…About Life

The color BLUE is not my emotion, it is and always will be my favorite color.

What I learned about life is that I share with people all over the world a profound plethora of pain, a gripping pain with many attributes that has moved all of us to an embrace of sorrow.  But, sorrow will not last as we all of us walk along a path of blessings and hope.

blue-paintWhat I learned about life is that learning only ends when life ends.  Since life will NEVER wait for me  to “catch up”  I must learn quickly and move as life moves, QUICKLY without regrets and fear.

cobblestoneThis post is just a small statement of revelation, we all know how life works.  But if this horrible year has taught me anything it has showed me what to look forward to.  In 2017 I look forward to seeing my projects to a happy fruition, fiction novels, knitting projects and mom’s 1950s photography book.  More important in 2017 I look forward to love, laughter and living my life to the fullest.  

I will return with more frequent posts.  See you next year, cheers! LDS

www.ldsargent.com      

www.lorrieknits.com    

Doris Banbury Private Photo collection

The Color of…

What is the color of healing?

Show me the color of HEALING

Of a heart filled with life, but broken

What is the color of faith?

Show me the color of FAITH

A faith so strong and unmovable, it quivers

What is the reason I exist?

Why am I here?

the color of

Shall I paint, draw, sketch the color of my existence above and beyond?

Shall I show you why I breathe?

What is the color of true love?

I never allowed a loss of control, but

Show me the color of true LOVE and I will

paint you the colors of my gratitude!

Whatever you are in your presence I will heal

Wherever you are

However you LOVE I will HEAL and

remain FAITHFUL

Because I know you are blessed.

And so am I.

The Joy Queen

There is a very creative soul and spirit that

MUST roam free.

A busy moving creative soul, a spirit that is not bound

by the trappings and conditions of life.

The Joy Queen

blk and pink 5

The Joy Queen is a being of contentment.

blk and pink 1

Content as a happy bouquet.

blk and pink 2

Content as a happy bouquet that goes

anywhere it needs to be….FREE.

blk and pink 4

Content as a lovely scarf that wraps with  a

soft warm embrace. 

The Joy Queen…

blk and pink 3_edited

…Abounds.

The Joy Queen is in the air.  

The Joy Queen is in the earth.

The Joy Queen is a creative spirit deep within a loved soul 

that embraces and abounds and roams. 

And where The Joy Queen roams, 

The Joy Queen is free.

Free to breathe dust and wind

Free to bleed tears into soil

Free to wander and not know where

The Joy Queen is free to be the creative soul it MUST simply be.

And what The Joy Queen MUST be she will be… 

…FREE.

Still numb, but living. Back soon.  LDS

Yours very truly, Doris Banbury

Mom in the 80sDoris Banbury, 1980’s

I moved to Los Angeles when I was in my early 20’s, I felt I needed to break away from my mothers’ apron strings.  I originally wanted to go to NYC, but I was scared away by my native New Yorker mother Doris who often told me horror stories about the people, the weather, the “harsh living conditions.”

I lied to my mother so that I could move to Los Angeles.  I told her I had an audition for the touring production of Dreamgirls.  I had studied at American Conservatory Theater, fancied being a sitcom actress. I left San Francisco two years after Dreamgirls opened on Broadway in 1983.  I had no idea how hard it was to break into “show business.”

mom's letetrsDoris often phoned and we wrote letters to each other, well she typed and I saved them all.  Doris tried in her way to encourage me and she often sent me money when I was struggling.  Sometimes Doris, who was pretty much Velcroed to me and my younger brother David, but mainly to me, she would phone me after she saw something disturbing on the news.  She’d say, “You know I heard a woman was killed in…”  “mom, if I’m talking to you on the phone I’m not dead, right?”  “Well, of course you’re not dead, I was just calling to see how you’re doing!”

What was funny about Doris was that she often “signed off” on  her letters in quirky ways.  Sometimes she’d sign, “Love, Mom Terrific.”  Or, she’d sign, “Love Doris, mom.”  Once, and I can’t find that letter, she signed, “yours very truly, Doris Banbury.”  I teased her about it, “mom, you’re a Mcgillicuddy.”  “A what?”  “Remember Lucy Ricardo’s mother Mrs. Mcgillicuddy?  Remember how quirky she was?  I think that’s you.  I mean, why would you sign your name?  I’m your daughter, I know your name.”  “Well, I was a secretary for many years, wasn’t I?  I was a 1426 Sr. Clerk Typist, you see, and I had to sign my name, so I got used to doing it, that’s all.  No big deal!”

I stayed in Los Angeles for about 7 years and eventually came back home feeling defeated, sad, depressed and alone.  Lost my job, got evicted, etc.  Doris was kind at first, she even waited for me at the bus stop by our house when I came home.  But as soon as I set my things in my room and lay on the couch in the embryo position in the living room wondering what the hell happened to my life Doris chimed in with her motherly words of wisdom, her no-nonsense New York mentality and that “smart-ass” sense of humor I inherited from her.

Me:  “Mother, I just…I don’t know what happened.  I tried to make it as an actress, I failed.  I tried writing plays and I had a couple of shows, but nothing much came of it.” 

Doris:  “You lost your job, got evicted and your idiot fiancé hit you when you broke off the engagement.  Yet, you’re still standing, that has to mean something.”

Me:  “I just don’t understand what happened to me.  I just want to lay here and have a nervous breakdown, I don’t know what to do.”

Doris:  “Oh, I know, you had it hard, I know!  (mom said clutching her eye glass chain)  Meanwhile, by 1963 I was a single mother of two children by two different men, both who did not want to have anything to do with me or my kids.  That was at a time when having children without a husband was not cool.  What did I do?  I managed to take care of all of us with one paycheck.”

Me:   “Mom, I’m serious, I’m in real pain here!”

Doris:  “Oh, I know you are, my dear, I’ve got a pot on for some tea.  Did I tell you your brother was supposed to be a tumor?”

Me:  ~heavy sigh~ “Mom, c’mon.”

Doris:  “You see I did not know I was pregnant, well I didn’t know with you either, although I think with you the condom broke.  Anyway, with your brother, well I was six months pregnant and I developed a horrible pain in my stomach.  Anyway, I went to the doctor and was on the examining table when the doctor said, ‘you might have a tumor.’  Then when he left the room David started to crown butt first I believe.  Before you know it, I had a premature 3-pound baby boy that I went on welfare for the first three years of his life to support.  Well, I also had the help of the March of Dimes, God bless them.”

Me:  (defeated).  “I can’t…I can’t go on, ma, I’m serious.  I feel like such a failure.”

Doris:  “I didn’t raise you to fail, first of all.  Second, you can’t fail if you’re still living, Lorrie.  But, I can imagine how hard you had it in Los Angeles, poor baby.  Did I tell you when you were three years old I almost went to jail for writing a bad check at the grocery store?  David hadn’t been born yet, but I was humiliated, let me tell you! Thankfully and with the grace of God, the manager felt sorry for me and bought my bag of groceries.  I still tear up when I think about that.  Wonder whatever happened to that woman?”

Me:  “MOTHER I’M TALKING ABOUT MEEEEEE!!!”

Doris:  “I will kindly ask you to stop yelling at your mother, God you’re such a drama queen.  Look, it’s simple, you have two choices, work or school.  Or both!  That’s what you WILL do because you are in a country that gives black folks opportunities, unlike our ancestors before us, remember them?  Wow, what THEY went through!  (shook her head)  Big deal you didn’t make it as an actress, who cares?  You still have to live, you’re young, you’ll get a good job, you’ll find a good man, one who won’t hit you.  But, in the meantime while you’re under your mother’s roof, work…school…or both.  Those are your choices right now.  Oh, the tea’s ready!”

And with that stated Doris jumped up from the couch and scurried to the kitchen to turn off the screaming pot of water on the stove.  My mini break down was over.

There is so much to relay about Doris Banbury, a child of a British Canadian mother and Jamaican father who divorced when Doris was four years old.  But, I cannot possibly put it all into a blog.   What I will always remember about my mother Doris, however, is her funny sense of humor, her loving protective attention to her children whom she singlehandedly raised to a positive fruition, and her love for photography; she studied the works of Immogen Cunningham, Ansel Adams and Gordon Parks.

2 year old mom PIX 3

Glam Doris PIX 17

Diva mom PIX20????????????????????????????????????What will never leave me, including watching my mother pass away and be buried, is her telling me about herself, what little she offered.  What stuck with me; the stories she often told me about visiting the Bronx Zoo and telling her troubles to an aging Lion named King, she was about 8 years old at the time.  Years later when Dementia and Parkinson’s diseases set in, Doris told me she had been brutalized by her “godfather” for nearly a decade.  Never knew mom was a rape survivor.  Although, when we were kids and begged mom to give us a daddy she, and I swear this is true, she would flail her arms and scream, “NO, YOU’ll BE RAPED!”  

I understood why Doris made me promise that when she died I was to bury her with her mother Gladys who resides in a cemetery near White Plains NY.  Mom made all the arrangements for her mother and kept the receipts.  Doris’ beloved mother Gladys Peryl, my grandmother whom I never met, seemed a strong, determined and sweet and attentive mother to her sensitive child.  Gladys actually took Doris in the 1940s to abort the violators child, Doris was a young teen at that time, maybe 13 years old.  And a couple of years later when the violator was in the hospital on his death bed Gladys took Doris to get a verbal apology from him which he generously offered.  I understood why Doris adored Gladys, she often spoke highly of her.

I adored Doris, but in my own way.  While I was not overly affectionate I liked that she saw strength in me and perhaps determination when I did not see it in myself.  What I will remember of Doris is her kindness, her deeply-rooted vulnerability, her insecurities, of course her humor and her strength and love as a mother; she SHOWED my brother and me love, we rarely said “I love you.”  But, Doris attended every single freaking school recital, she was ALWAYS down in front with her camera to take a flash shot…always a FLASH shot!!!  Blinded the hell out of me, but that was Doris.  She kept all our school pictures and our report cards.

Doris showed encouragement and love rather than talk about it.  For that I am grateful. I am also grateful that I caught her last breath as I watched her pass away.  It was a most odd experience, but one I truly believe was meant to happen between mother and daughter.  And when they lowered her coffin into the ground a couple of weeks later, of course humor set in, the guy removed the strap too soon and mom tilted down head first into the earth.  At least the flowers that my brother bought for me to place onto the coffin remained. I am grateful for that as well.

As I write this I am listening to one of mom’s many CDs, mostly of “world” music, Cesaria Evora.  Mom loved good music and reading, she was a voracious reader.  At last count my brother who stored mom’s books, found about 390…so far.

Doris’ major true love besides music and books and of course her mother Gladys, was photography.  Doris loved to photograph animals, architecture, people.  When she was in her 20s Doris took celebrity photos in NYC, some of which I exhibited a few years ago.  In 2010 a select few of Doris’ celebrity photos were featured in a SF MOMA exhibit and were purchased by SF MOMA for their permanent photography collection.  Here is the museum link. 

(https://www.sfmoma.org/artist/Doris_Banbury

DSC02132Doris Banbury in front of a display showcasing three of her celebrity photos from 1950s that were featured in the exhibit: Exposed, by Sandra Phillips, SF MOMA.  Photo: Opening Night, 10-27-2010

moms exhibit 4 by Pudn her later years Doris enjoyed photographing lions and tigers, she loved going to the San Francisco Zoo.  And she loved photographing landscapes, San Francisco murals and her two grandchildren, Belinda May (L) and Denise Elizabeth (R).  Denise is my brother’s first born whom he named after me, Lorrie Denise.  moms birds moms ships, landscape, grandkids moms tigersMom and camera 1990s PIX 32

“Rest now, my dear.”

moms dressmom in coffinSunrise: 12-7-1930     Sunset:  12-27-2015     

coffin Earth:  1-8-2016

“Life moves forward, so shall we.”  Lorrie Denise Sargent, 2016

“Viewing” photo courtesy of David Banbury (SFMTA), Doris’ son;  SF MOMA photo of Doris courtesy of Denise Banbury, Doris’ granddaughter

Thank you for reading my most personal blog. LDS

ART, SOUL, SPIRIT, SHINE

A day after yesterday’s dental surgery performed by a nice, somewhat gentle male dentist, I usually don’t have luck with male dentists; and with extremely painful mind-numbing Novocaine recovery I came to one conclusion; it takes great courage, strength, faith and energy to do everything on one’s own without having someone to lean on.  More importantly for me, I wish I wasn’t in so much pain so that I can indulge in my creative outlets, writing and knitting.sick me

It is my belief that when an artist on any level in any form is unable to create and be creative, their world becomes a death knell.  Creating drives the soul, it gives life, it is living, it is breathing without breathing one dies.   For those of you fortunate enough to enjoy the luxury of making a living from being creative with your art you are truly blessed.  For me, making a living being creative is a still dream, mainly because I don’t subscribe to the idea of “starving for my art.”  I am practical, I work nine-2-five like everyone else because if I don’t work a “real” job I can’t support myself.  But, for the past few years I have thought about changing my way of thinking and simply diving in.  If I had starved for my art,  what might have happened?

ART

artDo what it takes to; MAKE TIME FOR YOUR ART

Give a little to whatever allows your spirit to shine.  Do what it takes to free your soul into the light of happiness and contentment.

Draw

Paint

Dance

Sing

Act

Meditate

Write

Add

Subtract

Multiply

Read

SOUL

soul

Do what it takes to; LET YOUR SOUL SHINE

“What is “SOUL?”

Is my soul strong, powerful and self-sufficient?

Is my soul powerful enough to propel me to remaining creative?

What does my soul look like?

Is my soul a mist?  Is it a sound?

Does my soul waft through the air like dust?

Is my SOUL my SPIRIT?  Are they one in the same?

I made it to the market and purchased enough ingredients for my version of chicken soup, squash; peppers; chicken; baby bok choy; jalapeno; garlic; tomato; celery; carrots and a few other goodies.  I got home, cooked my soup until it was nice and mushy for me to chew on one side.  My mouth continued to ache, so I took the prescribed meds and rested.chicken soup

Woke up and the meds wore off just enough to bring my mind back down to earth.

SHINE

Spirit

Shine and sing and win and rule and love and laugh and hope and dream and BELIEVE.  And let your SPIRIT guide your SOUL as you continue to pursue what drives you and keeps you alive.

As soon as the meds completely wear off and the pain subsides I will take into account my own words of encouragement.  Actually, I have a few friends to call on and a special (?) in the making, so I am almost at my bliss, but not quite.  Wish me luck.  Until then…

Happy Veteran’s Day and upcoming weekend to all!  LDS

I AM Golden

golden doorGolden is how I feel. 

Resplendent and gliding

my small wide feet against stoned path and

Crushing weariness into a hopeful dust

To a an closed now open door.

golden 5 Golden is how I feel. 

Triumphant, tall and brilliant

like Naomi

Mocha, fierce and fabulous

and strong and knowing

I AM someone you want to know.

golden 2Golden is how I feel.

Into my mouth I place golden fruit

that glistens my gums and my tongue.

I shine golden and I sing golden and I speak golden.

I AM golden in this moment.

 golden 6  golden 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golden is how I feel.

With my freshly brewed morning cup and

golden chocolate drops

soothing and energizing my welcoming belly.

I am golden with refreshing LOVE and LIGHT

and I can see and think clearly.

golden 7Golden is how I feel.

Golden is who I am.

Golden is where I stand

Golden is where I belong.

I am Golden.

 

Life, Animals, Humans, Love, Loss. Life Still

All of us come with “baggage” both animals and humans. We all come with genetic coding that either does us in or stays with us longer than we care for it to, Cancer; MS; CP; Mental Illness; Depression; Schizophrenia; Bipolarism; blindness; etc.

Najee boy cat Najee – 2013

I adopted my boy tabby, Najee Zaire, 13 years ago when mom received her Dementia diagnosis. Had no man, no kids in my life, I needed someone or something to offer my heart to. I adopted a girl cat, Pemba Zimbabwe, a year later.

Pemba ZPemba – 2013

And now, 13 years later recent six hundred f**king dollar blood tests prove my girl at 12 yrs old is of exemplary health.  The boy on the other hand developed a type of Stage 2 Diabetes which means additional expensive-ass vet food plus expensive-ass insulin shots that I must learn to administer this week, I’ll do it myself because he hates going to the motherf**king vet; have to put him on sedatives just to get him into the carrier on the way to the vet.  And, the vet tells me he’s to be given  human insulin.  HUMAN insulin for animals, really? And there’s no way for my insurance to cover the cost.  Seriously?  Really?  What-the-who?

Ah, life.

I believe it is time for me to move forward, just as life does, it moves forward.  No more hanging onto the “dutiful” coattails of being good daughter, nursemaid and “mommy.” My mother, whom I cannot bring myself to visit any longer and my boy cat, who is frail, will have to rest safe and sound inside my heart and soul. They have to because I have to move on so that I may allow someone “special” to move in. Whomever that someone is, I must allow him…

…Into my heart…

…Into my soul…

Soon.

Soon.

Soon.

And when (they) pass,

I will cry hard and long on strong, masculine shoulders.

But, not just ears of sadness,

Tears of hopefulness that they will be free

And I will be free and I will move forward

Just as life moves forward.

I will rest and let my tears dry,

And when the moment of grief has passed,

However long it takes to pass

I will know as I have always known,

LIFE moves forward. Still. 

And so will I.

L.D. Sargent