Grateful To Be Considered A Thinking Blogger

Earlier this week, the blogger famously known as Heart In San Francisco was kind enough to bestow upon me the Thinking Blogger Award. I wish I could give it back to her for her incredibly thought-provoking blog, Guilty With An Explanation, but someone else has already given her this well-deserved kudos.

Can I just say that I love the little award banner? I might have to print it out and glue it to my forehead so when I look in the mirror I'll be able to see it reflected back at me.


It's been the kind of day where I am grateful to remember that there are people on this planet who really think what I write or say makes a difference in a good sense. But you know, sometimes I'm not so sure that the thoughts I put out there are always a positive energy. Sometimes I think about the things I've written and I'm astounded by how off-base some of my ideas are...probably some of you who come here are provoked into thought because some of my ideas or experiences are a bit...I don't want to say dumb, so I'll just say underdeveloped.

Most important though, I'm learning something new every day though as I read your blogs, so I'll share five that always make me think. (This is just the week for memes, isn't it?) So here are the rules:

1. If tagged, you must write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to the original post, so that people can find the originator.
3. Optional: Display the Thinking Blogger Award with a link to the post that you wrote about it.
4. Tag 5 others whose blogs make you think.

Well, really, you all make me think on some level, and if I have a link to you, well then clearly I like coming by your site every chance I can...which is why I'm not so happy when I don't have time to visit like I want to. And, this feels a little like, "I know you have two children, but in this scenario, you can only save one of them."

Oh well. If I have to pick five, then five it is:

1) Beyond The Picture by my dear sister, Leili. Sure, I'm biased enough to think her blog's da bomb if only because she was the Mistress of Ceremonies at my wedding. Yet, bias isn't the whole story. I've admired Leili for so many reasons over the past fifteen years that I've been privileged to know her, and I think if you pop over to her space, you'll start to get a feeling for why she's so special. She's a talented thinker, writer, filmmaker, website designer, musician, painter, pottery maker, photographer and public speaker...and in a world so filled with hurting souls that lash out angrily at others, I find myself appreciating her ability to create and reflect the beauty around her even more than I ever have.

2) The Last Noel by Noel Alumit. Noel is the author of two thought-provoking and heart-tugging books and is currently working on his third. He reminds me that writing is something that you have to work at and that a book isn't going to happen by itself. After years of wanting to do so, I finally took a writing class last spring through UCLA Extension, "Intro to Fiction Writing". Noel was the instructor and I'm eternally grateful that I lucked out and got him. He's so encouraging and he knew his stuff. I needed that encouragement along with the technical know-how because I was certainly at a place where I felt so unconfident about almost everything in my life. I felt like I'd been through a train wreck and the only way to get better at all was to write. I'm positive that many of the things I wrote for that class were truly literary garbage, but he was skillful enough to give feedback and foster other's giving feedback without ever making me feel like I, for lack of a better word, sucked. When I visit his blog, it's a reminder that I need to keep writing. Without the writing, I'm miserable.

3) Questioning Semantics by West. I like blogs where the author writes about a wide range of topics. West shares his thoughts about everything from comics and politics to education and youth and how we sometimes block good things from happening by not being open to them. Some days he's writing about race and on others, he's writing about noise cancelling headphones. I like to read his posts because you always get the sense that West is undeniably a good man with a good heart, and that he's devoted to his family. As some of us say, "He's good people." His goodness and thoughtfulness is really endearing.

4) Our Kind Of Parenting by Mrs. J. It's so nice to read the experiences of another black woman who is trying to raise her kids to be...well, to be beyond her wildest dreams. Mrs. J has three children, and two of hers are twins. She is so happy to be a mommy to her children and her blog always makes me think about how much I love being a mother and what a weighty responsibility it is to be a good mother. I read her blog and reflect on how similar or different our experiences are as mothers and I think about how for so many years I didn't want to have children.

I remember how when I was thirteen, my brother's first child came to live with us. She was nine months old. I hated going to the mall with my mom and my baby niece because my mom would eventually say, "Oh, I'm just going to run into Gantos. Stay out here with the baby." I'd be left outside the store with this squalling baby in a baby carriage, and I know people were looking at me going, "Tsk Tsk. Another black teenage mom." So, I didn't want to have children because I thought people would always just assume I was a single mom and would put tons of negative stereotypes on me as a result. Whew, I'm glad I got over that and I'm glad that Mrs. J is doing her thing for her lovely family.

5) Any Given Sundry by Sundry. A photo a day. I don't know if I could stick to taking and posting a photo a day, and then, on top of that, writing the thoughts inspired by the photo. Sundry does just that and she's able to capture such lovely images of her life and the world around her that I often ask myself, "Do I exist in the same LA County that she does?" I also admire that she's created little rituals for herself like eating in the same cafes and getting together with a writing group. Every time I visit her blog, I start to think about how important it is to do those things.

Well, that's five.

If I highlighted your blog, I know you may not want to do this meme or put the Thinking Blogger Award on your site. That's OK. Still, I want to give you your props where props are due and say thank you for putting the effort into your blogs. You all make my life and the lives of other bloggers a bit brighter.


Sundry said…
I'm so flattered! Thank you very much!

I think I actually write stuff that challenges me more in my comments on your blog than I do on my own, because you are tackling some fine subjects here.

I will take your challenge, though it may be a few days before you see it on my blog.
none said…
Cool, I'll check these out :)
Liz Dwyer said…
Thanks for taking on the challenge and can't wait to come over and see what you put.

Yes, check these out...and I hope to come visit you soon as well. I'm on vacation all next week!
Anonymous said…
How very different our responses to watching little ones when we were little ourselves.

At fifteen I began watching two little ones, and did so even through college, as the defacto 'babysitter on duty,' and considered that they were like my little babies.

I'd decided at twelve or so to have none of my own, for reasons of the grief and sheer joylessness in the day-to-day of the lives of the women around me (despite their laughter and loud gatherings, I heard the crying at night, and saw the wretched lines in the smile that the eyes could not belie).

When I had my first, at twenty-eight, imagine my surprise to find neighbors congratulate my mother on her third grandchild, and even one neighbor who expressed surprise, though congrats, that I'd waited so long between the births to bring another into the world. Imagine my mother's surprise to hear this.

Long/short: I never imagined others saw these little ones as my own, and never really thought of them as such myself, though they were my 'little babies' when they were in my care. I don't think I had imagined others could hold me outside of a place I'd held myself, and would never have seen the slight in their eyes, though it was (maybe) surely have been something they discussed at the dinner table around their own girls as cautionary tale.

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