I could never imagine a ride in a taxicab being inspiring but this one is; didn't write the story but it is a good one. Kent Nerburn finds himself picking up a woman on a warm August night and...Oh I forgot this is not my story. Please click on the links below and read an amazing story and the story behind the story about what Kent Nerburn calls a small story of a small moment of two small people. Tuesday talk.
My Jamaican friend Marjorie Stanbury has filled her home with the artwork of Jonathan Green. She has also had the privilege of working with this lowcountry (from Beaufort, South Carolina) treasure. Every time I go to her house, I find myself picking up the book Gullah Images. I am so attracted to the artist and his work, they seem to call out my name and so I answer; however, this time I took some time to read what was written about Jonathan Green. Pat Conroy says: Green's work showcases the meaning, purpose, and beauty of everyday life--he can elevate the morning meals, doing the wash, and relaxing in the evening. He can also celebrate the social and religious--community dances, baptisms, wedding and funerals.
Bettye J. (Mbitha) Parker Smith says: Green's brush strokes are
Gullah Anointed. Gullah is an appellative used to describe a
population of Africans who were taken against their will from the Gold Coast of
West Africa and transferred permanently, with a culture intact, to the
Americas--specifically to the coastal region of South Carolina and Georgia.
Jonathan Green is the first visual artist from the Gullah community to be
academically trained and achieve national and international prominence. He has
accepted the calling of his ancestors and is on a mission to preserve the
magnificence of their way of life. The timing of Jonathan Green the artist, and
the level of momentum to which he subscribes, is not just one of happenstance.
Indeed, while he may not have arrived in swaddling clothing, it is perhaps safe
to say that he carries the sign of one anointed.
Ronne Hartfield says: Jonathan Green is a truth teller. His paintings
function as a marriage of the communal and the personal, the conceptual and the
experimental. His skill, his gift, is to take images of ordinariness, filter
them through metaphoric lens, and return them to us as extraordinary icons of
our heritage. In the words of W. E. B. Du Bois, "these crooked marks on a
fragile leaf...turn the tangle straight."
Please go the these links to find more information on Jonathan Green and his
This is Tuesday talk--so honored and proud to be called a Gullah Lowcountry Gal.
©2013 Theda Okona All Rights Reserved
I have been in love at every age since I could remember which probably started around eight years old. Among the men that I wanted to be suitors were Batman, the Green Hornet, and Shaft; but romance has nothing to do with understanding true love. Don’t take my stance as: “I have never had the love of a good man”—I am happily married to the love of my life and he is a great man. However, my best lessons about how to love never came from a man. When I think about lessons of the heart and understanding love there are three women who are never far from my spirit or heart: my grandmother, Adeline P. Gregg, my mother, Theresa G. Johnson and my daughter, Chinwe E. Okona. They have taught me love affects everything. These three prodigious women are the queens and ace of my heart. In private I call them Mary, Martha and Mary Magdalene--Mary (my grandmother) sat at the feet of all things divine, Martha (my mother) ran the household; she reminded me to daily take care of the practical even when tragedy is knocking at your door, and Mary Magdalene (my daughter) teaches me to stay close to what really matters because being relevent is more than the words you say; transforming lives happens one person at a time and you have to make time and patiently wait for things to happen. With all of these women I have found a spiritual home--warmth, hope, support, laughter, joy and peace; there have been sadness shared and disappointments understood--they have given me the freedom to grieve and the encouragement to dream. I have found a home in these three but I have found a home in many of you reading this blog. My grandmother, mother, daughter, and many of you remind me daily...being a woman is a fabulous thing. This is Tuesday talk.
©2013 Theda Okona All Rights Reserved
Theda Okona is a former educator, storyteller and co-host for an internet radio broadcast. She lives to be inspired. Writer, Speaker, Vocalist and Author of Clouds of Grace, she has a Masters of Art degree in Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.