In Your Face
Jul 28, 2013

Sometimes, the answer to the question is as obvious as it seems

I am what many people call "the spitting image" of my late mother. When it comes to a point-by-point comparison of our features, build and such, I am absolutely designed in her image. Regrettably, two traits I did not directly inherit from her are 20/20 vision and flawless skin. I have been wearing some form of corrective lenses since the third grade, adding to the astigmatism that was passed down from my father an ever-diminishing ability to view things at a distance. And I would give anything to have inherited my mother's complexion. Even after chemotherapy and hospital stays, my mother seemed to elude the scars and discolorations that have caught up with me in my adulthood. It started small, a tiny scar left behind after I scratched off a chicken pox bump in kindergarten. And over the years, the number of nicks and bits have grown considerably, with the most recent problem being a peeling nose that I can't quite seem to conquer. I'm not very vain, but having a Bozo nose makes for a very annoyed grown woman.

This weekend, I decided to take it easy and relieve my home of a particular pile of old mail clutter that has been building up since the spring. I had moved it from one room to another, but it just kept growing. I'd told myself that I was too tired to deal with it in the evenings after work, too deserving of rest to deal with it on the weekends, and thus it kept right on growing. Until yesterday, when I finally grabbed a trash bag, brought my iPod speakers into my office, and whistled while I worked...tossing old receipts, sorting through coupons and concert programs, and tossing pounds and pounds of crap for which I had no more use. It felt so good to get rid of it. Then I passed by a mirror, looked at my peeling bruised nose, and had a sharp moment of eureka.

Years ago, I was in a Freedom Theatre production of Black Nativity, and a fellow featured vocalist and I were struggling to remember a new set of blocking that led us into one of our songs. The amazing choreographer Patricia Scott-Hobbs must have noticed our fretting and came over to see if she could help. When we explained our concern, she just smiled and said, "Before you declare that something is broken, you might wanna check the plug first." Which meant go back to the beginning and walk through every step needed to bring you to and through the thing you perceive as a roadblock. Lo and behold, we started from 2 scenes prior, got to the same point in the blocking, and our bodies took over! No more forgetfulness. No more worry. And with my nose, yesterday I decided that the big issue was dryness. So I moisturized it all day long with shea butter, every few hours, so it wouldn't feel like leather. And though it peeled again some this morning, it didn't get as red and irritated as it had all last week. So this is a sign that if I don't let it dry out, perhaps it'll fully heal in short order.

My lesson in all of this? Sometimes, we look for answers to everything having to come from an outside source. An expert, a friend, anybody other than ourselves. Most of the time, if we just take a few deep breaths and do something significant on our own, the answer comes to us soon enough. Progress from the obvious, right in front of our nose.

Here is last week's playlist:

  • Keep Marchin' - Raphael Saadiq
  • Brothers' Keeper - India.Arie
  • Once You Get Started - Rufus ft Chaka Khan
  • Whole World - Bobby McFerrin & Esperanza Spalding
  • Slowly Surely - Jill Scott
  • The Only Way - Ralf Gum ft Kenny Bobien
  • Searchin' For My Soul - Amel Larrieux
  • Fake Is The New Real - Alice Smith
  • I'd Like To - Corinne Bailey Rae
  • She Got To You - Esperanza Spalding
  • Sympathy For The Crow - David Ryan Harris
  • Charlie Mack (1st Of The Limo) - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
  • Berimbau - Elements of Life
  • Where I Belong - Tangible Truth ft Carol Riddick
  • Sha Boo Yaa - The Bus Crew
  • Don't Shoot Me - Take 6
  • Casa Bey - Mos Def
  • Let's Go Forward - Terence Trent D'Arby
  • Rockin' You Eternally - Jazzanova, Leon Ware & Dwele
  • Spittin' Game - Anthony David
  • Why You Follow Me - Eric Benét
  • Win - Choklate ft Phonte
  • Bodies - Cee Lo Green
  • On The Ground - Beady Belle
  • Say No Go - De La Soul
  • Sweet Misery - Amel Larrieux
  • Whatever You Want - N'dea Davenport
  • What Cha Gonna Do For Me - Chaka Khan
  • Thru Love - Kindred The Family Soul
  • Somethin' Special - Quincy Jones ft Patti Austin