Songs for the Angels

RIP. Rodney “Rod” Gradnigo, 60 departed this life on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 3:53 p.m. (Pacific Time) Rodney is preceded in death by his father, Joseph Gradnigo, Jr, step-father, Lawrence Allen, grandmothers, Syrella Walker and Ruby Gradnigo.              Life has a way of challenging the way we see the next day.

I dedicate this month’s writing to my friend, Rodney, who recently died from COVID -19. Rodney’s smile always lit up his face. His generosity and eagerness to help others made him an endearing friend.

Battling COVID is not like a school sick day. Your vital signs (breathing and oxygen to the brain) battle for survival in a ventilator. Rodney did wear a mask, not as regularly as needed, and even flew to large family gatherings. With underlying conditions, such as diabetes, Rodney’s life mirrored a time bomb. Continue reading

What has changed?

What has changed? April blog on COVID and abundance and joy

It’s been a year and a few months since the outbreak of COVID transformed our lives. At first, I didn’t understand this virus’s serious ramifications because it was only a faint whisper in our country. Much has changed since the first months of 2020. By the end of last year, the shadow of coping dogged the new normalcy. What we wanted or thought we wanted needed re-examination. For most, craving socialization, to the simplest gesture like a hug, became an agonizing wait and sour pill to continually digest. Continue reading

Endgame-Final objective-Ultimate objective

What is your endgame? Image of chessboardFinding the endgame or objective when there are many choices is not an easy feat. If one were to write down five things they’d want to be remembered for, what would they be? Thinking of death is ways off for many of us, yet with COVID-19, there is an urgency to as Spock (Star Trek) said, “Live long and prosper.” These times also hold labels, judgment, and radical thinking. So, again, what will your ashes lay to rest for? Continue reading

The Old Quilt

My wish as this year of absolute madness ends: my laughter will return, and the creative daydreams will replace that old quilt. Finding one’s comfort when life is anything but normal makes food, sleep, and everyday existence seem like a long vacation to nowhere. Finding joy with uncertainty is a task made of cement bricks.

As the year closes, not in the cheerfulness of the upcoming holidays, but rather in an exhausted breath of anxiety, we are reminded (in just a few weeks) a new year will force us to change the calendars. Can we dare hope for a more optimistic lifeline than the frayed one we’ve been holding onto:  preoccupied madness because of so many elephants in the room?

What will the new balance emerge in the NEW YEAR? Continue reading

Harvesting: A Raisin in the Sun

Inspiration for this writing is a reflection. October, years ago, my father died (age 52) from black lung cancer, after working half of his life in a steel mill. Coincidentally, I just finished re-reading the novel, A Raisin in the Sun, produced as a play, which I saw several times. One of my fondest memories was taking my nephew (Woodrow, named in honor of my father) and his classmate to Ashland, Oregon, to see the theater production of A Raisin in the Sun.

Playwright and writer, Lorraine Vivian Hansberry wrote A Raisin in the Sun.

Lorraine Vivian Hansberry (May 19, 1930 – January 12, 1965) was a playwright and writer who died at the age of 34 of pancreatic cancer. She was the first African-American female author to have a play debuted on Broadway in 1959. Her work, A Raisin in the Sun, highlights the lives of Black Americans living under racial segregation in Chicago, as they attempt to improve their financial circumstances with an insurance payout following the death of the father. The title of the play was taken from the poem Harlem by Langston Hughes: “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” At the age of 29, Lorraine won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award—named the best play in 1959, making her the first African-American dramatist, the fifth woman, and the youngest playwright to do so.

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“Life, even in the hardest times, is full of moments to savor. They will not
come this way again—NOT IN THIS WAY.” Paula Rinehart

Fear has mountedThe kitchen calendar made me shake my head. Fear has mounted since the beginning of the year. Much of the last six months, my writing is bundled into short sessions of creativity. I laugh, for this is the first time in a long while; I’m not bound by a regular job. Happiness should be defined by my own schedule. Yet, COVID has changed everything and made me think I need a stronger lifeline. Continue reading

Blue Skies

Insanity Is A Mere Reflection Of What Has Happened Today

Author Cheryl Charlesworth as a young girl with her father

Author C.L. Charlesworth shares a childhood memory of herself as a young girl with her father.

When I close my eyes, blue skies make me happy, because they are of my childhood. Fears were really absent, except from the occasional bully (who I eventually befriended).  My parents, the church, extended family, and peaceful, multi-cultural neighbors gave me a good foundation.

As an adult, I admit, I’ve lost my footing.

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