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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dear Goddess of Miracles...

Dear Goddess of Miracles:

Under a sea of tropical sky
that canopies a tree whose name
I know not to note, its orange
petals, soft and sensual, lush
like the orange in the material
about my hips,its pattern of leaves
twin to the green above my head,
on branches splayed majestically
at the crown of the path leading
to a hidden postcard of a view,
I pose and primp,
my third eye open to the Universe
to bow to my bidding,
as I lay my request here, before
thee, O Goddess of Miracles.

Send me a love with whom to share my
nights and days, her presence shining
brighter than the gems in my tiara,
for she will recognize me as her Queen
before our hello. From her lips, the
stories of her past will sketch the
mystery of who she is and where she's
been since the last lifetime we
made love in a myriad of ways and places
across the ages, deep in the lushness of
tropical rainforests and under the
shade of skyscrapers dotting Parisian
skies. She knew not to look for me,
knew we'd meet again, when you, O Goddess
of Miracles, deemed it be in the Now of

I will pose for her photographic eye,
as she spreads our colorful repast
on tables, lining dishes she's
perfected throughout her travels
and her days of readying herself for the
bliss of our togetherness. The tender
touch of her hand, of her words, of her
intentions will reign down on us, and we
will blossom a forever love for the poets
to commemorate in hymns, odes and serenades.
O Goddess of Miracles, lace our dreams,
thoughts and families. Alone, we will
stand together like stalwart red oaks
centuries old, insurmountable, inviolable,
indestructible, as I patiently await the
music of her melodious stride.

Living the Golden Life,
The Golden Goddess

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Embracing Change

I am and will forever be an outre woman, an outlaw woman.

Common knowledge it is, I do and say things my sisters and many of my friends would never fathom. I could disclose a list of the unmentionables for those outside the loop, but it's late or, for some, early, so I will make maximum use of my blogging time and just admit that I am proudly, in countless ways, such a woman.

Several years ago, I walked away from teaching English to pursue my passion for writing. Some of my colleagues were tacitly curious, I know, figuring I'd lost what was left of my mind. Others shared their feelings at every opportunity, and still others commended my courage, slipping me inspirational notes. No, I didn't walk away without prospects on where the road would lead next, in the way of income. The Universe made that part palatable. I'd live frugally on an inheritance left to me by my childless aunt, who nursed full-time and painted in her leisure time, for several notable figures---family lore having President Carter as the recipient of one of her paintings, which was once on display at the Carter Center.

In my outre heels, I have learned to embrace CHANGE. There is no other way around it, no other fathomable fashion in which to live my life. Having been there before, I do not choose to flee change, and hurt myself in the flight; hence, I can only welcome change, seeking its company willingly and thereby deepening the quality of my life. Admitting this, I must also admit that I am in transition.

There are some who would describe the space I'm in as being stuck. Plausibility exists in the view. But I prefer to reference it as recognizing that I have broached a crossroads, not an impasse, in my life. In a very real sense, I am open to this place as a blessing. It prompts me to lay bare something inside me, something had this crossroads not appeared, might have gone unexamined, might have remained faceless. So the Universe gently nudges me toward another plateau of my journey.

Possibly, had my inheritance been bottomless, I might have worn out the comfort of my present pumps, never seeking to sashay into my favorite shoe store to purchase another pair of stilettos. When one has been on frugal autopilot, sometimes one becomes comfortable on that setting and, invariably, imagines it perfectly acceptable to continue strolling in a perfectly good pair of pumps...because they've now worn themselves into a second-skin, a complacent fit.

Change and time, therefore, have taken to sitting at the foot of my bed, in the amber-honey of sunlight. I am not taken aback by their presence. I do not fight. I embrace them. For I am happy, still, in spite of the uncertainty of not knowing where the road will lead nor what will be removed or added to my silo.

Happiness, an integral part of my way of being in the world, takes me by the hand and guides me to action and meditation and insightful exploration. Last night, after cleaning the kitchen, I returned to my office, where I yet am this morning at 6:21 AM, to determine what jobs are available in Oprah's network. If I must be employed, I may as well seek in an intriguing arena. Since I've always loved Oprah and the manner in which she uses her voice for good in the world, I started with her website. And although I'd love to report otherwise, my foray there didn't unearth plentiful positions in the talents I weld: writing, organizing and speaking. Same as the Turner Broadcasting site, Oprah's OWN and Harpo Career sites beckoned for applicants in Communication and Broadcasting, with experience of which I could not boast, not to mention most of the positions called for relocating to Chicago, Los Angeles or New York.

Reading and taking notes, I languished over a few of the job descriptions. Wondered, were I employed in them, if I'd have the energy, disposition or creativity to write. Maybe it wasn't all bad there weren't profiles easily earmarked for me.

Then I began reading the online articles from O Magazine. And realized why I was on the site.

The articles watered my soul.

In one piece, Oprah had written about the crossroads she'd come to when she made the decision to take "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on a different course from those of her competitors. Here she was asking the Universe two simple yet powerful questions: "What would you have me to do? Who would you have me be?"

Oprah's questions lined up with what I was feeling. They reminded me to do what I'd mentioned yesterday to a beloved sisterfriend in England. I'd told her I go within, to ask the Divine what I needed to do whenever I didn't know. And last night, here were Oprah's words whispering in my ear: "When you don't know what to do, get still. The answer will come."

I know. I practice it. Know it like I know the smile in my morning mirror. Yet sometimes Spirit reminds me, like it does you, in its constant attempts to let us know everything is just fine...even when the way is unclear.

No one, I realize all over again, saves me but me and my connection with the peace and Stillness within Claudia. So I relegate time alone, to hear the tiny voice that never leads me astray. I flip the switch on that incessant chatter that reminds me I've got to do SOMETHING NOW. That Chicken Little was right. The sky is falling. That my parachute is on aisle four, and I'm at this desk.

As I continued to read, feeling my heart lighten and become near weightless, I came upon an interview showcasing my favorite author of all time. Toni Morrison. Her words tossed me another lifeline. One with "On Writing" painted on the life jacket. Her words reminded me that what I loved, rooted deep within me, could and would save me. In so many words, she advised me to be easy, to remain open, to flow.

No one can express the thought quite like Toni Morrison, so I quote her proudly:

"It's that being open---not scratching for it, not digging for it, not constructing something but being open to the situation and trusting that what you don't know will be available to you. It is bigger than your overt consciousness or your intelligence or even your gifts; it is out there somewhere and you have to let it in."

And with that, I strike another outre pose, flexing my desire to remain open to Spirit and its knowing, as I walk forward, with the innocence of a child, like my fearless grandson, Nazir, and trust that the way comes indeed out of no way. I submit my plan for the Divine's masterpiece for my life. As Oprah so aptly put it, "Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself."

Living A Golden Life....

The Golden Goddess

Monday, September 26, 2011

On Visiting D.C. for the Daughters of Isis Book Club Gala

What a blessing it is to travel!

Recently, sweet September winds blew me into one of my favorite cities: Washington, D.C. At the start of my journey, the weather was perfect for gazing out of a tiny Delta window to admire a stretch of cotton-candy clouds drifting lazily against crystal-clear skies. The novel on my lap struggled to maintain my flagging attention as the sweetness of the day, unapologetic, charmed me shamelessly. Pushing into my revelry, my seatmate cornered me with a bright-blue gaze and began chattering. Behind my half-interested smile, I wondered why it was forever my luck to attract the most loquacious seatmate on the flight, but her witty tales of her cats' exploits, complete with sound affects, weren't terribly boring, so I gave myself over to half listening and reading and admiring the Divine's handiwork.

Minutes before we touchdown in Baltimore, rain painted the sky a foreboding navy, and, walking out of the airport, I shivered as the breath of fall greeted me, trailing goosebumps along my arms under my light pink shawl. Brendolyn, my hostess and longtime, beloved Tuskegee Institute sisterfriend, one of the founding members of D.C.'s Daughters of Isis Book Club, had advised me to fly into Baltimore and take the train into the District. Considering she worked a few blocks from Union Station, I knew she'd retrieve me as soon as she got my text. That left the purchase of a Mark train ticket (as the Amtrak was $58) and I was off, enjoying a vibrant conversation with a lovely Delta flight attendant heading home. I passed her my cell phone to snap pictures of me on the train and at the station, our conversation popping from possible titles for my next book to her daughter's literary tastes to the valley between the price of our $6 train fare and the Amtrak fare to the beauty of shawls.

(Me on the Mark train)

At Union Station, we parted, hugging, and I winded my way to the street-level entrance to await Bren's call. Before it came, I considered retreating inside the belly of the station, the wet wind leaving me shivering yet excited about being in D.C. again.

Bren and her jovial hubby, Mike, are a lively, artsy and fun-loving twosome. Visiting them is the equivalent of a resort vacation! There is always an exciting activity somewhere on the visit's itinerary. This time it was The Ivy Foundation in association with Bren's AKA sorority presenting its "Crab and Pearls: Treasures of the Sea 2011 Crab Feast." Never having pledged at Tuskegee, I savored the line of dancing AKA's, pretty in uniform black with the characteristic splashes of pink and green, the scrumptious buffet, the get up and shake your groove thang music and the unbeatable company around my dinner table.

(At the Crab and Pearls Gala)

For much of my visit, though, I relaxed and enjoyed several books being that the writing of my own books didn't leave much time for my personal reading, a simple pastime I adore.

On the day of the Daughters of Isis Book Club gathering at Bren's cozy, three-story home, she spent a sizable portion of the morning preparing a meal--I was to learn later--that replicated the meal served at one of the book club meetings in my novel, "If You Love Me, Come." And I never recognized it, not even as she put me to slicing and dicing vegetables and fruits to compliment some of the dishes, the meal so incredibly delicious!

When the gala began and I found myself seated before the eager-eyed, smiling members, I was filled with exhilaration. The exchange sent embers of sisterly camaraderie, enthusiasm for the story, insight into the characters and their motivations and input from each Daughter that shed a special light on the give-and- take of our electric conversation! I loved every moment. They proffered marketing tips and suggested ideas for connecting with sisters in England. Many commended me on the theme of motivating women to honor their voices. Their questions pithy, thoughtful, the women represented the different walks of life, some having once lived in England and Jamaica, some retired, two members a mother-and-daughter team, all expressly unique and articulate.

(I am animated when I share with others!)

Breaking bread with them later was as exciting as engaging them in conversation. Most had traveled the world, spicing the dinner conversation with delectable snippets proving as appetizing as the repast. I missed them, even while they gathered their wraps and hugged me, whispering how much they enjoyed me and my enthusiasm and wishing me well on my literary journey. I shall long cherish the emotions cloaking my heart that day, emotions for life, my art, our exchange, women coming together to read and share and inspire one another, all of it filling me with a soul-stirring joy!

(My sisterfriend Brena and I pose for Mike's camera!)

Living a golden life....

The Golden Goddess

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Different Sort of 9/11


Over the course of the ten years since terror stalked American skies, I have passed September 11th watching television programs recapping the infamy or glued to a computer monitor, reading about developments chronicling the event across the net. As with each passing year, Americans processed the tragedy in a myriad of ways. One day I will travel to New York to visit the new memorial, the world's highest man-made waterfall, erected on a revitalized Ground Zero.

In 2001, I put myself to the task of processing my grief in stories, something I do in good and trying times. "The Ticket" captured a Clark Atlanta writing competition in fiction, the contest created to recognized high school students, collegiate students and community writers, the category in which I won. Later, I changed the historic script and placed a healing spotlight on my Everywoman character, Ms. Wanda B. Wonders. In my collection of short stories, she saves the day, the plane, the lives on board, the lives on the ground. She teaches lessons of love and acceptance, diversity and tolerance, even as she views our shifting world through black-and-white sunglasses.

I will return Ms. Wanda to this blogged stage later, for her mouth is ever filled with a unique take on life.

As the Universe would have it, I spent this 9/11 preparing for and attending a joyous occasion. Franz-Che, my beautiful Haitian poet sistafriend, invited me to read a poem at her wedding. For days and weeks, I knew the fluttering of a thousand butterfly wings beating delicately behind my breasts. With the sweetness of a Luther VanDross love song---"Endless Love" will do---I yearned to rise to the task, to be worthy, for a love like the love Franz-Che and Ta'Neshia shared...endlessly, deserved a poem that breathed electric passion.

Fingertips to keyboard, the poem came. And when I recited it aloud, heaven and earth moved within me, and I knew it would please my friend, who is a poet extraordinaire, one whose voice alone, before her poetry is spoken, is pure art. I entitled it "YOU: a wedding poem." Here, I share it with you, my beloved followers, for it was not to be that I would share it at the utterly beautiful gala. No, I am not angry. Only accepting. Any number of factors might have weighed on the reason.

The pictures I snapped even now take my breath away! The bride was an island goddess in sparkling white, face a High Museum painting, pretty and resplendent. Her groom debonair and beautifully handsome. Their three charming children offered new meaning to well raised and striking. The details of the mesmerizing affair, from the outdoor vows to the well-spoken woman who officiated the wedding, down to the music selections, left me speechless, and writing this, I remember a line "She left me speechless," from the bride's well-known and loved poem, "Speechless."

The food tingled my taste buds from Acworth's quaint Conservatory at Waterstone to my Clarkston condo. My slice of the flavorful orange-and-white wedding cake had to be made with a sweet wine. I banned myself from devouring a second slice; instead, I grabbed another bottle of water for the ride down 75 South. You can't hear my laugh now, but I'm giggling. The water boasted an orange strip at its middle, the orange-tinged strip a lovely picture of the couple and the words: "Serving Size: 1 Loving Couple and Servings Per Container: 1 Heart." The Amount Per Serving included "Love, Respect, Trust and Unity."

Though I departed the party, tipping like a cleaned-faced Geisha girl in my tightly wrapped orange sari, crossing the sleepy street to a sliver of a parking lot, and, in the dark, in drying contacts, perceived my car to be stolen, the day and evening were memorable in a precious way. That night, upon arriving home or else where, two Acworth police officers probably shared the story of our crossed paths: one got me there on time and the other discovered my quietly waiting car several yards behind me.

On the ride home, I enjoyed a conversation with my wonderful writer friend in California. Night air caressed my skin tenderly. Laughter rode the wind. Traffic sailed. My camera brimming with pictures. Remembering the GPS on my cell after I took a wrong, left-hand turn on Cobb Parkway, and being willing to hail an officer for directions to arrive in the nick of time, I was content.

September 11th had suddenly, miraculously, taken on a whole new meaning...


YOU: a wedding poem

Are the manifestations of my dreams
The Aviator of my fantasies
My Soul Mate
A Black Venus
Who rose from the depths of my being
You Possess the smile that not only lights a room
Lights the afternoon the day
Illuminating my inner essence 'cause when I gazed into your beautiful
eyes, I finally knew what it meant to SWOOOON
Were the one towards whom I walked
As the paths I graced with others led to the myriad of places and lessons
I had to learn, to experience, to grow to become the woman I am
A woman who adores YOU in ways you've yet to know
My Fearless Queen
Thank YOU for recognizing me for being attuned to my energy
For refuting the 1,000 things YOU could have judged to keep us apart
YOU being YOU
Dismissed Society's mores
Ever true to the sanctity and divinity of your heart
You are the beach
And I am the wave
Are the sunset
And I am your softening rays
Are a loc
Around which I curl
Uh huh
They can say we are
Bound by the Naps in our Love Locs
'Cause I don't ever want to be
From falling gently, roughly, softly, casually, dangerously, meekly across
your back
Whispering about your ears grazing your lips and chin
Tumbling across your shoulders tapping your nose sweetly
Trailing tantalizingly up and down your spine when YOU kiss me with
Fiery, blazing locs
With the electricity that weaves YOU through me and me braided straight
My Everything My One Sure Thing My Calm in the Night
I profess my love to YOU this day:
I will be your forever-after at the end of each fairy tale
I will be your pot of gold when the rainbow fails
I will be a haven in the midst of hell
I will be the turn in the road when YOU experience roadblocks
I will soothe your woes when your heart aches
Should know I will traverse the hottest, island trail
To bring YOU that for which YOU yearn
My love
Beside YOU this day I promise to share my life never
Suffocating YOU with a needy, greedy love to keep YOU locked away
From growth, destiny, sun and all others
For my sake
I vow to love YOU in the sweetest, most sacred of ways
Not only with my body
And my every thought
But also, most importantly,
With every fiber of my soul through infinity
And every day of the journey I want YOU to know
I love YOU
Te amo
Je t'aime

FABEO oooooooOOOOOOOOOO Yeahhhhh

(c) Claudia Moss 8/18/2011