Photo courtesy of Brook Blander. Brook is wearing her own WASIA necklace: Sunset
Meet Brook Blander.
She is a dear friend whom we affectionately call Nya which is defined as “of higher purpose.” It is by the way how she lives her life. She resides in Texas, is an author of 5 books and is a performing poet. Nikki Giovanni described her most recent collection of poems as “a wonderful introduction to a new voice in poetry. I am delighted to be introduced.” In addition, she is a writing coach with an unconventional and successful approach! Please visit her at brookblander.com and ebonylotus.com. She provides personal coaching services and travels the country facilitating writing conferences and retreats, therefore, if you are in need of her coaching services be sure to contact her but first, let us introduce you to an amazing artist…
I am …Brook Blander
I create poetry because …I always have something to say. When I write poetry, it’s a form of journaling for me. I purge all that I see, hear, feel, smell, taste, know, and don’t know would like to know and don’t care to know. Poetry is my constant fluid in a life that sometimes requires boxes and circles with walls that I can’t see over or through. I create poetry because it is my freedom, unleashed and unchained, without rules, signed, sealed and when I am ready, delivered.
I write because …it really is my form of breathing. To lay words on paper (or screen) are like inhales and exhales for me inside. Even more, it’s often the words given to me by Spirit, be it a fictional character in a novel or words of wisdom in a status message on Facebook, that are most meaningful for me to write. Writing is voice for me, for women, for ancestors, for children…for many.
I coach because …what writing is and does for me, I vie to help other women experience. Coaching is my soul’s work, there is no ego present. Oftentimes, I will go into a coaching session with a client and speak words that I know without a doubt are coming from a higher place to be delivered to them to use in their writing journey, and sometimes, even their life journey. In coaching, I am a vessel, a catalyst, a cheerleader (minus that big bow in the hair), an ear, and a pat on the back. Whatever I am for each session, I am honored to be that to get every woman’s words flowing.
My philanthropy involves …giving of my time and efforts (and finances) to organizations that are in support of Domestic Violence Awareness. Giving of my time, money, and advocacy brings an awareness that even in this day and age, many simply don’t recognize. Domestic violence is not male vs female. It shows its face in sibling abuse, child to parent abuse, lgbt relationship, and even relationships of elderly couples.
I give because ...giving is the best form of Love and support that anyone can express. In my area of philanthropy, domestic violence and sexual assault against women awareness is very near and dear to my heart. I am the product of my mother’s teenage assault by her employer, who was 60 years her senior. Growing up, I witnessed domestic violence and assault in my home in various relationships as well as in the relationships of friends and their families.
I love because …it is a Divine act of Spirit. It is gratitude for the loved ones placed in my path, the stranger standing behind me at the food market, and even the tree that sways outside my studio window. To love is to see…to acknowledge, and show respect and honor for every blessing.
My favorite colors are …crimson red, sun burnt orange, and silky smooth, chocolate brown
My style is …nya’mo’funkee, LOL. Like life, I’m a little bit of this and a little bit of that married into my own unique ways of wearing my mohawk locs, my mix-matched earrings, and my insane need to have each shade of a color be exact match or I wont wear it. My style is Divinely inspired. I’m a creative by design, so every thing for me is viewed, twisted around to view every perspective, recolored, with a bit of an added effect for pop.
The best piece of fashion advice I ever received and found useful was …if everybody is wearing it (or wearing it a certain way), find a way to make it yours. Growing up, I couldn’t afford what many of my friends wore, so I didn’t bother keeping up with trends because there was no point. But I still had to dress. I still had to do my hair. I still had to look at my skinny fingers. So I fell in love with doing my nails, learning to braid my own hair, or even using and old shirt, cut just right as a head wrap. While friends were being doted on for their newest and latest fashion, I was being admired and even asked for tips on how to create what were my very own creations.
Right now, I am listening to …a combination of “Gills and Tails” by Amel Larrieux and the low chatter of yesterday’s recorded episode of The Young and the Restless. Yep, you read it right. Strange combination..each with its purpose.
My dreams are …consistently vivid, both when I am asleep and awake. I dream, remember (and live) in full, detailed color…my reoccurring dream of missing a flight home as well as my life dream of waking up one morning in South Africa or India and embracing all that it has to offer.
I can fly because …this is only a body I’m living in and my soul has frequent flyer miles to burn. I believe that the limitations that we place on ourselves are human. I can’t do this and I can’t do that are indeed human limitations. I can fly because I know from where the wind that I soar upon originates.
Here is a piece from her most recent book of poems titled now that I’m here. lyrics from the mud to the sun (amazon.com, brookblander.com)…
I Want To Ask You Something
About this scar, here, on my back
That I’ve been carrying around in your name
I was wondering if you had time to come by
And pick it up
I want to ask you if there would be time soon
When you could help me
Fulfill the desires of your heart
If you’re not too busy
So that I can move forward with my own dreams.
I was wondering if these beliefs you had
Would be expiring anytime soon
Because I don’t think I am going to be able to continue to
sweep out of my front door now that I have new neighbors
I wanted to ask you if it was okay with you
Tomorrow I could be myself, and go by my own name
And clean this mirror so that I can see what I really look like.
If you have a moment , Momma, call me back, I just want to ask you something.
We’ve just launched the WASIA J&L Simon Facebook page
we invite you to Like us on Facebook
…Thank you in advance!
J & L Simon