This week’s Monday Barrage features the passing of a musical legend, herbicide in our cereal, and the beginning of a new family chapter. I welcome you to take a look, and I hope you find something useful from the list!
- Middle School for Marley
The end of summer is upon us and the quickened footsteps of autumn are fast approaching, bringing with it the promise of a more hurried and stringent routine. The thought of this upcoming fall routine inevitably awakens in us the fond memories of the more lazy, passive days of this withdrawing ardent season.
As our girls grow bigger, it seems as if the summers are growing shorter. This is especially true now that our oldest daughter is making the great leap from the sheltered, mollycoddled world of elementary school, to the more mature world of middle school.
“Time is a river of passing events, and strong is its currents. No sooner is a thing brought to sight, that it is swept away and another takes its place, and this too shall be swept away.” – Marcus Aurelius
Not so many September’s ago, Rachael and I where feeling anxious over sending our first sweet little 5 year old bambino off to the cold and cunning clutches of a callous institution known as…school. We’ve relaxed a lot since those early days, however transitions can be tough. I’ve been doing my research to do my best to prepare for the changes ahead, including the 10 Things Parents of Middle Schoolers Should Know.
We are all a little nervous about Marley starting a new school, but we are hopeful that she will have a wonderful experience.
If you have any thoughts or words of encouragement, I welcome your helpful comments!
2. Long Live the Queen
On August 16, a musical legend passed on to glory. She transitioned to those Elysian Fields, onward to that promised land, asended to the upper room.
Apparently, some in mainstream news still refuse to give Aretha a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T! However, unlike Fox News, I know who Aretha Franklin is, and so do her real peeps!
Not surprisingly, Trump couldn’t even get it right when he reacted to the news of the icon’s death by saying, “she worked for me on numerous occasions.” In an article in the Washington Post, they state that, “Trump’s comments proved, as ever, controversial, because her appearances at his properties hardly amounted to a sustained employment relationship. More pointedly, even if she had worked for him, some asked, what was the relevance of that fact on the day of her death?”
However, my President, Barack Obama, got it right in the following spoof. The creators of the video say that it was made as “a statement, in solidarity with women, minorities, and everyone under attack in the Trump era.”
In your hands, O Lord,
we humbly entrust our sister Aretha.
In this life you embraced her with your tender love;
deliver her now from every evil
and bid her eternal rest.
3. The Guardian of International Peace – Kofi Annan
To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there. – Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan was the Secretary General of the United Nations from 1997-2006. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.
In this segment from a New York Times article, it says that “While his admirers praised his courtly, charismatic and measured approach, Mr. Annan was hamstrung by the inherent flaw of his position as what many people called a “secular pope” — a figure of moral authority bereft of the means other than persuasion to enforce the high standards he articulated.”
Okay, so those are pretty bad, but stretching is awfully important and tremendously beneficial in many ways including:
- pain relief
- aids in circulation
- relaxation and stress relief.
For quite some time I suffered from lower back and neck pain, plus it’s true that I never stretched. The lower back pain I experienced was a constant dull source of discomfort, but the neck pain had gotten so bad that I could hardly turn my head.
On the advise of my physical therapist, I began stretching every morning and voila, the pain is gone. Like everything, it takes consistency. Stretching is something I do each and everyday to keep the pain away. It works for me and I’m convinced it will work for you also!
6. To Be at Peace, You Must Release
I visited Oak Union Baptist church last Sunday and gave a talk about the importance of letting go. The major theme of my first published picture book, The Girl Who Carries Too Much Stuff, touches on how it’s important not to place too much value on material things to make us happy, but it’s also important to release the worries we have a habit of clinging to.
Letting go can be incredibly difficult to do, often because we have so very little practice at doing it. Letting go isn’t something that is promoted as valuable in a society that feels it’s more important that someone must pay for the wrongs they’ve committed against us.
I challenge you to consider the fact that the justice we so vigorously seek may never come (at least not in a form to our liking). So what then are we supposed to do? If we continue to replay the hurts, worries, slights, painful moments and episodes over and over again in our minds, who does this ultimately hurt? You guessed it…the one that stares back at us in the mirror each day. Letting go helps to let out dark energy allowing happiness and joy to blow in.
“If you want to fly in the sky, you need to leave the earth. If you want to move forward, you need to let go the past that drags you down.”
7. Chasing Trane – My pick on Netflix
This beautiful documentary about one of the giants in music should appeal to longtime fans as well as neophytes. My brother Khalid, hipped me to this documentary so I watched, and it had me truly captivated. I thought I knew all about John Coltrane, but what I learned is that there was so much more to this musical genius.
Narrated by Denzel Washington, and featuring many prominent figures in and out of the music industry like, Wynton Marsalis, Dr. Cornel West, Common, and Carlos Santana – you won’t watch Chasing Trane, in vain!
It’s currently streaming on Netflix!
A Trip to the Dentist
Get Your Copy
Head over to www.marcboston.com to get your copy of The Girl Who Carried Too Much Stuff or What About Me?