Friday, December 31, 2004
No aquaintance forgotten... Hello 2005
Another year whisking by like the high winds that we experienced last week in Cali.. Over turned trucks and trees blown down, reminiscent of all the passion and velocity of time and experience. My life remains full though not always with the things that I dream about. I guess I remain at all times in learning mode and trying to figure out the most sincere steps to getting to my imagined promise land... A place where I find myself holding copies of two novels I recently completed, one of them being a very special story that was inspired by a very special woman. The title alone, a tribute to her as well because we ended every email... that way...
The promised land is also about family and spending more time celebrating that sort of love. It's never done enough and in my eyes is taken for granted, day after day... Time and forever just dont exist any more... The only thing that lasts forever is what you feel for those who made a great impact on your life. That impact can be negative or postive. I've had both.
I had two conversations in the last two days that stand out for me. If the promised land were an island, these two voices would represent a beautiful sailboat taking me there. The first voice was familiar to me though we talked non-verbally; the blessing known as instant messaging. This voice lifted my spirits. It reminded me of good times and similar hobbies. This voice has impacted my life and even though there's been some not so good moments, the moments have been mostly good. This moment left me hoping. Not so much for anything deep as the depth of our friendship flows in ways that are accepted and sometimes ignored but that's alright... The hoping is merely the chance to share what I've seen. Visions and blessings like the beautiful country side that I've told her about on many occasions or those special moments when the heavens open up above. I usually see that in Louisiana. I've always dreamed of witnessing her reaction as she sees it for herself and then her voice when she tells me about what she's experiencing... That would be the ultimate in cool... Maybe it'll happen...ahh, who knows... Right now it's just a daydream, which is good enough for me.
Speaking of voices... I heard a new voice... a different kind of voice. I could tell she'd been curious to speak with me and to hear my voice; my thoughts. She was so nervous. She scratched... She sat on her hands. She put her hands inside her shirt. She didn't know what to do. It was cute and a nice feeling to know that somehow, she wanted to bring down that invisible barrier which separated us. I had no reservations whatsoever about welcoming her into my space. I was happy to see and hear her communicate with me. I spoke softly and made sincere eye contact. I listened to every syllable of every word that she shared with me. Her twitching ceased. She relaxed her hands more. They only moved when she reflected on her culture and shared with me a memory on the differences between here and where she comes from. I told her to hold on to her tradition while at the same time be open minded enough to learn from and enjoy her own experiences each day. I'm not sure she got what I meant but I like her curiosity and enthusiasm. She loves someone that's dear to me and I pray he celebrates the differences that his young lady brings to the table. She's got a good heart and she could be a great partner in life, especially if he's receptive to her own way of shine. In essence, allow her to be the individual she is even if that means she talks a lot... (smile) That's a part of who she is and in her case, it's a good thing...
2004 was an interesting year. I'm trying to remember how it all began but I can't. I cant even remember where I was last year this time. For me, that's not a sign of age so dont start saying a brotha is losing it! (Smile) Nah, for me this is a sign that my year was filled to the brim with experiences galore and it truly was. Once again, good and bad...I probably spent too much of my year hating a certain person from my past but I believe in honest feelings and those were honest to the fifth power. And even though I sometimes diffuse the hatred, I'm not so sure that it disappears completely. That wound was cut deep but thankfully, it hasn't stopped my life from being a good thang.
Once again this year I went on one of my travel journeys. There's several pictures and words in this blog that document that experience. It's an incredible feeling to go back into the country where my ancestors lived and continue to love from above. I can feel their spirits constantly. I remember brushing past a middle aged woman in Opelousas, Louisiana who said to me "powerful spirit young man.." and then when I said "huh?" she just smiled. She didn't repeat herself but in truth, I did hear her. I guess I just wanted to hear her say it again. Then I remember pumping my gas and a white man saying to me just before climbing into his truck "you a long ways from home, ain't ya?" He'd noticed my license plate. Someone else actually answered the question for me. This black man said "nah he ain't!" and then he tipped his hat and returned to pumping his own gas..
It's been an interesting year... I've gotten to know people that I didn't expect to meet and meet people I didn't expect to know... I've done some booksignings though not nearly enough. I met people that looked at me different because I carry the author before my name. A book with my picture on it..whew.. It's crazy cool.. Memphis was where a woman asked me "how you know what a woman feels?" I dont think I did a good job of answering her.. My mind got all jumbled from so many thoughts blending together. Of course after she walked away, the answer hit me but I can't remember it now... (smile) I think I came to some kind of brilliance about me not exactly knowing but more so having that special talent of simply being able to listen. Listening with sincerity is a beautiful thang.. An unselfish act that escapes certain folks.. I could name a few...
And oh my goodness..2004 represents the first time that I flew more than a couple hours to get somewhere! Hated it! (smile) Actually, it wasn't too bad.. The flight was smooth but the seating was crazy uncomfortable!! My knees were so messed up on that flight but once I made it to where I was going, I really enjoyed myself. I went to Baltimore for the first time. It was cool... I walked around..Loved the architecture of the buidlings downtown..Very cool.. Other long flight experiences included a trip to Memphis but that was a better, more roomier plane and them good folks thought I was a San Antonio Spurs basketball player so I got even better treatment.. It was nice...
2004, I enjoyed LA more than I have in the past... I guess I investigated it more.. Took in a lot more sights, sounds, voices, and experiences. Found common bonds between folks looking for an escape from the angry gotta get where I'm going mentality that's passed from people to people in this city. I also went deep into various hoods and found enjoyment....positive stuff... Even the negative was fascinating but I never indulge, I just document in my mind and allow it to influence and inspire.. I feel so blessed to be able to go from a country experience to a city one and enjoy both, equally. It takes some adjusting each time but it's good and necessary...
Funny thing, I can remember a moment during 2004 when I did some serious house cleaning. I'd finally gotten the courage to throw away old memories, pictures, a t-shirt, a stuffed animal and other knick knacks that I didn't want to claim and still never wish to claim, ever again... I succeeded and felt good about it but then I stumbled upon two cards given to me back in 2001. I found no reason to throw those away. I smiled because one card and envelope still carried a few old dried up rose petals. The second card only contained the cute words that touched my heart back then. It's really amazing to me how from July 2001 to January 2005 the perfumed scent on both cards has remained. All I could say was "wow!" and then I sniffed a couple times just to visualize the woman who picked out the words inside and wore very proudly the beautiful scent that I could still smell...Keeping those cards was mandatory to remembering one of the most special times ever in my entire life. Fast forward to today as I claim this lady as a dear friend of mine, a "true" friend and she's real cool because she reads all my shhhh...eeeet!(smile)
2004 I still got them angels keeping me lifted aka friendship, prayer and support from Missy Jenkins, Shelia Goss, AN-gela Schmidt, Mia Sims, Monica Baker, Kim Roseberry and the neverending light from a powerfully deep source named Cherryl Floyd Miller... Oh..and my little big sister who I send out daily smoke signals to, praying she'll surface so we can talk for a couple hours and I can feel okay again... That be Jamise L. Dames... 2004 also brought a fabulous new sister in my life by the name of Carla Barclay who always be threatening a brotha by saying she and her family gonna feed me the best darn southern/Texas food in the whole wide world!! I'm looking forward to that as well as meeting her mother and husband who probably got some stories I'm dying to hear... Plus I got this cool friend who sounds so country I figured she lived in the deep south. I didn't know folks from Virginia had so much southern soul inside they veins! (smile) I'm speaking of my good friend, April (A.J. JD) White... She funny...I also met this very down to earth cool lady named Sammie. She carries with her a powerful story of survival, tragedy and more survival. She's faced challenges that I can only visualize when she shares her journey because living it? I ain't come close but I'm blessed to have her as a friend. Yeah... 2004 was cool in that it showed me that good people always float to the surface and reveal themselves in your life when you too, are good... I've seen examples of what not being good is about and I dont want to be like that....or her... I know I'll have my moments... Shoot, I even sometimes get tired of people but my "goodness" (the real ME) shines through... I even reach out to folks who act like they hate the ground I step on even though they dont even know me...(smile) That's my nod to a woman who wastes time being angry and probably screwing up all that inner glow which keeps the outside blessed with shine...(smile) I woke up today and read something online which said to think each day about how you can be a blessing to someone. And I say to that, I'll try... Though actually, I think I do that unconsciously anyway....well, sometimes... (smile)
And now here comes 2005....whew... what's next God? But first at 11:59pm on December 31, 2004 you'll find me closing my eyes for a moment and saying a prayer no matter where I'm standing or sitting... And then, I guess it's on... And hopefully it gets better.. And may the downtimes be just as valuable as the good times...indeed, that's an unselfish act known as paying attention to the lessons in life... I look forward to mine... And I'll end this by mentioning that today, just before the new year forces it's way into existence, I received a super fantastic blessing in the mail... A beautiful book of poetry... A book of LIFE or better yet "light!" And I can hear my alter-ego saying to myself "get to the point, man!!!" (laughing) Well, this masterpiece is called CHOPS by Cherryl Floyd Miller. Whew.. It came to me right on time because along with that prayer that I'll say before the new year, I wanna be able to read this book in preparation of the new year and long after it stops being "new..." But anyway, this quote found me as I was reading a poem inside this book. The poem is called "To Swallow It." And the quote I will end with....
This is written word flying
time darting into cantabile,
A __ (The Wind)
V. Anthony Rivers III