Saturday, February 01, 2014

Alive in the Dead of Winter

"Pride of race is the antidote to prejudice." -- Arthur Schomburg

Happy Black History Month -- for whatever its worth.  There's almost always a ton of activities, exhibits, workshops, family outings, concerts and goings-on in any African-American community to celebrate who we are. On second thought, I don't know any black folk who don't do this every day in every way, on their own terms.  Every day is Black History Month in my world.  No blurbs in the media, though.  I'm not so sure Black History Month is for us, nowadays. Perspective is a funny thing. But that's a whole other conversation.

There's a great deal of beauty and safety in all this snow and cold.  It's a great time for unbridled productivity and quiet reflection and solace. What with all these layers I'm wearing, I can hide in plain sight, get things done, finish up old business, work on fresh ideas and let something new take root, and oversleep when the mood overtakes me.  The good news at the moment is, my (years-long!) makeover  has almost reached some sort of glorious end.  (Yes, that's right -- years long. Extensive dental work takes time, folks.  And it ain't cheap.) I'm losing weight, my hair is growing like crazy and I'm getting my teeth fixed.  The more progress I see, the more patience I have.  The banjo isn't getting any easier but thankfully, fingerpicking is.  One thing is glaringly obvious -- It's time for me to get on my grind, while it's still the dead of winter.

Now that I'm starting to see the light at the end of at least one of the tunnels I'll have to run through to get to where I'm going, it's time. It's time to start working out like a straight beast. It's time to release my Black Americana album.  It's time to get more gigs, book a European tour, do a residency and yes, another showcase.  It's time to edit my closets and declutter this apartment and do a severe amount of spring cleaning.  It's time to learn my intervals. 

Joan Crawford was right. Life is discipline.

When it's time to do anything, you have to do your homework.  I really like this infographic, in part because when you're working on a corporate plantation, every interview question has a well-curated answer if you dig carefully enough.  Then again, I suppose that's any question.  

Here's to a year of straight answers.

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