Downtown, under the shadow of the skyscrapers, a man walked towards me. I was 70% sure he was going to ask me for money—he had a look of desperation.
“How ya doing?” he called out.Read More
I am minding my own business at the new Yeti Flagship store, washing my hands when WHAMMM!
I slam my elbow into the side of a wall.
“Ouch.” I grab my elbow.
“Oh no, I’m so sorry. That hurts so much,” says the kind woman next to me.
I feel my eyes watering.Read More
I live by the Texas State Capitol, and the Austin marathon encapsulates my neighborhood. On race days, I stay put or walk instead of drive. But last month, I was teaching a class and I had to find a way out. I inched towards 15th street, hoping I could get to the highway. I spotted a clump of spectators with signs, yet cars were on the street. I got closer and saw the tail vehicle behind the final runner.Read More
Cruise goal #1: Connect with crew. For the first time ever, I cruised as a passenger. I worked for Carnival out of college and never sailed as a guest. While on board, I made a special friend and he shared his daily schedule:
“Around 3 O’clock, I take in a coffee.” His words stuck with me. In Spanish, people say “Tomar el café”, or “take in” coffee. Also, contextual to a cruise, “to sunbathe” uses the same verb with “tomar sol.” Apparently, French and Hindi have similar translations: a more purposeful “taking in” of sorts.Read More
This morning I see a child on the early side of toddler, snuggled like a well-placed puzzle piece in his daddy’s arms.
He smiles at me, reaches out with one arm, as if I will be a wonderful new discovery. I reach back…
From behind the wrapping paper doorway, I saw the glow of the Christmas tree lights and I knew magic awaited. My parents, in their genius, “wrapped us kids in” so we would not peak for Santa or packages until it was time. We’d sit by the paper like meowing, hungry cats, pretty much pawing for the unveil. When it was time, we’d burst through the paper like linebackers at the big game. BAAM!Read More
I CANNOT live my life like I eat nachos. They are one of my favorite foods, and I should enjoy EVERY bite. Instead, I’m always looking ahead: “Look over there, that one has the most cheese potential.” I don’t fully chew a bite before plotting my next one.
Further confession: it’s worse when I share nachos. Certainly in “real life” I want others to enjoy the good stuff too. But I’m selfish with this particular tex-mex meal. I want to pay attention to “my favorites” in life, and not be too focused on the “the next” and miss the present. Therefore, I write this corn chip confession...Read More
If I’m honest—really honest—I’m afraid of cooking a turkey. It’s not about the worry of something tasting bad; that’s a whole other article of vulnerability. No, it’s that sack of guts that lives inside the turkey. Some turkeys don’t even have it in a sack. You have to be a pilgrim or pioneer and go in there blindly. I SHUDDER.
Something—no, everything—about this sack of guts grosses me out. I try not to think about it. But something in this “small” moment of fear seems relevant. Let’s dig into these past weeks.Read More
My brother’s costume idea confirmed it: Joshua was a kid genius. He was probably ten and declared, “I’ll dress up as Frankenstein and you girls can take turns being Igor.” According to him, we would have the opportunity to push Frankenstein door-to-door in the wagon. My twin Rachel and I were actually excited about this idea. Some adult must have stepped in...Read More
Last month, Oprah, Will Smith and Stephen King were all in DC. Our Nation’s Capital powerhoused the National Book Festival and the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture: big people and big moments. However, true to Brave Tutu, I’m going to focus on a small striking moment: a kid with a self-made cape. This child ignored stretching lines for famous authors like Katherine Patterson and Salman Rushdie. Instead, he laughed and laughed, chasing his friend as the red power source flowed behind him.Read More
This September many celebrated Roald Dahl’s birthday, the famous author would have been 100. I reread his book, The BFG, and knew I needed to share—Brave Tutu style—how Dahl’s words make me look up from my everyday life. Small moments with his small character Sophie took me into memories of family road trips. I remembered my Mom reading us the book and as the Texas terrain slowly passed by, I imagined I had a giant friend that let me ride on his ear as we galloped across entire countries. This possibility felt palpable. My hopeful imagination blurred the lines between dreams and reality.Read More
Real talk, last week I was excited to wear my UT sundress and cowgirl boots. It was Labor Day weekend, and no part of me thought I would get into THE opening football game: University of Texas vs. Notre Dame. Amidst the Austin tailgates, I couldn’t wait to surf the sea of burnt orange, smell the BBQ and hear the roar from the stadium.Read More
MISSION: Find and eat the sugar cubes! As kids, we spent HOURS playing church hide and seek. To be fair, we felt like finding sugar cubes was a simple extension of the game. Parish halls = coffee. Coffee = sugar. Simple math.
When were really young, sugar cubes were still a thing and our dad was a visiting minister. We had many new territories to explore.Read More
Lightening lit up the terminal. “We will load the plane in 15 minutes. When there is a break in the storm, we will be ready for takeoff.” I looked at my phone: the three-hour forecast showed 100% next to clouds with tiny bolts. I was 50% relieved and 50% terrified.Read More
At first, a 4th grader’s letter sat with me softly. Days later, I couldn’t shake his wisdom. This student wrote to Emily Dickinson regarding her poem “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” and shared: “At first, Ms. Dickinson, I didn’t know what to make of your poem at all.”*Read More
I was running late for work. In accordance with parking-late-law, that meant zero convenient spots. Up in the heights of the garage my green beetle climbed. Around each turn…Oh is that a spot? SMART CARS, you tease! Jumbo SUVs were in the compact car spots. I imagined they were embarrassed, jammed in and refusing eye contact. Ultimately, the Nissans and the Elements kept Forrest Gumping me— “this spot’s taken.”
I should have arrived earlier. “You do this to yourself, Rebekah.” My negative voice takes a microphone when I’m already frustrated. I got to the highest point in the parking garage and thought, “Great. Outside and it’s raining. No wonder.” I pulled in and grabbed my things. Just as I closed the car door, I looked up!Read More
I was honored when Austin Public Library wanted to interview me for their Austin Creates series on artists. I asked my twin sister, Rachel, how to introduce this post for a podcast. She wanted to take the lead...Read More
Last weekend, our Dad was rushed into the ICU, not for the first time. Two of my dearest college friends came to support me, also not for the first time.
“Bow, how is Brave Tutu going?” Amanda asked.
“Struggling. It’s hard to pump out positive, uplifting articles when my heart is feeling so low.”
“Bow, I don’t think Brave Tutu has to always be happy…”Read More
Last month, I had an out-of-town wedding with a warned “detour” I knew Siri’s map couldn’t handle. So I pushed the distance button, ate Skittles and kept my eyes peeled for a “Mueller Supply Co” marker at mile 16 and knew—I needed to turn back. However, there wasn’t a safe turn-around; I had to keep going.Read More