Monday, March 31, 2008
Gotta take a moment to perhaps recognize this day... um, yes... it is my birthday... Happy Birthday to me. I've been enjoying it since last week and looking forward to more interesting moments, journeys, revelations and good times. Looking forward to some gallery showings for the photography and a new book... and praying for simple good living...
Downtown looks the same everywhere. The hopes imagined so beautifully at one point in life fade away and become distant memories, filed in the back of ones mind as what could've been. Folks every possession is carried with them. The search for shelter a daily struggle. How does one dream at night or maintain the innocence of how you viewed the world around and above. At night, I still dream of beautiful things to come while looking up at the stars especially on a warm night in the country or a cool night on the beach. I can't imagine feeling that same way laying on the pavement. Looking up at the stars, I would pray and probably beat myself up through reminiscing about how it became like this. It would be hard to dream and hard to believe in a better me. But if I still possessed my same hopeful innocent view I'd believe that there's gotta be a better way somehow, someway...
Thursday, March 27, 2008
A few days ago I was looking out my front door at the neighbors pink house across the street. Now I'm sitting on a front porch in east Texas looking out into a field at a scarecrow. The differences between here and where I live and work every day always get to me. The weekend before last I'm sitting at a Starbucks watching loud motorcycles ride by and in between the noise I'm hearing conversations about big bootie women, the presidential election and how the Lakers can possibly go all the way to win a championship. Earlier today I was at Walmart. I overheard two men talking about tractors and how they were thinking about traveling to the next town to pick up some beer because this town didn't sell alcohol. A "dry town" as they referred to it. The differences makes me smile. I was stepping over drunks and smelling liquor everywhere not too long ago at a gathering in LA. Big difference here, though there's some craziness going out this way too.
Adjusting to the slow pace in the country always takes me a few days. One thing that I love instantly is when I hear the voices of my southern family, especially the sweet sound of an elderly woman's voice that greeted me yesterday. This voice belonged to someone who knew me as a kid but I only knew of her and couldn't really recollect how she looked. I've heard so many stories about cousin Palestine. She's the grand daughter of one of my great grandfather's brothers. Last time I was here everyone kept telling me to take advantage of her still being around.
They were like "you need to sit with Palestine and just listen to her. She'll have you sitting there thinking you watching a movie 'cause her stories be so vivid. The best part is that she's telling you about folks that is kin to you. That's when you start to smiling and can't control yourself."
I haven't heard detailed stories from her yet but I have enjoyed the compliments and feeling loved because she keeps trying to see if I've got something to eat. She promised to bake me one of her infamous pound cakes made from scratch and using some extra rich butter that she churned herself.
Palestine said to me "I still does that kind of stuff! Now don't get me wrong, I love an occasional trip to Taco Bell and even Walmart's bakery make some nice desserts but ain't nothing like homemade cooking. And the way we do it here in the country is a lost art form. You need to come down more often and get you some of this here..."
I didn't get to visit with Palestine too long but the lingering presence of her spirit is still with me now. I had to take care of some personal matters and pay my respects to family no longer here. I even said hello to a few cousins that run some illegal activity deep in the woods and by the looks of it, they making way too much money. They're egos are as big as the wheels on the cars. Times have changed from the days when I remember them being young and occasionally fighting pitbulls in the field. Life has changed in many ways but despite that, simply being in the country is a much needed escape from city life...
Monday, March 24, 2008
Easter weekend had it's moments. I have to send out special prayers to my aunt Tamer who is in the hospital battling acute pancreatis and dealing with a lot of pain in the process. I pray she has a very speedy recovery. It's rough seeing time bring with it illnesses and tough times for family members. Time marches on and that ain't always a good thing when things like this happen. Nevertheless, time does move... It was kind of hot out here in southern Cali over the weekend. I enjoyed it with capturing some cool moments photographically and checking out that Meet The Browns movie. It was alright. Kind of predictable for me but it was funny too. I especially enjoyed seeing the beautiful Angela Bassett; one of my favorite actresses of all time. The movie also had me yearning for a healthy dose of country life. I love the country and my southern spirit is aching for me to return. The movie brought back memories of family. It reminded me of good times back a few years ago when things were real good in east Texas. Like when my grandmother was still alive and when on one day I'd go from enjoying time with her to taking a drive down the road about fifteen minutes away to visit with cousin's George, Maggie, Big Mama, Peaches, Apple(they're sisters), Ruby, her boys and everybody else around there. They fed me good and told me stories about family past and present. We'd sit under the "crying tree," which was a tree that always has water dripping from it's leaves. They laughed at me when I kept checking my head and shoulders for bird droppings. I was like "what the?" Anyway, seeing those country folks in Tyler Perry's latest definitely brought back those kind of special memories. Good times that no longer exist in east Texas because people have grown in other directions and doing things they shouldn't do. Meet The Browns also brought back memories of that aching feeling inside your stomach when you're blown away by the potential of somebody. Blown away by what you imagine life with them could be. Mesmerized by the thought of just being near them. Sometimes I wonder if women feel that way too or is it just the certain fellas who dream a little bit too much and got way too much gullible qualities within them. Rick Fox played that sort of mesmerizing part very well and it was a good happy ending to the story as well as a strong message about fatherhood... I'd like to see a little more of Madea hopefully in the next Tyler Perry movie. All in all, it was a decent weekend...
Thursday, March 20, 2008
I wasn't born like this, yet I became like this. They say everyone has a chance; an equal opportunity for success. What are my chances now? Every second feels like a step closer to no longer existing. I fear the pain, the suffering; yet I imagine the peace. Would I be missed? Would they say, whatever happened to and think of me with fondness? Everything I own, I carry with me. All of who I am has been taken from me. The streets haven't been kind; the ugliness easier to deal with when something else controls my mind. Sometimes another day for me feels like torture. I exist; I'm here but am I really surviving? Somehow this has become my world; small like me in the eyes of others. A nobody in the eyes of most...
I had a conversation with two ladies. One of them I complimented. Both of them laughed. They brushed aside my compliment as yet another man's attempt at trying to get something. They both had that familiar smirk like tightening of the lips, followed by an audible sound that could only be translated as "don't even go there..." I continued to "go there" because I was sincere. I didn't want anything but conversation. My compliment was simple, yet I meant it with sincerity. After that, I decided to challenge the flow, so to speak. I mean, they didn't seem like they wouldn't be receptive to me asking questions or making comments.
"Seems to me like a woman whose been hurt doesn't always receive compliments too well or perhaps doesn't trust one coming from a man" I said.
They both looked at each other. Then they looked at me. They told me they agreed with that statement but believed that men were the same way.
"Nah, we'll still believe anything you tell us regardless of if we been hurt. Shoot, compliments feel good and when a man is down, he needs a pick me up. Words can deliver that feeling..."
One of the ladies laughed at me and said "typical man..." The other told me that I was just trying to impress. I ducked under her sarcasm and countered with another compliment. I loved how she was rockin the bangles on her wrist and the large earrings. Her accessories had a little afrocentric/70's vibe going on. I've been taking notes on that sort of look recently because I'm doing a photoshoot with this model who plans to wear a lot of that for each shot.
The lady who I hadn't complimented asked me a question. She said "so, if I told you you were a good looking man, umph! Would you believe me?"
They both chimed in "why not?"
"Because at this point I'd be thinking you're just playing with me. If you approached me out of the blue and said it, I might believe you. I would then think that the motivation to say it was purely your idea and not just you saying it because of what we been talking about. When I complimented your friend, I think you knew I was being real because of the way I said it. It was like a surprise to me. The light hit her just right and in that moment, I was like damn... the compliment was necessary; completely motivated by some serious energy going on..."
"He's too much for me..." The complimented one blushed and then said "shut-up Anthony."
Friday, March 14, 2008
I wanted to speak to her on a personal level. I chose to read words on a page, camouflaged as something I'd written long ago. I couldn't make eye contact with her but my voice was solid; every word connected despite all that surrounded us; the foot traffic, and the voices in the distance. She leaned in closer. She wanted to see the words too, as I read them. Funny thing though, not every word was on the page. She searched for them herself. She smiled. I knew because by then, her face was close enough for me to feel the rise in her left cheek. "Liar," she whispered. "I gotta watch out for you quiet guys..." "You don't see what I'm saying?" I asked her. She paused for a moment. We made eye contact. She said, "I do now..."
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Ahh...today I saw and witnessed this beautiful lady. I'd seen her briefly once before about four months ago in a similar situation. There she was dancing to the beat of african drums; moving her body to the rhythm. When she dances, she celebrates. She blew me away the first time I'd seen her but I never thought it would happen again; me seeing her- though I imagined it. Then as I'm checking out the scene and enjoying the rhythms myself, there she is, dancing in the circle and blowing me away all over again... I snapped a few shots of her. She noticed me. She glanced at me, glanced away, glanced back again... A hint of a smile.. It was like that old game of stealing looks but not making it obvious that we're looking directly at each other. I felt like Kunte Kente, hoping an elder or two would step to me and ask "are you making eyes at her?" And I'd gladly say yes, hoping the elders could hook me up... Ha haa...but, reality steps in. Ain't no elders around though someone in front of me did say to their friend "I think she's lookin at this tall guy.." and then it appeared she had to go. A female friend of hers seemed anxious to leave. The beautiful lady exited the circle from the opposite side of where I stood. As the two walk away together, I tried to make my way to the other side but I'm too late... I tried to follow but I'm too far... Maybe another time, another place, another chance... If not, it's okay. I enjoyed the moment, the stolen glances, the beautiful smiles... the possibilities... the inspiration.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
A writer, a dreamer... hoping that his love for words finds its way into the hearts of others. Dreaming that his expressions based upon experience change what has become his life. Praying that each mis-step were simply lessons that will point him in the direction of success. Believing that no matter how dark the days, there's still hope?