WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, November 27, 2009

525,600 Minutes

So this is my third post Thanksgiving post. Two years ago I wrote about Big Mamas. Or the lack thereof. Last year, my post was cut short, because someone had broken into my car. And that leads me to the point of this year’s post. Dang really – have two years really gone by?!? I don’t even know what I was thinking about two years ago – unless I read my old posts. And my car being broken into a year ago seemed like such a HUGE deal – if only I had known that months later it would actually get stolen. Lol. And when I think of these things it causes me to wanna break out into song and start singing, “525,600 minutes. How do you measure, measure a year?”

"525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?" Seasons of Love, Rent the Musical

Last November I was unemployed, living with my mama, knee deep in like with this man. A year later – I work a job that I love, I have bought a house, and I am now waist deep in dislike with that nygga. Trying to get it down to the knees though. Lol. And so how does one measure a year like that? One can’t count the joy and ignore the pain. One can’t focus solely on the many tears that were shed and forget that there was lots of laughter there too. And one must be grateful for the good, bad and the that sho’ll was ugly – cause it’s all there for a reason.

And so I measure this year in the ordinary. In the everyday. Not in the extremes, but in the things that kept me sane and grounded. The simple things, the lovely, simple things. My grandmama’s Thursday fried chicken and biscuit dinners; weekly Bible Study with my old folk; my daily gmail chats with Mint Julep full of rants, philosophies, and gripes on men folk; great trips with 5 spot; dozens of little girls from the hood telling me how much they love the program I provide thus making me love my job even more; this here blog; my mama’s smile; my parents empty bed that I climb into when I’m feeling blue to watch TV or nap; lazy Saturday afternoons with marathons of The Game; my three aunties whose houses always serve as refuge and whose ears are always open; my daddy calling me beautiful; my brother and I sharing a laugh at anything, everything and nothing in particular; my drive to and from work that serves as me-time where I sing loudly and dance to my favorite songs - regardless of if white people are lookin at me; free drinks from my bartender boos; dinners with the girls where things start with a giggle, then become a laugh, then guffaws; my mama and granny seeing me off every morning like it’s my first day of school telling me to have a great day; my afternoon tea; evening TV watching; annual family gatherings and regular church services. And in all of that ordinary, in all of that everyday, there were unexpected lessons. But even better there was love. Lots of love. And for that I am thankful.

That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Silent Tears

So this morning I am in the bathroom at work changing from workout Amaretto to I got bills to pay Amaretto when I hear a woman walk into the bathroom sniffling. Now I have to share that I was in the handicap stall because it’s larger and has a mirror and sink and as a whole handicap stalls make the public bathroom experience so much better. And so I wonder why all stalls can’t be handicap stalls? Why limit the disabled? Why punish the non-handicapped with a coffin-like bathroom experience? Sorry-I am just typing what randomly is coming into my head, but I do think I need to write someone and propose that all bathroom stalls be handicapped stalls!

Anyways, I also realized while typing that I didn’t really need to let ya’ll know that I was in the handicapped stall, but I wanted you two fine readers of the 5 spot to know why I was so a tuned to what was going on in the bathroom. A disabled person will cuss you out for using their stall. No bull-my grandma learned that the hard way when walking out of a handicapped stall there was a lady in a wheelchair waiting. What is the likelihood right? But if all the stalls had been able to accommodate a wheelchair my grandma would not have had to apologize so vehemently to a woman half her age. But we live and we learn!

Anyways I’m in the stall and I keep hearing the woman sniff. At first I was like she has a cold. But as it continued my mind flashed to movie scenes in which people are doing lines of cocaine in the bathroom, but most folks in my building are getting government wage to go with their good government job which means that they can’t afford the designer drugs. So then I hear the woman say “Oh God’ *sniffle* “Oh God” *whimper* *sniffle* and that is the moment where I was conflicted… should I ask the woman if she was okay?

I think most of us know what to do when a person needs help. A person’s bag of groceries breaks and food falls to the ground-we stop and we help-maybe take an apple for our troubles. When our bathroom neighbor needs some toilet tissue we spare the square © Elaine from Seinfeld. But when our bathroom neighbor enters the stall to have a personal breakdown should we ask them if they are okay?

Now I have to tell ya’ll that this thing called life has had me in the bathroom crying more than a river. I mean even though I might have tried as hard as I could to hold back the tears or to blame my reddening eyes on allergies, some times a girl (I don’t know if men feel the same) has to get up and go into the ladies room. But this morning, I didn’t know what my role should have been as a hearer of tears. I don’t think I would have appreciated someone trying to console me in the bathroom during my weak moments. A woman crying in a bathroom stall is there because she needs a private place to not be strong for a minute.

I think I did the right thing by walking out, but hours later I am wondering if maybe I should I have asked if she was okay or needed a tissue. What is the proper procedure for when a fellow woman feels disabled by life?

See You In Seven

Monday, November 23, 2009

Everybody is Healing...

Last week at a funeral, the pastor said... everyone's life is in one of three stages... 1. Going through something, 2. Getting out of something and 3. About to go through something. This is so true as I was reminded last night.

Case and Point
Last night I had an awesome time chilling with a few of my clay studio buddies over a couple bowls of chili. Every year on the night of the Philadelphia marathon, I am invited to their house to part-take in a little celebratory dinner with anywhere from 7 to 10 different types of chili. Last year I passed on this get together because I honestly didn’t want to get too close to them. I was comfortable with the little that they knew about me.

Well last night I was like who cares, just go, you won’t get asked any million dollar questions. What are the million dollar questions you ask? I will tell you later keep reading.

So, Amaretto can attest to this… I go through this moment of convincing myself on the way to the event that I am just going to say Hi, smile and I am out and needless to say that never happens. And this night was no different. I get there. Old school soul music is playing… who don’t like James Brown? There is a smorgasbord of topping and sides (pasta, rice, cornbread, fajitas, salsa, sour cream, avocado, multiple cheeses, peppers, etc) are on the first table and as I enter the kitchen, there are 10 pots on heat being keep warm with ladles. There is everything from veggie to lobster to catfish to bison to beef chili. YUMMY! So maybe I won’t be able to do a quick smile and Hi. (chuckle)

Okay, okay 2 spoonfuls and a two glasses of wine later, everyone is loose and the getting to know each other begins. My follow studio-mate turns to me and says she is really nervous about her interview tomorrow. And I say really why? Then she was like I have been rather worried about interviewing since I lost my job. UH? Hold up when did you lose your job? I couldn’t stop myself before it came out... that was a million dollar question. If you ask a million dollar question don’t surprised if you get hit with one too. (chuckle)

No turning back now. My studio-mate goes on to tell me that she took a break from her nursing job because she was addicted to the painkillers that were prescribed to her 2 years ago for a shoulder incident. She explained that she took a voluntary break from her job but the medication they used in rehab contained ingredients that caused to fail her drug test when it was time to return, therefore she has been unemployed for the past 6 months. (BTW – She is a nurse and we live talking about Nurse Betty in class.) WHOA! This is some crazy mess. Chica! We were just at the movies the other day together.

She then goes on to say it feels so good to get that off her chest because it had been bothering her for a while and she felt like she had to keep up this pretense. OMG! The chili wasn’t the only thing burning up on my insides. I totally knew what she was feeling. Coming into the studio week after week, night after night, sharing our lives as we work. Calling clay work a hobby when for many of us it was therapeutic. Studio nights had become a safe haven for more than one person other than myself.

Should I share this with her? I don’t know.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I had this same conversation with another friend about how I don’t have the heart to tell my studio-mates, that I am divorced. I know, I know, nobody cares but it just seems so hard to say it the first time to anyone who knew you as a married woman. It doesn’t matter who you are. So I totally understand how she feels.

At that point, I whispered in her ear… while you were hiding behind your smiles week after week, I was doing the same thing as I went through a divorce.

Silent hug.

Much luv until next week… peace and a hug :)