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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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Easy Like....Monday Morning?

Monday, June 30, 2008

and so it begins, the first FULL day of my summer vacation. i have waited for this day since school began in September (lol) and now it's here. i have NO Idea what we are going to do today. my weekend was pretty full of grown-woman activities to last for a minute. I went to a joint bridal shower for two of my sorors, and on sunday went to church and then brunch with friends. while we were leaving the restaurant, which was beautifully situated on the waterfront, i realized that i've never been to "brunch." sure i've eaten breakfast and/or lunch at that weird in between hour, but never formally went to a restaurant and had brunch. it was fun, and very grown-woman-like. i decided that we needed a regular girlfriends outing of some sort. i ran it past my friends and they agreed. hopefully our lives won't work us out of this idea, because we need it. it's so much fun keeping up, talking about life, and just having a good time. i need more of that. too much of my life is on pause. it's about time i start living for today, while planning for tomorrow. ya know?

so today, we have no plans. i'm halfway looking up info on potty training (ugh!) and homeschooling materials for preschoolers. the munchkin is pretty smart, but i'd like to keep him learning throughout the summer and not just watching Curious George all day (well...starting tomorrow! lol). anybody have any suggestions for books? i'm open.

speaking of books, i just finished Terry McMillan's The Interruption of Everything. that book was GREAT! i've never read a Terry McMillan book (i know, i know), so this was a welcomed surprise. the book was right on time too. it basically dealt with a woman whose life needed to be shaken up, and she's forced to follow what she WANTS to do. i can dig it. i've been writing more and thinking about writing. i've been working on a little side project (hopefully released soon), so i'm at that place where i'm taking baby steps. hopefully i can i will capitalize on my free time this summer to accomplish the things i want and work toward my goals.

so what's on deck for your week? how was your weekend? and what kind of goals do you want to accomplish in the near future?

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 9:18 AM 5 comments

urgent like a mutha...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

(CLASSIC black love moment! Darius sums up the immediacy of love, in such adept words, i had to post this..even though it's grimy as all hell, but still, enjoy!)

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
~John Quincy Adams

John Adams had a point. patience and perseverance have the ability to change things in many, wonderful ways...but damn if it doesn't take forever!

today i saw beloved, and it took lots of patience, perseverance, and money to make this extremely short trip happen. you see, they had a festival today, which is sort of like a family picnic. it's the one time out of the whole year you can actually be outside, experience the sun, hold hands, and stroll around like teenagers, albeit, within limits. but it's a nice and welcomed change from having to sit knee to knee, across a table in a crowded visiting room.

the festival was cool, the sky was blue, clear and God held back the rain, but the sheer amount of time took for the COs to process us and drive us 100 feet inside the prison walls was RIDICULOUS! if i were new to this whole prison thing, and had a bad attitude, i would have been in trouble. but whenever you're dealing with the Department of Corrections, you already know your time isn't your own. you operate on their time, when they want to move, and when they see fit to allow you to reconnect with your loved ones. it sucks, but it is what you have to deal with to get to the good parts.

coming east always feels like home. even though i'm not a huge fan of upstate NY (i'm bored!), the change is welcomed. one of my favorite things is that you hear new songs on the radio. maybe it's because i've pretty much abandoned LA's urban radio stations for my iPod & NPR, but there are a lot of good songs i've been missing out one. one that i'm LOVING right now is Jazmine Sullivan's "I Need You Bad."

this song is takes me back to when beloved and i first got together. the VERY magical days when we couldn't get enough of each other. soon after i moved to NY, he invited me to a reception for one of his family's friends. it was a muggy, august night in Jamaica, Queens and it was one of the best parties i've been to. beloved is jamaican, so each party is complete with DJ and lots and lots of drinks. the vibe was so lovely, i remember getting tispy, and dancing real close to my man. i remember thinking life couldn't get much better than this: surrounded by the possibilities of a new city, deeply entrenched in the first stages of love, giddy-all-you-can-think-about-is-him-love, and in this backyard dancing to Sizzla and Sean Paul. this song single handedly brings back all of those memories. the music, the riddim feels like an old Marley tune, her voice sounds like Lauren when she fell in love with Rohan. the vibe is there. i played it for beloved when he called and he flipped. he loves it too, it reminds him of me, and him, and home. we both can't wait to get home, wherever that may be and just LIVE.

i pray your weekend is blessed.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 5:46 PM 5 comments

Be A Nigger Too?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

if you have been reading this blog for a while, y'all already know how i feel about Nas. If not, read this, then let me know your thoughts about the vid.

i'm looking forward to the conversations we'll spark off this.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:29 PM 9 comments

Story Tellin'

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

because i had to do it again...enjoy.

Gabcast! This Side of the Wall: Notes from The Prisoner's Wife #3 - Story Tellin: Grinding

the first part of a short story i am working on, entitled "Grinding."

excerpt from "Women Who Write Too Much" by bell hooks.

There are writers who write for fame. And there are writers who write because we need to make sense of the world we live in; writing is a way to clarify, to interpret, to reinvent. We may want our work to be recognized, but that is not the reason we write. We do not write because we must; we always have choice. We write because language is the way we keep a hold on life. With words we experience our deepest understandings of what it means to be intimate. We communicate to connect, to know community. Even though writing is a solitary act, when I sit with words that I trust will be read by someone, I know that I can never be truly alone. There is always someone who waits for words, eager to embrace them and holding them close.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 6:56 PM 8 comments

What You Talkin Bout?

Monday, June 09, 2008

I'm reminded of my first crush
the wobble in my knees, first touch
summer love ice cream cone
nights shared with you
nights spent alone
butterflies, first love
sweaty palms embracing a first hug
I'm moved to say in thought of you
I can't imagine living life without you

~Dwele "Without You"

(this song PERFECTLY describes the feeling i had in the summer of 03 when we met. i couldn't play this song enough. it still makes me giddy when i think of us & this song)

beloved and i have hit a wall.

the uncomfortable feeling of routine has washed over us. our conversations as of late have all consisted of the same things: i love yous, how are yous, how's the baby?, i can't wait to see you. silence. ummm. did you watch the game? silence. ummm. i miss you.

i can tell he's getting worried. the other day he wondered aloud if we were gonna make it, if this is all there is in relation to our conversations.

i reminded him that talking is overrated.

i mean, we talk. we have deep conversations where we spill our deepest feelings, we write them down in letter upon letter, but really...does this happen to "normal" couples everyday? methinks not. i think most people don't spend days or even 15 minutes at a time talking about their feelings. we are not new to each other. we have lived together for years, been together nearly 5, and we are to the point where we are just...familiar with everything. i tried to assure him, and myself, that life gets like this sometime. we can't possibly hold super deep conversations every day. no one does that. we talk about our son, ourselves, work, writing, whatever. that's normal. that is life.

i know all of this wonder & uncertainty comes from the fact that he isn't here. i reminded him that we didn't have long, heart-felt daily conversations when he was home. we mostly enjoyed just being WITH each other, and that is the thing we are missing right now. curling up on the couch, watching a movie, taking a walk, going to dinner, or playing video games. we are missing out on all of the non-verbal conversations we used to take for granted, and it is now worrying him. i try to assure him (and myself) things will snap back to normal when he comes home, but who can really be sure?

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 9:19 PM 10 comments

Walk the Line

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I am not a revolutionary.

I am not uber militant about affecting social change. I usually express my action through voting, and getting others to join a cause. But tomorrow…I will take it to the streets.

My state is broke, as are most states in this county. My governor, The Terminator, has proposed nearly $4.3 Billion, with a capital B, in budget cuts to education. This proposed cut will CRIPPLE many districts, including my own, the 2nd largest in the district in the country. My district, LAUSD, is facing a reduction of approximately $377 million in state aid, which translates into new teachers, like me, being cut.

So tomorrow, I will give up an hour’s pay for the kids of LA & walkout of my classroom to show the governor that this shit won’t fly. I will stand and picket. I will pass out leaflets and I will make my tiny voice herd. My job is on the line. The jobs of my colleagues are all on the line. Hopefully the sheer size of my district will shield us from being cut, but you never know. Many of the smaller districts have already experienced drastic cuts to their teacher population. Districts from Northern to Southern California are having to cut anywhere from 300 to 1000 teachers, and some districts have even gone so far as to close down schools. We are living in extremely scary and uncertain times.

I have been trying to imagine what a normal classroom would look like with 1000 fewer teachers. Will there be 35 or 40 students to a class? Will there be more?

No matter what side of the political fence you sit on, I think we can all agree that cutting the budget for education hurts our kids. We don’t need more prisons, we need more schools. We need more dedicated teachers who work hard & give it all they’ve got to make sure our kids become successful, responsible adults.

Can you did that?

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 10:39 PM 10 comments

listen up

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

so i guess this means...

i'm completely VAIN lol. but seriously, here is your opportunity to put a voice to the words.

Gabcast! This Side of the Wall: Notes from The Prisoner's Wife #1 - Welcome

sharing poems, random thoughts, and giving shout outs!

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 7:41 PM 7 comments

it's funny how fast bad news spreads. yesterday was a testament to the swiftness of news. yesterday i learned that one of my best friends from childhood lost her mother. i was completely SHOCKED! this woman is someone i've known all my life. i grew up appreciating her humor, her warmth, and her love. when i was a youngster and COMPLETELY attached to my mother's hip, her house was the ONLY one i'd dare to spend the night at. i am still in shock. she is, or i guess was, younger than my own mother which brings up so many thoughts of how i'd feel if i'd lost my own mother.

the news traveled fast. a friend called me at about 4:22pm to say our friend’s mom had passed. she had only passed the hour before. i called brooklyn to tell my our other friend (who grew up with us), she called her mom in long beach, and through a series of calls and text messages (crazy, right?) we were able to piece together the story of her ending. i don't really know what to say. i have NO idea what to say to my friend. i am not even equipped to deal with this...like...i have no words. what would i want to hear? (nothing). "i'm sorry for your loss," just seems to hollow and unfamiliar. i will have to think & gather my thoughts and make that call.

it's crazy
how short
life really is

today i was challenged with loss again. a student that has been absent for a few days returned today, and i asked where she'd been. i was expecting something like..."i was sick," or "i was out of town," but instead she told me her dad died, unexpectedly in South Africa. again, i was faced with trying to gather the words to convey my utter hurt and concern for her. all i could muster was "oh no...i'm so sorry to hear that." i felt shitty because i couldn't be of more comfort. i felt horrible that i couldn't come up with something more personal…to say how much i wish she wasn't dealing with this at 13.

life is short. yesterday beloved's aunt asked me how i am dealing with the situation of him being away & me being a single mom. in light of the things my friend & my student are facing, this is a cakewalk. i am still alive, and beloved, although gone, will be home soon (insha'allah). this just gives me more reasons to pause and take in every single moment and enjoy LIFE. no matter what it brings, no matter the hard knocks and setbacks, i am still ALIVE. i am breathing and able to live and LOVE my people...that's all i really need.

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 12:55 PM 4 comments