Thursday, October 31, 2013

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CLEANING ON HALLOWS EVE

[Latest donor to my GoFundMe Campaign: Gretchen Elise! Her music link and more is in the message below: http://gretchenelise.com/]

Greetings, ghoulish gargoyles!

(Technically Hallows Eve was yesterday, but I really wanted to use that phrase!) I just finished cleaning the girls' bathroom (relatives I'm staying with). Sooooo grateful for that blue scrubbie thing with a handle that keeps my hands from making direct contact with the cleaner. One of the annoying things about having your stuff three different places in two different cities is you can't find your frikkin' two full boxes of latext gloves which you like to use for (among other uses) cleaning, say with bleach products which keep their obnoxious scent on the handal units (aka handary objects) for a whole darned-tootin' day, it seems. Also really glad there was bathroom cleaning bubble spray, which smells pleasant, so I could avoid using the chlorine scouring powdohr ("Ajax", etc.) for the toilet only. Nooo contact with the bleachal object! Orange ewe glad you axed???!
Enjoying the sounds of even more visiting girlkids, screaming like it's Halloween. Oh, wait a minute, it is!
Overheard: Auntie, how many high heels do you *need*??! (Not said to me but to the Lady of the House).
Also, they were really enchanted by a ladybug. I wonder if little girls thrill with ladybugs is that they identify with the insects gender and they enjoy squealing, Ladybug! Ladybug! a lot. Kind of a proud female bonding thing. Hm.
Happy Halloween, everybuddy!


Signed,

Your friendly neighborhood renaissance negresse,
Cassendre Xavier
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
http://cassendrexavier.com


AND A NOT-SO-WEE REMINDOHR:
Puh-leeeze help me pay my $82 storage unit fee and $23.99 websit fee this month! Ill list you and your link, as is coming right up (unless you wish to remain anonymous!) (Thank you, Gretchen Elise, for your generous donation yesterday (to me every donation is generous)! http://gretchenelise.com/, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gretchenelisemusic, or on MySpace at https://myspace.com/gretchenelisemusic.)
(Other previous names and links will be posted real soonishlike and/or forthwith!)
Heres the link to my GoFundMe Campaign where you can easily, quickly, and securely donate online: http://www.gofundme.com/3ik8b8 (Raised by people just like you: $1,410; Goal: $6, 600, Need: $5, 190).
Offline donations can be sent in check or money order payable to Cassendre Xavier and mailed to: Cassendre Xavier, 4530 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19143-3705.
Psychic hugs, prayers, positive visualizations, loving spells, and other goodfeeleries (aka goodfeelations) are already being felt and much appreciated by Moi-Self. Thank you all, and know that no matter how broke or sad or struggling I am, Im gonna write to you because that is what the renaissance negresse does and how she lives and gets through stuff. Apparently, saying renaissance negresse every four seconds also seems to be what she does. As well as speaking in the second persun okay, Im out!



Lhaim!

But wait! Theres more! My friend Stacey Lorin Merkl, founder and director of Realize Your Beauty http://realizeyourbeauty.org/, just sent me this link about bipolar disorder. Realize Your Beauty promotes positive body image and eating disorder awareness by way of theatre arts. Stacey said, I came across this tonight via twitter, and thought you would appreciate: http://www.gmeded.com/gme-info-graphics/what-bipolar-disorder. I liked it and Im sharing it with you all, because I know some of you are bipolar like me!

Okay, now Im really leaving :-)

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

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New Update from Cassendre...
A wee update type-thingie!

Dear Friends,

So glad to be home after my 2 week adventure in Ann Arbor, Mich. Worry not, the renaissance negresse *will* be sharing the details! For now, I am uploading a few new videos to my YouTube channel, and transcribing my writings, one sentence of which was part of my journaling on the train ride home tonight. I hope you like it and that it helps you and makes you feel good (or at least bettohr)!
Giving love freely, joyously, and without expectation makes us attractive to receiving love from unexpected sources. Please support the renaissance negresse mama needs a new corset (as well as less glamorous essentials like monthly storage unit and website fees)! Thanks to all who have donated $1,395, only $5,205 more to go! http://www.gofundme.com/3ik8b8


Talk soon!

Cassendre
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A wee update-type thingie :-)

Dear Friends,


So glad to be home after my 2 week adventure in Ann Arbor, Mich. Worry not, the renaissance negresse *will* be sharing the details! For now, I am uploading a few new videos to my YouTube channel, and transcribing my writings, one sentence of which was part of my journaling on the train ride home tonight. I hope you like it and that it helps you and makes you feel good (or at least bettohr)!

"Giving love freely, joyously, and without expectation makes us attractive to receiving love from unexpected sources." Please support the renaissance negresse – mama needs a new corset (as well as less glamorous essentials like monthly storage unit and website fees)! Thanks to all who have donated $1,395, only $5,205 more to go! http://www.gofundme.com/3ik8b8



Talk soon!


Cassendre

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wherever You Are Now is the Perfect Place

I feel like I'm at a stage of my life where I could start completely over, go anywhere, do anything. Not without sacrifices, but anything is possible for me. Who knew failure, brokery, and sadness could have that kind of a shimmer to it? I think sometimes when we're not following our heart or living our whole truth, the universe helps us find our way by making sure everything else breaks down so the route we're supposed to be on becomes absolutely clear again. Of course, we can always learn to avoid the painful lesson by following the path of joy when we first see it. But so often we don't, because we don't feel we deserve or are qualified to live it. I'm so grateful for endless second chances, and for my eyes, which for some blessed reason, always see possibility.

Love,
Cassendre

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Diary of a renaissance negresse Oct 10, 2013

[***Warning! Explicit sexual and excrementary content! May not be suitable for minors! But you'll love every word!***]

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

    A) WHO IS THE RENAISSANCE NEGRESSE?

1)   JOURNALING

2)   EATINGS

3)   LEARNING HOW TO EAT WITH PEOPLE

4)   ELIMINATIONI STATION

5)   LOVE, SEX & ROMANCE: WOMBMOVERY & AROUSATION

    6) RENAISSANCE NEGRESSE CATALOG

7) GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN

 

 

 

CONTENTS OF TABLE

 

 

A) WHO IS THE RENAISSANCE NEGRESSE?

 Haitian/Chinese-American multi-media healing artist Cassendre Xavier coined the term *"renaissance negresse" in 2002. A musician, writer, actress, and fine artist, Xavier (who sometimes works under the names Amethyste Rah and Amrita Waterfalls, and is also an ordained interfaith minister) says the term describes a black woman who is skilled or gifted in 3 or more arts. Xavier is a recipient of a Leeway Transformation Award for her work as a community cultural arts advocate, having founded and directed several Philadelphia arts initiatives including the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002) and the Black Women's Arts Festival (Est. 2003), as well as several peer support groups related to personal growth, creativity, healing, and recovery. She is originally from Brooklyn , NY and has been living creatively and joyfully in Philadelphia since 1990. [*"Negresse, Negre: In the French- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean Islands, these words often have a connotation of affection, entirely non-racial in meaning. `Ma petite negresse, mon negre, are equivalent to `My dear, my darling, my sweet.'" [From Masters of the Dew, a contemporary classic novel by the Haitian author Jacques Roumain, translated by Langston Hughes and Mercer Cook.]

 

 

 

1) JOURNALING

The most important thing I need to say right now is just when you think you're done loving them and you've loved them enough, Trader Joe's comes out with another amazing product. This one is a baked potato chip – barbecue, no less, thick and sweet and spicy and savory and 65% less fat and a ridunkulous amount of potassium. Lawd Jesus, I am thankful.

 

And then there was art.

I am wearing things I've been wanting to wear for years. I'd like to think I look kind of like a gypsy with my layers of long skirt on top of pants and shiny Asian robe on top of foofy Blanche Devereaux-style floor length robe. I don't know, maybe someone else would say I just look homeless. But I'm not wearing a typical jacket or coat you'd find in any store, and that's my goal – I want to look like I'm wearing stuff that's unique. Or at least picked out of a pile of weird garments found at the Salvation Army.

 I always wanted to be that Pretty in Pink girl. I accomplished bits and pieces of that here and there, in my teens and in my early twenties. But since then, I've just been dreaming a lot and taking little action.

 When I went to my old place to get my long black trench coat, as I searched for it, I came across these other items and thought, "Why can't I wear these, layered, as my "jacket"? So, I took off my lightweight, navy blue, hooded windbreaker, and put on these instead.

 I am so layered up right now. I also picked up my short black skirt, and figured the best way to "carry" it, since my suitcase was already laden with stuffs (yes, "stuffs"), was to wear it. So, right now, I'm wearing: long skirt, long pants, short skirt (underneath), and knee-high leggings which were originally for the pantsless skirt I was wearing.

 I'm wearing my platform boots, which Main Squeeze Turned Good Friend called/calls my "Kiss Boots". As in KISS, the band. Hey, I met Gene Simmons when he came to Borders to look for books about Jesus Christ (of course!)

 

 So, what else. I did my hair. It's long again, and has reddish highlights. I am muy pleased-o. I brought embroidery floss and the usual collection of tiny baubles to sew into it, but on the dark bus and without the necessary mirror-age, it doesn't seem feasible that I'll get much of that done whilst I travel. I also brought two crystals, wire, and silk thread to re-string as necklaces for Moi-self, but again, it seems more feasible for me to write than to craft.

 

I am very grateful my EBT was replenished just in time for my trip, and also to have health insurance that covered the cost of my meds, which was to the tune of a measly three bucks for three of them, total. Blessed, truly, the renaissance negresse is.

 

Challenges: To book some gigs in Michigan. (Friend says her touring singer-songwriter husband books one house concert for every one hundred emails he sends out. So I guess I better start writing!)

 

As I said to the one I'm going to see, the point isn't just to get gigs, or just to get together. It is to get out of Philadelphia. Out of my rut. Out of the familiar and into something new. To get moving and take a step.

 

 

2) EATINGS

7am until 7pm – bananas and flash pasteurized carrot juice.

7:30pm – More carrot juice, baked, all-natural potato chips, 6 mini Milky Way bars.

 

3) LEARNING HOW TO EAT WITH PEOPLE

I don't know how to eat with people! When the one I'm going to stay with when I'm Michigan and I were making plans for my visit, there was mention of eating together. This mention was not made by the renaissance negresse. For some reason, I thought we'd fend for ourselves – buy our own food and eat at the same place, and sometimes at the same time, but not, like, prepare meals together and sit there and eat it together. I am so eating disordered that all this is very strange to Moi-self. I remember reading in one of my favorite books, Unbearable Lightness: A Memoir of Loss and Gain, by Portia Di Rossi (wife of Ellen DeGeneres) that one of the things that helped her get over anorexia was eating with her roommate. Before that, she just didn't know how to eat. I'm the same way. I can eat by myself. I can eat my own food with other people. And I can eat with other people food they prepare for me. But eating the same thing with other people – something we prepared together? Very bizarre. I mean, it's the most normal and natural thing in the world. I just don't know how to do it. Yet. I mean. What will they eat? What will I eat? I know what I can make for myself. But will they dig it? I can eat a big bowl of spinach or even kale mixed with grapes. Will they eat that? Maybe a raw vegan would, but even a raw vegan knows things like making the food attractive.

 I remember I once said all the men I've ever been with are much better cooks than I am. I wondered why that was, and Tom offered that he thought it was because I "like to be catered to." I thought he had a point there. But I also think now that it's because I have a hate-hate relationship with food. Even though I know I love raw vegan fare, I haven't prioritized nor even shown an interest in making raw food in a tasty, attractive way.

 I love "raw ice cream", which is frozen fruit run through a food processor, like a Champion Juicer. Why have I not made it a priority to save enough to buy one of those gadgets, or get one donated, or wo/manifest it some other way?

 Also, I love raw dehydrated foods, or really, snacks, as they're really junk food. Why have I not invested in a dehydrator? They're not even that expensive. I don't make food beautiful because I have a very strained relationship with it. This is what I'm trying to heal now. I want to be able to handle food with a friend or a lover and not feel like crying every time I even think about it.

 I think there's progress in the fact that I wrote about it here. It's out of my body now. It's out of my head and onto the paper, into the ethers, into the minds of others. It weighs less. A lighter burden.

 

 

4) ELIMINATION STATION

Why are people afraid to poop? Don't be afraid to poop!

I was talking to a friend of mine who is changing the generations-long traditions of eating little fresh fruit and vegetables. She recently ate a lot of produce and had an incident in a public restroom which distressed and greatly shamed her. She said she pooped so much the toilet overflowed and she had to run out of there. She didn't want that to ever happen again, she said. I'm like, but would you rather have that stuff out of you? Yeah, it was embarrassing, but it's a public restroom and you didn't have to face anyone!

 I told her to not be afraid to poop, and to start learning how to do it right! First of all, ya gotta use several flushes. You pay attention, and you don't let loose all the good lord give ya. You release some at a time, and flush each time a moderate amount comes out. Then when you're done, you use the bathroom tissue. You eat all the produce that feels healthy for you, and you just get more sophisticated about your pooping style and method. If you think you're just gonna use one flush, and this is after thirty years of the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) and darn near no roughage, as your body is releasing dozens of pounds of waste, you got another thing comin', and most likely it's gonna involve floodery.

 I remember in the movie "Uncle Buck" there was  reference to the John Candy character flushing four times. He weighed nearly 400 lbs so that made sense. But let me tell you, as a 200lb, overeatin', high-raw/high plant fiber dame, I am well familiar with the workings of a water closet. And the renaissance negresse love it! She like very much!

 Someone told me I looked 22 the other day. I told her my secret was: Orgasms, Water, and Roughage!

 That day, I released a significant amount of solids four times. Not four flushes, four times during the day. Sorry if that's too much information for you, but the renaissance negresse, she like the honesty.

 This is something I feel I must share. It happened three days ago and still brings a twinkle to my eye. I let go a frikkin' boomerang. Deud, it was freakishly long, and bent like it's supposed to be. Did you know your poopings are supposed to be long, and bent? Get to know yourselves, people, and get to increasing the amount of poopings you do? Why? Not only so you stay healthy (do you think colon cancer's anywhere near my future with this kind of activitation? Methink snot, bubbelah!) but so that you look younger and feel sexier, and you know what else? Alkaline poopage feels great coming out. Really. Sometimes you'll just be standing on the street and feel like you're on top of the world because your innards are working right. It's a whole new bag o' joy. Try it. Plants. They're what's for dinner.

 

 

5) LOVE, SEX & ROMANCE: WOMBMOVERY & AROUSATION

Why don't they tell you what real arousal is like? How come we spend our whole lives hearing about how women get wet when aroused, but I have to move about the world feeling totally alone because when I Google "womb move arousal" all I get is baby this and baby that moving in mommy's belly?

 I think one of the reason's that before I learned about Tantric and Taoist sexual practices, I looked to disabled people's and sexual abuse survivors' sexuality, is because I wanted to learn more than I was hearing about. I think I somehow sensed there was more than "The guy gets hard and sticks it in," and "The girl gets wet and takes it."

 Two things I've learned recently (and mostly from my favorite comics, like Louis CK and Jo Koi): one is that women's experience of sexual pleasure is almost completely in our heads. We can orgasm from closing our legs and rubbing them together, riding on motorcycle or even bicycle, or even just thinking about something or someone sexy. The second thing I know now is that our bodies are amazing, wondrous, and powerful things. And not just women's bodies, but mens' as well (and all in between).

 This is why I'm a writer. Because I don't want to spend any more energy researching to find out which other women out there in the world experience arousal as I do. Because they won't. No one will experience it exactly as I do. We're all a little bit different. And also, it's much more funner (yes, more funner) to write about my experience and share it with you, than to seek out others' stories to validate my own.

 So what I've never heard anyone else say their womb moves when they're aroused? Maybe it's my turn to say it!

 So, here goes:

 My womb moves when I'm aroused! Just thinking about the one I desire makes it move.

 I've noticed it isn't just anyone anytime. For instance, I don't feel wombmovery with wimmin (so far. I mean, perhaps I just haven't met the dame yet who moves me in that way).

 I just experienced something for the first time, tonight. I felt a succession of movements, which became a consistent wave. A wave! I never felt a wave before! I think I'm going to need to be extra diligent about the birth control because if this isn't the ground preparing itself for a good and fertile planting, I don't know what is. At least, that's what I'm getting.

 I only feel wombmovery with men, and only with men who appeal to My Specific Predilections.

 I think wimmin's bodies are amazing. We are so sensual. I remember I had a lover once who told me she could smell my arousal on my neck. My neck!

 My favorite part of Tom's body was his torso: from his neck and shoulders to just above his belly button. There are reasons for that, and loving him and his body was an intense experience (we were together for four years, lived together for part of that, and he passed away in March 2013 of a heart condition he had when we met), but nowhere had I ever read or heard of wimmin liking a man's body the way I did and for the reasons I did.

 We need to tell our stories, people. We need to write about what turns us on and why, and what makes us strong and happy in our erotic lives. This encourages us to be healthier and to enjoy life more and to inspire others to do the same. It also helps us feel less alone.

 I was thinking that perhaps the reason I don't have the same response to wimmin as I do men is because I haven't been with a woman romantically or sexually (in an advanced way) since the late 1990s. What if it's the experience I've had with my male lovers that has developed my response so, and if I did embark upon a deep and sexually advanced relationship with a woman, I'd experience "wombmovery". Who knows.

 My instince and inner wise self tells me this wombmovery is directly related to maleness and masculine energy, though. One reason for that is because it happens with highly masculine men, and men who experience me as highly feminine. So I think it's something to do with very basic, biological male/female, boy/girl type stuff. I don't know what part of my body would move if I met That Girl, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be my womb.

 I have had very strong physiological responses to wimmin, though. But I've grown bored of this topic. Next!

 

 

6) RENAISSANCE NEGRESSE CATALOG

a) 6 CDs of live and studio music (2002-2009/Serious Creature Music):http://cdbaby.com/all/cassendre

b) 2 albums to download at iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/CXiTunes

c) CXTV- the official CX YouTube channel: http://tinyurl.com/CXYouTube

d) Book – Expanding Your Capacity for Joy: A Raw Vegan Comfort Book, Sourcebook & Journal (2009/ARtivist Publications), sold at Essene Market & Café (Philadelphia) and Arnold's Way Raw Vegetarian Café & Educational Center (Lansdale, PA).

e) Ebooks – Expanding Your Capacity for Joy (see above), and This is What a Millionaire Looks Like (Essays) available at http://ARTivistPublications.homestead.com or email cxwriting(at)gmail.com

f) Inspiring or humorous daily writings: http://cassendrexavier.blogspot.com,http://facebook.com/cassendrexavier

g) Wisdom Magazine online edition articles: http://tinyurl.com/CXWisdom

h) Amethyste's Ink inspiring cardstock stationery and postcards: Send a business-sized SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) for sample: Cassendre Xavier, 4530 Baltimore Ave , Philadelphia , PA 19143-3507 .

i) Archives of Cassendre Xavier museletters (including "Me! Me! Me!"):http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cassendrexavier or http://cassendrexavier.blogspot.com.

 

 

7) GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN

GoFundMe Campaign link here (http://www.gofundme.com/3ik8b8) for those of you who wish to continue to contributize to my various costs of vivar (living in Cassendre-speak, or perhaps it's actually correct Espanol?). You may not see that donation because it was made directly to my bank account. For those who prefer to give offline, you may send a check or money order payable to: Cassendre Xavier, 4530 Baltimore Avenue , Philadelphia , PA 19143 . I also have a mightily convenient Paypal account, visit www.paypal.com, go to "Send Money" and send to cxmusic(at)gmail.com - remove the (at) and replace with @. Otherwise, simply use the GoFundMe link to contribute to my Megabus Tour, which leaves Thursday October 10th for Ann Arbor , Michigan , where I'll be until October 28th. I am a-seekin' house concerts so please do hit a sista up iffn' such an idea striketh your fancy. (References are available.)

 

 

 

Thank you for being my priceless audience – for your continued support of my art/work, and therefore life. I appreciate YOU!

 

 

Sincerely in art and community,

 

Cassendre Xavier

(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)

musician,writer,actress,fine artist

Founder & Director of the Black Women's Arts Festival

http://BWAFphilly.homestead.com

Founder of the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series

http://WomensWritingSeries.homestead.com

Main website: http://cassendrexavier.com

 

Cassendre has posted a new update...

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New Update from Cassendre...
Subject: Tasksdonery (aka "Tasksdonnage")

Salutations, my most appreciated CX appreciatohrs!

Here's the latest!

1:00pm - Now I'm at Bindlestiff Books http://bindlestiffbooks.wordpress.com using the computohr that I may get some administrative tasks did.

Done so far today:
*Took care of some personal business
*Returned library book
*Dropped off prescription
*Bought toothpaste and completely unnecessary chocolate treats at Dollar Tree on 15th St.
*Bought 4 birthday cards at Dollar Tree in Suburban Station for 3 people
*Bought postage stampage
*Mailed 2 birthday cards to one persun in NJ
*Bought SEPTA tokenitos
*Picked up prescriptions (3 for 3 buckaroos total. Thanks, Obamacare!)
*Wrassled with my cell phone company over an annoying problem.
*Went to my bank and got postage paid envelopes and deposit slips so that when I'm in Michiganana I can convert my cashery earnings into USPS money orders and mail them to be deposited in my bank. This is because there are no branches of my bank in Michigonia. (Nor are there any in Michigonius the Mighty.) Also had them make a note my transactions will be in Michigan for 2 weeks so they don't get alarmed and think they're "fraudulent". That one was their idea. Credit where credit due. :-)
*Went to Trader Joe's to purchase three 32-oz containers of carrot juice for myself, and more Pumpkin Spiced Ground Coffee for my Powelton Village hostesses The Poet, and The Painter.
*Got on the trolley to come here, where I will finish my little workeries and then be off for the next thing.

Hope you're having a good day! I sure am except for hearing from folks how sucky the rain supposedly is when the renaissance negresse, she love it. She like it a lot!

Continue to be splendid!

Cassendre
On the YouTube: http://youtube.com/cassendrexavier
At the CD Baby: http://cdbaby.com/all/cassendre
At the iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/CXiTunes


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Tasksdonery (aka "Tasksdonnage")

Salutations, my most appreciated CX appreciatohrs!

Here's the latest!

1:00pm - Now I'm at Bindlestiff Books http://bindlestiffbooks.wordpress.com using the computohr that I may get some administrative tasks did.

Done so far today:
*Took care of some personal business
*Returned library book
*Dropped off prescription
*Bought toothpaste and completely unnecessary chocolate treats at Dollar Tree on 15th St.
*Bought 4 birthday cards at Dollar Tree in Suburban Station for 3 people
*Bought postage stampage
*Mailed 2 birthday cards to one persun in NJ
*Bought SEPTA tokenitos
*Picked up prescriptions (3 for 3 buckaroos total. Thanks, Obamacare!)
*Wrassled with my cell phone company over an annoying problem.
*Went to my bank and got postage paid envelopes and deposit slips so that when I'm in Michiganana I can convert my cashery earnings into USPS money orders and mail them to be deposited in my bank. This is because there are no branches of my bank in Michigonia. (Nor are there any in Michigonius the Mighty.)
*Went to Trader Joe's to purchase three 32-oz containers of carrot juice for myself, and more Pumpkin Spiced Ground Coffee for my Powelton Village hostesses The Poet, and The Painter.
*Got on the trolley to come here, where I will finish my little workeries and then be off for the next thing.

Hope you're having a good day! I sure am except for hearing from folks how sucky the rain supposedly is when the renaissance negresse, she love it. She like it a lot!

Continue to be splendid!

Cassendre
On the YouTube: http://youtube.com/cassendrexavier
At the CD Baby: http://cdbaby.com/all/cassendre
At the iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/CXiTunes

Cassendre has posted a new update...

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New Update from Cassendre...
Good morning, kind supporters!
Here is some news:
5:00am - And so begins my first of two days of travel. Megabus Tour - first stop Ann Arbor, Michigan!
7:45am to 4:00pm - Errands
5:00pm - Arrive at 30th St Station
5:40pm - Megabus departs for Pittsburgh, PA
12:15am - Megabus arrives in Pittsburgh, PA
Hopefully, the bus's free wireless system will be working, and I'll figure out how to use it on my (GoFundMe donated) laptop, and I'll be posting along the way!
Thanks so much for your continued interest, and make yourself a beautiful day!

Very best,
Cassendre on the road :-)
http://www.gofundme.com/3ik8b8
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Megabus Tour starts NOW!

Dear friendlettes,

5:00am - And so begins my first of two days of travel. Megabus Tour - first stop Ann Arbor, Michigan! 
7:45am to 4:00pm - Errands
5:00pm - Arrive at 30th St Station
5:40pm - Megabus departs for Pittsburgh, PA
12:15am - Megabus arrives in Pittsburgh, PA
Hopefully, the bus's free wireless system will be working, and I'll figure out how to use it on my (GoFundMe donated) laptop, and I'll be posting along the way! 

Mad love from the road!

CX

Monday, October 7, 2013

Cassendre has posted a new update...

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Cassendre has posted a new update message to "renaissance negresse Megabus Tour! "

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New Update from Cassendre...
Greetings, dear friends! I've just posted a new museletter which includes a GoFundMe Update. I'll post the update here, and feel free to read the entire museletter at the link I'll enclose at the end. Blessed be! -- Cassendre
GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN UPDATE
I received a $100 donation yesterday which allowed me to just now put in the mailbox the $81.36 monthly fee for my storage unit. Such a load off my mind! I'm including my GoFundMe Campaign link here (http://www.gofundme.com/3ik8b8) for those of you who wish to continue to contributize to my various costs of vivar (living in Cassendre-speak, or perhaps its actually correct Espanol?). You may not see that donation because it was made directly to my bank account. For those who prefer to give offline, you may send a check or money order payable to: Cassendre Xavier, 4530 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143. I also have a mightily convenient Paypal account, visit www.paypal.com, go to "Send Money" and send to cxmusic(at)gmail.com - remove the (at) and replace with @. Otherwise, simply use the GoFundMe link to contribute to my Megabus Tour, which leaves Thursday October 10th for Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I'll be until October 28th. I am a-seekin house concerts so please do hit a sista up iffn such an idea striketh your fancy. (References are available.)
From the renaissance negresse museletter & catalog Oct 7, 2013, viewable at http://cassendrexavier.blogspot.com/2013/10/renaissance-negresse-museletter-catalog.html
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renaissance negresse museletter & catalog Oct 7, 2013

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

1) WHO IS THE RENAISSANCE NEGRESSE

2) NEWS!

3) NEXT SHOWS!

4) DIARY OF A RENAISSANCE NEGRESSE

5) LOVE LOVE LOVE (INCLUDES HIGH QUALITY BOOTKNOCKERY)

6) DEALING WITH ADDICTION

7) GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN UPDATE

8) RENAISSANCE NEGRESSE CATALOG

 

 

CONTENTS OF TABLE

 

 

1) WHO IS THE RENAISSANCE NEGRESSE?

 Haitian/Chinese-American multi-media healing artist Cassendre Xavier coined the term *"renaissance negresse" in 2002. A musician, writer, actress, and fine artist, Xavier (who sometimes works under the names Amethyste Rah and Amrita Waterfalls, and is also an ordained interfaith minister) says the term describes a black woman who is skilled or gifted in 3 or more arts. Xavier is a recipient of a Leeway Transformation Award for her work as a community cultural arts advocate, having founded and directed several Philadelphia arts initiatives including the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002) and the Black Women's Arts Festival (Est. 2003), as well as several peer support groups related to personal growth, creativity, healing, and recovery. She is originally from Brooklyn, NY and has been living creatively and joyfully in Philadelphia since 1990. [*"Negresse, Negre: In the French- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean Islands, these words often have a connotation of affection, entirely non-racial in meaning. `Ma petite negresse, mon negre, are equivalent to `My dear, my darling, my sweet.'" [From Masters of the Dew, a contemporary classic novel by the Haitian author Jacques Roumain, translated by Langston Hughes and Mercer Cook.]

 

 

2) NEWS!

 

"Confide in Me" selected as theme song for Philadelphia-based organization!

This just in! I am very proud to share this good news with you:

 

From Beulah Gordon-Skinner, Executive Creative Director

The H.A.D. Project, e-mail - had.projectcamden@gmail.com, Camden City, New Jersey 08103-2914

 

September 30, 2013

 

Cassendre-

 

Big Ups!

 

I am pleased to inform you that I have selected your song Confide In Me - as the theme song for: The H.A.D Project.

 

The H.A.D Project seeks to serve a community of homeless artists, connecting them with services and resources to foster their creative abilities.... To gauge and identify their interests in the arts, allow them to express themselves, build on and develop their artistic talent, that can lead to future training education or employment.

 

I am founder, executive director- of the H.A.D Project . And I currently serve on the Board of Directors - Rotary Club of Camden, NJ-USA. And there's more...

 

And there's more...

 

All the Best,

 

Beulah Gordon-Skinner

Executive Creative Director

The H.A.D. Project

e-mail - had.projectcamden@gmail.com

Camden City, New Jersey 08103-2914

 

CX: You can hear my song "Confide in Me" from the "Beautiful" CD album page at http://cdbaby.com/all/cassendre. I am very proud and thankful to Beulah for this opportunity to share my music with a wider audience. Thank you, Beulah!

 

3) NEXT SHOWS!

I've been back to busking and hopefully having some more gigs very soon in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My last official gig was the week after my annual Lansdowne Farmers Market gig, and next one is in March at a church in Media, PA where I opened for Tret Fure and will again. It will be great fun and hope to see you. But again, there will be more gigs to report soon (especially if you're the one who invites me to play them)!

 

 

4) DIARY OF A RENAISSANCE NEGRESSE

At 3:30am before he left for his day job, my family member/host asked me, as I was doing the dishes before I went to sleep for the first time since October 5th, "So, is this your regular routine?" "No," I answered. "I've been doing this since August, and my psychiatrist told me a couple of weeks ago that the 'mood stabilizer' I'm taking actually does nothing to prevent depression. I don't have insomnia, it's just this weird thing I'm doing," I continued. He was silent, as he continued filling a container with ice from the fridge door thingie. I felt self-conscious because I remembered that most people aren't all shrink-n-psychiatric drugspeak as are most of my closest buds. "So, I'll be switching to something else sometime soon," I finished. "Hm-hm," he acknowledged. Changing the subject, I said, "Hey, did you see the quarter inch reel-to-reels and DAT I put on the couch in your [recording] studio?" I asked. "Yeah, I did see that," he replied. We chatted a bit about that, then he gave me the empty Burt's Bees lip balm tin to refill with the whole cloves he's such a fan of and that I keep in stock. We have a mutual high school teacher who introduced us to the wonders of whole cloves as a natural and convenient breath freshener and, quite frankly, snack for the nervously chompy. They're also strangely healthy. 

 I cry about Tom several times a day now. But I also often feel him or the memory of him beckoning me to feel better. Like, for example, I was watching YouTube today, and I felt him telling me to watch a clip of "Say No More/Nudge Nudge", a ridiculous Monty Python thing he liked so much but I thought was perfectly dorky to the level of being almost unfunny. I went right from crying about him to smiling and even chuckling a bit throughout the 4 minute segment. Tom was always about playing, and that's what the angels and study of Law of Attraction focus on – ever lightening and brightening our spirit to higher levels. The closer we get to God/Spirit/Heaven, the less pain, sadness, and sorrow there are. So, it would be fitting that if I'm feeling sad (even out of healthy grief, one which my shrink-chyk tells me will take two whole solid years), it would be a spiritually beneficial move to get to a chipperer place. But, I also wholeheartedly reserve the right, and very much often strongly need to, sob my diaphragm completely out. It feels good. And it also makes me feel closer to Tom. Although, I must admit not as close as being playful does. Crying makes me think I'm getting closer to Tom, but feeling good makes me know he is near to or here with me.

 The movie Ghost comes to mind a lot when I think of Tom during these times. When I get into my head thoughts with my intellectual atheism, and I feel silly for being "weak" and wanting to connect with his spirit, I just remember that as in some scenes in that movie, what if, just what if he's around me (as I so often have heard spiritual mediums say our loved ones are after they've left their bodies here) and desperately wanting me to hear or sense him, and I'm too busy putting up psychic walls of disbelief? No, I don't want that. I remain convinced that the time I lived with him and did so much study of spiritual mediumship and channeling and meditation were preparing myself to be available to him. We were so engaged with one another when we discussed these things, and I felt very honored to hear about the two times he had out-of-body near-death experiences. No, I don't want to close myself off to him now, just because he's now only available to me in spirit form. Nothing has changed in our relationship except how we love each other. He's still there for and supportive of me in several ways and I want to be the same sweet and nurturing girl he fell in love with four years ago. I am very grateful to have had his kind of love and have reached a place in my life where I allow myself whatever I wish to make me feel good about myself.

 

 

5) LOVE LOVE LOVE (INCLUDES HIGH QUALITY BOOTKNOCKERY)

I've been very blessed in that I've had a very easy and abundant time attracting what I used to call soulmates and am now calling travel mates, partners, lovers, and muses. I read a very interesting article by a psychologist about the futility of seeking to create lasting soulmate relationships. The idea was that when people seek soulmates, when they inevitably run into problems in their relationship, they think they're not soulmates, and they part ways to try again with new soulmates. I think that's a good point, but I always have always maintained we have many, many soulmates, some including our own parents, children, and pets. Every relationship is different and if it's a strong one in which you are both learning major life lessons together, I believe you've probably lived at least one other life together and are here again to finish yet another beautiful chapter.

 I wasn't interested in any romance or bootknockery (high quality or otherwise), for a while after Tom passed away in March 2013. My relationship with Main Squeeze ended around January (although we are still very good friends and for example have talked twice in the last four days or so – we will always be close, and seeing his good relationships with his exes was one of the reasons I fell in love with him – now I'm one of those good friend exes!), and the last time I saw Tom was in February. Not to be unsubtle but lets just say I haven't had partnersex since January. I have been in need of a tune-up since then, but when Tom died all systems not unjustifiably crashed. But in the last couple of months I've been curious enough to start reading personal ads and picture myself back in the dating pool again. Actually, not the dating pool. I don't suppose I really date. I go on a mission, I find, and I'm in a relationship. A couple of months ago I started imagining myself going shopping again.

 So, I put it out there.

 Tom always wanted me to have more sex. I'll never forget a conversation we had on our first date. I was sitting in his pick up truck, wearing, most importantly, a mini-skirt with complete freedom and unencumberment underneath (the renaissance negresse is nothing if not an advocate of freedom and unencomberment), We were holding hands in a surprisingly tender and innocent way. It would be difficult to convince anyone we were falling in love then, but we were. I said, "I don't have a very high sex drive." I wanted him to know that even though I "looked good on paper" and he seemed obviously into me, that I didn't want to be expected to keep up with what so far seemed to be a very high expectation of action on his part. In short, the man was brangin' it, and to tell ya the truth, I think I was a little scared of his potent masculinity and sexual desire. He was such a MAN!!

 Anyhoo- when I said that "low sex drive" thing, he just held my hand tenderly, looked me in the eyes, smiled, and as if I had announced I had Sickle Cell Anemia or something, almost with pity, said, "Oh, no, no, no." Like, "No, that's not right. That can't be right. We're going to have to do something to fix that." I think he saw my sexual potential, and I had been wanting someone to do that. We started living together pretty soon after that, and he said, "I want to turn you into a wanton woman." And he did. He always wanted me to have a lot of pleasure, even if wasn't with him.

 I asked him once why he wasn't threatened by my occasional involvement with other men. He said, "Because they have nothing to do with me." He was so friggin' confident in that way, but I'm sure it was because he could feel my commitment to and passion for him. We loved each other and that was a base from which we could move freely and enjoy other relationships.

 After he died, he sent me lovers. I turned them away, because I wasn't ready. But when I was ready, I asked him to send me someone. One persun. I asked for someone like him, Who had many of the traits I so loved about him – a voice I loved, sexual compatibility that was off the chain (or off the hook or whatever the kids are saying this week). And I asked the universe to send me someone who could help me grow, as a woman and as an artist. That has happened.

 I don't know how long it will last, but being that I'm just about enjoying the present moment, and being that we haven't had our first date yet, I'm not really applying any significant pressure on the situation. Just observing and feeling the happy and lusty and healthy love feelings.

 It's significant to me that it's been 9 months since I shagged another humyn, being. A period of gestation.

 

6) DEALING WITH ADDICTION

Food addiction is a part of my life, and some form of addiction has almost always been a part of the lives of my previous lovers. It's always been interesting to me to see how we use our addictions – some use for comfort, and some as self-sabotage or painful punishment. I've learned to accept I have these issues and attract others who have them, too. I've used food to create a wall between myself and others who are attracted to me. I can remember two specific dates in which I literally ate myself away from someone potentially very special. One was a woman I met at a ceremony at which I and others were being celebrated for having won an award. She called me a few days later and we went to a hip Japanese fusion restaurant. She was really cute and smart and interested in me and it was the last thing that freaked me out, when combined with the first two. I ordered plate upon plate of sushi and was wholly committed to stuffing my face and making less and less eye contact with her as the date went on. I could feel myself floating away to a safe distance (why did she like me anyway? Couldn't she see how messed up I was? It's so annoying when people just see The Star. I wished she hadn't seen me at my best. It was too much to live up to.), and I could see her becoming more and more frustrated at my increasing refusal to really connect with her. When the date ended, I had truly succeeded in pissing her off and I got my wish when I hoped I'd never hear from her again.

 The second time this happened was when one of my dear male friends with whom I'd shared an ongoing mutual crush asked me out to see a movie. I brought Chinese food with me (plus a couple of burgers to wash it down with), and proceeded again to have more of a date with the food and the movie than with him. Because he was my friend to begin with, he is still my friend now, and I still think we will someday have a go at it.

 I don't know what the formula is for me to have a relationship with someone these days. I do think there's something about addicts that I'm drawn to for various reasons. Narcotic addicts are too sweet for this world. Their spirit is very attractive to me. I view them as being too gentle for the harshness of this earth plane. That's why they always need to "get away" with those drugs. Alcoholics are often distant emotionally, and this distance, while often painful for me, feels very safe, because I have intimacy issues. Also, I have huge fears of abandonment, and if people can't create true intimacy (as no active addict can – can they?) then they can't really get close to me, and if they can't get too close then they can't really leave or hurt me. At least that's what I used to think. But I don't think that anymore, because my Tom had some addiction issues, and we did love each other, addictions and all, and his leaving me, in death, has done a number on me. I do feel it. We did get close and intimate.

 So, this gives me hope. Since Tom's passing, I no longer feel that I, as the imperfect addict, cannot have true intimacy with the other addicts I love.

 I've loved food addicts(1), cutters/self-mutilators(2), obsessive-compulstives(2, possibly 3), and I'm pretty sure all my lovers have had the same issues with depression as I have – with at least one also having a couple of manic episodes from time to time.

 I'm so happy to feel I can be in love in a healthier way than I thought I could before. I'm really happy I learned to accept my love for Tom, just the way he is, and know he loved me just the way I am, and that his love, addicted or not, was completely valid. Love is love is love is love. And I deserve it all. We all do, whether we struggle with addiction or not. So many of us do, and it would be very sad indeed if we carried on believing we were any less worthy or capable of loving because of our challenges in this area.

 

7) GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN UPDATE

I received a $100 donation yesterday which allowed me to just now put in the mailbox the $81.36 monthly fee for my storage unit. Such a load off my mind! I'm including my GoFundMe Campaign link here (http://www.gofundme.com/3ik8b8) for those of you who wish to continue to contributize to my various costs of vivar (living in Cassendre-speak, or perhaps it's actually correct Espanol?). You may not see that donation because it was made directly to my bank account. For those who prefer to give offline, you may send a check or money order payable to: Cassendre Xavier, 4530 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143. I also have a mightily convenient Paypal account, visit www.paypal.com, go to "Send Money" and send to cxmusic(at)gmail.com - remove the (at) and replace with @. Otherwise, simply use the GoFundMe link to contribute to my Megabus Tour, which leaves Thursday October 10th for Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I'll be until October 28th. I am a-seekin' house concerts so please do hit a sista up iffn' such an idea striketh your fancy. (References are available.)

 

8) RENAISSANCE NEGRESSE CATALOG

a) 6 CDs of live and studio music (2002-2009/Serious Creature Music): http://cdbaby.com/all/cassendre

b) 2 albums to download at iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/CXiTunes

c) CXTV- the official CX YouTube channel: http://tinyurl.com/CXYouTube

d) Book – Expanding Your Capacity for Joy: A Raw Vegan Comfort Book, Sourcebook & Journal (2009/ARtivist Publications), sold at Essene Market & Café (Philadelphia) and Arnold's Way Raw Vegetarian Café & Educational Center (Lansdale, PA).

e) Ebooks – Expanding Your Capacity for Joy (see above), and This is What a Millionaire Looks Like (Essays) available at http://ARTivistPublications.homestead.com or email cxwriting(at)gmail.com

f) Inspiring or humorous daily writings: http://cassendrexavier.blogspot.com, http://facebook.com/cassendrexavier

g) Wisdom Magazine online edition articles: http://tinyurl.com/CXWisdom

h) Amethyste's Ink inspiring cardstock stationery and postcards: Send a business-sized SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) for sample: Cassendre Xavier, 4530 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143-3507.

i) Archives of Cassendre Xavier museletters (including "Me! Me! Me!"): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cassendrexavier or http://cassendrexavier.blogspot.com.

 

 

Thank you for being my priceless audience – for your continued support of my art/work, and therefore life. I appreciate YOU!

 

 

Sincerely in art and community,

 

Cassendre Xavier

(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)

musician,writer,actress,fine artist

Founder & Director of the Black Women's Arts Festival

http://BWAFphilly.homestead.com

Founder of the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series

http://WomensWritingSeries.homestead.com

Main website: http://cassendrexavier.com

 

 

 

© 2013 by Cassendre Xavier. All rightzen reservanitzkhen. Never let it be said!

 

 

Permission to reprint, but not sell, any or all of this article, provided the following title and link are included: "renaissance negresse museletter & catalog, by Cassendre Xavier, October 7, 2013. For more info, please visit http://cassEndrExavier.com"