On the humble, I’m not the one with “the most” in mi familia…

I know I have not written much for the blog as of late, so I hope to resurrect it with a little something today. My life surely isn’t comparable to the busiest of them all, but it gets pretty hectic in my little sphere of life – juggling a job, a twenty-two month old, a husband and a rigid writing schedule than I have ever adopted.

An acquaintance relayed to me her burden of being the most accomplished in her family, and how she did not have a good role model growing up. It got me thinking about the abundance of crown jewels of wisdom, integrity and fineness that I have in my own backyard. Unlike my associate, I could not lay claim to having the most of anything within my family. I don’t know if my feelings are prompted by some kind of ‘middle child syndrome,’ but I assure you, those that precede me set the bar pretty high.

Well, today I shall be exposed as one who is not in possession of the titles of “most intelligent, most courageous, and most beautiful” in my family. But alas, I know the people who do, can I at least get credit for that. It is my hope that all those attributes, slightly rubbed off on me in some way.

I have grown up in the realm of incredible folks around me. I never had to look any further away from my family for – inspiration, profound love, lessons in self-worth and strength of mind, fearlessness, determination, all the while embracing womanhood and ways to prettify ones own natural beauty.

See, I have a brother who by far surpasses me with his mental capacity – pretty much most forms applicable to the plethora of mental activity. Or whatever altitude is used to grasp the measure of intelligence. He was naturally assigned this ability since his formation. He is the same person, that has always stood up for himself regardless of how mighty or tough the opposition stood – A quality I never possessed in my youth. This fellow, easily harmonizes with folks from all types of denominations, social and political spectrum. Through his trials and unfortunate set backs, he has never forsaken to dream big. I have seen him rattled, scurrying hither and thither in search for overhead to shield him, as he haphazardly ran from sprinklers of harsh realities. Even then, he never cast off positive insight, led partially by his intelligence I presume, and his relentless pursuit for elements that can afford him the satisfaction he highly seeks. From his example alone, I shudder at the notion of settling, in every aspect of my life.

I have often wondered how my mother squared off the calamities that have plagued her through out her life. Besides having a mentally disabled child, she poses as the matriarch of a family of twelve siblings (excluding the dozens of their children). However, that number is severely altered because as it is now, there are more folks who have graduated to the after life, than there are remaining. A fact that is hard to reconcile, especially with her mother (my grandmother) being the last of those we lost. One couldn’t possibly become comfortable with frequent visits to drop loved ones at the graveyard. Also, having a sick/disabled child, without the powers to help them or change their state in any way, would debilitate the toughest of men. It would be a fair presumption that she could have morphed into steel by now, but she continues to be engaged with life, is hardworking, oozes with grace, strength, tenderness, and great tenacity as she effortlessly stomps over mountains of adversity that would chew and spit out the average folk, myself included. With great faith, she remains spruced up with connotations that suggest that her best life has not even succeeded her yet. So I can’t be some little chump with superwoman as my mother. Bring it on baby!

The topic of beauty is interesting, because I find that things are not always what they seem. I’ve had folks insinuate that I seem prettier than my sixty-three year old mother. Why a thirty-three year old and a sixty-three year old are being compared, bewilders me, but that’s another story. Needless to say, mi madre at my age, was far more attractive than I am. She never had to be bound with braces to get a descent smile out of her, like some people we know, or utilize a broad range of cosmetics/prosthetics to look tolerable like… okay, you get the drift. She was naturally beautiful. Thus, when my sister was born she was just as flawless. She resembled my mother and was the prettiest baby girl I had ever seen – there are those that can vouch for this. She was undoubtedly born prettier than I was, but when her disability/sickness took over as she got older, the shape of her whole being slowly changed unfavorably. So as it is, there are those that don’t know the real truth of who really was born more beautiful in the family because of the facade of life’s bearings. Things are not always what they seem!


Copyright © 2012 by Selwana Hudson. All Rights Reserved


I’m Going To Hell For This!


Second Installment to My Church Saga…

Apprehended by indifference and a sluggish spirit this past Sunday, I outwitted my psyche with willpower and hoofed it, to yet another church to sample in the Brooklyn turf. As I whirled myself within the walls of the chapel, I was astounded in my discovery, of a pint sized little girl, comparatively seven years old, undertaking the reading from the pulpit. The tiny framed girl, clad in a blue and white checkered sailor dress, barely reached the podium and mic in height. Her delicate and twig like fingers were tightly clamped on to the platform, holding on for dear life, as she perused the material without a single quiver. She remained thoroughly engaged even through her defected speech, and the congregation listened on as she salvaged every moment, audibly distorting the verses appointed to her.

As I sat there, longing to be receptive to the thought of the tiny evangelist, narrating words she was incapable of comprehending, I was however feverishly daunted. The mispronunciation and high-pitched delivery, taunted my most sacred senses, impeding me from doting on the innocence she displayed. I sank into a self induced lethargic stupor, totally disenchanted and blind to the allure of it all.

“Is this for real?” I thought, wondering if I was the only person whom the appeal had not resonated with.

The torment persevered long enough for all green foliage to turn yellow and orange, or at least that’s how my mind perceived it. Seasons passed and still no one thought to take the poor girl out of her misery.

Was I the only soul in the church, who came with hopes of being inundated with joy in a utopian haven of worship, and to conjoin with the spirit of the Most High, but only to connect with the spirit of their most imbecile and evil doppelgänger (my evil twin)? I mean, this guy totally latched on and wanted to be cronies all service long.

My enthusiasm was temporarily relieved from being buried under rubbles of exasperation, when I caught a luminous glow arising out of the captivating stain colored windows. I marveled at the artistic and engineering finesse, which devised the impressive lofty vertical windows, with a pointed arch. Often, I think of stained glass as relatively the pinnacle of figurative and narrative art, and these were no different. The intensity of the well of colors that poured out from the windows was rhythmically and methodically indomitable. Jewel tones in emeralds, violets, indigos, ruby and scarlet reds, endowed the depiction of several narratives from the Bible. I stood bewitched and rid of the petulance that had prematurely owned my mind.

I read somewhere that Gothic structures, similar to the grand formation that encompassed me, were made with precision and lush details to appeal to the emotions. The whole church boasted with decorative sculptural designs. Its columns, braces, and the ribs of the vaults created a fascinating stone skeleton.

A bellowing mash up of Sunday school and a doctor’s visit unravelled by the pulpit, strongly appealing for my attention. A man introduced himself as a medical practitioner and proceeded to entertain children in an attempt to educate them in the process. The kids circled him enthusiastically, as they each participated in his comedy farce. After the whole charade, the kids burst into a song of praise, while the rest of us folks sat and watched.

It became apparent that if I had hopes of praying sometime in that church, I may be challenged.

However, the children triggered memories of my own childhood, while attending a junior catholic boarding school. Back then, we referred to church as the snooze chamber. We could not figure out why all of us kids dropped simultaneously in sequence like dominos, virtually comatose, while lined up adjacent to the pulpit during each church service. We eventually determined that one’s only hope was to entertain them self, or suffer the consequences of being overcome by the church ordered inertness and surrender to micro-sleeping. To this day, I credit those days for my unrelenting creativity.

The Pastor surfaced only to recount all the unfortunate events in his life. I felt for him when he spoke of the battles that befell him in the past. He acknowledged all whom he lost to the afterlife, and his loved ones who cheated death. He reiterated troubles his offspring had encountered, named afflictions that they had succumbed to, and illnesses that have ravaged his friends. Through all the countless calamitous events, he assured the congregation that he remained hopeful.

However, for an hour, the Pastor mentioned every bad catastrophe known to man. Perhaps it was the personalness or the gruesomeness of the unfortunate events, because somehow my heart was incapable of distinguishing from internalizing his hardships, and they were so overwhelming. Instead of inspiring me, they took from me. With each dire situation he mentioned, my heart got heavier and heavier. I almost felt like he buried us along with him, under the blackest cloud, and pulling from us the hope and light that we had stored. It was rather peculiar how synchronized his troubles were. When I finally felt like I was running out of positive assurance, under his guidance, I ran out of the church before it left me without a shred of hope.

You cannot disguise rudeness and I would not contest my boorish candor of skipping out during the service, but, however inelegant, perhaps ignorance is a virtue in this one occurrence.

Copyright © 2012 by Selwana Hudson. All Rights Reserved