Showing posts from March, 2021

Watercolors and Roses

I complete the front of the card. I lift it carefully and carry it out to the yard.  The sun is high in the sky. It will take a short time for the watercolors to dry.  I set it carefully on the grass. The divisions between the colors are barely discernible. But in the clarity of the sunlight, I can see where the fresh brush strokes collided in a damp spot and forced an irregular fusion of colors. Creating a darker composition than I intended.  The two shapes look like teardrops, swimming towards each other. The story I am telling is of an unplanned course that I had to embrace.  I did not plan to separate myself from home for more than four years.  But when I met my husband, the son of a career diplomat who was accustomed to establishing belonging, we found comfort and love in our commonality of status.  We married, started a family and settled in New York. **** I've had these dried roses for over two decades; they have outlasted any longevity predictions...aren't they beautifu

The Waterfall

It was all too much for her to consume.  A waterfall of sheer satin plunged over rocks lined with a draping of moss. Was the doorway behind the curtain of water? The gates to heaven that Rahab had told her about.  Where the washing away of sins took place? She looked at Mo. His arms were crossed over his chest - his right hand cradling his left elbow, his left hand cradling his right elbow.    For as long as she could remember, that was how he opened up the airways to his asthmatic lungs with his stomach drawn in and shoulders lifted.  His eyes were as luminous as the silvery light penetrating through the canopy of trees above. "How did you find this place, Mo?" She asked. "Clement found it. He made me promise not to tell anyone. It is his hideout for him and his chicks." "You won't tell anyone..." Mo smiled. "I won't." - a snippet from my book. *** My photographer friend Diane and I visited Freeman's Mill Park (Gwinnett County) this

The Prayer Trail

Twigs creaked beneath my feet as I emerged from the shady path onto the clearing. And my chronic homesickness resurfaced. Before me were twelve tree stumps, just like the ones we sat on at the Gallery during bonfire nights, circa 1975-1980. Bonfires that were lit to unleash the creative energy of those gathered - artists, writers and poets. When the sky was so black and life seemed so simple. Everyone was at peace. Or so it seemed. When we would sit and listen to owls hooting, crickets, tree frogs and cicadas chirping in a bewitching chorus... ...and the three figures that appeared to be retreating into the darkness, not moving forward. Sculptures carved from the trunks of trees. The sensuous woman, the man and the child. *** There is a strong magic about this trail I found two miles from our house. I will return often as I write my novel. xoxo Hana.

Roads and Trees

  I am writing a novel. As I walk through my already written work, rewriting - scenes to be added or taken out - it is a revelation to me how many times roads and trees come up.  Tarmac roads, murram (dirt) roads - which way do they lead? Inwards or outwards?  Roads are a force, static yet powerful, causing movement.  The major conflict in the book is duality of being. The cultural, spiritual, psychological, emotional identity of the protagonist and others. Identities are revealed through the setting.   *** Spring is upon us here in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Dogwoods are in bloom.  This photo reminds me of my childhood in Nairobi, when the Jacaranda trees and their purple trumpet shaped blossoms littered the roads... It pulls me to my center, the subconscious, my muse. 

A Sneak Peek of Spring

The birdsong is louder than usual this morning. I think the birds are excited about Spring, and all the bugs they are going to eat as it gets warmer...  We are also excited about Spring! xoxo

Game Face

"There is no moving up and out in the world unless we are fully acquainted with the person we are meant to be.  Whatever your calling, it is already rooted within, and while those roots may get trampled on or tugged at, they can never be removed." - Oprah. As I rewrite my novel, I am revisiting shadow work that I have needed to do for awhile.  Not with a trained specialist, just with my Father above, my journal and my meditations, for now. Today I came upon a chapter I had written over seven years ago entitled "Don't Judge Her Shadows."  I had forgotten about that chapter, but now I am so grateful for it.  I realize how important it is to explore my shadow(s). I believe it will lead to greater clarity, greater authenticity,  beaucoup creativity, and beaucoup energy to get the work done.   I am ready!  xoxo

I am an International Woman

The time of day when the sun is high above the horizon, is my favorite instance of time.  Today is a day remembered especially for women. I add my voice to the thousands praising. As we pause to take stock of all that we have accomplished for the good of man and wo(man), I pause to pay homage to Mama Shujaa, my blog.   We launched in November of 2008 and I called her Mama Shujaa (Mother Courage, in Kiswahili). I did so because I knew I needed courage, it was not something I naturally possessed. I intentionally sought it and over the years, I have learned that God is the greatest source of courage. I am thankful today, for courage. I trust God completely with his plan for my life. Be like the midday sun with its renewing energy that shimmers and kisses, and brings things into focus.  Things that must be done with joyful anticipation of new days and new dawns.   xoxo  Mama Shujaa

The Time Comes

Yes, the time comes when you must write that letter to yourself.  Because only you can. In this digital age we live in where a lot of communication is via Facebook, Twitter, instant text messaging and emails, write a missive that bears the hallmarks of great correspondence .  Break it up into digestible chunks that will become slices of social Herstory.   Start with your childhood in Kenya and Tanzania.  Continue with your Decades in America. And keep going... "The first draft is just you telling yourself the story." - Terry Pratchet. Open my eyes that I may see the wonderful truths in your instructions. xoxo.

Wellness Accountability Partner?

When I received that check in text from my coach, why did I feel like sprinting? Phew! Let me get to work! Who is your Wellness Accountability Partner? I have got lofty body goals so I am thankful for mine. Hana. 

How Do You Overcome Imposter Syndrome: The Sacred Seed(s)

I practice remembering who I am. Daily.  I surround myself with people who will help fertilize and till the organic soil upon which I stand, the roots of my existence.  And for that I am grateful. The journey can watch the full 6 min video on my IG page @ mamashujaa. Blessings. Hana.  

We are constantly evolving

This morning as I was leaving for the job: Hubby:  “You forgot your wig!” ” No, I’m going in like this!” pointing to my freshly twisted locs.  Hubby: “cool.” **** Isn’t it amazing how we are constantly evolving?  A lot of us women did not get the memo for years…that our lives belong to us.  We’ve allowed that instinct to prevail, that we need a permission slip from the principals office to do anything in life.  But now I’m in my 50s (for a while now) and I’ve evolved and I am liberating myself.  I am taking ownership and responsibility for my journey in life. And my natural hair, silver grey in its hue is as purposeful as every other atom in my body, as the planet.  Hubby is unlearning with me, that habitual non-productive thinking.  Yes I have wigs. I don them like hats. They are standard accessories. They are called in for a purpose.  Just like we all get the call:  What have I come here to do with my life?  Our purpose is to thrive with love.  The privilege of a lifetime is being wh

It is World Compliment Day

THANK YOU for the many ways your lives have enriched mine.  For your love, friendship, intelligence, grit, resilience, irreverent wit,  courage, and the vibrant joy you spread.   I reach across this internet we share to say: Asante Sana , my impeccable friends! I am grateful for you and this wonderful world of special connections. Hana.  "The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention." - Kahlil Gibran.