|Volume 4, Issue 4||
byDiva Joan Cartwright
Fall is the time of harvest, reaping what you've sown. This year, I have even more blessings to be grateful for than many years past.
This past year has been extremely taxing and challenging. The loss of my son-in-law set a series of events in motion that I wasn't exactly prepared for when I made the decision to move to Atlanta to support my daughter in her business and personal matters.
I wasn't ready to be a grandmother. I've been on my own since 1990, without my children and their children. I was in Europe most of the nineties and from 2000 until June 2004, I lived as a single woman, with no responsibilities, except myself and my 100-year-old grandmother, whose affairs I put in order, renovating her house and placing her in a private facility with excellent care. So, I was on my own most of the time. Coming to Georgia opened up a whole new scenario for me that tapped into my ability to be patient and loving with two teenager suffering from acute grief at the loss of their father.
My daughter's grief was absorbed by her unceasing passion to produce the music of her late husband and continue the business they started together, Caustic Entertainment Group. So, she was not the one who I had to deal with in the area of high emotional dysfunction. The grandchildren are 14 and 20. The girl is in ninth grade and, when I first arrived, we were on even keel, but when she went from 12 to 13, the month after I arrived, WOW, what an attitude shift I had to deal with. A year later, when she turned 14, the heat between us seemed to subside, but we're still not on good terms. I'm unhappy about the way she keeps her room and she's unhappy about the way I express my unhappiness to her. I was so tired of her room being a wreck that I took everything out of her closet and drawers and put it on the floor. She thought I was being mean. But her mother assured her that I was doing it to show her that she doesn't have to live like that.
My grandson (20) made me a great grandmother, before I'm 60. That, in itself, is enough to have stress about. But worse is the way he kept his room. Finally, he's found his own job and apartment and he's moved out of my daughter's house, but not before I got my fill and moved out. I live in the house we use for our business. I'm at peace, though my belongings are split between the two houses. I don't have to see the mess, so I don't have to be a clean-up monitor.
And, I'm soooooo blessed to have another home to move into. There are homeless people in Atlanta. Lots of them. You see men sleeping on the streets all around town. My daughter even does a monthly concert to make people aware of the Homeless and Hungry. This is a point on which we really see eye to eye. She's been doing the concerts since July 2004, when I arrived, and she's been consistent until now.
Blessings do abound. I saw a church sign that said, "You are blessed to be stressed." Now, I don't know if I entirely agree with that, but it does stand to reason that, if you don't have a family and home, you have less to be stressed about, but loneliness and homelessness may be a heavy price to pay to be without the stress of your family and house.
Another blessing has been Lush Life Café, a vegetarian restaurant owned and operated by Ras Chemash Lamed, a jazz singer from NY who has been in business in Atlanta for almost 3 years. We have a vocal workshop at his place on Tuesdays. Puss n' Boots and Baby Spliph of the Caustic Dames do Jazz Meets Hip Hop with me.
Also, this year, I was media for a number of events in Atlanta,
I was able to get great interviews, photos and video footage of wonderfully talented and progressive musicians, artists and entrepreneurs. I conducted several interviews for my next book, THE POLITICS OF MUSIC, including South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, pianists Randy Weston and Ronnie Matthews. Also, this year, I met Ahmad Jamal, Little Jimmy Scott, Shirley Horn, Regina Carter and Jane Fonda (who thought she knew me.)
So, I am grateful for my new home, my daughter, her children, our studio, our businesses, new friends, old friends and the Internet that offers a means of my being able to express my stress and gratitude for my blessings. And Mimi, Cinceria and I are on our way to Paris in November!
of Mother Earth
with Women in Jazz
Mark your calendar, today!
FAMILY AND HEARTH
My youth was spent in two homes in Queens, NY. The first was in Ozone Park, near Sutphin and Foch Blvds. It was a twin house and my mother's penchant for decorating was in full force. We lived there until my parents separated when I was 13. My mom, brother and I moved into a small ranch house, where we lived until I moved to Florida. As houses go, the first one was terrific, the second was OK and my living arrangements in Florida varied from apartments to houses.
Where I AM, now, is what's important. First of all, I'm in a lovely house on a corner lot in East Point, GA. It is green and rich with trees, here. The neighbors take very good care of their properties, making it even more pleasant to live here. This month, I had two special visitors. Juanita Hernandez and Tony Francis.
Judy Hernandez grew up next to me in the first house on Inwood Street. She lived there with her parents, Arturo from Cuba and Emily from Perry, GA., and her brother, Arturo and two sisters, Joann and Barbara.
Joann also lives in Georgia. Sometimes, we go out together and it is like we were never separated in our teens. Though we've been apart by states and oceans for the past 40 years, our friendship and sisterhood is like it was when we were kids. Judy and her family came back into my life, when I moved to Georgia to be with my daughter. Judy's mom, Emily, is a real aunt to me. Her sisters Joanne and Barbara are my sisters, too. Having them back in my life has been very special.
Tony is the friend of a
boyfriend I had in the eighties, trombonist/drummer/
My blessings come from those who love me. Friends are really hard to find and good friends are better than finding a boat full of gold.
The Great Invocation
From the point of Light within the Mind of God
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
From the center where the Will of God is known
From the center which we call the race of men
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.
As Divine Beings, we have access to the unlimited Supply of the Universe. It is necessary, as Beings with Free Will, for us to CALL, COMMAND and DEMAND this access. Angels, Guardians and Ascended Beings stand by, waiting for our call, waiting for us to connect with our I AM PRESENCE, the connection to our God/Goddess Selves that enables us to immediately have all that we need to live a happy life. GaiaNews Index
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Joan Cartwright is a singer, composer, journalist, producer, filmmaker, photographer, website designer and traveler. Her first book, A HISTORY OF JAZZ AND BLUES is part of her Master's Thesis. Her second book, MUSIC IS OUR POLITICS (working title) is a compilation of interviews with jazz musicians, DJs, promoters and aficionados. It will be published in 2005. Her CD, Feelin' Good, was released in 1995 and is still a contemporary recording. BUY THE CD.