BEING FAITH BANNER

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By bahafaith, Apr 6 2018 03:57AM

Shadows are necessary, not necessarily frightful

Dynamically cast as witness protection to light

In shade, in night

Bearing witness to TRUTH when in obscurity

Optimally, a hiding and guiding space, for We -

The weary even leery in our training or gleaning

Peace under the shadow of the All-Mighty

Wisdom from the towering spirits of ancestors

Like Malcolm, Maya and Martin, king of dreams

Signposts of hope when yearning feels denied

In their shadows we are fashioned and inspired

On paths too great and too dark to tread alone

Until the light within is stronger than the doubts

And we rise and shine forth like the noon day

- exposed in splendor as created



By bahafaith, Feb 3 2018 05:39AM

Discover your heartbeat ….



Love’s Extension


Every human heart counts.

The beat is just its ticking.

Its panting to be loved interconnected;

Independent in its functioning;

Yet dependent on another and on others;

Free to choose who but not free to deny that it needs -

Someone, anyone at times, to feel counted;

Every human heart counted must count,

As a beat in the heart of another;

Cyclical and reciprocal;

For beats are in twos;

Every beat beats for me while it beats for you.

As every human heart having counted, counts;

For someone – to someone;

No heart beats alone.



Jesus rides to his fate …


Impossible Preservation


Knotted to a tree of love – an ass

Ever at a crossroads, forbidden

To stray from the awesome folly,

Of giving unrewarded, and void of gratitude in perpetuity.

An ass cannot untie itself from love’s bondage;

Even if it wills strongly to be free.

Never ridden, exposed to the elements, and vulnerable to abuse,

The ass remains over time, fastened in will, and out of will,

Until the ultimate bearer of its usage collides with its destiny,

Heralding actionable words of fate and dependent liberty:

“Set it free, the Greatest Love has need of it!”

Blessed are those asses held in restraint until ridden in the name of LOVE!

By bahafaith, Jan 3 2018 01:03PM

Happy 2018 Everybody!


When you grow up in a small country like The Bahamas, poets are far off things. Writers and musicians have the potential to be successful, and by that I mean wealthy, in first world countries only. And therefore they are to be admired by the residents of small island developing states but not viewed as realistic role models. Lawyers, doctors, accountants, businessmen with illegal starts - these are what you aspire to in the name of financial stability.


My father died when I was twenty, and months after as I was falling apart, I wrote my first poem. Some of it went, “Every now and then a dreamer has a vision; and through this vision born, hope is kept alive; that what is now will not always be; for in the dreamers mind, she dreams of liberty. Every now and then, a sigh becomes a song; a song of peace, hope, love; a song inspired by God; that what is now will not always be; but even now, she can be free. So dreamer don't stop dreaming, and find yourself a song; while pregnant with your vision, sing it all night long….”


I’ll share the rest of it some other time. Plus I had no idea then that I would turn out to be a poet. A poet!?


Even then however, there was a figure whose books and interviews became a constant coincidental turn up in my life. People started giving me her books, professors started referencing her poetry. And I kid you not during every painfully difficult moment in my life, she showed up through others or television.


I remember in 1999, while in Law School in England, and too embarrassed to leave my dorm room with a black eye, the Oprah Winfrey Show became something I lived for on the four BBC television channels that were available at that time. And, well you know how Oprah felt about Maya Angelou, the both of them came through to inspire me to get back up in life.


Still I had no inkling that I would later on become a poet.


And then, I accepted that I was a poet, if I wanted to be. Except my country had taught me that it wasn't something to aspire to. But the work of Maya Angelou, in life and death, kept me on a path of authenticity until I became proud enough to accept myself, as writer and poet. And as soon as I loved the poet within me, Maya Angelou became a notable figure, not so far removed, whose life work gave me reason at every turn to keep on rising.


Dr. Angelou Maya died at age 86 on May 28, 2014 while I was ghost writing an autobiography. I had always held a secret wish to meet her someday on this side of life. I was saddened that I didn’t, given the level of inspiration she brought to my journey. It was then that I wrote a poem, a mediocre one first, and then a masterpiece (http://beingfaith.com). In that exercise, and in her honor, I pledged to continue giving my best to the written word, even if I am never discovered or find financial security through it.


Then the summer of 2016 happened. I decided to spend my birthday with my Hurst siblings just outside of Detroit in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We had a good time but Bobby had to head out a couple days after to tour with Diana Krall in Europe. Just before he took off though, he had to put some finishing touches on his Album, ‘Black Current Jam’. We had begun talks about doing a spoken word album one day (he and Jill still have 10 other poems to consider for an album). But in that moment we were all focused on helping him get in studio to complete, ‘Black Current Jam’.


It just happened. A bottle of Appleton Rum downed and a whole lot of smack talk, turned into Bobby asking me if I wanted to read a poem over some badass impromptu music which started with Pepe Espinosa on Congo drums. Jill had the poems that I wrote for Maya in her phone. Those poems had turned into a book by the way. And half drunk, late into the afternoon, in a small studio, I recorded for Bobby. He, more than I did, liked it.


I agreed to that track making it on his album, really in continued honor to Maya Angelou. It was another way for her to live on, through another expression - spoken word over Jazz music. I thought she would like that. And the rest as they say is herstory, ok history. The album launches in the United States next month, and Downbeat Magazine (www.downbeat.com) has already given it 4.5 out of 5 stars.


When I think about giving up on writing, I always arrive at the summation that one day, my work is going to encourage some other writer to give it her best. Because we are the ones who birth real inspiration in our world. We are the ones who push the threshold of possibility, we artists and inventors. We are the ones who eventually change the expectations in a small developing country or expand for dreamers the reality of what can be - mistakes and all.


That’s why Maya. That’s what she was for me. And that’s how the track, ‘Two Beats and a Breath’ made it on Robert Hurst’s ‘Black Current Jam’!


Check us out!


Authentically Yours …


Faith


By bahafaith, Dec 20 2017 04:41AM

Bob Marley, greatest Musician to ever emerge from the Caribbean (my opinion) left for us, among other lines, “One good thing about music, when it hits, you feel no pain … so hit me with music.”


Wasn't his most accurate philosophy but we understand what he was attempting to say. He had been born before the soundtrack to the movie, “Waiting to Exhale” so he had never experienced a woman, in her kitchen, with wine in one hand, and a spoon in a pint of butter pecan ice-cream in the other. She uses the spoon to double as a mic, as she cries uncontrollably, with the bottle of Tums in view. “Why does it hurt so bad?” - Whitney Houston, can hit with unforgiving pain as the jilted woman continues to try to get over that CHEATING ASS JUST EX-BOYFRIEND, who she stalked for days until she finally caught him with his “co-worker.”


Yes! If it’s the right song at the right moment or the wrong song at that most difficult moment, music can be as assaulting as good “you know what” hitting all the right corners with a thrust that is unrelenting in its force and pace - it just hurts so good; or it can come in like a wrecking ball to feelings trying their best to appear collected.


But this isn't what young Nester Marley meant. He was channeling the purity of all music. Unlike potentially abusive arms or violent intention in word and deed or the pain dealt in figurative and literal blows between one human and another, Bob wanted us to choose music as a weapon of choice. If we needed a weapon at all, music was the best way to strike out in protest, resistance, conflict or love. “So hit me with music - hit me with music!”


His was an appeal to a recently Independent Jamaica mired in ethnic, political and social conflict, just like the many countries of Africa for which Marley used music to address injustice, oppression, apartheid, and the consequential violence. Bob Marley’s melodic philosophy was an ingenious way for both the abused and the abusers to pause for a moment, if only in secret. They could rock away to the captivating rhythm of this modern enlightened prophet who was so emancipated mentally and spiritually.


I harp on the power of music because of its medicinal soothing in my own life. But as soul stirring and courage evoking as music is, it pales in comparison to love - real love, unaided and unconditional. Presumptively, some would argue that music is a language of love. And we can concede this as truth.


But in this yuletide season let’s just take a moment to borrow Bob Marley’s musical proposition and apply it to love. So, it would read, “One good thing about love, is when it hits, you feel no pain.” All kinds of heads just started shaking in disagreement.


I just caused you to start thinking about so many expressions of hurt and pain caused in the name of love. We can go all the way back to childhood parental neglect and abuse, to the siblings and friends that bullied or teased the hell out of us. And let’s not even consider the failed and successful romantic relationships for which we still carry wounds the size of a bear trap gone off in the middle of nightmarish forest.


None of those memories however tied to love, was actually love. They are all examples of the frailty of imperfect human relations, instances where love should have been present but was set aside for toxic emotions. Love was actually the stuff that swooped in afterwards and ensured for those of us who survived or are surviving, that we found the hope and faith to hold on for better days.


Look, we don’t come with a manual on love when we are born. No instructions, guides, warnings, dosage, road maps etc; we just instinctively recognize and respond to it. It calls out to us from birth actually, in the behaviors toward us that make us feel safe, joyful, courageous, and inspired about life. Love plants seeds which overtime yield internal fruit; forms anchors which hold us to safe harbors; and eventually if we let it, love of self becomes our internalized barometers for when it is truly present externally.


I guess what I’m trying to say, is that when love takes root inside of us, when we experience it within ourselves first, in a wholistic way, that is when we can testify to the fact that when love hits, when real love hits, you feel no pain. The irony is that a whole lot of pain is usually what gets us to this grand realization.


Two gifts in life, I wish for all of us then, on planet earth, in this moment of our continued human development - that love and music knock us the hell out! I mean that. If something has to beat up on us, or if we have to expend energy dealing blows on others, let it be the words and melodies of the music which lifts us up, and may they ride on the wings of genuine love which soothes our broken pieces and helps us to come to know the Divine.


Bob Marley really only reiterated the one universal message that all of the sages and gurus and seers and seekers and prophets of times gone, times present, and times to come conclude for all humankind: beauty and peace at the core is faith in the impossible, hope in the unbelievable, and love for what connects us all to one another. Choose them as your philosophies. Choose them as your weapons!


And make music (a joyful noise) about it.


Authentically Yours …


Faith


By bahafaith, Sep 19 2017 09:51PM

I was sitting with a friend a few weeks ago, when the song, “All we need is love” by the Beetles started playing in the background of a television commercial. And in the state of a split consciousness (meaning I was present in my reality but my mind had inadvertently focused on the song), I said to myself, “If I do live forever, I hope it is in the note or lyric of a beautiful song.” So moved by the thought, I immediately shared it with my friend.


My journey had inadvertently led me to the power of music - not just its melody, but lyrics. I had by virtue of birth in a small country, been socialized in my formative years to grow up to be a lawyer. There is where “smart” people ended up in life. There is where intellect was respected, and rewarded. But here I am starting a blog to support a website to highlight my poetic contribution on a jazz album - a jazz album by an American Bassist who has played with and for the greatest musicians in the world, garnering 7 grammy awards along the way.


But moreover, my very spirituality had come to be moved by music, and my intellect had joined it. I had without thinking come to be convicted that eternal life could be found in the note or lyric of a beautiful song. And how exactly had I come to this point in my split conscious introspection?


A long time ago, well, that’s relative …. Seventeen or so years ago after finishing law school in England, I found myself caught up in the general elections campaign season of my small country, The Bahamas. It provided a wonderful escape from the fact that I didn't want to be a lawyer, and that I couldn't define if a deep spiritual call on my life meant that I was to be a Priest. I did apply to Seminary.


I was really searching for what the words of my dying father a few years before meant, when he challenged me never to settle for the status quo expectation of success in a small country i.e. being a lawyer. He had after all died at the age of 54, from incessant cigarette smoking which was a by product of his depression. He was a lawyer who never uncovered what to do with his creative and philosophical proclivity. He challenged me just before his death to search for what I was born to authentically do with my life, no matter how long, no matter how difficult - because if I found it, he said, I would one day shake the world.


He didn't say that I would almost lose my mind, and that the status quo in my small country would judge harshly, an aging woman with obvious talent, always on the run in search of an ever evasive goal, when it was obvious that she should be a lawyer.


In all of the dodging and jiving, and hustling and unsettledness of an inward search which at times came off as mental illness externally, I stumbled upon a giftedness for writing. And, somewhere in the traveling associated with running away from my last messy fiasco to running toward my destiny, I found extended family in Detroit, Michigan - eventually, the jazz community. And, in all of my crazy mad dash to make sense of my life, hinged on a challenge of a man who had been resting comfortably in peace for almost 2 decades, I met Robert Hurst, by chance, in his house, on the eve of my birthday, which was my connection with his mentor, Master trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, whose birthday was the day before mine.


Lamb chops and Mac n Cheese, some collard greens, and fooling around with music well into the wee hours of the morning led years later to some of my poetry landing on the next album of Robert Hurst.


Very few lawyers go on to be remembered by the masses in an ever evolving world. Without argument, great legal minds, and I still have a half assed one, shape this world every single day, from generation to generation. (The irony is that I am probably going to finally shake the world, through a legal concept related to mitigating Climate Change). But in the broad context of moving the hearts and minds of humanity, whether the individual contemplating life and death, or an entire nation caught up in the furor of some national achievement - it is the arts, music in particular, which becomes the great spiritual equalizer or mode of inspiration for the most ordinary and extraordinary among us. These are also the timeless gifts left on our planet which transcend and outlive us all.


I can mention the names of brilliant English and American legal minds whom each in his or her jurisdiction made pivotal decisions in the areas of lets say Constitutional Law which led to monumental movements of democracy, and the attainment of greater rights and freedoms around the world; or as another example, legislation which gave women the right to have control over their reproductive choices. But neither would impact a reader like the name, Michael Jackson or Frank Sinatra. Both of whom, long after their deaths have left behind great ballads and musical genius, which have the never ending power to in a moment change the mood of the lover, the depressed, or the human in search of authenticity.


And that is why, without even a blink or major contemplation, my split mind, on that day came to overcome even the need to reason, with the conviction that whether in this realm or the next, if I could live forever, throughout eternity, beyond the concept of heaven and hell, I would wish to do so in the notes or lyrics of a beautiful song!


I’d bet my life, that many of you feel the same way too!


Authentically Yours ….


Faith!





























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