Thursday, July 11, 2013

Returning to the City

I haven't blogged in a "minute." See Urban Dictionary: "Shaneeqwa I ain't seed yo black ass in a MINUTE!"

Urban Dictionary.

I left Edmonds, WA tonight at 10:44pm. I flew down 220th St. SW -(I think) and then jumped on I-5 South headed back to Seattle. I am now typing in Ballard, WA at 11:06pm. I visited Edmonds because life changes and Diego will start Kindergarten, his father lives in Lynnwood blah blah blah life goes on right? I visited the quaint little town of Edmonds and it was calm and comforting. There were little coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques and I heard a train or two. I could do it. I could live there for a bit.

When I turned left onto 14th Avenue NW and then right onto 64th Avenue NW I knew I was home. I parked my car and as I walked to my apartment the street was alive. People were still walking dogs at 10:45pm. I saw neighbors watching TV in the fancy townhouses across the street from me that sell in the $400Ks (sob sob die). I saw a girl on her laptop, I heard another neighbor hock a loogie: (a large slimy glob of spit, mixed with nose snot, that is formed by coughing up and hocking whats in your throat. cooks in restaurants are notorius for making secret deposits on patrons food I'll take a cheeseburger with french fries, hold the loogie.)

This is the city life. This is my home. This is where my heart is.

I don't quite know how I'm going to pack up and leave this place (in fact I'm still a bit in denial). I hope it will only be for a short while. Maybe I will grow to love the quieter and calm Edmonds (if I can find a nice place there). God help me if I have to reside in Lynnwood anywhere close to highway 99 (sorry friends who live close or in Lynnwood). I'm a snob I own it, but I also want to pay for happiness.

I don't know how people pick up and go. Maybe it doesn't feel like home to them. Maybe they traveled and found a new home and their heart grew fond and agreed to stay.

Seattle, Queen Anne, downtown Seattle, Dick's with my grandpa Hubert, Uptown Cinema, the #2, #7, #13, all the #70s, #15 and #18, Cafe Ladro, Cafe Minnies Tomato Basil Soup, Kerry Park, Crapitol Hill, Pupusas and Taco Trucks, Ballard Bridge, Dravus Avenue, Big Howe, Little Howe, Saladays, Salmon Bay Park, Monkey Bridge, Swedish Ballard ER (FML) S&M Market, Parsons Garden, Cupcake Royale in Ballard, Old Ballard Avenue-every shop, every inch, every old cobble stone of Ballard Avenue-it is all me. Every part of QA I know. When I walk there now I look at all the new and I remember and sometimes smell the original and authentic Queen Anne. It's still there with me. And of course Fremont Sunday Market and all of Fremont. How could I forget my Fremont?

All that I have said above....It is my life. It is art and alive and hippies and bicycle helmets with viking horns and street parties and Cars to Go and iphones and Instagram and crocs and triangle brass jewelry, and everything trendy and coffee coffee coffee. It's mental illness walking around asking for change or talking to himself every morning at Starbucks. He's in a winter coat and it's 90 degrees out. My heart is here. And if, I mean when (sob) I do heart will stay here.

To be continued.....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Little Pieces

Little pieces of you.
Little pieces of me.
Broken black tea bag
Little bits everywhere-
Like My heart.
I miss your hands.
Little pieces of charcoal.
I imagine you sketching.
It’s warm and you smell slightly of nutmeg.
Only I’m not there.
Eyes closed
The salty sea again.
Little pieces of:
Your love, praying, writing, smiling, laughing.
The world is still bright and beautiful
My favorite colors, teal and fuchsia,
Comfort me,
now that you are not here.
You are scattered everywhere before my eyes.
You are in everything I do.
Little man please leave me.
Please take all those little pieces…
With you.

Patient Love by Passenger

Thursday, November 15, 2012


No matter what happens...
Don't ever
give up

"So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane."

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Love Day. Amor. Paz. El derecho de Votar.

"Let's wait for the snow
to bury us in silence,
to freeze all that aches." -Tyler Knott

I sit alone with my heart.
Bahn Mi with tofu.
I hear
the Pitter patter of my Soul.
His words-Tyler Knott-They have changed my world.
Echos of little D's voice make me smirk.
Cilantro and pickled carrots.
Monday nights and one painted nail...I sit and write.
Dreams of making Epic documentaries with Spike Lee and also winning the lottery.
One Soul dies and another is born (my uncle passed today at 1:38pm).
And I wonder if the dead can hear us and see what we do behind closed doors? I always wonder that.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Do you know anything about it? I learn more about it every day.
I want bird tattoos and words to cover my body,
I'm not ready yet.
I want to wear teal heels and wear ruffles of all kinds.
I dream of
It lives inside me and sometimes I can't draw or write or explain it.
it's a beautiful barbed wire fence-I keep climbing
over and over again.
Monday Love Day.
I saw my Iranian love last night.
I fluffed his curls, kissed his nose and pushed his glasses back to correct position.
I don't have the blues today.
I'm blessed and exhausted.
My world is brighter every day.
You got Love?

"Blend and bleed and spill and stain. I am watching, I am waiting, and I see. Let it drip, and when it does let it land on me. You know, you will always know when it’s color my life needs."

Orange and Blue and Purple and Black and Yellow Sunset (by TylerKnott)

"A slice of life and a stolen moment. These boots fit some feet and those feet belong to some legs and those legs belong to a body and that body has been carried by them to places I cannot even imagine. What streets have those soles seen, what fingers find the holes to pull them up? I wonder what secrets you’d spin if speak you could, I wonder what stories, I wonder what dreams and broken promises, I wonder which were kept?"

Boots & Ceramics Still Life (by TylerKnott)

Friday, July 20, 2012

34 Years

34 tears this year
more hope than fear
my life is more clear
Self love. finally.
it's pure.
I ran to the edge of a cliff
with his heart.
Whatever happens
I have today
I have now.

"There will come a time you'll see
with no more tears
and love will not break your heart
and dismiss your fears
get over your hill and see
what you find there
with grace in your heart
and flowers in your hair." ~Mumford and Sons

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Safe Place

There is a place that is filled with the energy of heavy souls and the giggles of girls that grew up together; Girls that learned from each other about life and culture, boys, food, travel and the meaning of family and good friends.

This safe place is filled with people I never would have met if my life didn't take the turn it did when I was 10 years old and we moved to Queen Anne Hill.

Our younger days were filled with tomfoolery, piano lessons, choir practice, Esther's amazing cooking, Bill's cigar's, new trinkets, new diets, crass talk, and his openness about life and living.

When I am with the Du-Grafs I am in a safe place and they each hold a significant place in my heart.

As we've grown into our adult women skin we have become mothers, writers, teachers, artists and jazz singers.

We've moved away from our childhood homes, we traveled to faraway lands. We've taught in prisons and we've seen the other side of the United States that many never will.

When we return from our life journeys, we reunite in our hometown of QA where whispers of our past fill the warm summer air. We kiss and tell stories over good food, jazz or hip hop in the background and Bill's cackle fills my ear every time.

My life would not be the same without these lovely souls. I know that for sure.
I am inspired by each one of them and I am grateful for their kindness and authenticity over the years.

My Farabella, Isabella, Lauren, Esther and Bill (and Marcelina)...I love you grande...I always have...I always will.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

El Amor

I'm supposed to be in bed, but I just jumped out of bed because I have these thoughts and emotions and inspiration and tears and it must all be written down. now. today. And so here I am....blogging.

I watched the Seattle Channel tonight and saw so many different artists it was beautiful. They asked one choreographer to describe himself in one word. He said that he couldn't and that was for others to decide.

If I had to describe my life in one word from beginning to now or if I had to describe in one word what life means to me it would be: LOVE.

Some never have it, they don't know it, they don't own it, they don't know the smell, they yearn for it, search for it, others can't forget it, it scares them, burns them etc.

So many need it...they just do and it's so easy to extend your hand or words or the end, for me at least,it's all about love.

When my maternal grandmother was on her death bed in her 90s she looked into my mother's eyes and said, "do you think my mommy loved me?" Some never ask and she did and I'm so glad. As much as it breaks my heart...that's all she needed, wanted and deserved.

There are so many people in my life that I love passionately, intensely and forever.

I've always loved like this and I always will. Even though I carry around this magnificent heart it wasn't until recently that I found out what I deserved. Something clicked, a weight was lifted and once again I was never the same.