We are more than just mountains and clouds
we are destined for loftier things
we are the star children of our ancestors’ dreams
My ancestors’ progeny led to me and I release the cords of oppression
and embrace the web of collective liberation
A rocking boat in a tidal wave of ideas
realizations and undeniable truths
We find ourselves knocking on Poseiden’s door and find him,
but he is not him
he is they
they are water
and like water, they flow through our fingers
cleanse our binary mold
etching away at its bindings
generation after generation
We give thanks for that powerful, gentle, water of life
Although I understand that it took a long time to arrive at now
every ghost and shadow who stands between us
I now release and call in
the clarity of justice
the freedom of music
I rest upon the souls who came before
and I activate those who come after.

This poem was inspired by a photo by @nature.esthete on Insta

Find Joshua Adam Photography, he’s rad.

And now for a life update! Who would have thought we would experience a pandemic? I know I didn’t see it coming, but it was one of my many epic fears since seeing the horror drama “28 Days Later” – in fact, I think that was the cutoff for me watching scary movies.

So many people have lost many precious loved ones and things during this time. My heart aches for all of it. Like many, this time has been rife with depression, increased anxiety and even hopelessness on days where the news was too much. Lighting candles almost daily for the dead and the sick, saying prayers of protection for the rest of us (I remained symptom and virus free thankfully.) and had to go about my business. Luckily, as a teacher, I could easily transfer my classes online. It took about 3x the effort and 3x the necessary understanding because I teach high-school students who are transferring to the college early, all the way to retirees who are looking for new jobs. Community colleges are awesome for diversity of experience and identity. Parents, helping their children learn from home and THEN having to sit and do their own online classes… I just can’t even imagine. How lucky and privileged I am – I couldn’t feel more compelled to give and to be of service.

THAT was the end of the Spring semester last year. The sudden transition was enormous, but we made it work somehow. For some, it didn’t work at all. Some gave up on school. Some thrived without having to be constrained by a classroom schedule. Some ached for the classroom and suffered without person to person instruction. I thrived only because I’d been doing remote teaching and training for 10 years prior. Some teachers did not have it so easy – the learning curve was short. I found my groove and life went on. I lost two of my dearest mother figures last year. Tuesday was Amy’s birthday. Mary Jane passed before the pandemic hit the United States. I hold them in my heart and try to ask them for Spirit advice in moments when I feel weak and confused. Reflecting on all of this is overwhelming, but, I turned in my grades Wednesday for the Spring semester of this year. While the next summer semesters will continue to be online (enrollment was down so I don’t actually teach a class the first 1/2 of the Summer – that is not so good for my pocketbook, but good for my time to create and make art and goodies.), I will begin teaching in the classroom again in the Fall. Autumn will be ripe with new beginnings, we hope, and I will get to see my students’ faces again. That will be awesome af.

So, speaking of making things, the pandemic gave me some inspiration to begin a new side hustle. Resilience Apothecary and Justice Lovers’ Tarot. I’ve been doing tarot card readings since I was 16 (professionally since 2019) and decided to make my personal growth and trauma work into a whole medicine cabinet of goodies. The Resilience Apothecary started because my friend Alfie said she’d buy my Florida Water if I sold it at the Freehand Market in Saxapahaw. I started to make some and bottle it and that led to many other botanical magicks. I made some divine smelling hand sanitizer and little travel sized Florida waters! Soon, I will begin making medicine bottles of hand-made local wild flower essences. I’m making sets of them to attune to each chakra into balance. The subtle vibrational energies of emotional dis-ease we experience can be assisted by working with the flower’s energetic imprint on Spring water. It is then preserved with white brandy. I’m super stoked and designing the labels now.

In the next week, I’ll be offering 15-20$ readings for friends and family to build up the tarot business aspect of Resilience Apothecary. Truly, this stuff feeds my soul and while I used to feel much shame around my spiritualism (I never talked about it with anyone because of past experiences of ridicule, judgement, and teasing.), I do not feel shame any longer. I give myself permission to follow a path that makes me happy. This work is not work; it makes me jovial, creatively inspired and satisfied. I love the feeling of making something that tickles and embraces the senses.

If you’re interested, I’ll be having the grand opening of my Etsy store soon where you can purchase the goods and even schedule tarot readings all in once place. ❤

I’m heading off for now! I have two deadlines passed which need attending to. I’m writing content for W.I.L.D. Magazine – you can subscribe here!

I’m also writing my last report of the year for Democracy Matters. The students made it through the pandemic, keeping their. chapters intact and some even built new chapters. Online organizing became easier in some ways and more difficult in others. Social media took off, but attendance and participation in meetings dwindled. We are ALL looking forward to getting back on campus in the Fall. Follow DM on instagram!

TATA ForNow! TTFN in text speak. or TTYL. WTF is TXT SPK? It’s the shortening of the English language, disturbing in ways I can’t decribe. (As a teacher who has to read papers written by Siri dictation, spell check is a long-forgotten memory and punctuation is now in the form of hashtags and … goddess I could go on, but will refrain.). Until we meet again, “I’ll talk to ya when I’m supposed to!”

Love and yours,
ALM

Hand-painted loose burning herbs label and jar. ❤

Alone in my thoughts

without you

The river rose above its banks

as the rain in the night passed by

prints from night animals

and driftwood

still fresh where they lie

I remembered Your enchanting smile

and mountainous heart

distant

memories to me now

The black-capped chickadee and cardinal

as captivating to me

as fire to a cold wanderer

My heart warms with the thought of you

And I move on

Like you did

Like the still raging river

Dearest readers,

I thought I knew what busy was before this semester. My time-space continuum has always been up in the sky and often missing some continuity… but dang. I want COVID to be over and for us to be able to come out into the open, around other humans, without the anxiety of “I might die” creeping in the back of our minds. Then I can only look at a screen if I want to, not because I have to and teach in a classroom where my students and I can laugh together.

The world has been in uproar about elections, the environment, racism, bigotry of all kinds, domestic terrorism by right-wing extremists ready to take down the country in their G.I. Joe gear militia nonsense, badass civil rights leaders passing (John Lewis, RBG to name a couple…), and COVID-19. Damn! Guess what!? We are resilient, a hard to kill lot. Ask Mother Earth. LOL *funny, not funny*. Surely, to Her we are worse than roaches, bedbugs and termites combined! Yet, I am of another mind also when it comes to this rollercoaster, rife with ridiculous radical retrogression rigamarole. Part of me believes, in the very moment, that we just ARE. Things just are. We exist and that’s that. This viewpoint is both liberating and beautiful, nihilist and fruitless. Liberating and beautiful because it allows for me to live in the moment and choose to see life as a gift. Nihilist and fruitless because that vision allows me to sink into a hole of despair. Today, I choose liberating and beautiful and quote some advice from Mr. Lipbone Redding. I can recite it to myself in moments of fear and anxiety, “I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.” It is certainly a privileged statement, when I think of families imprisoned in internment camps or nearly perishing in boats escaping war, yet, no matter who you are or what you are experiencing, your perspective is the only thing you have.

Your perspective is your only freedom. Your perspective can save your life and your perspective can kill you. Today, I choose to believe I AM exactly where I am supposed to be – anchoring myself to the moment, with all its imperfections, inherited, unearned privileges, and its beauty. I give thanks for the divine, the souls in this life I’ve encountered, and this life, filled with so many amazing opportunities, every moment, to do better and to choose love over fear or bitterness. Thank you. Thank You. Thank YOU.

I’ve suggested reading the 4 agreements to probably hundreds of people by now. It’s a book that seriously calls out the way our lives can go, however we choose. It’s a life-path to which it is definitely worth subscribing. “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz

On to the news and away from my habitual pontificating! Soon, now that school is almost over, I will be going back into my little homemade recording studio and laying down tracks for this album #SurrenderingToTheSacred ~ I’m also going to be releasing a single that invites you to see the world through the eyes of a graveyard. …a lovely, ghostly vision.

Join me on Tuesday evenings for my 8:30pm livestream on either Facebook or Instagram! I love you!

Your grateful friend,

Anita

This week in pictures!

The back of the album cover! (Names of songs and credits will be added!)
A full moon and lunar eclipse ritual where I severed ties with my sugar addiction and learn a LOT more about my purpose in reflection.
Spirit sees me at this moment as the Queen of Wands (mastering confidence, fiery femininity, calm in crisis, generous but fierce, vibrant and determined) coming into this venture. In order to get unstuck (which I have been) I need to incorporate the lessons of the 8 of Swords to tend my inner fire – be clever and think outside the box – approach the situation with openness and curiosity. The Spirit of Sagittarius season has gifted me with the medicine of the Queen of Swords and I can call upon the virtues of Athene and her owl, critical thinking and creativity – to open myself, channeling her higher wisdom. I need to be strict with myself, yet internally soft and warm, with care for my highest good. Now is a good time to study, write, channel and think. I can offer the world the embodiment of the Strength card – matriarchal consciousness – as opposed to the Emperor (this is the Emperor year and this is my Strength year!) I can share the lessons learned of tending to the sacred flame, keeping the hearth fires burning for the benefit of the city in honor and invocation of transformation toward a new, awakened awareness of the return of the Goddess, the divine Feminine so that we may heal the damage of our binary, patriarchy dominated history. I hope to teach how to make contact with the subconscious for those who wish to heal, through my music and art, teaching and dedication to justice – to embrace the power of the priestess within me.
Advice from my future self.

Dedication: This weeks newsletter is dedicated to Harry Phillips. I am honored to know him. He literally wrote the book on native wildflower propagation. https://uncpress.org/book/9780807841310/growing-and-propagating-wild-flowers/ He is an amazing human: kind, generous, thoughtful, an unparalleled listener and takes the cake for best garden in town, literally all of them. Harry and I have spent much time together of late when, after several months of dealing with pain, he went in for an operation and is now home in recovery. (Details are personal, of course.). I had the honor of spending time with Harry through the process and am the better for it. He is sacred to my community and a dedicated person of service and love. So grateful for you and glad you are now home and healing.

Quote: “Isle of View” – the note my dear, late friend Mary Jane would write on all the gifts she ever gave me. I love you too Mary Jane. The losses of you and Amy have been ever-present in my daily existence, just beneath the surface of keeping it together. My world is certainly not as bright without the two of you. Sending love out there to whatever farthest galaxy of isles you may be upon.

Song: Woman of Heart and Mind – Joni Mitchell – https://youtu.be/4rG8qxouRL4 “I am a woman of heart and mind, with time on her hands, no child to raise… you come to me like a little boy and I give you my scorn and my praise… you think I’m like your mother, or another lover, or your sister, or the queen of your dreams… or just another silly girl, when love makes a fool of me…”. Sometimes when I hear this song, I think of other people. Sometimes, I think of me. This whole album, the live versions of some of these songs… stunning and mezmerizing. Here’s a link to the entire album: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF_4fzpgIptXrbCem3WkttAEexBVFQ_Lj When I hear Joni Mitchell’s music, I think of my own experience of being a woman.

Dear Humans, I write to you from my bed. The window is open and the cool, night air is flowing in through the window. Pepita the beautiful and soft, muted tortie kitty is laying on my left arm as I type. She is purring, or as my grandfather would say, “She’s got her motor runnin’.”

Tonight, I decided to forego the presidential debate, cause fuck that. I have absolutely no desire to watch those two go at it. I will, however, have a front row seat and a bowl of popcorn at the ready next Tuesday night at 9pm EST to watch Kamala Harris debate with Mike Pence. THAT is going to be an interesting evening because, seriously, when was the last time you heard Pence say a word? Mostly he’s just standing behind Donald, looking smug. I can’t bring myself to listen to either of them, Trump or Biden speak. When I vote, I will be voting for a cabinet of people who hopefully will hopefully bring some heart and compassion back into the White House, it will certainly not be for Biden himself – I really don’t like him and I feel cheated because Bernie would smash this dude. If I seem a bit negative, it’s because I’m pissed, more pissed than before, when Bernie’s chance was stolen by the STATUS QUO-maintaining republicrats (republic rats, lol, that was what spell-check wanted me to put there). In all honesty, I am ready to see the whole thing crash and burn. We need to vision, together, somehow, a place where we can, seriously answer dear Rodney’s plea and ALL GET ALONG. That’s all I have to say about that.

Tonight, I sang to my friends and decided to write this newsletter instead. Last week, I had to support my bestie who lost her dear feline. That’s a tragedy. I know that feeling; it’s the worst, especially if it’s sudden. I’m glad we were together and broke bread in memory of Juno, the cat who turned Maggie into a cat lady. 🙂

I’d been feeling burnt out. However, few weeks ago, I took a rejuvenating trip up to the mountains. We trotted around waterfalls and made bangin’ campfire dinners. This dude is an amazing human and I’m feeling a relaxed sort of love lately. It has put a sweet, calm and cozy sheen on everything that otherwise sucks (insane amounts of work and sitting at a computer, temporal differentiation struggles, and nature deprivation).

Music has taken a back seat. It kind of sucks. I miss it. I felt relief tonight, along with trepidation, when getting back into the swing of my Tuesday online music mini-concert. I like the candle-light, parlor feel of the studio and plan to make some music for the album in there weekly, now that I’ve penciled it into my schedule. Wish me luck.

Wish us all luck. These are Goddamn hard times. Let me tell you though, we are not only going through some tremendous dismantling, destructive, and disorienting times, but we are also making the way for a higher consciousness, immense learning and massive changes, unveiling of what was once hidden. How we handle these – with courage or with strife – will determine the future of our existence on this planet.

Today, I may seem down, but that’s not a constant – I choose LIFE. I choose joy. I choose you.

Love,

ALM

Upcoming Shows: Tuesdays on Instagram or Facebook, live at 8:30. OCt 7th will be a special 30 minute show so I can tune into the Vice Prez debates. Get’cherr popcorn maw, we are gonna have us a brawl.

This week in pictures:

TuesDayNewsDay Vol 2, Issue 12 ~ September 15, 2020

Dedication: today’s Tuesday Newsday is dedicated to Jonathan Byrd. Back in 2002, I worked for a man named Gary. Gary lost someone dear to him and I accompanied him to the funeral. I didn’t know who Jonathan Byrd was at that time, however upon hearing him sing at this funeral, I knew he was very special. I don’t actually remember who it was that it passed, but I remember hearing Jonathan sing. Maybe that’s messed up of me, maybe it’s just my normal human brain… more attuned to music.

Here and now, sitting up on the banks of the Haw River, many years later, I have the privilege and opportunity to share my music with Jonathan Byrd and his amazing audience tomorrow night. Only a few people know of my goals, because I don’t share them often, but one of my goals for this year was to sing for Jonathan Byrd‘s weekly residency, The Shake Sugaree Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys show hosted by The Kraken, our local dive bar. I actually wrote it down on a piece of paper with my other goals… A few of months ago, I ran into Jonathan while waiting to perform for the John Prine tribute. Due to Covid, it’s kind of not cool to hug people, but later I expressed to him and several others that I wish I could’ve given out hugs. That was the first time I had been around a whole bunch of people for several weeks. Jonathan said that he wished he would’ve been able to hear me sing, and without a beat, I said, “well maybe I could sing for your show one day…” thinking way into the future, maybe on the ground, in real life, post Covid. After a few agonizing minutes of waiting for his response via Facebook messenger, he responded, “Can you do July 25?”. I was flabbergasted because I half expected him to say no. No, you don’t have an album and I really don’t want to host someone who can’t have something to showcase… No you can’t perform, for some other piddly reason my mind made up for me… But he said yes and I am so excited.

In my excitement, I reached out to my friend Spencer who is also one of the videographers for Jonathan‘s weekly show. I love Spencer and he also said yes to play those videos with me. What a treat!? Spencer is an amazing songwriter. His voice is captivating and his musical talents soar out of this world.

So tomorrow night, at 7 o’clock when the show begins, join me on Facebook as I will be starting a watch party for people to watch it with me. There will be two videos of my own songs in between the many amazing sets of Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys’ music. I’m stoked and honored. One of the songs is a product of Jonathan’s song writing workshop. I recommend it to anyone who likes to write songs!

Quote: “Jump, and the lily pad will appear.” This quote was on a friend’s mom’s fridge and it’s etched into my memory. Perhaps that is what I did when I asked Jonathan to sing for his show…

Song: The Sea and the Sky, this is one of my favorite Jonathan Byrd songs. https://jonathanbyrd.bandcamp.com/track/the-sea-and-the-sky

Dear Humans,

Thank you so much for supporting me during this musical journey. I don’t have much to say this evening, I have been teaching and organizing and protesting for the last several months. We have much work to do in this world to make it a better place, I know I am doing my small part. I hope you enjoy the show tomorrow! Thank you Jonathan for having me, I look forward to enjoying your music and reminiscing about the past in hopes of a future that includes dancing at the Kraken.

Love,

ALM

JByrd blog for this week: http://www.jonathanbyrd.com/blog/2020/9/7/dancing-ovation

Dedication: The Migrant Farmers, The Gardeners, The Land Cultivators – Those who feed us all. We must remember from where our food and sustenance come, for we are nothing without the land – we exist on stolen soil and call it private property with arbitrary borders bound to arbitrary power – we can start acknowledging from there and create a discourse together, from now on.

“Farm workers thin lettuce crops work in in San Luis, Arizona. (AP Photo/Paul Connors), (AP Photo/Paul Connors) ‘Living in crowded dorms with no space to quarantine the sick, farm laborers are “petrified.”'” –

This is also dedicated to my best friend Maggie and my dear friend Harry who feeds our community and themselves and are exemplary humans I am honored to know and call friends.

Maggie (right) with Helen (left) – those are some sweet potatoes

Quote: “Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” Mary Oliver and subsequently, “When large slices of the demos feel as if their voice is not being heard, they feel helpless, impotent and turn on themselves and turn on each other… Every generation is wrestling what it means to be human and how one takes democracy seriously, and has to accent the underside of their present moment, in light of the past, to ensure that the future can be a little bit better, maybe even qualitatively better than the present.” Dr. Cornel West

Song: For the dreamers: Somewhere Over The Rainbow ~ the divine, Ms. Sarah Vaughan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=389fPqjTi9M

Dear Humans: Today is Tuesday and I have felt like a flapping fish out of water (forgot to take my medicine… Captain Distracto… Passionate Multi-Tasker… Obsessive Student… Crazed Teacher… Mad Artist! I am teaching, was accepted into a graduate level 5-week intensive class “Teaching for Black Lives”, standing daily on the street corner with my sign, highlighting police brutality with my neighbors, falling in love with myself and my Spiritual path, doing some yoga, making friends with dedication, making art, reading tarot cards, making matchbooks and frequenting the post office. I have amazing news. On Wednesday, the 29th, I’ll be performing 2 of my songs as the virtual half-time guest of Jonathan Byrd and the Shake Sugaree Global Pandemic Live Stream. I cannot even begin to describe what an honor this is. I’ve been listening to Jonathan Byrd since I was 23… I’m 37… that’s a long time!

Love to everyone, I’d wax poetic here about everything into which I’ve been diving, but I’ll spare you and share another quote of Dr. Cornel West, “Democracy is like the art form of jazz: You better find your voice, accent your individuality in community so you can contribute to the high quality of the collective performance.
Find your voice!
Each citizen: dig deep into the precincts of your soul and examine the suburbs of your voice and find your voice and get it out, not just your self-interest but your voice that balances enlightened self-interest and public interest and the public good. (We aren’t just talking about votes in Florida..).” 2014, Dr. Cornel West speaks at University of Washington

This week in pictures:

My reading from this morning.
Yesterday at the magic rock, a skipper says “Good morning!”
Me on the magic rock yesterday and I say, “Dang, this pen is dead. I must go to the car and retrieve another one.”

Upcoming shows: Every Tuesday at 8:30 – live on Instagram and Facebook! ❤

This Thursday on Facebook, live John Prine Tribute called “Souvenirs” , recorded live at the Cat’s Cradle: https://www.facebook.com/events/3112393915542674?__mref=mb

July 29th – Shake Sugaree Residency with Jonathan Byrd (OMGGGODDESS!) https://www.facebook.com/events/671491593707052

Just sayin’