Influence. The origin of the word is Stellar Emanation. I'm in love with that word combo. Brilliance, to radiate and shine upon, taking up space & matter.
I say I'm more of an eccentric than a nerd, but I used to read the dictionary for fun when I was a kid so perhaps I'm in denial? Getting to the root of every word has always been fascinating to me, and then getting to the root of the root of that word, and so on and so forth is a linguistic rabbit hole that has me all giddy by the end of it.
This year I was placed alongside my partner in all things Dennis Dortch on The Root 100 Most Influential African Americans of 2015. We are on the list with emerging and prominent leaders in social justice, education, entertainment, sports, and technology. It's an honor, and they hosted a beautiful gala which we attended here in NYC. I met some of my personal heroes including artist/activist Bree Newsome, and many others sharing mutual respect and relationship building as our goals and work frequently overlap.
But my mind is flitting around. Admittedly I’m tired. I often write this blog in the wee hours of Saturday morning before the 8am PST posting. I need my child to be asleep, and I need to be done enough with whatever has brought me to the weekend so I can sit here and devote time to arranging my brain in a way that comes out - like this. I’m starting to feel a closeness to all of you out there reading. An ability to discuss some things you wouldn’t other wise know about me in general passing or possibly even my work.
So Influence. I’m so glad I got to the underbelly of the word. As it has evolved we know influence is not always warm illumination from one to another. There’s a shadow side to influence as well that can lead a person or groups to destruction, disorder, and devastation.
This is where my mind is flitting around. I don’t want it to land on the most recent violence that has many of us shook. I don’t want it to settle there. I’m afraid to go near it. I don’t want to dissect it. I cannot understand it.
At my best I know that I am a light, I came from light, I will return to light, and I am not alone in this. We are all influencing each other.
Because it is on topic and I’m asked often - here are some of my influences in art, style, business & life.
Louise Bourgeois, Maya Deren, Eartha Kitt, Lucille Ball, Maya Angelou, Maria Callas, Milton Katselas, Carrie Mae Weems, Paula Weinstein, Clarissa Pinkola Estes.