Withered sunflowers

Im bad at being sad or probably at having emotions that slow me down. It feels self indulgent, and almost futile to tarry on something like grief over death. Death happens all the time, its a fact. It a promise. If I had sat down every time someone died, or was killed, that I know...would I ever get up? no. I feel like Im always carrying these 50 lb bags of grief around, but so are many people I know. You just keep walking, and dragging your grief because that's what it is. You don't talk about it all the time, but it seeps out around the edges sometimes. And that is July for me. JULY. My body tells me before the calendar does. To say Ive sucked at life this past week is an understatement. I last saw my mom alive on July 11, 2010. I laid on the side of her hospital bed and she pet my hair. (its a white thing) I loved her hands. She had big pretty knuckles and even the day before she died her long nails were painted red. HOW? im pondering this today. My mom loved sunflow

A Faithful Presence

This Sunday in my city of Winston Salem, Confederate supporters planned a rally around the Confederate monument downtown. The sons of confederacy and the heirs of the confederacy have a rally planned in Chapel Hill at the site of a former confederate monument that was removed last year and then are traveling en masse here.. to the city in which I live have a rally less then ten minutes from my home. "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.,"-MLK Jr THIS has encompassed most of my mental and emotional space this week, and resulted in countless conversations. But that was the starting point for all of it. Im going to lay out a bunch of factual details surround this, some factual history you can look up to confirm yourself, then a strongly worded call to faith and action for my friends here. Ive felt this is necessary after countless conversations this week with people who didn't get the details of all of the happ

Safety part 2

Im careful about my words. I think you can learn a lot by just listening to people speak, specifically HOW they speak. Word choice. Intonation. You know, like listening to which words people have to look around and lower their voice in order to say. Or this word "safety." So much this preoccupation of "safety" I hear echoed here in Winston. It just doesn't mean what we are trying to pretend it means, does it? My child attends a notoriously "safe" preschool. What does that mean? Exactly how is it so safe? They aren't holding class in the middle of Business 40 while juggling knives and swords that are on fire? YES It is lovely, and all the doors lock and you gotta get buzzed in and Oh yeah, its super duper whitey white. It is where we are now, and I am thankful for it because its wonderful but I feel the tension of the lack of diversity constantly. There is a public school in a very wealthy neighborhood somewhat near us and its called Whit


There is this side street near my house. It cuts off from a busy, well travelled street near our home. But this side street, it's almost hidden by huge overhanging trees. If you don't know it's there, you would never know it is there... The street cuts off to the side suddenly, at this angle that is perfect for zooming down without missing a beat. Its not a hard right turn, but a small veer to the right that you can even pick up a little speed on. Its a quiet street, it cuts behind some stores and almost no one is ever on it. Almost immediately after you turn down it, there is a bump in the road and if you are going fast, you can catch some air. If I'm driving our red car, not our soccer mom minivan, and if MJ isn't in the car (RARE) then I fly down this road. It's kind of exhilarating. So I had a friend in the car with me one day. And we were going down the main road and suddenly I made the slight turn and picked up speed without missing a be

Safety part 1

A woman rushed up to me and in a breathless flurry enveloped me in a hug and said "I saw more bad things happening in Chicago on the news. THANK GOD YOU ARE HERE!" Amidst questions about our family, people are always intrigued to hear we are from Chicago. The conversation turns into knowing nods and half smiles accompanied by "Of course you wanted to leave there! You must be so relieved to be here in Winston."  People have even cut me off while Im literally answering their questions about our cross country move to interpose their own commentary on safety and how I arrived in the epitome of it here in North Carolina. Ive been reminded often of this white cultural love affair with the idea of SAFETY. Sometimes I sigh in resignation and let them talk themselves around, sometimes I attempt to explain lofty theological concepts like "The Christian life isn't one of seeking out and sitting in safety" or "Safety and comfort are purely America

Girl, What?

  So, like over 8 thousand people read my blog last year and I freaked out and took it down. That's alot of people reading and looking and I started getting a lot of attention that I didn't feel prepared to wade through. My blog views were going up by the hundreds everyday, and it was mostly centering around the blog I wrote about Terry Berry. I was thankful and fulfilled that a lot of his family and extended family read it. Many of them who I had never met reached out and were so encouraged and comforted to have another story about his life come out so publicly, as the current narrative was just focusing on his growingly successful rap career and his alleged involvement in a set on the south side and his leadership activities within it. Read between the lines, Im not here for it. I got a call from a notorious website in Chicago that follows these sets and the members and publishes youtube videos about their lives and the music and the violence and keep score like some

Terry Barry

"Your name is TERRY BERRY?" I said to the boy in front of me. I think this was his 6th or 7th grade year. "Yeah," he said. "I don't have time for this," I replied irritated and assuming and started to walk away to help out in the kids after school program. I can't remember what Terry wanted, but I figured he was giving me a fake name for some reason and I wasn't going down like that. "Sarah, he's for real!" Marquis McCoy assured me. Terry looked sheepish and defeated with these wide eyes that gave me pause  and my steely exterior softened and I guess I decided I did have time for him. I can't remember the rest of that day, but that was how we met. And the last day I saw him, earlier this year at Poppie's funeral....his eyes were the same. That part hadn't changed. You could look into Terry's eyes and see him. Really see him.. if he let you. I was mad at him. So physically angry at him that I almost shook