Tag Archives: life

My Niggah

Two Boys on Tracks, San Marcos

“Whut up, my niggah!” Came the boisterous greeting from Carl to his best friend from Kindergarten as he approached him. He gave his friend the once over, studying his oversized, worn sneakers, baggy jeans held by a tight belt, that seemed to swallow his thinly framed friend, as the jeans were bigger than the present-day, Hip-hop fashion commanded, and his oversized Cross Colour ® shirt, a Hip Hop clothing design which became popular in 1989, appeared weathered. The once vibrantly multi-colored, stripped shirt was now faded.  “Guess you wearin’ yo’ big bro’s old clothes again!” He laughed, still holding his friend’s hand, from “slappin’ fives”, and sliding into held fists, which remained at chest height. Carl’s eyes made it to his friend’s hair, and then Carl made a quick jerk from the hand embrace. He brought his released fist to cup his lips and he yelled, “Yooooooo! What da fuck dey did to yo’ tape, man?!” He cackled out, stomped his feet as if he meant to march away, but was suspended by a turnstile as he made a full 360° turn while dancing and chanting in synchronized march step. He looked at his friend and repeated, “Whut dey did to yo’ tape, niggah?! Dey fucked you up!” He seemed to press hard upon the word, ‘fuck’, as he held that word longer than the any other word in his query. He reached up to his friend’s forehead, where his hairline was crooked, and half of it was  ¼ of an inch further back from his natural hairline, proving that his barber was either blind or inept. Carl bent over in a belly laugh, not realizing the hurt he had imposed upon his too-shocked-to-speak friend.

“Mannn, shuddup!” Bernard muttered, grossly embarrassed and looking around as if he’d find the perfect hole to crawl into. He touched his hairline with his right hand, and palm brushed his curly hair down, as if that would correct the injustice done to it. He pushed past his friend, more angrily now, than hurt, to continue his walk to the school house. His old backpack slouched on his right shoulder, forcing his body to lean towards the left as he stalked away. His step hipped-hopped on his left leg, as was the “cool walk” of the day, taking full steps with his left, and shorter ones of his right leg. Looking at him, one couldn’t tell if that was due to the weight of his book bag, or his natural walk. Either way, his pride was tethered to that walk, which gave the perception that it did not bother him that he was lacking what he thought was essential to a successful life at school. If his mom didn’t stop trying to cut his hair, and he didn’t get some new clothes soon, his life at Miramar Elementary School would be hell. He’d have no respect, and worse, no friends. He slapped his fist into his open left palm as he thought about what he could do to make money.

“Yo, B! Wait up, niggah. Don’t be mad at me!” Carl yelled as he ran after his best friend. It wasn’t his fault dude was coming to school all jacked up. At least he still hung out with him. And if he didn’t tell him the truth, he wouldn’t be a friend. Bernard should be lucky that he still hangs out with him even though he comes to school looking like his people must be poor as fuck. He put his arm around his friend’s neck aggressively, although to show affection. “Chill out, niggah.” He beckoned, but more to show his familiarity, “We fam, niggah. Don’t get all all soft on me, nah.” He shook his pal’s neck as if that would shake off the hurt he realized Bernard was feeling.

The boys traveled two more blocks south in silence. They continued their way down to NW 2nd Avenue; their destination, 30th Street, to wait on the school bus scheduled to pick them up from behind Buena Vista Elementary School. As they passed by LaFama Supermarket on 31st Street, Carl turned to Bernard who by now was in better spirits and said, “Man, I’m hungry.”

The smell of Cuban coffee and fresh pastries filled the air. One could also get a whiff of buttered Cuban toasts and bacon. The bakery café right next door to La Fama served breakfast and dinner at the same time. Cubans ate anything at any time. They even had chicharrones, pork cracklings, right next to the pastelitos de guayaba,  pastelitos de guayaba y queso, and pastelitos de carne-the three main staples of Cuban pastries, in the pastry warmer which also contained empanadas de carne, and croquetas de jamón.

Carl fell from formation and faced the bakery. The sunrise cast a brilliant yellow light upon the otherwise pre-dawn dim of light. Workers and moms packed the outside window, and inside, a row of hungry worker men sat in the narrow café, which only had a foot of standing room between the wall, and from behind the men who sat on stools.  “Niggah, you deaf?! Let’s go, man. I’m hungry!” He started towards the café.

“But I don’t-“ Bernard started.

“Niggah, shut up. I already know yo’ ass ain’t got no money! Let’s go. You know you hongry!” And with that, he grabbed his best friend by the collar and dragged him towards the café until Bernard resolved that, that’s what they were doing at this moment-getting something to eat.

And Bernard conceded that, his friend was a jerk, but at least he looked out for him.

 

 

Image by Richard Menzies, at http://rdmenzies.com/Photography/

Numb.Dumb.

Am I numb or dumb?

The question is valid. One term does not negate the other.

Numb to your words-swords wielded to hide, abide, impose a belief, a lie.

Dumb to what is real, ideal, what you reveal, in every breath of your life.

Numb to what I should feel, what you steal like your ancestors taught you.

Dumb to what I deserve, what you serve, your nerve, to observe me

Numb to what ought not be, us, you and me, makes no sense in any reality

Dumb to what ought to be, queen, me, king, you, seeds, us, royalty

Numb to pain, gain, freedom, slain, heartbeat, sustains, life maintains

Dumb to loss, the costs, the contracts, the con, the tracts, bad deals, intact

Numb to love, hate, fear, fate, possibilities mate, lovers abate

Dumb to what’s left in the wait, bait, a date, to relate, my choice to vacate

Numb to reality, real lie, spy, cry, die, deceive, receive, a pile, of bile

Dumb to levels, degrees, merits, values, assets, carbon, magic, cosmic channels

Numb to justice, it’s just…us, what is just is, just is, nothing

Dumb to pockets, dockets, sockets, holes, deepening the space of where carbon molds

Numb to you, inflated glob of goals, moles, trolls, roles, no soles, because you have no soul.

Dumb to yield, relinquish, power, my ore-my skull, my mind, mine

Numb to relation-ships, friend-ships, court-ships, owner-ship, rider-ship, space-ship-dumb shit

Dumb. Numb. Mum. Mute. Voiceless. Overlooked. Disregarded. Dumb. Numb.

 

Let it burn…

Image result for Fire represents

Winter solstice! People don’t usually know its significance. But each of us, are astrologically aligned to let things die, burn, and renew ourselves and situations for the better. This period astronomically marks the beginning of shortening nights and lengthening days. People celebrate with friends, families-things slow down, people indulge in good drink and food, lots of music and dancing, and of course, the burning of fire!

“Fire [is but one of our earthly elements, and] represents our passions, compulsion, zeal, creativity, and motivation (as in, “put a fire under it!”). The Element of Fire has great power for forging will and determination. It is our inner light as well as a living symbol of the Divine fire that burns in every soul.” Fire represents our motivations toward being better.

Fire is burned to illuminate and cleanse away bad energy. It is used ritualistically to get rid of anything which didn’t serve us during the year. People perform rituals to burn away bad karma, relationships, lack, disappointments, and make clear intentions towards what they’d like for themselves.

During this winter solstice, regardless of belief or religion, remember to clear your aura, environment, mind, energy, and body of toxins which doesn’t serve us. Let it burn!

https://www.buildingbeautifulsouls.com/symbols-meanings/five-elements-symbolic-meaning/fire-element-symbolic-meaning/

To love, self first

I had a conversation with an old friend today, about loving a person. We search for love in the most common places-never truly understanding all which it entails, or how we can really feel fulfilled by the love we seek. For anyone seeking love, know this-self first. It is easy to find “love”.  Later, you may find that that’s not what you had in mind. Some of us don’t know the difference between love and lust. The latter is short term. For deeper connections, you want the verb, that being, action oriented idea that the partner you find wants to build something meaningful with you.

Finding love must be intentional. However, to maintain a healthy balance, it must first be met with a centered starting place. And that is, a place where the love is radiating from self. Self care, appreciation, esteem, and knowing what you will and will not accept. We all have nuances of what we can accept from a partner. And yours and mine may be different, and that is okay. Know what your limits are-remind yourself of what your needs are. And do not compromise upon that. While there will be space to compromise in any relationship, there should be limits upon which you will not negotiate. For if you do, you’ll regret it later. Stay true to yourself, and remain open to learn and understand.

You are lovable, worthy of love and emotional balance. However, expecting another to balance you, or your love is delusional. One must find emotional balance by accepting and loving oneself first. Otherwise, you give what you do not have. What you’ll project, and yearn for, will come from a place of desperation and want. You, lacking in self love, can only give a burdensome version of need. It does not become you. The next time you feel like you need love, practice self love. Attract the love you want.

Self love practice:

  1. Tell yourself how much you love yourself.
  2. Languish in your hygiene and beauty regiments: Take extra care to focus on your bathing, lathering yourself; washing off the dark energy which has got you down; let your hands hold yourself and give gratitude for each part of you. Take time to lotion and oil your entire body afterwards-always in the direction towards your heart. If you wear make-up, take your time. Moisturize your face, stroking upwards. Smile all the while. Continue to tell yourself how beautiful is each inch of you.
  3. Dress in your best, flattering attire, depending on what your next move.
  4. Get a massage, or day at the spa. Get a manicure/pedicure.
  5. Go for a walk with yourself.
  6. Go out to lunch with yourself.
  7. Sit under a tree or sunbathe, or sit by the beach, replaying all your accomplishments. By the way, if you are at this point, you’ve accomplished much!
  8. Stay off social media. Just don’t check it.
  9. Declare to your friends and family that this is your, “Love on ME day”! (When your energy of attraction begins to flow, your phone may begin to go off-you’re doing it, attracting others with all this love energy; but don’t stop your vibe; disregard non-emergency messages and focus on self.)
  10. In between this meditation, repeat to yourself: I am love; I am ready to receive love; I deserve love. I am lovable. I love ME!

My 8-year-old self healed me last night

I saw the gleam in her eyes first. She was short, but her slender appearance made her seem taller. Her dark chocolate skin shone and the sun’s rays bounced off the glistening fine hairs on her arms. She was me. And I watched her with curiosity. At first, I didn’t realize it. It was the familiarity of her smile, her spirit, that drew me in.

I did not realize I was in a dream, alternate universe-even. And at the moment I recognized the little girl I was staring at, I thought I had surely died, and all my selves were coming together…

She spoke first. “I know you. You used to always visit my dreams. Did you come from New York?”

Then I remembered how I had always believed I would move to New York. Live in Manhattan. Make a lot of money. Live in a high rise with floor to ceiling windows with panoramic views of the city. I’d have three boyfriends. Wow. Had I failed in life? “No-no,” I stuttered, focusing back to the little girl. “You know me?” I looked at her questionably as I cautiously approached her.

“Yes.” She said, decidedly.

I looked around and passersby without faces hurried to their unknown destinations. Traffic ensued busily as normal. But the space between us was incredibly still.

 

As I studied my young subject with a deepening curiosity, it all came back.

 

I don’t remember being so confident at that age. I gasped at her-grief-stricken, and awed at the same time. I studied her smiling face, and tears welled up my eyes. My nostrils burned and flared for air, and my palms sweated.

 

My heart galloped, and my voice lost its musical notes to what seemed like its final sigh of epiphany. Of course! This is precisely the time before I was molested. This is the Me before my innocence was ripped from me-when I was trusting, shining and lovely. This was the brilliant little girl all the teachers loved. This was the one who dreamed of being a mermaid, a TV anchor, and Supreme Court Judge. This was the one who fantasized about feeding all the hungry children in the world, and find some kind of ecological way to end famine and drought.

 

“Ah,” Little Me said with a wisdom that mismatched her size, “I see you remember.” She walked up to me, and gently took my hand. Her gaze and sweet smile never leaving my face. She said, “I’m glad you remember. And I’m just here to remind you to let it go. It’s okay. All that has happened to us, has made you who you are. You are okay.”

Then, she guided me down the street of our familiar neighborhood, and continued talking, “I remember you” she said again. “You were so helpful. You would visit me in my dreams. And tell me to be strong. You told me that I would get through it. That I would be fine. You told me that, He may touch our physical body, but we are spirit. And He couldn’t touch that. Don’t you remember?”

The tears streamed down my face incessantly. I listened to Little Me in silence. We walked.

As she talked, I remembered Me-that Grace Jones-strong-Black-woman-with-the-Mohawk, look-alike, who would come talk with me in my dreams, give me strength each night that I had silently cried myself to sleep.

I stopped and turned to her, “I do remember,” I said quietly. “Wow. I do.” And I hugged myself so tightly.

Then, Oya, Yemeya and Oshun formed a ring around us. Their light was blinding, but I their warmth and love permeated my being. Captured by their pervasive light, we were absorbed by it, transforming into it, and pulsing in the love of light which now blanketed us, fusing us into one, turning us in the fire, that I now recognized as the sun. We had become the sun.

The light of peace. The light of love. The light of the Sun.

And like that, I was peace.

I was love.

I was the Sun.

I was whole again.

 

The Journey with Creativity

 

You called me, creativity

I’m here, creatively

You’ve called me

But I’m yours

Yours to mold, creatively

You were never alone

But felt lonely

You were never lacking

But felt cold

What did you seek?

Did you think I was absent?

I’ve watched you grow

I’ve watched you learn

I’ve watched you become

Me.

You are, me.

I am, you.

And together, creatively, our journey will never be,

Lonely.

Sabotaging your future with fear

I have several fears. Fear of success is not one of them-or is it? I have a fear of NOT succeeding. I have a fear of growing old without a husband/partner. I have a fear of being hated. I have a fear of letting my children down.  What I realized is that I live in my head. And the, “What if’s?” keep me from going for what I want. So, instead of relaxing, leaping towards my desires, I sit; I think; I think; I analyze; I rethink; then, I simply do nothing.  When I fail, I move on…I don’t make lemonade from the lemons. I drink tea.

But if you never fail, you don’t know what success looks like. Gurrrrrrl, you better make lemonade when you get lemons! 

This has become a slogan in help books, and to wellness gurus. Remember, I NEVER profess to be a guru, nor do I profess to be well. I do the best I can with whatever I get…I don’t always get lemons-which, by the way, aren’t bad…lemons cleanse, they’re full of antioxidants (I think), Vitamin C, and really keep my belly flat a midst my  round and voluptuous bottom. It also keeps my skin clear, and my insides detoxified (I think); remember, I’m no expert. So, I love lemons. It’s the rotten strawberries and rotten potatoes which I don’t know what to do with.  (Sidebar: You ever let potatoes go bad in your vegetable holder? It emits this slimy substance and stinks to high heaven! Now, try to make…potato juice! Ewww)

The lemon metaphor about making lemonade out of lemon, to signify making the best out of bad situations does not apply all the time. Hence, the potato juice. Sometimes, when life hands you rotten ass strawberries, and rotten ass potatoes, you need just duck.

…Oh, and don’t give up. That’s all. Never, ever, ever give up. That’s what the lemon metaphor is all about. We sabotage ourselves. We let go. We move on to something else. We forget about our dreams. Can you imagine waking up 30 years later still wondering, “What if?” Can you imagine being overwhelmingly disappointed in yourself because you realize: what people think matters not; failing is not a death sentence; having a husband is not the face of success; you WILL let your children down-we are not perfect; and accepting yourself is your only saving grace? 

Live your dream-literally. Today, I told my college students I could fly…that I fly in my dreams all the time. They laughed. And I asked them, if you could live life, as your dream, what then, would you fear?

Gurrrrrrrl! You betta make that lemonade!