Why Leaving Our Cell Phones Home Some Days is a Good Thing

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit: Greg Rakozy

“I imagine a world where we smile when we have low batteries, cause that will mean we’ll be one bar closer to humanity.”
– Prince EA, “Can We Autocorrect Humanity?”

The other day I left my house in a flurry, chasing a luxury which eludes me mostly (and many other women) –  a few hours for myself. Then I did something which is rare for this organized Mama – I left my cell phone home.

I panicked, y’all. You know the tense feeling that floods your gut, nearly overtaking you. Yep, there I sat, in rush hour traffic, praying for a red light so I could continue digging for my phone.

I remembered packing my Kindle, but soon discovered that battery was nearly dead, too. I know. I am an addict. Did I just type those words?

Finally, I made peace with the silence, and became present. No checking my apps or scanning for music. I simply sat, surrending to contemplation.

Funny thing happened along the drive to the salon… I noticed buildings previously ignored, rolled down my window and heard  the natural rhythmic movement of city life anew. Ideas for blog posts filtered in one after another – and all because I allowed my mind to rest.

Perhaps we should all leave our cell phones and mobile devices home more often; digital fatigue is real. And in many ways, friends, this push and pull to stay connected is changing us. Rest is becoming a mirage in a world obsessed with productivity and multitasking.

We fill our moments with checking emails and social media, jumping to answer text messages, and apologizing for late responses. Is it really that awful if we take a few days to reply to someone?

Spoken word artist Prince EA has a line from his song “Can we Auto Correct Humanity?” that comes to mind in this moment: “Did you know the average person spends four years of their life looking at a cell phone?”

Let’s take our years back now.

Committed to Change – Bashi Rose, Filmmaker, Playwright & Actor (Blog Chat Series)

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo courtesy of Bashi Rose
Photo courtesy of Bashi Rose
These days some African-American artists prefer not to carry the weight of race within their work. “Excuse me,” Bashi Rose says, his deep voice unwavering, “that’s bullshit.” Rose, a Baltimore-based filmmaker, actor, playwright and co-founder of Nommo Theatre does not sit on his words. 
In 2011, he won a Baker Artist Award, followed, in 2012, by a fellowship with Open Society Institute (OSI), an organization working for lasting social and political change. Rose developed D.R.A.M.A. (Direct Responses Alleviate Misdirected Aggression) as an OSI fellow, along with inmates at the Maryland Correctional training center. The program reached black men within five Maryland prisons, teaching them about using the art of theater and film as a tool to overcome conflict.

He is an avid student of the Black Arts Movement which began in the 1960s, and includes voices of such literary luminaries as Amiri Baraka (widely credited as “The Father of the Black Arts Movement”), Sonia Sanchez and Gwendolyn Brooks, among others. Rose sees self love and knowledge of history as a critical piece of our own evolution.

The Park Heights native credits Baltimore’s poetry scene with expanding his worldview and in a fundamental sense, saving him. “Even though I never left the city I was still in whole different world.” Fellow poets pushed him to read Richard Wright, author of the classic Native Son, and Algerian thinker Frantz Fannon’s challenge to colonialism and white supremacy, Wretched of the Earth. 

A multifaceted artist, he learned his craft hands on, “similar to the way of my ancestors in West Africa,” he says. “Whether they were sculptors or Griots, they learned it in their community.” Rose has performed or directed in venues throughout the state and in New York City including Theatre Project, Creative Alliance, Howard University, Maryland Institute College of Art, Center Stage, among others. Some of his film projects include Love Deferred and Me Myself and Us (based on the play by actor Robert Lee Hardy). 

I hope you’ll enjoy listening to my interview via Soundcloud below with this prolific artist as he discusses creative influences (African filmmakers, French New Wave cinema, etc.), his mentor and Nommo Theatre co-founder, Mitchell Ferguson, collaborations with other artists such as Vincent Thomas and LOVE the poet, and much more.

https://soundcloud.com/live-in-color-blog/live-in-color-blog-chat-witsah

Stay Connected to the Work:
Check Bashi out on Vevo.  I included a few clips – one from his recent short film, Love Deferred and a poetic ode to family life, A Mother’s Love.

Nommo Theatre

Reach out on Facebook
bashirose@gmail.com

 

Fabulous Carolyn Malachi Performs, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, May 16

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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20130515-141020.jpg
There are few things in life more dazzling to this writer than art in all of its myriad forms (music, theater, visual art, fashion; oh those Manolo Blahniks!). So imagine my euphoria when I learned Carolyn Malachi, the dynamic Washington D.C. Grammy-nominated independent artist, performs on May 16 at 6pm at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.

If you are unfamiliar with her work, Malachi eloquently weaves jazz, hip-hop and spoken-word into thought provoking songs. I interviewed her in January for the monthly blog chat.

No excuses! Do not miss performance, which is part of the museum’s 3rd Thursdays series. A life in color is imbued with beauty and art!

 Carolyn Malachi, me and our baby girl Naima after our interview Photo Credit: Keston De Coteau, CEO, Keystone Productions

Carolyn Malachi, me and our baby girl Naima after our interview
Photo Credit: Keston De Coteau, CEO, Keystone Productions