I Think You’re Doing Great

Cause I felt like it

Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.-Proverbs 28:18

I think you’re doing great…but what do I know? Seriously, these are tough times.

Do you remember when Covid-19 got real for us? March 2020. I had my 35th birthday. It was beautiful, humble, and my husband planned it perfectly. Fresh haircut and some blond highlights. I saw friends and family. I ate my favorite foods and had wonderful conversations. My mother bought me a gorgeous dress. Everything that sometimes validates us in our human form, was accounted for.

Except, that wasn’t everything that mattered. A week later God said, “Sit down, be still, be with your family, and focus.” Collectively we all did. We soon realized (I think), our plans were derailed and maybe that was a good thing. I believe we became more intentional with our friends. We have a higher regard for life (and death.) Some have been desensitized to mortality and some of us have been more severely impacted. No matter what side of the fence you stand on, we are still divided while all standing on the same ground.

This is not a post about Covid-19. This is about confidence and identity. This past year may have changed you and taken some things away from you. However, I think you’re doing great. Only you know what eco friendly, non-plastic bags you’re carrying. Only you know the contents and why those things still burden you or strip away at you. You can conquer that. You are not the summation of those faults. You’re great!

I tell my kids: Integrity is what you do when no one is watching you. It is a core value. That is a simple definition. It it not an easy practice to execute.

Whatever is challenging you right now, isn’t over. You have more work to do. You haven’t given up. You’re doing great. Let that be what ignites your next move and makes you grateful for your next breath. You are loved.

By Shaun Liriano

They

I remember watching Claire Huxtable come home from work. She was an attorney. She would go into the kitchen and put on her apron. An apron! This Brooklyn woman with 5 children and a husband wore an apron after a full day of real work. I was flabbergasted.

I made my first apple pie today. I wanted to be like one of those apron wearing moms. A Pinterest mom. I wanted to be Claire Huxtable. I have an apron on my Amazon wish list. I wanted to bake a pie. I bought the ready made crust and the pie filling. So I cheated a little bit. I’m going to come correct next time. The recipe was from YouTube but I made a pie, damnit. I worked all my 8 hours and then some. Raised 4 kids who despise their remote learning days. I made a pie.

See, because they told us that good women cook dinner. Good women are humble and Faith filled always. Good women fold laundry. Good women don’t dance lewd. Good women wear aprons. Good women make pie. I don’t know who they are but I could swear that’s what they told us.

I think I made that sh$t up. I think “good women” are fabricated fantasy characters morphed in my mind. I’m blessed to know a lot of good women. They’re abstract. They’re powerful. They’re colorful. They’re freaking tired. Exhausted, not by your expectations but by their own. Baking pies and posting pictures of perfection. If you take the time to ask them how their day was, they’ll give you an honest answer. If you’re open minded and your guard is down, you’ll feel their heartbeat through your fingertips. They’re people battling myths. Most battles cause bloodshed, remorse, and sometimes defeat.

I made a damn pie. At first, because I really wanted to satisfy an ideal I created. I needed to prove something to myself. My kids LOVED it and that was gratifying. I just finished writing a screenplay and I’m happy I completed it. It’s registered. It’s a whole thing. I didn’t brainstorm on a page and then abandon it. It’s alive. Through a pandemic. Through social distancing. Through distance learning. Zoom birthdays. Masks. Stress. Fear. I wrote a screenplay and it gives honor to someone I respect. I am proud of myself.

One of the things on my dream board is a line that says “flowers always.” My husband has always bought me flowers. When I was young, my dad would give a rose to his mom, myself and his sisters. My mother would get a bouquet. In the past I wasn’t big on flowers but as I grow, I enjoy all beautiful things. I celebrated myself this evening in two ways: I made my first pie and I asked hubby to go pick up some flowers. He laughed and said ,”How do you know I wasn’t going to do that?” I didn’t know, honestly. I just know that maybe good women ask for what they want. Maybe good women don’t get out of the car until the song they like is over. Maybe good women leave the laundry in the basket for someone else to fold. Maybe they go to sleep when they’re tired. Maybe they throw pies in your face and laugh with you. Celebrate your wins better than anyone else because you know what it took to accomplish that thing. Ask for what you need and even what you want. I smell the pies you’re baking.

-Shaun Liriano

I knew

I never get tired of this ☺️🙌🏾 If I just believe and affirm, mountains would move casually. Excuse me. Pardon. For real, let my arrogance rock. Broken glass. This ceiling has to go. I always knew I was great. Then I forgot. Your ignorance reminded me. Challenging my productivity. The sky is the limit. That’s what they told us. Rolled us into cubicles and assigned numbers with email signatures and put a price on our minutes. Time changes meaning quickly. Relative to your mentality. I always knew. -Shaun L 📷 Shaun Liriano #poetry #love #quotes #poetrycommunity #writersofinstagram #life #poem #instagram #lovequotes #writer #quoteoftheday #poet #quote #poetsofinstagram #follow #art #poems #thoughts #inspirationalquotes #writing #instagood #quotestagram #loveyourself #like #motivation #inspiration #motivationalquotes https://www.instagram.com/p/CJtqLUFrkDU/?igshid=9su2606qtqa2

Sunday Shift

Awake. In all my imperfections, I’m here. As I am. Surrounded in love but sometimes alone. Okay. Still strong. Not broken. Blemished ego at times. Open. Sometimes I miss you before you leave. Warmth in wishes on cake candles. Secrets drift away in smoke. Heart scarred but it still beats hatred and defends truth until it’s breathless and bleeding. Sunday. Shaun #sunday #love #sundayfunday #weekend #instagood #sundayvibes #photography #happy #instagram #photooftheday #poet #poetry #letitout #like #follow #me #smile #tea #life #sun #family #instadaily #beautiful #selfie #journaling #marshallsfinds #mood #rainyday #okay https://www.instagram.com/p/CJlsqtUrn1m/?igshid=1pv8rt7gcw183

A Long Time

Lost in the essence of the debris of past explosions are a handful of people unwilling to let go. She is new. She has been for a long time now. They shove thorns on her finger and tell her it is a band. They’re married to remnants of a carcass. The doubt died. There is nothing absolute about time. Time is a human concept. They’ve been divorced from humanity. Most feel nothing. Your tears equivalent to rainwater or urine. Just moisture. Stretch out your hand. Understand her pressure and the poison your presumptions plant in otherwise healthy soil. She is new. You’re holding on to situations born from trauma that was convenient to ignore. You’re peeling scabs looking for blood but she exists within what you see. She operates above you at times, hovering over hope and grabbing pieces of promise. It’s time…

By: Shaun Liriano

Love vs. …

My favorite poem is Tamerlane by Edgar Allan Poe. It was published in 1827 and I remember having to break it down line by line to fully understand it. It is about love vs. Ambition. I think that is a common theme.

A conqueror who travels, ravages land and people, and isn’t exactly the epitome of Mr. Right, falls in love. He falls madly in love. She is a common girl, a peasant. He has to leave her behind to continue on and be successful.

In the end he misses her. He thinks of her during his last days. He wonders where she is. He is his beginning, she is a brief but impactful stop in his middle and his end is alone.

We grew in age – and love – together

Roaming the forest, and the wild;

My breast her shield in wintry weather –

And, when the friendly sunshine smil’d,

And she would mark the opening skies,

I saw no Heaven – but in her eyes.

Tamerlane by Edgar Allan Poe

My Own (favorite poem I’ve written and why)

I wrote My Thoughts, the evening my son Cairo was born. His birth was traumatic, exhausting and empowering all at the same time. The words gushed out of me like tears from a child who fell off their bike. I couldn’t stop them. When I was done, my son was asleep on my chest and I felt emancipated. I felt like every word was a representation of myself. The transparency, the rawness, the truth, the profanity, the blessings and the weight was all out.

Later I linked with my cousin, Langston (wheresthehaze.com) and we laid the track for the poem. 2 takes. Done. It was effortless and it fit perfectly. Hearing my words merged with his art made my heart swell. I loved the poem even more.

I dont write fluffy stuff. Sometimes, by request I’ll write a love poem for a friend courting a new interest. I’ve done the wedding of two close friends. Love is inspiring.

“My Thoughts” isn’t fluffy. It’s weighted and it’s still fly. You can read it or dance to it. It’s my ringtone. It was born the same day as my only son. It’s mine.

Lazy

A typical lazy day looks like Netflix, a slice of pizza and a scented candle. It looks like wine in a whiskey glass because all my wine glasses have been broken in late night bottle making stumbles to the kitchen. It looks like prayers scribbled in two different types of handwriting in journals. It looks like delayed chores, laundry piles and floors that are waiting to be swept. A lazy day looks like stealing my husband’s sweat pants and letting a faded tshirt hold my heart in its place. A lazy day is coffee with lots of cream and sugar because its tastes good and I’d rather be sweet than awake. A lazy day is toys all over the floor, voice impersonations and irresponsible snacks. A lazy day is singing Flashlight with your strongest voice and trying to get that Parliament bass line just right. A lazy day is burying a schedule and resurrecting restoration.

Dancer (Top 3 Things I Like About Poetry)

Sketch by Ric Richards

1. I met Poetry after I met Music. Poetry wasn’t promiscuous like Music. She didn’t try to appeal to everyone. She didn’t care if you liked her or understood her.

2. Poetry saved me. Swooped in and like a superhero. As a matter of fact, Poetry made superheroes look like security guards. She told me she could never be right or wrong. She told me we all have special abilities. She told me about Ravens and women rising and lover’s named Venus.

3. I like Poetry. The way you make a best friend the first day of school. It’s a sandbox friend. Our meeting was quick and natural and fun. I hope we’re together forever, blood sisters, bound by purpose.