She used to believe that the best and fastest way to excel in life was by hanging out with familiar minds, those who mirrored her passions, perspectives, profession, pities, prayers and preferred play. The reflections refracted and, for the better, so did she.
When I use the word, the name or term 'God' I am only referring to that bearded man, who dons a long stainless white cloak and ports a jeweled scepter or splintered cross upon his bloodied back. Those unforgettable effigies, soldered into the susceptible psyches of conformists and children drunk on wine, incense and bite sized chewy bread. Did Sister Mildred in fact exist or was that going to hell story all but a dream?
No, I no longer feed on the crumbs embedded in the beard of a judgmental old man. And as far as Goddesses go, how reminiscent. Terrific tales about deities, fairies dressed in the eminence of femininity alone. Pellucid maidens whose magnificent manes whisk at whim, in the holy wind, twirling amidst the stars of her own frequency. Such caricatures and fantastic fables bubble to the surface of mind whenever the heat intensifies from the rising fumes of doubt and fear. These wicked vapors corrode the joints of our skeleton and burn the joy of our spirit, those structures that hold us straight and build us strong. Let us all, men and women, reach for the emergency valve and stop the gaseous leak for it only reduces the wholly being to little but weak and meek.
With utmost consideration and respect to all, I humbly propose that to keep our minds sure and strong and our spirits joyfully open to one another we refer to the creator of the universe as simply 'Creator'. So, for example, the next time someone nearby sneezes... "The Creator blesses you". A bit long but less confusing.
A couple of days ago I posted this to my Facebook timeline, "It was another difficult day." Then I added, "Thank god." A few people reacted promptly with caring and supportive comments. Even though the first sentence that I wrote seemed to grab their attention more than the second, I realized how lucky I was to have people notice me, the way I was feeling. Or did they? Well, at that instant I was relishing the thoughtful attention and so, to acknowledge them, I reacted with a rather sad, supplemental snippet that described in more detail the type of 'road bumps' I had been facing. In other words, I re-characterized my response to correspond with the 'hang in there' type of reactions that I had so lovingly received.
Less than a day later I deleted my snippet (so to speak). I had found myself uncomfortable, twitching from a sense of guilt. We all have enough of our own stuff to deal with, right? I asked myself how could another person benefit by me adding to the stack of dilemmas that we all must face? In other words, was it really necessary for me to pile on more of the daily doo-doo, scattered on the streets of life? At that moment this dozing mind came alight with positive awareness and greater purpose. My sprite spirit swiftly took to the stand and spoke passionately into my mind's microphone, shaking them silly senses straight and still. It declared, "Hey buddy, we are here to exchange, remember? Enlighten, exalt one another. To truly participate on this magnificent mystery tour, we have got to share. God sings when we seek out the lessons of our brothers and sisters. So go ahead and re-paste your supplemental spiel. Undelete if that is truly the message you are trying to share. Otherwise, simply, let it be. (echo)".
Well, that just might not be a word-for-word account but it was the lyrical essence. I was tingling by how fast my autopilot kicked into action. In other words, I was glad that my instincts self-checked so quickly. Self-questioning is an important and inevitable process. Just like in most sport competition, rapidity is something to strive for. After all, the gift that we are given is time. There is no benefit to be rolling in lackluster mode. To be able to correct the navigation of one's day, like a sail boat that begins to blow astray, we must look to harness our philosophies, our principles of living and practice them diligently so that, when most required, adjustments come quickly and without drudge or resistance. Although the functional aspects of principles parallel the training of techniques used in basketball, tennis and so on, is not the most vital and rewarding game to master life itself?
Ultimately, I did choose to delete my add-on comment. Why? Because it was a distraction from what I initially intended, that which is my purest perspective. Every day is a gift. Like a blade of grass that must soldier all elements of weather, we are here to be challenged in order to grow to our fullest potential. This condition I accept and am unconditionally grateful for. No matter how one calls his day, easy, difficult, so-so, awesome, whatever... I am always grateful to the creator and so I lovingly reiterate, "Thank God."
Yesterday, a German/French woman in the neighborhood where I live called me 'Sauvage'. She said that the neighbors feel the same way about me because I do not socialize with them. Translation? I do not smoke, drink hard alcohol, gossip or eat animal flesh. There was no mistaking that she was trying to be condescending and 'get under my skin'. I must admit that it was a fascinating perspective and an incident that had me feeling wild, free, joyful and more than four decades younger.
One can only tremble and tear from the ground-shaking statistics that one out of three black males will go to prison in their lifetime.
Regarding young black males in America, years ago I had in-person, day-to-day experience with young black men from a charter high school basketball team in Texas. In short, over the course of one year, I discovered how the US government was not only ignoring them and their future but how their school administrators were intentionally doing so as well. The longer story involves misappropriation of government funds, facilities and resources. In other words, theft. If that injustice was not enough of a burden, out of the twelve players, approximately half came from 'broken' and/or physically abusive family situations. Their sunken spirits were in dire need of attention when I met them. Still, the relentless undertow of social, institutional, financial and familial pressures, that left them on the doorsteps of drugs, crime, joblessness and homelessness had not crushed their courage to imagine something better. Their hearts, however, continued to remain alight with god's desire to dream. They were very willing to learn, work and become positive contributors to society, if only given the chance. I am happy to say that they competed at the highest national level of high school basketball. Two even made it to the NBA! Unfortunately, the truth is that they were all tried far more off the court than on. These guys became my buddies and primary focus at the time. Even though I have lost touch with them, I frequently recall and cherish the sense of humility and purpose they gave me. No, they did and do not represent the upbringing of all young black males in America. I trust that some are offered more fertile ground. Then again, with statistics citing one out of three going to prison at some point in their life, this is not a matter for blind faith to lean on. Let us all consider the statistics and ask why.
Without questions there can be no answers.
Great vegetarian dinner at L'As Du Fallafel in the Marais!! Sat inside for the very first time. How exciting that was, especially with the heavy drizzle. Definitely well worth the extra coinage. The joint had a nice slightly cramped but neighborly NY vibe going too. Afterwards, walked down the street and grabbed a couple of baklava for 'take out'. Before I left, however, I got into a quick heated discussion concerning dry cheesecake. The cake that was on display looked delicious, sort of dry yet creamy too. It was cut in huge square chunks which kinda through me off a bit but also got me more curious. What kept me from swapping out my order, one of the baklavas for a chisel of CC, was me not know for sure about the texture. Somethings cannot be left to chance. I am very partial to dry, even extra dry if possible. Once a buddy and I drove all the way from Washington DC to Manhattan just for a slice of the gold. It was well worth it! We could have done without the car getting towed, however. Anyhow, tonight, this lady baker / owner misunderstood my questioning. She thought I was suggesting that her cheesecake was dry and thus no good. Right away, she made it clear that to her creamy is Queen. She acted as if I had insulted her family and was fully prepared to vehemently defend them and the reputation of her recipe. Well I just love someone who knows what they like and stand for. Certainly, she is absolutely correct in thinking that creamy is Queen. Needless to say, however, we all know that dry is King!
We were almost inside the city limits. The ride down from Brugge was going so smoothly, even in the rain, before we missed one critical exit. Suddenly our very large 2.8meter high van became engulfed in the fury of Friday end-of-day traffic. I had no idea what highway number we were on or how we were going to escape the claustrophobic clutch of cars, cars and more cars. We were making like escargot, slithering under a wet charcoal sky in a direction away from Paris. My eyes were fixed on the glow from the map on my GPS. "Not good. This is not good", I repeated. Still, whenever a salty situation like this begins to try and shake me, I always remember those who didn't make it to work on time on 911. I think about how frustrated they may have been because of traffic or whatever circumstance that caused their fortuitous delay. Perhaps it was a 'delay of destiny'. Perhaps the schedules we make and try to keep are ultimately foolish practices for when it comes to designing our day we are far from being the Master Planners we would like to imagine.
Well I have to go to bed now. It is late and I am tired. I just wanted to share with you this little nugget, how the road trip ended. We arrived to our destination, spot on schedule. In fact we managed our way quite nicely through the labyrinth of dimly lighted, narrow streets in the 'Marais'. A hip and active quarter of Paris where one has a better chance at seeing a unicorn than a parking spot, let alone one that can accommodate a mammoth sized van. Well, thanks to today's 'delay of destiny' a large car pulled out one half block away from our destination, exactly when we arrived, leaving us with a lot more than just a space and a smile....
Enjoy the Rid e~
When a person intentionally ignores another they are intentionally refusing their own spirit's existence. I am comfortable at accepting most everything that life serves me but this type of unloving behavior, no. I am committed to bringing attention to it when I directly or indirectly experience it. To do otherwise would be to approve of discrimination towards life itself, thereby denying the blessings of our creator. Nope. I am here to lift you up. You are here to lift me up. I believe this because I have come to know happiness this way ~ Together we can see over and beyond the prison-like walls of ignorance, prejudice... all of life's trials. By exchanging with one another, by seeing, hearing... sharing life we come to understand ourselves and for what purpose we exist. The wondrous age we live in allows for virtually unlimited exchange. Distance and time are hardly barriers anymore. Priorities often still can be, however. One of mine is to do my very best at never ignoring you. With gratitud E~
To those who try to save the world, to make it the best place it can be... to those who work at supporting people in other countries, thousands of miles away from where they are, my heart recognizes you with deep respect. May that great vision and those far reaching loving eyes not overlook, however, those in need, who might be standing right in front of you. E~