Friday, July 20, 2007

A Decade of Living

I am just a few hours away from a series of events that have been on my calendar for ten years. It was in June of 1997 that I graduated high school and it is this weekend that I have returned to Cleveland for my first class reunion. Last night on the plane I looked out the window and saw nothing but darkness. There was nothing there but the sky. I found myself in a quiet and reflective space.

I thought of all the good times I had in high school and all of the bad. But more than experiences I thought about the people that I shared those experiences with. While there is a small collective of friends from high school, some of them actually date back to elementary school, that I meet up with every year on Christmas Eve the vast majority of my classmates I have had no contact with at all since the night we commenced our post high school lives. Over the years I have wondered about some of them. I have wondered where they were and what they were doing. This weekend I anticipate finding out some answers to those questions.

While I pray most things I hear will make me smile. I must catch myself and remember that this is not a time to judge. It isn’t for me to approve or disapprove of someone else’s story to date. I of all people should be more conscious of that. I am very aware of my home community of East Cleveland and I am learning to be respectful of those who remained here. This place is the very springboard from which I began to take flight. What I believe to be what is best and progression is simply that – what I believe.

Inevitably, I thought to myself last night, someone who I haven’t talked to in a decade will ask me what have I been up to over the years. In serenity, I decided that my answer would be: living. It is true. I have been blessed and since the moment my name was called and I walked across the stage to receive my embattled high school diploma I have spent the next ten years living life and learning. It has been incredible and I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that have lent themselves to me on my journey. So, I figure responding by saying living will really be the best way to encapsulate so much.

Tonight I’ll be glad to see and touch those who I haven’t in so long. I hope they’ve all been living in their own way too.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fading Beauty

I just saw Beauty. I haven’t seen him in months. He looked good as usual. As a matter of fact he looked better than the last few times I’ve seen him. It’s ironic that I saw him today. Just this afternoon I was talking with O-Canada about my fascination with Black men – nothing fascinates me more than us. I told her that I have always wondered how each of us comes to be. What shapes each of us into the men that we are and ultimately become? We were all just young boys once. Did the boy who became a doctor always know that was his future? Did the soul on the corner pushing drugs or buying them have aspirations to live a street life when he was just a child?

Lord, when I look at Beauty I look in awe just wondering what he could have been like as a young boy. I imagine that he was sought after. I imagine that he was wanted. I imagine that he was well received. I also imagine that there was something about himself, his looks, that he took for granted and something about himself that he was uncomfortable with or didn’t like it. What that is I still don’t know. I’m going back outside tonight. I don’t know where Beauty is headed next. If I see him maybe I’ll ask. Maybe he will have an answer for me or maybe that’s why he is out doing whatever it is he does – because he doesn’t know the answer either. Maybe he is searching for it like I am.