Saturday, 17 December 2016

Are We Losing Christmas?

A Christmas Past

I can remember how wonderful the Christmases of my past were, and the warmth and love for the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was the reason for the season. His birth was a joyous time and a very happy event. We would sing carols, hymns and songs that were uplifting and inspired hope. There was significance in the rainbow of colors which filled every hall and every celebration party. There were streamers and banners, even balloons, professing "Merry Christmas", "Unto Us a Savior is born", and many other words which kept us focused on the reason for the season.

I'm thinking out loud because my heart is disturbed. When did our churches become so sophisticated that they removed the color and the reason for the season? When did the celebration turn into a somber event of black and white or muted colors, all to do with color scheme and not the happiness of this time of the year? When did the Christmas tree become obsolete, and the lights and festive energy become a dark and dismal event with folks queuing up to eat and leave? Maybe I was standing at the doorway of the wrong place, and looking at a new expression of joy...hmm felt joyless. Yes there was chatter, and most were resplendent in their very best dark garb, but where was Christmas? Maybe fashion and design has managed to push things in a different direction, or maybe I'm on a different street, and its time to seek the lights of Christmas past.

I thought the Grinch had won. All the signs were there, and just look at the results. Thankfully I am awake, and I can remember a time when gatherings and celebrations were less about 'a look' and more about 'the life'. I will share a memory I shared last year with you. You don't need much to celebrate at Christmas, you can be happy with whatever you are blessed to have!

A Childhood Memory

My mother did not believe in hording. Throughout the year she would sew and make most of our new clothes on weekends - the others were from the 'jumble sales'(previously used clothes) she visited. Christmas though was a time to clear out the closets and the 'hand-me-down' saga began!

As the second child new was a novelty experienced mainly during the Christmas season. we were encouraged help fold and pack the clothes after washing to take to the nearest orphanage. When my mom was sick we were sent there for a few months, which included a Christmas. I must have been around six at the time.

I can remember all the little beds in the dormitory for girls separated by a mini cabinet. I thought it was fun to stay there with the nuns while my mom recovered from her illness. She was a teacher at a Catholic School and they took care of their own! We lived with rules, shared clothes and sometimes sadness. That Christmas my dad came from wherever he was and visited. To my little mind, I thought Santa had sent him early for me. He left after a brief visit and I thought that's what dads did for a long time. Still I was happy, in this big clean beautiful place where nuns ruled but loved us.

The only time Santa visited me was at that orphanage from my recollections! He came on the firetruck and gave everyone hugs and 'big' gifts! Can't remember what I got but it was good.

We went to church on Christmas day and had our toys blessed in prayer, and an opportunity to show -off I think!

I can also draw from the depths of my memories the treasured feeling of love, hope and happiness whatever the circumstances. Whenever I think of Christmas I think of giving, and have had to learn how to receive. There is so much joy in being the giver, it makes receiving pale in comparison. Yet, the real joy in giving is a happy receiver. Thus the meeting of a child and a woman has finally joined, to understand Christmas! 

When the world changes, we must adapt without losing the joy and the beauty of the Christmas season.

Have a Merry Christmas!

D-Wordslayer

Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Friday, 16 December 2016

Culture & Christmas Trini Style!




My thoughts are on Christmas...

I love the Christmas season. Actually, one of the most important and best parts of the season is our food. We have fantastic food which most homes will prepare to serve families and friends as they visit - from house to house. This season is about the richness of relationships and how we connect annually. There is a lot of love being shared, either through gift giving or hugs , kisses, and time spent. The poor and displaced are not left out as people dig deep to give everyone some Christmas cheer. I do wish Christmas was every day.
Here is a post I shared last year on one of my blogs, to show you just how much fun my Christmas past was, and my present is in Trinidad & Tobago.

Christmas Nostalgia - A Lime aka Informal Hangout!

Its a 'Trini thing' with a Trini meaning - Lime!
Growing up we learnt the value of togetherness through celebrations. A lime is simply the coming together of persons to share a few drinks and 'shoot some breeze' (talk)! At Christmas time its a bigger occasion, which tends to turn an 'informal hangout' aka 'lime' into party with family and friends, neighbors and children.

There is music, talk, even card games and dancing. Everything is done in the home, in the backyard, or in front on the porch or stairways! As kids we were always given a piece of cake, sweetbread, ham & turkey slices and if lucky a 'pastelle'!

 The 'pastelle' is a cornmeal patty cooked in banana leaves. Its a tradition to stuff this corn-cake with a meat filling and wrap in the banana leaf and boiled. Its then frozen for use throughout the season. Its served warm with a special mustard sauce called 'chow chow'. We were given the tasks of washing the leaves and 'singeing then over the fire for softening and cleaning with the heat! In searching for a picture of pastelles I discovered a great recipe on the link www.simplytrinicooking.org via Google. The picture is also from that site.

Liming requires drinking and that's when the liquor cabinet gets tested. There are beers, whiskey, rum,vodka, ponche de creme, sorrel and ginger beer to name a few. I was always happy to get a 'taste' of ponche de creme as it was made with milk and rum and some aromatic Angostura bitters. My mom thought it was okay for us to get a little if we were good during the season! To this day enjoy a glass whenever offered!

As Children we were given the tasks to peel the sorrel leaves off the seed and fill a bowl. The sorrel was then rinsed and boiled with spice and clove and sugar! The grating of the ginger for the ginger-beer was something I did not like doing, but did it anyway, because I loved the sweet burning sensation of the drink!

Every lime has music and there is a steady mixture of carols, parang, soca and calypso to keep everyone entertained. Children were allowed to stay up late during the 'lime' at Christmas as it was a special time. We learnt a lot about the value in sharing and 'living' with other people during the Christmas season - the other people being family and friends who stayed over not wanting the lime to end. Life was simple and children simply accepted the easy joy of the festivities!

What is a cultural experience you enjoy in your country? As you think about it, that smile and joy is sure to warm your heart as it does my own! I'm in the Caribbean, so we have a lot of sun and rain, and though there is no snow, we all share this season of love in a special way!

Happy Christmas season!









Credits: *Special credit to GoogleTT for the photo of pastelles from www.simplytrinicooking.org 

Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Monday, 12 December 2016

Random Thoughts & The News

The face of news

The blogging world is like a parallel universe. It is a mixture of people, cultures, beliefs, religions, and a social cook-up of platforms for any type of diversity. The past year plus, has been a virtual world, filled with learning, technological experience being gained, and relationships, started, lost, and evolved based on commonalities. This is the way of the world.

I've gained some friends who are quite skilled at their craft and blogging and are more than happy to help others. I've explored through articles, countries I've always wanted to visit, and shared tears and laughter as we discuss world events. What makes this year remarkable, is, I have learnt more about me than I would have, if I had not been blogging. The experiences, observations and thoughts are real, and with sharing something real comes responsibility. One must own their words and sometimes the effect of their words on others. We can influence, either positively or negatively. It is the power of the written word.

The media worldwide on all types of platforms has been taking a beating for accurate and inaccurate reporting. I do wonder though how many of us are responsible for inaccurately sharing what we know to be false, or what we feel is from a compromised source? The news is available, and though technology takes it anywhere fast, we are the ones that input the data.

Who we are when we close our eyes is the same person as the one with them open. Our words have power, thus the weight of responsibility should weigh more than nothing!

Some random thoughts for your consideration.

D-Wordslayer

Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Friday, 9 December 2016

Christmas Then & Now

Thinking Christmas...

This Christmas like every other Christmas is special. In Trinidad & Tobago, Christmas is our spring cleaning season. The smell of paint and the sound of women negotiating with storekeepers for the best deals on drapery and curtains are a part of the  preparation. We are caught up in the commercial web, but somehow the consumerism gives way to friendly camaraderie as shoppers meet and exchange ideas.

Christmas trees, decorations and music fill the air. We are a vibrant people, and very visual with our emotions. The malls, streets, and every city center is buzzing with activity. For me, getting the house 'ready' for entertaining and festivities seems like a mountain looking at a pebble on the beach. Can I ever finish, and will each day last longer than the last so I can do more with the time given? I am savoring these moments.

Things are different when 'time' goes by quickly. My babies are big babies, and they have their own ideas about the holidays. As I listen and look at then, I am reminded of who I was many years ago, and how I was too busy to enjoy the precious moments presented. Now, I wish to wait. I desire in my heart for each season to slowly release its essence and fill each room and space with an aroma. I am no longer, hastily awaiting the end, but I am enjoying the beginning of each day, and season.

My feelings for Christmas have evolved. I appreciate more what I grew up with. Here are my thoughts shared last year on a Christmas memory;

" The entire Christmas season as I remember it from childhood was filled with noise. There were squeals of laughter, and lots of shouting and some tears. Overall, the house -my home was warm with love and cheer. Even in times when there was little money for much, my mom somehow made the home warm especially at Christmas.

She was and is an amazing woman - my mom - Maricita Moreno Eversley. "It is what is in the heart and not the material things which bring joy" , this is what I remember from her. It is what I practice today. It is the tradition of sharing and enjoying what you have, and not thinking about what you don't have. It is living with the warmth within you and not seeking what others may have on the outside.

On Christmas day I felt that warmth in my home  last year. The fires keep burning, as the laughter of my children (grown -up), friends and 'borrowed' grand-kids  fill the air! How wonderful this season of love!"

What are your memories of Christmas? What does it mean to you? For me it all boils down to family and love. This is what comes to my heart when I think of Christmas. We are the family of Jesus Christ and he was to us on this earth, in love!

Thanks for sharing, commenting and being a part of this season with me!

D-wordslayer


Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Monday, 5 December 2016

A time of reflection

Reflecting...


" The biggest part of who we are is sometimes who we are not!" (Eversley,DL. 2016)

Last year I wrote a post called "An Act Of Contrition...Renewing Me", and published via LinkedIn Pulse. This year, as I read the post a lot of its truth still resonates. I have changed, my body is healing, and my spiritual core is being strengthened daily, but I am in essence the same. Reflecting on the words this year, has a lot more impact than last year. Maybe it is because, I have found the person I am will not change because of the circumstances around me. No I am me, and that person grows like a flame, when inspired by the miracle of life and living.

The post is shared below:

Sometimes to find the light within you need to move the junk covering your glow!

A few years ago I did a tour of Harrison's Caves in Barbados - that's a shot from inside above. Its a limestone cave which is quite beautiful to enter and go through. There is that feeling of discovering the light deep below the surface, covered in darkness. Hidden treasures waiting to be seen.

This year, I've had a lot to process. My heart, mind, body and soul needs to empty some stuff which can cause stress and clog the arteries of life.

Years ago growing up, I was a part of a family of Catholics (a religion) who prayed weekly together while at church on Sundays. It was seen as the correct thing to do, without really understanding why. There were the confessions which were feared, as I wished to avoid a very long list of devotionals to repeat as part of my repentance. I do remember feeling free after my penance was completed, but I always had many to do.

There were times I thought I would outsmart God and not tell him everything, because how would he really know my mind? It never worked, I simply gave in, afraid, the priest would know of my additional sin of lying to his boss!

As I sit here these memories come back to taunt me. Recalcitrant childish behavior is not seen only in children. The news shows a lot of politicians and famous public personalities engaging in behavior not acceptable in a child. What should their penance be, or is it okay for adults to do what we punish our children for?

Scanning social media every day makes it very clear, that maybe I was punished too harshly. I had to confess about telling my mom I took the candy she asked me not to take at 6 years old. I got suspended for calling my teacher names because I did not get my own way in class and I was only 11 years old. I even had a lot of penance for talking to the boys from the boy school next to my girl school. I had so much penance my name is probably in the ‘good book of saints’! I look at politicians trumping away with divisive language, increasing rage, fear, and I wonder will they ever have to say ‘an act of contrition'! 

I will be letting it all out - my feelings of contrition for bad behavior this year. I do hope it can be expelled through cleansing  and asking for forgiveness. I’ve had quite a lot of anger, hate, and enormous feelings to cause pain to those who hurt me in the recesses of my mind. There have been a lot of tantrum moments with my family as I adjusted to healing.  I've even been so bold as to say some harsh words at times to folks who say they "understand my hurt and it will pass, it will be okay." How would they know, not being me? So yes, I was a bad girl and most times the platitudes were not appreciated when given - but I appreciate them now!

I’m also sorry for telling the folks at the government agencies that I know they are doing their best, when I actually thought otherwise. I’m sorry for being sweet and patient and kind - a real picture of diplomacy, when I really wanted to tell the truth about my feelings! I’m sorry for lying to myself by exercising patience and restraint with all those world leaders on behalf of my beloved refugees. I’m sorry for complacency, and compromising on some of my beliefs – accepting less than what I am due.
If I were to be given penance, it would be quite long, I’m sure. The politicians of the world do make me look like an angel but two wrongs do not make it right. I'm responsible for my actions and hope they share similar feelings during quiet moments. Reflective action is good.

I'm clearing the things that block out my light, so once more my heart is easier to see when looking in the mirror.

Now I am free, to forgive, move on and fill that wonderful empty space with happiness, hope and creativity! I’m not bitter, and I am certainly not sad. I am free, and I wish the same for you. I have hope, joy and opportunities I am still unaware of. My glass is filling with something great; I wish the same for you!

Lets get the rubbish out of the house called 'self' and burn it till the ashes are seen no more. Lets refresh, renew and accept our act of contrition to ourselves. Accepting our truth, and not being afraid to be bold in who we are. I am definitely ready for tomorrow, and I'm walking into my sun once more!

The Present


As I read the comments once more, the value of comments and interactions are highlighted. Everyone has something of value to add, whether in agreement or not. You can check out the original post here, if you wish, and you may find your own thoughts reflected.

Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts through liking and commenting. If it resonates please share with your network, family and friends.


Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER with appropriate and specific direction to the original content




Friday, 2 December 2016

Parents...Patience & Love!


A mama's truth


Parenting is hard. There are no manuals that tell you what to do to be the best parent for the child you birth. The only thing you know is this human being is dependent on you for a long time. No two children are the same. Actually the differences in children in the same home can be quite startling. Nevertheless, as a parent, for many of us, the learning never ceases. We build up expectations, hopes, dreams and fantasies of success and grandeur on many levels for all our babies. We love our children. I love my sons and beautiful daughter with my all. They are more precious than silver and gold. Indeed, the miracle of their life is a blessing beyond measure.

I've written about my sons previously, but I'd like to share about my daughter, and the complex relationship we have.

She's a girl


She is headstrong. She loves to read, and is an incredible writer. My baby girl is smart, and loves doing makeup on herself, and is great with eyebrows. She has developed a sense of style, and enjoys getting her hair styled and being 'on point’. She is great with the science and literary subjects, and initially thought she wanted to be a doctor. Presently, she is working until she figures out what her career path will be.

My daughter, my baby, does not like me, or my rules much at this time. I'm quite sure she has never liked my rules, and can find me intolerable on occasions. She does share her feelings on what she believes a mother is and should be, and I have been getting a failing grade for a long time. I'm not sure if I can ever be the mother she wishes for, but I am the mom she has.

If you feel shocked, as you get to this point, then, just think back to your own rebellious days, or your present. Our children are not 'made to order’,nor are we who they wish for as they develop into adults, sometimes. Life can be like a field of thorns. Difficult to stand up, when every move can bring pain. I understand this, but standing up and walking on the prickly field, is a part of my parental journey. Eventually, the bed of roses will be there, waiting. The final destination, whenever it comes, will not be something you want to be around for. Hopefully, a child outlives their parents. This is my hope.

The relationship we share, as I mentioned is not smooth. There was a time a long time ago, I thought she was happy with me. Right now, I'm 'persona non grata’, and her perceptions of me are not good. We both have trust issues. We both feel strongly. I hope that we can both love each other through the adversities, both real and imaginary. This is life.

Looking back, then forward


Growing up and entering my teenage years, was different to what children go through now. As I listen to my eldest son share on my thoughts from the past, and the realities of the present for my daughter, our differences are really similar, just presented in a different way. He has wisdom beyond his years, and is a spoonful of reality when needed.

As parents  our first instinct is to  protect,  and the next is to provide. Sometimes we have let go  sooner than we want to, and at other times we may  need to  release them even when  we don't  think it's wise.  I am reminded regularly of the upcoming twenty year birthday and how much more 'others' can do in her world.

As far as relationships go, this is the most  important one in my life at this moment,  and it takes  two to make it work and get better. I will  keep  trying,  praying  and  maybe one-day soon,  the bridge  between  us will be strong enough to weather  any storm.  As long as we have  life we have hope,  and I am  happy for this.

My dear  readers,  some stories are layered so deep beneath  the surface  we need to dig constantly to get to the core. Whatever your own story,  always  remember  each new day brings another chance to work on you. This is the yin and yang of life, and maybe the stories we hide, because the world needs to see the beautiful stories which hide reality. Be true. Keep it real.

Thanks for reading and sharing. I look forward to your thoughts and experiences if you will share with this blogging world!


Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Just Thinking Out Loud: Life with Me is a Limited Time Edition!


Time


In clearing the drafts in my email something popped up, "life with me is a limited time edition." So, here I go wondering where that line came from and saw it was from me - smile! I just have to smile at that cocky line which would have come about from somewhere unknown right now. If a thought comes to me I've been making notes on the 'notes app'  on my mobile or in my email drafts. Sometimes I go back and continue, or, the words can be left behind along with the memory of why it came to light.

Writing can be a lot of fun when you pull everything together and a post or article is the finished product. When its incomplete if there is a residual remainder, the tale may never make it to the eyes of others. This brings me to some random thoughts on ending the year in a state of completeness.

Is it necessary to complete?

"To complete is to finish, making that which was started whole or brought to an end. Nothing more can be added, and even if something could be added, the time has run out."(Eversley,2016

I am ending this year in a state of incompleteness (my non word). For the rest of my life I do not wish to be complete. I do not wish to find myself at the end of the road, but rather to keep adding and changing the person I am and the way I live. Yes. This is continuous improvement and personal development!

Life with me is a limited time edition because my time on this earth is limited. I want to end studying at the end of my life. I desire to stop loving everyone I care for at the end of my existence. I desire to keep working, inspiring, inventing, creating, when all of me has completed my circle of life. The way I choose to offer my services will always be improving because it will not have an ending on my ability. Who I am and my circumstances, will always change because they are not stagnant - this is my mantra for the end of this year and the upcoming new year.

Let me be incomplete because I am not absolutely perfect - simply aspiring for all the perfect opportunities to meet my imperfection, and together we will successfully complete our moment's mission.

Life is a paradox of balance. We would do well to embrace its completeness.

Just thinking out loud...

Thanks for reading, sharing your thoughts with me, your circle of friends and followers.

Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna-Luisa Eversley and D-WORDSLAYER with appropriate and specific direction to the original content