Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Standing in the Shadows (No More)

"Sometimes it is the smallest decision that can change your life"~ Keri Russell

Standing in the Shadows
By Jacquelyn Hughes Mooney©13

Lower 9th Ward at the Levees JHM©09

There will be no standing in the shadows…


Will not/won’t not/have not be not

Now matter how tempting, how enticing it may appear in the shade

Casted by somebody else’s shadow.

The flood lights will shine brilliantly

‘Cause this chicka chickiedee bebe said to me.

“This is your awakening…

Smooth your way out of the way of your self”

Or as Trent would say “Stitch your wings back on & fly”!

So your prodigious fabulousness will fire up to the never…



(I’ll still be loving you) *

Pulsate, shimmer & shine…

Simmering in a refined

Going to the next line

Of His Grace in a powerful race.

So the chickie, chickie bebe said.

I’ll not stand in the shadows of others’ incomplete dreams

Or incoherent screams

That masquerade as laughter but really is a scheme…

They’ve done all they could to hold you in the shadows of what they’ve deemed

Your place, not your grace.

This moon will prance & romance among the stars, gas & dust …

In a distinguish assembly of love supreme…

Winking & nodding as she stands proudly on a cloud

Orchestrating what it can be

Of what it will be.

She said” I don’t want to be shaded by someone else’s’ shadow

Of incomplete dreams or fearful schemes”

She/They/We know that while it appears ferocious

And the world is atrocious

Or pain’s shadow blinds so one may think they cannot breathe.

You can.

“Breathe now child, Breathe"...

So the chicka chickie bebe said.

Look in right direction for His protection

An invitation that does not require an RSVP.

There will be no standing n the shadows undercover in someone else’s fear

And unnatural clauses that will make you pause…

From making a way even out of no way…

To His Way, to the truth & the light

So the Chicka, chickie bebe said.

(I’ll be loving you always)*

All rights reservedJHM4-20-13©

 Late August, the week of the 9th anniversary of Katrina, I will be starting my art empowerment classes at the Ashe Cultural Art Center on Monday evenings. The Standing in the Shadows will run from late August to early December 2014 with an art exhibition by the participants commencing  during Women History Month March 2015.

Sunset in Gert TownJHM©09
 These "Shadows" classes part of my The Fig Tree Project was an idea germinating since 2010 after spending some time with a woman named Elisabeth who I did not know at the time was at 67 yrs of age was homeless. This woman had been gainfully employed most of her life only to lose everything a few years prior.

It took long period of time before I gained her trust to learn some of her story that transpired in her native Alabama. That story stayed with me. No woman, especially our senior women should ever have to live in that level of fear & poverty. Elisabeth's story seeded what took time to germinate to my now Fig Tree Project.

While it took four years, The Fig Tree Project took root in my heart.  I had to have more experience to round it out. The Fig Tree Project has its foundation in the Biblical prophecy of Micah 4:4. Now saying all of this, I my very core.

Gert Town New Orleans JHM©09
 I was surprised to learned the amount of seasoned women who became homeless because of Katrina that were over 60.  In the last 8 years I've interviewed both informally & formally and have heard numerous stories of their lives both then & now as they (still) are rebuilding lives.  Not only having to deal with the 1-2-3 punch of dealing not only the effects of ageism, sexism & and racism, Katrina was the tipping point for many...too many.

Meeting Elisabeth in 2010, really became for me a pivotal moment.  I had just turn 60 and because of circumstances far beyond my control, found myself in a position, not of being homeless but truly understanding to my core, how much people devalue older ones especially women.

Sixty is still viable as it is "the youth of old age".  But how society perceives and treat is a whole 'nother matter. 

My "Shadows" Art empowerment classes has since Elisabeth planted the seed, has now expanded to embrace other shadows not necessarily just homelessness.  There are many shadows people run from to all the time. Any adult is welcome to join as long as they are willing to be genuine, thoughtful, respectful and ready to turn to express.  one does not have to be an artist to participate; they must though , be ready to express themselves with some guidance. 

 More will be updated on dates, times and locations in the very near future.
Lower 9th Ward Church JHM©2009