Monday, May 14, 2012

My First Mother's Day / Red Table Talks

I've been feeling particularly jubilant about my very first Mother's Day. The mere fact that I made it to this place identifies that it has indeed been a destination of sorts for me. I always knew in my spirit that I was destined to become a mom, but when life happens, you are never quite sure if the dream will inevitably become a dream deferred.

The birth of my first child, my son Cooper, has made me more available. It has made my life purposeful because the intent with every action is motivated by a deep, unconditional love. What I can say is I've become very warm and fuzzy. The mere thought of him makes me smile - but to be clear, I know this is a journey. There will be peaks and valleys, highs and lows (reference previous blog "Letter To My Unborn Son"), but I am indeed preparing to embrace it all. 

With that, I came across a particularly moving piece for the woman, wife, mother, professional I am which highlighted all that we are - all that we are not - and all that we will be because of the love we have for our children, entitled Red Table Talk

Red Table Talk is an inter-generational dialogue between Jada Pinkett-Smith, her mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones and daughter Willow. Steeped in the same tradition of what the barbershop represents for men, Jada established this setting at the table as it represents the place where women have "raw conversation about anything you want".  Conversely the color red represents "deep feeling and passion".

Here, dialogue is key to building bridges, or as Jada expresses it, "communication is the best way to create strong relationships of all kinds." As such, this becomes apparent down to the transparent glass bowl upon which they draw questions to ask of each other. What struck me the most about this 3-part webisode series was it's sheer honesty about their individual and collective relationships. There was no judgement, just truth.  And in expressing their truths, there was healing and love at the core foundation.

Cinematography - CHECK!  Producers Nuyorktricity did it with the look and feel.  Warm yet dynamic.  Simple, yet still fluid. A requiem in 3 parts, Red Table Talk Parts 1 -3, gently weaves a narrative through call and response, paying very close attention to the art of listening. Masterfully, I walk away learning a little more about how Adrienne, Jada and Willow feel because of the presentation of their individual perspectives and how they each reflect upon the other. 

For real, this is the conversation I wish Estelle and Gloria were here for me to connect with.  If the woman I am now were able to actually converse with my Grandma and Mom about life at this level - I can only imagine.  What's happening right here is a necessary conversation to pass wisdom, growth and knowledge down.  It's what we women need from one another.  That's what we don't get enough of in the day to day of our every day lives.  It's what we need to hear and receive in order to heal and raise our children.  Shoot, it's what we need to heal ourselves.  I say yes!

As I see it, there are definitely moments that will tug at your essence:

Part 1 - Good Mother versus Bad Mother (Adrienne)
Key take away: The lens through which you perceive the world can ultimately determine how you receive the world.
Fav Quote: "You were intuitive enough to know who I was."

Part 2 - Wife and Mother (Jada)
Key take away: Being a wife and mother is a paradox that requires skillful balance because I am responsible for my own happiness
Fav Quote: "Communication creates partnership."

Part 3 - The Price of Fame (Willow)
Key take away:  Listen to your child because even they have a story to tell...and want to know your story too
Fav Quote: "You've opened the door and given me the freedom to have this conversation."

Don't take my word for it, get emerged for yourself by clicking Part 1, 2 & 3 above.   If you can sit-thru the :30 seconds of advertiser pre-roll prior to the content I think it will serve you well.  

Personally, I am even more prepared for the next Red Table Talk in my life.  I actually attempt to have them as often as possibly because I identify with the value of effective communication - the only difference is I don't have cameras documenting this for future generations to glean from.  At the end of the day Proverbs 31:10-31, puts it all in perspective for me because I too am continuously peeling apart the layers to gain wisdom, but most of all, express love:

She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.


Denene@MyBrownBaby said...

Love your take on the conversation, which I found absolutely stunning in its revelations and honesty!

Charisse said...

I thought the Red Table Talks were excellent. It's funny how things run in parallel in your life when you are going through. Communication is key to all.

There were so many take aways on many levels that I received from this. Grateful for having such an intuitive sister that continues to kick the door in and break barriers to things that are really important.

Love you much

Jocelyn M said...

So glad I took the time to read this. You know how it is with a little one, time is limited. I can totally relate with your feelings about motherhood. The birth of my son has made me a better person, and everyday makes me wish I had the power to make this world a better place.

The red table talks with Jada were deep and inspiring. Thanks for sharing! We have to keep spreading that message.. Communication is key!