Quitting when it Counts

“A winner never quits and a quitter never wins”, unlike this quote, this piece is not about perseverance but on the real need sometimes to quit while we are ahead.

Here’s a thought how about we quit when quitting is the right thing to do. Sure we have been told all our lives never to give up and to keep trying and we should. But, what if the path we are on the thing we are pursuing is causing us more harm than good? Should we keep pushing, expending all our time, energy and potential on something that offers no reward?

If you have to second guess whether or not you should be exactly where you are maybe quitting is an option to consider. Perseverance is important in the world we live in today, however, trying to persevere when there is this nagging feeling that there is something else beyond what you currently experience should not be ignored.

This maybe a stretch for many but consider this, what if we thought about quitting as a way not to settle for less than we can have and that our efforts require. When we see the writing on the wall, and we know what it means, sometimes in the name of persevering we commit and participate in our own downfall. Sure we have dreams, we have goals and we want them to be realized. But, if we evaluate some of them can they stand up to scrutiny, are the based more on a sentiment that on hard cold reality? In being stubborn about some of those dreams that really were based on unrealistic expectations, are we being blind to the other opportunities around us?

There are things I am slowly letting go of, and through this process I have been less stressed, unhappy and dissatisfied. I am stubborn to a fault and I have always seen this as a positive, until this very flawed characteristic nearly cost me my sanity. I was unwilling to give up on a failed enterprise because I had given so much time, made so much sacrifice and burnt some bridges in the process. So there I was about to go down with the ship – would have gone down with it too – until a cold bucket of reality snapped me back from that fatal finale. No one should wait until they have tested the benevolence of that cliff and how quickly we can slip down it, before taking a step back and walking away. When faced with the challenge of quitting, don’t think about what others will say or how they will react. Instead be honest and determine if our own myopia and fear of being seen as a failure could be holding us back.

Yes, this piece has a lot of questions but few explicit answers. However, I think if you dig a little deeper and be more honest, they answers are already there.



Do you hear my song?
do you know I am rooting for you.
I see your petals have all fallen off
no leaves to cover your nakedness
even the green 
has forsaken you.
I breathe warmth on you
 in you and through you
I want you to live.
do not bow your head,
raise it up!
see I am doing it with you.
I feel  you tremble
but do not be afraid.
Your roots are too deep
they cannot be removed.
see I will water you but you must want to live!
I must see your brown turn to green 
yellow, red and purple.
I must see you spread and take flight.
I must see you lifted high
way above the deep blue skies.
Your must perfume my world
brighten my rainy days.
but my only prayer for you - 
you must thrive.

Waiting Behind Walls

Hear me out for a minute. Sometimes we may feel we are being strong, resilient even defiant when we dig in our heels and refused to be moved. This calls to mind the African American spiritual song, “I Shall not be moved”, I shall not, I shall not be moved Just like a tree planted by the water I shall not be moved… I am sure it is meant to call to mind the strength of the individual to remain firm in the face of overwhelming obstacles. And while traditionally, it carries a positive message, let’s consider it another way.

Sometimes we have to move. Sometimes we have to uproot ourselves out of that water that has become infested by all manner of pollutants that threaten our true selves, our very lives. We cannot be rooted in places that offer no nourishment, that shrink us instead of making us tall, that compromise our potential instead of making us flourish. At that point we must move or be removed.

But, I wanted to go to the idea of walls. I have always found solace in hiding behind walls, after all aren’t they there to protect us? So we build walls to keep bad things out and the good in. Overtime we develop a false sense of security, we believe we are untouchable because we have the wall there to keep us safe. We start forgetting how bad things can get and we sometimes forget to recognize those things that are used to deceive us, we forget the evil and what it looks like and the fact that it can take many shapes and sizes. However, walls are never impenetrable, they can be breached. And when they are, will we be ready for the consequences?

How far can we go to have the lives we want for ourselves, in a space with innumerable pockets of potential disasters? This is not an easy question to answer and certainly cannot be answered by thinking or philosophizing about it, but by doing, taking action. However, there is one thing that I see as sure, sitting behind those walls and waiting things out makes us sitting ducks for those pockets that can explode and destroy those walls and breach those imaginary bubbles.

Love What You Have.

When you love what you have. You have everything you need…

Maybe I have it all wrong and maybe I need to think this through some more. Could it be that in focusing on what we want and what we do not have that we have failed to realize how much we do have, at points in our lives. Yes, we have all heard and know the sentiment of appreciating what we have, but we often do not, and I know I have not and need to be honest about this. There are times when we realise that we do have things to be grateful for but that epiphany does not go very far. Too often the reasons to be grateful are buried under an avalanche of desires that occupy our waking and sleeping moments. When we go to bed we are consumed by them and when we wake up they greet us first thing.

Maybe we need to more intentional about first loving what we have, not just being grateful that we have them but actually loving on them. Loving them to the point where if we never get those things we dream of we will be okay. We will be okay and love the life that we enjoy because of them. We will be okay, mentally and spiritually. We will be okay with no regrets that this thing never happened or we were never able to get those things we placed on our bucket list.

It is truly hard sometimes to realize that we are pushing aside what we have for what we desire. However, sometimes before we can get something else we need to show that we can love what we have. Whether it is a talent with think is not so impressive, a job, a possession or even the people around us, we have to love them and show appreciation for them no matter what. It doesn’t matter if they can help us get ahead or if no one else appreciates those things you appreciate. What matters is that we take the time to give love and show gratitude for having them. I know the saying is true from my experience: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. We cannot lose sight of the importance of what we already have, they matter. They have helped to shape us and they will forever be a part of who we are. Therefore, while we pursue new dreams may we never forget those we have attained and while we seek new paths let us not leave the things or people we have gathered from old routes behind.

Love what you've got
because you need them to thrive
love what you've got
without them you may not survive
all the trappings 
that seem to frame all your dreams
that take you further
away from yourself.

Love what you got
they are your saving grace.
Love what you've got
Let that set your pace.

The Enemy Within

The Enemy Within

A spring bubbles up and bursts forth
lots of promise 
lots of pomp.
As it gets bigger and flows down
it faces lots of twist and turns.
The winding mounting from which it must descend
made it tired
and it stopped.
it gathered to itself
things it thought
would make it strong 
With each new stop it gathered more
some good,
mostly bad.
By the time it reached the sea
it had brought new dangers disguised as friend
though it was foe.
Because it loved it the sea 
with open arms
to receive the daggers it had wrought.

Until I Caused It…

I got a note from my aunt once and I never really thought much of it. The note was written on a pretty paper and I kept it more so for the pretty print and the sentimental value but not the words she had written.

Then one day I thought about reusing the paper for a gift – it was so pretty! But I realized – because I had forgotten that something was written on it – that I could not use it and I was disappointed and threw it back down.

Much later I took it up and my blood ran cold and my heart skipped a beat:

” I was waiting for something extraordinary to happen but as the years wasted on nothing ever did, until I caused it to” – Charles Bukowski

How did she know? Did she known that she was giving me a gift and a burden? And I cried for the wasted years.

Now, where must I find the courage and how to stop waiting and make my extraordinary come true?

Then Sings My Soul…

There are just some poems that move me to tears. So sentimental, that all those moments from the past just come rushing back. This is the case with, It was the Singing, by Jamaican poet, Edward Baugh. Those nostalgic poems that make you hopeful and tearful at the same time. Tearful because your heart has been full for a while but you never knew how to release the pain, hurt and disappointment that has been piling up and this poem comes along and gives you the grace and permission to finally let it all go. The poem reminds me of the need for community to share with us those burdens we cannot bear alone and a blessing that can be found in the face of tragedy. They contain powerful words that can soothe the soul, and bring us the peace of mind we need even as we grieve.

It was the Singing

It was the singing, girl, the singing, it was
that full my throat and blind my eye
with sunlight. Parson preach good, and didn't 
give we no long-metre that day
and Judge Hackett make us laugh to hear
how from schoodays Gertie was a rebel
and everybody proud how Sharon talk
strong about her mother and hold her tears.
But the singing was sermon and lesson and eulogy
and more, and it was only when we raise
"How Great Thou Art" that I really feel 
the sadness and the glory, wave after wave.
Daddy Walters draw a bass from somewhere
we never hear him go before, and Maisie 
lift a descant and nobody ask her,
but it was the gift they bring., it was 
what they had to give and greater
than the paper money overflowing the collection
plate. It was then I know we was people
together, never mind the bad-minded and the carry -down
and I even find it in my heart to forgive 
that ungrateful Agnes fir everything she do me
and I sing and the feelings swelling in my chest
till I had to stop and swallow hard.
Then sings my soul, my saviour God to thee,
How great thou art, how great thou art...
and we was girls again together, Gertie
and me by the river, and then the singing
was like a wide water and Gertie laughing 
and waving to me from the other side.
Girl, I can't too well describe it.
Was like the singing was bigger than all of we
and making us better than we think we could be,
and all I asking you, girl, is when 
my time come to go, don't worry
make no fuss bout pretty coffin
and no long eulogy, just a quiet place
where gunman and drug addict don't haunt,
and if they sing me home like how they sing Gertie
I say thank you Jesus, my soul will sleep in peace.