You don’t have to tell me.

You don’t have to tell me.
Every now and again I must check myself and attempt to remove the obtrusive spec from my tightly slanted eye(s). Being a Capricorn, a true Capricorn but that on-the-cusp stuff, I often engage or what others perceive as authoritarianism. I believe that my way is the best way and as history has shown, it usually is. Ok, there was that time that my car got flooded because I was out getting my hair done in a hurricane and the time I cracked my windshield trying to kill a bug, but whatever, I’m talking real stuff.

Disappointment is right around the corner, we all know that, but when it runs into you or you into it, who’s sadder? These people I know have, what I term a SER (side-eye relationship). Every time someone asks me about it, I must SE to keep from uttering negativity and yes, I’m well aware that is an unG-dly behavior and I’m working on it, hence this post. Sardines and Ice Cream is what I call them and yes, like their namesakes, they – in my opinion – do not go together either. I don’t care for Sardines, never have, so as you can imagine, that makes it all the more easier and justifiable (my world) to try to tweeze out the spec. But today, I went inward and saw or I attempted to see things from Sardines perspective and I think Sardines is probably full of disappointments. Disappointment in all the things they can’t do for Ice Cream. But here’s the thing, at some point, when does a person have to take responsibility for the change or lack thereof that they desire? True, I am not there 98 percent of the time but that 2 percent leaves a whole lot to be desired. I reflected on this today when Ice Cream was being tended to by Mountain Spring. I stated, out loud and critically something about Sardines not being around or expecting them to be around, something like that and then it hit me; did I really need to throw salt in the wound? Yup cuz Sardines is quite frankly, lazy and I can see that with, without and around the spec. Observation, not judgment or criticism. All that withstanding, I’m sure Sardines feels a profound sense of failure and disappointment in regards to Ice Cream and probably vice versa but you know I don’t care for Sardines, so not really feeling sympathetic BUT I’m working on my spec. I, by no means want anyone to be what I want them to be, no. What I want is for them to be involved, active, engaged, anything that will effect change for their betterment not my own. I now see Sardines with more compassion. I imagine it is quite a heavy burden to carry but why stumble around in the dark when you have the power and means to turn on the light?

Creatively and Openly Insane

Anyone who is creative and honest with themselves will tell you, it is hard being a genius. No, I’m not full of myself nor do I have an inflated ego. Being creative comes with a unique set of challenges that most find, irritating. For me, the insanity is the drought season. Oh, I have plenty to say and write about but for some reason when I’m done, it’s not to my liking. A chef will slowly add seasonings, careful not to overdo it, less they be left with something too salty, sweet or worse, downright inedible.

When I have pen to paper or fingers to keys, I chuckle about the struggles of Mozart, Beethoven, Michaelangelo and Michael Jackson; I can only imagine what that creative insanity looked like but I totally get the passion. Some may think I’m a flake, not serious about my craft because I go for extended periods of time without writing. Writing is a daily presence for me, it is the sharing that drives me insane. See, sharing requires acknowledging and accepting a certain level of vulnerability and let’s be honest, vulnerability isn’t high up on the list of things to do, but do it we must. I struggle with vulnerability. As an artist I’m sensitive about my ish and as such leery of sharing but hiding ones light under a bush creates nothing but a brush fire. Some will get and accept it, some won’t and it’s all good, as long as your light is shining it’s not for everyone to see. I think I need to go to hoarders anonymous, I hoard my talent/gift, plenty of people do and it’s all because we either can’t be or won’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

Jesus was vulnerable. Can’t get any more vulnerable than naked on a cross and yet there he hung, praying for those who hung him. Yeah, I’m not there…yet. I understand the need for and appreciate what being vulnerable can do for myself and someone else. Dr. Maya Angelou (God rest her soul) said “If you get, give. If you learn, teach.” Well, I’ve been given much and gave a lot. I’ve learned much but haven’t taught as much as I should. Teaching requires a certain level of vulnerability but the result is a light that shines bright for the whole world to see.

I must remember that what was given to me was done so that I might give it away. So glad we aren’t known for brush fires in VA.

Believe it or not, sometimes, it’s not all about me.

Yes, I said it. SOMETIMES being the key word. My fellow scribes will understand when I say, the things we write about aren’t always a reflection of our own lives. I interact with more people than I can count and some of the experiences I hear about inspire me to make it about them and their experiences. With the use of cell-phones and people so matter-of-factly blurting all their business out for the entire world to hear, if it’s out there I’m using it and there’s not too much you can do about it. I don’t particularly care to hear your baby daddy, mama, job, family drama, meetings, plans. You ’bout to be’s, finnin’ to do’s or anything else but just remember. No one owns the air in between me and you. This is an excerpt from my book. A monologue I wrote and performed when trying out for play.

No one, wants to be like me.
No one.

No one wants to be a
Complicated, implicated, Miss, Ms, Mz-understood cause of erection affection. No one.

No one wants to be
Despised, disregarded, discarded – like the bed of the flightless voyager

With all my accolades, honors, glory, fame and fortune – STILL, No one wants to be like me – unless I’m HBO – Halle, Beyonce, Oprah

Like air seeping in, you allow me to blend into that melting pot – NOT meant for me

The flash of your dingy yellows and beaded lens do not blind me from the shadows of your liked pretend being

No one, wants to be like me
But ain’t it funny (ain’t it funny)
That you want me
When you had me
At the very beginning when I was paying my due
Politely placarded with your statistical demographic labels
Ring the bell, your comeuppance is served
Eat, Drink and be Merry
For the end draws near for you and your kind who wish no part of me and mine

No one wants to be like me – unless I’m that ONE on TV; M, A or B
Unless my name is heard across the waves of radio and air
Unless my skin turns within and you see you in me – Then and only then is my position regarded

He and I, we’re the same – grown from the split – your favoritism – Can you admit?
Him – you grapple around in the dark for – clinging to his every word
Me – you turn on all the lights – let the critical examination begin, shamefully, I look away and cough
As I attempt to swallow this dose of fertilized reality and face the fact that NO ONE wants to be like me

No one.

Not even me.
©2003 Thread for Mending a Broken Soul

The Spirit of Liberty

I wrote this to fulfill the requirement of my application essay. Had never heard of this Justice or this speech but I must say, it did get my Medulla Oblongota racing. Give a listen/read…

Judge Learned Hand dispenses broad generalizations and takes liberties with labeling America’s people as adopted. I wonder if he was inspired by fellow officer of the court Francis Scott Key when he decided to address a crowd with such prophetic yet exclusionary words. He remarks that “some of us have chosen America as the land of our adoption.” He made these remarks in 1944, years before anything remotely resembling Liberty would come the way of the Negro, Colored, Black, Afro-American, African American or whatever label the Spirit of America decides to cast upon.

Chosen implies that the participating party was given an option, multiple choice selections of where they wanted to spend their days. How egregiously presumptuous of him to think that people who were forced into hard manual labor, held against their will and deprived of their right to leave as well as those soon to be precious “unalienable rights” would somehow “adopt” the very land where the Spirit of Liberty has never nor will ever exist. From slavery to reconstruction to Jim Crow to Civil Rights, we have witnessed the Spirit of Liberty at various levels by those who profess to uphold constitutions and laws, administering it all in the courts. The Negro, Colored, Black, Afro-American, African American has witnessed this very Spirit of Liberty in “a society in which men recognized no check upon their freedom… and freedom is the possession of only a savage few.” I’m quite certain that on that proud “I AM an American Day” amongst the thousands of people who gathered in that park, there were those who felt excluded, abandoned, deprived and emasculated by the very adoptive/foster parents and siblings before them. Where was Liberty and how deep was it buried in their hearts to allow such hate, vile and discontent to be tolerated? How laughable it is that while he may have been considered a defender of civil liberties that he could so callously think to group people into two categories; Some and Rest. “Some of us have chosen America… the Rest have come from those of use who did the same.” America is a melting pot and Most of those here are so by choice to exercise their God fearing belief, escape religious persecution or seeking a better way of life. Some have come from those who did the same. The Rest, well that’s debatable because who back then, considered the Rest?

I disagree with his notion that we should not “rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws, and upon courts” because the foundation upon which those things are built lies deep within men and women. Men and women who are fallible, opinionated and biased; believing in nothing and something. Men and women who toil away day after day to make sure that some, most, all of America’s adopted and foster children feel the same Spirit of Liberty as her birth (read… indigenous) children. But then again, her birth children would disagree, but as the old saying goes, there’s nothing like family. To say that “Liberty lies within the heart” alludes to the notion that it is a divine right, innately bestowed by the Creator. If that is true, then the question begs to be asked; if Christ died for our sins, to give us in fact, Liberty. Judging by today’s society, was it Fairness and Justice that hung beside him?

Ribs (Broken; no slaw, no sauce)

In preparation for Lent; a free mind is a wonderful thing!

“I’m all right, I’m all right
It only hurts, when I breathe”
(Melissa Etheridge)

When I first heard this song, I could sing along with it after just that initial hearing. The imagery really made my brain pulse. Aside from grunting out those last few reps at the gym or that silent (you’re mother popped you so hard that the audible reaction is trapped deep between your vocal chords and the part of the brain that allows you to react) cry; we don’t have to think about breathing. I imagine, just based on my own analysis of the lyrics and earthly application and interpretation, that those who commit suicide must feel this way. One theory I have is, since breathing is controlled by the brain, it must be something in the brain causing undue ache on the respiratory system. Burdens, ideas, thoughts, memories, responsibilities, fears, failures, achievements, slurs, anything negative or positive, etc.,, that the brain can hold on to can put pressure on us, making it difficult to breathe.

Free your mind and the rest will follow (En Vogue). Freedom, the way to it is often difficult and lengthy. But if one could somehow ease the difficulty along the journey, why not take it? The bible talks a great deal about confession and how doing so will set you free. We all, believers and non-believers need to confess and we do, just not enough. Confess means “to bemoan something by the wringing of the hands” and also “to throw away.” Most of us, when worried, concerned or preoccupied with a matter, often complain (bemoan) about it and demonstrate our frustrations by positioning our arms/hands in various positions (wringing of the hands) until we realize that whatever is troubling us is either beyond our control or nothing can be done about it at that particular time so we move on (throw away). If you’re a decent person, and I know those who read this are :), your conscience prods you to confess, regardless of how big or small the offense/issue. Confession isn’t always about the big things either – stealing, lying, cheating, killing. No, confession is, as I apply it, saying/acknowledging anything that would weigh you down. Example – losing a job can cause one to feel a great deal of shame and guilt. That shame and guilt can lead to depression, which can lead to feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness because it’s so hard to get back up when life has knocked you down. Instead of asking for help (confessing that you need help, that you feel how you feel, have a right to feel the way you feel and throwing our hands up and saying enough!) we, in proper military fashion, put our feelings/actions to bed with all the corners and edges tightly tucked in, ensuring nothing escapes.

Did you know that it is said that after age 30 your brain shrinks? So, if you’re over 30, you’re responsibilities, actions, feelings, etc., have increased and now the place you store them is getting smaller. Are you a candidate for Hoarders? I wholeheartedly believe in the phrase “getting something off your chest” because the rising and falling of the chest (outside of machine assisted) is the indication that one still has natural breath. So while you still have breath, get those things off your chest and mind. Yelled at someone at the light, in anger, called someone a name or wished something bad upon them and felt bad afterwards? Apologize. You may or may not be able to apologize in person (but if you can, you should try) but you put it out there. You acknowledged that maybe you didn’t handle it the way you would have liked or said something in anger that you shouldn’t have said. Having trouble meeting your responsibilities, having marital, financial or family difficulties?, tell someone. Don’t trust anyone enough?, then say them out loud (God and the universe won’t judge you, tell your business, look at you funny or think less of you). Sit in the car, go in the closet, bathroom or anywhere you can be alone and just spill your guts and get it off your chest and mind. Free your mind so it will no longer hurt when you breathe.

“So tell me what you want to hear
Something that will light those ears
I’m sick of all the insincere
So I’m gonna give all my secrets away”
(One Republic – Secrets)