Friday, January 26, 2018

The Dancer

Can I just toot my horn for a sec?  Frenzied gyration, dizzying twists and mind bending moves, insane synchronicity and complete rhythmic symbiosis - all this and more as I danced my youth away during those wild years of infamy.  My body became an instrument that I used at will for my enjoyment, rapture and thrill as I threw myself into the music whilst clubbing and frankly, whenever else I could get it.  Back in my glory days, when I went where the wind blew and then some, dancing was my religion - the only true pleasure I had as my life unravelled helplessly between my fingers.

I remember the excitement I used to feel as the anticipation of a night spent perusing and partaking of nightclubs coursed through my veins.  I'd prep to step out in my hotel room at the Golden Eagle, that cesspool of humanity, while beats would hit me from the cheap radio that was perennially by my side.  As I sit in my maturity now and peck out these words, I still listen to those beats.  House music, my love my passion, the fuel to my rhythmic fire, alas, is now only a stint between worship tunes and peaceful melodies, but I still get it in there as it continues to and always will be in my bones.

Back in the day, I was the queen, the star of the night as I rocked with my Sicilian stilettos, a madwoman in invisible chains nevertheless for a moment free with the ecstasy of total surrender to motion.  You must understand, however, that everything I experienced was heightened to the umpteenth degree by this little thing called chemistry.  My body failed to produce what my brain needed to be happy, so my mind went a little cuckoo.  This translated to an enhanced dancing experience that frankly, blew people away FYI

So what of it?  As my mentor John Really would say "all that and a nickel buys a 5 cent cigar, if you smoke cigars".  Even though I don't really dance anymore, my life today is immeasurably deeper and more satisfying since I met Christ.  And nothing has the corner market like peace, stability and the maturity I'm grateful to now have - not even dancing.  I am thankful to have grown up, even though it has meant leaving certain pleasures behind but God never takes without replacing and I lack nothing.   Still, deep in the recesses of my soul there lies a bag of glitter and a dance floor, waiting.




































Brother

Pockets of grief linger in my heart,
the organ that's been torn all apart.
This country night I've not much to do,
so I sit on the porch feeling like goo.

I'm watching my brother wash off his car, 
and marvel at how thorough his efforts are.
He scrubs and he soaks and wipes patiently,
sweating with work and spent energy.

The strains of the music that fills his ears,
mix with the moment erasing my tears.
It's cloudy and muggy and windy tonight
but somehow watching my brother makes it alright.

I wish we could talk like we used to do
when we were little and all things were new.
But we struggle, we fight and argue so much -
it's really a shame we're so out of touch...

My brother, my comrade, my partner in crime
lets hang out lets talk more, it's certainly time.  


Saturday, December 16, 2017

On Smartphones Part 1

It’s a quiet Tuesday afternoon and I sit at my computer thinking of the cell phone that I have purposely left in the kitchen and my internal dialogue goes something like this:  “Was it a good idea to leave it on the table?  Maybe I should go get it, what if I need to look up something?”  Never mind that I’m sitting at a computer where the world practically lives at my fingertips anyway…no, somehow the phone seems important, necessary even.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say I was having a slight case of separation anxiety.  

The situation sounds absurd, but it is actually not far removed from the reality that millions of folks currently experience; an unnatural connection to their smart phones, those wily, ubiquitous devices that have succeeded in winning us over one text at a time.  You may laugh, but it’s true.  One has only to look around to notice the aforesaid glued in our hands while our heads bend down to take in byte after byte of entertainment or distraction, such as the case may be. 

Take the gym for example.  I remember when people went to work out unhampered by the technology that now eats up all our attention.  They were there, well, to work out.  Nowadays when I scan the horizon, as far as my eye can see, I notice smart phones populating book holders on treadmills, stationary bikes and the like, while their respective owners exercise glued to the screens, taking in content with rapt attention and appearing more interested in virtual reality than in breaking a sweat.  It’s sad to see people pause their routines just to take in something on their phones.  I want to shake them and shout, “You’re here to work out, so work out!”

Or how about Bart (the Bay Area rapid transit system for those of you unfamiliar), that grand repository of the human soup?  Nowhere else can one gauge so accurately the trends and zeitgeist currently inhabiting society than in those telling cars.  In riding, I’ve witnessed the disturbing sight of practically every person poring over their phones in one way or another.  Passengers stand up in the thick of commute time with practically no room to breath looking like so many penitent churchgoers...eerily silent and disturbingly still, their bent heads blankly take in the device in their hands.  In all fairness, tuning out is allowed after a long day at work or life, but we've gotten way too comfortable at downright ignoring the action and potential danger around us in order to check a Facebook status, or scroll through our pictures.

Our phones have become extensions of our identity.  They have transformed our way of thinking and relating to each other and to the world.  Unfortunately, I don't see this as a trend that's going to reverse anytime soon, like melting icecaps, unless we, as individuals, question our habits and lifestyles more than we have.  I can't see the future, God's in charge of that, but I do surmise we need a drastic shift in our rudders, otherwise we're headed for the iceberg, folks, we're headed for the iceberg, and who wants that?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Photo Album

Strolling through the pages, unsuspecting as could be, I visited the glances staring back at me.

They were of a girl so desperate in the hood, that forsook all her beauty to see if becoming a dealer she could.

The little girl she was, pretty as a daisy, with mischief in her dancing eyes later got certified as crazy.  

All throughout the pictures, there was a story I could tell, my eyes held the key to my madness and my hell.

Walking through the years, I kept noticing my smile at first my teeth were showing, then fell out of style.

Hidden behind lips, that were drawn across my face, the saddest of smiles, revealed a harshness that was foreign and out of place.  

At first I was happy baring all my soul; looking at the camera, beautiful and whole.  

Then came the storm that shook me to the core and left me ripped to pieces strewn and on the floor. 

In one shot after the battle ceased, I was heavier, more peaceful yet still fragile as a leaf. 

New Year's

So it's upon us, the New Year.  I wonder what this one will bring.  Last year hosted a flurry of health challenges, medical tests, relationship meltdowns (well, one -- but it was a BIG one) and family worries.  There was a lot of stress and some disappointments.

But there were also some major joys.  I got to move into and decorate the FIRST house/cottage I've ever lived in by myself.  I got a cat, who has become my joy, then I got another cat who I've already fallen in love with.  I'm taking charge of my health by starting to exercise regularly again and feel terrific, I've also discovered for the fist time ever, cooking and I adore it and am pleased to say that many of the things I make turn out delicious to the delight of my friends, who enthusiastically let me know!

I've been able to set my own rhythms and with more clarity have been realizing that I alone am responsible for my own choices, decisions and feelings whereas before, I was lost in a sea of codependency as a roommate, always juxtaposed with other's thoughts, feelings and actions...  This has been the most freeing thing for me, I believe.  I've had room, a lot of room, to grow up.  I care less what people think, and stand up for myself with more decision, and less apology.  There's room for growth, always, but I love what I see in myself and who I'm becoming.







Seeing myself as a whole person has been exciting liberating and challenging all at once.  



    

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Her

She's my little curmudgeon all cute, fat and furry,

and if she's startled she'll leave in a hurry.

She likes to sit and stare at me from the bedroom floor,

it's her spot of choice, the patch right near the door.

She'll hunker down also on the bed,

and when I sleep can be found at times right near my head.

She has this funny habit of drinking with her paw,

and tips the water over after studying it with awe.

I could watch her endlessly as she moves her chub around,

because she's always different with new habits that abound...

Currently, she's nesting in my nook of purses,

so I expect a ton of fur when I use 'em and rhyme these verses.

She surprises me quite often as she comes into her own,

much bolder and courageous her personality has grown.

She'll walk along the rooftops and peer over the edge,

not long ago she'd barely jump on any type of ledge.

Once upon a time she slept far away from me,

but now that she feels safe, I'm spooned and filled with glee.

She has eyes like spotlights - big and wild and yellow,

that when I come in the house greet me with a hello.

This darling little fluff ball who took a while to tame,

has now settled quite nicely in my kitten's book of fame.








Monday, February 6, 2017

Family

Most of us who hear the word family typically think of blood relatives far and near.  I think of friends.  Of course my mother, brother and close kin are included in the mix, that goes without saying, but I have acquired such a tight knit band of chums, both old and new that I can honestly call them family.

I've always made friends easily, but after I came to California and sewed my wild oats subsequently falling apart, making friends took on a whole new meaning as I chose not to return home.  As I crumbled post rebellion, it became harder and harder to move forward in life without true human connection.  All the pals that I had made were just that - pals.  People to hang out with at a party, folks my own age that were too absorbed in the drama of their own lives to be able to make much of a difference in mine.

Enter John, my acquired uncle.  We met at Walgreens whilst standing in line one afternoon; I was in a tough place in my life, he had a soft heart and a friendship was born that continues to this day.  Then came a few other amigos that have stood the test of time, with whom I have walked through some pretty rough and tricky places.

I am always making new acquaintances.  The flux at turns widens and thins, but has always been a steady stream from whence I can choose who I'll confide in and who I won't.  Thankfully, I've never wanted for security within those acquaintances because my sacred inner circle has always been there - the meat and potatoes of my existence, so to speak.  This constant has given me the confidence to stick out my neck and meet new people, knowing that a web of love and support will always be there to carry me.

I am grateful to have a plethora of folks in my life that qualify as kin, people that despite my flaws and shortcomings love me for who I am.  So the next time you're feeling  lonely, remember that family comes in all shapes and sizes so pick up the phone and cultivate yours today :)