With the holidays upon us, Seasons greetings to all!
Allow me to give Some advice to you this fall.
The key is to look close at the things we take for granted.
To stop and smell the roses with aroma so enchanted.
There’s plenty to be thankful for all you need do is look around.
And in the little things lots of joy can be found.
Spread a smile to a friend ask them about their day
Invite family for dinner and encourage them to stay.
Tell your child you are proud of the person they’ve become
Remind them that you’re always here for them if they need someone.
Reach out to brothers and sisters aunts and uncles in the distance
Do not wait till Christmas the holidays begin this instant!
We do not believe in waiting for the leaves to change
Here at DCL we live in the spirit each day.
So happy holidays to all of you our loyal, amazing readers.
We look forward to more issues in the up and coming new years :)
When one considers the experience of a traumatic event, whether witnessing it directly, or being in the midst of it, the most common thoughts are of war, and/or natural disasters, such as hurricanes or tornadoes. Furthermore, it is thought, that often individuals who have been a part of these said events, will exhibit various thoughts, feelings, emotions, and even exhibit behaviors- that are suffered from long after the actual trauma has occurred. This is commonly referred to, as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Trauma is however, when it comes to the nature of it, not always cut and dry. It is not always about war, and/or natural disasters. Trauma can come in many forms, and in many experiences. For some, a traumatic situation could be dealing with the unexpected loss of a beloved job, or the unexpected loss of a loved one. It can in fact be argued, that trauma can be the experiencing of any event, in which an individual’s perception of what is safe and ‘normal’ is altered (Psychology Today, 2016).
There are essentially, two different types of trauma: Primary and Secondary.
Primary trauma is defined as trauma that one is a part of. They witnessed the actual event(s), and/or were knee deep in the throes of the experience. An example of this, would be someone that attended the Route 91 country music festival in Las Vegas, and while they were unharmed during the shooting, saw individuals being shot at, or killed.
Secondary trauma is defined as trauma that while one may not have been present for the particular traumatic event, they may have been close by, or they were exposed to the aftermath of it, or, the traumatic event(s) are relayed to that person over and over (for example in the case of a therapist that is working with trauma survivors), and this person begins to experience symptoms very similar to individuals with primary trauma.
Speaking of the Las Vegas example that I gave with primary trauma, I myself, actually experienced secondary trauma from that horrific event. Without going into too much detail, I arrived in Las Vegas that night for a conference. My cab driver drove me right by the site, on route to my respective hotel at what turned out to be within 2 minutes of the shooting beginning. I was oblivious to anything, until my phone was being blown up at 4:00 a.m. PST (7:00 a.m. here) by friends and family who were concerned for me. After piecing everything together, and subsequently being in Las Vegas for the next 4 days after, I began to realize that I was experiencing secondary trauma symptoms. Increasingly edgy, sad, spontaneous crying spells, looking over my shoulder constantly, and then, the biggest indicator, was actually after I returned home. That Saturday night following the shooting, I was supposed to go to a concert of one of my favorite bands. I couldn’t do it. The idea of being in a concert environment again, so soon after what I had just experienced in Las Vegas was too much (side note: I am still working thru this issue).
It is important to note, that no one is immune to the post traumatic stress symptoms that I have described above-whether a primary trauma sufferer, or a secondary sufferer.
Individuals that experience this, and/or have been a part of it, may have problems following the event(s) in their close personal relationships and with self-esteem and confidence building (Psychology Today: October, 2017).
One who has experienced trauma, and PTSD symptoms, whether primary or secondary, does not have to suffer in silence. Some suggestions of how to cope with and make sense of traumatic experiences or tragedies include the following:
1. Acknowledge the feelings that you are having. Do not try to bury them, or get rid of them. This will end up delaying the process of healing that you need to work thru.
2. Do something active or proactive related to the trauma. Consider donating your time or energy towards a cause related to the nature of the trauma. For example, one of the things I did while I was in Las Vegas was get on a list to offer my services while there as a volunteer crisis counselor. They did not end up contacting me, but to have just made the attempt while there, helped me feel that I was giving back in some way.
3. Focus on the good that exists. There is in reality, a lot of good in the world, and trauma(s) do not happen all the time. It is very easy in the face of horrible situations to believe that it is constant, and all about pain. It is important to be mindful of the positives that we have in our lives -especially when faced with the negative intensity that trauma evokes.
4. Speak to a therapist or counselor such as myself that has experience in trauma and/or PTSD symptoms, and can help you sort out your feelings and coach you in learning positive coping tools.
~Tricia Stehle, LMSW , Psychotherapist
It’s very easy for us to get caught up in all of the bad and I don’t know exactly why, but I guess I’ll chalk it up to human nature and the worry that goes with being human. There is so much bad all around us that sometimes it’s hard to think about anything good. With all the tension in Detroit right now, I think it’s important to recognize all of the good being done here. I’m not talking about jobs being created or not being created, expensive cool apartments, a street car that’s perfect if you have somewhere very close to be not on time, or any of that. I’m talking about people who help and people who are being helped. I’m talking about all of the human service organizations that exist within our giant tiny city. I’m talking about the big love you feel and see when you walk through the halls of some of the city’s nonprofits and service organizations.
I know we have to talk about the big, bad and amazing things happening in the world and in our own worlds in order to be productive citizens and in order to evoke change, but I don’t think that’s the only thing we need to talk about. I think we could all stand to take a break and talk less about the garbage that is all consuming. Maybe we could shift our focus to the men, women and children who provide or take part in human services each and every day. Maybe we’d become even more productive if we added that to our daily thoughts.
It seems as if most of us inhale, exhale, and huff and puff politics. I challenge you to think about the things and people you care about. Find a cause from those thoughts that you find worthy, interesting, or even something to put on a resume if that’s where you’re at in your life (I know how it is).
I’m not necessarily talking about giving money, because that’s only one way to give. If that’s the way you choose to give, that’s wonderful. You can also give time, services, experience, products, leftovers, excitement and so much more. That’s the fun thing about this fast, terrifying ride. We’ve got a whole lot to give.
The people that I have met in the city of Detroit are some of the most interesting, exciting, driven, caring, honest and open people I have ever come across. Maybe I am extremely biased, since I think it’s the greatest city in the entire world, but either way, I feel it strongly. I feel it strongly when I talk to the men at Mariners Inn about their recovery and their inspiration to make positive change, when I spend time at the Detroit Public Library making horror short films with teens, when I get to learn from the creative young women at Alternatives for Girls, when I get to experience the history of Clark Park in a conversation over the noise of kids scurrying around with their ice skates, when I get to see students inspired at school by the exciting work being done at Communities In Schools, when I experience the jokes and laughs at the Rosa Parks Children and Youth Center, and when I seek out the good news of local businesses helping one another and their neighborhoods. You can’t make this stuff up. Detroit can have both the charm of a small neighborhood and the power of a huge city a million times a day.
Maybe Amazon will pop up here soon, maybe big business will swallow downtown whole, maybe the city will revive in a way that benefits those who have been here forever; we never know what’s going to happen. What we can guess though, is how amazing a community organization must be to operate for decades in an ever changing city. To keep up with an unpredictable beast like Detroit and to continue to provide services when you don’t know what tomorrow brings is truly something. The people who hang in there to fight addiction, fight adversity, continue to learn, continue to give back, find life in music and words, and show us all that every day is a chance to be better are the people that make up this place. The people who show their teeth when they smile, count their blessings, stand up for what they love, and mess up and fix it and mess up again but never stop trying are the people that make up the place that I know and love. Those are the people that I want to be more like.
We can all use a break. Some of us aren’t as lucky as others to get one. Even though there are so many things that divide us, scare us, and infuriate us, we’re all people, and we all feel those emotions. The next time you get wrapped up in a storm cloud of emotions because of how wild life can be, look at the good happening in the corners of the city, but know that we’ve got so much more to do. Look at the people who are getting better, learning everything they can, making movies, building ideas, filling pages with poetry, cracking jokes, and lifting other people up. Think about the people who don’t have much but give all they’ve got. Think about the people who are simply happy to be alive. There’s a ton of good around us, too. And we can think about that and act about that. Share what you have, whatever that may be, whenever you feel that you can. There’s a ton of good to be made.
~Erica N Rakowicz
When it comes to experiencing great restaurants in Detroit, Midtown is the gift that keeps on giving! This time, I was fortunate to try Wasabi Korean and Japanese restaurant. They are located in the Park Shelton, at Kiby and Woodward, across from the Detroit Historical Museum. The atmosphere was pretty low key with casual patrons mixed with those in dresses and suits. I ordered the California roll with a side of spring rolls. The California roll was fresh and tasty. The spring rolls were amazing and were served with a dipping sauce that moved me. I don’t know why, but being there made me feel a little more hip. Wasabi also has a bar. I’m definitely going back to Wasabi for some more great food!
Delilah gazed upon the box of dreams, wonder and longing invading her hazel eyes. As her mother wandered the clearance section for anything that would bring her wishes of owning any high-end possessions closer to her grasp, the child wandered to the one section where she felt at home. So sparked her star-crossed affair with a wondrous box of the finest colored pencils her thoughts could ever conceive resting firmly in a price range she knew would take at least a month of boycotting groceries to afford.
A loving hand stroked her soft black hair as her mother entered the scene, releasing a sad sigh at the unreasonable price tag. “Ready to go, Lila?” They wore smiles to each other as if at a masquerade, walking out the glass doors hand in hand. Her eyelids growing heavy at the steady hum of the car engine, Delilah rested her forehead against the cold backseat window as her mind took her elsewhere.
Soft pink pigs gathered around a trough, their hooves indenting the green grass wherever they traveled. Next to them, brown horses congregated in a vibrant red barn. An orange tabby cat roamed the mustard fields adjacent, stalking a little grey mouse who found shelter in the tall grains. A brilliant blue sky surrounded the scene, made lighter by the yellow sun suspended in the center. Most of all, though, Delilah dreamed of drawing a rainbow, making the hues flow into each other seamlessly, filling the page with intense color. A wistful smile found home on the girl’s lips, washed away as her head jolted forward with the car pulling into the driveway.
Before she could escape to her room after assisting with the groceries, her mother blocked her path, hand on her shoulder and down on one knee to meet the child’s eyes. “I know this is hard now,” she apologized, “but things will change soon. Once I find a better job, we’ll be back on our feet again. Don’t worry, okay?”
Black locks bobbed as the girl nodded in affirmation. “Okay,” she got out, offering a small reassuring smile before ducking out as soon as possible. Shutting the door to her refuge, Delilah took a seat at her second-hand desk in a street-corner chair, reaching down to open a broken drawer. The ghost of an aroma escaped the container, filling the room with a faint scent of a pseudo-fruit confection from its past life as a candy stash as small hands rummaged around boxes of pencils. She used to savor the smell, closing her eyes to sharpen another sense until it became too faint to decipher, but now the magic had disappeared, blending in with the room around her.
Lila pulled an old, leather-bound sketchbook onto the desk, a pencil fitting into her hand perfectly as she opened to the next blank page. Her hands were skilled despite her youth, and this became evident as she masterfully guided the utensil on the paper. The soft graphite bruised the paper at her command as she manipulated meaningless scratches to create something beautiful. At her touch, a small black and white rabbit came to life on the paper, sad eyes mourning for its lack of pigmentation.
A small knock at the door stirred Delilah from her trance, her mother’s head peeking into the room from a crack in the door. “Hey, I realized I forgot something at the store. I’ll only be a minute, do you feel comfortable staying here or do you want me to call a sitter? Again I shouldn’t be too long at all, but it’s up to you.”
“I’ll be fine,” she said, knowing in the back of her mind the secret that the babysitter charged by the minute.
The mother smiled at her brave girl. “My phone number is on the fridge if you need anything. I’ll be back soon.”
The door shut quietly with a nod from Delilah, her attention returning to the book in front of her. She gave the rabbit a home, shading in some dark grey grass at its feet. After adding some finishing touches, she signed her name at the bottom, the immaturity of the font the only feature on the paper indicative of her age. Folding her arms over the open book, she rested her head, eyes scanning the wall above covered with various images birthed from idle hands mixed with a creative spirit. The art danced in and out of focus as she quietly drifted into colorful dreams.
“Lila.” A surreal whisper echoed in a state of semi-consciousness. Delilah’s eyes fluttered open to see her mother crouched in front of her, one free hand resting on the desk to keep balance. “Hey, wake up,” she coaxed as the girl sat up, rubbing her eyes. A knowing grin crept onto her guardian’s face as she slipped a white box onto the surface in front of her daughter, a little red bow stuck on the lid like an odd growth.
Delilah blinked deliberately a few times before looking at her mother. “What’s that?”
“Well, Christmas is coming up. I thought you might want your present a bit early this year.” She bit her lip in futile efforts to battle the telling smile invading her secrecy as she watched the confusion adorning her daughter’s face morph into shock.
“I told you not to get me anything this year, though,” she started, curiosity compelling her slowly forward to the mysterious box.
“Oh, come on, I’m your mom, of course I’m getting you something.” Surrendering to her emotions, she smiled at the astonished child. “Go ahead, open it.”
Slowly pulling the box towards her, Delilah gingerly removed the lid as if expecting something to come out and bite her. After peeling away a layer of tissue paper, she carefully maneuvered the priceless treasure so that no tears would find a way to taint the gift. Before even removing the present from its wrappings, Delilah jumped into her mother’s arms, face buried into a pile of soft hair as her small hands wrapped around the woman like a necklace. It didn’t matter that she couldn’t find the words to thank her mother for giving her the power she most desired; in fact, no words even existed to convey such gratitude. Now, she could make the grey pigs pink, the charred grass green, and the lifeless rabbit any shade of brown she desired. Now, she could truly draw a rainbow.
As millions of families prepare for students to head back to school this month, it’s important to remember that there are truly no more important investments than the ones we make in our community, our youth and toward educational opportunities, at every stage of life and career.
I know that firsthand growing up on the west side of Detroit as the second of three children. We had a lot of love in our household and a lot of laughter – but not much else. I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to attend college, to say nothing of being able to afford it. Still, because I was blessed to meet people along the way who believed in my potential and helped me reach for it, I went on to become the first in my family to attend and graduate from college with an advanced degree. Without that education, my life would certainly have taken an altogether more probable path that the extraordinary one it did.
I’ve never forgotten just how powerfully the educational opportunities I was blessed with shaped my life. At All About Technology, we know that the investments we make in our community, and our youth pay immeasurable dividends. That’s why I’m honored to serve as an employment partner and provides insight from a marketplace perspective to help youth, through internships and job shadows gain meaningful work experience in the technology industry. I am committed to my city and the community that I serve and I’ve been recognized by local and national organizations for my achievements and philanthropic contributions. I am proud of my efforts to pay it forward and be of service to. Having proven talent and competent assistance allows me to position the company for a growth trajectory.
As so many of us know, our earliest work experiences provided the greatest education. It’s in that first job or internship that we begin to learn how to succeed and, more importantly, how to fail and try again. It’s where we begin to acquire the habits, skills, and values that guide us for the rest of our careers.
I know that was true for me, which is why it is so meaningful to continue the All About Technology Summer Associates Program. Our program gives youth a behind the scenes look at our operations and an invaluable on the job learning experience. It’s a way of giving young people, often from diverse of disadvantaged backgrounds, a foothold for their future careers.
Throughout the summer, six remarkable students have been busy learning from the leadership team at All About Technology, assisting customers and helping with key operations. Above all, they’ve been gaining credentials to land their first job – perhaps even at All About Technology. This program is a proven pathway into an opportunity with many previous interns gaining full-time positions at All About Technology or one of our technology business partners.
So many of these extraordinary, bright young people share the same kinds of backgrounds and stories as me. The enthusiasm they’ve brought to serving our customers over the summer has been infectious and inspiring. I know that the reputation of All About Technology will only shine brighter with each achievement they attain over the course of their careers. I’m proud of the knowledge and education they’ve received thanks to their time with us. It’s just another of the many ways All About Technology is dedicated to investing in our community, our young people and continuing to bridge the digital divide by making technology affordable and accessible for all.
~Willie E. Brake is a Computer Expert at All About Technology, a Certified Minority Business Enterprise and Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, located at 6450 Michigan Avenue in Detroit, Michigan.
As we say our final goodbyes to Summer prepare to welcome Winter, you may be thinking of warm destinations to visit this Winter. I, for one, am considering dashing off to South Florida sometime soon to sink my toes in the sand. At the same time, I am looking forward to going north this winter. And, by north I mean Iceland, the Land of Fire and Ice. I know, I know, who in their right mind would plan to vacation at the Arctic Circle in January? “Me, me,” (hand raised) and let me tell you why.
Iceland, with its moderate year-round temps (thank you, Gulf Stream) is not as cold in winter as most people think. I had the great fortune to spend several days in Iceland last January and, during my time there, the weather seemed to be the same as it was in Detroit when I left. Like a lot of folks, I had these preconceived notions that I would be outfitted like Nanuk of the North, replete with mukluks, parkas and woolies…the whole nine. And, while I had all of that, I only wore that stuff a couple of days when I knew I would be getting wet from hiking under waterfalls and visiting geysers and such. Most days I only had on a pair of leather rubber-soled booties, a fleece hoodie, and jeans layered over warm sweaters, long t-shirts, wool socks, and leggings. The key is to dress in layers and prepare for any weather.
The days there are sunny and bright, even if they are very short. Daylight in winter usually begins around noon…it was rather strange to walk around in the dark at 10 am. But, oh the sunsets. They seem to last longer and are magnificent, especially viewed from across a lava field. Summer may be the time of the midnight sun, but winter is when the Aurea Borealis decorate the midnight skies with what some consider to be the greatest natural light show on earth! From my base in the capital city of Reykjavik, I traveled throughout southwestern Iceland, which included the Reykjanes peninsula, to get a taste of life in this rugged land full of adventure. Everywhere I turned there seemed to be a site that left me in awe. Beautifully cascading waterfalls, volcano craters, black lava fields, and more amidst a backdrop of snow covered cliffs and glaciers. Standing in a lava-field with nothing but snow and black rock all around made me feel as if I standing on the moon. It was breath taking. One of my most favorite experiences was soaking outdoors in a mineral-rich hot spring surrounded by snowy hills and plains. Iceland is highly geologically active, abounding with active volcanoes and geysers, and widespread geothermal power. As a result the landscape is dotted with many geothermal hot springs most of which are open to the public. Soaking in these hotspots is an Icelandic national pastime and is a great way for visitors to connect with the people and culture of Iceland.
Reykjavik is the only urban center on this island of a little over 330, 000 people. Despite its small size, the capital is very cosmopolitan and offers a glowing cultural scene that can appeal to any taste. It is well-known for its legendary nightlife, including the ever-burgeoning music scene, to some of the world’s top restaurants serving up local delicacies including seafood and Icelandic lamb. During the day you can visit any of the numerous galleries and museums scattered through town, covering everything from famous works of art, to Icelandic history. Mostly everyone speaks English, so there are no worries about not speaking Icelandic or being understood.
Located in the North Atlantic Ocean southeast of Greenland, getting to Iceland is easy. Flights from the east coast of the US take only five hours or so, and flight times from European gateways such as the UK, Norway, Sweden, are as short as three hours. This makes Iceland a perfect destination onto itself or a great stopover point when traveling to Europe.
~Angela, the Travel Diva
“Booker Plays Hooker”
a tribute to John Lee Hooker featuring Muruga Booker on Drums and John Sauter on Bass (both of whom played with Hooker) , Billy Davis Guitar on Guitar (who knew Hooker), Tony “P-Strat” on Guitar and Misty Love on Vocals. This event will take place from 2:00PM until 4:00PM at the Historic Scarab Club. The Scarab Club is located at 217 Farnsworth in Detroit’s Cultural Center. A $5.00 donation is requested.
John Lee Hooker is an American icon. This year represents,what would have been, John Lee Hookers 100th Birthday. Arriving in Detroit in 1943. He also worked recorded well known Detroit Bluesmen Eddie Burns and Eddie Kirkland. In 1948 he also recorded “Boogie Chillin”,which was recorded by Bernie Besman and released by Modern Records (Los Angeles). By 1949 “Boogie Chillin” had become the best selling race record of that year. Other songs written by Hooker include “Boom Boom” and “Dimples”. Hooker gained wider exposure in 1962 when he played the “American Folk Blues Festival, which toured Europe. In 1970 John Lee Hooker recorded “ Hooker and Heat”, which he recorded with the Rock group Canned Heat. This led to wider collaborations with rock bands and his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. He also won several Blues Grammys in the 1990’s culminating in a Lifetime Grammy in 2000. John Lee Hooker passed away in 2001.
The Detroit Blues Society and the Scarab Club are 501(c) 3 non-profits dedicated to the Arts. For more information please call the Scarab Club (313-831-1250) or contact Ed Schenk at email@example.com
It’s November and Thanksgiving will soon be here. There’s a flurry of shopping and everyone is busy making preparations. Anticipation of the coming festive season fills the air. Airports are filled with holiday travelers. Yet, despite all this hustle and bustle this year things seem different. Here in Michigan, and other states, were spared from hurricane Irma. It’s hard to imagine a storm that began its creation in the Sahara Desert, took months to develop and then becomes something so destructive it leaves only devastation in its wake. Florida and the Caribbean were its target. Mexico was hit by an earthquake that will take a long time to recover from. It seems like every day we learn of another happening someplace else. Whether it is a natural disaster or a manmade crisis. The news is rather low-key on these issues but we are still surrounded by them. While everyone is out shopping for that “BIG” bird other folks may have to settle for hot dogs or stand in line at a soup kitchen.
Here at home in the “D” we are experiencing another kind of “destruction” – it’s called poverty. On going despite the huge cash flow I see being brought in by new apartments, retail, restaurants and the new sports arena. Where all this revenue is going I have no idea. Everyday it’s something else. People on a fixed income, our senior population and the homeless manage to survive. These are the people who built Detroit and have stayed here through thick and thin when others gave up and left. Thanksgiving and the holidays may not be lavish for them but it’s treasured more and the memories remain.
My article, the last for this year, is really down home America. The way things are and need to be considered. I would like to share a small paragraph I found in my church bulletin. “Man takes control of everything, he believes he is God. He believes he is king. And wars… they do not exactly help to sow the seed life but to destroy. It is an industry of destruction. It is also a system, also of life, that when things cannot be fixed they are discarded; we discard children, we discard the old, we discard unemployed youth. This devastation has created the culture of waste….
Two key ingredients for hope in the future 2018 – FAITH and Perseverance.
I wish everyone a very Blessed holiday season and a coming year filled with happiness. Thank you.
Youmacon, the largest anime convention in Michigan and the 10th largest anime convention in North America, returns to Detroit Nov. 2-5. This year the event will be held at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center and Cobo Hall. The name of the convention comes from the Japanese term for ghost or demon.
When the convention began in 2005, it attracted about 1,000 visitors. However, it has grown in popularity, filling the entire Marriott hotel and attracting more than 16,000 visitors in 2016.
The annual convention focuses on Japanese animation, called “anime,” and gaming. Attendees commenting on social media say that Youmacon is “so much fun” and that they feel “at home” there, bonding with others who share their interests.
Each year, the event features music videos, a vending area and an “Artists Alley,” a masquerade ball that benefits a different charity each year, discussion panels, gaming tournaments, karaoke, video gaming, live music, and more. Youmacon 2017 will also feature a singing competition called YoumaIdol, patterned after the “American Idol” television show, and a performance by Illuminair Entertainment, a circus performance troupe from Toronto.
The majority of attendees dress as their favorite anime characters, an activity called “cosplay,” short for “costume play,” so there are many people-watching opportunities at Youmacon as well.
Each year, the convention also features a number of special guests. This year, special guests include American voice actor and musician Nathan Sharp, who writes music about anime and video games, and cartoonist Randy Milholland. YouTube personality and videogame reviewer Mark “Cornshaq” Davis will also make an appearance, as will pop punk musician Kieran Strange and voice actor Todd Haberkorn. Billy West, an American voice actor known for doing voices on Ren and Stimpy and Futurama will also attend as a special guest.
All-weekend passes are $65, while day passes range from $25-35. A full line-up of activities and special guests is available at the convention’s website, http://www.youmacon.com.
~Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in southeast Michigan. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.