life in the shed.

Every fall, I am swept up into a fantastic party thrown by my own creative energy.  I think it's partially residual brain-training left over from all those years of following the school calendar.  (My friend Holly suggested not long after I wrote this that it may also be a sign of my Vata dosha.)  As August dwindles, my fingers start twitching in tandem with my brain waves.  Summer travel often has the effect of jump-starting this, but this year I did my traveling in the spring and early/mid parts of the summer, so here I am emerging on the other side of September only just now really hitting my stride.  I remember one year I spent a week or two of August up in northern California at my aunt's house.  While I was there I had my last-to-date encounter with the man who as a boy had been my great teenage romance, and, in a matter fitting to our generally chaste and suspiciously 19th-century (we wrote letters and exchanged verses and ultimately volumes of poetry) courtship, I began writing a series of poems that didn't stop for almost three months and about 150 poems later.  I remember I wrote the first one on the plane, about the two of us standing on the curb at the airport, and how everything that we had broken together was inconveniently loud under our sneakers as our cautious steps towards each other to hug goodbye completely demolished our tries at seeming smooth and unaffected.  The bulk of the poems that followed were tomes of adoration for the classic artsy-jerk dude I was to make a habit of following around soon after my return to real life back on the east coast.  Well, to be fair, I wrote a lot of stuff about being black and all that comes with that, too.  I wrote about being a woman, an American, a human, a speaker and a listener, too.  As all true Beckees know, being true to form in and of itself is an exercise in multitasking.  But I suppose for me it was (for a long time at least) always the angst that provided the wealthiest remembrance cache, especially when it compels you to develop new styles to better reflect the love or lust that seems to be causing such a commotion.

So yes, this is a good time of year for me, when creativity declines a seat on the sidelines and enters the ring to beat me senseless until I'm thoroughly initiated and tattooed.  Last year it's what pushed me to finish my first blanket:

that's the blanket in the background.  fyi.

The year before that I had just moved into my parents' house for the recession-stamped last gasp of my twenties and was overwhelmed by the concept of a truly full pantry, so when my bug bit I went baking crazy and adopted a set of essential skills for anyone tempted to veganize dessert favorites.  Behold, mini-Mexican chocolate bundt cakes, apple-cinnamon oatmeal raisin cookies, sweet potato pumpkin pie, chocolate dream tofu cheesecake and chocolate chip flaxseed cookies!

a little subconscious branding in my homemade confectioner's sugar.

This year it took shape in late August/early September as some serious brainstorm chasing, self-motivated training maneuvers and multidisciplinary stretching exercises.  This blog is definitely a part of that in and of itself, and those who have been kind enough to read the blog have been witness to another such exercise, the revamped haiku game I've started playing using the Dictionary.com "Word of the Day" feature.  (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can read the two entries I've got so far here and here.  Along with that I've got the bare bones of about nine new instrumentals, two of which have been deflowered and are already producing that sweet, juicy fruit known as lyrics and melody.  I've started on a second blanket, am learning-by-doing the basics of video editing, have nearly perfected the frosting for my chocolate loaf cake, designed the first three greeting cards for the Love, Beckee line and I've finally started one of the nearest and dearest pet projects I have held close in my heart for most of my thrilling life on this here earth.

Pet project, you say?  Me, she who cannot focus on any one thing long enough to accomplish it in an efficient way or at all, for that matter?  Yes, moi.  If there's anything I can't help but learn about my life it's that no matter how many revolutions I seem to be engaging in at any given time, the fundamental things about me that lead me in so many directions never change.  I love people, I love performing, I love my family, I love myself, I love my culture, I love God (I know, it's a given what with this love-list), I love food, music, theater, science and language.  These are all my first loves, my early loves, my forever loves.  You know how in every other romantic comedy there's a character who comes to the conclusion that we are all destined to keep meeting and falling in love with the same person over and over again?  That's how our god-loves are (I call them god-loves because they are the ones that connect us with our purpose, but those uncomfortable with the word can try loveDNA or something, I don't know).  They represent the amalgamation of everything that we are as individuals, and as such they can link seemingly unrelated interests into the perfectly imperfect, seamless manifestation that is you.  Or in this case, me.  So you can't take the warm and fuzzy blanket without the moist, rich chocolate cake.  And if you want haiku for each day of the week, six organic herbal tea blends, two love songs, a birthday card and an essay on the legacy of the black midwife (soon come), then guess what?  You are in the right place.

So what of this pet project?

Sorry, can't give that one away just yet.  


  1. Your God-Love concept is really well thought out and so. damn. true. Why am I having a good cry session after reading this post? Because it just made me think of the moment I knew you were going to be my friend for life freshman year. Thanks for the brilliance.

  2. Friends for life. Doesn't get any better than that.