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Friday, July 27, 2007

Introducing the Dream Keepers

We met Thursday night with the Seedfolks Summer Reading Circle. We're reading amazing books. Last week it was Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes. This week we started Ida B. by Katherine Hannigan. After we read, the Seedfolks director, Venice Williams, invited the young people to do some writing exercises. I will share the first one here, as a way of introducing these fine young women. Watch for more writing in the coming weeks!

I am
full-figured shape
round face
chocolate colored
dark ebony eyes
I am
shrewd
clever
passionate
introverted
I am
daughter
poet
journalist
college bound
I am
Deanna
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I am
short
African American and Indian
nice
and shy
I am
funny
adventuress
goofy
and intelligent
I am
a god mother
an eleventh grader’
a peacemaker
and a Christian
I am
Natalie
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I am
thickum
beautiful
crazy
funny
I am
insane
retarded
kind
helpful
I am
daughter
aunt
designer
artistic
I am
Brittene
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I am
short
fat
ball headed
I am a girl
I am
smart
sassy
unique
sweet
I am
dancer
singer
writer
worker
I am
Elisha
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
And as I read these,
I am
proud
amazed
honored
delighted
learning.

Blessings to all, Rochelle

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Being Together

We met again last Thursday and attended the Seedfolks reading circle. Afterwards, I brought the teens to my house for ice cream and writing. Both times we've tried to write. But no one (including me) showed any interest in putting pen to paper.

The first week we had too much to talk about. One of the teens, a young man, kept saying, "Pastor Rochelle, your house is so peaceful. I've never been in a house like this. It's just so peaceful." We ended up talking about what peace looks and feels like to him—and the writing got pushed aside. Last week, we cleared away the empty dishes and took out the journals. After just minutes, one of the teens said, "It's too quiet here. I can't think." I laughed. Two teens noticing that my house was quiet—something I rarely appreciate—with different ideas about what that meant. But for both teens, the house and the ice cream and the company made it dificult to write!

So right now we are a "not writing" writing group—and that's okay. We're talking about books. The young people tell stories about their lives. They quote songs, introducing me to singers I'd never find on my own. I ask many questions about what this or that means. Last week I leaned about Yung Berg, what it means to them for someone to "act white", and something about fashion. I wonder if this is also dream keeping—encouraging and supporting these young people in talking about who they are, what they think and why they think it. I hope so. Because it is also so much fun!