Friday, January 29, 2010
A room filled with clutter
I can see a mess
that needs to be picked up
and straighten out
to put order to chaos
leveling out the imperfect
and through it all I fight
the notion that I am
meant to be with someone
so instead of cleaning
I blend into the clutter
pretend that I do not stutter
in thought and words
I begin to wonder
can she see me through the disarray
am I recognizable in the confusion
that is reality?
My actions are nothing but a jumble
in this rummage I stumble
realizing that I need to clear the anarchy
but what can be done
but clean up the mess
clear out the room
then perhaps I can finally
see the floor
the path that leads out the door
before it closes
before I am trapped...again
in this room of unending chaos
where confusion leads
to laziness and self hatred
when all things that can be said
I am left with a room
pieces of the past
that plays like a puzzle
that cannot be swept
under a rug with a broom
I need to get out of this room!
I just have no clue
on where to start or what to do
but I will fix this
because I know what it is I miss
and that is you.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
"The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can't lick 'em, join 'em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else." - Ursula Kroeber Le Guin
Here is the thing I am trying to convey: People can change. I am not sure sure why this is so hard for people to believe. Indeed, we are creatures of habit and it is easier for people to not change at all than to make the effort to do something different. However, if a person truly wants to change and have the motivation to do so, they can.
Sure, our behaviors make us who we are. Change does not happen over night but it is indeed possible. If chain smokers can quit smoking then that should be an indication that people can change. Of course addiction is a disease, but it is still a change in habits and in many ways a change in thinking. Very similar to how so many people ask me how I have lost the weight and maintain that loss. I have changed the way I do things. I have changed the way I eat and the way I live my life.
More importantly, people need to make mistakes in life. Clearly this is not an ideal way to learn anything, but life is everyday learning. We get tested everyday and we do not always pass those tests. Trust me, I know first hand. I am a failure at so many things in life at one point or another, but if I don't fail, I cannot succeed.
Real change comes when you have nothing else to lose. I have seen many things in my life and one this is for sure, pride is the downfall of so many people. Pride is usually the last thing a person loses before they reach that rock bottom. Once we reach that place, we cannot sink any lower. Some people have issues dealing with such a place or concept. Some people never get out of it either. However, if you have ever been at the lowest point in your life then you will know that the experience is life altering.
When I am talk about life altering, think about losing everything. What happens when we have nothing lose? There is no more fear. Very few things from that point on can hurt us as we build our life back up. We become free to do whatever we really want to do in life.
For me there was the acknowledgment of a few things. I realized that I will be single for a long time. Call it a personal choice or maybe a protest to God (whom, I am starting to think that God is woman, but that is another post...*smile*), but in either case I need some serious me time. I acknowledge that kids may not be in the cards for me. I know, I keep saying this and some people actually get upset, but it is what it is and I will let fate decide that one. Finally, there is the chance with all the things that are happening in my life that I may just die alone. Yes, that is a somber and morbid thought, but the funny thing is, I have no fear of that. Maybe because in my heart, I know it is not true.
But, as much as those negative things are a possibility, so are the positive ones. I may just get married again. I may just have have 3-5 kids. Maybe I will become this famous poet/author. I do not know, but that is all possible. I have reached the level of acceptance and have let go. My point is that right now I am living a life without fear.
I told someone yesterday that I am caring less and less every day. What I meant was that all the things that I used to stress are fading away. Why should I stress something that may ultimately not matter? At this point, I am living my life according to what I feel is right for me.
Monday, January 25, 2010
"You see, there is only one constant, one universal, it is the only real truth: causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect." - The Merovingian (The Matrix Reloaded)
I have written about karma before and I really do not want to keep repeating the same things. The problem is that I have been thinking about karma lately but only in a third person point of view. Clearly this is something that I believe in and stand by. I think that karma is a force within the universe that just happens. There are both good and bad karma. Most people focus on the bad. "What comes around goes around" is something that my dad used to say all the time when I was kid. Of course when he said he didn't mean it in a good way either.
What I find interesting is how people determine what their karma is. As if karma will effect anyone of us in the exact same way as the deed we did. The best way to describe this is if person A were to screw person B over a promotion and person B will think that person A will just get screwed over by someone else in the long run over another promotion. Perhaps that is the case and perhaps not. Some times a person's karma could be worse than imagined. I am not one to believe that karma will effect us in the same way that we effected others. However, there are unique cases in which it does. We all get what is coming to us.
This is also the same thing when it comes to good karma. I know that I am not the best person in the world, but I do care about people in general. I have been told I care a little too much thus, my flaw is that I have too much faith in people. Perhaps that is true. I have been raised to believe that everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. However, people make mistakes and they screw other people over. It happens. The question because can the person handle the karmic recourse?
There is the issue of cause and effect. Everything we do will cause something to happen to someone else. It does not matter if that effect is big or small. It is almost a ripple effect of sorts. We can talk all day about how we need to be good people in order to get in heaven or at least a version of it. In some belief systems, karma is said to dictate how you evolve in the social order in the next life. So, if you are a total asshole in this life, in the next you could be reborn as a slug. Harsh sentiment, but some in beliefs, that is how it works. It makes me think about how some people of a certain faith believe that they can act in anyway they like as long as they go to church on Sunday, they will be absolved of all sin. Maybe that is the case, but karma is a bitch.
Better yet, we would have to beleive that the choices that we make in our lives will effect us throught the course of it. One would have to be willing to make mistakes in order to learn from them. It is said that people cannot change. I do not believe that. I think they can. I have see it. I have done it. Most people are not willing to change due to pride or their own self worth. Usually, it is karma that really plays a role into everything. People will get what is coming to them which is why we have this notion that good things will come to those who wait.
So what is do you believe your karma is? Did you screw someone over and in the back of your mind you are patiently waiting for payback from someone else? Does this allow you to trust people less because somewhere in the recesses of your heart you believe you are not worth the time or the energy? This is where I was last year. After everything is said and done, my karma proved to be a bitter pill to swallow. The worse part is that I know that I am good person. But, good people also make mistakes that they continually pay for. As time has gone on, I have learned to deal with my own shit and have grown in confidence ever since.
Karma is not just something that comes around. It is a learning mechanism that the universe gives to us. It is how we learn from our mistakes and not a matter of cosmic revenge. It is why we do not stick are hands in the fire because we know that we will get burned, but that does not mean we don't use fire to warm us. Same thing goes with love and life. I cannot be afraid of getting hurt because I hurt people. At the same time, if I am going to get burned for being too nice, then so be it. Karma will come for everyone.
If you havent notice my litte subtle hints...karma and fate are ultimately linked.
Friday, January 22, 2010
"I've been travelin' on this road too long, Just trying to find my way back home. The old me is dead and gone dead and gone" Dead & Gone - T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake
As I sit here in NYC again, I almost find it hard to believe that it has been exactly one year since I started this blog. Last year at this time, I knew that my life was about to under go a drastic change. The writing on the wall was pretty clear in terms of my marriage and I just needed an outlet. I needed something to get my mind off of all the things that were around me. So I started to write.
I wrote every day for 101 days. I spoke about anything that came to mind as if I never had a chance to have my voice be heard before. My original plan was to give a voice to Afro Latinos. I wanted to write a blog from that point of view. Perhaps give people what they have been missing.
As I spat out blog post after blog post, it became harder and harder to find a topic. Once that started happening, writing became less fun for me. I felt almost superficial in what I was saying. I looked at my blog and felt like a hypocrite. "Inside My Head" sort of became a joke to me because I wasn't really writing about what I was feeling. I contemplated just quitting the blog all together.
Once May rolled around, I decided to just let it all out. I wanted to really face everything head on and take my readers with me on this journey. I was a little fearful that people may not read as much because I was getting personal and I was writing less. However, I noticed that my writing was getting better and in the same regard I was actually feeling a release of energy with every blog entry.
The blog began to really help me mentally. But those changes were really not going to be complete if I really did not start running. I can say that I must have thought of a great deal of blogs when I was on the treadmill. It is rare that someone has a change to change mentally and physically at the same time...and I seem to still be losing weight.
There were times in which I really felt that I was arguing with myself. Several blogs about fate and destiny have lead me to a different conclusion about my life than when I first started. The rest...well it just seemed to be about love or a variation of it. I wanted have this blog to pave the way for me to gain self redemption. I have made many mistakes in my life that I have paid dearly for and at times continue to pay for. My journey, through this blog, has and continues to help me look in the mirror.
Which bring me to what seems to be my new passion on the blog, my poetry. Please do not ask me where this came from because I do not even know. There are times when I have an idea and I need to write it down. Most times it comes out as a finished poem that I simply retype on to the blog. In the late summer, I felt a real need to find a different and more creative way to let what I was feeling out...without just saying it. The poem about Rocky was supposed to be poem that I just wrote and nothing more. But, as time passed, I just felt the need to just write more. When you are an emotional writer like I am, it is almost like a drug to get write every raw emotion down.
I have scanned my poetry. Someone indeed gave me a journal for Christmas and I am using that journal for strictly poems. I know that I have written most my poems out of stress and sadness. However, I do have some love poetry that I am not entirely sure I want to post. I will have to think about that.
So, for your viewing pleasure (and mine too), I am listing what I believe to be my top 10 blog of this past year. Maybe you will get a chance to read some if you have not done so already:
- Everything is About Race
- Afro is Latino
- Why Do I Run?
- Head Vs. Heart
- Micheal Jackson - In My Own Words
- The Perfect Heart
- Me and My Dog
- The Precipice of Solitude
I am looking forward to Year 2 of this blog. I still think I have plenty to say and I just hope that you will all continue to walk along side me in my journey.
"I turn my head to the east, I dont see nobody by my side, I turn my head to the west still nobody in sight. So I turn my head to the north, swallow that pill that they call pride. The old me is dead and gone,the new me will be alright"
Thursday, January 21, 2010
"How do you find the words to say, To say goodbye When your heart don't have the heart to say, To say goodbye..." - Alicia Keys "Goodbye"
Time to get a little personal here. Although I think I have done that already, I have always been very vague about many of the details that surround my personal life. However tomorrow I have to do something that will prove to be very tough indeed.
Most of you know how much I love my dog, Rocky. He has been in my life for such a long time. He will be 10 years old this summer and he has literally been a rock in my life. Ever since he was a puppy, he has brightened my day. Rocky is very bright and has some serious personality. I am not sure any other animal, human or not, has made me laugh as much as this dog.
I have to say goodbye to him. As part of an agreement that I have with my ex wife, she will take him. Rocky is very much her dog. He was given to her as a gift in 2000 and while I have been there for him, Rocky does belong to her. Tomorrow will be the last day I see him for sometime. While I am saddened by the fact I will not see him for awhile, Rocky will be ok.
Usually it is better to not have a long goodbye. I know that will see him again so I will promise myself not to make this harder than it needs to be. The funny thing is, he will just look at me with his eyes and want to play. He will probably bark and then I will have to bark back at him. You know that a dog has touched you when you have a pet name for him. I call him "papa".
I am not sure if I will ever get another dog. I have had several in my life since I was a kid, but Rocky has had the most spirit. He is a dog that does not like to have his ass smelled by other dogs but will definitely smell theirs. He is a small dog with a big dog attitude in which case I have seen me stare down a Rottweiler. He loves human contact. If you walk in a room and you do not pet him...he will let you know. Let's not forget that he is only dog I have ever written a poem about.
Saying Goodbye is always hard. I am not very good at it because I have had trouble letting go. However, in this particular instance I have no choice. I am ok with this because she loves him as much as I do, so it is not like he is going somewhere that is unsafe for him. The best thing, however, is that I have tons of good memories and pictures.
Rocky has touched my heart in so many ways. He has seen me and my best and my worst. This dog has proven to me that I can be a very gentle and loving man. When I was at my darkest points, he was there for me.
This is not a goodbye forever....just a goodbye now. Goodbye papa, I will miss you... :(
Monday, January 18, 2010
Let me preface this post by saying that these are thoughts in my head that I am toying with. When you drive 4 hours from one place to another, you have time to think about life.
This year I will be 36 years old. I am getting closer to 40 and I start to see many things in my life clearly. I looked over my past battles over the idea of fate and it has left me with one question: What is the point of looking?
Bear with me here. I am going through a divorce in which I was married to her for 8 years. Before her there were years of me being single in which, I was looking for someone to love me as well as someone to love. My prior relationship ended badly and I was thus single for about 3 years. I didn't really date, although I tried. But, I always felt I needed something or someone.
I do not feel that way anymore. Not really sure what has changed or how I got here, but I do feel that I do not need a woman to make me happy. There is the realization that I am talking about need and not want. I not going to say that I do not want a woman because of course I do, but I do not feel that I need the love of a woman to make me happy.
I think that we get in trouble in relationships because we constantly want to look for someone who is perfect for us. Why cant we just let fate decide? I know myself. I know that I will be single for a while. The difference between then and now is the simple fact that being alone no longer bothers me. I have a certain freedom of being able to do what I want to do.
The other things is... I am just not interested. Before I open those can of worms, I will say that I know who I want, but sometimes things are what they are. Outside of that, I am not interested in the drama. I am not interested in the getting to know someone well enough to realize that they are not for me. I am not a person who goes to the club to meet a woman. At this point, I am just going to live my life and let fate decide what is going to happen.
So, what is the point of looking? Ever lose something in your room and cannot find it, then you find it when are not looking for it? Same concept here. While it almost sounds that I am looking without looking, it really isn't. I am too old for many of the games that I see other people go through. Right now, I am just trying to survive this month so I can deal with the next.
Plus, I am a guy and more often than not I seem to run into so many women that will actively preach that men ain't shit. I dig it. I have made my fair share of mistakes and blunders thus, I am now a single man. I still do not see how any woman would want to deal with some of the very real issues I have right now. I am not saying this because feel bad about myself, I really don't. Perhaps it is better this way, I can finally focus on me.
There was a point where I had a fear that I may die alone. Interestingly enough, I do not have that fear anymore. Not to say that I will or that I wont, things happen for a reason. If it meant for me to get another girlfriend it will happen regardless if I look for one or not. So why look?
Trust me, I have heard many things. I am still young, single, and have no children. So that some how qualifies me to be this object that women should go after because after all, women are ruthless. I have been told that everything a woman does is calculated. All I can say is...eh. Solitude is not a bad thing. I have family and friends that will keep me quite busy if I let them.
The point is, I need to get my shit together.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
I need to ask myself a query
something personal, can you hear me?
How did I get this way?
Biting my tongue so that I don't say
What it is that I truly mean
How did I become so jealous?
Is there something that cupid doesn't tell us?
As sharp as that little
fat, pork chop eating bastard
is with his accurate aim
he never tells us of this game
If I ever catch him
near me or even looking at me
I will set a trap to get
his porky ass
just so I can clip
each wing, feather by feather
I will pluck
all because his arrow is stuck
in my chest
while love is supposed to cure all
there are side effects
internal heart bleeding
feelings of jealousy and envy
and a swollen aorta
but most of all you must see
a doctor if your erection
last longer than four hours
How did I get this way?
does this make me a hater?
or do I hate if he date her?
the arrow is dug so deep
that it is hard to tell
Friday, January 15, 2010
Yesterday I was called a Racist on Twitter. Reason being that I had the nerve to point out something on Facebook that that my guest blogger stated. If you read what yesterday's blog was about you would know that Rameer was pointing out the simple fact that not many white people he knew posted anything about Haiti on their Facbook statues, yet just about all the people of color he knew, did. It was a commentary on sociology of race relations and what we hold to be important.
Like I normally do, I will tweet about my blog to let people know what today's topic is. I asked a simple question: "How many white people do you know on Facebook that posted something about Haiti?" Let's be real about this. I think it was a legitimate question in which I got answers to. One follower, who is a woman I have spoken to via chat and on the phone, was offended by my question. "Why do you have to make it racist?"
What I find interesting is that I just asked a question. Consider that I have taken classes in social justice, sociology, racism and education, and I am a trained facilitator in racist dialogue...I think I would know if I was being racist. But I digress. The point is, that Racism exists and pointing that out, does not make me racist nor does it mean I am perpetuating it.
"When people like you 'point it out' but are really just being racist yourself. I think its so ignorant." I am one to believe that ignorance is bliss. If people like me do not point such things out then we are truly being ignorant about the world around us. Do I need to explain why Haiti is suffering so badly? Do I need to explain why that country is so poor? Race has everything to do with it. I was just saying this week that we need to know our history. Haiti was once a colony of France and after it was bled dry by the French, they left the Haitians to fend for themselves.
Let me explain what Racism is, since I am so ignorant about the world. Racism is a part of the system of oppression that is perpetuated by those who are privileged. Racism is power plus privilege. According to her, this definition is antiquated. I am not so sure how old this meaning is especially when sociologists still hang on to this definition, so let's go with Webster's Dictionary: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
Ok...so how am I being Racist? Do not get me wrong, I can be prejudice. We all can be. We all have our thoughts about other people. Honestly, that is natural. "ANYONE can be racist! If you don't like someone based on their race...your racist." As I pointed out to her, I never said I do not like white people. But, if you really know me (which she does not), then you will know that I point shit out like this all the time. Why? Because I have heard people say that they think racism does not exist anymore...yeah ok.
"...and you are making assumptions. Maybe people didn't post about it but chose to deal with it their own way or donated privately." I will say this, I do make assumptions. But if someone points something out and many other people agree and see the same thing, what does that mean? I get the fact people want to deal with things in their own way. But, why donate privately? Do white people think they will be judged by their peers that donating to a "3rd world island" is not the in thing to do? Or would they rather hold up a blind fold and watch "Jersey Shore"?
Which being me to my point and why I had Rameer write that post yesterday. It is clear that we all live on the same planet, but we live in different worlds. It seems to me that most, if not all people of color, care deeply about what happen in Haiti. Most likely because they either have family there, or know people who do. More importantly, these people look like us! White people in general can be blinded to the plights of many of our people. The very system of privilege makes it hard for them to realize what we go through. So Haiti is a different world.
Everything is about race...Everything. If you do not think so then think about this. If you are a white person: Do get followed in a store because you are are white? Do you ever think you will ever be stopped by a cop because you are driving while white? Do you have issues buying a white doll from Toy R Us? Do you struggle to find a sitcom on TV that positively portrays white people?
Never EVER tell me that everything isn't about race. When I think about Racists, I think about Pat Roberston. I am so not like him. I live my race everyday. Do you?
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Guest Blogger today! My boy, Rameer Green. I had to hit him up yesterday based on what happened on his Facebook page...check it out:
I'm a Facebook junkie.
I fully admit it. Like millions of people worldwide, I can't get enough of it. I connect with people, engage in online conversations...hell, I sometimes get news faster on Facebook than I do in real life. One thing is constant - regardless whether it be serious or jovial, I always have some stimulating online convos.
But yesterday, I caused a pretty significant stir.
One thing should be known about me - I'm pretty blunt. I say what's on my mind, straight with no chaser. I'm also brutally honest...I rarely lie about ANYTHING. Some people love this about me, some hate it. People say they want honesty; I find most really don't want someone who is ALWAYS honest.
This honesty upset A LOT of people on Facebook.
See, I took notice of something I found very peculiar. When the earthquake hit Haiti Tuesday night, my Facebook feed was lit up with reaction. People expressed shock, dismay, sadness, worry, offered prayers - everything you would expect to see in reaction to a horrible tragedy. I saw this all night, and saw it continue Wednesday morning when I logged on to my computer at work. That wasn't the peculiar part.
The peculiar part was that not a single white person on my friends list had typed a single word in reference to it.
I have over 500+ people in my friends list. And I don't add due to trying to take part in a popularity contest; I have some real connection with every person in that list. Out of the 500+, I'd say a bit more than 200 are white.
Not one had anything to say about the loss of possibly 100,000 human lives?!?
So I posted a link to the AP news story Wednesday morning, and I pointed this fact out. And inevitably, the reaction started to pour in: I was horrible to point this out, why do I have to make this about race, Facebook isn't always for serious stuff, etc.
But no one could answer why none of them had posted any reference or reaction to the situation in Haiti. And my responses were consistent - truth is TRUTH. The reality didn't change that none of them had posted ANYTHING.
I should point out that out of the 250+ people of color in my list, well over 50% posted *something*. A link, a reaction, prayers...something acknowledging the story dominating national news. I didn't do the math, but I'd say somewhere like 75% of all people of color posted something. And, as I stated on the thread, this wasn't the first time I have noticed a story or subject that resonates with people of color that whites seem to have no reaction or opinion on. This was simply the first
time I called this crap out on Facebook.
In my opinion, it comes down to this - the value of human lives is very different in some people's eyes. A single white kid missing in Iowa can make national news and illicit the attention and sympathy of many whites; a good, promising young Black student getting killed as an innocent in the crossfire of gang violence in Chicago doesn't. Mexico facing it's worst violence to start a new year in over 50 years catches few whites' attention, but violence in a European country is "terrible".
I have concluded many years ago, and had it reaffirmed with years of research by experts much smarter and more knowledgeable than me - that this occurs at a subconscious level. It's the result of attitudes that go back to the dawn of this country - that whites are somehow more important and substantiative as opposed to the brown, red and yellow people of this Earth. And this is propagated in the education we receive, the entertainment we watch, and the how things a represented in the media.
As we debated throughout the day, here's the funny thing...I noticed many of my white peers did start acknowledging what had happened. Many copied and pasted statuses I had put up regarding donations and help. Others brought attention to their white friends on their lists. And in the most impactful instance, three people who work in media were spurred to give better coverage and attention to it than they had been. This LITERALLY resulted in newscasts being changed at THREE stations in my
market, and feature stories being done on the topic.
No one was ever able to give a semblance of a good excuse for the disparity. There was one guy who was actually honest...he said "Wow. Way to make us feel guilty." But he wasn't being condescending, he was sincere. He DID feel guilty, as he told me - because he knew he was one of those that post things daily about things of substance that effect white people...and that there really wasn't a good excuse why he was apathetic to this situation. And I appreciate his honesty. Many others simply got
defensive and tried to turn it into a different type of debate. I didn't really fight too much, I just pointed out the numbers don't lie - truth is truth.
None of them either cared to post something or thought to when they do so for a number of other things. And that I don't know for sure why that is...they'd have to look within themselves and determine why this had occurred. 200+, and NO REACTION?!?
Scratch that. One white woman I know DID post something that I missed. I gave her kudos. 1 out of 200. Less than 1%.
What started out as a convo actually made a much bigger impact than I could've imagined by the end of the day. And I'd like to think I gave my white friends and peers some real food for thought as to how they think and how they subconsciously view and value the lives of some people over others. I'm not making the argument that any of these people are blatant, hateful racists; as I've stated - I believe this was a subconscious thing much deeper than that, but still rooted in racism.
Like many things, we've all been indoctrinated with certain things in relation to whites being of a higher value than those involving people of color. I should note - I work in media. I see subconscious decisions as to who and what is important daily...and there's a huge difference when the people behind the scenes are all white as opposed to when there is diversity.
Someone told me I was being negative. I think I made an observation that made a whole lot of white people feel uneasy. But like I said in my responses - a negative reality is STILL reality.
Truth is truth. I just happened to be the one who pointed it out on that particular day.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The one thing about like that will never change is the fact that people love to talk. Historically, we humans have had the ability to orate stories for entertainment. In certain cultures, stories are passed down word for word. Oral history was a way for many cultures to pass down history, ideals, and knowledge from generation to generation. In some ways, you could consider this the gossip of the time.
None of these stories were exaggerated. They were the truth told in a specific way so that lessons can be learned from past deeds. Once history started being written down, stories were left open for interpretation. Stories started becoming a matter of a opinion along with the facts. That is just the way life is. As a writer, it is hard to not inject yourself into whatever you write.
When I think about how things are now in my life and in the lives of people I know, it become very apparent that people talk. Of course, I know perception is reality in most cases, but unless you are a orater the percentage of truth is very low when it come to gossip. Assumptions and opinions can blind us when we are speaking about another person's life. We think we know what we are talking about when in actuality...we don't.
Now, before I make it seem that I am better than other people (which I am not), I gossip too. Come to think of it, guys love to gossip just as much as women do. However, I know that the information I hear is so very one sided. Many times what many people fail to see is the one sided nature of the stories they tell and or listen to. There is a failure to see that there is always 3 sides to every story: his side, her side, and the truth.
The truth is a very fine line that never changes. Think of it as the double yellow line on a road and the stories are traffic and moves in 2 different directions on either side of it. The intersections are were the stories connect, but the truth will always remain the same. There will be people who will choose to believe one side or another. There are people who will only hear one side and not the other. But, you will have those people that will ultimately be smart enough to put together the truth based on both sides.
Ultimately, the truth is never really heard. Unless you are trained in telling a story like the days of old where the is no opinion, it is just facts.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
If you know you me well enough then you will know that when I first entered Syracuse University as a freshmen, my major was History. It was one of the few things that I was really good at in high school. I loved it and understood it. History was not just about dates but more about the events and how things occurred in the past that might effect our present day.
So when I really started getting into history when I was in college, I was shocked by a very disturbing fact, I was learning about His Story. History is always written by the winner in most cases. What bothered me the most was what I did not learn in high school. The thing that comes to mind the most was the Transatlantic Slave Trade. While, I knew about it in high school, it was never presented in the same way as it was in college. That always stuck with me, so I decided to talk courses in African American history.
Once I got a different perspective on history, I dropped the major and switched to English. However, I still wanted to know more about my history. At that time, there wasn't a Latin American Studies program but you could navigate certain classes to learn about the Caribbean and South America and I made sure that I did that.
I bring this up for 2 reasons. The first being that I was speaking to one of my students, who is Latina, about know her history. I have no problem explaining how the slave trade impacted the Caribbean. I have no problem explaining how Europeans killed most of the indigenous population, raped the survivors, and then replaced the workforce with African slaves. Most of this information cannot be found in history books at the high school level. What I do have an issue with is people not knowing icons. The second reason is really simple. February is coming soon and that means Black History Month will be upon us. As usual, most Latinos think they they have no contributions to this month and that is the farthest from the truth.
I have a Wheaties Box in office. Yes it is there, unopened. The person on that box is Roberto Clemente. Maybe it is just me, but I feel that all Puerto Ricans should know who he is. What bothers me is the ignorance. I have been asked, "why haven't you eaten the cereal?" I like how certain people scoff as if it is disgusting to have an old box of cereal. I always have this puzzled look as I think to myself that all they see is a box of cereal and not the person who is on the box. Why is that? Because they do not know their history.
Conservatives in Texas do not care if you never know your history. Clearly they believe that they can remove people like Cesar Chavez from the history books because he lacks “lacks the stature…and contributions." Which basically tells me that they are just looking at the Wheaties box and not understanding that history cannot just be rewritten by the "winner". It very much like how the MTA in New York City wants to remove free transportation for students. The less people who know their history, the more control the powers that be have. Make no mistake that racism is still alive.
So, my question to you. Do you know your history? Or are you faking the funk? The way to understand everything that is going on in this world, from Islamic Extremists to Gay Marriages, is to know the history behind them. Perhaps more perspective will be gained by everyone.
Monday, January 11, 2010
I hammer each nail
My hammer is accurate
each strike is true
for providing the nails
for helping me shut this
The case is closed
the coffin is shut
the past is behind me so what
is next maybe a surprise
so no more cries
for help or tears of sorrow
because I look at tomorrow
and I see something very clear
I have no more fear
I am motivated by
something that once was a lie
Now I can be me
and the image that you see
will fade away and it will truly
be me underneath a mask
that no longer exists
So thank you
for the nails in the coffin
I will rise from my grave
clawing and scratching
dirt between my fingernails
worms in my teeth
breaking my coffin
with each fist, feeling the dirt
pour over me
I will climb, grasp, and pull myself up
I will break new ground
with my hand & rise from the dead
I will shatter my tombstone
and walk amongst the living
I will brush myself off
shake of the dirt
and become alive once more
So thank you
for providing me with the tools
to wake up and rise
no nail can stop me
from coming back from the dead
Friday, January 8, 2010
There is something to be said for what happens when you are single and what happens when you are married. I think for most people, they spend their single years either trying to get into a relationship...and when they finally get into one, they think about how great it was to be single. I find myself smiling at many students who tell me how bad their relationship problems are. It is hard to convince many of them that their current boyfriend or girlfriend is just a phase in which they have to go through.
I have made this point before that as a society we expect 18 years old kids to make a decision on their lives starting with picking a major they may not like by the time they graduate. Why is that any different when it comes to love? Love is just like any other subject in school, you have to be educated in it. Sometimes you pass and sometimes you fail, but in each case you learn.
The real problem that I have learned is that when I was single, I was not in the mindset that I need to better myself. Many times the thought process is to maintain a job and to date as many women as possible. Keep in mind, that when I was 25, I did things that I would never do when I am 35. In general, our thought process changes.
I can see how single people in general are afraid to get married. However, marriage is not bad. The problem is that no one ever tells us what marriage is about. I know that sounds strange but, it is very true. The only reference is what we see on TV. Of course their are books about how things should be, but I am a firm believer that we shape what our relationships should be. Society should never dictate anything to us.
I was talking to a fellow writer over the break about true love and marriage. She was amazed about how arranged marriages always seem to work out. Her belief is that love is learned and developed through growing and learning together. That means to me that as single people, we are too busy "trying to get it in" to try to really learn anything. Of course the love learning process is not just a two way thing. Learning to love someone also means you have to learn to love yourself. This is where I think we all get screwed. We think that we can make someone fill that lack of love for ourselves and replace it with theirs...
I have learned that being single means I need to take that time to fix me. I should have done that in my twenties but I was too stupid to even realize it. Being single means means I have to take care of myself. I need to maintain my health and I need to really set my life in order. Not to say that I could not do this when I was married, but what really happens is that when anyone of us gets into a long relationship, we get too comfortable. I got complacent. I let myself go.
On thing that people do not say about marriage is the fact that people no longer feel the need to impress their partner. It just happens. The once tight haircuts do not happen as often. The lack of exercise becomes apparent and before you know it you have let yourself go because the mind set is...there is no one to impress. Granted this is a bad way of thinking, but is it the truth.
So the being single should be about finding the path to our true selves. A relationship should not define us, we need to define our relationships. Marriage is not for everyone and perhaps I was not ready and I can admit that now, but the learning of who I am in the process is something that cannot be replaced or even duplicated.
Being single should be about falling in love. Some people fight this notion because love is a scary thing indeed. What makes us human is the ability to feel. Love is our key to happiness. No one can achieve happiness without love. People are not ready to trust or even to be honest. Some cannot be themselves because love is so hard to deal with. However, I am not talking about love for another person. I am talking about love for self.
I intend on falling in love very hard this year...with myself. (I hope I am ready)
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I am holding up my end of the bargain I made with myself. While this is not the game of poker the stakes are high. The jackpot is happiness in the game of life. I have my set of chips in all different amounts. Each colored chip represents a different emotion. The higher the emotion the greater the risk. I should never go all in, but often times I do.
The house almost always wins but every so often, you can beat the odds. I intend on beating the odds that are stacked up against me. Sometimes, "I have to hold them like they do in Texas plays". Other times I have to play with the big boys in order to show that I belong.
Everyday I play with the deck that has been dealt to me. Sometimes I have to fold and other times I have to raise. So far I have been holding as I wait for the dealer to flop. Those cards that he flips up become crucial to my overall plan for the year. I do not expect to win every hand because that would be impossible, but I do except not to lose.
I am taking a gamble. That is what we all do. Life is too short not to take risks. However, I refuse to show weakness in times of great stress. I will buy into this round because I plan on winning it. No one knows what is in my hand. I may have the high card or I may not. I can bluff like a pro, but do not underestimate me in the end because I just may have a royal flush. But, in either case, I will not show my hand until I have to.
So let the dealer shuffle the cards. I post my blind and bet the amount of chips I feel this round is worth. The dealer will place the cards on the table face down, one by one. Once I see what I hand I am playing with the real betting will begin. I do not have a tell. My poker face is solid. The audience will be captivated.
While this is not the World Series of Poker, this is the World Series of life. 52 Cards, 52 Weeks. I am all in.
Mum mum mum mah