#TbT My Way …1990




I don’t usually TBT. But I also make this reference to say despite my periodic hiatus’ from blogging and Facebook, I must confess to giving up too much of my blog-worthy content to Facebook. …For shame.  Anyway, one thing I’ve been trying to do with many of my facebook friends is share some of the things from my archives. They are vast, deep and thick. They are a much to carry around in life, moving place to place, etc. While my goal is to widdle them down to slightly less than what they are this year, much of what’s in these archives I could never see parting with and probably won’t. They tell the story of my life and of course those that have touched it or shaped it any way at all.  That being said, here is my #TbT. It is not the happiest of #TbT’s but who said it had to be? And since when did I ever follow anybody’s rules?? Never that’s when!!

This #TbT is probably most relevant to my North Carolina people, but the story is still one that’s relevant to all of us somehow.  The image below is an article that I kept reporting the death of my good friend Wejewn (pronounced Wee-on} Byers.  I feel like I should mention that I could have sworn that he always spelled his name differently in notes to me, but maybe that’s just my bad memory.  Once upon a time when I was 14, my moms decided she would uproot us from Colorado which was all I’d ever known, to Charlotte North Carolina. A difficult move considering the former in addition to the fact that it was such a critical time in my adolescence and having to leave all childhood friends.  When I got to North Carolina, I had no idea what to expect. The Midwest and the South are night and day. We also had no family or friends or there but somehow I was welcomed into my new junior high school with open arms.  …I guess it was that southern hospitality which I was all too thankful for.  Wejewn was one of those that not only welcomed me, but looked out for me and declared himself my brother not long after meeting me.  He was the sweetest thing: Soft jet black hair, beautiful black skin, a winning smile, always ever so chivalrous, a happy (but not naïve) strut and always happy to see me.  I felt like he radiated love.  Wejewn came to school when he wanted to and it didn’t take me long to learn that he was a Man Child.  In Colorado I realized boys had the luxury of being boys at the age of 13…14…especially in Montbello: the predominantly black neighborhood I grew up in in Denver.  In North Carolina there were many, many Man Children: young men making money, most of them through “less than desirable ways”, selling drugs and actually taking care of their mothers, their families, paying bills before they were licensed to drive, etc…

Wejewn never discussed the details of how he made his money. Just told me enough for me to know how he did but it was not a recurring topic of conversation. He never bragged about it, or flaunted it and I never judged him or tried to sway him from his lifestyle.  When he would signal that he needed to get off the phone somewhat abruptly (in the age of the pager), he’d just say he had to go and always aim to keep it as vague as possible but he knew I knew and I knew that he knew how I felt about it.  …We just knew. I never saw Wejewn “in action”.  I’ve often wondered if I had, would he have seemed much the same or unrecognizable to me.  One of the things I valued most about Wejewn was his immediate respect for me and who he knew I was and who I was not.  I always felt like the most sacred parts of our friendship were unspoken and somehow he always teetered a fine line it seemed in order to shelter me from the realities of his world so that I could stay in the innocence of my own. …And he knew and respected that that’s where I lived.

It wasn’t unusual that we lost contact a while after our 9th grade year as many of us were shifting schools moving from what was jr.high to high school. Just a few months into my tenth grade year, this story showed up on the news.  I think I watched the whole thing with my jaw on the floor. …Appalled that this story had to be about someone I could actually say I knew…. And regardless of where he was in the world, LOVED.

Finally.  ….It had finally caught up with him in so vicious a way that seemed contradictory to his spirit. BRUTALLY Murdered. Someone that I still held in such high regard, despite the life he lived. I always felt like he transcended all of that on what was probably some unearthly level.   …The span of our friendship wasn’t even much longer than a year, but there are few days that go by without thoughts of him.  I see his smile, I see his walk, if I’m lucky I’ll hear his voice or stumble across a note he wrote me.  He was just one of a family of sons. …I don’t recall how many of them there were, but I knew that a few of them died violent deaths.  While I never met her, I think about his mama.  …I wonder who else thinks of him as much as I do. I wonder what they remember most.  I don’t know where he was in his life exactly when all of this happened. …I don’t really care.  I always felt like I knew the essence of who he was and wasn’t really concerned with the rest.  As an adult, the fact that I think of him so often registers in my mind as reassurance that YES: His spirit WAS and IS strong just like I always thought it was.  But it still pulls like a weight on my heart when I pull this article out that someone so special could be murdered. Riddled with bullets, shot execution style and the idea that someone had so much disdain for this dear heart that they would torture him and go so far as to cut the fingers off one of his hands.  …This picture below doesn’t begin to do him justice by the way. I am thankful that most of my thoughts are not on the last few moments of his life, though I can’t lie and say none of them have been.  I see him bopping around the corner, coming down the halls of Smith Junior High.  …Just being Wejewn: A kid.

I am just glad that in many ways, he is still here.

Wejewn(or Weyawn) Briston Byers….We speak your name.

Never forgotten.


…keeping the ancestors alive all up in and through Studio5.


Futuristic Friday


Proud Holly Keep On Rollin…

Tomorrows the day that wraps up what seemed the most intense 14 days of my existence and if you know me, then you know that’s sayin a lot considering this last year. I was working out how I was going to treat myself tomorrow {post 4p.m.}. I thought I’d do something unheard of in HollyWorld like go get a mani-pedi. –Yaah rrrright! I imagined myself doing it, thought it was hilarious and figured I’d have more fun reading a new book while wearing my Mr. Rogers sweater or suh-in!! I suck royally at anything remotely close to pampering myself and can always think of like 100 other things I’d rather be doing. –Last week I was even gifted a massage from my highly skilled and dear friend: massage therapist LaNeice Ford and quite frankly, it was hard as hell to accept! (…But exceptional tho). Self work is never easy. It requires something of another kind to pull what you can’t see from places you aren’t even sure exist!

The Firey14 {as we’ll call them}, were taxing in a way where I had to get SO Zen and dig SO effin deep, I experienced:  a few stages of anger, tears, saw myself holding the machete, blood thirsty a midst the metaphoric-casualties with an insatiable appetite for more destruction, floating like a butterfly ’til I was stung like a bee and TKO’d in a boxing ring by a big Surrender-Word-Headed opponent until finally my insides just went ablaze with nowhere else to go but burn, smolder and “cool down”. …Tuthfully,  these last 21 days have remade me and stretched me more than I honestly thought was even possible. Since I’ve been back in “Witch Mountain” (Colorado) I’ve had some “interesting” experiences with complete strangers giving me these “wonderOUS-random-reads” all pointing to the fact that who I see in the mirror, is not who others see. Sadly, I still wasn’t getting “it” I just….wondered more about the girl they were talking about!!

That being said, when I thought about my anticipation for FuturisticFriday, the sense of accomplishment I have every intention of dancing in {post 4pm} and my Yet-To-Be-Determined-treat, Myself said: “Man Hk…… last week?? I could NOT see how you were gonna make it through that ish and come out with your sanity in tact! Wow!!!!…I’m REEEALLY proud of you!!!” The words were a semi-shock to my body. Then I realized I couldn’t even remember the last time I ACTUALLY TOLD or even THOUGHT myself genuinely PROUD of myself! –Pleased with myself or what I’d done, sure, but not PROUUUD. –Crazy right? Even crazier are the things we continue to learn about ourselves that we probably think are furthest from the truth. …And craziEST?? Are the things that slip past ourselves without us even knowing. So I decided my gift to myself will be just that. I’m going to tell myself I’m proud of myself for the really realz. –In a mirror, in a message, all that, ’cause I am. And if I may say, I didn’t just “survive” the Firey14 ya’ll, I “BUTTERFLYED IT OUT & SHINED!!!” (After I got up off the floor in the ring of course) This probably seems like a simple gift, but even typing the words of proud.ness  make me feel some kind of way which lets me know it’s anything but.

…Holy Effing ESS people, this should not be, but I tell you it is… On that note, I don’t even know what else I could possibly say except, Oui, Oui: “Oui Must Grow”.  …#CestLaVieAvecMoi

…reachin for the sky, ” ’cause the devil is a lie” –up in Studio5.

P.S. Shout out to Jacob Miller for staying on repeat and getting me through the  The Firey14 with Flying Colors.

Calling All Cars: The Beige Beret Is M.I.A.

grey beret

Grey Beret

…Trying hard today to act like I don’t miss my everyday beige beret that’s been missing about a week now. In an effort to alleviate that stress, my sistren was kind enough to loan me a sub. When I lose things I call out to them like this: “Beige beret where are youuuu?!!!” And usually it pops up, however it’s yet to respond. Thankfully I still have my Mr. Rodgers sweater, –a simple brown sweater with beige embroidered flowers that I fell in love at first sight with (pictured) and my “Scarf Bestie” (also pictured) a lovely little blue number that my mama brought me back from France a few years ago. Perish the thought of ever being without either of these.

Me, my Sunshine and Beige Beret: A Family

Me, my Sunshine and Beige Beret in Happier Times: A Family

Some people find joy in the rotation and variety of their wardrobe. I find comfort in the repetition of specific pieces: “my uniform” if you will. People would probably be surprised at how few shoes and clothing I actually have compared to most women.  Some wear what looks good, I always go for what feels good and my staple pieces are like my crew I roll out with everyday. We share a special inexplicable connection. They make me feel understood, warm, comforted, supported, loved, familiar and right in this skin I’m in. Never underestimate the power of a garment. Sigh…. But dang, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m kind of bonding with this grey one. It’s no replacement OF COURSE but let me not neglect the gratitude for the work it’s putting in: “Thanks grey beret! — you doin good too”.

…My garments make me feel alive, all up in and through –StudioFive.


Kissing Collections: I Just DO Okay?!

Lately I’ve been ever the student in several situations.
But I guess when aren’t WE the student? {…i know, i know}.

But these messages and/or lessons have been related to the recent “under-use” of my own voice. You may know of what I speak simply because well, it’s no secret that consistency here on the blog has not been my strong suit in the last year or so. Perhaps I should make a note of that.  **exercise blog voice

This voice issue has reared it’s little head in other areas and with gratitude I should add that as quickly as these moments arise, a reminder quickly follows smacking me on the back forcing me to, “a’hem!” –cough up the words regardless of how reluctant I may feel or how insignificant i may think it. Today I had an itty bitty moment while I was clearing off photos from my hard drive and proceeded to post yet another photo of a lovely couple, in a lovely embrace, sharing a lovely kiss onto my FB page.  It was a small effort to send out some warm fuzzies in what may be a not so warm and fuzzy day for some out there in cyber-world. Realizing that I had a mini-collection of these photos in my stash, I actually questioned it for a moment and wondered if people would think i had some weird obsession or was trying to send some sort of message which is all too much thought behind whatever I want to post on my own bloody facebook page! {It certainly wouldn’t be the first one I’d posted.}  Then I said to my “mind debaters”, “Who cares why I like ’em? I just do okay!” And that’s it. …I just do.

There is a precious, sacred, critical, intimate, free, synchronized vulnerability, serenity and harmony that exists in that particular place and space of an embrace.  ….Focus shared time between two people. It’s my personal opinion that people don’t treasure this simple action much these days, nor the timelessness that can accompany it. The image of an embrace encourages my mind to slow down and place myself in a sea of calm. …Of freedom and serenity. I’d think of my FB page as programming and happily accept the responsibility that comes with being a positive-programmer. Nonetheless I try to make sure that I am posting and sharing useful information and happy loving thoughts for friends to absorb. So right here, right now, in honor of my voice and AAAALLLLLLL the random stuff I like (and there is much!) today I am giving myself permission to post more than one of my kissing pictures up here! Okay?! Should anyone wish to ask why I like kissing pictures so much, I reckon this answer should suffice. :D

kenneth norton jrBoy meets girl from outer space. ca.1960

kissing couple

kissing couple2

kissing in the park

P.S. This post reserves the right to grow.


…why lie up in Studio5?! I just DO okay?!  { And  can!}  ~hkai


5 Stars….No Less…

…I watch A LOT of films.
…….My degree is in film..
…Hell, i couldn’t begin to say how many I watch in a week!
{..If I’m lucky}. Either way, I thought now was as good a time as any to share some
of my picks with you because if I do say so myself–
I come across some good ones! I’m not going to bother to give it any wordy review or anything. If you wanna Google before you watch it, feel free. In the meantime, do NOT, I say DO not, under estimate the power of this film! And that’s all I can say about that Enjoy!


…The other night I decided I was going to bring in the new year watching old black movies. 

…Like Black and White old.

I randomly clicked on this link on YouTube for one that I was pretty sure I’d never seen before called Boarding House Blues.  To my delight and surprise I soon discovered it featured Moms Mabley and was one of her earliest films, if not her first! I was super excited but then I had to laugh to myself at how of all of the films I could have selected, I just happened to select that one and just a few weeks prior I’d watched Whoopi Goldberg’s Moms Mabley documentary.  This is someone I certainly knew something about, but since then I’d committed to learn more and “ta-dah!”…

 I started thinking about my love of this particular era and the various works that were birthed from it.  …I thought about how far back my love for that era goes and wondered where it came from exactly? …I thought about how there was no real answer to that question, that it was something that had always “just been” (and that I knew that so why was myself even asking myself?!)  Then I thought about how there are many things in life that we don’t choose, but that choose US and how for me, that was one such thing: The Harlem Renaissance, my love of vintage blackness and glam and really, ALL things black (history, art, culture). …And all things vintage, lol (and space).  

Today (2 days later) while taking in much needed relaxation and regrouping time after too much travel, I started channel surfing and discovered that Stormy Weather was on! –One of my FAVORITE movies since high school.  Once again I laughed at how I stumbled upon this too after declaring that I was bringing in the new year with old vintage black films.  I thought to myself, “They found me again!”  …Cause They did.

…And They always do.

…And I love Them for it!

It’s awesome to be “chosen”.

It’s awesome to be “chosen” by your people and feel like they ride with you and guide you.

It’s awesome to feel like in your own way, you have an obligation to tell their story (however that looks) and that they are watching you and that it’s ALWAYS your pleasure and never a burden.

It’s awesome to feel like something is naturally and effortlessly you, regardless of the rhyme or reason behind it.

It’s awesome to be chosen by something.

{…Hell, even some.ONE}

.In the meantime I ask, “What chose you?”


I know it may seem irrelevant to this post in any way other than title but: Do I need to play some Willie Hutch right now??

{c.song, I Choose You}

…RE.flecting on the chosen vibes all up in and through Studio5.


Chapter Next: Heart Studies On The Lamb

Josefa de Obidos : The Sacrificial Lamb

Josefa de Obidos : The Sacrificial Lamb

I am posting this poem as a “marker” or pre-cursor to where we are heading in terms of content up in here at Studio5. I believe we shall call them: Heart Studies. Well… HOLLY’S Heart Studies anyway. …As these will reflect the explorations and conclusions as it pertains to my experiences, not so much others. After being immersed in these as of late, I realized that my “class” probably really started about 7-8months ago rather SUBconsciously when I kept making random, casual comments about my heart. Now it’s the layer of irony on top of where I am now: immersed in CONCIOUS study. …Less by choice and now more out of necessity as an attempt to make sense of other recently revealed aspects of my existence. If I were giving you this class description on a syllabus it may say something like this:

HOLLY’s HEART STUDIES: Students will explore and examine matters of the heart on an emotional and spiritual level and as it relates to the “mind, body, spirit” connection as a whole. Students will also examine the heart as a muscle, its job within the human body; How it’s perceived by the medical field today in comparison to other cultural beliefs such as the Egyptians who believed the heart muscle truly was “the source of human wisdom, as well as emotions, memory, the soul and the personality itself”. Students will hear stories of heart “aged-ness”, grasping, experiencing and being overwhelmed by the magnitude of what it really is and trying to function after you have been blessed (or cursed) to experience it’s depths in ways unknown and indescribable to most. Instructor shall attempt the monumental and possibly insane undertaking of literal depictions of love as she has experienced it through drawing,painting and/or various mediums.

Can I draw it? Can I paint it? Can I even…describe it. Can it even be done? Or done in a way that is “relatable” to even just one person. I dunno. But I’m gonna try.

Often in this life I feel my role in various situations is that of the sacrificial lamb. You are the first person to experience something, experiment or think/feel a certain way among or within your “circle” be it family, friends, community or otherwise before others truly understand or agree with it. In turn you are also often the first to be slaughtered.bleeding lambBut you are also the teacher, the example and the learning experience for everyone else that bears witness to your bloody sacrifice. Being the sacrificial lamb is lonely, painful, isolating and all that. But somewhere in there despite your possible resentment at the position, there is a nobility and honor that you try to remain connected to. Sometimes there is even a respect that you gain after everyone has stood around and watched you bleed out. A respect gained by the very people that while still in a state of “unknowing”, championed your slaughter and perhaps even thought it deserving. It is a respect given initially for the fact that you did not run or try to escape your slaughter. It becomes a respect given when the people move from a state of “unknowing” to knowing and then realize the UNjustNESS of your sacrifice. But when you are a lamb that knows what she knows and believes what she believes, you don’t run from the slaughter. You are almost WILLING to be slaughtered if the only alternative is to pretend that you don’t believe what you believe or know what you know. As the lamb, there is a knowing that your sacrifice is not in vain regardless of how you feel about it, or whether you are able to reap the benefits in the form of your desired (key words YOUR desired) outcome. I like to think that one way to do that is to share some of those experiences. You know, that good, bad or otherwise and whether people even WANT it or not, people are able to be “fed” and eat as a result of what may have felt to you, like your demise. But it’s really not. It’s really the beginning of your “rise”.

So while this all may seem rather vague now, just journey along with me. If this is not your first time here, then you are acquainted with the randomness that abides in this domain (pun intended).

For now, partake of the poem. It may not be the next post, or even the post after that. But I promise it will be relevant here in our new HEART STUDIES “curriculum”. It will ALL be relevant….

Twin Flames Poem
By Valerie Olmstead 2006

Once we were One
and decided on adventure.
To explore, and become,
and create, and have fun.

We were inseparable then,
as indeed we are now.
We only knew Light, Power,
Wisdom, Compassion, and Love.

Then We heard of a game
the Source called “Life on Earth”.
We wanted to play, and signed up
with great mirth.

We found it so funny—
We laughed ‘til we cried,
to forget who We are?
Let’s jump on that ride!

Then We became two, but
not separate yet.
We cannot be separate,
Twin Flames, don’t forget.

We descended and spiraled
way down, into Matter.
The coach told Us when,
amid much too much clatter.

The noise, the gross smells,
the chaos and confusion,
how far we then fell,
right into Illusion.

We came then into a universe so free;
already mired, caught up in the spell.
We passed Lucifer’s place;
I think they call it “Hell”.

Suddenly We split,
each lost track of the Other.
Our agreement was clear:
find each other on Mother.

This place seemed so huge,
this planet called Earth.
We came into that life,
through something called “birth”.

We knew not each other then,
but came to know others;
all sisters and brothers,
but of different mothers.

The game started in earnest then,
confusing as Hell.
What the heck do I do now,
how can I do well?

Why am I here now?
I wondered at times.
Who am I, why am I,
what difference makes Time?

On occasion I encountered
another so fine,
my resistance was futile,
my resolve would unwind.

That Other came not every lifetime,
it seemed, but only at those times
I’d lost it, or in a dream. Or maybe
when He’d lost it too…what a thought!

That Other played both sides,
and I did as well.
Both darkness and Light,
both Heaven and Hell.

We even changed genders,
in this great Game,
and tried out all manner of
costumes and names.

Eventually we grew and became
something new.
Something much Higher, Light-er
and then we knew:

This IS just a Game!
We two came to see,
it is serious We’ve played it,
now let’s play it with glee!

We came yet again
to correct each the Other,
to really connect,
completely Love one another.

Ah—such Bliss,
for We two once were One;
to connect so much deeper,
to remember…such fun!

We forgot that such time
in the Game is so short,
We forgot there was more work,
forgot the more forks.

The forks in the path are
there for a purpose:
the purpose of balance,
the purpose of Purpose.

Such pain there was then,
in that last awful split.
Such pain in my heart,
that I almost quit.

I felt that great tear,
that huge loss in my heart—
that could not be repaired,
that’s what I thought.

It took quite a long time,
a long journey for me,
to finally remember,
He travels with me.

He always is with me,
as near as can be.
He cannot be far,
for We two are Free.

We freely chose,
to come down here and play.
We did it for fun,
there is no delay.

Everything comes
in just the right time,
it all is Perfection,
it all is Divine.

And now I remember,
and rejoice in my Knowing;
We can never be separate,
but had to think that, for growing.

Our Vesica Piscus
is almost complete,
Our growing together,
with experiences replete.

My Other, My One,
He helps me to see.
Soon We two will be One again,
complete, He with She.

This journey has been hard,
fraught with danger, it seems.
But We came for a big job:
wake up those who dream.

So wake up, you dreamers,
So We all can go Home!
Wake up and remember,
you have Twin Souls.

Remember the One you
seemed to have lost;
that Now Is The Time,
recall not the cost.

Our Twin Flame awaits Us,
each One of Us now.
whether this side or that,
doesn’t matter somehow.

The greatest glory waits
much nearer than far;
just remember your Twin Flame,
and for your Mission, raise the bar!

Shine now, Twin Flames,
Shine NOW with great Love—
Our Love comes direct,
from Heaven above.

There is nothing can stop Us
from being Ourselves,
nothing but Us,
certainly nothing like Hell.

Remember that Now,
align all Twin Flames,
and let’s get on Home,
and say “thanks for the Game”!

* * * * *
…Broadcasting LIVE from forces divine, while making sense of my existence in this space and time all while doing the living from Studio5.