All Summer16

The Summer of 2016 started off with a bang in more ways than one.

April left us reeling from the death of Prince. And, the May offered no condolences, dealing blow after blow, in no particular order but each one equally horrendous:

A shooter killed more than 40 people and injured even more at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

(http://www.npr.org/2016/06/16/482322488/orlando-shooting-what-happened-update)

Actor and activist Jesse Williams gave a riveting speech at the BET awards that was so relevant, it prompted some to petition for him to be fired from his job on the hit TV Drama Grey’s Anatomy.

(https://www.change.org/p/boycott-abc-network-and-sign-petition-to-fire-jesse-williams-from-grey-s-anatomy-for-racist-rant)

The nation learned that the #FreddieGray trials were resulting in no convictions against the law enforcement officers that were involved in his arrest; the arrest that resulted in his death which was subsequently ruled a homicide. The lack of convictions was just the continuation of many shocking results of the matter as the remaining charges were dropped against the other officers who where involved.

(http://www.blackreport.com/archives/2016/07/27/remaining-charges-dropped-against-police-officers-in-freddie-gray-case/)

The bones of the #SandraBland case continue to fall from the closet after her death was ruled a suicide last year. Officer Michael Kelley has recently admitted that he was warned not to speak out about some very important facts regarding Sandra Bland’s case. He also revealed that his career was threatened and was told that he would face repercussions if he spoke to Bland’s family attorney.

(http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-officer-in-sandra-bland-case-20160729-story.html)

We also learned–that police officer Eric Casebolt of McKinney Texas would not face assault charges for his behavior towards a 15 year old teen at a pool party in June of 2015. Officer Eric Casebolt was recorded behaving recklessly while responding to a disturbance at the pool party. He is seen waving his weapon around at the crowd of people and then slamming a black teenager to the ground while subduing her with his knee in her back under his body weight.

(http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2016/06/grand-jury-declines-to-indict-ex-cop-involved-in-mckinney-pool-party.html/)

During a protest in response to the continued racial tensions and police brutality across the nation in Dallas, Texas, a man opened fire on police officers killing 5 and wounding others, including a protester. A brief standoff ensued however it was quickly ended when the suspect was disarmed and killed by an explosive detonation by Dallas SWAT. The media was intent on blaming the outcome of the protest on the #BlackLivesMatter movement while ignoring the very reason someone saw fit that such a movement needed to take place.

(http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/dallas-county/breaking-shots-fired-and-officers-down-at-downtown-dallas-protest/266881573)

As a Dallas native I can say this was very much so a sad, horrific, and tense time. My twitter feed was on fire, the text messages wouldn’t stop coming, and my spirit was on the ropes.

Trying not to give in to my emotions, I left for work the following morning with an intent to maintain a silent protest in hopes that I would be able to get through the day with my office door closed while never speaking a word of the incident to my coworkers. I wanted to just close off and lament the catalyst that started it all: the unresponsiveness of State and Federal Government in cases involving blatant police brutality, racism, and racial profiling. Not to mention the casual feigns of ignorance when it comes to identifying #whiteprivledge

No less than 30 days after the shooting involving Dallas Police officers, two black men #AltonSterling and #PhilandoCastilewere were shot and killed (roughly 24 hours apart) by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and St Anthony, Minnesota.

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2016/07/06/alton-sterlings-death-appears-to-be-another-police-shooting-that-was-both-legal-and-preventable/)

(http://www.democracynow.org/2016/7/7/you_shot_four_bullets_into_him)

Needless to say, the pattern is more than obvious but the powers that be seem to be blind and deaf. As both are being argued as legal, justified, as well as preventable.

To make an already outrageous and genocide-eque situation worse, another black man, Charles Kinsley was shot by police in Florida while unarmed, with his hands up.

(http://www.theroot.com/articles/news/2016/07/black-fla-therapist-who-was-shot-by-police-reunited-with-autistic-patient/)

For my entire life, as long as I can remember, Black People have been fighting to receive equality of the most basic means and this struggle has only gotten more intense, more severe, more life threatening, more bloody, and has encouraged groups on either side to rise up their bands to do something about it.

The Black Community has responded with strategic action plans that have gotten the attention of celebrities and professional athletes and resulted in thousands of groups forming to promote and influence change in their communities.

Social media has been flooded with black posters sharing their ideas on resolving the issues and affecting change. There have even been suggestions of boycotts, all black market co-operatives, legal action committees, protests against specific businesses and politicians, and well as the encouragement of more black to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms to protect themselves and their homes.

To paraphrase a quote by one of my favorite singers, Sam Cooke. A Chang Has Come…

 

 

 

 

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Give and Take: Dialogue (Writing101)

I stammered…”ok ok picture this”
“…think of it as a number line…0 is in the middle. To the left of the zero is everything negative. To the right, is everything positive. Now instead of numbers being on the line, there are different degrees of love and hate. Hate is on the negative side…love is on the positive side”
I was really trying to explain myself which is something I don’t do often. I try to let me speak for myself but today it was apparently no use.
She replied back, “ What?!?” with a sarcastic look on her face. That face that says I get it but Im going to let you go on the passionate rant of explaining yourself.
I dug deeper trying to get her to understand…”Im not like you. You’re full of indifference. You often feel no way at all, don’t think anything at all about something. Im not like that”.
That’s when I got her attention more. She felt insulted or slighted in some way. Offending someone seems to be the best way to get their attention.
“The two ideas cannot compare. They aren’t remotely the same. You’re telling me that you are never anywhere in between with how you feel but you give me a number line of variation to describe yourself? That’s crazy” she was beginning to sound condescending.
I was beginning to get flustered.
“Yes, that’s right, maybe I need to sketch this out for you” I said, looking around for something to scribble on. I wanted her to literally get the picture…I wanted her to know how I operate.
“Seriously…hear me out” I said…”…on either side of the 0 there is either love or hate. How far you go in either direction determines how much I love or hate. Still it’s one of the two, not both, and if it happens to be zero, its likely because I haven’t had enough time to form an emotional opinion or I don’t care“ I was really trying to drive the point to her. I hate being misunderstood. So many things are lost in translation when two people didn’t understand each other.
I think she was beginning to get it. That or she had become tired of trying. I spoke again…”That is comparable to you because you can have no emotion or opinion at all about something or someone and I guess what Im trying to say is that I have one. Always. Even if its neutral. And Neutral for me usually means…I don’t care enough or I don’t have time to inquire” I went on, “I can ask you if you’re hungry and you might say you don’t know. How do you not know if you’re hungry or not? I can ask you if you’re a fan of Country Music you’ll say something like ‘Ive never really thought about it, I might’ What is that?”
This is what I loved about her. We can talk about ANYTHING. I am a chronic overthinker. She knows this and she still engages me. Most women are discussing men, babies, and fashion…she and I are debating how we feel about nothing in particular. Classic!
I thought I had won her over and we’d move on to discussing something less tangled. She turned around and said, “ok, ok…so tell me this…put this on your little scale of love and hate…since you ALWAYS know how you feel” She was being a jerk… I anticipated some frog prince comparison that was impossible to choose. We did that. We’d ask one another silly questions like Who would you rather sleep with…Flava Flav or Ol Dirty Bastard? Two equally unattractive guys by our own standards lol but the look on her face said something different. She hit me with it…”How do you feel about Kingston now? Where does he fall on this measuring stick of yours? We haven’t talked about him in a while. Surely he has a Love, Hate, or Neutral placeholder”.
I was expressionless.
TBC.

Interesting…who is the most interesting person or people Ive met thus far during 2014?

I really had to ponder on this one. “Who is the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?” I had to go back through my Instagram posts to see if I took pictures of the most interesting people Ive met thus far because I surely cannot remember them. Ha! Classic.
I worked on this all day and I cant come up with one person that I found so interesting that they stand out in my mind. Is this bad? This is bad. Either I have to get out more or Im no longer entertained and intrigued by the people I meet. It’s September. The year is ¾’s over and Im drawing a blank. Wow.
Im puzzled.

Writing 101: Be Brief, Pass it On!

I brought a jacket from a thrift store. It was classic vintage. Brown rustic soft leather. Silk lining. A bit worn around the seams but that’s the point of vintage.

I wanted to have it cleaned before I wore it. I was ok with vintage but I wasn’t ok with someone else’s b/o. I rechecked the zippers and snaps, both side pockets and the inside pocket. There I felt a piece of paper. I pulled it out. It was an envelope. A small letter envelope with no names. Just addresses. Handwritten.  Both addresses were the same. Odd. I forged ahead.dropped the letter in my purse as I left the dry cleaners and made a mental note to put the letter in the mail later. Maybe someone forgot to mail it. It hadn’t been postmarked.
When I got home I decided to Google the addresses. Turns out they’re nonexistent. I tried several more sites and I began to get curious. I wanted to know what was in the envelope but I didn’t think it was right to open it without trying to find the owner.

I mulled over it for a couple of days, asked some friends what I should do. They were puzzled as to why something to minor was so consuming of my time. I didnt know the answer. There could have been a life changing message, an emergency notification, money! It could have been anything. And Im holding it. So I did what any person in my position would do. I opened it.

One measly sheet of paper with a few lines on it. I started to just throw it away without reading it but I had come this far…why not?

So I read it.

 

Dear Recipient, if you have found this letter, you have also found opportunity.

I thought…Oh God a damn chain letter! I knew I should have thrown it away!

I continued reading.

This is not a chain letter. Nothing bad will happen to you if you dont pass it along. You wont inherit millions if you do. It will cost you nothing to do what I just did by leaving this note in the pocket of an old jacket. As a matter of fact, I wont even know if you do it or not so you have nothing to lose.

By now Im a bit intrigued so I keep reading…

If you dont believe in love, Im here to tell you that love is real. It is possible to fall in love, love until you’re breathless, fall out of love, and love again but you have to believe that it is possible. If you dont, you’re likely to never experience it. Open your heart to give and receive love. Thats all you have to do. And one other thing…pass it on. 

Ah ha! I thought! This is a chain letter. Damn it!

To no one in particular, in no specific manner, tell someone else how it is possible to love. Even if you didnt know before, you do now. I just told you. And if you already knew, consider this affirmation. Again, if you dont do it, there’s no curse, there’s no reward…pass it on.

So you know what I did right!?

I balled that note up…tossed it in the garbage…and begin writing my own so that I could pass it on!

 

 

Thats What I Used To Do: Serially Lost 1 of 3

I wonder if you can categorically state the abstinence of marijuana use a loss? Welp! I can. I used to smoke weed. In high school my friends and I used to get as high as Georgia Pines (something my momma used to say). I rarely ever paid for weed. Somehow or another the neighborhood in which we live often afforded me free green! I dated the pusher, my sister dated a pusher, I was friends with the pusher (this sounds a lot worse than it was) but nevertheless, I was seldom with a need to blaze without the means.

I learned a lot about myself during those years of youthful and foolish folly. I may be years out of touch now but I remember when weed was just regular weed. There was no kush, dro, haze, and if there was I either didnt know the difference or it hadnt made it to my neck of the woods yet. It was regular weed when I smoked it. It did the same thing it always did. It made me feel great, hungry, and NEVER in a rush. I had the patience of Job when I was high. Which also meant I had the motivation and productivity of an illiterate sloth with snails for parents. I didnt get much done but I was never in a rush to do anything about it. Ha! Not only was I never in a hurry, I was never worried about much thus I never thought about much…well at least nothing worth mentioning to anyone outside my own head.

I was never a public smoker. I wouldnt do it boastfully or with pride. Albeit and illegal possession in certain quantities, I didnt think marijuana was bad, I did however know that it wasnt as globally accepted as second-hand smoke. So I made my use discrete. I didnt carry it around with me.If I consumed it, I did so there, in one spot. Its one thing to smoke as a female but its a different ballgame when you’re a female that looks like a smoker. That wasnt me.

After a few semesters with an older friend at her college campus my exposure changed and I slowly broke free of my habit. It wasnt a hard one to break. I knew the stigma that surrounded it. I was fortunate to not become dependent on it. I could turn it on and off whenever I wanted. As I started to develop my own direction in life, I didnt think about getting high as much and the people I became acquainted with didnt smoke so that made it more likely to fade into obscurity.

Years have passed since I had a good toke of fresh sticky green goodness. The days of slow motion and carefree living are a distant and sweet memory. Every now and then the universe hits me with its best combo punch and I think “a joint would be great right about now” but when you’re down and out is the worst time to consume anything of the habit forming nature. Thankfully, I havent yielded to the temptation. Its likely that whatever is stressing me in the moment has me so consumed that I dont have time to locate a supplier let alone search for a neutral spot to blaze up without being noticed. As funny as it seems, my life doesnt grant such opportunities as when I as younger. Im almost always engaged in something that needs me to move faster and be attentive. If I do have a moment of my own to do absolutely anything that I want to do without judgement and consequence, I can just about guarantee you its a blink in length. The window closes very quickly.

With the dissipation of smoke from the lit end of a neatly rolled spliff, Ive lost the desire to inhale until my lungs are at full capacity all of the freedom and carefree living one heart can hold but Ive gained the ability to exhale the best me the world has ever met. Im a professional now, Im parent now, Im athlete by way of hobby, and those things arent quite the fit for a master chiefer. Past lives are just that. Perhaps in my reincarnated self or some spirit world I’ll be a cannabis cropper.

Let’s just call it Adrift rather than Lost. It just might return one day.