An Angel & an Eeyore Sweater

As I leave the court house to go to work, I hug my son and plead the blood of Jesus over his life because he is about to face one of the greatest challenges of his life. I remind him that although I only showed up as moral support and couldn’t stay; he was not alone. God was surely with him and to just let his sweater be a whole hug for the rest of the day.

I got in my car Downtown Fort Worth and was reminded of how beautiful it is and how I miss strolling the streets on my lunch break, since now working remotely. I thought, let me take a quick stroll, let me breathe in the brisk air, but suddenly an idea for a random sweater check in was necessary. I was excited and nervous at the same time, I am going to ask people I don’t know about their “sweaters” they chose to wear today and I’ll go live on my Facebook Page and share the conversation. Well I got rejected the first time. The lady gave me five whole minutes of her time, just to tell me she didn’t feel comfortable taking a picture or sharing her sweater with everyone. So I moved on, not to be egotistical, but I was passing a gentleman and he just says out loud “I love your spirit”. I thanked him, still not sure if that’s what I was suppose to do, but he reached out his hand for a handshake and I obliged. But he didn’t have on a sweater, so the informal introduction sufficed. Well a few yards away I spot two ladies, one with an adorable tall sweatshirt on and the other strolling with her walker. We introduced ourselves and I find out that they were just talking about Jeannie’s Sister in Law named Carla. I find out in the convo that she and her sister in law were closer than her and her blood sister. That spoke volumes because it’s not uncommon to connect more with people that are not your blood. Angel is Jeannie’s Daughter in Law who has been with her the whole step of the way through her ordeal with cancer. Before I knew it I was asking her permission to film and write about our encounter and she said yes. Our conversation grew more and more touching because Jeannie was inclined to tell me that she only had a few weeks left to live, and of course being who I am; I wanted to pray for long life. However, I quickly found out that Jeannie is ready. Angel said her only wish that day was to eat at five star restaurants and Yolk Downtown Fort Worth was their most recent stop. Jeannie’s expression and response told it all, “it was sooooo good”. Ok, they just gave me a review, so I’ve got to check them out.

We never know what or who we will encounter on our journey of simply enjoying life. It may just be a “No I’d rather not” but keep going because a friendly smile, a hand shake and a corky conversation about sweater weather is just up ahead. I was struck to make what fell on my heart to do, even after the “No I’d rather not”, happen. What happens in between the journey is really all that matters. The in between can be preparation for the next level. The young man with the hand shake, helped me to remain open and receptive for what was next. Angel and Jeannie didn’t just give me their time, they gave me a story. I write, I’m an Author and I have a way with words; I’ll write! Their openness to share what seemed so intimate and personal reminded me that life is short but it doesn’t have to be in drudgery. Jeannie’s sweatshirt with Eeyore is irony in this encounter because Jeannie was not at all depressed about the next phase of her life. She and Angel set out to make the next few weeks of life an enjoyable one. We don’t know when our time is coming and we will never know how; but EVERYDAY is a gift. So when you feel like eating at a five star restaurant, DO IT! If you feel led to hug a perfect stranger, DO IT! Whenever you feel the unction to do something you are petrified about doing; DO IT, you’ll never know how it will contribute to you simply enjoying life.

Love You Always Carla Mashell Dulaney.


Dear Beyond Se

According to the Book of Genesis, God spoke out of His spirit to the spirit of His creation. God then breathed the breath of life into the body of man and he became a living soul. The spirit is perfect, but on the other hand; the soul, which I have grown to understand is made up of the mind, the will and the emotions. Therefore leaving the soul as imperfect.

I am not a fan of Beyoncé, because her music does not speak to me. Some of her followers may just me a hater and controversial. However, I find that writing this blog post kinda makes me a supporter controversially. Out of that, I have chosen to give my opinion on the song “You Won’t Break My Soul” but in an attempt to point everyone back to the Father. In this song she is telling EVERYBODY, serving EVERYBODY notice that her peace they will not disturb. I get that, and I get it because I am human as well and my soul gets tired of constantly having to make a choice to put up with the flaws and faults of mankind; nobody’s perfect. We are constantly having to be mindful of other human beings whether it be on a job, societally, relationally or politically. We are bombarded everyday with choices. Soul-cial media has erupted like a volcano within this era. Religion and it’s leaders have bombarded us with choosing what’s right or wrong. The ideology of relationship and marriage have been diluted with opinions and individual and personal traumas. It seems that every Facebook post or TikTok Post has someone giving advice on what to look for or beware of in our society, which is leaving humankind mentally or should I say Soul-cially DRAINED.

The good news is, our spirits are perfect and cannot be tampered with or tainted. It WAS, it IS and it IS TO COME. The soul was never perfect and it never will be. We were born into sin and shaped in iniquity a said David the Psalmist. When we leave this body, we will return to the dust of the ground and our mind/soul with it. There will be no reason to choose anymore. Why try holding on to your soul? Why try to fight for something that was never meant to be perfect? The serpent attacked the ego or soul of man in the beginning, he never attacked the spirit because it was already spoken before man became a living soul. In Jeremiah 1, this book continues to bear witness to the beginning, the spirit of God spoke to Jeremiah that before He formed him in his mothers womb he separated and sanctified him. So at that point Jeremiah had a choice to bear witness to the spirit within him. Jeremiah was referred to as the weeping prophet, so he cried all the time about warning man of their folly and to point them back to God. God knew this about this man’s soul but reminded him in His spirit who he was. In other words Jeremiah, go in your spirit and speak to the soul of humankind.

Yes it’s hard to hurt someone’s feelings when you have to say goodbye to them because they drain you or they have too many issues to name and it disturbs your peace. It’s hard to choose to take the narrow path, because everybody seems to be going with the majority. When a politician make promises that play on your emotions it’s hard not to vote them because you desire to see change for humankind. All of these choices vex our soul, because the politician will never make good on his promises; every person has a choice to either go to work to pay taxes or not. The poor will remain impoverished and the rich will continue to be greedy. It feels good to the soul for the person on TikTok to finally explain to you that the other person that disappointed you is actually a narcissist; it validates your hurt. It merely feels better to follow the majority because no one wants to feel alone.

The soul is already broken Sisters and Brothers. The spirit in us is perfect and our Creator wants us to rest in that truth. Jesus, operating from Spirit said, but the hour cometh and now is, that true worshippers will worship in Spirit and in truth. God is a Spirit and they that worship Him shall worship in spirit and in truth. Somewhere in your will, your soul you urged to be pointed back to spirit. There is no need to fight to hold on to something that will never be perfect. Just remember who you are in spirit and take the rest there. As long as we are on this planet, working to pay taxes or should I say pay to live has to be done for some of us. Being the poor will always be, because it brings balance and moves on the heart of those more fortunate to give. Some human will always be in a cycle of unhealed hurt, so if they are not conscious about what they do to you; you have to forgive them anyway. God has given every human a perfect spirit; make or female, poor or rich, melanin or not, Baptist or Muslim, Catholic or Jew. And the peace, love, goodness, temperance, gentleness are beyond what we see, say, believe and feel. It’s Beyond.

Love Always, Carla Divine.

The Standing Soldier

When you’ve done all, just stand armed with? You already know what Ephesians 6 tell us about and how to arm ourselves in standing. I don’t know about you, but as humans it seems very difficult to just stand, without the temptation to fight I mean. If we’re not fighting our thoughts, we’re fighting our past hurts. If we’re not fighting for peace of mind, we’re fighting to get our joy back we lost when somebody has pissed us off. Some may be fighting to cast cares, they seem to keep picking back up. Everyday and everything seems to be a temptation to fight for. Hmph, it’s because we are human beings that refuse to lose. So fighting is merely in us, war has always happened. David was a King, but not a king to just sit on the throne; he went out and fought for what was rightfully heired as his. David was territorial, even when it came to his woman Bathsheba. Mary the mother of Jesus, was just as territorial. When Gabriel approached her with her assignment, she made the move to protect and guard her purpose. The minute an opportunity presented itself for Jesus to perform His first assignment, she fought Him on it. ”It’s not my time Ma”. ”Look hea son, get there turn around and make this water into wine; let’s celebrate”. Mary couldn’t just stand there in this moment, she knew something had to be done. On one occasion, David didn’t just stand there, he inquired of the Lord and was instructed to go fight.

However, there are times that they just stood. Mary could not stop the crucifixion of her precious son, and she never even tried. She understood this assignment meant standing back and giving full authority to the will of God. Can’t say that much for our buddy Peter, the emotionally passionate one; the ear snatcher. But it was just merely in him to fight for Jesus, even though those same emotions caused him to deny Jesus. Although, it was wrong, David couldn’t make the move to kill Uriah himself; he kept his hands clean to an extent.

Everything is not worth fighting for or over. And some things are not our battles. Acceptance is everything in the days ahead. We as believers have prayed for this country and our families. We’ve prayed for protection from this virus, but yet many, many have died. What a test of faith. Some have prayed for this thing to die away and just to have a sense of normalcy back, but yet it has gotten worse. Seems the more we’ve fought in prayer, the more some have gotten discouraged by what they see. Faith is not a fight to believe the best regardless of what you witness with your eyes. And neither should you feel bad because you doubt in these uncertain times. But Faith is accepting what God allows, because ultimately the battle is not yours, it IS the Lord’s. We can pattern ourselves after Jesus’ Mama, because she represents the body; the church. It is crucial to understand the assignment right now as a body of believers. And our only responsibility is to know that peace is always with us, it’s not something we contend or fight for. Just know that joy is always in you and it’s not something you have to step down from the throne of grace and go war after.

We are in the season to JUST STAND. Be encouraged, you have everything in your root system to stand. The word has been preached to you, we have sharpened one another’s iron and you have seen many victories and witnessed quite a few testimonies.

Love You Always,

Carla Mashell Dulaney

Empty The Bed….Keep Trucking

My son Johnathan is a truck driver and on our way to visit Alabama for The Wedding Before the Wedding’s Book Signing, I had a question about the weigh stations at every state. He explained to me that every state requires that your truck meet specific weight standards and that each state is different. Some states require you to stop, some do not and some will depend on if your truck appears to be overweight. I laugh at that because we all know, whatever state of mind one is in, will determine if you are carrying too much baggage in this wonderful place we all call, life. An unknown author of Hebrews, reminds us to lay aside every weight and sin that so easily besets us. But, this can be difficult sometimes when you don’t know what those weights are specifically; unless you haven’t been made aware of them. The only way to know, is to pay attention. Every truck driver should know if his bed, axle or rear is too weighty, because he either pays attention or ignore the signs. “Crap n Stuff” happen everyday to awaken us, but we can choose to ignore the signs of what needs to improve or pay attention and unload or readjust by changing the way we perceive a challenge. What I love about life though, is that no human being is exempt from it, but we do have a choice in the matter. So the next time life shows you specifically what needs to be readjusted, whether it’s through a loved one or just challenges we face in daily life. Pay attention dear one, they represent the flashing lights at every “state” or should I say ”state of mind” on this road of life each of us travel. But more importantly, Empty The Bed and Keep Trucking. Do not allow anything to set your journey at a delay; because you’ve chosen not to obey the laws of your growth.

Love You Always, Carla Mashell Dulaney

No Strip Tease

My son Sam and I would like to introduce you to our first impromptu interview, we ran into our first random couple at the Social House in Arlington, TX. We kept their identities secret, of course. I decided to do this in order to get different views on the single life. We had so much fun. I was so intrigued by such a beautiful and wise young woman and I am happy to say; is originally from Mobile. Never seen her or even ran into her in Mobile; knowing how small our city is. But what also intrigued me about this gentleman was that he spoke so highly of her, he truthfully spoke, that he saw what was beyond her occupation as a professional dancer. Yep, the two met at a strip club, and he saw beyond what some would perceive as wrong. He put it so eloquently in his soft spoken voice “it’s not who she is”.

The essence of who we are goes beyond what we choose to do with our lives. Our identity is not tied to our occupations, our challenges, our mistakes or mishaps. We stand with roots that run deeper than what the eye can see or what our minds may perceive. I love the publication of In The Wedding Before The Wedding. In this two part novella, I’ve created the characters of men with hearts like Jesus. Men that understand fully, that perfect love cast out fear. Men that don’t allow their insecurities to manipulate or control a woman. I’ll stop typing and let you enjoy the video.

Love You Always, Carla Dulaney.

The Fussing River

This past Saturday’s visit to the Trinity River was different than any other of my Saturday visits. It was such a beautiful experience, I had to take a break from the blog-spirationals of other humans, to create a blog spirational of nature and how this element inspired me to get back in place. And also, because a wonderful subscriber inquired about revelational writings.

Loving nature, loving the river and enjoying those little things that fly and make glorious sounds that soothe my soul, you know they call them birds. However, this past Saturday morning was a bit different, it made me miss blogging revelationally and sharing what I see beyond my mind and my visual. The river was so heavy, boisterous and bold. Yet it was so refreshing. It was like a flood. The sound of the river was as if it was roaring for attention. So I lended an ear, and I heard a female’s voice; bold and confident. She definitely grasped my attention. She introduced herself as River, and called my attention to the voice from within me. She was polite when she introduced me to two sisters, named meekness and long suffering. River and theses two chics reminded me to accept what is and not to work so hard to prove anything, but just be.

Meekness is described as a strong humility, a strength to concede. Now paired with long suffering makes this a dynamic duo. Why? Because for some of us humans, it’s hard to let go of your own will. As a matter of fact, it seems to hurt because it’s afflicting the soul. Whenever life approaches us with what we’re use to and familiar with, it seems hard to release it.

Allegorically speaking, Ms. River then focused my attention on the trees that she sustained. David wrote in Psalms 1; “and you shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water bringing forth fruit in it’s season”. They don’t pick up and move and migrate when the season changes or whenever a storm arises; or if River seems to be fussing at them, they stand with or without leaves. And Ms. River that day seem like she didn’t play the radio, she meant business. She meant what she said and said what she meant.

It is all good when we are challenged to be better people and to change. But it is EXTREMELY VITAL at times that WE JUST BE. It takes a listening ear to hear what the spirit is saying. Even when it sounds like life is fussing, believe it or not, there can be such a peace amid what seems like noise.

River provided the trees with sustainment, but that which is called Tree remains rooted in its being. However, we are humans and are challenged in our minds and emotions everyday to shift and move with the flow of this world. And that can sometimes take us out of our true element. But don’t worry, Life and Life more Abundantly will usher you right back into place, but only if you have an ear to hear what the spirit is saying.

Love Always, Carla Mashell Dulaney

I write on my roof

This Girl is on Campfire

To turn 47 was already a moment I was looking forward to, and I knew essentially that it was going to be a divine day. April 22, 2021 was going to be a day of winning or should I say “I Won”, I believed something amazing was in store for this Earth Child. The moment it hit me to go to Broken Bow, OK; I called my sister because I knew she would help me organize the financial part of it. She came through with no hesitation. I jumped at the opportunity and texted all of the ladies I desired to be there. Those that were interested, jumped right on in. It was an opportunity for them to have some rest and relaxation; a well needed vacation. But most of all, we all could use an EXPERIENCE. T-shirts had to be made and for Carla; a theme had to be established; I’m extra like that. So I spoke to my sweet coworker Madison, who does shirts for the office, and she suggested I come up with a theme. (You can follow her @tmadib_) “Oh trust honey, I will”. That’s what I said. One day listening to “This Girl is on Fire” by Alicia Keys inspired the idea and because we were going to a cabin and will ultimately roast marshmallows; these girls will be in campfire. I’m even the more excited.

Finally the day is here, my sister is coming from Mobile and so is Omeka, a high school friend. Nikki, my high school friend, but now Sister agreed to be our bartender and chef. My childhood friend Keisha; another gut busting laughing partner. Cheryl was someone we would be getting to know, but Tameka who is such an advocate of “Human Resources” invited her believing that she needed the “girl time”. The ladies on this trip will make every moment unique and special. But because we all love to have fun; we will be laughing the whole weekend. Who knew that the first thing to laugh at would be Cheryl’s phobia of “other people driving me anywhere”? She prayed, fasted and gripped the door pumping her invisible brakes the whole ride. Reva, Keisha and I were in the back seat “tasting the rainbow” (popping skittles) in order to relax. Who knew that getting lost would be so funny. Why? Because our GPS kept leading us to the wrong cabin, not just once but 3 times. Once, we actually decided to listen to the GPS by driving up to the wrong cabin. This wrong cabin had a little lake in front of it, it sat beyond a small hill; but we were willing to take the chance of driving into the lake because the GPS said so. After much complaining, the GPS/Male heard us and decided to give the task over to the GPS/Female; well she didn’t do any better because she had an attitude. We decided to call Nikki to get her to lead us in, but that didn’t work either. Being told, in the dark, to drive till you can’t drive no more and the cabin is on the right was the wrong answer. We took that advice and ended up at a sign giving us the option to go either left or right; but with no cabins in sight. Back this Range Rover up, we are calling them to come and get us. We sat right there until we saw headlights coming our way. Help was on the way! Since the partnership of the GPS system failed us, our human friends had saved the day! No I mean night! No, I mean midnight. So funny! After all was said and done though, it was only right; somebody had to get lost in the woods.

Nevertheless, we made it to our cabin and it was absolutely beautiful. It was all worth the trouble too, the Lord had kept us from getting eaten by bears and attacked by a Sasquatch. But the highlight of it all was the fact that our cabin was named “A License to Chill”. How divine was that, a spot for a group of ladies that had given their “all” to others and their families during the week. We were literally handed a “License to Chill” and the freedom to let it all hang out.

A few hours later into the next day; Cheryl made it known how much she had forgiven the drive and cooked herself in the jacuzzi for hours. (Per Keisha) A fresh cup of coffee, and listening to the birds chirp and sing while visiting with my childhood friend Keisha was quite chilled. Then slowly but surely everyone joins us with blankets wrapped around themselves to sit in front of the fireplace. “Infamous Chef Nikki” demands we stay out of her kitchen while she made waffles with fresh blueberries with eggs, fresh fruit, bacon and turkey sausage. But she didn’t get the eggs, sausage nor the bacon from the local Walmart; that Walmart has never sold meat.

“Ok, put cho shirt on that says you are on campfire; but wait let’s tear it up and make it look sexy”. Keisha was assigned to the task and she had us looking right. Now it’s out the door for a tipsy hike up the street. Yes, we were walking, hiking and tripping; it felt like the days of walking to other neighborhoods with your friends. We gathered stones, saved the stones and made videos of our first episode of “This Girl is on Campfire”.

Our bodies did not fail to remind us that we needed a nap. That’s just what some of us did, sat around or went to sleep to rest up for our Saturday night Taco Bar that the chef suggested. But guess where the Chef was? Yep, you guessed it. Sleep. But it was all good, Tameka and I ended up cooking. It was quite delicious too. Because I didn’t take a nap with everybody else, I was beat. We sat around the campfire and roasted s’mores, which almost didn’t happen.

This particular cabin was just the right size for our group. The bathrooms were immaculate and Broken Bow was sure to cater to the royalty we are. The cabin was clean and well stocked with all that we needed as far as cooking utensils, towels, extra linens and even K-Cups of tea and coffee.

This was a beautiful experience with the ladies I knew well and the one I was getting to know. We had a blast! Thank you VRBO and Broken Bow Cabins for giving us the License to Chill.

Saving the Stones by Tameka Bolton

A Lefty’s Love Collection

This next encounter and/or experience is what originally encouraged the idea of Carla’s Blog Spirationals. I visit my childhood friend Keisha Taylor, in Dallas occasionally, but this day I was delivering their wedding gift a “Name Frame by Carla”. Lynn and Keisha had recently returned from a very important event, the celebration of making their marriage official with a wedding in Vegas. So a celebration was in order, besides, with Keisha being a wine connoisseur, I believe everyday is a celebration. But on this particular day, grits, salt and sugar came up and what can I say, my mind opened up to all sorts of creative possibilities. What started out as just a simple interest of seeing Lynn’s collection of guitars, got my ears to itching and I wanted to learn more. Lynn doesn’t consider himself to be a musician or a guitarist, but the sound of the guitar from Stevie Ray Vaughan in Austin City Limits, sparked the young boy’s first crush; and now his collection has become a successful love connection. At one point of Lynn’s tour, he describes his guitars like women. Shapely works of art. Slender at the top and fully figured at the bottom. Like some love affairs, it starts out physical and then develops into something more.

The more Lynn educated me about his collection, the more I started to understand that his passion went beyond the beauty and the sound of these 53 concubines. It even goes beyond wanting to learn how to play. So I asked him why and why left handed guitars and his response was “Even though I am not a good player, I still enjoy playing what I can. Left handed guitars are few and far between. While high quality lefties are rarer, I enjoy buying high quality left handed guitars for the simple pleasure of knowing they exist”. Aha! Simple pleasure of knowing that they exist. A statement from a man who is passionate and intentional about what he wants. So in many areas of our dialogue, Lynn provided me with his education and the background of each stringed damsel, although of high importance, I am more focused on his interest and his connection. It is “the what” that inspires me about this Love Affair and the very heart of this gentleman. It’s the fact that he has chosen to spend some of his time and parts of his life with something so beautifully rare and extraordinarily unique. With any relationship, first comes the interest and then the willingness to learn and discover what’s beyond the surface. Usually what’s beyond the surface leads to greater connection and eventually you become one based on what you’ve discovered. Becoming one, usually denotes marriage; bringing me to the final stage in all of this. Lynn has effortlessly made room for these guitar goddesses a part of his family. How you say? By way of comparing certain guitars to his mother and siblings. His mother born in 1954 is compared with his 1954 Fender/Stratocaster. One of his brothers born in 1971 is compared to a guitar that has 1 less screw and I’m sure you can figure that one out. His brother born in 1983 who he refers to as a professional student, possessing 2 Bachelors, 2 Masters and 2 Doctrine Degrees is compared to the Stratocaster Elite. Last, but certainly not least; his one and only younger sister born in 1985 would be the Fender/Stratocaster’s rarest Japanese/American Guitar.

Although he is not a musician, and before he even laid his hands to the instrument; he had already experienced the love for the most important part of a guitar; the sound. Listening with our heart, listening with our spirit captivates and draws what ultimately will become our tambour.

Lynn and Keisha Hawley, may God continue to Bless your union, because you have opened my eyes of understanding to what real love is. Based on my observation, I am most certain that when you said I Do; it was because you heard a sound. As with any relationship, whether it be with self first and then someone else; there is a sound that we should all connect with. However, what happens in between all of that becomes irrelevant once we make our way back to THE SOUND. Childhood friend, I’m thankful that discovering who I am has led us back together that I may be inspired; and I am INSPIRED.

Brisket? Barbecue? Butterflies?

Talk about an  inspiration, No Need 4 Appraisal’s next “already worthy” of this Blog Spirational. I believe you already know him, Sean McGlothin; my Texas Best Friend.  You’ve read about him and our deepest conversations in earlier blog posts. He’s my brisket smoking, “because my grandfathers were the best at it”  and the only man in Texas that “literally” gives me butterflies. The more time I’ve spent with him, the more layers to him are being revealed. While eating his brisket and sharing conversations, I’ve witnessed how much of a hard worker he truly is, and why he takes pride in all that he does. Sean is a single father and an absolutely amazing son. His mother Renee, a former nurse is currently journeying through Dementia. He prides himself also, on protecting her while he works. And when I tell you he has every gadget in the world to protect her; he has every gadget in the world to protect her. Renee is less likely to wander off, cook a full fledge meal or even smoke a brisket when she gets hungry. Yes, I said smoke a brisket. In my most recent visit, and what inspired this Blog Spirational, was when Sean showed her a picture of her grandmother, she didn’t hesitate expressing who she was. I am so grateful to be able to see, one journeying through Dementia, their capabilities to express moments or precious people lodged in the spirit of their mind. It should remind us to love and embrace each happy moment, in the moment. Renee’s great great-grandfather is Roger Hughes Sr. He was very well known for his barbecue and hot links that he and his family served at the 1100 block of Bryan St.; known as Hughes Barbecue. Her father Roger Hughes Jr., who passed away in 2005, kept that tradition and secret recipe of barbecue and hot links alive. During my visit that day, Sean pulls out these black owned newspapers (butterflies again) La Vida News and Fort Worth Mind from January 1975. Of course, his great great great grandfather born in 1890 is on the front cover titling him “The Barbecue and Hot Links King”. The publications were celebrating his life and legacy after his passing. Roger Hughes Sr. was quoted as saying in The Fort Worth Mind’s issue from 1975, “pride can make you rich or pride can make you poor”. Mr. Hughes clarified his statement by saying “one’s pride sometimes stop him from doing a thing because he thinks he is too good to do this or that, when if that person continue, he would succeed, or it might give him the vision to do something else that he is called to do by the Almighty God”. A word of wisdom coming from one of Fort Worth’s first black millionaires, a gentleman helping blacks to become homeowners while satisfying their cravings for good barbecue and don’t forget “hot links”. Okay, gives me butterflies one more time. Why? Because these are examples of whispers from the spirit of our black heritage. Sean more often than not, smokes his own brisket and treats me to indulge occasionally. Thanks Sean! I am even more honored to have the inside story of why his brisket taste so good, it possesses some Roger Hughes DNA in it. A marinate of the Faith in the Almighty God, pride, courage and the tenacity to defy the system of racism. Obviously it made no difference to him. Black History, Black Heritage leads me to believe, especially when we are supportive of one another, that nothing shall be impossible. And Sean is very supportive of his culture, and I’m glad to be one of those he supports. He has inspired me to keep writing and to never stop creating.

Love Always, Carla Mashell Dulaney

You Can Listen ❤️

A Whisper From the Creek

I went to visit my dear friend Jean to celebrate her on her birthday.  It also happened to be the the one year anniversary of Mr. Clarke’s passing after his battle with Dementia.  I wasn’t sure if I was suppose to ask, but I wanted to see how she was doing emotionally.  So I asked how she was feeling after just one year of being without her husband.  She and I had previously discussed my desire to do what I am now calling a “Blog-Spirationals” so I was led to take this opportunity, not only to celebrate with her but to also celebrate her on how she has inspired my life.  Jean turned 77 years old on January 12 and Mr Clark passed away the day after.  My first question for Jean was how life felt to be without Mr Clarke this year, holding back a little she said “I miss him.”  However she also expresses her gratitude “I’m so grateful to still be here and living a vibrant and healthy life”.  At that moment very confidently and with strong conviction she said she feels 54.  What a position to take, as I think back on it.  A moment of truth after the long, and interesting  journey with Dementia she shared with her husband Jim Clarke.  I met Jim and Jean when I was working for Silverado Memory Care, he was one of the first people I became attached to when I started volunteering.  He was one of the two individuals that reeled me in with a “Winnie the Pooh” voice.  Winnie the Pooh is one of my favorite animated beings. Mr. Clark was sweet, yet quite outspoken and he loved his wife Jean.  Everyday, every 15 to 20 minutes he would ask if Jean had called to say what time she was coming to visit him.  And the response was always the same from our team “yes, she just called a minute ago and said she is on her way” that was us stepping right into Mr. Clark’s reality.  If ever he became agitated, all we had to do was remind him of his Air Force days and his love of aircraft, that opened the portal for him to teach us all he knew on the subject, he loved to teach.  Oftentimes we would shift back to Jean, the love of his life and he expressed how he desired to get away with her on “Hilltop”.  I asked Jean what that meant and she clarified it was the guest house at his son James’ house in New York on a “hilltop”. Awwwwww, such a romantic.  Jim was worth getting to know and since he was so interesting, I thought his wife either had to be equally as interesting; if not more.

Moving to Texas was a major move for me personally; it was my intent to explore “me” and meet new people and discover new things.  Working in both Memory Care and Dialysis, put me in the path of those young and old suffering or coping with an illness the best they knew how.  So when Jean says she is grateful to be living a healthy and vibrant life, it is truly something to be grateful for.

I later found out that both Jean and Jim were not just interesting, but are experts in recognizing beautiful and creative things.  Jim and Jean were great supporters of the Navajo arts.  Jean invited me to work on a project with her and amidst our project, I discovered an even greater love of art, Folk Art.  After seeing all that she and Jim collected from so many parts of the world and the uniqueness of it, I’ve been inspired to take my gifts of creating to another level, or should I say just be confident in my creativity.  Folk Art is defined as being done by a person without formal training.  But the greatest component of Folk Art to me is confidence in what you see to create.  A lot of Jim and Jean’s collections are from the Native American and Navajo Cultures, which really grasped my attention because my great grandmother was Creek Indian.  Many things began to unfold at that moment and I realized why I was so close to my great grandmother Maggie Hildreth Wilkerson. It has also explained why I’m able to connect with the spirit through nature.  Native American Art speaks, tell stories and capture one’s emotion.  From the pottery, to the rugs, to the Kachina Dolls through to the story tellers— what a compelling collection I thought — absolutely compelling.  Jean was not only a lover of the things she collected but her ability to articulate her knowledge was fascinating.  She had me amazed, I’m more than positive that the spirit of the Creek Indian was bearing witness to what I was being taught.  What I learned is that the Navajo and other Native American Cultures, had to use what they had in terms of i.e., supplies, paints and natural resources to create. My theory, is that this is what keeps the spirit of such culture alive and it connects us with nature. Again, philosophically and theoretically; this is  why I believe it was providential for me to come to Texas.   I’ve met and had some of the most interesting conversations with absolute fascinating Seniors.  I am so grateful to have connected with those that have passed on, because those conversations were impactful.

Photo by John Webb on
Window Rock, AZ The Capitol of The Navajo Nation

We never know when we’ll have to tap into the spirit of who we are in order to keep us going.  Oftentimes, we get weary as a result of illnesses that come with the physical breakdowns of our minds and bodies or the circumstances in life that may seem unfair.  Mine and Jean’s project opened my eyes to who I am at my core and it definitely took my focus away from what I thought was an unfair circumstance at the time.  Jean and Jim in two different ways taught me to listen from within.  Jim’s Dementia was exacerbated by a tick-borne disease, which to me and I’m sure sometimes to him seemed so unfair.  But Jim’s love for aircraft and Jean Walbridge kept his spirit alive and would soothe his soul.  Jean, it seemed to me, gave me back what I was giving to Mr. Clark and others at Silverado; a unique kind of hope. Jean was an instrument to remind me to tap into who I am at my core and to make new possibilities happen. But as a Dementia Care Specialist (A Silverado Culture) I am able to remind one with Dementia of who they were, in order to enjoy for the moment. I am grateful to have crossed paths with families of the Silverado Culture because they taught me a great deal about who I am, and even now things continue to unfold. And I absolutely love being the best version of myself. Thank you Jim and Jean, for your support of the Native American Arts; because of you, I could hear the whisper from the Creek.

Jim and Jean’s inspiration motivated me to explore all areas of my creativity, because of them I’ve written my first Novella. In order that I may pay it forward and inspire others, your support would be greatly appreciated.