Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year
Photo by Fortune, c. 2012

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Dr. King

January 15, 1929 ~ April 4, 1968

Dr. King has been deeply on my mind. So, it has taken me a few extra days to log this post. I keep thinking about how much he accomplished during such a short life and how very young he was when he was taken from us. By the age of 39, he had put civil and human rights in the forefront of political and public discourse, forever changing how those inalienable rights are perceived, fought for and engaged. He was a leader among leaders; a son, a father and a husband chosen for a special task. He dared us to become better human beings. And he made the ultimate sacrifice, giving his life for this mission. For this I thank him and the many other sung and unsung heroes who were bold and courageous enough to stand in the face of danger, to have the audacity to make a difference.

Have we come far toward realizing Dr. King's Dream? Yes, in many ways. That America has a black First Family indicates that things have indeed changed. But we should not be lulled into thinking we now live in a post-racial America. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have but to look at the mean-spirited response to our President and his family to know that for as far as we have come, we have that much further to go. And God willing, we as a nation and as a world will keep walking towards the dream of equality for all; that somewhere deep within us we will step to the shared rhythm of one common heart beat.

I am hopeful, though guardedly so.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King. Thank you for your life-changing, life-giving contribution.

With love and gratitude,

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Old Movies, New Music

I have been deep under the weather with an awful cold. Burrr! It's frigid out and I have made good friends with my couch, You Tube and Hulu. In the last week I watched Bette Davis in Jezebel, Joan Crawford's A Woman's Face and Irene Dunne and Cary Grant in The Awful Truth and My Favorite Wife. Yesterday it was Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's with the amazing Audrey Hepburn wearing what has to be one of film's most timeless and iconic wardrobes created exclusively for her by Givenchy, her life-long friend.

But the most delicious watching I did was the complete first season of Steven Bochco's Murder One, a legal drama set in Los Angeles, circa 1995. Twenty-three episodes - one legal case - in three days. I was deep in it and it was really good. Daniel Benzali as defense attorney Teddy Hoffman faces off with the evil Richard Cross played by Stanley Tucci. Riveting.

A good buddy gave me an iTune gift card for Christmas. Thank you , Peter! I have been on an iTune rehabilitation diet of late. So, this was like receiving a huge box of Godiva chocolates. Yummmm! When not lost at the movies, I been on an iTunes musical exploration. A great discovery is the talented Maya Sona Jobarteh, a young Afro Brit born into one of the five great kora-playing, griot families of West Africa and the first classically trained female kora player from the Jobarteh family. The included photograph was taken by Owen Alik Shahadah, whose film 500 Years Later can be found on hulu.com. In it you can see Jobarteh playing kora.

Jobarteh is the granddaughter of the world-renowned, Amadu Bansang Jobarteh, master griot of his generation. Her cousin is the internationally celebrated kora player, Toumani Diabete. Musical visionary, Tunde Jegede, is her brother. I first became aware of him in the 90s in the film Africa I Remember, which follows his musical sojourn from England to West Africa and ultimately blending the classical music traditions of the two cultures.

Jobarteh's cd, Afro Acoustic Soul, combines a cool world music, Neo-Soul sensibility with the angelic sounds of her voice and the exquisite kora, a 21-stringed instrument from West Africa. She is FIERCE. You will want this cd in your collection and there's a new release due out this month. For more information on this exciting artist and on the kora, check out her website at:

Enjoy and stay warm

Friday, January 1, 2010


Happy New Year!

Farewell to 2009. I don't know about you, but I am happy to put this one to rest and to greet 2010 - and a new decade - with joyful anticipation. And I am relieved that I made it through a year full of challenges, one that demanded that I re-think choices that I have made and develop a new game plan. A year in which some friendships have fallen away and others have deepened. There have been many rewards in the last 12 months and I am thankful for so many things. First and foremost is my family and loved ones, this tribe of colorful people that I belong to and that belong to me. They are my angels of laughter. And my health.

I am excited about this new year and decade. 2010!! It "feels" as though it holds a lot of promise.
Maybe I'm just being optimistic but I believe it's as good a lens as any through which to view the world, as long as my feet remained firmly planted on the ground. My goal for the year is to stay in the present moment and not mentally run full of worry into a future that has yet to manifest, to be in a state of grace that allows life to unfold in all its mystery and magic. I think it should be a lot less complicated and infinitely more fun.

My wish for everyone is expansive creativity, unending abundance, vibrant health, love and laughter, safety and the resourcefulness to create the reality we want. May all of our dreams come true and our pockets be overflowing with coins - always, lots and lots of them.

I say special prayer for the many who left us this year and for all those who arrived. May we walk, live and love in peace.

With gratitude