Adulthood. A bit overrated eh? It seems the socially accepted window of time to run away from home has passed. Though tempted to run and hide or pack up and leave when life deals blow after blow; remember wherever you go, there you will be. Word on the street is, “you’ll be there too.”

For a moment, drastic changes can prove to be the hard reset needed to adjust one’s sails. However, there are some things that new career paths, new hobbies, new clothes, beaus or zip codes can’t compensate for. 

Once docked, unpacked, settled in and the novelty has worn off, we are still met with the resounding echo of our own thoughts, unfinished business and unresolved issues. 

Perhaps it’s time Beloved, for that quiet moment of self reflection. You know…that one box that’s never unpacked no matter where you go.

Love you to life🌹e 

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credit: Pinterest. No copyright infringement intended. 

  

I AM THRILLED! 

YAY!! Today’s me born day…and it’s a really BIG one!!😂 Super duper HYPE & GRATEFUL I woke up ready to rock not only a brand new day but a brand new year! Muuahh! So glad YOU’RE here too😘 Love you to life🌹e

April 14, 2016 -Blessed & Grateful!



PS. Birthdays…especially MILESTONE birthdays are a SUPER BIG DEAL to me because my Daddy lost his battle with congestive heart failure on the threshold of his 34th birthday. It’s a bittersweet reminder to treasure each day & never take the gift of life for granted. Enjoy your day too, remember you’re AMAZING & thanks for your love & support of authenticitee speaks

If we’ve not “met” yet, say hello below!



© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credit: Ericka Arthur for authenticitee speaks.

It’s not as though an invitation to “caption this” was noted beneath him in this hypnotic magnetic field masquerading as any other photo on his Instagram page. Nor were his heterochromia soaked eyes behind Canon lens, looking for anyone to co-sign per sé; and yet his work as a photographer, was potent enough to unlock ancient secrets and woo me to the mic, pen in hand.

This ladies and gentlemen, is photographer Damien Anderson.

Self described on his 500px Photography site as an “Urban Explorer and nature and art lover”, he has consistently demonstrated the oft underrated ability to tell a story without using words. Having only recently stumbled across Mr. Anderson’s work, it was very clear from the onset, all were welcome but one must needs discern the tangible presence carefully interwoven within each post.

If you keep listening to him speak, you’ll hear music but it won’t be the #1 Wu Tang Clan fan in him giving cadence to his beat. Instead his heart’s song has been captured strong and in love again, will make you believe…

  Unashamedly in awe with the work captured on his Instagram page, I asked his permission to use a few of his photos as backgrounds (as is customary with Instagram posts) for my poetry. He was kind enough to oblige and I have since posted the pieces on my Instagram poetry page. However the opening photo pictured above (and below) is the photo that sparked a revolution I cannot deny. As soon as I saw it, I immediately began writing and completed in 18 minutes, what has become one of my most favorite pieces of poetry in my arsenal; a piece entitled SMOKE ALARM.

It was a pleasure introducing you to one of the world’s best kept photography secrets, Mr. Damien Anderson. Here’s the poem I wrote inspired by his work. We hope you enjoy the journey as much as we have in taking it. It is a raw example of how Art begats Art and if one remains humble, teachable and alert, inspiration will find you when least expected.

Out of respect for my poetic dismount, I’ll say my goodbyes now.
Love you to life…stay encouraged & inspired🌹e

SMOKE ALARM 


Your lips full

The sweetest of poisons 

Long before they blew 

Kisses and smoke


I hung on to your every word

Praying that my voice was heard

Above the noise of the construction you were under


I found myself reaching 

for you only to be stopped  

By the nouns you let in

That put asunder


I reach

You retreat

I want more

You ignore

You’re so distant and hard now

Like loving me is a chore


I’m fighting through the smoke 

Though it’s burning my eyes

I still crave your forked tongue 

Though its coated with lies


I’m tired of running after you

Already gone, though still here 

I’m weary

I’m restless

I’m done chasing air 



© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content


Photo Credits: Damien Anderson. Used with permission. No copyright infringement intended.

Damien Anderson’s Work Can Be Found:

Instagram:

http://instagram.com/societys_introvert

500PX:

https://500px.com/halfadash


  
THREEFOLD CORD

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT)

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken”.

Often quoted at weddings in reference to the threefold union between husband and wife, implying God is at the helm; Biblical scholars differ on the exegetical context of this scripture. 

Although equipped to discuss said matters theologically, I intentionally refrain from such debates. As a woman who has dedicated the last 22 years of her life to the man holding my hand in the photo above; I can’t help but notice how wide our smiles were the day we exchanged vows 18 years ago, on March 7, 1998. 

Generally speaking, one’s smile can be altered by a myriad of factors. Sabotage from within could include neglect stemming from a self inflicted poor diet, to a lack of daily care and regular checkups. Often smiles are damaged by the impact of unwelcome catastrophic injuries caused by external hits. 

Weddings are big business and Black Love is a great hashtag but there is real life to be done after “I Do”. Yes, being married to a professional musician is a unique life song all its own but incredible sacrifice is required in any relationship, no matter what field the spouse works in. 

In order for a gift, offering or decision to be considered a sacrifice it has to COST the giver something greater than themselves. As it pertains to marriages of faith, ALL components of the THREEFOLD CORD must be selflessly present and working synergistically even when no one is looking. Not the feigned, photo op appearance of putting in the work. Not 50/50 but 100/100. Anything less can cause the ends of the cords to become frayed. If discord arises however, it would be a fair assessment that one or more of the cords is not on one accord with God because He is the immutable cord. 

If I’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s to not speak for anyone but myself. There’s a low key haughtiness that comes with experiencing new love, good love or with what you’re under the impression is, exclusive love. Unforeseen life lessons teach you very quickly to temper the language of “we” and adjust your sails in the realm of humility accordingly. 

I’ve also learned that you have no control over how someone responds to the weight of your love. A savory, mouthwatering, tailor-made meal can be prepared to perfection but if it’s served to one who lacks interest and an appetite for that meal, it will be shunned for empty calories every time.

While Spring cleaning, I came across this picture and other nostalgic items including a copy of the “How Well Do You Know Kevin & Ericka?” Trivia Quiz we played with our guests at our 10th Wedding Anniversary party! About 80 of our closest, many who traveled from out of town, their families, tons of hugs, food, lots of laughter and a banging Live DJ packed an Art gallery back in Philly and it was a night like NO other. 

Tears rolling down my sentimental eyes, falling on the quiz I thought aloud, “I have not surrendered my love to any man more deeply than I have Kevin Arthur”. Not Kevin Arthur the musician, producer or indie artist. Just. Kevin. You see…serving unconditional Love in the trenches with boots on the ground, nose deep in life and perpetually dodging fiery darts at eye level, with no cameras around; is not for the feeble.

I’ve discovered it can be hard for a partner to receive unconditional love in this performance driven society we live in. But that is the type of love I have for him. In sickness, health, richer or poorer, gigs no gigs, onstage, offstage, tour, no tour. Spot date, no spot date, endorsements or not. Whether he was getting paid serious coin a week or in gas money, it mattered not. Whether he was holding my hand on the red carpet at the MTV Awards or holding my hand walking to the corner store in the hood, it mattered not. I just loved him for him. 

Like pain, the thing about LOVE is it demands to be felt. You don’t love someone that deeply without a deep pain to match when things go awry. The amazing thing about LOVE however is it’s an indelible healing entity. The idea of someone not only having your back but standing back to back WITH you conquering ANYTHING is an extraordinary image. But it takes work and both partners working together, giving it their all. 

Grateful for every tender moment we’ve ever shared. Grateful for kisses in the rain without an umbrella. Grateful for him taking me to and from work back in the day. Grateful for how he took care of me during horrible morning sickness with our 6 week early preemie baby girl, rubbed my back when carrying our full term 10lb 7oz baby boy; and wiped my eyes when the Dr. explained our youngest boy wouldn’t seen the light of day. Thank you Kevin Arthur. I’ve learned more about the intricacies of music and nuances of life from you than any class I’ve sat in or stage I’ve performed on. 

Love. Been hurt by it. Love. Been healed by it. God’s love. Absolutely nothing like it. Writing is so therapeutic. I don’t know what tomorrow holds but God holds me and I’ll be holding a pen. 

Love. Yeah. I absolutely still believe🌹e

iWrite 3.14.16 @authenticiteespeaks on Instagram | Meet Me There
iBlog http://www.authenticitee.wordpress.com
iTweet @ IndigoInterlude

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original 

Photo Credit Our wedding day captured by Glenn Derricotte. 

  
When I was a small child, I made an embarrassing statement in ignorance that I was quickly chastised for. After being taught the definition of the word ‘paralyzed‘; I soon followed with a wish to be just that. Horrified by my statement, my Mom, a young widow at the time, immediately corrected me. Once I fully understood the lack of wisdom in my reasoning I quickly apologized to God without her prompting, canceling the request; retrieving it from the atmosphere. Snatching it back from the sky with a vengeance. 

My rationale however? I just didn’t want to feel pain. 

Even at a young age I had learned the then perceived value of apathy and the perks of being numb. Something about being stoic served as both guarantor and notice that I was present but impenetrable. Of course life continued to happen and I evolved. Feelings snowballing, heart exposed whether I wore sleeves or not…

But pain?

I later learned. It’s a sign. It lets us know that we’re still here. No. We shouldn’t be gluttons for punishment or so used to it that abuse feels like love. But when we check out of life to the point that we’re going through the motions and sorting through our collections of masks to wear because pain has shut us down? Like a power outage during the worst of storms? When the pain is so bad we black out? So bad to the point that we can no longer feel?

Perhaps we should take a moment, breathe, and ask ourselves, “When was the last time I felt…anything at all?” 

Love you to life🌹e

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original 

Quote on Photo- Ericka Arthur for @authenticiteespeaks on Instagram 
Background photo credit Pixaby. No copyright infringement intended.

  
Very few will love the you behind the you…

If and when you find that, treasure it. 

Don’t ever take for granted one who is willing, to embrace that which you have discarded. 

I see beauty in you today. The real you. I speak life to everything in your invisible realm. Yes. Your dry bones can live and love again. 

Peace🌹e

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original 

Quote by Ericka Arthur for @authenticiteespeaks on Instagram

Background Photo Credit :123F. No copyright infringement intended.

  
BEHIND THE MASK

Do you remember? All that advice I gave? Sincere, highly sought and at times unsolicited. I had all the answers when it wasn’t my turn. When my rhythm was real good and real right. 

Then immersed in & numbed by maladaptive coping mechanisms I was wooed into cataclysmic, organic, orgasmic, climatic throes of denial.  

Heartbreak has burnt my clutch. Wore me down. Glasses off. Contacts out. Looking for my crown. Hypersensitive to the slightest touch. Airbrushed smile now masks the frown. 

Do you remember? All that advice I gave? Thanked me cause your life it saved?
Well it’s not easy being a hypocrite. Somebody’s gotta do it…on the road to hell with good intentions paved. 


© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original 


Background Photo Image Pinterest. No copyright infringement intended



Two of my latest pieces of poetry… 

  

He promised strawberries & champagne 

Told him I don’t drink

“You mean this is a natural high I’m feeling?” He leaned in to take a closer peek. 

My bottom sugar coated lip I bit,

Sober minded, straight on shoulders my head I tilt 

Refusing to be hypnotized by his honey drenched eyes

Had to let him know

My natural high was by invitation only & custom built.

@authenticiteespeaks

 
Below is a collaboration with an amazing poet on Instagram named Lyrical Miracle…

 
  

He says…



Subtle hints here and there, allow me to keep my distance/You’re perfect in every way and I’m not just talking about your appearance/I know you’ve been hurt before and my heart is still healing too/For all the right reasons, the stars aligned the day I met you/I fell for you so fast and in denial I’ve been/Wanting to tell you how much I love you, but it seems I just can’t win/So I’ll disappear for a while in dire need of your company/It’s all my fault truth be told, I’m scared to let you love me/
Lyrical Miracle The Poetic Prophet


I respond..

Your world is breathtaking, can’t believe I’m your Special Guest. 

It means everything to me that you got that off your chest. Thank you for letting me in but please don’t disappear. There’s something about your voice vibrating in my ear. Every time you come close I get apprehensive. The air thins, my soul mends, I then become pensive. 

Truth to be told, I’m scared too. 

You absolved me of my past; you’re too good to be true. My heart’s a bit fragile and in some places bruised but it only starts beating when I think of you. 

@authenticiteespeaks

Thank you for your continued support…you’re beyond amazing! Be sure to scroll down & catch up on previous posts. I wanna hear from you💞e

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original 
Photo Credit info and link information found on here on https://www.instagram.com/authenticiteespeaks/?hl=en

Lyrical Miracle’s info found here at  http://instagram.com/poetic_prophet

  

Today, Feb. 3rd is an International Holiday!! It’s Aaron’s Birthday! (Cue music, release doves) Oh, who’s Aaron? He’s my friend from Junior High School (JHS) that I’ve not seen, nor actually talked to since JHS. If you were to compare our bios, and life experiences after JHS, you wouldn’t think we ran in the same circles. Oh wait. That’s ’cause he runs and I don’t. Yeah see. Now that I think about it…maybe that’s why he looks exactly the same as he did in JHS, minus that retainer that kept him from smiling. No. Really. EXACTLY THE SAME.

The man is ageless.

So why the random birthday shoutout to my Zen, Clean Eating, Champagne Drinking, Extreme Passport Stamp World Traveling, Physically Fit, Pine Nut Chewing, Yoga In Time Square, IT Tech Saavy, Motorcycle Riding, Polar Opposite Childhood Friend?

 It’s pretty simple actually. How many people can say they went to JHS with one of their HEROS?  

That’s. Why. Yep. Pretty. Darn. Cool. I’d. Say…

Now wait (insert sarcastic disclaimer here) No I’m Not A Stalker, Nosy. Though We Also Have The Same HBCU In Common (I transferred after a year and we missed each other); Thanks To My BRIEF Stint On Facebook Many Moons Ago We Reconnected. No We Never Dated. No. We Never Liked Each Other Like That. Nope. Nah. He’s What You Would Call One Of My Brooklyn Homeboys! Word Is Bond Son! And we have a serious love for love in common…

I just wrote a piece about (venturing out to) live a limitless life called Potential a couple of days ago. As I live vicariously through Aaron’s insatiable thirst for adventure I see what it’s like for a guy from the same rough JHS and neighborhood we survived in the streets of Brooklyn NY, to travel the world. On his own time. On his own dime. It’s inspirational. It’s encouraging. He inspires me. I share his stories with my family. I’m now sharing with you. 

Here are his actual realtime  Instagram photos from today and yesterday. He’s in Iceland right now for his birthday! How incredibly breathtaking are these shots?!

  

  

Most people are afraid to dream big for whatever reason. Can we be honest? I admit. I am too sometimes. I’m guilty. I love God and I say I trust Him but sometimes I want to help him draw out the blueprint for the next game plan. You know. Cause I can see so much further than He can…considering I’m omni-nothing and all. (Forgot to insert sarcastic disclaimer. Sorry. Not sorry.)

 
Look. Aaron and I, though polar (bear) opposites and thousands of miles apart have found that the common denominator for all humans is still the same, love.  Here I am writing tons of love/lust/longing poetry and inspirational pieces and he’s constantly encouraging people to love and to live in love. He speaks passionately about how life is too short so we should just: LIVE IT

I’m shouting from laptops and he’s shouting from mountaintops; literally. 

Our love for love is strong. We are both on the battlefield for love. As I’ve said on my Instagram poetry page “I’ve been hurt by it, I’ve been healed by it, but….”

 
He’s a soldier of love. May I make a suggestion? I think it’d be pretty cool to give him a birthday present by checking out his new vision and venture of love. Just go to http://www.soldieroflove.clothing/ and maybe a T-Shirt with a simple message of LOVE this season will catch your eye❤️ 

 
Make it wanderlusterly amazing…

(In Aaron’s honor today, won’t cha?)

Love you to life,

✍🏾💋e
© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original 
All Photos Courtesy Of Aaron Watford via @s0ldier0fl0ve 
No Copyright Infringement Intended 
Follow His Adventures 

on Twitter @AaronWatford @SOLoveclothing 
On Instagram: 
http://instagram.com/s0ldier0fl0ve
Website:

home

  
Where would you go if no one would know and no one could tell you no? I would go here. This would be a perfect spot to go, clear my head and lay before the Lord undisturbed; in an underwater hotel suite. Well for starters anyway. I’d certainly go there tonight…alone. 

I wouldn’t just pick up and leave because I don’t know how to do that. I’d leave all type of “Mommy” instructions and remind them Dad had a gig tonight. Then I’d call my Mom just to give her a heads up so she wouldn’t worry. Then I’d text my Mom in Love (we don’t say “Law” in the family, that’s a no-no) to give her a heads up. Then I’d text a few friends to let them know I’m gonna be outta pocket…

What does that have to do with potential?

Not quite sure. 

Maybe if we weren’t limited by or restricted to certain parameters or constructs we would soar so much higher. 

We’d soar

 
I’d go there tonight. If I weren’t bound by logistics or limits of any kind. Take the limits off. Off God. Off of you. 

There. I provided the ribbon. Now you tie it into a bow.  🎀e

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original 

Photo Credits: Pinterest No Copyright Infringement Intended