Monday, January 31, 2011

Dear Laura

Thank you. Just...thank you.


My true self

Today I went to pick up some photos. I walked up to the counter and the store clerk said "Oh, your photos aren't ready because the girl who was working here got sick and had to leave, so your photos won't be ready until tomorrow. Sorry." I was thankful that I had a prayer for the clerk who was sick and that her health registered more a priority than my photos. I haven't always been that way. I am not always now. But in that moment, I was the self I was born to be. And I liked me.

Meditative Thought

"When we take the time to daily meditate, pray, study and serve, our concept of self expands beyond the narrow confines of ego. We realize that we are unlimited, that our mind is omnipresent, that our consciousness is omniscient. Even if it appears to require on omnipotent effort to become enlightened, is it not worth it to become liberated through a realization of our true nature. There is no greater joy."

Michael Bernard Beckwith

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Self talk

We spend so much time trying to teach our children to be kind to others, but somewhere along the line we neglected ourselves. Really, let's take some time today not to fix anything, but to listen. Listen to the mean chatter that goes on inside of our heads about ourselves. Honestly, if our friends said half of the things to us that we say about ourselves, we wouldn't have them as friends.

So what do we do? Well, as for me, I pray. A lot. I know that there is no place I can be that God is not. There is no utterance of my heart He can't hear. When I don't feel strong enough to be kind to myself, He is kind to me. God is so good to me. So good.

For every way I criticize myself, God is there to comfort and correct me. My God shows up for me as everything I need. Father, Mother, friend, counselor, teacher. When I turn left and should have turned right, I can hear God's voice inside of me as Spirit say lovingly, "No dear, turn the other way."

My own self talk is a different story sometimes. "You are so stupid. Right! Right! Can't you remember to turn right?!" That's not God. Not my father.

Today, listen to God's voice. The voice that loves you. Let us learn from God how to speak to ourselves.

Happy Friday everyone.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Seeing love everywhere today

speaking love
to you
about you
to me
about me

seeing love
in you
all of you
in me
all of me

all day

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friend day

I was committed to spending the day being nice to myself. Loving myself. And I was. I did. Went to a house warming party with a friend and we spent the evening talking, sharing, catching up. Laughing. A lot of laughing.

I've known Lynette since before our children were born. In fact her twins and my son are only a month a part. In the fourteen or fifteen years we've known each other, we have drifted in and out of each others lives but never hearts. Never. I trust her as friend, as family.

Tonight was easy, like I needed it to be. Just two friends eating too much, whisper laughing too loudly and often, being silly, sharing freely.

If you're reading this Lynette, thank you for all you've ever been to me. Your friendship is so precious. I love you dearly. I am glad our paths have connected again.

Good morning

This is a beautiful day. I am committed to loving myself fully in it. Committed to seeing God in everyone I meet.

Enjoy you.


Friday, January 21, 2011

My dream last night

I had a dream last night that I was in a public restroom stall. I could hear a mother with her daughter in the stall directly across from me. I sat on the toilet waiting for them to leave. When I heard them leave I came out and was in front of the mirror buttoning my pants. The mother immediately came back into the restroom as if she knew I was waiting for them to leave.

She looked Arabic, in her early fifties and had her hair covered in a dark blue or black scarf. She approached me slowly and came very close to me. I was silent. Watching. Still.

"My daughter says a man touched her. She won't stop crying. She told me the same thing happened to you."

And then she left.


I've grown up from then
from the girl who couldn't see past
her own hurt feelings
past her broken ness

I'm bigger than before
wiser than my yesterday
I am new from mistakes I made

My heart is bigger now
There is so much room for love inside of me
I have no coversation for
What you did
What I said
What you took
How I left

There is only now
This moment
This path I'm on
This foot in front of me
This one
in front of this one
in front of this one again

Over and over until
I have covered the planet
with every essence of love
I have to give

This breathing is better
Don't you think?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

School ways

I am not ready to write a poem
about children being shot in schools
on playgrounds with teachers
by other students

never prepared for evening reports
flashing bodies, laying babies
crying fathers
broken circles

this is not easy

there aren't enough candles
with pictures of Jesus and Mary
to illuminate my understanding

I am a poet
this is my job

Report the news

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Morning prayer

Thank You, Wonderful Presence for showing up on this planet today as me to further Your will.

Thank You for being the energy of love that connects us all. The spirit that makes us all one.

I ask Your great blessing on the children going to school and studying under the pressure of violence, anger, drugs, sex, abuse. You know every situation, every cause, every solution, every reason, every cure.

Great Provider, let us unfold unto the love, peace, understanding and wisdom You have already provided.

Thank You, Awesome Oneness for all of who You are and all that You have called us to be. Let us take on today, being bigger than we know ourselves to be. Giving more, loving more freely. Judging less. Pointing fewing fingers and helping more.

Thank You, for all of our yesterdays that provided lessons. For this moment. For each moment, Thank You.

Thank You.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Conversation with Treetop

On Sunday I set up a table at the drum circle in Leimert Park and sold my photo cards. Well, didn't sell close to what I wanted to sell, but that's a differnt post. I did take some very beautiful shots (that I will sell later) and I had some great conversations with folks down there.

One of the converstions was with a man I didn't imagine myself to be sitting for hours talking with. Treetop is his name. Very interesting man, and he let me take his picture. Treetop was clearly drunk, not clean and looked like he slept outside somewhere. He sat down next to me and started telling me about his music and how he stared to play the guitar (which he carried on his shoulder). He put his beer down long enough to sing me a song. Many songs. And I enjoyed them. He harrassed a couple of customers into buying from me and it worked. I offered him the money and he say "Nawwwwwww, thas yo muthafuckin money and you shol betta take it!"

He went on to tell me about a woman, a woman he called a broad. Not my favorite term.

"Why do you call her a broad?"

"What the fuck is the difference?"

"Well, the difference between you calling a broad or a woman could be the love she gives to you."

"Thas why you don't know shit! You wanna know what's the difference between a broad and a muthafuckin' woman?"


He thought about it and then spoke. "A broad is a woman that you don't know that well. After you spend some time with her and get to know her, if she's cool, then she can be a woman. If not, she still a broad."


Morning prayer

Thank You awesome spirit for this day. Thank You for living and breathing through me. Thank You for using my hands, my mouth, my body to do Your will.

Guide me please this day, in every way I need direction. Thank You for Your voice that tells me where to go and what to do. There are times that I hear You and don't listen. Thank You for Your patience with me. Bless me please, to listen and obey.

Bless me also, to loose my judgments where they are negative and serve no good and please in those places, let my love increase.

Thank You, for all that You are.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Morning prayer

God who is mother and father
who is sister and friend
brother and guide
God who is kind and protector
good and strong
God who has known me before I was
God who is available and understands every groan
every mutter of my heart
every fear of my ego
every direction of my thought
God who is

Thank You.

One God one presence

Last night I went to dinner with George, Alisha and their two young daughters. As we sat there in Soup Plantation and talked and enjoyed our meals Zolah, two years old stood up on her seat and entertained us, herself and others around. There was another girl perhaps her same age who sat in the booth behind us. She also stood up. At one point the two girls faced each other. One black one Philippino. Face to face, eye to eye. They looked at each other with such beautiful awe, as if they said to themselves, "Wow, there is God, right there, inside of her." They were both shy about speaking but both held their gaze on the other as if they saw the awesome invisible energy that connects us all.

What if we all looked at each other as if we knew, as if we could see God inside of the other?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Red Stories 2!

Red Stories is an evening of stories, poetry, music and art. It is an experiene. It started in my vision as a one woman show but my vision has expanded. This month Red Stories will include me with poet Nikki Blak and special musical guest, Sandbloom! Now, this is a show I would want to see.

It's going to be at Lucy Florence Coffee Shop in the theatre past the art gallery. Very beautiful space. Lucy Florence is located at 3351 W. 43rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90008. The show will be Saturday, January 29 at 6pm. The cost is $20 per person and $30 per couple.

I look forward to seeing you there! Also, please mark the date for Red Stories 3 which will be Saturday, March 26.

Again, see you there!

Jaha Zainabu

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


LOS ANGELES. RED STORIES 2 is coming up on Saturday, January 29! JAHA ZAINABU with NIKKI BLAK! LUCY FLORENCE COFFEE HOUSE in LEIMERT PARK! 3351 W. 43rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90008. $20 per person, $15 per couple! Photo slideshow 6p poetry and stories at 7p! Looking forward to seeing you!!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

At Agape yesterday

Uraeus and I went to service at Agape yesterday. It was the first Sunday of the new year and I wanted to be there to hear the inspiration, word, love, peace of God. God is all around me all of the time and yesterday I wanted to be around like minded folks who were looking for what I was looking for. Listening for what I was listening for. The Presence, the Being, and as Rev. Michael says the "is ness" of God.

As usual it was great to see familiar folks. Folks I haven't seen in a long time. Also great seeing folks I saw for the first time that day. Seriously, if you wanna see a group of amazingly beautiful people, go to Agape.

We sat down during the meditation and centered ourselves. It was perfect. The collective breath, the stillness in the air. It seemed like I could feel the angels hovering above us, protecting us. Protecting us from our own fool, interruptive, unproductive thoughts.

Bridget Byron led the music and what a powerful singer, striking woman, graceful presence she was. I may have her last name incorrect but her first name I remember correctly. She sang a few songs. The first was about being smoother and noticeably different after being loved by Spirit or recognizing the love of Spirit as God is always loving us. After that she sang a song that she wrote about accepting and loving everyone though we have differences. Loving and appreciating each other through those differences.

Then Rev. Michael spoke. If you have ever witnessed Rev. Michael speak, you know the energy he brings in his messages. His message was "Being complete with the incompleteness." He talked about visiting John, a member of the congregation, who was making his transition. John mentioned that he felt that he had not finished what God had put him on earth to do. Rev. Michael's response to that was that when we take on a mission so big, we won't complete it. Our job is to do our part of it. An example he gave was of a man who plants a fruit tree knowing that he will not be here to eat its fruit but plants it for those who will come after him and eat. God's work for us is big work. Big enough so that all we can do is the piece for us to do and plant the seeds we are to plant and let others come after us and eat and continue to plant for others.

He also mentioned that it is impossible for us to live a life of boredom and victim when we are connected to God's intention for our lives. When we are unfolding into our infinite possibilites for our lives there is no space for boredom. This had me think about my own life and how sometimes when I am feling overwhelmed and don't know what to do, after prayer and meditation what eases me is taking the next easy step. Often that is to write, paint, take pictures. There is always a story to tell. Always a picture to paint, a poem to create. These are my seeds. My job is to keep planting them. The ideas are infinite when I step ourside of the in authenticity of worry and what occurs to me as lack. When I am connected to Souce, I know that there is always plenty. I know that I am always provided for. We forget that though, at least I do. Sometimes. And then I remember. And then I take the time to reconnect myself to myself and center myself and know. I know that God is always living and breathing and loving me from inside of me, closer to me than my own breath. I am thankful that the God I serve is not a God far away and outside and separate from me. I celebrate that God is the love that connectes us all. When I am my authentic self I remember to acknowledge that there is no space between any of us. I honor the connectedness of us. I remember to remember that I am not ok if my brother is not well and if I have eaten and my sister is hungry then my work in the kitchen is not done. I am at peace in praise when you have joy. I am thankful for the blessings in your life, his life, her life, my life.

When I am my authentic self I know that I am not defined by anything other than God's love. Possessions, successes or failures do not define who I am. In answer to what do you do for a living? I plant the seeds that God gave me. That's all that's important.

What do you do for a living?

Dead stories

if you know, then you already know
if you don't know, then you don't need to know
unless you need to know, and most likely you don't

(dedicated to stories of my past that do not serve the good of the world)