Letter from Tokyo: Sukiyaki with an Arctic Tern

Dear Friends, For the last two days, I’ve been reading back issues of National Geographic. There are about fifty National Geographics lying around the breakroom at my school, and I’ve resisted them until this week. My relationship with each and every one of the National Geographic magazines has been tumultous; I’m ambivalent towards the magazine. The photos repulse me; if I…

Love Sponge Cake and Solidarity Cookies

Everybody wants a happy end. – Solidarity (Black Uhuru) Dear Friends, I haven’t made a cake since 1989. I used to love baking from scratch: cracking a few eggs, mixing sugar and butter, throwing in a dash of vanilla, adding milk, a touch of nutmeg or cinnamon, and flour. Everyday I’d come home from school…

“You Live the Life You Love, You Love the Life You Live, Everything You Have in Mind Jah Will Give!”

Happiness is life-supporting and life-sustaining and therefore generates increase.– Deepak Chopra (“The Law of Giving,” The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success). Dear Friends, In guru Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, he concisely summarizes The Law of Giving: “If you want joy, give joy to others; if you want love, learn to give love;…

A Letter to Carolyn M. Rodgers

A few years ago in the “winter of my discontent,” my friend Darius sent my soul sustenance with an email simply titled “Hey.” In Darius’s message, he included Carolyn M. Rodgers’s poem “In the Shadow of Turning: Throwing Salt.” Since then, the poem has been a go-to poem for me… friends, there are answers there;…

“Living Off the Wall”

We’re the party people night and day, livin’ crazy that’s the only way- Michael Jackson (Off the Wall). I grew up in a quiet house. My house was not quiet in volume, because as I’ve mentioned before, my brother M and I played our stereos on high (to be factual, he had a stereo and I had…