hafacenturyncounting

Motivated by a lack of material.

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Dreamin…..

In the  late 1970’s/early 1980’s there were a couple of songs that impacted me, a still starry eyed young adult.  Dreamin of You a song by Lionel Richie and Dianna Ross off the “Endless Love”  soundtrack  and I like Dreamin by  Kenny Nolan. It may be shocking, because of the things I write how romantic minded I truly am. I often search my soul.  When my husband offers what I deem to be a “far-fetched idea or plan I think, “Wow, is he really serious? Cause back here in the real world there are some real matters that need tending to…” I have been and perhaps am still unable to wrap my mind around the idea/concept that he is “dreamin”. Why? Well for starters he is 20+ years my senior, and because I have in my estimation lost some of MY ability to do this dreamin.

The reference to those two songs prompted me to go back, pull them out and listen. I am glad I did. I really needed a reminder of what it is to dream. I get caught-up in the everyday realities, and the scowl on my face shows it. My granddaughter without words, brings me back to the awareness of what dreamin really is. This happens each time I see her, and that is  as often as possible. I dream of wonderful, better things for her and her world.  She makes me remember when my children, her respective father and uncle, were infants and how excited, happy, hopeful, worried, and afraid I was for them and their future. In listening to  the words of John Lennon’s song Imagine, hope is somehow restored. However, faith is ultimately my deliverance.

We move on, we carry on, but when we do maybe we should try to do what we do when we pack for a trip of any sorts; take inventory of what we have, what we need, and do our best not to forget important personal things, even if they are tiny little ones. Much like dreamin, for it does matter. Who you wanted to be/ who you are, probably on some level or another, has been shaped by your dreams. Don’t let them go, continue to cautiously pursue them, for when you loose them you loose a part of yourself.

Advertisements

…racism….

How do I feel in my next chapter when it comes to this subject. I pause, as I did when it occurred to me to write about it. What angle would I take.  I KNOW I am sick to death of it. I know that everyday as I look into MY mirror, my subconscious visits the place where”it” rests. Armed but no necessarily ready for “it”, for you never know what attire “it” will be outfitted in.  Worried and a bit frightened of a sneak attack, because just knowing “it” exists and some places it may dwell in does not mean that is the only place you may find “it”. All of this goes on before I leave the confines of my bathroom.

I live in a predominately white suburb of Atlanta. When we moved to Georgia close to 20 years ago my cousin, the first African American captain for the commercial airline TWA, asked me why the “hell” did you all decide to move there. He flew the east coast and had visited Atlanta many times. He warned that outside the “perimeter” this rumored Mecca was but a mirror of Money, Mississippi. You all know about Money and it’s history right? He and I had many a discussion of the way the south and many cities in the north still quietly practiced traditions of pre-civil war America.

These thoughts are but a drop in the bucket, a heartbeat, a fleeting thought or a similar one that goes through the head of numerous African Americans everyday.  Then we move on and prepare for our day. The stresses of life are real for us all, but the added burden of “it” hangs above our heads and weighs heavy in our hearts.

Whites do not understand, numerous feel we are being petty, over-reacting, or  they simply do not care. It is easy to feel that way when you are not directly affected, I guess… I cannot say I know, for when something bad happens to a black person such as the events that have recently begun to unfold in Florida, our connecting comes eerily into view, our bloodlines are deeper than we consciously know or realize. We care about one another, even if at times we do not demonstrate such by our actions. Perhaps that is why insensitive whites assume we all know one another, and that it is okay to say as much. Please do not get me wrong I make the conscious effort daily, hourly to deal with PEOPLE as individuals. I work really hard NOT to be handicapped by or display the characteristics of”it” . I will not allow “it” to be how I am identified and defined.

As the years pass, “it” gets old; but remains as ugly, smelly and tasteless as the first time you encountered “it”. Problem is now you are tired and less resilient, your patience is NOT at premium level. Now you run the risk of not only being a victim of “it” but a perpetrator of “it” as well. That makes me sick to my stomach

I hate that I have to write this  piece about “it”. I hate that “it” still exists.  What is the solution? I think a real dialogue needs to occur between America and ALL her people, conversations with one another instead of AT one another. We need to recognize and respect the fact that we are ALL people and we are ALL flawed.

This is merely scratching the surface I could go on, but what I want to do is to make progress. I do not want my granddaughter in her fifth or sixth decade still talking about “it” in the present tense. I want her and the generations to come to know of “it” and take pride in “it’s” defeat and demise. To graciously realize how fortunate they are to live in a society where “it” is NOT tolerated.

Bare It All

Think about this how would you feel if you had to reveal yourself to someone? My motivation for this came from my past. This was a funny, frightening, intimidating thought. If one looks at this from a purely physical standpoint, one must examine a nude model.

Who are these individuals who allow the world to see them? Every little flaw and imperfection is visible to the artist, art student or photographer’s eye. Still they disrobe, stand there, and wait to have their being captured in one way or the other.

Beautiful bodies, in motion or still, they are something to behold. Before the age of digital cameras the once was a place called “Fotomat” now you may have had a place that used a different trade name. Their entire purpose was the same nationwide, drive-thru developing of pictures. You dropped it off, you picked it up and never had to leave your car. Well, my sister worked at one. She told me about a young couple who had taken some nude photos of one another. We were teens and we laughed like crazy. She did not show them to me and frankly I did not have the least bit of interest in seeing them. I am on the modest side of the scale. Several years later a little film directed by Forest Whittaker called “Hope Floats” main character, played by Sandra Bullock, said what I am getting at here “polaroids people”.  Why would you turn over something so personal, so revealing  to  anyone less than a true professional. Not saying “Fotomat” did not develop great picture it is about the integrity. This young couple was (forgive the pun here) the butt of two teen girls joke. Perhaps they were being artistic, perhaps they were being sensual, in either case they should have been a bit more cautious.

When you entrust something personal to, friend, acquaintance, lover, spouse, sibling, parent, etc. you do not expect to hear or see that which you put in their care out in the open for any and everyone to scrutinize. Yet, sometimes that is exactly where it ends up. People are reliable and trustworthy, but sometimes things get away. We all need a place where we can bring things out to look at and talk about. Just be sure that when you bring those things out in front of others, when you let them see and hear everything, you can feel confident it will not come out again until you are ready for it to.

Today I Just Need To Feel Better

It hurt me to my heart and enraged my soul. My heart raced with adrenaline and my chest felt as though it was going to burst. We won’t even talk about the headaches.

It has been a couple of weeks since my youngest son asked me did I hear about the teen who was shot to death in Florida and all he ad was iced tea and skittles candies. I brushed it off, because there are so many stories on a daily bases, one could never keep up. Little did I know that two weeks later my family would have to literally tell me to stop and calm down, regarding this same case. I signed petitions, mailed skittles, e-mailed the city manager, and police chief(Bill Lee) daily, tweeted and status updated myself until I was mentally exhausted.

I have regularly told my husband that he need to relax and not let the history of the United States and his particular experience distort our sons’ ability to go, do, and enjoy the lighter side of life. I have thought to myself and called him the equivalent of “worry-wort”. However, with the deepest hurt that is in me I must concede, he is right. Please don’t get me wrong here, I never “tah-tahed” his concern away. My philosophy just differed.

Somewhere in between the madness and obsession that is me when I get onto something, I realized I needed to feel better. I needed to stop seeing Trayvon Martin’s face and have to fight off the urge to go and hit someone or something very violently. I came to my senses with the question, “What good would that do?”It is so very important that we do not forget or allow ourselves to loose momentum.  I believe that Trayvon Martin’s face is  an indelible mark into our memories. We also do not want to mar his memory with negativity. I cannot hope to express all that I feel here. I know I cannot do the story justice or cover all the things I have been exposed to. What I can offer to you is this, go and find yourself some “happy” in this troubling time.

I decided to go back to a place of surreal qualities, for a simple smile was not going to be enough. It was November 4, 2008. Yes, I yelled and screamed. Yes, I sat up in front of my television until he appeared on stage in Grant Park Chicago, Illinois. Yes, I have 9 newspapers 14 magazines, purchased 5 tee shirts 4 buttons and a bumper sticker. Yes, I did not want to go to sleep that night for fear I would wake up and discover this was just a dream. The feeling did come back to me for in a country such as ours with the divisions and uncertainties, we made a dream come true for too many Americans to place a number value on, we beat the odds, we showed we are better than some of the deeds we do. Deep in my heart I know we can get this right, I know we will get this right in spite of ourselves. In our nation today the question is this, “Will we have justice for Trayvon Martin? ”

YES WE CAN and YES We WILL!

One Love

In light of very recent events,THE TRAYVON MARTIN CASE, I have quite consciously had to step back and look at my people.

Where do I begin? I think I should start with how much I love “US”! I get angry at times. Sometimes I feel like being disassociated and disconnected.  However, more than anything else I am proud of “US”. We on a daily bases take lemons and make lemonade, but guess what? We are often tasked with” making lemonade without the lemons PERIOD”. We continue on and we keep believing things will get better. Sometimes we do demonstrate the competitiveness of the “crabs in a barrel”. However,  don’t cross us or you will see that we are family. The biggest family of determined, relentless, spirited individuals you ever want to meet. I want to say if there was a doubt in anyone’s mind; the vast majority of us would NOT trade who we are for the prospect of money or an easier life, if we had to denounce who we are or change our hue (Clarence Thomas and Larry Elder excluded) . All we want is our equal share, a fair shake. Something OUR wonderful America has had a difficult time in allowing us to have, let alone delivering to us. The very rights whites demand and take for granted, we have to lose our lives to TRY to obtain. It gets old, it gets tiresome, but one day America is going to get it right.

Therefore, hang on my beautiful, powerful, crazy, talented, smart, sweet, dynamic brothers and sisters. In the shadows of tragedy we will rise to the top, AGAIN.

I Don’t Want To Know…

All of our lives, if we are open minded and fortunate, we are able to learn. Each new day you will have an opportunity to see something, hear something, experience something that you never have before. The world is an open book, all you have to do is read. This is so wonderful yet we take it for granted. I am not the avid reader. I can give you a boatload of reasons and excuses, but none of them makes me feel good. I know that I should read more and I know my reasons are inadequate. However, my head began to pound and I started creating reasons to stop writing this piece. My day and evening ahead were planned. I needed to get started, but I refused to stop this until the first part or most of my thought here was recorded. This piece was written because as hard as I try to stay away from  reading especially negative things, somehow they manage to invade my life. Ironically, I am grateful that they do. For they keep me aware of the fact things are much more difficult than we realize.

Atheist say there is no God. There is an explanation for everything the atheist says. Miracles can be broken down to a series of events. Agnostics say I don’t know. Christians say there is a God and that is all the explanation I need. Do you know why? Here is my take.Well one thing we all share is arrogance. Each one of us is confident we have the answer.  It is commonly accepted the only way to offer proof in a reliable fashion is to have performed tests and offer documented results. Yet if we are challenged or tested, I believe the outcome would come as a surprise.

To loose a child is something that no mother or father wants to experience, we do not even want to think about it. To watch an ailing child suffer is unimaginable, no matter what we say. I pray for people I love everyday throughout the day, because I don’t want to know what it is like to see or know they are suffering, I don’t want to feel the hurt of loosing them. My contribution to the agnostic and atheist for the day is look in the headlines research a little history see the hurt that man inflicts upon himself and see how through the horror we live with everyday, we somehow manage to rise again. Left to our own devices all we would do is maim and destroy. However, the fact that we don’t is not a testament to the greatness of man, it is to God. How else could a mother survive her child being shot to death in a so-called safe community, how could any father allow his child to go to war to fight for a way of life, how could we look one another in the eye and say you are my brother and/or sister I have your back. I don’t want to know a life without God.

Campaign Slogans and Signs

You see them everywhere. They are smart, funny, witty or straight-forward. Let me be honest, living in the “conservative” south a number of them are offensive and annoying.They line streets, grace front yards and are affixed to vehicles

I have seen a couple in person “How’s Your Hope and Change Treatin You?””NoBama”(written this way it looks a lot like the nickname of one of our states)  “If you voted for Obama to prove you weren’t a racist….” this one was on a vehicle driving passed me to make out the remainder. Finally, “Don’t Re-Nig” in 2012.  The last one demonstrates  the wishes of one candidate may be coming into fruition already, no need for folks to be forced or even given an opportunity to go to college. The nerve of that snob of a president…in case you missed it this is sheer sarcasm. A few years ago I saw a bumper sticker that was worth putting on your car, I think it should be a billboard, or on display in Times Square. It said this, “If you think that education is expensive, imagine the cost we will all pay for ignorance.

Inspired by these short little sayings I came up with a couple of my own and understand I cannot begin to express myself as eloquently as my predecessors, but here are my contributions;

” Santorium.. A man for the ages, the dark ages”.

“Who Gives a Newt”

“Mitt.. now he is for change, change positions change sides, change of clothes”

“Ron Paul who really cares?”

I play a game as I drive through town. I call it” What does a ____ supporter look like? Kind of a “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader” driving game. It is something to keep me occupied as I sit in traffic and this game has made me even more aware that numerous inhabitants of my area are NOT!

So I’m a “damn-yankee”. Overall, I hate politics. In previous post I have pointed out I have limited understanding of the process. The one thing I do know of  and do exercise, is my right to vote. Since becoming eligible I have not missed an opportunity to put  the person of  my choosing into office so “he/she” can sell me up river to the highest bidder. I have little or no faith in politicians, any politicians. Recent history is partially to blame. Yet, I do believe I do have basic understanding of reality and what my future could hold if I decide not to cast my ballot.

The bulk of us do not have the time nor the interest to actually research/ investigate the person who is begging, pleading, conning their way into the polling location with us. We take these people at face value and rely on the media, friends, and family to give us an idea who has our best interest at heart. After using this scientific method to select our candidate, we  announce it to our neighbors, strangers, and basically people who give less than a damn about what we think and who we  are/are going to vote for.

Why, because we are proud of what we have done or are going to do. We do this, because we think our opinion is better than others, and if they see what we have done they will follow suit. We do this in order to perhaps discover a common ground, to know we are a part of something big. Announcing our feelings demonstrating to others the confidence in our decision makes us believe we truly know what we are doing.

The most important thing that each of us do is to participate in the process. Liberal, moderate conservative, democrat, republican, independent. People fought and died for us to ALL to have a right to participate in this process; and hopefully have a voice. We are doing our very least by taking advantage of what so many sacrificed so much for.

I will close with this thought; If you think your participation doesn’t count it won’t and neither will you.

X-Hafa…What-Now

How about that for a question. For Post 100, I figured it should be something special.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Something that would connect the blog to the writing. Not so suddenly, I ran out of ideas for this. Then it came to me, I would follow in the footsteps of one of my favorite groups “Chicago” no frills titles for their albums, they let the songs and music speak to you. Beyond the greatest hits, all you have to do is to be able to count. Thus after this post under this tag, all I will do is use Roman numerals to identify these pieces.

Post 100 or X has to live up to a lot, at least it does for me. I do not want it to merely be full of fluff to get me to that number. It has to have character and it has to have content. So what about these half way points. These, from this point forward, pieces that originally were to earmark things that my mid-life experience experienced.  One thing is there never seems to be a lack of material only a lack of time and concentration.

I began thinking of stalemates and being stagnant. Now I am a talker, I have been dubbed this long before I could write. Therefore, I believe I will always have something to say. Whether it is worthy of reading or writing is discretionary. I felt pretty convinced that words would never escape me, but in Post 100 I must come to terms with  my stalemate, my book.

While filled with great ideas and an outline as to where I want to go…. My outline is the longest contribution to this upcoming book of mine. I think about life; I compare it to travel and the point of no return. I do not concentrate on that much when I travel, but then it seems overall we do not think about that point much in life either. I believe we should. I think we should consciously visit that point in our everyday decisions. I am not suggesting we sit down and ponder all aspects of our life with this formula, merely to take it into account more often then when we are in an airplane.

So what now? I have to regroup. I have no predictions, only hopes. At this juncture it is good that I still have that available, and then there is the anticipation of XI. Stay Tuned… was all I could come up with. A boat load of parables filled my head, but nothing seemed right. Sometimes you can search too long and too hard for that which is right there in front of you. The truth is everything you do though it is impactful on some level, it may not live up to what your idea of impactful is. The tiny little impressions add up; then one day you can finally see what took some time to achieve, and you may find that what you intended is nothing like the result.

Looking Back- For What

Another milestone of sorts rapidly approaches, and I find myself filled with another series of questions. It will be 35 years since my contemporaries and I graduated from high school, June of this year. There has been discussion of a reunion. There are various ones going on; ones that combine classes, one that even combine schools. The ultimate goal here is merely a get-together, an excuse… no an opportunity to have a little fun.

There are things in life you never forget, high school depending on your experience is one of those things. As I read in the news or listen to talk shows where younger people are going to school taking out their frustrations or fighting back against bullies, it saddens me so. For at a time when one has a relative carefree existence these kids have adults sized issues plaguing them.

The era of the Social Media Sites… I am very glad they exist, they have allowed me to connect and reconnect with some family, long lost friends, and acquaintances. They have produced a  relatively”safe” environment for these connections and for that alone I believe we all can benefit. As with most things, we all must exercise precautions.

Let me take you back a few decades though, to not the first but perhaps one of the most celebrated “only if/what would happen if” films of OUR time “Back To The Future”. Who among us hasn’t wished for some time escaping vehicle to send us to a chosen spot, where we would have the option of a child’s game, “a do-over”. Not dealing with the negative affects only the boundless possibilities. Our hero Marty McFly allowed us to live out the experience vicariously for a couple of hours. Following the film maybe our mind’s eye briefly let us create the alternate place of our own, in which we were the starring characters.

“The Reunion “gives us a “taste ” of that fantasy, as well as a slap in the face of the realities. Whether it is family, workplace, class, or something more personal (“an affair to remember”; my movie trivia folks will appreciate this) a basic human need or two will be approached and/or fulfilled.

However, on these brief jaunts into the past we have to take some safety precautions. Accept and realize the guide, guests, and attractions may be a little altered by “father-time” in the  form of our very own memory. He, as well as it, may not be as forgiving as we may have hoped. With that out of the way; buckle up, venture into a place where people knew and remember you from a time gone by. Immerse yourself in the fact that these same people interacted with you longer and more frequently than some of your very own family, many in ways your family was not privy to.

We are warned of looking back, how this can lead to regret. Then in the same breath, we feel justified in looking back in order to not make the same mistakes. I submit to you a view of a forward thinker, you certainly could repeat the same mistake(s), but the way you deal with it/them will be different

When it is over look at the experience through the eyes of a roller coaster enthusiast; it may be short, it certainly was sweet, and I ABSOLUTELY  would do it all over again! Personally, I am lookin forward to that next reunion.


The Disappointed Idealist

 “Inside every cynical person there is a disappointed idealist”

– George Carlin

Maybe you know one. Maybe you are one. Has life thrown you a blow or two that has made it hard for you to get up? Has your mind finished the delivery of that blow with a dose of feeling inadequate? Now you have an excuse to be sarcastic and negative. Repeat the process a couple of times and the cynic is born.  Now I have to hit you one more time,” this doesn’t make you special or unusual”. We all know it is much simpler to take the easy way out. In this case, it is negative and effortless. Who could blame you, for after all this was a … then you must stop yourself. Stop before you go spiraling in to  the pity party

How did we get here though? Who did this to you? Let’s begin. Your education crescendoed with your post graduate degree, you married your high school sweetheart, the promotion is yours. What you did not realize is these events are not truly final acts as they imply. For though you have reached a goal, the hard work now begins. Of course you know this, but are you reacting like you know it?

Remember, you were going to change the world. That is until you ran into that road block. I submit that the idealist  falls short when they allow themselves to be short sighted. “OOH I didn’t plan on running into so much difficulty in doing this.” Why? If you thought it would be easy, don’t you think it would have been done already.

While it is relatively simple to join the ranks of a cynic, it is not a desirable state. Oftentimes,  it is not as easy to get away from that ” cynical sleeping giant” you awake.  Listen we all get a little down but you have to remember life is cyclic, ever changing and each morning brings a new opportunity for you to close the door on the cynic in you.

Let me go through life looking through “rose colored glasses”. The disappointments should serve as reminders that we have untapped resources that now need to be utilized. Finally, if the desired results are not achieved feel accomplished in the fact that things are not quite the same as they were before you began your endeavor. A true idealist would not give up or surrender to the challenges that would eventually bring their dreams and goals into fruition. While disappointments are the reality for some, know this is not the case or even a possibility for the idealist.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: