic Starr explains?

On the other hand, we’ve stood at the precipice of love, fearful of the leap of faith it takes to allow someone to see into us and love us fully. In a world of materialism and disposability, how do we ever know what’s real?

Either way, whichever side of love we stand on, silence in response to the love call leaves us with empty arms, a heart filled with unrequited love, and a lost opportunity to rise in love. Therefore, the only thing we can do is to answer.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Loving Yourself...

Loving Yourself…

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays its easy to lose ourselves. We shop for each other, run around town and country visiting relatives and friends, and spend inordinate amounts of time cooking, cleaning and eating. Despite the fun and enjoyment we experience with our friends and families, we can often forget about ourselves, and even our friends who don’t have access to extensive social networks.

Add this to the bombarding messages of the “New Year” including changing ourselves, ending bad habits, losing weight, accomplishing lifelong goals, advancing professionally, gaining control of our finances and being better parents, friends and lovers, and you’re left with very little time to simply practice self love. And as the Tiny Buddha put it, without self love, we are unable to love others.

The post holiday blues hit me hard this year…suddenly my children were back at school, and I had to get back in the swing of things. I was far away from the creative stimulation, family love and delicious foods of home that had sustained me over the holidays. The longing for love coupled with homesickness and the normal hormonal fluctuations of womanhood combined into a perfect storm of emotional wreckage. In the end, the only lifeline I had was the power of prayer and a good cry…Imagine my surprise when I found that these were actually two of many healthy ways to walk through the storm I was experiencing.

At the end of the day, I decided to put off work, the writing project I had planned, getting together with coworkers and classmates, and even basic personal activities in exchange for a day of personal care and self love. I slept in. I spent some time in meditation where I again received confirmation of my decision to spend the day in self care. I opened my bedroom window and allowed the cool winter air to wash over me and my space. I lovingly shampooed, oiled and conditioned my locs. I soaked my feet and completed an at home mani-pedi, and slathered my skin with Vitamin E oil and cocoa butter. Finally, I completed my favorite self care activity, a steam facial.

The universe answered my obedience as I relaxed with a little t.v. time at the end of the day. My twelve year old came in and asked if I had started making dinner yet. When I replied “no” he said “good, I want to cook stir fry tonight!!” and proceeded to take his bath, then prepare dinner for us. As a final applause to my self loving day, I walked over to close my blinds, and glancing at my altar, noticed that the top card on my deck of affirmation cards was labeled “PAMPER” the final notice that my day of self love was needed, useful and divinely affirmed.

By the end of the day, I felt refreshed. I was ready to work, but I gave myself permission to spend the next day cleaning my environment, and preparing for the year ahead, without the buzz of technology, opting instead for silence.

In our pursuit of love, we must remember ourselves. The winter season is one of planning, ordering and laying foundations. Lay your foundation for love with your own self love. Lay your foundation for order by stepping away from the hustle and bustle of the season, the false promises of change that each new year brings, and instead invest in truly caring for yourself, practicing love of self in large and small ways, without elaborate plans and schemes. Perform a simple act of love today. Love yourself, even if you’re jonesin...

*tee shirt available from WAM

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Baby Makin’ Music


These days, it seems as though the concept of baby making music has become like those microwave versions of dinner entrees that you can find in your grocer’s freezer section.  Same great taste, maybe, but the preparation has been drastically reduced for the sake of convenience.  While that’s laudable, some of the blessing comes from the fact that someone took their time to pick the best ingredients and spent their most valuable commodity, which is time, to prepare the meal. 

If you’re a ‘70s baby like me, then there’s a strong possibility that you were conceived under the auspices of baby makin’ music. I’m not exactly sure what’s supposed to be passing itself off as the melodic magic filling the air when it’s time to get down to some serious lovin’ these days,  but for me, I dig to find my own as this is the way of the Love Jones Lifestyle.  It could be joints from a couple of decades ago that still has the hypnotic effect to get the juices flowing (pun intended) or it could be something that rides the underground.

This new joint from the spoken word half of the former London-based duo, Floetry, has the same kind of feel as the Mellosmooth version of Maxwell’s ‘Sumthin’, Sumthin’ from the original soundtrack of  Love Jones. Indeed, I like the direction of the Floacist’s solo effort much more than the  whole vindictive vibe of Marsha’s first single.  The addition of Musiq Soulchild’s crooning is like having the cherries with the whip cream.  Anyway, enough of me.  It’s late as I write this and I am yet nursing another unfulfilled jones. 

Enjoy this delightful morsel of visual bliss and sonic sensuality.