My mother is weeping in her car. Covered in an oversized flannel and work pants, the warehouse uniform she’s become accustomed to wearing, she’s got her head to her chest to talk to me as I lay in her belly.

She’s working at a packing plant and afraid to lose her job, so she’s hiding her pregnancy. She’s just returned from going AWOL in the previous year to live on the beach in Florida with my dad.   

And today, she’s spotting. She thinks she’s losing me and is balling her eyes out and praying in the car in the parking lot at work. 

“Stay with me. I promise I will give you a great life. Just don’t leave me”

She’s pleading with me. The baby that will renew her faith in humanity. 

My father, her first love, abandoned her upon their return to Philadelphia. She’s 19, alone and terrified. A possible dream deferred, laying wait in her womb. 

She’s thinking of the names they tossed around together. The memories sting.


-No, sounds like a girl with big earrings

{This may be why I like big earrings…}


-No, why not Taneesha? Sounds just like it. 




-Like Camilla Parker Bold? No.

No, like K-a-m-i-l-a

-Is it an English name?

No, it’s Lebanese for Perfection

Aunt Maryaam, my grandmother’s aunt, was an avid Kahlil Gibran reader. She was an international pianist and had come across his writings in Lebanon while our family was living and performing  there in the 1940s.

Aunt Maryaam had been one of my mother’s most adored humans, so anything she was into, my mother gravitated to or was intrigued by. Kamila Rahmeh Gibran, a mother of four who raised her children alone in the states after leaving Lebanon, had been the object of her illustrious son’s devotion and affection, even after her death. 


Kamila Hasana Ahmad!


How long are you going to let this letter sit here? I keep telling you to write your dad a letter. This is the second one he’s sent since I told you to write him. 


It’s been two years since I met my dad for the first time. My mother tracked him down and located him in a Florida prison serving a three year sentence. He’d been bouncing between finding and losing himself in Southern Florida. My mother drove us from Atco, New Jersey to somewhere outside of Orlando Florida to meet my father.

He’s ugly.

-Shhhhh. What? You look just like him.

No. I look just like you. His arms look like boobies.

{His muscles have never gone neglected}.

My dad was waiting in the line of inmates that were scheduled for visitation. I couldn’t figure out why his aura threw me off so much, but I’ve held onto that day and that feeling ever since. 

Dear Dad,

I don’t have any stories this time. I’m too sad to write and I can’t tell you why.

Kamila Hasana Ahmad

My mother respects my privacy. She sends the letter.


“In tonight’s forecast, severe thunderstorms and showers”.



Where are you? 


What’s wrong?

{Thunder rumbles outside}

 Allah is going to strike me!

{I’d started having panic attacks the summer I turned 11. Thunderstorms and public places were triggers. I truly believed I was going to die before I turned 12. I was convinced Allah had really given up on me and wanted me dead because I couldn’t fix myself. I was in the midst of four years of abuse that would end right before the panic attacks started presenting themselves. My dad’s letters came less frequently and I started to feel like life was a hoax and I wasn’t a kid. I was 10.}

You’re a child 




That you see me in my innocence 

‘Cause I don’t know what it looks like 

I just feel it mostly 

And they want to feel it too 

Confusion, anger and shame laced in a cocktail of adolescence 

You have three holes

No, I have four 

This one, this one, and that one 

And the one in my heart

Late, great 1998 

God Bless you, you sick year 

______ now, I am

I’m not dead 

Fear is paralyzing; the ultimate distraction
That no one has ever, ever been able to afford.
In the arena of my mind, I set fire to the stage and watch Love and

Fear duke it out to be the last one standing on the ashes.

Focus is my Victory.
I can truly hear myself
Trampling between pride and hunger, I see the pattern

Soul is who aches when I cry and who rejoices at the tears.
The stream is the aftermath.
What’s screaming but Fear shrinking in sight of Heart?
A single vessel, for the moment, her 1000th time saving the world, today.
Sound waves bare witness to your Exodus, forever echoed throughout the Ether.
I’ve given up to be the ashes, the sand in the arena of Love.

Carried away in the wind of my thoughts, I fall, hard, to the floor
Here. Again.
Buried a mile under the sea of ashes with Fear grabbing for my ankles.
Just one pinch
Focus is my Victory,

I can truly hear myself
Bouncing between Hunger and Heart
I see the pattern
Silence is my solace

“Unknown”, now, “I am”

I am immortal 

…Much is Tested

The scales you polish so much

Have failed you

Consumed by the beauty of the balance

Shifting your weight to keep up

With the glimmer

Dare to scuff

The scale

Wasn’t made to carry you

Shape your soles to bear your heart.

Feet stumble in passion.

She who carries Heart walks with Grace.

You are Not What Was Done

I stir

On occasion

Most times

It’s hard to know until I’m already spinning

Kicking and screaming

No! We worked so hard!

My spirit, deaf, dumb, blind

With rage, pain, hunger

Don’t call it Anger

Tearing up the corners of the Earth searching for another angle.

Call it Faithful

What’s faith in the face of hate?

Or Love when love for that hate can’t be denied?

When famine fed by fear finds that second wind

And you’re the tide

When Love’s locked away in perception and you can only see her through the caged hearts of man

Where your heart flutters at the sound of Love’s name but even that is painful

You remember the last time Love was in your lap.

That shit hurts

What did you trade Love for?

Would you remember it on the street?

Would it run to catch you when you fell?

Or was it what had you falling in the first place?





What would the world be without glory? The same thing it would be without pain.

Everything is relative.

However you want to slice it, we were all created to be here in the same place at the same time.

We must never allow ourselves to be guided or stopped by what anyone else is doing. We must never allow ourselves to be guided or stopped by what anyone else is doing. We must never allow ourselves to think we can only go so far because others are already there.

I didn’t choose to be here now

I never knew there was a choice

My majesty was borne out of the need for Love to thrive unconditionally.

So was yours

Rejoice in that.

Be grateful you are one of Love’s children,

one in a million,

among the many,

ones in millions,

living for Love.

And she goes hard for her kids.

Praise the hard times

Praise the easy ones

Plan for the worst

Strive for the best

Praise the hard times

Praise the easy ones

Love goes hard

For all her kids

When it’s hard

When it’s easy

Release Your Greatness, Thank You.

Seven years ago, on October 6, 2008, I came home to discover my mother laying lifeless in her bed. It’s odd that I feel it makes sense that it happened in October. It’s always been a telling month for me and for that, it is holy.

The month of revelation.

And a supreme incentive for reflection…

Even the air is stirring and settling the elements of life, like leaves dancing about the pavement.

My mind is stirring as I watch the leaves rise and fall in the waves of wind. 

I’m here. 

I embrace that I am here because You are here. 

I am here because she is here.

I am here because she was here.

Thank tou for all that you have brought me and protected me from.

I’m just getting to understand you as I understand myself. 

The greatest gift you have given me is the presence of mind and spirit to seek you in the first place.

The gift of knowing.

Always in sync with your mind, even when it wanders. 

I hope to make you proud and content in knowing I came after you.

I hold you in my heart, even when it hurts. 

Thank you for living.

Thank you for fighting to live.

And Love

And loving hard and real easy 

Thank you for passin’ off the little bits of love you had left to my mama’s, mama’s, mama’s, mama and me. 

We release our greatness when we can’t deny the ones who gave us that greatness. 

“Respect the Technique” Purposeful Preparation Part II: Knowing the Working Process

Easier said than done.

The world’s silent consensus in the face of any prolonged challenge or endeavor. 

It’s in The Manual. 

So what’s that doing that doesn’t ever seem to get done?

…That doing that gives all the saying a run for its money…

It’s the brick and mortar of the foundation of your ethic. 

It’s what sets and keeps your wheels in motion. 

Heart and Soul are the check-and-balance of our intentions and those intentions are the guides of our actions.

I played with these thoughts as I lay in bed at 4 AM. 

My holy hour. My favorite time of “night”. A time of reflection and reconciliation. Even my thoughts were on chill. 

It’s a beautiful thing.

Sharing ones thoughts comes with an unmeasurable responsibility. 

It’s a line of work that isn’t considered work. And even when you are tireless in it, you have to leave a little room for perspective. 

Managing what?

I don’t want to manage my life. I want to live it, explore all of its facets and meet others on their journeys. Exploration requires security and preparation. 

Because spontaneity isn’t so spontaneous.

You have to respect the flow to learn it, know it and go with it. 

Your ethic is your best guide on the path to knowing, and going with, the flow. 

Curating and polishing time management, consistency, diligence, adaptability and patience is not an easy feat, but it will transform into an almost effortless process if driven by Heart and Soul.

Heart and Soul are forces that can’t be denied, but can be healed and  transformed through different variables of the human condition. 

You can’t destroy the Heart, but you can soothe it. Your Soul may feel heavy or even bent, but you could never break it. 

Take cues from a true, live ‘G’!

Soul is the master pupil of life. Spirit, it’s understudy, uses us to connect Soul to Heart. 

You are the glue that holds your Heart and Soul together.

A few days ago I shared what Autumn has taught me about purposeful preparation. 

Autumn is true, a gentle bruiser, always timely. 

Her signs are consistent and devoted to her presence. 

She’s here. 

Like it or not.

Her work speaks for itself and never for her. She’s trained her ethic to be  a steady constant in the ever changing realm of Time.

Autumn, in all her glory, says,

I respect myself enough to know the working process”.

I’m still taking notes. 

And sharing them.