Good morning all. I told myself that I would get back on track and “get my shit together” this week. That includes coming to my favorite sacred writing place to do this newsletter, early in the morning. It is a magical little spot in Saxapahaw and right now the cardinal flowers, bright red beauties, are blooming alongside the yellow cutleaf coneflowers (both native species and wonderful for bees) leaning in from the creek banks.
Today, TuesDay NewsDay is dedicated to all the teachers out there, my grandmother included. I had no idea how much work it is to be a teacher. I had no idea what it took to bring students to a place of understanding, as a guide, not a person who deposits information like a bank. It is an honor to find myself in this place, albeit, it is one of the most time-consuming, painstaking privileges I have ever been given. For damn sure, teachers are not paid what we are worth and if anything is a labor of love, that is what teachers (and admin) do every day. This week, we lost one of my favorite teachers in all of my many years of schooling. Her name was Sharon Rorbakken and I love her dearly. She taught the first class in which I enrolled at Appalachian State, “Gender, Race and Class” it was called. (See how I turned out…) She was a fiercely kind, passionate, and outrageously whip-smart person. Her life affected many of us growing up in a world uncertain of our direction. That is the teacher’s world. I am honored to have been a part of hers.
Quote: “Ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” -James Baldwin Sharon and I had a few long conversations on the phone after she moved back home to be closer to her family and then was diagnosed with cancer. Her voice was memorable and I can hear us discussing politics and love interchangeably.
Song: Lullaby (Goodnight my Angel) by the King’s Singers, (or you can listen on spotify) https://open.spotify.com/track/32ruFNP2hO8fPpfmRewbwV?si=4JHR_Ga7T12CFoiBeKvN1w I first heard this song the other night in a breath-work ritual workshop. I was mesmerized and inspired by these harmonies.
Dear Humans, It is a breezy shade in which I sit this morning. While it is later than I wanted, I couldn’t rise from bed this morning. Through COVID, I have had a very hard time waking up, even if I try to get to bed earlier, sleep seems always to be knocking. That is why I have decided to get up again and start walking every day. Perhaps I’m not moving enough or doing enough with my body and therefore can’t become tired. The semester in teaching began last week and this is the beginning of the second week of classes. Democracy Matters started the week before that. I have 20 schools from California to Alabama, and from Florida to North Carolina! I have four schools right now in NC. Central, UNC, NC State and Appalachian. Most of my campuses are online and we are changing our strategies to online organizing. Wish us luck!
Music has kept me company these last 6 months. It has been nice to do a weekly livestream on Tuesday nights. Tune in to either Instagram or Facebook at 8:30pm so I can sing (and read poetry) for you. Many folks have said how much they enjoy my music through these difficult times. I am honored to share it with everyone. Even more honored I am, to share it with those who need it.
The recording studio in my home is now ready for me to begin recording. I’m borrowing a nice microphone and purchased some equipment to make it work well (and easily) and to sound good too. Once my school and DM schedule are nailed down, I will be able to figure in recording time and get back to work on that record!Nothing can be set in stone anymore right now, so dates are all arbitrary. I hope to be moving into a tiny house next year around April also. I’m putting away a little bit of money a month for a down payment. Even named my savings account “Tiny House”. That tangibility really means something special.
My love to all of you, I hope everyone is finding time for self-care and at least one healthy thing for yourself a day. Mine is remembering to take my medicine and going for a morning walk. Let’s see if I can stick to that. 😉
A few weeks ago, I’d mentioned being a guest on Jonathan Byrd’s Shake Sugaree residency online from the Kraken. I had the date wrong, and I apologize if you went looking for it and couldn’t find it! I’ll either be on September 15 or 23rd – I will confirm that date asap.
Otherwise, I’ll see yall at 8:30 on Tuesday nights (that’s tonight) XOXO FB or Instagram.