Glow – The Confetti Project

What Do You Celebrate?

I Celebrate: Glow

I celebrate glow. The essence of the human soul that illuminates when confidence, freedom and awareness are present. Glow is essential to living a life in color. As a young girl, I would marvel at the twinkle in my father’s eyes as he smiled at my siblings and me. He transferred the glow to me and I took the torch. I realized it took practice, work if you will, to choose to exude glow. Before I was allowed to wear makeup, I made it my business to wear an internal highlighter. I became more aware of how lighting my path created this metallic snowball for glow to return to me. Fast forward 10 years later, and I find myself a part of a 5 member team exchanging glow virtually and across the world. I held the banner of glow as I landed in Kassali, Uganda to train women and girls in leadership, community development and dignified work. Standing in front of pieces of my ancestors, I learned a deeper meaning of glow. I learned that it doesn’t matter what you do, what you wear or where you come from. Glow comes from within and it isn’t limited in access. It’s yours to cultivate, spread and reciprocate.

For more information, visit http://www.theconfettiproject.com.

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A Time to Love

*Nature’s alarm clock wakes me up* at 7:00AM and it’s my birthday. There’s a sense of anxiousness entangled with excitement as I welcome this new chapter. Page 1 or should I say Page 7? Either way, I’m ready.

Four days before, I gathered my faithful family in a dimmed lit, high end restaurant to commence this new year. Everyone was dressed in their best with high energy despite the raindrops streaming down the windows behind us.

We greeted each other with smiles and hugs as we scanned the menu for our choices for the evening. With entrees and drinks ordered, we begin to talk about what we value about family.

Blessed to have intellectualism in our DNA, we shared our ideas on current events, relationships and how to balance personal life with work.

My amazing cousin, Shrena, posed the question to my fraternal twin and I “What have you learned this year and what are you looking forward to learning in the new year?

We paused for a moment as we scooped our lessons from our belly leaving resistance on the floor. I shared a quote by Maya Angelou:

I am human so nothing human is alien to me.

as a chief aim for this year.

This quote sparked more Maya Angelou quotes from my father and brother. Poppa Bear quoted with confidence:

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.

As we finished our dishes, our sparkly birthday treats made it to the table. The cheesecake was to die for. My niece had a slice before I did. She grinned with excitement and yelled “Yummy!”

Finally, it was time to say our goodbyes and continue our night. With gratitude in our hearts, we were even fuller. Maya Angelou couldn’t of said it any better:

I sustain myself with the love of my family.

The Day I Grew Strength From My Ancestors Wounds

I used to consume history in high school like popsicles on a sunny day. I was intoxicated with learning what happened before my existence. My mind swelled with knowledge of how what became what and how who become who. I would go through trails in my head with the intent to get to the end of how I ended up here. In America. After years of slavery.

On a cold Thursday afternoon, I made my way to the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum located in Downtown Jackson, Mississippi. As I walked through the doors, I was met by two police officers. The lady said “Take everything out your pockets. Step forward.” I did so. It was procedure, but I instantly felt a small sense of what would be ahead.

As I made my way to the beginning of the eight exhibit museum, I started here. Instantly taken aback by what I was reading. My eyes glazed over metal chains used as restraints, documents of laws and pictures of cotton, poverty, and politics. I was on an emotional roller coaster that hadn’t even reached its peak.

Before proceeding to certain simulations and presentations, the museum had warning signs of how graphic the pictures may be. As I stepped in certain spots, the intercom said “Hey! What are you doing here? You better get out of here if you don’t want any trouble.” It was in real voices. The same voices my ancestors heard day in and day out.

One went as far as the sound of a rifle being prepared for action. Although I was in a safe place, my mind started to imagine what it must have been like living in the times of slavery and post-slavery.

I imagined punishment for little or no reason, deep senses of fear in the bellies of every black person in those times, the rise of faith and doubt, the organization of movements and companies, the birth of children and the death of some. I imagined hymns being moaned when words couldn’t be mustered. Oh, I imagined a lot.

When I exited imagination, I reentered reality. I was grateful to have gained a small glimpse into my history. I was saddened by the lives lost to fight for the freedoms I have today. I was inspired to press on another day knowing my ancestors had endured far worse than I ever have.

Many of the wounds are still open today. History is living in the present. I still see injustice, poverty, slavery of the mind, depression and systematic oppression. But in the eye of my soul, there’s light, there’s hope, there’s freedom, there’s truth and there’s time. I walked out of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum with my curly head held high with a bandaid of strength over my ancestors wounds.

Ever had moonshine that tastes like water? 

Part one of five of the blog series, Adventures in Mississippi. Explore with me the unknown adventures of this state. 

On a rainy Tuesday afternoon, I walked into what looked like a previously abandoned building. The smell of yeast rushed into my nostrils as I inhaled. I skimmed the building filled with metal machinery, barrels, and pallets of Vodka. 

We were met by a cheery voice “Hi guys! Welcome to Cathead Distillery! I’m glad you guys could make it.”

As our tour began, we headed towards the machinery. Facing where it all goes down, we learned the main ingredients of Vodka. 

Who knew corn starch was a core ingredient of the process? A few things we learned (particular to Cathead) included:

  • It takes about 7-10 days to make vodka 
  • It’s the first legal distillery in MS to open since prohibition 
  • It takes less than a second to fill a bottle from the LIQUITOTES (container to the far right)

The final phases of our 30 minute tour included viewing where barrels are stored before they are shipped, the facilities they are shipped to, and taste testing 4 liquors of our choice.

My favorites were: Original Cathead Vodka and Hoodoo. Yes, the latter one is spooky but delicious!

If you’re ever in Jackson, MS and interested in learning about the distillation process of vodka, I definitely recommend scheduling a tour. Here’s an awesome Groupon to save a few coins. 

   Stay true. Stay wild. Stay adventurous.

Until next time,

Britney L. Clark 

You Seem So Far Away

When you were distant, you seemed closer

Seem like you made an extra effort to be near

But now that you’ve been home 

I’ve been on a scavenger hunt to find your mind, your attention, your process, your vision

Perhaps I’m looking for something you’re still looking for 

I know what transition feels like, so I’m not judging 
Trying to keep my requests down as your list is already overflowing 

But I miss you 

I miss the flow we had before 

Seasons are changing, but sometimes it feels like we’re standing still 

I know what you see ain’t what you want 

But can we just take a moment and be grateful you can see at all

See it ain’t about what you want, where you want to be

It’s about being thankful you are where you are with what you have

Your time is coming 

But in the meantime 

I hope you make time for me

Cause you seem so far away 

And I gotta admit I want you close 

Original poem by britneylclark.

Death

Sometimes I wonder if it’s better than life

Not here to witness everyday let downs and despair

Death

You’ve taken my friend, my grandmother, and my paw paw and my uncle

Why do you come so soon

Why do you come in the midst of joy

Death

I’m sitting on my friend’s grave

Wondering if he can hear me

I’ve been gone too long

Putting him in the background as I tackle life

Now I’m back here questioning what I’d do wrong with life

Death

Could you let my friend come back for a few minutes? I need to talk to him and he ain’t here

Original poem by @britneylclark.