Walking the Path: a New Blog on IsisStorm.com from the Multi-talented Jay Walker

31 Jan

Jay Walker, the first Isis Storm “Man We Love” blogger, is “reaching out to the world through his poetry, speaking on world issues and reflecting on all the aspects & events of his life and his art.”  His forthcoming book, “Where I’m Coming From is not a love letter to Rhode Island; it’s a declaration of the status of his emotional journey to the ultimate destination of peace, love & nakedness for all.”  Click here to learn more, read reviews and to order Walker’s latest release.

The Honor is Mine

Walking the Path, part I
A new blog on IsisStorm.com
By Jay Walker

PROVIDENCE, RI – One recent night, I was at AS220, ready to watch the Women of the World Poetry Slam®, when in walks Ms. Reza Clifton, co-founder of Isis Storm.  She sits next to me & tells me how happy she is to see me here, not only so that she can hang out with me but also so that she could share the news that she & Ms. Kalyana Champlain, the other co-founder, had just been talking about me & decided to make me the first man to blog on the IS website.  During the intermission, she insisted on buying me a drink; I had just started an indefinite break on alcohol, one of a few things I plan to avoid until I reach financial self-sustainability, so I asked for a ginger beer (no alcohol, just stronger than ginger ale).  She couldn’t get the bartender’s attention before the event organizers asked her to be a judge for the competition, so she told me to ask him to put my drink on her tab, referring to herself as “that girl Reza.”  When I was able to get his attention, I told him “that lady Reza” wanted to put it on her tab (Etienne’s my witness); I just couldn’t bring myself to call her a “girl.”

Every entry I’ve seen for the definition of the word “girl” references youth, lack of experience, of refinement & of maturity.  Now, I’m not calling these ladies old (in fact, I’m older than most of them) & they sho’nuff know how to let loose & have a good time, but don’t mistake that for lack of maturity or refinement.  They have a wisdom beyond their years & a presence that can be felt when any one of them enters a room, never mind the whole crew.  Indeed, every single person in this group must be referenced as at least a woman, if not a lady.

Reza is the fearless co-leader & the hardest working woman in RI, or so it would seem.  I don’t know how she does every single thing she does, especially since she doesn’t get paid for some of it.  As far as I know, her radio shows on BSR & WRIU are volunteer, & she uses her own money to put together some of the things Isis Storm does.  Kalyana, aka 5th Elament, is a dynamic presence striving to make a living solely off her art; she reaches out as an educator & is always performing in different venues.  When she takes the stage, she puts the show back in showmanship, at a time when it’s sorely needed in hip-hop.  J9 is a great mother, writer & activist, fighting for everything she’s got & winning the important battles.  B-Mor 7 has such an intensity in her performances & her lyrics, always striving to uplift the human spirit.  Michelle Cruz has a sound so distinctively hers, so sultry & seductive, yet approachable & comfortable.  I cannot speak highly enough of these women: Indigo, Michaelle, Monsurat, Nataly & the rest.  They have radio shows, books, CDs & are booking paid gigs left & right; they are reaching out to schools & communities; they are sustaining themselves financially, artistically & spiritually, at least to all outward appearances.

Furthermore, they have found each other, a collective of female artists who support each other through everything, without all the inner drama that can tend to tear groups like this apart; that’s so hard to do, especially when women are dealing with each other.  So often, women are taught to view each other as competition, so getting them together without things getting even the slightest big catty is rare; hell, I haven’t seen it done with groups predominantly male.   It’s been said that relatives have your blood, but family’s got your back; it’s no wonder then that they refer to each other as Storm sisters, because they come out to support each other every single time.  I’m such a huge fan; these women are the female version of everything I want to be & are doing everything I want to do.

So, here I am, the first male to be allowed to rep the Isis Storm … on a blog, at least.  It’s an honor.  I don’t know if they get how big an honor this is, to be associated with this group & its members.  I feel blessed that I can call them friends & colleagues & I’m touched to know they think equally highly of me.  I will give my best efforts to this blog, dedicating it to whatever issues I deem appropriate, whether the topic be women, art, media, community, family, health & wellness or just what I had for breakfast this week … y’know, as long as it’s relevant.  I just hope my words will do them justice … coincidentally, another lady.


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