Today I get to share an extraordinary woman with all of you. Her name is Sheneeka Saul, and I met her last night through another extraordinary woman, Meghan Duffy. Sheneeka is going through what most of us go through: should i pursue my dream, or do what’s expected of me? Should i write, or go into something more practical, stable? So, I shared my journey with her, and told her no, no, never give up. Go for your dream. Go for it, and don’t let anyone stand in your way. Go… go… I said, go and write and don’t give up. The world needs powerful, glorious, brilliant bold women writers!
I asked her to send me something she wrote; something, anything…and she did, and I read it and I thought, Holy Moly… what a grand gorgeous powerful woman writer.
I just can’t keep her talent all to myself.
Her name is Sheneeka Saul.
She’s gorgeous and vibrant and filled with so much goodness.
she’s 20 years old and her voice is so filled with so much power.
25 April 2009
Something to Keep
People use the word change to describe a life interrupted by something different. Through an extensive pattern of monotony someone or something has transformed, for better or for worse. Maybe two friends have grown to become lovers, a child finally transitions into an adulthood, a man learns how to be a gentleman, a freeloader discovers independence, someone has lost everything, or a family becomes broken. Although this is true, it’s not quite my own perception. Change is something very unique to me. Those sandy green bills and those silver and copper coins are reminders. Yes, money is a reminder of what I still have to hang on to.
In reality, you would think that the few bills and coins received after making the average purchase is just a representation that yet again you’ve lost much of what you’ve worked so hard for and all that’s left is what you have. I don’t find spending so disheartening. I see the proverbial glass as being half full. Change is like having that one true friend left after all the others have abandoned you.
A couple of weeks ago, I was riding in the back of my Dad’s jeep with my Mom and Dad in the front seats. We had just crossed back over the Brooklyn Bridge. As we sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic, my eyes wandered. Over on the other side of the three-lane exit off the bridge I noticed a man sitting on the short, concrete divider. He seemed far from ordinary for the most part. It was nearly seventy degrees outside and he was dressed as though New York was in the heart of winter. His clothes seemed too big for him, like they weren’t his. He had on this heavy jacket with the pattern of an army uniform. He had on a dark blue, winter hat. His pants were long and dirty. He had on fingerless gloves. His long, thick black beard was out of place. I couldn’t help, but to stare at him. I assumed that he was a war Veteran; I didn’t want to believe that this man was a just another homeless tragedy. There was something different about him. This man had a smile on his face that wouldn’t seem to go away. It was a bit crazy and yet so genuine.
As I continued to spy on this unusual stranger, I noticed that he routinely pulled something out of the jacket pocket. Three times he would remove and replace what appeared to be an old Lotto ticket and several bills. Whether or not it was a significant amount of money I could not tell. He would look at these items as though he wanted to make sure that they were there. Each time he looked at them his smile seemed to grow. I thought it was the strangest thing. Then, I figured, maybe it was all he had left. This man looked as though the only things he had were the clothes on his back, that Lotto ticket and some change. They seemed to keep him going.
I see change differently than some people. I see it as so much more than just money; maybe not so much for what it is, but what it represents to me. If you carry just what you need, then you’ll be left with nothing, but if you carry something a little extra you’ll always have something to hold on to. I think we’re only alone if we allow ourselves to be alone, if we allow ourselves to be stripped of all that we have. The truth is that we’re never really alone. We just have to remember not to “spend it all.” Whether it’s friendship, hope, love, or our dignity, each and every one of us can always have something to keep.