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I am a mommy, scribe, and middle-school English teacher. I am trying to cope with being separated from my beloved. DoUWantMore? email me: theprisonerswife@gmail.com

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On Purpose

Monday, October 29, 2007

i am feeling restless.

this past weekend was a pretty lazy. thankfully, there wasn't much going on & i had a chance to rest and relax. but as usual, the weekend felt way too short. too rushed. and as Monday approached, i began to feel hurried and not quite ready to go back to work.

this feeling isn't unusual.

i've felt this work-day uneasiness my entire (working) life. although the jobs have changed, that feeling--the one that tells me i COULD be doing something else--overtakes me. and, as usual i began to wonder.

am i doing what i'm SUPPOSED to be doing?

or is there even something i'm SUPPOSED to do?


i've always been curious about those who are uber passionate about their work. i've wondered how they managed to figure out what makes them SO happy. i've tried to sit, and think, and figure out what would make me jump out of bed and run to work, but i can't quite put my finger on it. there are a slew of things i dig, but not many i truely LOVE.

i've been scouring the web (and my brain) for ways to help me solve this mystery. i know i dig writing. at one point in this blog's history, i posted daily, always wanting to get out a burning thought & discusses things with y'all. i love music. i'm a decent poet (i think). i dig being in the company of interesting people, but finding the passion that taps into all of the things i really can't live without...alludes me.

perhaps i'm just playing it safe.

afterall, i have a son to look after now. i can't be some irresponsible starving artist, hoping my art will pay off. that's selfish. i HAVE to be able to make money (and, i want to be comfortable), so being broke isn't an option. perhaps i'm just afraid to take risks? or maybe, i'm just afraid to fail?

because she has all the answers (lol) i turned to Oprah, her site as least. they have a few articles on "finding your passion." Cheryl Richardson, some life-coach guru, poses questions that will (supposedly) help you discover your passion. it's a fairly long list, but i'm going to try to anwer 5 of them here, and i invite you to do the same (i'm nosey!). so here goes...

the questions (see the full list, here)...

What interest, passion or desire are you most afraid of admitting to yourself and others?
i'm not really sure. i'm not really afraid of admitting any passions or desires. most of my friends know that i write, perhaps they don't know i've always wanted to perform (singing, acting) in some way.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
hmmmm....be writer, open my own publishing company, and start a magazine. i've always loved writing, it seems SO damn difficult to break into to. i'd write books as well as write for magazines. i've always been a sucker for the glossies & would love to sit across the table interviewing folks.

What do you love about yourself?
my sense of humor. i'm sarcastic as hell, but i'm also pretty damn funny. i love how easy-going and flexible i am. i rarely loose my temper or get stressed out.

What would you do if money was not a concern in your life?
travel & write.

What one thing do you dream about doing that you've never told anyone?
hmmm....i'm not really sure. perhaps that i wanted to have my own magazine, but i think i told a few folks about that. i'll have to think about this one.

When you were young, what did you know you would do when you grew up?
when i was young, i had my heart (or my head, at least) set on being a pediatrician. how typical. i also wrote stories & tried to get my mom to enter them in contests.

How would you like the world to be?

i'd like the world to be fair & loving & accepting of people's differences and ideas. non-judgemental & safe.

What would you regret not having done if your life was ending?
traveling & publishing a book.

hmmm...i think i see a trend forming. how about you?

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 2:24 PM 8 comments

Gangbanging, A Mental Illness?

Monday, October 22, 2007

so, as i do every weekend, i peruse the NY Times & The LA Times for interesting articles about real estate, education, and an update on the homicide rate in LA County. for the record, the number of homicides in LA County is nearing 700 (692 & counting. see my previous post). insanity.

this week, while reading The Homicide Blog, i came across an interview with Kenny Mitchel, the founder of Gangster's Anonymous, a 12-step program for recovering Gangbangers. the interview & his premise that Gangbanging is a mental illness is very interesting. my first thought was to dismiss this idea. i'm sure many gang members suffer from a myriad of mental illnesses, including depression, but to call bangin ITSELF an illness...i'm not completely sold.

over these past two years as a teacher i noticed that many of my students are fascinated with or are satellite members of gangs. i didn't really understand their fascination with gang life, especially considering the devistating effects gangs have had on our communities. however, i realized that my students weren't alive to witness the constant shootings, and beef over colors, and strife of the 80s. the OGs that COULD speak on these issues are dead, in jail, or have just moved on to other things. so, these kids create their own idealized versions of the gangster lifestyle, based on what they THINK happened.

it makes sense.

when i sit to think about it, i realized that most of my students live in a single-parent household or come from the foster care system, and have a problematic view of families, or really have no "family" to speak of. this lack of family forces them to forge their own bonds--dysfunctional as they may be--out of others just like them. a clique, a set, and a gang is born out of fear, and perhaps longing for love.

but does this longing for a family qualify as a mental illness? will classifying banging as an illness help stop the spread of gangs?

gangs--bloods and crips, MS13, Folks, Disciples--are not just an urban problem anymore. i remember watching a documentary that focused on the spread of LA street gangs, specifically bloods and crips throughout Latin and Central America and even as far away as New Zealand (i.e. the Tongan Crip Gang). i was amazed to see just how far they have spread. this new breed of gangs is like wildfire, burning through the hearts and minds of our youth.

so, perhaps it is an illness.

it is as potent and as deadly as any contemporary disease. and so far...there is little to no end in sight.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 6:45 PM 5 comments

The Wonderful 2s

Sunday, October 21, 2007

i really tried to write
a poem in honor
of my little one's second birthday,
but nothing sounded right

at about 4am yesterday morning, i was awakened by words. this used to happen to me all the time back in the day, but not so much lately. i was unprepared. no pen, no paper...nothing. and so i tried to remember the words until i got to a pen & paper. but when i sat down to write...i had forgotten.

but poems can only do so much.

there are few words to describe my little one's two years of life and my 2-year stint as somebody's momma (i'm STILL amazed at THAT). you would think i'd have volumes of poems about being a mother, but rarely can i capture these types of moments to my liking.

there is a poem...sorta. perhaps i will edit, fix it up a bit, and post it at a later time, but perhaps not. what's important is that my baby is not really a baby anymore. he is 2! a little man who loves to dance, and color (on the kitchen floor!), and loves cars/trains/trucks, and who's swagger is just like his father's: bold, always smiling, stubborn, and intense.

i have learned so much about him (and myself) in SUCH a short amount time. i have learned to be patient(!!!). i realze now how similar i am to my own mother. how i spit out old sayings at the drop of a hat (child...don't you know fat meat is greasy!) how forgiving & flexible you MUST be in order to stay sane. and just how much you talk to God & ask Him to watch over your child when you can't be there.

despite it all...the difficulties of raising my son without his father's daily presence, the financial sacrifices, the late nights, the early mornings...i wouldn't tade it or him for ANYTHING in this world. my son is SO beautiful y'all, i can't even begin to describe it. all i pray for is that we have many more years together to share, grow, and laugh.

Happy Birthday, baby...mommy loves you! *kisses*

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:11 AM 3 comments

Crown Royal On Ice

Friday, October 19, 2007

(pic taken by my camera phone. i took this after her encore. she came out to test out a song she wrote in the hotel. check out the hotel pad in her hand. an artist never stops. lovely!)

untitled (inspired by she)

last night     a testimony of words
echoed through wombs
waves of blues met
earlobes    hips and fingers
   pursed as if
waiting for a savior

a philly jawn
honeyed and aged
urgent like
rain in the dessert
weaving stories through time
bringing us
to ourselves

i had the pleasure to see jill perform last night. WHEW LAWD! is all i can say about THAT. you. must. go. see. her. now.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 8:52 PM 4 comments

and this is where i've been

Monday, October 08, 2007

buried beneath a mound
of papyrus i breathe abstract
minds meld time & words
into a revolution of syntax
i break back        pack minds
raw and heavy
even if heads ain't ready
i'm on time
full of grammar and rhymes steady
student of this game
my students name's may change
but i break levies   and brains
be growing like weed smoke
permeating rough throats and sentences
wondering what use this writing shit is

it is
life blood to silenced laughs
the cadence of a smile
before it breaks
face screwed like minds
birthing dope lines that reach
beyond this

it is
more than anything
we could imagine

before we saw it
heard it
felt it in our bones
the difference between what's known
and that foreign shit you only dream about

it is
grabbin paper and
whatever writes
to write your story
late nights when
the lights won't burn
when darkeness inhabits everything
but your imagination

it is
it is that
it is
everything in between

didn't set out to write a poem...just wanted to say i've been busy teaching, but it be like that sometime. ~peace

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 9:44 PM 11 comments