Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Come here, sit on my lap.

For the past several weeks I have been doing it again. I had been running around too busy or too lazy to what I should have been doing. Transitioning roles, taking in a few more lessons, doing a bit of this and a bit of that and always saying I would get around to centering myself again without ever really doing it. Just like a little child. So many things happening all at once at home I found myself running around, screaming, laughing playing, all in fun, all in my own time. When that happens, those with good parents usually step in and tell the child to quiet down. Relax a little bit. They speak the words, ‘Come here, sit on my lap.’

This morning I boarded the plane to head back home with AQueer. I fly because I have to, not because I want to and though the flight is only about 53 minutes I was glad he was sitting next to me. The flight took off and he and I enjoyed our typical banter and jokes as we recapped our time in Ohio with our families. Our flight was very early this morning and at some point AQueer began to drift off to sleep. Shortly the captain made an announcement that we would be experiencing some turbulence ahead. I clasped the arms to my seat tightly and prepared myself for the bumps. There I was again flying 30,000 feet above the Earth, being tossed about in the air like a rag doll, horribly uncomfortable. AQueer woke only for a moment to ask if I were okay. I told him no, but knowing there was nothing he could do to stop the turbulence he just turned his head and went back to sleep.

In that moment I chose to remain with my hands clutching the arms and to close my eyes. I thought that I would pray that God would see us to our destination safely. But that was not my prayer. In the less than a second that it took me to close my eyes, my ears were opened and I heard the simple words of my father, God, the Creator of the most high, in a calm and gentle voice say to me, his child, “Come here, sit on my lap’ and I did.

I sat on my father’s lap and more than he spoke to me his listened. I felt so cool and collected there, I felt so very much at peace. While I knew that the plane was shaking, I was not. I was in my center again. I could not be moved. It was another reminder to me that no matter what is going on in the world around me, no matter how the wind may blow, that when I am in my sacred spiritual place, that I can not be moved. I am grounded. I am at peace. I am at one with the Universe and all that is in it. The Universe is as at one with me and all that is in me.

During that quiet time I felt a connection that I desperately needed. A connection that I know always exist but I need to tap into it more often. His lap is always there.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Amber Alert: Jesus

I know this is the season to be jolly. Everywhere I turn I see Christmas trees, Santa Claus, poinsettias, tons of red & green and sales in every store. This has been going on for weeks now. I have been consumed and completely emerged in the holidays. But where the hell is Jesus? I feel like more than ever, this year he has been incredibly absent. Is he a member of the Writer’s Guild of America too? That would easily explain his absence.

I think.

But as a consumerist American I am not really suppose to though.

Naughty me.

Maybe Santa won’t bring me anything now either.

So, since I’m thinking about it I will also question what happened to Hanukkah this year too. Granted, I am not a Jew, I do have lots of Jewish friends and this year I think I heard about less latke and vodka Hanukkah celebrations (popular among the twenty-something’s). I sure got invited to fewer of them. (Maybe I shouldn't have worn that Jesus Saves tshirt last year.)

I am a lover of words. I even studied rhetoric in college and almost pursued an advanced degree in it. Nevertheless, I pay attention to words and their meaning and their usage and how and why people use them. Today I noted how many people now say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. While some can view this as an attempt to be politically correct and be all encompassing I think it can also be seen as a way to collect all the religious and ethnic observances and clump them into one more suitable for the companies that sell us everything so they can sell everyone a bunch of – everything. Without a religious or ethnic attachment to it there is free reign for every citizen to be a mass consumer. Perhaps this it just too much of a conspiracy theory, but perhaps I am right. With no Christmas and no Hanukkah, the generic Holidays has room to be like Wal-Mart and reign supreme. No more mom and pop stuff. The Holidays mean business.

Either way it goes over the next few days I’ll spend time with my family, eat lots of my mothers homemade cookies, enjoy some time off and get in touch with the Jesus in me – he doesn’t seem to be too many other places.

What would Jesus do? I don’t think he’d purposefully disappear on his birthday. Would he?

Bueller! Bueller!

Jesus! Jesus!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dead Man Walking

This morning on my way to work, I saw three policemen questioning two black male teenagers at the Metro stop. I looked at them and kept walking. It was nothing that I hadn’t seen before and it was nothing that I’m sure that I won’t see again. I was immune. I had no reaction to it.

A talented NFL player, Sean Taylor was fatally shot in his home. The allegedly burglary gone wrong, turned homicide was orchestrated and executed by several black teens.

Several weeks ago the DC Department of Health released a study that showed that HIV/AIDS is impacting African Americans in Washington, DC at horrifying rates, worse than any other city in America and similar to the statistics you would find in sub-Saharan African nations. I was not shocked by these numbers and I am sure that I will see again. I was immune to what I read. I had no reaction to it.

I wondered this morning, hours after I saw those young black boys, weeks after I had read those statistics, if those black males were dead men walking. After further analysis I wonder if I, HIV negative, no criminal history, on my way to being middle income, masters degree holding, world traveling, connoisseur of arts and literature, politically minded and engaged, 28 year old black male is the one who is really a dead man walking.

Often I have looked at other black males, my age, younger and older and judged them and their situations. I have looked at my brothers and thrown my hands up. Equally, I have looked at some and extended my hand. But where has that gotten them, me, us? Maybe we are all dead.

Maybe the rap music finally got us. Maybe the super prison that were built for us have eaten us all up. Maybe the decline of the once all mighty black church has led to the decline in the life expectancy of black males. Maybe the hundreds of years of the battle to fight institutional racism is finally over and the black man has just lost. Maybe the gains of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s – three decades of progress were completely tarnished by one decade of a dangerous white rock that was like kryptonite to our community, our culture and our people. Maybe the increase in black men serving time in prison and the decrease in black men attending college means this is the end.

I must ask this.

Are the dead men walking the men who are unemployed, not taking care of their children, illiterate and in prison? Or are the dead men walking the men who are employed, not in jail, taking care of their children and those of other men, literate not in prison and not doing shit about the brothers that are?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rhythmic Discourse

My body was moving. My lips were closed, but I was talking. There were points when I knew I was talking to God and there were other moments when I knew I was only talking to myself. I was dancing. I was using my body as an instrument to express what I did and didn’t understand.

The room was dark. The only light there came from a candle and the light that shines within my belly. The music bumped. A woman’s voice sang. African drum beats mixed with a funky guitar. I just danced.

I don’t know what exactly led me to the place and space but I was comfortable when I was there. The day began with two words that affected me all day: sad news. It made me think about a love. The night ended with two words that I promised myself I would never let affect me again: no answer. It made me think about another kind of love. I thought but could not and really don’t think I wanted to talk, not in the traditional since. I wanted to think and pray and converse and meditate and express what I was feeling.

And that I did, in the floor, with the music, with the lights, with myself and with my God.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

My Dream

This morning I woke up and remembered my dream.

It was in color. I was sitting with my mother and I was being introduced. I was going to address an audience. Hurriedly, I was asking my mother questions and jotting down notes. I wasn’t sure what exactly I was going to say once I spoke. And when I stood there and opened my mouth these words began to flow out:

I am so happy and honored that you all invited me here to speak today. It truly is an honor to be chosen to speak here on a day devoted to youth, with an audience filled with so many young people. I am at an interesting point in my life where I am not exactly the age of those who invited me to speak, but not exactly the age of those who I am primarily being asked to speak to and I wont be that age ever again so that is why I rushed to accept the invitation to speak at a youth day.

So what all do I want to say to you ‘youth’, you beautiful young people? What words can I impart to those who may one day stand in this spot, to those who will be blessed enough to sit in the back one Sunday morning when their children are sitting in the front, on youth day? What do I say? I have thought this over and I am compelled to share with you these three lessons that I have learned, experience, benefited from and know that I will only be able to continue to move on or ahead because of them.

First, I must impart on you the idea that you must never let go. You must never give in. You must not stop. You must not lose sight. You must not take your hands off. You must fight to the finish. You must run on to the end. The Bible tells us the story of a man who entered a cave one night. He entered this dark place with not much knowledge of what was all going to be in there. All he knew is that in this dark place, separated from the rest of the world, which was also at this time of evening dark, that he was going to face a fight. Hr also knew that when he got in that cave and started fighting that losing the battle was not an option. He knew that no matter what he had to fight.

My, my young people – let us park here for a minute. For while I say the Bible tells us of this man who entered a dark cave where he didn’t know who or what exactly was in there, we know that we live in that very cave – or world today. Times are not as they used to be. Violence is rampant. Lust is fills the air. Integrity is often absent. Temptation surrounds. Envy is common. Bling bling is the thing thing that drives us to chase and pursue all the wrong things. We are in a dark place. A dark cave and it is often hard to see what is truly behind or ahead of us but we must seek light. We must seek light and we know that in order to come out of this cave, to get that light, to create light around us, that we will only get it by doing it on our own, by putting up a fight.

So in the Biblical story, the man is in this cave, he has entered and the fight is on. He is bruised. He is beaten. They wrestle. They roll on the floor. They bump against the walls. They rumble. All night long.

They both get a little tired. They both get a little weary. But they continue. Hours pass.

And they wrestle.

Hours pass.

And they roll on the floor.

Hours pass and they bump against the walls.

Hours pass.

And they rumble.

Alas, it looks like the day is going to break outside the cave.

This being says to the man – okay, I’ve had enough of this fighting let me go.

The man says to him – No! I won’t let you go until you bless me. Not until I have won.

Sit with me on the side again young people, in this life, right now, the one that you are living there are going to be obstacles, threats, hills, valleys – there are going to be fights that you face in your quest for personal greatness – living your best life, living the life that God intended for you to live is not going to be easy. In fact it will get harder and harder along your journey but you have to remember is that you can’t stop fighting, you can’t let go – not until you get your blessing! Not until the sunrises! Not until!

So let life toss you. Roll on the floor with it. Bump against the wall with it. Do what you got to do but don’t let go.

My second point lends itself to the first, which was don’t give up, it is do your part.

Now, no matter how young you are I am sure that you have read or been told the great story of Moses leading his people out of slavery and harsh conditions. Everyone loves this story because it is a fantastic illumination of what God can do. He parted a sea. Imagine that, God, in his almighty power made water part. Not just some water, but a whole sea so that his people could get across on their path to freedom. My, my. What an awesome power he is.

But what I marvel at when this story is retold is not just what God did for his people, but at what the people he chose did.

When we examine the text we learn that Moses was given instruction to get to a certain point, raise his stick and the water would part. Next all of his followers would have a minimal amount of time to run across to the other side before the water would return to its normal flow.

Note young people, Moses had to lift the stick. This alone exhibited great faith and Moses had to exercise that great faith. The water just didn’t move automatically when people got there. Moses had to do something.

Note young people, God moved the water, he didn’t move the people. Stop. Think about. We always pray and ask God to do things for us. We must ask ourselves what are we doing to prepare ourselves to receive what God has for us and moreover. Are we doing are part. Praying to get into college means nothing if you haven’t filled out the application, young people. Then we also got folks who want blessings that they are not prepared to receive. You say you want a new car – do you have money for gas? Stop. Think about it. We must also ask, are we doing what we are supposed to in order for God to bless us?

The part about the story of Moses parting the Red Sea that moves me is that those folks had sense of enough to move themselves. God didn’t part the sea and then levitate everyone and take them across – although he could have. Instead he parted the sea and said run for yourself! The Promise Land is on the other side and I have made a way for you but you must exercise the free will that I have given to you and run to get there yourself. Old folks always remind us that God will make a way out of no way and I’m here to remind you young people that it is up to you to follow that way.

Then I woke up.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Sometimes when I’m talking to someone and there is a long pause I break the silence by asking them to tell me a secret. I’m sitting at my desk in silence right now and I have asked myself for the same thing I ask of others – a secret. But as I sit I realize that at the moment I have more one go share.

My secret is that today I pressed my hand to my chest and wondered where Beauty was. I pray that wherever he is that he is doing well. I pray that he is praying.

My secret is that I am hiding something from my boss and I don’t know when I can whisper this secret in her ear for sure but time is running out. I don’t know if she will be moved to scream by whisper.

My secret is that twice this week I have touched flesh but I long for someone to touch my heart.