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May
09

Letting Go, Being Let Go and The Pivotal P’s

Discipline is the new sexy!

Discipline is the new sexy!

Much like the big O, letting go and being let go doesn’t often or necessarily happen simultaneously.  And while things can get messy, letting go and being let go at some point in our lives is inevitable and also quite liberating.

In my life the inevitable happened about one month ago. In actuality, today marks five weeks since I was led into a small room without a window, under the guise of an impromptu departmental meeting and informed that my position was being “phased out.” It’s taken all of these five weeks to make peace with the movements and the dealings of that unceremonious day. It’s taken every ounce of who I’ve always known I was to come to a measure of grace.

Today is a good day. Today is a very good day for letting go.  I am not the first to be laid off. And although I did not know it at the time, I was not the only one that day who was told in some form or fashion that for reasons, which still aren’t quite clear, that this particular professional relationship was over.

Letting go or being let go you see applies itself to any power relationship, whether in the professional or the personal realm. I subscribe to the idea that the personal is ever political and I also think the same may be said for the the relationship between the professional and the personal, at least as it applies to me.

For the past 4 and 1/2 years, I had been gainfully employed as a Researcher at a conservative non-profit. I had my 15-second introduction down-pat, and it had everything to do with finding foundations with the “heart” and “capacity” to “partner” with our mission.  I was  was too comfortable in that position. Too comfortable in a place and time where the transferable skills that placed me in that hot seat for the longest job stint I had held in my life were now irrelevant to the bottom line.

I lost and found myself at this job and in this position and I don’t despise any of it. If the trick was playing the role, while a little rebelliously merging the personal with the professional; then the treat was and is discovering my calling, my authentic self, my authentic voice, where there is no equivocation and no cause for starched to perfection poise or fashionista tendencies unless I wake up on that side of the bed.

Truth be told, they stole my thunder.  And it serves me right. LOL.  I wanted to be the one to say ‘when’. I had been coming to ‘when’ for two years.  So you see the curve ball. Letting go or being let go is a reality check, and after the unchecked tears in the car, I had to remember to tell God THANK YOU!

I am 34 with no title except for the one I imagine. It’s a great age, a great place to get to know oneself and discover passion. If being let go leads you to a merger of truth, no matter the stage in your life, then I think we owe it to ourselves to embrace it.  I’ve discovered that it is always about walking in your truth, because no matter what comes, you can ride the wind without looking at your feet, without feeling abused by outside forces, without sinking into former tendencies, or depression.

You can defy gravity!

Letting go is process.  This has been the year for great change, not in the way of the grand gesture, but just a shift in my atmosphere and I knew it, had felt it deep down for the past two years, but only now was it bubbling to the surface where I knew my change was imminent.

Letting go and being let go.  One you control the other you don’t.  No job owes you anything. Florida is a right-to-work state. Aside from the things that I never should have put off in the first place, like the doctor and the dental visits. In spite of some former skewed priorities I feel blessed to be at this point. I am grateful that those that knew me and had been listening (or even reading) didn’t offer apologies. They would miss a daily presence as I would, but so many said “this is your time T.”

Letting go or being let go means the world at your feet in some sense. BIG TIME OPPORTUNITY!

Danielle LaPorte, author of The Fire Starter Sessions and whose White Hot Truth I devotedly imbibe asked a simply question: How do you want to feel? The stream of consciousness was immediate. I wanted to feel  “PASSIONATE, POWERFUL, PRESENT, PRECIOUS, PRAYED-UP/PRAYERFUL.” That’s exactly what I wrote in my journal. The pivotal P’s I call them. That was month’s before being let go.

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that that situation is over, you cannot move forward.” – Steve Maraboli, Life, The Truth, and Being Free

Letting go and being let go. Time has marched. I’ve dared myself to move on and create the reality I say I desire. This is a new chapter. This writer-woman is fully engaged.

 

The featured card-stock (which I’ve fully embraced in the NOW as my motto and mojo) was created by my friend and  fellow blogger Mariah Williams. Check out her Etsy shop for this and other sundry delights.

ABOUT THE WRITER

 

Mar
20

A Do and A Dare: Who’s Afraid of a Little Black Dress?

In every woman’s life there should be some version of a Little Black Dress (LBD).  Actually there should be several if you’re like me and have a healthy appreciation for variety.

In my case, even with a closet of no less than 8 LBD’s (some with the tags still attached)  I am such a homebody that I rarely get to showcase any of these precious dresses, which is why most days you will catch me parading the halls of my very conservative day gig as if I were on the runways that are my former New York Streets or Fort Street in SKB (Basseterre, St. Kitts).

So on a recent Saturday night with nothing more on the agenda than grocery shopping, I decided to dare to wear an LBD for no other reason than I felt like it.  And not just an LBD, but a bit of razzle-dazzle and pops of color on the cheeks, lips, ears, hair and feet.  The moon was going to be my spotlight that night!

My Facebook post went a little something like this: “Feeling like grocery shopping and what not in a little black dress. I mean as many dresses as stare out my closet with tags still attached, I feel it’s my duty #ayeaye ;)” And of course that was necessary because I wouldn’t renege–I hoped!

I didn’t!

The LBD of the night: A Mark by AVON dress turned back to front. I should say, while I do see the virtue of that rule which says: when you go short, you should be covered up top, my fashion moves & style is so wrapped up with feeling a certain vibe that I would have run with my mood regardless.

Side Note: If you are not in a place where you are experiencing balmy nights (mostly) then I would simply add hosiery of your choice. I might even double up with red fishnets over black opaques. Throw on a black Moto-jacket of your choice. Remove the headgear (or not!), wrap around the neck and just go for it! Carpe diem!

My LBD Do and Dare for a grocery shopping trip also extended itself to din-din a la my favorite neighborhood sushi place. So there is a lesson in there somewhere about preparedness and just setting the right tone and energy.

Dress: MARK by AVON, Necklace: Peace Images Tut, Shoes: Penny Loves Kenny via Ross, Animal Print Scarf (worn as headwrap): H&M

Do you own any LBD’s? When do they come out/in to play?

 

*Photos were taken with a camera phone. Can you believe we thought that blue cast on the 1st shot was a pic killer! lol


ABOUT THE WRITER
[author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://dasheenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Blowing-in-the-wind-Bio.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hi there, I’m Tynisha C. Leon, writer, West Indian, mango-lover, founder and editor-in-chief of DASHEEN magazine — the online destination where culture feeds imagination. Join the culture conversations on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr! [/author_info] [/author]

 

 

 

 

Mar
19

A Top 7 Listing of Black Men Celebrating Women in Song and Verse

It’s important for this woman writer in a month that celebrates women across the globe, to not only honor women but also celebrate the men who LOVE us, and who have exhibited that love in song and verse.

These are the men who recognize our VIRTUOSITY as relayed in the following missive:

“Virtuosity is not just encapsulated by a woman’s superficial beauty, nor by her education or class…My ideal woman would have the literary verse and depth of Toni Morison, the soul of Nina Simone and the Activism of Angela Davis. She must be willing to stand by my side and be militant like Assata Shakur, devoted like Winnie Mandela and rule like the Mother Queen Tye.”  M.G.A.

Minna Salami of Ms. Afropolitan further provoked something strong in me when she penned this piece.  She took the time to highlight the black male perspective through their words, and it just carried weight for me. Women’s issues demand a united front, period!

While any woman may appreciate or even covet a ‘Brick House’ compliment, the criteria for my top 7 listing of men celebrating women in song and verse while simple, has great expectation of going beyond the superficial, and is deeply invested in:

  • The recognition of the struggle
  • The presence of a clear respect for the compass that is woman and her intuition
  • An abiding willingness to partner, to stand by (your) woman as it were

I would love to list the following via some compass of probable importance, but all that is arguable and we are not here to fight, or even to be lulled by the strange pull and/or high of breakup to makeup. We are here because there are brothers who RECOGNIZE, and bless their hearts, for we love the them with equal fervor.

1. Tarrus Riley – “She’s Royal”

This song was my first introduction to the artist and it definitely shaped my view of the man. Not to mention that I had recently big-chopped for the 2nd time around when I first heard it. So there was something there that struck me at the core of who I wanted to be as a woman, who was on this journey-sweet I like to call: Becoming Natural. Tarrus hasn’t missed or slipped in my opinion since this declaration. “She’s Royal” is no come on, for women the world over, it is how we were born.

 

2. Shawn Welcome – “Superwoman”

This brother right here! This brother right here. THIS child of God! Ha! I could let his wife Jannah tell it, as “Superwoman” is all about her as motivation and motivator, but Shawn covered every basis for a partnership that is oh so rooted. It’s one thing to respect an artist for transcending and be grateful for a much-needed message received, but to be invited into hearth and home and see the daily grind and the love take hold. Yeah, this right here is why I NEEDED to write this.

 

3. Capleton – “Mama You Strong”

I fell into this song after a recent trip home to St. Croix, Virgin Islands. I was so angry at bearing witness to what was happening daily to a people and to the Caribbean region. The lawlessness. The hopelessness that manifests itself in lawlessness. The heartbreak of the hardworking. Just the nonsense that masqueraded for day-to-day life.  And it wasn’t even the whole story, but it was too pervasive to take lightly. It was top to bottom frustration for me, and those feelings were perfectly encapsulated by Capleton’s “Liberation Time”. Through that blistering hit, I ran headlong into “Mama You Strong” and I was convicted, and I found my spark and just knew that if we could just get the message out that it would find a home.

FAVE LINE: “Mama this son won’t let you down…” Neither will this daughter!

 

4. Maxwell – “This Woman’s Work”

This song first appeared to my ears on Maxwell’s Unplugged LP.  As if Maxwell’s work hasn’t always had that intimate “unplugged” appeal, I thought where else could he take me. Well deeper depths and higher heights surely.  This is a redux of a Kate Bush original, a must listen if you value the root of any good thing.  Flash-forward to another rework on NOW, which might just be my favorite version. There is simply nothing to compare to breath of this song across lives and time and gender and races.  This Woman’s Work holds up the banner of women and men and somehow bridges it to the divine every time.

 

5. Bilal – “Soul Sista”

Whether you subscribe to the idea of a soul-mate or not, Bilal Sayeed Oliver was invested in deep partnership here. “Deeper than steep” is the way he describes his soul sista love. This song (and video) elevated the conversation, even as it kept it earthy and specific. A sista loved it!

 

6. Sizzla – “Black Woman and Child”

Sizzla just went een on this one! I love the pace, the time it takes to conceive and reacquaint us with who we are as a people. Also this is one of those songs where I almost feel like uttering, “if this man never made another song, then he would have stored up enough to feed generations.” Wheel back de tune selecta! Mek dem hear it to de four corners of de earth!

 

7. Youssou N’Dour – “Sagal Ko” (Honor Her)

I don’t know why I picked up N’Dour’s Album Nothing’s in Vain so randomly. It could have gone so wrong, but it all went so right. I just remember being in the Virgin Store on Times Square, killing time between classes at Hunter. I found myself tiptoeing around unfamiliar names, just needing to expand my musical borders a little bit. So without a review I picked it up.  Sagal Ko (Honor Her) was among my first listen faves.  I got out those lyrics and it was sealed. I don’t know what we think about African men, what myths we might hold as West Indians or American or Caribbean Americans; what I do know is that whenever I listen to this song, I feel the love, and I feel the soul of this African man bearing some weight and it is deeply appreciate it.

There are many other artists that I could have added to this pot. It’s a very good thing to be able to choose as a woman and so I leave the rest to you family. Bearing in mind the criteria, what are some standout male-driven tributes in song and/or verse?

Feature & Article Photo Credit: Saddi Khali

ABOUT THE WRITER

 

 

Feb
10

Flash Fiction: The Pelican

Red Type - Flash Fiction festure

I’ve been allowing myself all these little challenges of late.  My writer responds to them and there is no good reason to think that talent, especially if it is latent (just noticed that latent has all the elements of talent) doesn’t demand exercise.

On a Low Note was a bit of that.  Short, not so sweet, it didn’t start off the way it now appears.  Oh it was always not so sweet, but it was long, going on for days until I thought it could fit the profile of a song or sonnet.  The challenge there was brevity and pentameter, or the ten beats required for free verse.

Today’s challenge: Flash Fiction and the red letter rendition at that, since it is a matter of unrequited love.

I didn’t think prose work could be so tight. The reworking of my work has become my delight.  It gives a new lease on life.  It erases the fear of wondering what to write next.  It re-imagines the work, never allows it to be static or God forbid again latent.

I hope you enjoy The Pelican:

 
Timing was everything. Birth. Death. The space between. Love apace. Flights delayed. He needed to get up and out. But you didn’t yell or run past 9-11. How to get from here to there and you? ‘Hey you… YOU!’ She was the only soul in a crowded room that didn’t give a damn! She ran.

(c) Tynisha C. Leon 2012

What are your thoughts?  Are you up for a flash fiction challenge?  If so, post up! And if not (yet), what kinds of challenges has your writer been engaged in?  After all, writers should always be engaged in good conversation.

P.S.  Check out my friend and fellow writer Mariah’s Flashy offering here.  I do believe she’s working it!

ABOUT THE WRITER

 

Feb
09

Beloved Brother, Bob

The space between life and death is tempered with Bob Marley’s music.

I have no earthly idea if this comes part and parcel with being dubbed a Legend, but I believe it is a fact, and was much more so convinced of this after a recent trip to St. Croix this past January.  I sat in a yard, sunlight long gone, collective minds gathered, wrestling with the midnight hour.  It was in this space that a tent had been erected, to serve and offer a bit of shelter, if needed. It was here, where a still-hot grill simmered long after bellies had swelled, and where a coil burned slowly–necessary protection from ravenous mosquitoes.

It was in a space between the outsider and the bystander, that I observed brothers in mourning, their hearts torn by the loss of another brother.  There were no words for the grief.

They stood stoic, comforting themselves with hands burrowed deeply into pockets and heads bowed.  If there were prayers or meditation rights, it was not their words.  One brother manned the sound system and blaring from the system was Bob.  Brother Bob, as seems most apt here presided, doing what only he could do, talking a talk and chanting a chant about love, hope, strife, rebellion…LIFE and brotherhood.

This gathering over grief occurred nightly for the week I was there. Same brotherhood…Same tent…Same grill…A new coil…and Same Bob giving vent. Not so isolated if you consider the baby showers, christenings, birthdays, fetes, fairs, anniversaries where Bob has been invited and given carte blanche:  ‘Do you thing Bob. Make it right. Yes-i!’

Did Bob wish this? Did he envision it in some mystic high? Did he know that through high-grade chant and wail and love virtuosity that we would call him brother, father, prophet and have it not be vanity?

Say what you will, as each man is entitled to his own opinion.  I maintain that there is so much virtue wrapped up in Bob that you don’t have to turn yourself inside out to find it, or maintain it. For sure it wasn’t just about the channel of the man, as what passed through that channel of a man and his intended.

Last year I shared my absolute favorite Bob Marley tune:  “No Woman Nuh Cry” in the post “Love in the Key of Bob Marley.”  I loved it as a woman, like devotion and it is still in heavy rotation. This year, there was something about Punky Reggae Party.

It was released the year I was born (1977). It was the title that made me skip it one time too many on my re-released Legend album (circa 2002). I wasn’t ready to plunge the depths.  Another year, another earthday for a Lion of a man makes all the difference in appreciation.

A loss in the death of a brother and friend is no different.  The dead remain in memory, strengthened by the refrain of a song and the lick of a lyric surely.

We can’t rewind the clock, and so we must stop and take stock.  I bless God for the day that a Nesta Robert Marley was born, the day that he bore sons that carry on, and the day he bore songs that have stood the test of time and minds; and at the best and worst of times, provides an irrefutable soundtrack to life.

 

ABOUT THE WRITER
Feb
06

Rockaway R.E.D: For the Love of Music

February holds the distinction of being the shortest month of the year, even at its most capricious during leap year.

However, what February lacks in days it surely reclaims in audaciousness heart! February is jam-packed with renown, whether it is the celebration of the lives of our black stalwarts at home and abroad, the month we keep pace and raise awareness for our heart health, or the month in which we pay special homage to the legendary Bob Marley’s in the celebration of his earthday. “Could this be love?” he sang, and we well know, February is the month of LOVE and freedom to move about in that love (for some who need an invitation) as observed in the worldwide celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Enter Rockaway R.E.D. “For the Love of Music”: A ‘movement’ with a purpose, poised to touch the hearts of a Federation (St. Kitts & Nevis) on 14th February 2012 according to its unabashed organizer and promoter Dr. Garfield Alexander.

“The acronym R.E.D. represents:

Rewinding the musical clocks to the decade of the 80’s when we used to Rockaway,

Elevating the quality of entertainment within the Federation and,

Dancing like you use to back in the days without fear or inhibition.”

Rewinding, Elevating and Dancing is an interesting enough cocktail, but the lure of quality entertainment or entertainment with a difference, still begged the question of specifics regarding line-up:

Rockaway R.E.D. begins with the Spoken Word as some of our most talented rhyming lyricists entertain us with the love in their gift and art! After which we will:

~

REWIND TO THE DAYS OF “BOYZ TO MEN” with soothing and melodious voices of the all male vocal group RANGE, who will serenade you with a few emotional ballads and a cappella harmonies.

~

ELEVATE THE NIGHT’S EXCITEMENT with a live band on the musical train of the versatile ROYALTIES BAND with the All-Star entourage comprising of Mick Stokes, Mimi Armstrong, Charles Miller and Rolhensha.

~

DANCE TO THE HITS OF THE PAST as DJ Ronnie Rascal indulges your musical moods with music from Pop artists such as Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, Prince, Madonna, and Queen. The next wave will breakaway to the architects of Soca: Lord Kitchener, Super Blue, Lord Nelson, Arrow, Byron Lee & The Dragonaires, Crazy, Becket, and more…

 

The Rockaway 2011 Rebellion in Full-effect!

This is the second rebellion of the Rockaway Movement. The first with the success of Rockaway 2011 where on the 26th of December 2011, “generations of grandparents, mothers, fathers and youth at home and abroad met like family and rocked the night away to “Old School Music” and stand-out performances.”

“It was more than just a party or event, it signaled a landmark paradigm shift in the way entertainment was viewed in St.Kitts-Nevis!” Alexander reminisced.

Rockaway R.E.D. desires to set the tone in 2012. Attendees are definitely invited to come out and celebrate Valentine’s Day and love for their significant other– if they so choose; but more importantly the event will be host to a celebration of a collective, cross cultural lovefest for 80’s Music and Culture.

“We stand firmly on our belief in this generation of Kittitian and Nevisians as well as other Caribbean nationals who remember the days when they used to ROCKAWAY without fear, in a collective energy and spirit of LOVE,” said Alexander. “From the location, to the lineup, to our hosts and extending to our choice sponsors, nothing has been left to chance!”

It would seem that the “Good Times Have Returned” and Rockaway as brand, as movement, as motivation is determined once again to bring back ‘those days’ and continue to usher in that new era of quality entertainment in the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis.

Whatever your plans for Valentine’s Day, it is always a good plan, as Bob Marley urges to ‘forget your troubles and dance…’

If you are so blessed to be in the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis for V-Day, Save the Date and join the Rockaway R.E.D rebellion at 8p.m., Cloud 9 VIP Hall (Port Zante) and stay linked to Rockaway Revolution (here) for ticket locations, current updates and future events.

Photo credits: (c) G.Vision Photography 201

ABOUT THE WRITER
[author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://dasheenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Blowing-in-the-wind-Bio.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hi there, I’m Tynisha C. Leon, writer, West Indian, mango-lover, founder and editor-in-chief of DASHEEN magazine — the online destination where culture feeds imagination. Join the culture conversations on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr! [/author_info] [/author]

2

 

Oct
25

On A Low Note

Red Lips Featured

On a Low Note

Commonplace whores slip easily from lips;

Plum cherry or some dizzying shade of

Brick. You loved to suck on flavorless lip-

Stick. I miss my addiction to Chapstick.

I miss the love. Genuine. Deeply Felt.

Copy­right © 2011, Tynisha C. Leon

ABOUT THE POET

Oct
25

Winnielle is the Irie Lioness!

Winnielle CobaltWe women need our heroes. Without a shadow we do.

The plight of women, which is very much connected to the plight of our world, needs voice and it needs the drumbeat of a live wire encouragement.  Winnielle Pereira, founder of Irie Lioness Boutique and Winnielle Model Management  beats that drum better than most (men or women) I know.

I feel that especially in a GLOCAL universe, it is truly sometimes the only conversation that matters, the only connection that is guaranteed.  The contact may be fleeting, but the impact is far-reaching.

I have been reading Winnielle as the Irie Lioness on Facebook since October 2010, through status updates They are purely positive vibrations.  I like her call and response campaigns so insistently funneled through social media. It is the pains, sufferings, battles and victories which I read in every word, every song choice and every expression.

There is power in consistency.  I’ve said this to her and still throw all my substance behind the following commentary: “You are a blazingly beautiful woman in word and deed! … [F]rom my heart to yours. It’s a consistent energy and remedy you offer. There’s power in consistency. I’ve never seen you lower yourself and its a beautiful thing because you are defining and redefining yourself. woman to woman. Iron sharpens iron. I recognize and I appreciate what Jah allows even through this space.”

There is something about her. A quality that is unnamed, that cannot quite be captured because it is unique to her and I think emanates from the soul of who she is and is becoming.  She strikes me as a woman with a story then, and that is saying a great deal, because I have this keen awareness of the breadth and breath of women as experience itself.

Winnielle pours passion, power and perseverance into her persuasion.  And I am persuaded.  It is in her determination.  I like her vernacular.  Her response to her calling.  She is attuned.  She is listening.  She is a phenomenal woman. I think she knows this.  I hope she knows it.  I very much wanted to know her story, what she would let loose, after so much good food had aleady been shared over the better part of a year.  I invite you to get to know Winnielle.  She is a dawta, mother, entrepreneur etc etc in any order you wish. Ultimately she is wombman… naturally.

 

Who is Winnielle and how did she become the Irie Lioness?

Winnielle is a wombman who naturally strives to live in her own path.  My name is ‘African in origin meaning victorious lady’ and it motivates me highly, sets the tone in this life, my core.  I am a humble dawta. I love to love… imperfect but striving for perfection in my own eyes. My perfection is being happy in what I have done and not to the standards of anyone.  As I feel happy then it is perfect. I am just a simple African who is proud to be a black queen no matter what comes and goes in my life.  I love i n i.  Irie Lioness is the wombman I became when I learned to see my struggles not as something bad in my life but as a reality that will only make me stronger and wiser.  So I move through life having an aura of irieness no matter the circumstance. I smile because its easier and prettier and makes me feel better no matter the hates and grudges and rocky roads. I still trod irie, as a lioness would.

Tell me a bit about your humble beginnings. Where were you born, raised?

Born in the island of 365 beaches–Antigua and raised in Sugar City St Kitts. Growing up humbly, I was always involved in something. I just couldn’t sit at home after school and do nothing. Sports was my first love.  I did just about any sport, hence why I was a bit on the tomboyish vibe during my early teen years.  Yeah, funny thinking about it… baggy jeans, oversized shirts… hanging with the boys.  Still preferring to hang and reason with the boys to this day.

What were some of your dreams as a youth? Who did you dream of being? Does your career and life now come close to those dreams?

My most passionate dream was to become a model. However, I also dreamed of becoming a hair stylist.  I was never taken by anyone in particular; I just loved to see beautiful and skilled women on the runway and in photos. Tyra. Naomi. Kate Moss. Iman… Many others. I looked to them for inspiration but never ever looked a anyone wanting to be them, as models was only a percentage of who they were and therefore I couldn’t want to be anyone that I didn’t know. I just admired many people for their beauties and skills.  To this day, indeed I have been blessed with the determination to accomplish my dreams.  While in high school I began to work with one of the best cosmetologists on the island (St. Kitts) Amoy Baird.  She taught me plenty! I did that for some years and during those years I also pursued my dream as a model beyond my expectations and to this day I execute both skills attained when needed because they are of me. I am humble for despite my life path, I made the best of all my dreams and did them positively.

You’ve modeled extensively.  How long did you work as a model?  What were some highlights and how did achieving your dream of becoming a model prepare you for Winnielle Model Management the 1st and now the rebirth of the agency?

Quite a long time. I began pursuing my dream 100% once I got my first training with Classique Model Agency back in the 90’s.  I was about 16 then.  So from then on everything I learned and everyone I was able to meet I took full advantage to elevating myself.  Soooo many highlights. From the shows I did the people I met. The travels.  My most impactful time was during my time residing in San Diego.  I was a new mom.  I knew no one and nothing about computers, but I knew I was in a great place full of opportunities.  So everyday I taught myself how to use the computer and became a wiz at networking.  I searched for agencies, modeling assignments, photographers and began moving and shaking.  I did runway shows, got myself an agent and I actually got myself more opportunities than my agent found for me. So it also taught me that I could do it without waiting for someone else and so I did.  There’s just so many things I did that I felt were so great. I was able to meet Ximena Valero and work for her while in California and our relationship to this day still flourishes.  Ximena Valero is one of L.A./Mexico’s top fashion designers and I am humbled everyday when I see her strives as she is someone I have experienced and learned from.

Achieving my dream was vital.  I couldn’t have the knowledge and experience that is so important to being able to manage other models and show them the right way. Those were my jewels.  All my experiences allow me to pass on to aspiring models what is vital to achieving their goals and not just be like others who assume the position but really have little idea about what they’re doing.

Tell me about Winnielle Model Management. Why was its rebirth necessary in your journey?

WMM encompasses it all. I had no idea I would actually be doing this again.  It wasn’t a thought in my mind at all when I returned home (St. Kitts) in 2009.  I was conquering another dream and many people including close friends and others who have worked with me in the industry would approach me asking when I would start and I told them upfront I had no interest.  I had no vibes whatsoever for this,  but one particular woman just didn’t want to hear it and never gave up on reminding me and letting me know how important I was to the fashion industry.  Kirah Griffith is her name and she actually modeled with me for years in my early years of modeling.  All praises unto her for how I got back to this journey.  Yes-I! I am proud and happy to be here again. Why? Because I know that it’s a beautiful journey once trod the right way.  Winnielle Model Management within the Federation has the ability to guide anyone interested and capable into this journey positively.  So the vibes have grown and every time I meet with my students of the Model Empowerment 12 week course my vibes just grows and grows.  I am loving it! When they blossom my works are well done.

When did this dream of Irie Lioness Designs first come to be? How long has it been in existence?

When I resided in St. Thomas.  I moved there in 2007.  In 2008 after pursuing jobs that would give me the knowledge I needed to run my own clothing business. The inspirations just seemingly began to flow and one night the name came to mind. My idea was to seek clothing from women who I felt had the same vibes as I–spiritually and creatively, hence Irie Lioness Designs. Soon, I began to also link with lions, so having irie lioness designs no longer seemed to work and I changed it to Irie Lioness Boutique. I launched the company on Facebook when I returned to St. Kitts in 2009.

Who are some of the designers (lions/lionesses) you have showcased and sold?

The list is mad long but those are a few: Yejide Parry (Nevis), Ximena Valero (Mexico) Sonia Noel (Guyana), Tuff Like Iron (New York), Mamyashi (Jamaica), RastaRebellion (Trinidad) Pat Blackman (Barbados), Calvin Southwell (Antigua).

I love your stance: “Styling beyond the ordinary to extraIRIE” Powerful! Tell me about it. What does it mean to you when you say this?

Give thanks. Sis to be totally honest, a lot of things I come up with come to me spiritually.  Jah just puts it in my head.  So, there is never much thought process, just a blessing from my father.  Basically what it means for me is as it states. When I shop, I always see multitudes of the same old ordinary pieces.  You go to ten stores and all have the same things. Boring I say. So instead of saying extra ordinary which is also used so much I say extra irie.  The pieces I carry are just that–IRIE.  They are inspired so lovingly by roots, culture and the good vibrations of life. So it is.

I find that you have a real innate and natural talent for marketing and advertising your business. Where does your business acumen come from?

Pure love for it. I’ve never been taught. Never sought to learn.  It was just something I had to pick up on and use my creative side to help me.  I enjoy it so I always give it my all.  Everything I decide to do usually gets the best of me.  In truth, I have never enjoyed reading.  I from time to time get an urge to read however when it comes to sitting down and having to read about how to do something I tend to shy away.  So I always have to go with my heart and soul, my visual and then execute it with passion and creativity that is naturally embedded in me.

From reading you, it seems that whether you were the model, the photographer, the business woman you have always been the face of your movement. 

Truth.  Well, being a single mother of three children and the only one supporting in all ways, we tend to have to be self sufficient.  So I rarely have the funds to pay someone to do things for me and so I just do it myself. I do it my way, which saves me a whole lot in many ways. 🙂

Which do you prefer, being in front or behind the camera?

I enjoy them equally. It taps into both sides of my personalities and skills.

You have a gorgeous family and you moved blessed and so focused in that. But you’re a mom of three with a lot on the fire at the moment. How are you striking a balance?

Jah knows!  Cause if I sit down and think about it I still couldn’t give u an answer sistah.  Jah is carrying me. 🙂 But I do work hard and love my children dearly. I am here for them and that’s my simple story.

How do you take care of the Lioness? Any particular regimen? Any tips for women who want to maintain and be all that they can be?

Wow! The lioness gets the last care.  Children come first.  Then me after.  Jah cares for me, sees me through all things and when it gets tough as it often gets I pray and meditate then execute as needed.  My children keep me busy and anything else just is.  I do nothing special at all.  I live super simple with little to work with. Just eat, sleep, love, work hard and live.

I have to let you know that I really do love your outlook. I can’t say that I’ve ever read anything on your page that hasn’t just encouraged me. And I don’t imagine that every day is positive, but I think you do a good job of creating that energy, that vibration that makes people take that 1st, 2nd and 3rd look (even if they’re not up to any good) lol

And many aren’t up to any good, but I just move in light.  It is also therapy for me.  When I learn, I think I should share.  Knowledge is power and I know it’s vital to share so I use Facebook as the medium to do positive to those who would accept it. Who don’t… hmm… but who does… Jah bless them sincerely.  I get good energy from many on here too, so it’s just natural for me to share my positive energy and send it back into the Internet world. One Love.

Tell about being Rasta. How long have you been Rasta? When did that movement start in your life and how do those roots ground you and yet still allow you to soar the way you have?

You see Rastafari is who I am.  It is my livety… no timing… no movement… Just life of love, positivity,  truth, wisdom… All things good is my life as a Rasta wombman.  I am not one that seeks to say much on this vibration for it is so simple to me.  You see me, you see Rasta.  You live with me; you live with a Rasta 🙂 Simply said!  So it is. So I am.  Rastafari!

Now the girl in me just wants to know how long it takes to wash and style all that gorgeous hair?

Hahaha.  Awww… my hair so isn’t a bother to me 🙂 don’t take me no long time, and I just wash with shampoo and use lots of oils that smell good 😉 I’m just happy that I know how to live simple in every way. I don’t put much energy into my hair as many may feel from the way it looks. With or without locks my hair gets just basic attention so it can be clean and stay healthy 🙂

What are some of your short term and long term goals for your business? What’s the next level for the Irie Lioness?

You know my goals will be ever changing.  Ever elevating as life throws many things at you, so you must always be ready for change.  For my boutique, I pray to one day open a large boutique where I can host all the great designs from many designers for my people both locally and still virtually online as well. I want to expand highly on my stock, not just clothing but all things beautiful and natural.  I want to be the most beautiful and most popular roots and culture store on the island where people come in almost every day just to get good vibes even if they not shopping all the time.  Good music. Great aura.  Great diverse products for the masses to fulljoy. May jah bless this and I will continue to do every little thing and except the obstacles and changes that come before I conquer.

Do you have any regrets business-wise?

Not all all. Ever learning.  No regrets.  Just more lessons to learn and wise up on 😉 It’s life. I’m keeping on my positive path.

What it is about music that speaks to you so well.

Well for someone who doesn’t enjoy reading, it’s my way of filling myself with knowledge, with good vibes.  Being able to multitask in all my works and life and not be confined to one area visually.  I love music sistah and I don’t listen to junk.  It must be uplifting in some way  Be it love, wisdom, strength, most high praises–anything positive.  I was also a dancer, always a dancer, so music hits me so spiritually. It heals me…yeah… music is my life…

How does Culture feed your imagination?

Culture is me.  Culture is like air. It’s just a natural need.  I am aware of it. I embrace my culture and I love my culture that’s really where it lies… inna my heart so its feeds my entire being and surfaces when fitting.

ABOUT THE WRITER
Sep
21

Dreams, Milestones and the Celebration of Friends

Today is as good a day as any to manifest some dreams.

I awoke this morning out of a dream about the realization of dreams and immediately thanked God for the ability to dream and then I thanked him for YOU. You see my dream was a window into yours and with that I know there is always a door—an opportunity if you will and a will to explore. There was the very stylish, smell-good mother in my church who has always wanted to open a boutique (I saw it with fantastic bolts of cobalt blue fabric and nothing on any Parisian street could compare). Her dreams linked seamlessly as dreams are wont to do to my mother’s secretly shared vision for a “shop” back home called “Pins & Things” (she’s so cute) and then I saw his dinner theater come into fruition. It was all there for the taking, but I know firsthand how easy it is to backburner dreams, make excuses and place them on a shelf–a place where no dreams has ever thrived, much less arrived.

The following passion-preneurs (love that hyphenated bit of loveliness) have all tapped into their dreams and are marking milestones. They are each one:

  • LIVING and breathing their art and inviting you to sample and share in that passionate fruit and,
  • Making BOLD strides into their own dreamscapes by giving them a more expansive public voice and platform

Brianna McCarthy & Her Girls!

The artist, the woman, the passion fruit lover (yes and still very much my girl crush out of Trinidad) is having her very 1st ever sample sale running through this weekend. Yay!

RSVP and VIEW the invitation HERE!

VIEW and pre-order the artwork HERE!

LIME (below) is my favorite 🙂

CHEERS to you Brianna McCarthy!

Melissa Stillman is Living a Lucky Life!

“Until finally, we come to the sweet, often quiet ones…” That little quote describes my friend and fellow writer, Melissa Stillman quite aptly.  You’ve read her right here and you should also know she is a consultant and a cohort in some pivotal things DASHEEN and all things girly.

Melissa is ready to lay claim to her dream of becoming a freelance Beauty/Fashion/Lifestyle Editor. She has entered The Search for the New Lucky Lifestyle Contributor!

The following was a slice of her INVITATION to friends (and you):

A magazine I’ve been reading since it launched in 2000–Lucky–is having a contest to find their next (freelance) lifestyle contributor. Winning would be a dream come true!

As you have time this week, would you please click on the link below to view my entry and vote for it? The number of votes I have plays into whether I’ll make it to the next round. The girl in the lead has 450 votes–help me catch up by casting your vote and inviting friends to this voting “party.”

You do have to complete a two-screen registration in order to vote, but it would mean so much to me. Thank you!

Voting ends Friday at 11:59 p.m.

The things I love about Melissa in this challenge:

1. She is so herself on the page and for me that makes her ACCESSIBLE

2. I absolutely learned something about entertaining  and being a hostess which makes her INSPIRING, and

3. Win or win, she is absolutely living a LUCKY LIFE and I for one can’t wait to read all about it in a forthcoming blog, mystery novel, and/or Lucky Magazine near you.

I invite you to read the article that brought this photo to light and if you believe in dreams, cheer Melissa on with your vote!

Go Melissa, GO!

ABOUT THE WRITER

[author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://dasheenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Blowing-in-the-wind-Bio.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hi there, I’m Tynisha Leon, founder and Editor-in-Chief of DASHEEN magazine — the online destination where culture feeds imagination! I am a cul­tural war­rior first and fore­most; and for me that sim­ply means that I am a light bearer for all things intrin­si­cally cul­tural and Caribbean. If you seek to inno­vate, pro­mote and/or contribute to posi­tioning a Caribbean peo­ple and gen­er­a­tion most positively then link me! Bless! [/author_info] [/author]
Aug
11

The Abeng and My Conscious Pen

There is no better feeling, in my experience than that which occurs when creatives truly vibe.

When you get into that push/pull–that gravity–which demands at all cost production, and dare I say reproduction, you recognize something of the divine at work (and play) and you feel in very good company.

This is the way it has been with writer and all-around creative Kaya Omodele and his online platform The Abeng and My Conscious Pen.

It might all make sense when you reason that Omodele, his middle name is Yoruba for the “the son rises” and that people with the name Omodele have been called to “a deep inner desire to express their own power in a concrete manner and thus achieve something great for humanity.”  Kaya has made me a believer.

His view of a Caribbean experience and people is exhaustive. His pen an exploration through prose, poetry and positive reasonings.  When I read his Spoken Word Griot Series or his His Mother to Son missives or his recent Salute to Emancipation Day,  or even and especially the spellbinding Seeking Makeda: Journey… I know that there is a mind and heart at work, preoccupied with righteous movements and I in turn feel led and inspired to Sound the Abeng!

I’ve been reading Edwidge Danticat voraciously over the past weeks.  I have been aware of Kaya Omodele’s conscious pen for quite some time, but when I actually began reading The Abeng like devotionals, I was also reading Danticat’s Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist At Work.  Where the two–Danticat and Omodele–met and merged for me was in the following:

“The immigrant artist shares with all other artists the desire to interpret and possibly remake his or her own world.  So though we may not be creating dangerously as our forebears–though we are nor risking torture, beating,execution, though exile does not threaten us into perpetual silence–still, while we are at work bodies are littering the streets somewhere.”

 

Kaya’s keen awareness of the contribution his conscious pen can make in the emancipation of a people, and even his writer’s self, is apparent in his writings and conversation. He is a seeker, but he has a knowledge and experience-base that pricks ears.  The impression is that you must hear him and you must listen! And I can hear, as quiet as he can be, there is the undercurrent.  Time alone will tell where that leads.  So, it is at this fork in the road, where we all have the opportunity and all rights to “remake” our “own world,” that we found ourselves caught out there, meditating on the possibilities of collaboration in the form of a regular column on DASHEEN.

I absolutely count that a privilege.  This journey across words and lives lived is nothing if not eye-opening and brimming with opportunities.  However, before I even get ahead of myself, I want to relay his responses to some pivotal questions:

1. What is your ultimate goal/desire with your conscious pen? What would you ultimately like to achieve there?

Well, I began with the goal of having a platform to publish my books. I still see it as such, but also I realize that community can be achieved so that ultimately I want to cultivate community-oriented, integrated media.

2. What would you like to publish?

Definitely work that expresses the resilience of the human condition.

3. What does this mean for your community?

I think I should define community as it pertains to The Abeng…I mean the African diaspora. What it would ultimately mean is that people of African descent would learn about each other and hopefully understand how rich our culture is, how much it has influenced the world. I am confident that this will translate into more overstanding that will enrich the human experience, bridge divisions and petty tribalisms. Our sense of humanity must prevail!

4. So how has culture fed your imagination Kaya?

I think culture IS…Our culture is at once historic and dynamic. It is so rich in Livity that in my community culture could not be disregarded. It more than soaked the social fabric. And much of our culture has been passed down through generations. This fuels my desire to dream, to write, to Live, to carry on. I know who I am as a person, who we are as people. And this sparks confidence to aspire and dream and investigate and learn and create.

Danticat continues in Create Dangerously: “Albert Camus once wrote that a person’s creative work is nothing but  a slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those  two or three images in whose presence his or her heart first opened.”

I can tell you that Kaya Omodele is on a very conscious journey through his art and life, and he is writing it, here and there, as he goes.

Welcome to the DASHEEN family Kaya Omodele, I am looking forward to reading you and meeting the man behind the pen. Bless!

 

ABOUT THE WRITER

[author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://dasheenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Blowing-in-the-wind-Bio.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hi there, I’m Tynisha Leon, founder and Editor-in-Chief of DASHEEN magazine — the online destination where culture feeds imagination! I am a cul­tural war­rior first and fore­most; and for me that sim­ply means that I am a light bearer for all things intrin­si­cally cul­tural and Caribbean. If you seek to inno­vate, pro­mote and/or contribute to posi­tioning a Caribbean peo­ple and gen­er­a­tion most positively then link me! Bless! [/author_info] [/author]
Aug
10

Animal Print Look Book: Daytime

Essence Magazine wanted to know how I wore Animal Print. Lucky Mag cautioned “Look fierce, but don’t get too friendly. One touch is enough.”

In my world, Animal Print is a neutral/staple, Animal Print is a friend and Animal Print is a lover.  The day that I took these pictures was noteworthy in that I was not feeling at my best. I was at the tail-end of a fierce breakout and someone thought that my hair the way you see it here was a ‘don’t’ as in “So you woke up this morning and left the house like that. You really serious about this natural business huh?”

There was simply no better day and I mean that seriously.  Your best accessory with any bold look—CONFIDENCE! or as my aunt (thank God!) taught when I was a pubescent teen—heads high and shoulders back.  And so, I let my confidence bite back.

I didn’t intend to separate Day and Night but I have 15 animal print pieces and counting in my closet!  That was more than I had imagined.  Also, when I began, I had all intentions of strutting in various pumps. But I had lived it up in church (in heels) already, and with all the negative energy post that, I just wanted to be cool and me and as close to the goodness of God’s green as I could get.

Here is my Animal Print Look Book for Daytime.  I hope you do enjoy.

Look #1:  Skirt as dress – ROSS. Cropped Jean Jacket – WalMart
Look #2: Dress – ROSS, Gold flip-flops – Old Navy
Coral Tut necklace from Peace Images Jewelry.

 

Look #3: Dress, Butterfly hair clips, ring – H&M, Tote – Victoria’s Secret, Jelly flats – My sister’s closet

Look #4:  Reversible Dress – Midnight Velvet, Cropped Jean Jacket – WalMart

Stay tuned for my take on Animal Print in the Nighttime.  Do you like/love Animal Print? Is one touch enough for you? How do you wear it?

ABOUT THE WRITER
Hi there, I’m Tynisha C. Leon, writer, West Indian, mango-lover, founder and Editor-in-chief of DASHEEN magazine — the online destination where culture feeds imagination. Join the culture chat on Facebook and Twitter! If you’d like to contribute, drop me a line here, I’d love to read/see your unique views! Bless up!

 

 

 

 

Aug
09

New Music Monday: Infamus’ Cry from the Ghetto

Infamus feature1It’s been too long since a New Music post. And if today could start a trend, then Infamus’ Cry From the Ghetto is a powerful launch pad. Since first listen, I’ve been steady loving the boom lick shots of his current smash and I’ve been on a mission to discover every snippet relevant to this artist born Kervin Benjamin.

First, a listen…

 

“This is a cry from the ghetto…” Powerful lyrics.  No room for rhetoric. I felt it deep. It’s still ringing in my sound-system. I have to reiterate my Facebook commentary here again, the feeling is still raw, still the same:

“I LOVED this outpouring. Just had to go on a quick mission to discover… MASSIVE encouragement to the artist, the director, the collective, so well represented, who make up the blood, sweat and tears of a Federation (a REGION). We are so on the verge of our own ____________. Have to believe/KNOW that we can fill in the blank, write the story, sing the song, speak UP and out, take FULL OWNERSHIP! I have every intention of doing my part. See no reason why TRUTH can’t chart. Platform must be raised and this right here is BLAZING inspiration for years… Hmmm Real ting… real movements… “Liamigua Love” indeed! HEADS HIGH!”

Infamus started singing at the tender age of 10, but it was only in recent years he saw his dream of becoming a professional artiste a reality.

In mid-2009 Infamus decided to pursue a professional career, and with the release of his singles and music videos, including ‘Coke & Hennessy’, ‘Used to Be’, ’21 Gun Salute (We Miss You) and his most recent music video ‘Feel Like Crying’, he had already solidified himself as one of the premiere artistes in the Federation [of St. Kitts & Nevis].

I’m a Kittitian, born and fashioned–proud nuh wah. I’ve set my eyes far and wide, traveled far and wide but the prize is always home.  I’ve read through some blazing diatribes, some fed-up, bleeding love for country and the youth that are lost and found in the streets.  I’ve been encouraged, inspired, fired up by so many revolutionaries walking the streets, wanting relief, using many a platform to speak their peace. Furthermore, I’ve been warned and forewarned about the state of my home country.  I don’t need to list a catalogue. I can’t afford to cast blame.

I have no illusions as I watch: this is my country, these are people, my blood, I recognize every last one.

The reverberation: Who feels it knows it!

“This is a cry from the ghetto…”

And why not! The Ghetto is not some ill-informed place.  The Ghetto bears the brunt, is so often the place where the seed is sown,  and true to form, the next generation in a word.

To be sure, this is not a Kittitian story and I shouldn’t use that last word, because growing up when you telling story you were perpetrating a lie, so I will restate that this is not just some Kittitian reality.  You can’t measure murder in numbers to any real effect until you start calibrating  solutions.  The cry from the ghetto, is every island, every flag.  It is regional.  It is Haiti raped and ravaged again and again. It is Chicago under fire.  It is Soweto. It is London.  It is where you are.  It is who feels it knows it!

Infamus feels it: “People would express they are inspired by my music, when in fact I am inspired by the people and their ‘true life’ journey. It is all about life and times, and I am thankful to the people for inspiring me to do what I do. I am thankful to God for blessing me to do what I can do,”

The life and times of this artist is still unfolding, still being told, but if ‘this is a cry from the ghetto,’ then let’s promote it for the good, the better, the best; and while we’re promoting, let us own it and support our artists on the rise. Blessed love each and every time

 

ABOUT THE WRITER
Jul
29

An Open Love Letter to the Full-Figured Woman

DASHEEN is proud to welcome the insight and soundbyte of filmmaker and contributor Dele Adams. His focus on the full-figured woman is concentrated here. I could think of no better form than the love letter to express such demonstrative devotion.

An Open Love Letter to the Full-Figured Woman

I started writing this from a purely analytical standpoint until I was corrected in the error of my ways. Instead, I want this to be an open love letter to full-figured women.
Zahra Muse

Photo credit: Ricky Joseph

From: Men

To: Full-Figured Women

Re: Love

Dear Goddess,

We love you. We always have and we always will. Most times, to be real, we just don’t know how to tell you. You know we are watching you from afar, our stares penetrating through the mess of everyday life for that brief moment when we lock eyes. You can tell we’ve had you on our minds when you waltz through the myriad fantasies left in your wake.

We’ve admired you through the annals of history as we carved your figure in soapstone and jade, in rock and wood. We’ve fumbled with our clumsy hands to capture your likeness in paint and fresco. Botticelli came close, the Inca’s even closer and the Africans just missed the mark.

Perfection you see is impossible to duplicate.

We ache to touch you today, secretly longing for you in your earthly form. From Alison Hinds to the late, great Amber Davis to Jill Scott to Toccara Jones to the featured Zahra Spencer, we crave caressing your bosom with our lips and seek to trail our fingers around your waist. Your silken touch commands our deepest respect. Your love quenches all of our thirsts. Your eyes lock ours so deeply so as not to see any other.

Never let the faithless world of today take away the power you have always held over us. Remind us that you are Mother Earth given mortal form. Take us and deliver us from manufactured “beauty” and thinned down wisps of womanhood that have become the accepted norm. Make us love you again, as in the days of old.

Goddess, Full-Figured and Bright,

We Love You.

Yours sincerely,

Men

~~~

The featured Goddess is none other than Model, Zahra Spencer.  A St. Croix native, Zahra is a strong believer in making every moment purposeful. Eclectic by nature, she is also a Certified Sisterlocks Consultant, Poet, and Dancer. In her spare time she volunteers with a variety of organizations, with a special focus on helping young girls.  She finds pleasure in exploring the creative genres of life, hoping to inspire and be inspired. Zahra’s favorite quote is one by Marianne Williamson from her book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

~~~

ABOUT THE WRITER

[author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://dasheenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Dele-Bio-Pic.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Dele Adams has been a practicing filmmaker for the past eight years. He is one of the founders of Mage Pictures, a local (SKN) production company responsible for filming commercials, fashion shows, private events, and public service announcements. Mr. Adams has written, produced and filmed numerous comedic shorts and spoofs. His most acclaimed are “Minister’s Speech” and “What If…?”. Most recently he has been tackling stories in the mainstream news and turning them into highly entertaining and funny satire. A keen observer of humanity and a life long fan of films, Dele’s philosophy is all about the creative process, as the journey for him is more attractive than the destination. In his own words, “The finished product is merely the icing on the cake”.[/author_info] [/author]
Jun
19

Innocent Etchings on Manhood

I wrote the following poem when I was 21.  I am 33.  There is always love.  There is a heart skipping beats… There is forgiveness. And far and above all else, there is a little girl.

Innocent Etchings on Manhood

I always carried a picture of you in my mind,
A portrait drawn with the blunt edge of Crayola.
That box of 64—a palette of infinite possibilities.
A blank slate.   A world hidden.

Always a gift;

Wrapped with the hope that the great inquisition

—me—
Would worry a manila.   And sail its four corners,
In much the same way I worried the hem,
Trailing behind my mother’s dress.

Armed to the teeth with questions.

She was altogether lovely, all-powerful and ever-present.

I had no need for Polaroids or candid moments
She was here.   But you were…

Somewhere…
Unattainable, and as yet undefined.
A gnawing hunger, fed by the chasm of alienation
and separation.

Going back to the drawing board, years too late,
I found Crayola crumbled.   A habit broken.

In its wake,

A mime’s penmanship.
Whose flow and movement held all truth.
I had another close encounter.
The pen was mightier than the eye.

Now I perfected your stance,
Shaded in the irises, textured the lips,
And made you smile.

You are neither lovely, powerful or present.

Yet, I patiently await an introduction.

Copyright (c) 1999, 2011, Tynisha C. Leon

The featured photo is all Brianna McCarthy and her Big Fish in Detail.  As I posted this poem, it was this image that came to mind and Brianna’s words via ARC magazine that the end result, did ‘not look human.’  I simply love things as they are—no judgement! And I love this—the poetry and the piece and the peace.

 
 

ABOUT THE POET

Hi there, I’m Tynisha C. Leon, writer, West Indian, mango-lover, founder and Editor-in-chief of DASHEEN magazine — the online destination where culture feeds imagination. Join the culture chat on Facebook and Twitter! If you’d like to contribute, drop me a line here, I’d love to read/see your unique views! Bless up!
Jun
07

My Style: At the All-White Gala

White against the spectrum of brown skin is something to see.  It’s perfection if you ask me…

As predicted, Temple of Faith’s 1st Annual All White Gala was fantastic!  The night’s entertainment was LIVE.  Our leaders and church community were toasted, awarded and encouraged to run on or walk good as my girl Brianna McCarthy would say.

Less predictable was my final choice in outfit.  Although, I did leave some room to be surprised, I was very determined in my hunt to find the (perfect) white dress.  Well, when I found the pictured voluminous, but still, oh so delicate white eyelet skirt in H&M from their Conscious Collection, I was utterly in love. I knew I had to have it in my wardrobe, but more importantly, I knew it was the one!

This is such a drama skirt and I really felt like a great complement would have been a colorful/print turban ala June Ambrose or Destiny Godley, the latter who, for me makes turban wear very down to earth and accessible for every woman. On this first wear and for the occasion, I went with big curly hair, but how many know there is always the next time.

The fitted safari-styled shirt you see pictured, also from H&M was grabbed on a whim, in case nothing in my closet worked or I found myself cutting it too close.

Overall, I was rather pleased with the look.  The perfect dress it is not. The perfect illusion of a dress? Certainly, if I count the many who asked where I bought it.

I simply adore that skirt though, and I can’t wait to rework it as a dress, or just put it to work with a tucked in lightweight tank.

… Four (or was it five) courses later, lip gloss gone the way of good conversation and yummy red velvet cake, I remembered to ask my “cameraman” to take some pictures for a mini look book I had in mind.  These were the contenders:

 

Skirt, Shirt and ring via H&M,
Kukui necklace and Mother of Pearl bracelet via Goodwill, watch via Target
Shoes via Colin Stuart for Victoria’s Secret catalog and earrings via Forever XXI
 
 
 

 

I thought about calling this Safari Chic, but then a friend said it was all about summertime for her.  What would you call this look?  Keep in mind that you are looking at one satisfied lady. 🙂

 

ABOUT THE WRITER
[author] [author_image timthumb=’off’]http://dasheenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Blowing-in-the-wind-Bio.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hi there, I’m Tynisha C. Leon, writer, West Indian, mango-lover, founder and editor-in-chief of DASHEEN magazine — the online destination where culture feeds imagination. Join the culture conversations on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr! [/author_info] [/author]